CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:05 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, 2008 by Chairman, Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
ATTENDEES: Kate Donahue (Trumbull), George Fletcher (New Milford), Gregory Davis (Roxbury), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Deborah Cox (Trumbull), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Carl Braun (Woodbury), Ron Judson (Woodbury), George Linkletter (Sherman), Craig Tunks (Monroe) – New Member.
From Charter: Brian Downes (CT Operations Manager), Greg Van Antwerp (community Access), Paula Cecchitelli (Marketing), Tom Cohan (Gov’t Relations)
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes from March 11, 2007 meeting. Jim Lang motion, Gregory Davis second, approved 11-0.
Invoice for 2008 payment from Charter is ready. Motion to accept the report by Jim Lang, second by Gregory Davis, approved 11-0.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT.
Brian Downes reported that Larry Fairchild the Customer Liaison for the area will come to our May meeting. Several members commented positively about the new lobby appearance. tom Cohan reported that Charter will simultrans (dual transmission of analog and digital signals) starting June1.
Paula reported that TruTV (formerly Court TV) will move from channel 67 to channel 52 and C-SPAN and Univision are switching channels 18 and 16. Charter has started a customer loyalty program (www.liveitwithcharter.com). Jim cautioned about the legality of sweepstakes in Connecticut. The program started in 2007 with a soft launch, they are now promoting it.
Greg Van Antwerp reported that they are adding Producer training to their internship program. They are also doing their tape recycling program again this year. Window will be April 1 – June 30, 2008. Greg will send Kate the press release.
There was a brief discussion of the effort Governor Rell made to get the UCONN women’s basketball game aired in Connecticut even though it was originally only available on ESPNU.
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:
Jim Lang reported that Charter no longer needs to submit monthly data (subs, homes passed, etc.) to the state. Jim made a motion, seconded by Gregory Davis, that we get performance statistics from Charter at our meetings (bimonthly). Approved 6-5.
Grant Process: Letters went out to First Selectmen and Superintendents as well as on the website regarding the grant process. Submissions will go to Jim who will review them for completeness then the Subcommittee (Carmela, Carl B. and Jim) will review and recommend award winners. Greg Van Antwerp will be an ex-officio member of the subcommittee. The subcommittee will meet between May 1 and May 13 to review the applications.
Website: We still require a financial instrument to move to a lower cost service. Jim offered to put it on his credit card = Gregory Davis will handle the logistics.
News 12 – Cablevision offers News 12 to their subscribers in Fairfield County. Members of the Council brought up carriage to Charter in 2006. In January 2007, Charter indicated they had had some discussions with Cablevision but the cost to carry the channel was prohibitive. The First Selectman of Trumbull (Ray Baldwin) has gotten requests for the channel so he got together with the First Selectmen from Newtown (Joe Borst) and Monroe (Tom Buzi) to discuss. Also in that meeting were Jim Lang and Eugene Rosen. The First Selectmen are reviewing a draft of a letter to Charter requesting the channel.
Tom Cohan indicated that for Charter to carry the channel they would need to make space available on their Basic service level. Tom has found Cablevision difficult to deal with and the channel is expensive. He thinks the channel focuses on negative stories and he can’t imagine the DPUC getting involved in this – they have no authority over programming decisions.
General discussion about the channel occurred. Craig Tunks (who lives in Westchester and gets the Westchester version of the channel) is going to tape it and bring it to the next meeting.
Jim made a motion to urge Charter to work with Cablevision to explore the viability of offering News 12 on Charter. No second, no vote.
The discussion was tabled until the May meeting.
Jim Lang asked Charter if they are part of the State Emergency Broadcast system. Brian Downes to investigate and report at the next meeting.
AT&T – Not clear what we intended to discuss.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 9:09 PM. Respectfully submitted by: Kate Donahue, Secretary.