PORTSMOUTH - Portsmouth Public Media's mission of making the city a "strong media center for New Hampshire" is beginning to gain ground.
The recently formed nonprofit organization in November announced interest in leasing the 147-year-old South Meeting House for use as its offices and production studio.
On Sunday, PPM president Jack Thorsen presented the groups plan and vision to members of Friends of the South End during the neighborhood group's annual meeting.
Thorsen said both he and PPM Vice President David Underhill met with members of the community group and had a productive discussion on the future of the historic meeting house.
"I talked about the vision to see Portsmouth become a strong media center for New Hampshire," Thorsen said. "Portsmouth already enjoys a wide range of film, production, animation and graphical arts practitioners. PPM will provide a vehicle to show the rest of the state, country and world that there is something happening in Portsmouth."
In addition, Thorsen said he spoke about the free speech aspect of PPM's programming and the opportunity it will give residents to express themselves.
Underhill presented the nonprofit's interest in the South Meeting House and how PPM wishes to be a "very good neighbor" to residents, said Thorsen.
"He discussed the operation of PPM and our awareness of the need to control noise, light pollution, and traffic and the use of parking spaces around the facility," he said.
Thorsen said PPM is reviewing the first draft of the South Meeting House lease with the city and expects to give feedback within weeks.
"It may take several more weeks to conclude the negotiation, after which the city will present it to the City Council for review and approval," Thorsen said.
Next steps, according to Thorsen, include initiating a review by Comcast to install an uplink from PPM's systems to Comcast's systems and reviewing upgrades of the facility.
"If both are deemed feasible, we begin the installation and upgrades," he said. "When that is done, it's time to rock and roll."
PPM was established in May 2010. The group's mission is to make the sharing of local news, views, information, arts and entertainment readily accessible to residents, local businesses and nonprofit organizations of the greater Portsmouth and the Seacoast area. – less – More from ZoomInfo »