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North Hempstead TV station operations attract only 1 bidder

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on Sept.

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on Sept. 1, 2015. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

Only one company has submitted an application to oversee the Town of North Hempstead’s television studio in New Cassel even though officials have requested proposals for nearly a month.

North Hempstead TV, which opened in 2012 and is known as NHTV, is a noncommercial, government television channel that the town owns and has made available to residents to view. The town hires an outside firm to coordinate production and awards that firm a multiyear contract. The current contract has ended and town officials on May 4 asked for new proposals.

The studio is currently managed by Queens resident Alan Ginsberg and his company Lixi Studios, which held the most recent contract.

Ginsberg is the only person to submit a bid for the new contract by the May 26 deadline. He got his first town contract to operate the station in 2014 under a three-year contract that covered 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Lixi Studios employs two full-time staffers and a handful of freelancers, Ginsberg said. With NHTV, Ginsberg said he has been striving to “reinvent what a government television channel is.”

“We have to use YouTube and Facebook and show our residents what’s happening around town,” he said Wednesday. “We don’t want to put out a 45-minute video that no one is going to watch.”

Town officials said they expect to select a bid winner for a 2-year contract on Tuesday and have an agreement crafted and signed by June 15.

According to town documents, the station operator would be responsible for all studio programming, including producing public service announcements, interviewing town council members, creating promotions for upcoming programs, conducting in-studio interviews, maintaining the station’s website and hiring a studio director. The operator also must continue producing three original shows: Talk of the Town, Business Buzz and Off the Trail. NHTV, housed in the town’s Yes We Can Community Center, can be viewed on channel 18 for Optimum subscribers or channel 46 for Verizon FIOS customers.

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