Former news director proposes new Casper public access television channel - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Former news director proposes new Casper public access television channel

Mark Hyman presents a proposal in September 2020 for a new Casper public access channel to the Casper City Council. (City of Casper, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo. — Mark Hyman, who served for five years as news director at K2TV, is proposing that a new public access television channel be developed in Casper.

Hyman presented his proposal to the Casper City Council during their Tuesday, Sept. 15 meeting.

“I love Casper,” he said. “I’m very concerned about the shrinking media pool in Casper and the diverting of that pool to other cities.”

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Hyman said his proposal is to develop a public access channel for Casper without using any city funding. Instead, he said private donations, sponsorships and grants would fund it.

He said the nonprofit channel would not have any commercials and would be “a station about Casper for Casper and based in Casper.” Hyman said the benefit of such a channel would be to help by “informing, educating, empowering and promoting our city.”

Hyman asked the city council to dedicate time at a work session to further discuss his proposal.

“I hope you’ll join me,” he said.

Councilman Bob Hopkins said that Hyman successfully helped coach new young reporters during his time as a news director and said he supports the concept, noting that the city doesn’t have money to spend in support.

Councilman Ray Pachecho added: “I want to back this. I do share the same feelings of discouragement of some of the things that have transpired recently with our local news.”

Councilman Mike Huber said he had recently heard an interview with a “renowned journalist” on National Public Radio who he said spoke about “very negative effects on a community” that come with a decline in local news media.

Huber said that previously in Casper “every television, every radio station had a news department.” He said these news teams covered every city council, school board and county commissioner meeting.

“Local news is just nonexistent anymore,” Huber added. “Meaningful local news would be a really, really good thing.”

Councilman Charlie Powell noted that there may be some Federal Communications Commission limitations restricting what Hyman was proposing. Hyman said he had been researching such issues.

Mayor Steve Freel also expressed support: “I’m 100% behind this.”

Councilman Steve Cathey suggested the council could devote time during their Oct. 13 work session to hear more about the proposal.

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.