Committees Corner – May 2021

EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Geoffrey Belinfante (Chair), Dustin Dumas (Vice Chair)

We on the External Relations Committee love our corporate sponsors.  Most of them have supported JAG for many years.  This year, thanks to Bob Duthaler, we brought HB Communications back into the JAG family and added Municipal Captioning, but we would like to add more.  Recently, in an effort to get exhibitors for our conference, I have sent out over 20 emails to companies with products that I think would be of interest to our JAG members. Not one of them has responded and that concerns me. Surely there are other suppliers who do business with JAG members whom we should contact.  Perhaps there are products that you have read about in a trade publication that you would like to find out more about.  Please let me know so we on the External Relations Committee can reach out to them.  Geoff Belinfante External Relations Chair.

FINANCE COMMITTEE:  Linda Besink (Chairs), Jeff Arban (Vice Chair)

A big thank-you to all who have renewed their JAG membership for 2021.  If you are unsure of your membership status, please email JAG’s Treasurer at and your note will be answered as soon as possible.  Please consider joining the Finance Committee!  It’s important work with a minimal time commitment.

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

The YouTube channel is still under the threshold (100 Subscribers) to get our own JAG URL.  We are discussing ways to get our numbers up, such as soliciting more programs from stations and producers so we can post more often. We also discussed looking for more platforms on which we can share programs, such as individual station pages or vendor pages (at their discretion). We also discussed the possibility of posting some of the JAG Conference created content on the channel.

If you have not subscribed to our YouTube channel, please do!

We are working on getting a script together to start work on our “How to shoot a testimonial” video.  Stay tuned for more information on that!

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

The 621 Order Update:  The Judges in the case seem to be leaning toward upholding the cable definition of franchise fees.  The term “Valuation” is being discussed.  The question that is being asked is “Does the FCC have rights to tell local towns what to do?”. (i.e.: Preemption Authority).  Everyone was advised to not lock into a fair market value in any franchise renewals, in case the courts overturn this.  The ruling is not expected to be issued until June/July.

A proposal has been introduced in Congress to establish a bi-partisan federal advisory commission to propose solutions to the decimation of local journalism across the country.  “The Future of Local News Act” is being sponsored by Senators Brian Schatz (HI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Michael Bennet (CO).  This legislation would provide a mechanism for critical bipartisan consensus building as Congress considers various proposals for revitalizing our nation’s essential local journalism industry.  It would also help Congress identify solutions to revitalize the local news industry, placing bipartisan problem-solving at the center of the issue, and ensuring that America’s press remains diverse, local, and independent.  More to come as this proposal advances.

FYI for our Educational Members: The $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund as part of the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 directed that the FCC adopt rules providing for the distribution of funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund.  The fund was established to help schools and libraries provide devices and connectivity to students, school staff, and library patrons during the pandemic, and for those individuals with disabilities.

As you can see, the Legislative Committee is in constant need of your eyes, ears, thoughts and contacts in order to keep PEG informed and fresh in the minds of all of our lawmakers.  For further information on our work, or if you would like to join our committee, please contact me.

Membership Committee:  Stephanie Gibbons (Chair), Darryl Love (Vice Chair)

The committee completed the work of the JAG member questionnaire project and you can read about the results in this newsletter.  The committee will be reviewing member suggestions and requests that came from the results of the survey and present its recommendations to the Executive board.  The committee has been working with the Finance and External Relations committees along with the JAG’s Managing Director and its President to make sure members are receiving information through all the avenues of communication: the listserv, newsletter, access to the member’s only section of the website and access to the Connect server for sharing content. If you believe you are not receiving any of these items please contact me at:

The committee continues its efforts in reaching out to members who have not yet renewed their membership this year.  Please consider joining the membership committee. Our next meeting is scheduled for June 1.

Leadership Development Committee:  Dave Garb (Chair), Doug Seidel (Vice Chair)

This LDC Committee’s main objective is to focus on the development and promotion of JAG by reinventing our marketing strategies and social media platforms.  We also aid and work with all of JAG’s other committees in order for them to achieve their individual goals.

We are currently going over our Policy and Procedure documents and updating its different sections as needed. And we are bringing back our Recognition Award to an outstanding member who has contributed to JAG’s success.

One of our continuing objectives in the Leadership Committee is to reach out to all members to discuss the importance of joining one of our other committees.  By doing so, members can bring their skills to assist JAG to grow and continue to be the voice of the New Jersey PEG community.  Chairs and/or Vice Chairs from their respective committees make up the Leadership Development Committee (LDC), as well as those individuals that are skilled and knowledgeable in areas that are needed to make this committee shine.

JAG Awards Committee:  George Fairfield (Chairs), Bob Nicholson (Vice Chair)

All the entries are in; now the judging begins.  The return of the JAG Awards Presentation is June 9, 2021; beginning with a virtual caviar red carpet followed by the Awards presentation at 7:30pm.  Mark it on your calendar, pencil it on a sticky note, or save a reminder on your phone.  Join us for a fabulous evening of good food, sparkling champagne, and interactive entertainment.  If you have any questions, please email

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

Get ready for a fantastic conference.  The committee has put the finishing touches on another great conference.

The presentations will include: TelVue’s SmartCaption™ LIVE, the smart, affordable way to add live captioning;  Discover turnkey solutions for OTT & Mobile apps from Cablecast;  Learn how LiveU 360° can have you going live faster;  Come hear how Didga’s LocalBTV, a free platform, can increase your channel’s accessibility and viewership;  Find out why NewTek’s latest product, the TriCaster 2 Elite, is the most powerful and complete live video production system on the planet.

The workshops alone are worth the price of admission.  They include Storytelling, Interviewing Techniques, and Enhanced Editing Skills all by Emmy Award winning panelists.  And what JAG Conference would be complete without the annual JAG Awards, where we honor excellence in local Public Education Government (PEG) cablecast programming?  You don’t want to miss this one.  For more information, go to