President’s Message: September 2023 Mark Your Calendars – JAG Hosting Online Sessions All Year Long

by Bob Duthaler

One of the many great things we do at JAG is to educate our membership.  There are several ways we accomplish this.  We produce a monthly newsletter, monthly legislative newsletter, monthly membership meetings, annual conference and special online webinars and round table discussions.  These online sessions can be an asset to both your station operations and your production skills.

Throughout the year at both our membership meetings and from emails that I receive from members, the board and I have created a list of topics for both our Managers Round Table discussions and Webinars.  We have crafted these topics and spread them out throughout the year to coordinate with our membership needs and relevancy of the topics.  I urge you as the title of this article states – to Mark Your Calendar and add these sessions as must attend events.  The good news is, they are free!


So, let’s start with the Managers Round Table discussions.  These are informal gatherings that allow for a back-and-forth conversation.  There are topics and invited guests who have experience with a particular topic.  They are there to get the session going, share their thoughts and, more importantly, listen to your questions, shared experiences, and thoughts.  As the title states, Managers Round Table, these sessions are geared for those who operate and manage a station.  But they are not limited just to Station Managers.  Please feel free to invite crew members and committee members as well, so they can learn from the experiences of others.  Here is a list of our upcoming sessions and dates:

  • POSTPONED, stay tuned for new date: Thursday, September 21st:  Sports Coverage.  Listen to representatives from stations who regularly cover sports like the Woodbridge Channels, Piscataway and Bloomfield.  Learn about everything including single camera, multi-camera, live switching with graphics, replay and play-by-play.  We will discuss how you can get started, equipment to use to get best results and even how to setup and prepare to cover sports.
  • Thursday, November 9th:  Getting An HD Channel.  Listen to representatives from stations that already have a HD Channel on their cable system.  How did they get it, what equipment is necessary, and how do they produce HD content?  Learn about local franchising results, systemwide franchising stories and more.  If time permits, we will even discuss cord cutting opportunities including streaming, OTT and more.
  • Thursday, January 18th:  Beyond the Cable Channel – the social media influence.  We will talk about how social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tik-Tok and X are influencing how people take in media and how stations can capitalize on these trends to create content specifically for these social media outlets.  Learn why you can’t just create long form content for on-air only, and how your station can incorporate these short form videos in to your productions and distribution.
  • Thursday, March 21st:  Cable Committees – Value or a thing of the Past.  This is an open and frank discussion on how Cable Advisory Committees and Boards work with stations, their operations, and staff.  Is there value to a cable and advisory boards – what do they bring to the table and are they necessary?  Learn from those who have them, those who are considering putting one together, or those who had committees which are no longer functioning.


There are certain sessions that are of great interest to our membership, but may require both a more formal discussion and presentation and could even require bringing in outside support to share their professional experience or knowledge.  These sessions will consist of panel presentations and discussions followed by a structured Q&A at the end of each webinar.  Our webinars are designed to bring our membership updated information on valuable topics from legislative issues to new operational requirements.  Here is a list of our upcoming Webinars.  Please keep in mind that the topics may be set, but the panelists will be announced at different times.

  • Thursday, October 12th:  Learn the latest on HR 3557 (The American Broadband Act of 2023).  Our panelists will fill you in on what this bill means to Municipal Cable Operations, what can you do to help stop it and where it stands moving forward.  This is your chance to share this invite with your mayor and council, administrators, and others.  Learn the ABCs of HR3557, its impact on local government, the threat to local franchises and much more.  This is a must attend session.
  • Thursday, December 21st: ADA Compliance and What Does it Mean for your Station and Township? We will discuss Department of Justice requirements on ADA compliance for local governments, their websites, video streaming and even cable broadcasting. We have heard rumors of closed captioning for years, but this new push may require it sooner than later.  Hear what the experts are saying about it, what you can do now and how to prepare for the next 12 months or less.
  • Thursday, February 15th:  Join us as we discuss Broadband and Broadband Deployment.  Fresh off the heels of our presentation at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference Sessions, we will recap the session, update people on anything new or pending for the new year.  Broadband deployment and speed impact our streaming reach, streaming options and much more.  Our experts will share their experience and knowledge and help you plan.
  • Thursday, April 18th:  This session is wide-open and we are looking for input from our membership.  Is there a special topic of interest that you think would make for a great formal webinar presentation?  Do you have some specific people you would love to hear from?  The goal at JAG has always been to identify the needs of our members and give them solutions.  Please feel free to reach out to me directly at or any other board member and express your thoughts on our April Webinar.  Your input is greatly appreciated.

As you can tell, we have set aside certain Thursdays in the upcoming months to bring our membership great topics of interest, a panel with expert knowledge, and the chance for our members to discuss, in both informal and formal ways topics that matter most and have the greatest impact on our membership.  Each session will take place at 2pm on the designated Thursdays and usually last about an hour.  In addition, we will record these sessions and make them available to our membership in the private online section of our website.  Again, as the title suggests – MARK YOUR CALENDARS and join us each month for these valuable topics and discussions.