ST. GEORGE — For nearly 30 years, the Community Education Channel has broadcast public, municipal and county meetings, local news and high school and collegiate sports and will continue to do so – at least through the middle of summer next year.

The channel page for the Community Education Channel. The channel will cease operations on June 30, 2025 due to a shrinking funding | Photo courtesy of, St. George News

The Community Education Channel Board announced last month that the channel will cease operations on June 30, 2025, due to diminishing funds.

“This was a difficult decision by the board,” Jarett Waite, CEC board chair and Santa Clara councilman said in a Jan. 17 press release. “The collaboration with the cities, the county and Utah Tech these past years has allowed us to highlight the important work going on throughout Washington County. ”

The channel was created in an interlocal partnership between the cities of St. George, Hurricane, Santa Clara, Washington City and Ivins, as well as Washington County and Utah Tech University, in 1995 when the costs of creating professional video content for television were expensive.

Those costs have plummeted in recent years. At the same time, consumers have moved away from legacy cable subscriptions to internet-based streaming services.

CEC programming is currently hosted on TDS channels 22 and 108, as well as the CEC YouTube channel, which presently has an estimated 3,800 subscribers and 2,100 videos.

L-R: Loran Webb of the Washington County Historical Society interview Kelly Larson, retired St. George Depute Police Chief, as a part of a series of oral history interviews hosted on the Community Education Channel, St. George, Utah, Jan. 24, 2024 | Photo courtesy of the Community Education Channel, St. George News

Original programming done through CEC has received several Telly Awards and Accolade Global Film Competition Awards and numerous accolades from community organizations, according to the press release.

Recent CEC programs included a look at the new Reds Cliff Utah Temple, interviews on local history by the Washington County Historical Society and an interview with Hurricane Mayor Nanette Billings.

“The television landscape has changed profoundly since the CEC was created in 1995,” Stephen Lee, dean of Utah Tech University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and a CEC board member, said in the press release. “With consumers moving to streaming and other on-demand options for their television content, the entire cable television model has been undermined.”

Part of the funding for CEC has come from TDS cable subscriptions, Lee said in a recent interview with St. George News, and shared what the future may hold for CEC and its content.

The CEC production studio is located in the Jennings Building on the Utah Tech University campus and will likely continue to be used on an “as-needed” basis. The remaining elements of CEC and the school will likely be used to cover university sports.

“We’re seeking to be a good partner with Utah Tech Athletics,” Lee said.

The city of St. George is one of the local governments that uses CEC to broadcast its City Council meetings, St. George, Utah, Feb. 1, 2024 | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George / CEC, St. George News

The CEC YouTube channel will also be taken over by Utah Tech and rebranded accordingly with some programming possibly still playing on the TDS channels.

CEC equipment will also be divided between the various partners for their own production needs. A large part of that may go to St. George as the division will be based on the overall population.

As for CEC’s five employees, they could be picked up by one or more of the former CEC partners or move on to something else, Lee said.

As the channel shuts down it’ll be left to the cities and county to decide what they want to do regarding the broadcast of public meetings and other content.

David Cordero, a spokesman for the city of St. George, said in a text that the city expects to open the new City Hall on Main Street by the time the CEC channel shuts down. The building will have the capability to video and broadcast City Council meetings.

“If there are a few months between the end of Fiscal Year 2025 and when we moved into the City Hall, we have a couple of options on how we would televise regular council meetings. But we will broadcast those in some manner,” Cordero said.

CEC has been semi-independent and not tied to media courses offered through Utah Tech. As such, the channel’s eventual shutdown will not have an impact on any of the school’s academic and media-related programs, Lee said.

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