Committees Corner – January 2022

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:  Bob Duthaler (Chair) Doug Seidel (Vice Chair))

The new board of trustees has been seated and will join the Executive Board along with the chairs of Production and External Relations committees.  They will be focusing locally on simulcasting content and ,on the national front, FCC regulations and acquiring federal broadband funds.  Membership continues to grow and we will be pursuing new members though contacts made at this year’s NJLM Convention.  We will also look to expand our marketing through social media.  These initiatives will be impacting all of our committees and they will be reaching out to the membership for assistance.

FINANCE COMMITTEE:  Linda Besink (Chair), TBA (Vice Chair)

The 2022 Budget process is now in full swing.  The plan is to introduce our 2022 Budget at the January general meeting.  Also, many thanks to those early birds who have already sent in their 2022 dues, and/or Purchase Orders!  We will be following up with the rest of the members soon, to ensure the dues invoices have been received.  We realize that for some municipalities, the payment process can take a while.  But in the interest of keeping the lines of communication open, we will be following up periodically during the year (maybe just to say hello!).  Dues are crucial to the operations of JAG, enabling us to provide many benefits of membership.  These are outlined on our website –  Also, if you need the members-only password for that section of our website, please email JAG Treasurer Linda Besink at .

PRODUCTION COMMITTEE:  Lee Beckerman (Chair), Anthony Pagliuco (Vice Chair)

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EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Geoffrey Belinfante (Chair), Doug Seidel (Vice Chair)

It may be a bit like stating the obvious, but any organization can only be as good as the sum of its parts.  In the case of the Jersey Access Group, we can only be as good as the work that our committees do on behalf of the organization.  We, on the External Relations Committee, have an ambitious agenda ahead of us this year including helping to market the Organization; redesigning our booth for the NJ League of Municipalities conference; creating a sales video for the organization; keeping the Newsletter fresh and engaging; and maximizing our social media presence.  Right now, we are in desperate need of new members to help us reach our goals.  I hope some of you might find one hour a month to join our meetings.  It’s an easy way to give back to our JAG Community with what is really a minimal commitment, but your involvement would be greatly appreciated.  If you’re interested, please let me know at or you can call me at 201-723-2778.

Legislation Committee:  Dave Garb (Chair), Linda Besink (Vice Chair)

A New Year brings good news to the JAG Family.  Late last month the Legislative Committee got news that the Protecting Cable Television Act was reintroduced in both houses of Congress by Sen. Edward Markey and Rep. Anna Eshoo.  These Acts take the dreaded 621 Order and makes it very clear that franchise fees are monetary in nature and nothing else.  Our committee quickly took up the lead here in New Jersey to make our voices heard loud and clear about these Acts.  We wrote letters to our US Senators and Representatives, which reminded the readers of the mission of JAG, and what the PEG community has valiantly been doing during the pandemic for their individual communities.  All while asking them for their support and co-sponsorship of these important pieces of legislation.  

We received positive responses about our request from most of our leaders.  Representatives Donald Payne and Bonnie Watson-Coleman were the first from our state to cosponsor it.  Others said they were waiting for the holidays to be over before reviewing it.  We are not going to say who right now may be next to sign it until they do, but the committee will be following up with 2nd letter to remind them of it by the end of this month.

The Senate has approved President Biden’s nominee Jessica Rosenworcel to be the FCC’s new Chairwoman.  The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing to question nominee Gigi Sohn to be the 5th FCC Commissioner but her nomination did not move in 2021; she was renominated by the President on January 4, 2022. 

In early December there was a Video Programming Accessibility Forum hosted by the FCC in order to explore the state of closed captioning availability for online video programming.  We were concerned that this was the beginning of a push for PEG to have to carry it.  Fortunately, it was a push for the big players (CNN, Comcast, Etc) to tell what they were doing and how they are constantly improving on the technology.  Currently, most realize that the local PEG communities do not have the budgets to make it happen.  Will that change?  We are keeping our ears open for future news on this. 

JAG members are always welcome to join this committee and your involvement is greatly needed.  If you would like to join our team, please contact me at 732-376-6030   ext. 23538 or

Membership Committee:  Stephanie Gibbons (Chair), George Fairfield (Vice Chair)

The committee is sending out emails to the mayors and administrators that came to our booth and attended the JAG workshops at the NJ League of Municipalities. The committee will then follow up with them to assess their needs.  Invoices for your 2022 JAG dues has been sent out from the Finance committee. Please look out for it and if you have received it please let JAG’s Treasurer Linda know. If you haven’t received your invoice DEFINITELY contact Linda at

We want to welcome JAG’s newest Independent member Dick Craig, who has been producing his show Dick Craig’s Not Just Rock & Roll for over 30 years.  We want to make sure you are getting the most of your member benefits so please let us know it you are not getting information from the listserv, newsletter, access to the member’s only section of the website and access to the Connect server for sharing content.  Please contact me at:

Leadership Development Committee:  Doug Seidel (Chair), TBA (Vice Chair)

The Leadership Development Committee is composed of the Chairs or Vice Chairs from JAG’s other respective committees, as well as those individuals that are skilled and knowledgeable in areas that are needed to make this committee successful.  Our main objective is focused on developing and promoting awareness of JAG.  We are currently in the process of creating a marketing plan and utilizing social media to its fullest potential.  Another of our challenges is to develop future leaders of JAG by seeking out those who can participate in our various committees and bring your skills to the forefront.  We also help all of our committees achieve their individual goals.  We need all of our members to actively participate in JAG in order for us to grow and remain a strong voice for the PEG community for many years to come.

JAG Awards Committee:  George Fairfield (Chairs), Ronni Garrett (Vice Chair)


We have added more ways to honor the exceptional work produced in local & regional Public, Education, and Government (PEG) cablecast programming.  Each entry will receive an adjudicated score in the following form: Gold Certificate (76% to 100% of the maximum score), Silver Certificate (51% to 75% of the maximum score), or Bronze Certificate (25% to 50% of the maximum score).

We also have added 2 new awards:  Award of Excellence-Independent & Award of Excellence Non-profit Another big change is when submissions open and close.  Submissions are officially open and will close February 28, 2022.

Conference Committee:  Bob Duthaler/ Geoffrey Belinfante (Co-Chair), George Fairfield (Vice Chair)

The conference committee continues to work on planning an exciting and entertaining event for all JAG members in May.  The Eastern Video Expo website is live, but we are still very much in the planning stage.  The committee is working to develop informative workshops that will be held virtually on both May 24th and May 26th.  Look for the announcement of the topics for the workshops in the near future, and mark your calendar now for the 2022 JAG Conference and Trade Show.