When you think of high-quality production value, public-access television is probably not what comes to mind. But Westchester’s LMC Media hopes to change that. The Mamaroneck-based community-access station, which also serves Larchmont, looks to up the quality and production value of typical community TV.
“We’re always trying to figure out better ways of telling our community’s stories,” says Matt Sullivan, LMC’s executive director. And it seems to be working, as Sullivan took home a 2020 Hometown Media Award for “Emerging Leader” by the Alliance for Community Media and, in November, an Empire Award from New York State Senator Shelley Mayer for LMC’s work during the pandemic.
Sullivan started at the organization, founded in 1983 as a nonprofit corporation, as a student filmmaker in 1998. After earning his degree in visual arts from Emerson College, Sullivan headed west, where he worked in the art and production departments for such iconic network TV series as 24 and The Office. Sullivan says he tries to “consistently apply those things that I’ve learned” to bring a Hollywood-level quality to LMC’s work.
It’s not only about getting recognition from media organizations, however. The station also aims to change public perceptions about public access. To achieve that, Sullivan says, community outreach is key. “It’s trust and conversation. Relationship-building is key to any industry, and it’s no exception here in community media.”
He credits his and the station’s success to his team of five to seven regular employees, about 25 rotating part-timers, and volunteers. He describes a “well-running machine” of people who have “the best interests of not only LMC Media but also the Larchmont-Mamaroneck community in mind.”
Sullivan attributes his passion for the station to his roots. “Being from the area originally,” he says, “I care deeply about all the stories and about making sure everybody has that platform to tell their story.”