COSTA MESA — In an effort to keep residents abreast of City Hall events, the city has launched daily newscasts online and on public-access television.
Called "Costa Mesa Minute," the two- to three-minute videos can be watched on Costa Mesa TV (Channel 24 on Time Warner Cable and 99 on AT&T U-verse), the city's website, http://www.costamesaca.gov, and on the municipal Facebook page.
Programming is written by city spokesman Bill Lobdell.
Dane Bora, who heads the city's video department, serves as the on-air anchor.
"It's interesting tidbits of news. Some will be big news the media would cover and other things they wouldn't even write about," said Lobdell, a former Daily Pilot editor and Los Angeles Times reporter. "There's plenty to cover. I think between things going on at City Hall and police and fire, we're going to draw things from South Coast Repertory theater and schools."
The videos will be available most days before 8 a.m., so if viewers are at work or home, they can just click on them "as part of their daily routine," Lobdell said.
The city posted its third "Costa Mesa Minute" on Tuesday morning. The segment featured a piece on the University of Phoenix's proposed $1.4-million improvement project and a street-paving ceremony planned for 10 a.m. Thursday in Mesa Verde.
Tuesday's piece also featured a segment on city history. Lobdell said the city's first high school football predictions will go live Thursday.
The newest addition to the city's video production crew comes just days after the City Council, as a way to possibly reduce costs, solicited bids from private companies for video services.
The brief video updates don't come with an additional cost to taxpayers. The new duties fall within his and Bora's job description, Lobdell said.
The program is part of the city's ongoing multimedia push.
After upgrading the city's website with more public information — from city contract approvals and legal settlements to a timeline of city outsourcing proposals and worker compensation — Costa Mesa is broadly increasing its online presence.
"We're thinking about different ways to get the information out," Lobdell said.