by Susan Cohen
A day after the Gov. Haley’s State of the State address, ETV Director of Communications Rob Schaller said last week that the network did not have an official comment and wouldn’t until they knew specifically what Haley wants to cut. “Our first priority at the moment is trying to see if we can’t set up some sort of meeting with the governor,” he says, which will give them the opportunity to find out more details about her plans, and see “if there are ways where we actually do have ways of aligning some of our goals, which essentially come down to providing great services and improving the lives of South Carolinians.”
However, Schaller seemed realistic about the situation, recognizing that since the state is so hard up for money, everyone is going to have to feel the pinch. “It’s an $800-million plus budget shortfall that the entire state is looking at, so we certainly aren’t thinking that we’re going to go untouched,” he says. “We certainly will have our share just as other state agencies will.” Schaller could not speculate how ETV would have to rebound if they were made.
Meanwhile, Carolina Film Alliance President Richard Futch posted on the CFA website (carolinafilm.com) about getting invited to Columbia to talk to Gov. Haley about the “urgency of passing long-term film rebate legislation, the positive economic impact that will be felt by local S.C. businesses, and the importance of developing and maintaining our growing S.C. film crew base.”
Futch wrote that Haley was recently invited to spend some time with the cast of Army Wives; Futch is the casting director for that show. While Haley has mentioned cuts to ETV, there has not yet been word about what’s going to happen to the state’s film incentives.