Perhaps the following will clear up some of my recent questions posed regarding the present channels carried by Time Warner Cable. The questions were: Why were some channels taken off the present system? Why was another "QVC" channel added: Why was Channel 11 (WPXI) removed? Why was CBS Evening News at 7 p.m. on KDKA removed? Why the change in the choices viewers previously had available?
Perhaps it is because we have lawmakers in Congress that can write a confusing law, a cable law that apparently is not understood well because, when you talk to anyone about it, they say, "This is very confusing. This is hard for the people to understand." Maybe they should have used the Kiss method -- Keep It Simple, Stupid.
There are always two sides to every story, and information from one says the "local television stations" are directly involved in the removal of some shows and stations.
Channels 5 (CBS), 12 (NBC) and 46 (FOX) have all invoked the rule of nonduplication and it is my understanding Time Warner had no choice in the matter. Therefore, Channel 5 is the reason that the CBS Evening News is not on at 7 p.m. on Channel 2.
Channel 12 also invoked the rule and that virtually eliminated Channel 11 (WPXI) from the local scene. There was a further reason Channel 11 was taken completely off the air. They (Channel 11) wanted the local cable to carry a 24-hour news show, in addition to the available nonduplication programming. This came with a very small charge, for all cable customers, in order to carry the news show.
Apparently it came down to the stance that Time Warner would never pay the extra fee, probably less than 50 cents per customer. So, therefore, Channel 11 was lost. Time Warner was able to carry few nonduplicatiion hours on Channel 11, so this also factored in the decision to drop Channel 11. It was a management decision, not the fact that Channel 12 invoked the rule.
Prior to placing the new "QVC" on Channel 2, Time Warner had the History Channel in that place. However, since the overwhelming majority of Time Warner customers have the basic and extended basic channels, many of those customers complained about the duplication of the History Channel. Therefore, it was a change made by management of Time Warner to give us another shopping channel. Hopefully, they will be able to make some minor changes and put a real program on there again.
One thing Time Warner should be considering is having coverage from the Charleston area. Not much is ever shown locally regarding Charleston, and I think it is important enough to have some knowledge of what goes on in the capital city, politically and economically.
One bright spot: Probably later this year, Time Warner will have available to customers a cable modem that can interface with any personal computer, therefore making phone connections a thing of the past for PC users.
Realistically speaking, there does not seem to be any way possible to ever go back to what we had before, but it would be very nice if cable laws could be modified to benefit the local viewers as well as the local television corporations.
Recently, Senate Bill 349 was introduced in the West Virginia Senate. In a nutshell, this bill will, among other things, give the Public Service Commission the authority to maintain a list of hone numbers of West Virginia residents who do not want to receive telemarketing calls.
Telemarketers will be required to purchase and check the list prior to placing telemarketing calls to residents. The bill successfully balances the rights of consumers to avoid unwanted telemarketing calls with the rights of telemarketers to conduct business.
I strongly urge your readers to write to Senators Wooten, Bowman, McKenzie and Edgell at the West Virginia Senate, State Capitol, Charleston, WV 25305, to express their support for this bill.
I recently read an article in our local newspaper which informed the public that Time Warner Cable can no longer carry the Pittsburgh affiliate WPXI, which was formerly carried on Channel 11.
It frustrates and astounds me that while we still have three other Pittsburgh stations on our local television cable, we have no Charleston stations and no contact whatsoever with the southern part of West Virginia.
We are a small state whose laws are made by the Legislature in Charleston and are interpreted and otherwise judicially resolved by our Supreme Court of Appeals in Charleston. With our Legislature presently in session, how would be an excellent time to connect our viewing area with our seat of state government and with the southern half of our state.
I strongly urge Time Warner Cable to consider and pursue WCHS (Channel 8 in Charleston) or one of the other Charleston stations as a replacement station to be carried on Channel 11.