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WPTZ back on air

Hearst TV, Time Warner Cable reach deal

July 20, 2012
By CHRIS MORRIS - Staff Writer (cmorris@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Tom Messner, Stephanie Gorin and the rest of the WPTZ news team are back on the air after Hearst Television and Time Warner Cable reached a long-term deal earlier this week.

WPTZ, which covers regional news, weather and sports in northeastern New York, Vermont and western New Hampshire, had been off the air since 11:59 p.m. July 9 due to a dispute between Hearst and Time Warner over the cost of a carriage agreement. The station had been restored to most Time Warner customers in the North Country by late Thursday night.

"Our customers can expect their signals to be restored to our cable systems shortly," Stephanie Salanger, communications manager for Time Warner's central New York office, said in an emailed statement. "We thank our customers for their patience and their willingness to stick with us through another unnecessary broadcaster blackout."

Salanger told the Enterprise on Friday that she didn't have any other information about the agreement.

Time Warner pays carrying fees to television companies so it can broadcast programming to its customers. When the cable company reached an impasse in negotiating a new carriage agreement with Hearst earlier this month, it said Hearst wanted four times more than what it received in the past. Specific figures weren't released to the public because they are confidential, Salanger said.

But WPTZ's president and general manager, Paul Sands, said at the time that Time Warner was refusing to pay a "reasonable fee relative to what it pays for other significantly less popular channels."

Calls to representatives of WPTZ weren't immediately returned on Friday.

While WPTZ was off the air, Time Warner broadcast WBRE out of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., so its customers could still see NBC network programming.

Salanger said Friday the new agreement is "great news" for Time Warner customers.

"We still think it's important for us to stand up for them and do everything we can to keep programing costs under control," she said. "We're really happy Hearst was able to reach an agreement with us. Our customers are happy that their local programming is back on."

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Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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