Pittsfield, MA, September 29, 2023 – Pittsfield Community Cable Broadcasting, Inc., which operates Pittsfield Community Television and WTBR-FM, held its 36th Annual Meeting and Celebration on Thursday, September 21st at the Polish Falcons Club on Belair Avenue in Pittsfield. New board members were elected, and recognitions of achievement in programming and community service were awarded. More than 50 people attended the event.
The annual meeting began with PCTV’s Executive Director Shawn Serre championing a successful year. Serre advocated for modernizing the funding models for community media, and highlighted a bill currently in committee in the state legislature which would help support organizations like PCTV.
“It’s a fair and equitable method of providing support for the critical local news and programming that PCTV and similar organizations around the state provide. We need to act together, right now, to preserve and promote the services that PCTV has been providing our community for almost 40 years,” Serre said.
PCTV President Susetta Doucette gave a report to the members of the organization and emphasized the work that the board and staff has accomplished in the past year. “The PCTV Board and staff remember the past and look to the future. We, they, you wonder, plan, create, and DO. I don’t think I have ever heard, “We can’t do that”. What I hear is, “We haven’t done that…YET,” said Doucette. She also praised the members for continuing to produce all the local content seen on PCTV and heard on WTBR-FM.
Treasurer Cindy Shogry-Raimer delivered the treasurer’s report to the members and informed them that the financial position of the organization is strong. She noted the many successful efforts to bring in new income, including underwriting and production services, which provide additional support to the organization and keep the balance sheet healthy. She added, “Over the last few years, the communication commitment to our community made PCTV and WTBR
become even more well known, as a trusted news source for what is happening locally.”
Two incumbent board directors were re-elected during the annual meeting. Returning for new three-year terms are board Vice-President Jonah Sykes and Assistant Vice-President Brian Andrews; newly elected to the board at this year’s meeting are Joshua Cutler and Charles Walker. The PCTV board of directors consists of thirteen volunteers who live, work, or are
retired from working in Pittsfield.
Sykes is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Berkshire Community College. He has served on the PCTV Board since 2017 and has contributed to the Advancement committee as a co-chair. Sykes previously worked at Berkshire United Way in fundraising and marketing and has served on the board of 1Berkshire, Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, and Berkshire Young Professionals – as well as several community initiatives across the Berkshires. He is a graduate of Taconic High School, earned his bachelor’s at MCLA and his master’s degree from St. Rose College in Albany.
Andrews is a nationally certified Paramedic and President/CEO of County Ambulance, Inc. in
Pittsfield, which provides paramedic level ambulance and intercept service to the Berkshire County area. Brian is also President of EMSCO of Berkshire County, past President of Western Massachusetts EMS and a member of its executive committee. He is a member of many local task forces. Andrews was first elected to the PCTV board in 2018, and chairs the equipment
and facilities committee.
Cutler is a fourth-generation Pittsfield native who is deeply invested in the local business and nonprofit communities. A veteran of the banking industry of a decade, he is now the Manufacturing Project Lead/Program Performance Analyst at General Dynamics in Pittsfield. He has served on the Pittsfield Public School Committee, has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Anshe Amunim for the last 11 years, serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Eagles Band Inc., and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.
Walker is a broadcast television and digital media content producer with more than 45 years’ experience. After more than 35 years at Disney/ABC News he recently retired. At ABC News he contributed significantly to the development of ABC News Digital, the company’s media streaming service for news content acquisition and distribution. His experience includes production at television stations in Oklahoma City, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as nationally and internationally for ABC News, Tribune Broadcasting and other communication and entertainment industry leaders. He lives in Pittsfield, where he continues to produce television programs, independent films and live streaming media content.
The Celebration portion of the event was lively, as the organization handed out several awards for excellence in programming and community service. The Community Service Through Community Media award went to Berkshires Jazz, accepted by Ed Bride, Phil Tierney, and Chuck Walker. The award recognizes an organization that has positively impacted our community using community media. Berkshires Jazz organization produces many local television programs promoting jazz music and concert events, and from a larger standpoint, is a great local champion of the American original art form.
The Outstanding Member Service Award was given to John Williams. Williams, an audio professional in the Berkshires, is a longtime supporter of PCTV and participates in some of the larger productions that PCTV facilitates, such as the Fourth of July Parade. His behind-the-scenes contributions over the years have been critical to the success of these important
In addition, PCTV handed out several annual awards for Programming Excellence. On the television side, the award for Programming Excellence in a TV Series went to Woody Printz for his long-running musical performance series “Woody’s World.” Printz has produced this series of programs for more than 20 years, and features local performances of Americana
and folk music. The award for Programming Excellence in a TV Special went to Rick Foulkrod, for his QRMC National Hill Climb Championship program. Foulkrod produces many motorsports programs that air on Access Pittsfield, the public channel operated by PCTV, and volunteers as camera operator on many productions for the organization.
On the radio side, the award for Programming Excellence in a Radio Series was given to the Pittsfield Suns baseball organization, which broadcast its second season of home and away games on 89.7, WTBR-FM, Pittsfield Community Radio this summer. Accepting for the Suns organization was Director of Media Relations, Billy Madewell. The award for Programming Excellence in a Radio Special was awarded to Mark O’Clair, who created the “This Day in Music” interstitial spots for the station. O’Clair created and aired a new broadcast for each day of the calendar featuring interesting events in music history that occurred on that date.
Finally, PCTV awarded Community Programming Accomplishment certificates to several member producers. The certificates recognize five, ten, and fifteen-year milestones in producing community programming.