1970s| 1980s| 1990s| 2000s
Late 1960s/Early 1970s Two key groups began working towards ensuring citizen access to cable channels, Media Access Center and Community Cable Coalition. They urged Ann Arbor City Council to act on achieving operational public access channels. The Ann Arbor Public Schools also lobbied for provisions in the City Ordinance for access in general and Education Access in particular.
September 1970 The first cable franchise was granted to Michigan Communications Inc. (which later became Michigan Cable TV Company.)
October 1972 The first cable subscribers were hooked-up - - 120 homes, 31 miles, 20 channels. Cable went on line Thur., October 12, 1972, covering Washtenaw Ave., and portions of Huron, Miller, Jackson, Stadium, and Packard. There were 8 channels of regular broadcast television, five UHF channels, a time-weather channel, a news-stock market channel, a channel of locally-originated programming from the cable company, and four channels dedicated to "public service" cablecasting.
July 9, 1973 The first access programming was telecast on Channel 'E' (Educational Channel 5.) It was a half-hour presentation by the Free People's Clinic of Ann Arbor of a speech by Dr. Benjamin Spock at the "Counter-Commencement" of the UM Medical Schools in late June.
October 1973 The first Public Access programming began (Public Access Channel 6.) The access center was located in a house across from the Main Library at 403 South Fifth Avenue and William. It was run by the group of community activists who had lobbied for public access television, including the Cablecasting Commission and members of the Media Access Center.
403 S. Fifth Avenue, the original house where Community Access Television originated in Ann Arbor. We salute those early pioneers!
1974 The access operation was moved to the Old Union Hall at 208 West Liberty, with the Cablecasting Commission and the cable company jointly supporting rental and associated costs. The Cablecasting Commission purchased three Portapaks and installed the Executive Director of the Commmission (a City of Ann Arbor employee) in an office in the access facility to oversee the operation. The organization became known as Ann Arbor Public Access.
February 1978 Ann Arbor Public Access moved to the new Fire Station at 107 N. Fifth Ave. The City of Ann Arbor took over the operation and control of Public Access, and the cable company provided the monetary support for operation in addition to providing the channels. This was finalized on April 1, 1980.
Continue to the 1980s »