Mission & History
Suburban Community Channels was organized to coordinate and provide community television programming to the Ramsey/Washington cable television system. The Ramsey/Washington Counties Suburban Cable Commission supervises all PEG operations and its three programming departments: Suburban Community Channels (SCC), On-Location TV 19, and Government Television Network (GTN), plus the technical support department.Organizationally, two divisions make up RWSCC's PEG operation: Facilities and Operations Division, comprised of SCC and the Technical Support departments and Production Services Division, comprised of the On-Location TV 19 and Government Television Network (GTN) departments. The objective of SCC's Public Access department and its two public access channels 14 & 15 is to empower the community with first come, first serve, non-discriminatory access to media. Immediate oversight of the public access operation is provided by the RWSCC's Public Access Committee, which is wholly comprised of RWSCC Commissioners.
Our mission is grounded in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and is accomplished by our commitment to empowering the community with the tools, knowledge and access to media.
A Brief History of SCC:
Despite SCC's relative youth, documentation of its history is somewhat incomplete. How the twelve municipalities in Ramsey County and Washington County got together is unclear. It is believed that the Minnesota State Cable Board established the Ramsey/Washington Cable service territory, after which the cities and townships of the area worked out the first joint powers agreement. From this agreement, the Ramsey/Washington Cable Commission (RWCC) was born.In 1982, the RWCC negotiated and signed a fifteen-year cable franchise with the company Group W. As a condition of the franchise, Group W created the public access facility where it still exists today.In 1984, the RWCC advertised for board members for a non-profit organization to manage the functions of the public access facility. This organization was to handle complaints of users, establish policies for producers and generally enforce the franchise agreement as it pertained to public access. Thus, Suburban Community Channels was born consisting of a twelve-member board of volunteers. The first Executive Director of the RWCC, Ben Selisker, also served as the Executive Director of SCC. After Ben passed away in the later 80s, the Commission agreed with the request of the SCC Board to hire an Executive Director and allow the non-profit organization to do some "police work" for the Commission. SCC would receive complaints from RWCC subscribers and review them and make recommendations to the Commission. In 1990, the RWCC hired its own Executive Director and took back management of the Commission, leaving the review of PEG access to SCC.In 1992, negotiations with the cable company brought an agreement where the Commission, not the cable company, would provide PEG access. The Commission worked out a contract with SCC to handle the day-to-day operations of the access facilities. In the later 1990s, the Commission decided that they could run the PEG access channels, thus SCC was absorbed by the RWCC. A PEG access advisory board was retrained to make recommendations to the Commission regarding policy and procedure. In 1999, SCC's local origination function was given a separate moniker from the public access function. This new division was named "On Location." This gave us three programming departments: SCC, On Location, and GTN, plus the technical support department.In 2006, SCC and the Tech Support department were placed under one division supervisor. The GTN and On Location departments were placed under another.
Special thanks to Duane Bengtson for his contributions.