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KOCT’s Role in the Community – How
PEG shines a light on our City Council
Posted on February 7, 2011

Tom Reeser
Executive Director

I’ve told you about PEG and the many
services she provides. (Now let’s not
get nasty here—I’m talking about the
Public, Education and Government
access programming shown on
KOCT.) But I can hear some of you
asking, “Why should I care about a
Spanish language church program or
a Board of Supervisors meeting?”
What good does a PEG channel do me
when I have 300 others to choose
from? Can you say Bell, California?
I’m going out on a limb here to tell you
that Bell, California – a municipal
government ripping off its own
taxpayers – could not have happened
in Oceanside because of KOCT.

How can I make such a bold
prediction? Because of intense citizen
scrutiny made possible by live
television coverage of city government
that KOCT shines a light on. Bell,
California has no television coverage
of their council meetings. For example:
Bell, California held a critical election
during Thanksgiving week that had
minimal voter participation but set the
stage for inflated staff and council
salaries. Bell, California has no
television coverage of election issues.

Televised coverage of local
government encourages citizen
oversight and involvement with our
government. It illuminates elected
officials’ words and deeds. Residents
need PEG to shine a light on local
government as KOCT has done for
more than 25 years. With your support
we’ll continue to serve this vital role for
the next 25!
Leslie Devaney pal Jerry Salyer is also a pal of
Community invited to produce segments for TV show
By Promise Yee
Jun 01, 2012

KOCT Community Television is giving area residents and organizations an opportunity to
produce their own television segments. The approximately 30-minute segments are aired
collectively as “Oceanside Talks.”

“Oceanside Talks” airs on KOCT channel 18
and is exactly what community television
is all about.

“We are for, by, and about the community,”
Tom Reeser, KOCT executive director, said.

“It really fits every aspect of our mission.”

KOCT Community Television is giving area residents and organizations an opportunity to
produce their own television segments. From left: Councilmember Gary Felien, Host Tom
Morro and Lloyd Prosser film a segment on Proposition F. Photo by Promise Yee

The idea is to give nonprofits and individuals an opportunity to tell the community more about
their organization, community services and point of view.

“It’s everyday people producing their own TV show,” Reeser said. “Unlike YouTube it’s good
lighting and good audio. It’s a professional TV show.”

While the program is designed to give nonprofit organizations a voice, the pilot program that
first aired May 12 focused on local opposition and support of Propositions E and F.

The show will not always be thematic. Flexibility in content allows any interested group or
individual to participate in creating a half-hour television segment.

To help residents and organizations end up with a quality on-air segment, KOCT staff guides
interested participants through the process. Participants are given on-air guidelines and tips,
and can be matched with a volunteer producer to give them additional coaching and advice.

Creating a television segment is a learning experience for participants. KOCT staff also said
they needed to make a few adjustments working with first-time producers and on-air talent.

“We provide handouts so they come prepared,” Reeser said. “In the pilot we worked out a lot
of kinks.”

KOCT volunteer Jerry Salyer,
who also helped produce the
first episodes of “Journalists
Roundtable,” assisted a group
in creating one of the
“Oceanside Talks” pilot segments.

“KOCT is a terrific resource in the
community,” Salyer said.

His advice for groups that want to
create a television segment is to
have a focused message, prepare
lots of questions if you include
on-air interviews, run through a
timed rehearsal of what you will
say on camera, and pre-shoot b-roll to show viewers what you are telling

“Have a plan, have more questions than you can ever get to and make a
point,” Salyer said.

“Oceanside Talks” is produced monthly. In-studio filming is scheduled the last
week of each month and costs participants $500 for a 90-minute, four-camera
continuous shoot.

On shoot day, KOCT crewmembers prepare the set and studio lighting for
filming. Participants have 90 minutes on set with cameras rolling.

This allows time for reshooting parts of the segment if necessary.

Pre-taped b-roll can be added to the segment for an additional editing charge.

The result is an approximately 30-minute segment that is played on-air eight
times and streamed on demand on the KOCT website for a month. A promo to
alert viewers to upcoming airdates is also filmed.

“It’s immediately on-air the next weekend,” Reeser said.

The arrangement of charging a filming fee allows the station to supply a crew
and studio time, and ensures that the hometown program has a professional look.

“It allows us to produce community programming at a grassroots level,” Reeser
Board of Directors
July 19, 2012--from website



Tom Reeser, Executive Director

Jake Rush, Station Manager

Sophie-Helen Crain,
Administrative Assistant

Peter Bonscher, Program Scheduler
/ Senior Production Technician

Angela Miranda, Cablecast Team
William "Mr. Bill" Sinatra, Chief
Engineer Emeritus
Phoenix Von Hendy, IT Engineer
Bill Peters, Staff Engineer
KOCT-TV can't use city grant money for
April 05, 2011

Supporters for Oceanside's KOCT community television are scrambling this week
to find a new source of funding, after learning that a grant they were banking on
can't be used to pay salaries or other operating expenses.

