MVTV undergoes more change at the top

At a special board meeting Tuesday, the MVTV board moved Ann Lemenager into position to become chairman of the public access television studio and network.

The move follows recent turmoil at the level of the board and professional management.

Denys Wortman, MVTV founding member and board chairman for nine years, resigned unexpectedly last month. At the same meeting, after a tenure of 16 months, executive director Julienne Turner also offered her resignation, effective January 3, 2012.

Ms. Lemenager is board secretary and has served on the public access station’s board of governance. She also contributes to programming.

Ms. Lemenager’s candidacy is expected to be approved when the board holds its regularly scheduled meeting at 4 pm, November 1, interim chairman Ann Bassett said at the special meeting Tuesday.

Ms. Bassett told a quorum of seven of the 13 board members present Tuesday that the special meeting was called to inform them of Ms. Lemenager’s candidacy and “to process and discuss all the changes we’ve had recently and to make sure that everybody’s up to date and on the same page going forward, which hasn’t always been the case over the summer.”

Ms. Bassett then announced that the board would go into executive session to discuss candidates to fill Mr. Wortman’s seat and “personnel matters.”

Questioned as to the purpose, board member Jonathan Revere of West Tisbury told a reporter, “We are not obliged to give you a reason. We are not a publicly elected government body.”

MVTV is the Island public access station, located on the campus of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. MVTV offers three channels for member-produced public, government, and education programming.

As part of a cable franchise agreement currently the subject of renewal discussions, Comcast provides five per cent of its Island cable revenue to the six towns. The towns provide those funds to MVTV for the major portion of its operating budget. Last year, MVTV received just over $400,000. Cable revenue-sharing is expected to total $800,000 a year by the end of the proposed 10-year contract, now being negotiated. Final agreement on a contract renewal is expected by mid-November.