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Article: O’Donnell keeps ‘Eye on Billerica’

The show received some press recently in the Lowell Sun.

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O’Donnell keeps ‘Eye on Billerica’ by Chris Camire,

While the article is good, the comments from readers in the associated forum are just as interesting. 39 comments as of this posting….


O’Donnell keeps ‘Eye on Billerica’

By Chris Camire,

Updated: 05/22/2009 06:35:45 AM EDT

BILLERICA — Getting ready for a ratings war.

Two of Billerica’s most opinionated political players, former Selectman Jim O’Donnell and Finance Committee member Peter Greeley, plan to launch a new TV show on the town’s cable-access channel this summer.

Called Eye On Billerica, the show aims to tackle a series of hot-button issues facing the town, with a point of view that stands in contrast to some of the station’s current programming.

The duo’s first episode, which is still in the planning process, is expected to focus on the 348-megawatt power plant proposed for North Billerica. O’Donnell and Greeley plan to invite town officials from Blackstone, where a plant similar to the one proposed for Billerica exists, to talk about their experiences with the plant.

“We always felt that between Cosmo’s Journal and Bernie Hoar Live, we got to hear from local people who are against the plant,” said Greeley, referring to two other shows on Billerica Access Television. “Out thought was that there is another side of the story that was not being told.”

O’Donnell, a former 15-year selectman who was defeated by Andrew Deslaurier in this year’s election, said the show is a perfect vehicle for his and Greeley’s areas of expertise.

“Peter is very well-versed in the financial section of the town, and I have a good deal of knowledge on the governmental side,” he said. “We’ll take it from there.”

Tony Lucacio, a local business owner who unsuccessfully challenged Bill Greene for his seat in the state House of Representatives last year as a Republican, has agreed to be the show’s Statehouse commentator, O’Donnell said.

The show will also feature satirical segments, in which the hosts offer a humorous or sarcastic take on local news stories.

“We’ll take on anybody,” promises Greeley, saying the two will even send up their political allies, if warranted.

Cosmo Cavicchio, president of BATV and host of the long-running program Cosmo’s Journal, said he welcomes programming from many political points of view — even if they don’t jibe with his own. Cavicchio ran Deslaurier’s campaign against O’Donnell.

“This is exactly what the community ought to be doing,” said Cavicchio, on hearing about Eye On Billerica. “If someone thinks a program is taking a certain point of view and is slanted, the person on the other side of the argument can start a show that offers a counterpoint.”

Greeley said he and O’Donnell hope to tape two shows this summer and start up again in September.

Billerica Access Television was started in 1987. The station’s headquarters are behind Mangia Mangia in the town center.