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Proposed change in Rochester council live video delayed

Council will likely discuss options related to cable broadcasts of meetings in January.

council online.jpg
The Rochester City Council meets in an image taken from the video of the council's Dec. 5, 2022, meeting.
Post Bulletin screen grab
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ROCHESTER — A plan to shift how Rochester City Council meetings are televised was paused Monday.

Discussion of a proposal to prioritize the Internet-based stream of Monday night meetings , rather than cable broadcasts, was delayed until January.

“We received a bunch of questions about it,” City Administrator Alison Zelms said of the proposal, citing a desire to clarify the potential changes.

While the report to the council pointed to shifting away from live cable broadcasts, she said the regular meetings could continue to be shown on Spectrum on channel 180 and Metronet on channel 80, while study sessions might be moved to another room where a live cable feed would not be possible.

“Having study sessions at the dais is not convenient,” Zelms said.

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A few years ago, the council held its weekly study sessions at a conference table in City Hall, but the informational meetings were moved to council chambers so they could be recorded.

The city now has technology to record meetings at other locations, but the live video cannot be streamed to the two cable providers without further updates.

The potential change away from live cable broadcasts for at least some meetings comes as Spectrum and Metronet have reportedly seen a decline in subscribers in Rochester.

The city reports an average decline of 225 subscribers per quarter since the end of 2020.

While cable livestream of council meetings could move to an online-only format, the proposal seeks to maintain the rebroadcast schedule of the meetings by the two cable providers, with the most-recent Monday meetings being available three times on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Randy Petersen joined the Post Bulletin in 2014 and became the local government reporter in 2017. An Elkton native, he's worked for a variety of Midwest papers as reporter, photographer and editor since graduating from Winona State University in 1996. Readers can reach Randy at 507-285-7709 or rpetersen@postbulletin.com.
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