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City Council approves DETV as Channel 28 operator

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Wilmington City Council Thursday night voted to accept the Cable, Video & Telecommunications Commission’s recommendation to select DETV as the next manager of its Public Access/Leased Access (PALA) television station.

Council Members endorsed the recommendation by a vote of 7 to 4 for DETV to take over the broadcast operation of Channel 28.

DBT recently profiled DETV founder Ivan Thomas, who has developed his online channel into an outlet for positive news about the city of Wilmington.

“My team and I are ready and excited that we can provide awesome information in a creative way to Delaware,” Thomas said. “It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but we’re definitely ready for it and focused. We want to show the real Wilmington, the real Delaware, and how amazing the people are regardless of religion, race or sexual orientation.”

Thomas expects the transition from working online to public access television shouldn’t be too jarring.

“It’s like an add-on for us. We already had a big plan two years ago,” he said. “When the RFP for the station came up, we saw an opportunity to increase our platform and get more and better information out to the people.”

The current agreement with the Leased Access Preservation Association (LAPA) is set to expire on March 31, 2019, which prompted a Request for Proposal to be sent out to the public in November soliciting interested Third Party Operators (TPO).

The CVT Commission, chaired by Council President Hanifa Shabazz, is made up of representatives from the Wilmington City Council and the Mayor’s Administration.

The Commission reviewed the proposals it received from LAPA and DETV, and conducted interviews, which began on November 26, 2018.

The process culminated with the Commission submitting a recommendation for the agreement between the City and DETV at Thursday’s meeting, which garnered the necessary votes to move forward with the new arrangement.

Per the agreement, DETV will formally take control of the station on April 1, 2019, for a term of three years with two, one-year options to extend the contract.

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