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News

For immediate release
October 11, 2002

REAL-TIME CLOSED CAPTIONING OF NECN'S 9PM NEWSCAST FUNDED BY US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION GRANT
BOSTON, MA - The Media Access Group at WGBH has been awarded a Local News and Public Information Grant (# H327L020008) from the US Department of Education. For the next three years, the new grant will continue to fund the real-time closed captioning of NEWS AT 9, news and public information specials, and emergency coverage on New England Cable News (NECN) - providing local viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing with access to prime-time news and information.

The local cable broadcaster first introduced real-time closed captioning on its NEWS AT 9 in April 2002 with funding from a previous US Department of Education grant.

Co-anchored on weekdays by Boston-area news veteran R.D. Sahl and Amanda Rosseter, and on weekends by Tom Ellis, NEWS AT 9 airs every night from 9-10pm on NECN.

"NECN is tremendously pleased to be partnering with the Department of Education and the Media Access Group at WGBH in the real-time captioning of our NEWS AT 9," said Philip S. Balboni, President and Founder of the regional news network. "This is the only prime-time local newscast on New England television, offering in-depth reporting on key issues facing the region, as well as the latest weather and sports news. It is vitally important that this unique programming be available to viewers who are deaf and hard of hearing. Thanks to this grant, the NEWS AT 9 will be captioned for at least the next three years."

One of NECN's local viewers comments: "I'm so grateful [that] NECN's NEWS AT 9 is captioned and therefore is accessible to me and to others with hearing loss in New England. The NEWS AT 9 comes on at a convenient time for so many, and it offers both national news and a unique breadth of news about our region. Thanks so much."

Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, New England Cable News is the largest regional news network in the US, serving 2.8 million cable households in 734 communities throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont. NECN also is New England's only 24-hour regional news and information network - providing comprehensive news coverage from New England and around the world. For more information about NECN or NEWS AT 9, visit http://www.necn.com.

The Media Access Group at WGBH is a non-profit organization with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. The Group includes The Caption Center - the world's first captioning agency - which has made audiovisual media accessible to audiences who are deaf or hard-of-hearing since 1972, and Descriptive Video Service®, which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to audiences who are blind or visually impaired since 1990. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, is a research, development and advocacy entity that works to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading experts in their fields. For more information about access services, visit the Media Access Group Web site at http://access.wgbh.org or call 617 300-3600 (voice and TTY).

Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
mary_watkins@wgbh.org

Julie Sullivan
New England Cable News
(617) 630-5014
jsullivan@necn.com


















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