• Capital City is ready for its closeup
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | October 10,2012

    Stefan Hard / Staff Photo Vermont historian and author Michael Sherman stands for a C-SPAN interview Tuesday in front of the Statehouse in Montpelier. C-SPAN is featuring Montpelier in two future broadcasts.

    MONTPELIER — The cable network that normally focuses on the nation’s Capitol is shining its spotlight on the nation’s smallest state capital.

    C-SPAN, which mainly shows Congress in action, has been talking to authors and government officials around the city this week for segments to air next month.

    It started covering cities around the country in May 2011 as a way to add content on the weekends when Congress is not in session. The network sends a team of two video journalists and a producer in a dark blue van dubbed the Local Content Vehicle to interview city government officials and local nonfiction authors about the city.

    The Montpelier interviews will air on C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3 on Nov. 3 and 4, respectively. C-SPAN 2 will show the interviews with nonfiction authors including Howard Coffin and Michael Sherman at noon. C-SPAN 3 will show coverage of the city’s history at 5 p.m.

    Deborah Lamb, the coordinating producer for the city series, said the crew shoots a community a month and will visit its 20th destination in December. Next will be Albany, N.Y., then Providence, R.I.

    “We decided to get out of Washington, D.C., spend a week in a city, and feature that city to show our national audience a little flavor about it,” Lamb said.

    Tuesday afternoon the crew set up with a view of the Statehouse for its interview with Sherman.

    Lamb’s role is to coordinate with city officials and authors and set up interviews.

    Monday the network hosted a forum with Gov. Peter Shumlin, Mayor John Hollar and students at Montpelier High School. The crew is going to attend the Montpelier City Council meeting today at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

    “When the city’s involved and everybody’s working together, you get a lot of great programming out of it,” she said.

    The program has covered cities such as Tampa, Fla., Charlotte, N.C., Knoxville, Tenn., Beaumont, Texas, and Shreveport, La.

    During the week when Congress is in session, C-SPAN covers the House of Representatives, C-SPAN 2 covers the Senate and C-SPAN 3 covers press briefings and other hearings.

    Lamb said the network features American history and the authors who write about it because history affects politics. She said her favorite parts of the program have been going to cities she might have never visited otherwise and all the different people she has met.

    “You can’t beat a job like this,” she said.



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