"It might mean the loss of half our remaining staff," station Executive Director
Tom Reeser said.

Reeser said KOCT will stay on the air, but with significant cuts in programming
unless a new source of money materializes before city funding runs out in June.

With the city set to cut all subsidies to the station in the coming fiscal year,
Reeser was hoping KOCT could tap into $889,000 left from a $4.1 million
telecommunications grant that Cox Communications gave Oceanside in 2002.

City Attorney John Mullen and Cox Communications Vice President
Sam Attisha,
in separate memos, said that by federal law, the technology grant
money can only be used to buy equipment or pay for other capital expenses, not
to cover the station's programming costs as Reeser had hoped.

"In sum, KOCT cannot use the technology grant funds for operational purposes,
such as to pay the salaries of its employees," Mullen wrote.

This fiscal year, KOCT received $377,000 from the city general fund out of a
total station budget of $883,000, Reeser said.

The grant money was in addition to the subsidy the station got from the general
fund and has been doled out to KOCT for capital expenses in annual payments,
starting with $1.2 million in 2003, $850,000 in 2004 and $149,428 per year
since. The station will continue to get that amount each year through 2017.

Reeser's plan was to accelerate the payments, collecting the balance over the
next three years rather than waiting until 2017, and use the money to tide the
station over.

Mullen said KOCT can still accelerate the payments, but Reeser said that won't
do any good if he can't use the money for operating costs.

"It looks like we're facing a real crisis," Reeser said. "We thought we had found a
solution, an alternative to the general fund money."

Oceanside's general fund covers most day-to-day government functions except
harbor, water and sewer operations.

City Manager Peter Weiss has warned that the deep spending cuts are needed
to cover what he projects would be a $3.6 million deficit in the general fund for
the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The city's projected revenue in the 2011-12 fiscal year is $112.4 million, while
expenses are expected to be $116 million. In the 2010-11 fiscal year, revenue
and expenses have been balanced at about $113 million by a series of spending
cuts. In 2009-10, the city took in about $117 million in revenue and spent just
under $129 million ---- a gap that was closed primarily by dipping into the city's

With the city looking at further reducing library hours, closing a swimming pool,
shutting down some recreation programs and laying off city workers, officials put
KOCT on notice that it wouldn't get any city general fund money after the end of
this fiscal year June 30.

Reeser said he's called an emergency meeting of KOCT's board of directors to
determine what to do next.

The choices are grim, Reeser said.

From a peak staffing level of 14, Reeser said he's down to six full-time
workers and will have to cut that to three, barring last-minute funding.

Under the worst-case scenario, Reeser said KOCT will continue
televising Oceanside and San Marcos City Council meetings and board
meetings of the Tri-City Healthcare District.

He said the station also will continue core programming such as "Oceanside
Spectrum" and "Voice of Oceanside."

"Fortunately, we have a backlog of thousands of programs. We can still provide
a lot of interesting programs in the short term. Long term, that's going to be more
difficult with a small staff," Reeser said. "We're obviously going to have to
develop our volunteer program; but anyone who works with volunteers knows
you need a core staff to work with volunteers."

Reeser said he's been searching everywhere he can think of for funding options.

"I filled out 15 grant applications in the last three months but I haven't received
one affirmative grant yet. It's very competitive," he said. "We've worked hard over
the past year to try to find solutions, but the smaller the staff gets, the more
difficult the problem becomes."

Over the past year, the station has found one company, Enjoy Professional Hair
Care Products, to underwrite its "Inside Oceanside" show, and Reeser also
hopes to find other companies to underwrite other programs.

KOCT also rents its studios for private productions, but Reeser said staffing cuts
make that difficult.

"It requires a certain number of people to do that and generate that income," he
Reeser inducted into NATAS Silver Circle
Business People
August 09, 2009  
North County Times

National Academy of Television Arts &
-Pacific Southwest Chapter has inducted KOCT Executive
Director Tom Reeser into its Silver Circle.

Six other television professionals were recognized with Reeser at a
luncheon at the San Diego Yacht Club
. They were Phil Blauer, Carol
LeBeau, Douglas Friedman, Jim Laslavic, Sammie Jo Swift and Michael Torres.

Reeser has been with KOCT-The Oceanside Channel for 22 years. KOCT is a
nonprofit, noncommercial TV station that focuses its cameras on Oceanside
content, including from City Council meetings to high school sports.

Reeser began his video career in the early 1980s and was hired by
KOCT in 1987 as the first full-time employee
. He began as a video
production technician. Reeser then became station manager and in 1990,
became executive director.

Emmy 2009-The 35th Annual Format: PDF/Adobe
Acrobat - Quick View
Tom Reeser. Sammie Jo Swift. Michael Torres. 2009.
The Silver Circle is
open to indi- viduals who began their careers in television at least 25
years ago, either ...