No news is good news for TV30. By stripping the Tri-Valley's community broadcast station of its costly four-day-a-week live news show last June, the four mayors who now control TV30 trimmed $250,000 from a runaway budget that had forced city councils (a.k.a. taxpayers) to contribute about $70,000 from each of the cities for two years in a row just to keep the station on the air. The action came after surveys showed that about 70 percent of the 200,000 people who live in the TV30 coverage area never watch TV30 or its sister channels 28 (education) and 29 (city government), or had only watched it once. The mayors--Jennifer Hosterman of Pleasanton, Dublin's Janet Lockhart, Livermore's Marshall Kamena and San Ramon's Abram Wilson--replaced the once-appointed and independent board of directors and executive directors after two consecutive years of runaway budgets. Besides the community survey, they also brought in outside auditors who spent three months sifting through scraps of old budgets and financial materials. Last June, after cutting payroll and programs, the mayors approved a budget for fiscal 2008-09 of $587,000, down from the $880,193 spent the year before and reasonably balanced with revenue that includes $430,000 a year from Comcast and the rest from sponsors/advertisers who support the nonprofit system.
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