PAC-B offers volunteers a chance to widen their circles

Longtime volunteer Joe Loffredo shares his experience with the public access channel

Joe Loffredo inside PAC-B TV at 8 Mechanic St. in Baldwinsville.

Joe Loffredo inside PAC-B TV at 8 Mechanic St. in Baldwinsville.

Joe Loffredo is a man of action.

Sixteen years ago, when the newly-retired teacher realized Baldwinsville's public access channel wasn't broadcasting the school district's board of education meetings, he took matters into his own hands.

"I saw the Lysander, Van Buren and village [meetings] but no board of education," he said. "So I called up Norma Goodman and I said, 'Where's the BOE?' and she said there's nobody there to do it. I said, 'Okay, I'll do it.'"

What began for Loffredo as a four-hour per month gig soon turned into 30 hours per week. Programming continued to expand and Loffredo was at the heart of it all.

"In '98 or '99, there were a whole bunch of videographers," he said. "Everything kind of came together. There were people who just did the village board, I just did the BOE. There were people just doing Lysander and or Van Buren and then Ray Rice came aboard and he did all the automobile shows and how to build log cabins ... so then we became more specific to the task."

Those years of having a plentiful number of helpers has slowly come to an end, however. Loyal and long-term PAC-B volunteers such as Bob Stockdale, who started the local radio station WSEN, and producer Joe Cimitile, have died — and have not been replaced.

"We had probably 12 to 15 [videographers] at PAC-B's high point. Now [we] have six videographers," Loffredo said. "PAC-B will rely on the number of volunteers to exist."

PAC-B is seeking more volunteers to join its team; retirees and or those who are willing to make a long-term commitment are best suited for the job. Not only is it seeking videographers, but also sports fans to announce play by plays, and producers to create new content.

When the channel first aired, it only had to fill six hours of daily content. Now, it broadcasts from 9 a.m. to midnight. "So now you need more videographers, you need more programming," Loffredo said.

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