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Larry's Flea Market » Blog Archive » Cablevision—a Brief History of the Jefferson Cable Corporation

Cablevision—a Brief History of the Jefferson Cable Corporation

Written by admin on August 2nd, 2012

From early 1970 until the equipment began failing in the 1980s, the Jefferson Cable Production Department turned out thousands of hours of local television programs, including “Community History,” “Cable Contact,” “People, Places, Things,” “The Apple Butter Sunday Telethon,” “University Perspectives,” “Focus,” “Jeff Laigon Songbook,” “Half of a Good Time Hour,” and any number of special productions, from Kay Peaslee’s look at the local water system, Denny Bly’s documentary on the controversy surrounding the building of the Downtown Mall, to Amy Entelis’ 1975 expose of the brand-new city-county jail. Three years before Channel 29 turned on its transmitter, Mike Gleason made Charlottesville’s first televised newscast. As a requirement of the Cable’s franchise agreement with the city, every city council meeting was televised live, necessitating late nights for the paid crew, as well as several unpaid volunteer cameramen, including me. Most of the early shows have been lost. Some were done live and never recorded; many were recorded on expensive reels of video tape, which were bulk erased, when needed for new productions. Luckily, some productions were considered of historic interest, despite the cost, and labeled “SAVE!” About 300 hours survive, most in UVa’s Special Collections Library. Cable founder Bob Monroe granted Denny Bly and me an interview in July, 1994, a few months before his death. Employees of the production department included Joe Price, Mea Daum, Will Anas


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