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C-SPAN Launches Second Fleet Of TV Vans

More 'Local Content Vehicles' Means More Local Cities On BookTV, American History TV 3/15/2013 11:20 AM Eastern

C-SPAN has launched a second fleet of Local Content Vehicles (LCVs) to capture stories of literary and historic significance from small and mid-size cities across the county.

The second fleet of three vehicles brings to six the number of Ford Transit Connects C-SPAN uses in the LCV program, allowing the public-affairs network to double the number of cities it visits each month (two per month, in different parts of the country) and approximately double the number of BookTV and American History TV features it can produce. These are in addition to the famed C-SPAN Bus that tours the nation on outreach visits.

Partnering with the network’s local cable affiliates, C-SPAN producers spend a full week in a selected city, travelling in specially detailed Ford Transit Connect vehicles visiting various literary and historic sites and interviewing local historians, authors and civic leaders, it said. Each member of the LCV team, led by LCV manager Debbie Lamb, is equipped to shoot and edit video on location. The LCV team members also join with representatives of the local cable companies to make presentations to community organizations about C-SPAN and its public affairs content.

The various short features produced during each city visit are shown during dedicated weekends on C-SPAN’s non-fiction book channel (BookTV on C-SPAN2) and history channel (American History TV on C-SPAN3 ).

Launched in the spring of 2011 (first stop was Tampa, Fla., beginning a Southeastern swing), the LCV program is now in its third year. C-SPAN crews have traveled across the South, Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, and now in the mid-Atlantic region. The first video from C-SPAN’s second LCV fleet can be seen the weekend of March 16-17, when BookTV and American History TV spotlight Alexandria, Va.

In each city and alongside representatives of C-SPAN cable affiliates, the LCV team visits schools, civic associations, and other key community organizations, talking about cable's longtime commitment to public service through carriage of the C-SPAN channels. 

"C-SPAN has two primary goals with our LCV Cities Tour," C-SPAN co-CEO Susan Swain said in a release. "The first is to more systematically go beyond the Washington beltway for our non-fiction book and history programming and highlight for our national audiences some of the unique culture and history of the cities we visit. No other channel is making this kind of extensive effort to tell the literary stories and history of America’s small- and mid-size cities, complementing our coverage of Washington’s political process. Secondly, with our LCV project engaging the grass-roots, we are continuing our long tradition of partnering with affiliates in their communities, with schools, elected officials, and the general public."

In addition to TV features, C-SPAN's LCV initiative incorporate digital and social media outreach, including use of Twitter, Facebook, foursquare, and online streaming on C-SPAN websites. C-SPAN video from each city is archived -- and easily searchable, clippable, and shareable -- through C-SPAN's Peabody Award-winning online Video Library.

Below is a list of 2013 LCV cities, including the cable partner and projected air dates on Book TV and American History TV:

Team East

--Alexandria, Va. (Comcast), visited Feb. 18-22, airing March 16-17.

--Virginia Beach, Va. (Cox), visiting March 18-22, airing April 20-21.

--Columbia, S.C. (Time Warner Cable), visiting April 15-19, airing May 18-19.

--Raleigh, N.C. (Time Warner Cable), visiting May 13-17, airing June 15-16.

--Dover, Del. (Comcast), visiting June 17-21, airing July 20-21.

Team West

--Santa Fe, N.M. (Comcast), visited Jan. 7-11, aired Feb. 2-3.

--Albuquerque, N.M. (Comcast), visited Feb. 4-8, aired March 2-3.

--Mesa, Ariz. (Cox), visited March 4-8, airing April 6-7.

--Yuma, Ariz. (Time Warner Cable), visiting April 1-5, airing May 4-5.

--Palm Springs, Calif. (Time Warner Cable), visiting May 6-10, airing June 1-2.

--Bakersfield, Calif. (Bright House Networks), visiting June 3-7, airing July 6-7.

Fun Facts about C-SPAN’s LCV program:

--Number of cities visited (May 2011-March 2013): 24.

--Number of cities yet to visit (through July 2013): 7.

--Number of state capitols visited (through March 2013): 11.

--Number of state capitols yet to visit (through July 2013): 3.

--Number of Ford Transit Connects used: 6.

--Total number of programs produced: 425 (as of February 2013). See them all here.

For more information on LCVs, visit http://www.c-span.org/LocalContent/.

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