The Multimedia Services Division of the Department of Communications and Information Technology (ComIT) is a consolidated City and Schools service provider. One of our featured services is the operation of Virginia Beach Television (VBTV). The primary purpose of the programming delivered on VBTV is to develop community understanding of City Council and School Board priorities and goals, and to contribute to positive relationships and outcomes in the community. Our programming and information services focus on promoting community assets, fostering citizen understanding of the forces shaping the future of Virginia Beach, and celebrating City and School successes.

Year in Review

VBTV continues to be a valued resource through which the community receives unfiltered communication about our city and school programs and activities. Highlights for the year saw the addition of a 12th High School Graduation Ceremony. Graduations continue to be the largest single production activity of the division viewed in person by 52,000 attendees featuring nearly 5,000 graduates not counting the television and online audiences for replays. We also contributed a video to be used in the new museum facility commemorating Union Kemspville High School; this unique historical perspective will be viewed both on VBTV and at the facility for years to come. VBTV also factored heavily in the support and creation of the Mayor’s State of the City Address this highly visible fully produced program outlines his vision for the future of our city. Following that theme, “In the Works” featured an episode detailing Council’s goals and vision for our community for a lifetime.


VBTV continues to work diligently to upgrade its video technology. FY10 saw upgrades to our on-air server, edit suites, and studio control room. Once complete, VBTV will utilize a file based (tapeless) workflow leading to increased quality of our video signals from footage acquisition all the way to our viewer’s television sets. The new equipment and video infrastructure facilitates our move from aging analog technology into a digital environment. These improvements are part of a managed approach in concert with our long range equipment replacement plan and funded by the PEG capital fees as prescribed in the cable television franchises. When the project is completed we will be well positioned to move to a 16X9 and even HD production environment allowing us to maintain comparable quality of product to that of the local television affiliates and will ensure our ability to share footage electronically with stations and agencies as needed.


VBTV has experienced staff reductions as a result of the FY11 budget process. Moving forward we will have one fewer video production staff member and one less master control operator. While we did realize the reduction in FY10 as staff members left the office, we were able to offset the impact with overtime funded with lapse salary dollars. Overall production hours remained consistent with the previous year and the number of projects completed increased slightly (256 to 263). We will not be able to continue this practice in FY11 so we expect some reduction of production hours and our ability to program the channels as extensively as we have in the past.

Affiliate Impacts:

It is becoming increasing challenging to find low cost externally produced programming to supplement our local original productions. Annenberg suspended satellite feeds of its free programming and WHRO has reduced its program offering from the PBS catalog. We have examined the possibility of using capital funds to offset this programming loss but have determined that this is not an allowable expense against the capital grant funds. We will prepare a proposal to alter the VBTV on air schedules for Video Services Board review during FY11.

Programming and Productions

Virginia Beach Television (VBTV) airs programming on three cable channels on three cable carriers (Cox, Verizon and Cavalier). Our programming is available to more than 130,000 subscriber locations in Virginia Beach and also reaches local, regional, and national audiences through presentations, videoconferences, meetings, tape/DVD distribution, and the web via streaming media.

In 2010, we continued to make VBTV programming accessible to WHRO World and Cox (11). These partner networks are replaying VBTV programming as provided. WHRO adds over the airways opportunity for television viewers and together with Cox enables additional regional distribution of Virginia Beach messages to neighboring municipalities. Each solution is a no cost opportunity except for the minimal expense of duplication and product delivery to these new carriers.

This year Multimedia Services:

  • • Produced 263 local original projects
  • • Televised 12,813 hours of programming
  • • Created and displayed more than 6,000 pages of text information via the “In Touch” with Virginia Beach text information system

Our local original programming saw the continuation of established program series. “Access Virginia Beach” the news and information vehicle for the City and Schools, covered 679 stories in 47 episodes. Magazine style series for both the city (In the Works) and Schools (The School Picture) continue to feature topical and strategic coverage of issues affecting the community.

