Cable Advisory Council
of Charter Communications

PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
September 12, 2006 Minutes

P. O. Box 87
Newtown, Connecticut

~ Minutes ~

Minutes of Public Regular Meeting – Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Newtown, CT

There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:13 p.m., Tuesday, September 12, 2006 by Secretary, Kate Donahue (Chair, Carmella Amodeo joined the meeting in progress) at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.


Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Carl DeVoe (New Milford), George Linkletter (Sherman), Carl Braun (Woodbury), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Jill Hamilton (Monroe).

From Charter: Len Romano (marketing), John Palinkas (community access), Greg Van Antwerp (community access), Brian Downes (operations), Georgia Griffith (regional operations).


No Public present.


Minutes approved (Motion by Linkletter, second by DeVoe; unanimous).


Jill Zaloski presented the treasurer’s report.  A motion was made by DeVoe and seconded by Linkletter to approve; unanimous.


Georgia Griffith, V.P., General Manager addressed the Council. 

  • She shared with the group the great year Charter is having so far.
  • They are starting to see satellite customers come back to cable.  
  • Telephony is coming on strong. 
  • Have had a “perfect storm” of technical problems align themselves to cause some major system problems. Starting with the June thunderstorm (that just continued all summer), add to that the consolidation of the call center and there was an overload.  Whole Northeast team pulled together to help get the system through this.  Feel they have turned the corner. 
  • Nice footnote to Charter closing the call center here:  Comcast and Cablevision are helping to hire the employees that Charter couldn’t absorb back into the company.

Len Romano reported next:

  • Romano has been promoted to a divisional role.  There will be a new person in his role soon.
  • Romano reported upcoming channel lineup changes: Bravo and ESPN2
  • Romano took some additional input from the Council on their annual subscriber survey.  Including concern about the billstuffer being the only outreach method and some rewording of Q12.  There was also additional discussion of how the results will be used.  Georgia shared that Charter will be instituting random customer callouts, probably on a quarterly basis. 
  • Romano reported that some subscribers are paying incorrect rates (based on old promotions, packages that don’t exist any more,etc.) and that letters will be going out to correct those situations.
  • The Hallmark Channel move to a digital channel was raised again by Jim Lang.  We last discussed that we oppposed the move because we considered it to be a reduction in service and voted to write to  letter to Georgia Griffith and the DPUC.  Subsequently, Charter responded that digital tier prices are comparable to basic so the letter was nixed.  Jim is bringing the issue back to the table because the cost of  getting the service on more than one television will result in additional cost.  Jim still feels we need to go on record opposing the move.  Motion made, passed 3-2-1.  Jim will write.  Georgia provided the insight that by 2009 all cable companies will be forced to go all digital by the FCC.  Broadcasters will be forced to use their HDTV bandwidth or lose it. Len pointed out that the satellite providers are already all digital.  Georgia then shared that Charter is looking at offering simultaneous transmission of some channels in both analog and digital formats.
  • The future of digital discussion raised yet another issue:  the conversion of the local educational access channel (Channel 17) to digital and who should bear those costs.  Jim pitched Charter on helping to fund the upgrade of equipment for all the Channel 17s. 

Greg Van Antwerp/John Palinkas

  • Greg shared his newsletter, the public access report and letters to local towns/superintendents.
  • John asked for input as he starts to develop the Capital Budget request for 2007

Brian Downes

  • Brian asked for help recruiting technicians – they would really like to bring in people from the communities they serve.  Can we post jobs in the local high schools?  Brian will send the job description to Kate for distribution to the Council.
  • Brian is the point person Council members should use to resolve any customer issues. or 304-4061

Motion made to take Old Business out of order by Carl DeVoe, seconded by Linkletter, unanimous.


Grant Process:

Letter and application presented.  Some changes made, Jim and Carl to resolve.  Final approval will be via email.  Charter will help with the judging since Council members from communities that submit grant applications cannot participate.  A discussion occurred regarding how much the grants should be for.  A motion was made by Amodeo, seconded by Braun, uanimous, to make the maximum grant $2000.

Video Festival:  Jill Hamilton reported.  Since there have been quite a few entries from college students, she is recommending moving to the divisions:  High School, College and Adult.  Three prize levels. Deadline will be after February vacation; award ceremony in April.  She will need help getting info to local papers.  She will send posters and press release to Council members.

Officer election:  Need to reelect Jill Hamilton at the next meeting.


Review of mailmag items.


No new business was brought to the attention of the Council.


The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 9:15 PM.  Respectfully submitted by:  Kate Donahue, Secretary.

Text Box: NEXT MEETING:  November 14, 2006
at Charter Communications offices in Newtown at 7:00 PM.  



Text Box: ~ 2007 Meeting Dates ~
Tuesday, January 9, 2006
Tuesday, March 13, 2006
Tuesday, May 8, 2006
Tuesday, July 10, 2006
Tuesday, September 11, 2006
Tuesday, November 13, 2006







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