Press Release

December 21, 2016

Manhattan News Network Partners with Free Speech TV

Indie Media Groups Partner to Boost Political Coverage

As the country prepares for the inauguration and new session of Congress, Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Free Speech TV (FSTV) are partnering to offer a bold and creative way to enrich the public dialogue.

New York, December 21, 2016 – Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), the country’s largest community media center, and Free Speech TV (FSTV), a nonprofit, national, independent news network, announced an expanded partnership that will provide Manhattan residents with access to diverse and independent voices during the country’s pivotal political transition.

As part of this collaboration, FSTV will feature MNN Community Programming on their national distribution platforms and the two organizations will partner on a series of Town Hall Forums focused on the issues driving the national and local political dialogues.

“MNN has a rich history of celebrating, supporting, and strengthening independent voices,” said MNN’s President & CEO Dan Coughlin. “Our partnership with Free Speech TV is an innovative way to champion new voices, expand the public debate, provide critical and timely information, and engage more people in the political process as the country prepares to swear in a new President.”

In partnership with MNN, Free Speech TV programming is now available 24/7 in Manhattan on Verizon 39 and Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) 1301. The channel is also streaming live 24/7 on and FSTV’s line-up includes daily news and talk programs like Democracy Now!, The Thom Hartmann Program and The Stephanie Miller Show, as well as weekly current affairs series, special event coverage and independently produced documentaries covering a broad range of social, economic, environmental and racial justice issues

Gay USA, a weekly news hour produced at MNN and hosted by Ann Northrop and Andy Humm, has aired on FSTV for thirteen years, attracting a loyal national following. Analyzing the week’s stories on the LGBT activist movement, politics, legal cases, AIDS, health and entertainment, the popular program also features timely interviews with newsmakers in Manhattan.

Over the next few months, FSTV’s national broadcasts will pilot new programming created by MNN and its Community Producers, including Represent NYC; Richard Wolf’s Economic Update; the award-winning Access for All, produced by Gloria Messer; Sistah Talk, produced by Zakkee Z. Starman, with host Dietra Kelsey discussing current events with a panel of progressive women of color; and Community Cop, a call-in show that offers community perspectives on law enforcement.

“With our country seemingly more divided than ever, we believe media has the power to facilitate an honest and respectful dialogue,” said Free Speech TV Executive Director Ron Williams, “For over 20 years, Free Speech TV has provided its viewers an alternative to mainstream media, providing independent news and opinion not available anywhere else. We are honored to offer our complete schedule in partnership with MNN, and view this as an opportunity to support our fragile democracy during the challenging times ahead.”

As part of their national partnership, MNN and FSTV are planning a series of televised town hall meetings for 2017. The events will be held at the MNN El Barrio Firehouse in East Harlem (175 East 104th Street) and will be broadcast nationally and across Manhattan on Free Speech TV.

About Manhattan Neighborhood Network

Founded in 1992, Manhattan Neighborhood Network is New York City’s free public-access cable network. Operating five channels (Community, Lifestyle, Spirit, Culture and HD Community) and reaching over 600,000 cable subscribers in the Manhattan area, MNN is the largest public-access cable network in the nation, with programs airing in more than 40 languages. Find MNN on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and at

In 2012, MNN opened a state-of-the-art community media center at the old Engine Co. 53 Firehouse on East 104th Street in East Harlem. The facility features three HD production studios, including a three-camera studio, as well as editing services and a Youth Media Center. The Firehouse offers classes in English and Spanish and hosts community events throughout the year.

About Free Speech TV

Free Speech TV ( is a national, independent, nonprofit news network committed to advancing progressive social change. As the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations, FSTV elevates unique perspectives through daily news programs, independent documentaries and special events coverage. Free Speech TV reaches over 38 million households nationally on DISH (channel 9415), DIRECTV (348), and over 150 full- and part-time community cable affiliates. FSTV streams live at and is available on Roku, Amazon Fire and Google Nexus. FSTV believes a more just and democratic world is possible when the media empowers people with the information they need to fight for what matters.


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