To:  HMS Community Producers

From:  Tom Richards, Executive Director

Re:  Meeting Recap

Date:  October 1, 2020

Many thanks to all who attended the Zoom meeting for community producers Wednesday evening.  Participants reported issues with buffering and / or freezing, so we have asked our IT consultants to investigate and advise us as to what can be done to improve this situation.  The next one will be better.

Here is a recap (below) of the topics discussed.  You can also watch a video (stay with it until the end!) summarizing these points at

Producer ID Fees

Due to the current pandemic, HMS has been unable to provide certain services for several periods since March.  Consequently, all producers active as of March 15, 2020 will have seven months added to their active status.  The 7-month “clock” will start with their first checkout after the reopening.

Equipment Check-Outs

HMS will begin a phased reopening on Monday, October 19.  Community producers (with appropriate certifications) will be able to check out either

  1. a package containing one camera, one tripod, two microphones, and associated cabling.
  2. a laptop computer loaded with iMovie, Final Cut X, or Adobe Premiere editing software.

By limiting – in the short run – the gear which can be checked out, we will be able to ensure that all items can be properly cleaned and disinfected.  No lights will be checked out at this time, but if you encounter lighting issues in your shoots, please contact Equipment Manager Alex Saenz for suggestions on obtaining the desired results.

Camera packages and laptops may be checked out for a period of 7 days, with the aim of minimizing visits to the facility and, therefore, personal contact.  Producers must wait three days after returning gear before another reservation can be made, in order to ensure fair and equal access to the equipment.

HMS will begin accepting equipment reservations on Monday, October 5.  To make a reservation, please email Equipment Manager Alex Saenz at  Phone reservations will not be accepted at this time.

Community producers must claim reservations within 30 minutes of the assigned day and time, or that reservation will be cancelled.  This measure is in place in order to limit the number of people in the building at any one time.

Equipment Department Hours

The Equipment Department will be open during the following hours:

Monday – Friday:  9am – 1pm

                                 2pm – 5pm

                            6pm – 9pm

Saturday – Sunday:  Closed

For safety reasons, we will not book any studio reservations in the short term.  It is our hope that, depending on COVID-19 metrics, we can offer this option in 2021.

Please do not come to HMS if you do not have a reservation.  No walk-ins will be accepted.

Everyone must wear a mask while in the building, use hand sanitizer, and have a temperature check.  Please do not come to HMS if you are exhibiting symptoms or if you have been in contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days.

Series Applications

If you currently have a series, you may keep your series status, along with the assigned day and time, at no additional charge for the December – May season.  No reapplication is necessary.

If you would like to apply for a new series, please contact Operations Manager James Danner at

Program Submissions

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, HMS continues to accept new programming.  Moreover, we encourage all active producers to do what they can – given current conditions – and provide us with fresh content to run on HMS-TV.  You can send video files to Operations Manager James Danner ( via WeTransfer, Dropbox, etc.  Alternately, you may mail discs to HMS 410 Roberts Houston, TX 77003 or drop them in the mailbox by the Equipment Entrance.

Online Classes

For the past few months, HMS has been offering Orientation and Media Literacy classes online.  Beginning in December, we will add Basic Camera and Basic Editing to the list.  Advanced Camera classes will be available online in January of 2021, with more to follow.  For more information, please contact Outreach Director Roger Palomino at

New Equipment

The current Basic Camera, the Sony NX70U, will be phased out beginning in December.  The new Basic Cameras will be the Sony AX53 and the Sony Z150.  The new Advanced Cameras will be the Sony Z90V and the Sony FX9.  Please contact Roger Palomino with any questions regarding certification or recertification classes which may be necessary.

HMS Net Radio

As is the case on the television side, it is still not safe to have producers in the radio studios.  Radio producers may submit programming electronically to Radio Program Director Ronnie Renfrow at  Alternately, producers may mail physical media or drop it off at HMS.

Further Information

It is my hope that this document answers more questions than it raises, but since no missive can cover everything, please contact us if you need to know more.  Email is probably best these days, and you can find all staff addresses on this page:

As always, thank you for your continued support.  The HMS challenge / motto for 2021 is “Up Your Game.”  It applies to both community producers and the staff.  By providing you with the best possible tools and comprehensive instruction, we will give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge, stretch you limits, and create your best content yet.

Tom Richards

Executive Director

Houston Media Source