On the job
Kinney wears lots of different hats

by Marty Brown
Northern News Services

NNSL (Feb 07/97) - Percy Kinney came North to be a broadcaster with radio station CJCD. Now he's a coroner, a popular master of ceremonies, a marriage commissioner and the manager of the community access channel on cable television.

He's the guy in charge of putting you and your neighbors in front of and behind the television cameras.

Right now five half-hour programs run from the CAT studio every week.

"No, I don't write them, shoot, them or edit them," said Kinney, who started his broadcast career in Ontario.

"It's community access, which means I teach volunteers to do it all. I provide the technical expertise."

Programming on the CAT channel (that's community access television) involves TV bingo, a story-telling program for pre-schoolers, a talk show on lifestyles in Yk, city council coverage and Yk Currents, a news and information program ... so far.

Kinney produces specials such as championship sports, the Aurora Awards (for excellence in local theatre) and hockey awards, but going live is another thing.

"What's the point of going live at Raven Mad Daze if 5,000 people are up town and no one's watching?" Kinney asked. "It's all for naught if no one watches."

On the other hand, he doesn't want the same shows repeated a thousand times.

The job requires long, odd hours with lots of weekends. He'd love to pay volunteers, but that's frustrating -- and impossible. So he makes sure the volunteers have fun and feel they have contributed to the community.

Because of budget restrictions, footage is not reshot for a muffed word or shirts out of pants.

But they might reshoot a scene if the host falls out of the chair. That scene is being saved for the party, Kinney said.

One thing that will make life a littler easier for Kinney is a mobile unit, which will enable him and a crew of volunteers to go everywhere and anywhere. It should be up and running in a month or two.

"I'm open to hear any suggestions for programming. Just drop in and talk," he said.