Larry to the third power

Lawrence Daressa, Laurence Hall and Lawrence Sapadin are the collective mind and spirit behind the Independent Television Service, designed this year to provide independent producers with new opportunities to air public TV documentaries. The three Larrys attribute their success in developing the ITVS — endowed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with $6 million ordered by Congress — to being prepared when congressional hearings about the state of public broadcasting came to a head in 1987. “Instead of simply complaining and decrying the degeneration of public television from its original public service orientation, we actually had a solution and an answer,” Daressa, 43, explained from his office in San Francisco, where he serves as co-director of California Newsreel. Daressa, a 15-year veteran of Newsreel, one of the nation’s oldest nonprofit media centers, said the “solution and answer” was to give the opportunity to independent producers to come up with programming “independently of the priorities of the stations.” We’re different aspects of one urge, kind of a collective personality — for the field, for independents and for the public interest in public TV.