There was a new addition to the Legislative Plaza on Friday morning - a 45-foot mobile television studio packed into a bus.
The Book TV Bus, owned and operated by the CSPAN network, travels the country visiting libraries and centers of government doing interviews with authors and promoting the channel's nonfiction book programming.
"We hope to have some of the legislators take advantage and come see how the world of cable television works, especially considering some of the issues facing the industry in this state," said George Jostlin, director of government relations for Charter Communications.
CSPAN only does nonfiction books that support the network's mission. Book TV hopes to showcase books about politics and history from all sides.
The CSPAN network was created by the cable television industry as a public service 28 years ago and is operated as a nonprofit entity. CSPAN currently operates three television networks, a radio network and more than a dozen Web sites.
CSPAN is funded by fees paid by cable and satellite providers who carry the networks.
It costs 5 cents per subscriber per month to pay for CSPAN, in comparison to ESPN, which costs $2.50 per subscriber per month.
The bus, operating since 2005, is one of two owned by the network. The other bus is the Campaign 2008 Bus which travels the country following candidates from both parties in their run for president.
Both buses are self-contained television studios complete with the ability to broadcast live interviews and equipped with several phone lines to allow interaction with guests.
"It's a really big deal to get the bus here in Nevada. For us to be able to bring this here and let people see how this works is just amazing," said Jostlin.
While the bus is in Northern Nevada, it is scheduled to visit two libraries and two Barnes and Noble locations in Reno and tape an interview with former congressman Barbara Vucanovich about her book.
The network features about 2,500 authors a year in its programming.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.