Our online presence continues to attract attention with 44,677 clips of local original programming viewed via VBgov.com. Flash media is available via virginiaaquarium.com including videos and “live” web cams, and enticed over 62,000 views. Podcasting and downloadable content have continued to be popular with the public experiencing over 67,000 uses. All told nearly 175,000 clips were accessed during FY10.

“Troop Tube” continued its fourth year of live and archived High School Graduation programming. All twelve ceremonies were streamed resulting in over 24,000 clips viewed from 23 countries outside of the United States. Additionally, encoded media was provided for the Superintendent’s report to enhance the presentation of information, and VBTV also contributes content to the VBschools.com podcasting page.

VBTV’s original programming continues to be recognized for its excellent quality, content, and production value. The division was recognized by three major awards organizations for the creation of high quality programming.

  • "How in the World": 2010 NATOA (National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors) Government Programming Awards Finalist
  • “Crime Prevention Tips”: 2010 Videographer Award of Excellence
  • “How in the World”: 2010 NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Award of Excellence
  • "Making a Difference" Video: 2010 NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Award of Merit
  • “Learning Walks” Video: 2010 NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Award of Merit
  • “Compass to 2015” Video”: 2010 NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Honorable Mention

The Division continues to provide multimedia and video production, programming, and technical and information services to a broad range of School and City departments and agencies. The types of programs produced range from basic audio or video editing of crime/evidence tapes, public meeting coverage, and single topic information pieces to regular series.

Multimedia Services produced the following program series throughout the year:

  • Access Virginia Beach
  • How in the World
  • In the Works
  • Locker Room
  • School Picture

Externally produced programs of interest to the citizens of Virginia Beach were also acquired and aired on VBTV. New series were added to increase viewership and to support the mission and strategies of our clients.

The primary 09/10 new program acquisitions were:

  • Green Careers - 8
  • Street Skills - 4
  • Becoming Successful in Middle School - 6
  • Eco Kids Explore - 5
  • Primary Sources
  • Drugged Driving
  • Play it Safe
  • Obama Wins the Presidency
  • Untold Stories from Americas National Parks - 5
  • Civil War in Hampton Roads

Client Satisfaction

Client satisfaction is assessed throughout the year through the use of a brief satisfaction survey that clients fill out at the completion of a program or project. Our clients continue to express a high level of satisfaction with both the work product and the work processes of the division. Surveys indicate that all clients were satisfied with how our production met project objectives (respondents were 100% “very satisfied” on a 4 point scale of Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Dissatisfied, and Very Dissatisfied)

The following are a sample of comments from several of our clients:

“Yes, as a matter of fact, the goals were not only met, but surpassed by the professionalism provide by the Multimedia Services Staff.”

“More than I expected.”

“As always, the team work among the VBTV staff is fabulous. I also appreciate the way the staff make sure that clients are also kept informed about each step in the development of the project.”

“We are very fortunate to have such talented, world-class professionals whose expertise and knowledge shine through in every video project.”


We utilize student interns from the Technical and Career Education Center. These students gained experience and skills in the day-to-day operations of video/multimedia production and the City benefited from both the quality and quantity of the work they performed.

We also provide outreach services by hosting community tours, and providing consulting and training to non-media professionals to enhance local, site specific, video or multimedia productions.

Volunteers continued to provide valued contributions to Multimedia Services. This year 18 volunteers served as writers, on-camera talent, reporters, production assistants, and tech assistants.

  • Provided 614 hours
  • Valued at $ 15,964* (*Using $26 per hour, our production average)


The remainder of this report provides detailed information about the programming and production activities for FY10. The mission of the Multimedia Services Division is to promote community awareness and understanding of municipal and public education information through the use of multimedia services; as in the past, our members will continue to support this mission through the provision of responsive, quality service to public school and municipal government agencies, and the community.