Jefferson City's new budget plan would de-fund city's public-access television

Jul 30, 2013

Credit Missouri Department of Tourism

Jefferson City leaders have approved a tentative budget for fiscal year 2014, and the budget would eliminate all funding for the city’s only public access television station. JCTV, which broadcasts city council meetings and other public programming, would lose all funding from the city under the tentative budget.  This comes as Columbia’s public access channel, CAT-TV, may also lose its funding from the city of Columbia because of an expiring contract with the city.  

Jefferson City mayor Eric Struemph proposed defunding JCTV.  He says he doesn’t think it’s the city government’s place to use tax dollars to pay for a TV channel: “I just don’t see it as an essential service anymore, and that’s why I’m cutting it,” he said

Lincoln University runs the station, and councilmember Larry Henry says the city should find other ways to support the university if JCTV gets defunded. “I think we’re going to have to get creative and try to figure out some other ways that we can support Lincoln," he said. "We have a university here, and as a city, I feel like it’s an obligation for us to support our university.” 

If city leaders decide to cut funding to JCTV, they will have to give the station 90 days’ notice before the cut.  The city would also set aside $5,000 dollars to hire a part –time camera person to videotape and stream city council meetings.