Itasca Community Television (ICTV) connects, informs and empowers the community through diverse media. With program topics as wide ranging as government meetings, traffic updates, human interest stories and education, ICTV tells the story of our community.
Connect — ICTV previews and reviews activities in the county so our viewers can connect with their neighbors, governments and local businesses. City and county government meetings air in their entirety leaving editorial judgement of the proceedings to the viewers—not the medium. ICTV’s Local Happenings calendar connects residents to fundraisers, bake sales, karaoke, moon walks and more.
Inform — ICTV informs our community of the important conversations happening at the municipal level, offering a condensed update through Community Matters segment as well as offering access to the whole conversation via cable television, app, or web. Viewers determine the amount of information they want.
Empower — Stories matter. We encourage community members to pick up their own camera or use ICTV’s equipment to record their story. Each week, ICTV-empowered volunteers record presentations ranging from moving sermons to suicide prevention. ICTV shares these stories back to the community.
Our Challenge — ICTV has been in Grand Rapids since 1983. It began with a camera pointed at a thermometer and a clock. From there two local residents made a show about beaver trapping that became the first cable program.
Cable television is the beginning of ICTV and is still an important part of our base. Cable television subscribers fund 50% of the operations through franchise agreements in Grand Rapids, Cohasset, LaPrairie and Harris Township. The movement of viewers from cable television to streaming services is slowly eroding that source of funding. Increased fees from the media companies to cable subscribers are not making up for the loss of subscribers. In 2019, for example, those same sources funded 62% of ICTV operations.
ICTV is at the tipping point – one which comes at a time when other funders are changing priorities. ICTV relied on these foundations and grants to fund our public interest programs, including music, lectures, art, health programming and general operations. While ICTV has a short-term grant to help the station amp up its funding mix, ICTV must build its capacity for more diverse funding.
How You Can Help — Annually, ICTV needs a minimum of $100,000 to create the programs on which our community relies. Our team of five professionals keep programs recorded, scheduled, on social media, live and on-demand. ICTV runs a lean operation but support from people just like you is crucial.
To provide a longer-term funding solution to replace grant funding, ICTV is also seeking community support to create a $1.5 million Operating Reserve. The dividends from that fund will provide a steady stream of funding for the future.