Educational TV Station Favored
Group Here Asks Lawmakers to Extend “Freeze”
Spokane Committee on Educational Television Tuesday adopted a resolution supporting authorization of an educational television station in Eastern Washington.
The resolution was directed to the Washington State Committee on Educational Television. The committee also urged the state legislature to ask the Federal Communications Commission to extend the “freeze” preventing the allocation of channels now reserved for education. The freeze would expire in June.
Mrs. Edward J. Lehan was elected chairman of the Spokane committee in another action taken at the meeting held in the Lewis and Clark High School auditorium. Harold Coman was named secretary.
Adoption of the resolution was preceded by a lively discussion as to whether to oppose a statewide hookup of television stations. The original resolution presented to the committee would have urged the state group to oppose the proposed statewide educational television network.
That part of the resolution was deleted against the wishes of a dozen members of the committee. By the deletion, the group neither definitely favored nor opposed the network. Also deleted from the original resolution was a provision which favored Washington State College as the institution to direct the station.
The proposed station would have “as broad a coverage in this area as possible.”
Nearly 60 persons attended the meeting. They heard Richard D. Harbour, Washington State College engineer; describe the Eastern Washington television circuit. Harbour said it would include stations in or near Spokane, Pullman, Walla Walla, Pasco, Ellensburg, Wenatchee, Omak-Okanogan and Moses Lake. The latter is not included in the present allocation by the FCC, Harbour said. He said the Moses Lake area is the “hub” for propagation of the television network.
It was estimated that the network in Eastern Washington alone would cost at least $2,000,000, and in the state as a whole about $5,000,000.
Opponents of the network (“at this time”) based their arguments on the economic problems facing the state
Those not wishing to oppose the network said the committee should “not be small” in its planning.
Bert Harrison and Charles Bond of Washington State College discussed the programming problems posed by television.
Harrison, WSC’s acting director of radio services, said there are a “vast number of fields educational television could go into.”
Bond, agriculture extension service radio specialist, said, “The first thing you ought to consider is the audience. Are you trying to reach children in school, adults, or both?”
Both agreed the problems of competing with commercial television stations and in securing adequate programming were tremendous.
Thursday, January 8, 1953