The National Conference of Artists New York’s Department of Communications & Education has expanded its television reach with the addition of two channels on Brooklyn Community Access TV, it was reported last month by Kwame Brathwaite, the award-winning photojournalist who is executive director and founder of NCAny .
NCA-New York’sÿBlack Arts & Culture USA (BACUSA) has been airing Mondays at midnight (Tuesday mornings) on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in New York for nine months now, on channel 34. It debuted its one-hour program on Monday, March 28, on BCAT’s Channel 37 and 57. It is now regularly scheduled on the Brooklyn cable station on Mondays at 5 p.m.
“This initiative will allow NCAny to reach our core audience of Brooklyn artists and cultural workers”, said Brathwaite. “The largest percentage of our New York State membership resides or works in Brooklyn and this gives us the opportunity to better serve them and the community by keeping true to our mission to ‘preserve, promote and develop African-American culture and the creative forces of the artists that emanate from the African-American and African world experience’ and give them a voice and the exposure that they both need and deserve.”
BACUSA will vary in format from a full hour devoted to one artist, to a magazine format that will cover cultural events, exhibitions, gallery openings, museums and conferences that deal with visual, performing arts and wearable art.
In addition, NCAny is in the process of reorganizing its programming to better serve the growing numbers of African- Americans and Caribbean-Americans interested in the arts, either as participants, patrons and/or collectors for enjoyment or for business and investment purposes.
NCAny is one of the most active chapters of the nationwide National Conference of Artists, now celebrating 46 years of continuous operations. The organization will soon expand its membership, with a concentration on youth, in high schools, colleges and universities. Nationally, they are partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) “to ensure,” says Brathwaite, “that our cultural legacy prospers.”
MNN serves an area with a population of 1.5 million, and BCAT serves a possible 2.5 million, giving NCA a possible reach of 4 million New Yorkers. In June, NCAny will add several stations nationally to their service area.
ÿNIELSEN MAKING MOVES TO COUNT BLACK, HISPANIC TV-WATCHERS
Some of our favorite television shows go off the air based on more attention being paid to someone else’s viewing habits.
Now Nielsen Media Research, the official measurement service of the television industry for more than 40 years, is being pressured to do something about it. Whether it will be enough to keep certain broadcasts coming back remains to be seen.
Nielsen is considering a number of steps to better reflect the television viewing habits of blacks and Hispanics; paying these families more to measure what they watch is one of them.
The company appointed a panel last year to recommend changes after concerns were expressed about Nielsen’s new TV-viewing measurement technology (electronic meters, rather than paper diaries). Some blacks and Hispanics say the new system undercounts them and, as a result, threatens the future of their favorite shows. A task force concluded Nielsen’s new People Meter technology was superior to the old diary system, but that the company needed to do more to make sure minorities participate.
Don’t Count Us Out (DCUO), the coalition of community leaders fighting the undercount of minority viewers by Nielsen Media Research and its Local People Meters (LPMs), in early March, took its campaign to the television ratings system to Capitol Hill. Key leaders of the coalition included former Hispanic Federation Washington Office Director Grace Lopez, Canaan Baptist Church leader Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff, Mozell Entertainment CEO Richard Willis, Jr., and 100 Black Men Board Member William H. Burgess III. They met with members of Congress to urge them to support recommendations – and proposed legislation – that provide independent oversight of Nielsen which they say operates as amonopoly.ÿ “The American people deserve a television space that reflects who they are and what they choose to watch. That can only happen if Nielsen is held accountable for counting everyone fairly and equally, regardless of race, nationality, gender or age,” said a DCUO official.
DCUO’s Hill efforts come as more and more of the television industry is becoming increasingly critical of the LPM system.ÿ Leslie Moonves, the co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, Inc., the parent company of CBS and publicly questioned whether Nielsen was properly gauging black viewership; meanwhile Tribune Co., owner of several WB affiliates,ÿ voiced its criticism, claiming the LPM system is under measuring younger audiences and the fault rates are the worst they have been since Nielsen started the service. Stay tuned.
VING’S FLING @ BLACK KOJAK: Ving Rhames brings more to the role of USA Network’s Kojak than meets the eye – real-world experience. Rhames’ wife was a homicide detective and LAPD officer. “I witnessed what she went through when she took off her uniform,” says Rhames. “And I don’t see that with any show on television.” Rhames’s Kojak, a lieutenant in the NYPD Detective Bureau, utilizes controversial tactics to get the job done. The show airs Sundays at 10 pm.ÿ