CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting –
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:05 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, 2008 by Chairman, Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
ATTENDEES: Kate Donahue (Trumbull), George Fletcher (New Milford), Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Deborah Cox (Trumbull), Jim Lang (Trumbull), Craig Tunks (Monroe), Stephanie O’Rourke (Kent)
From Charter: Brian Downes (CT Operations Manager), Greg Van Antwerp (community Access), Paula Cecchitelli (Marketing), Tom Cohan (Gov’t Relations), Tammy Fairchild (Call Center)
Public: Jerry Hyland, Dennis Dolan, Joseph Gallas and Lisa Todd all from New Milford.
Jerry Hyland of New Milford addressed the group regarding NESN and getting the Mets, Yankees AND the Red Sox. Brian Downes explained that MLB hanged the market definitions which as messed up the MBL package in states like ours. He clarified that Dennis Jerome, who reports to Greg Garabedian makes all the programming decisions for the CMA. Brian was clear that there is nothing they can do about this this year – except refund people’s money for the MLB package. We asked Brian if he would take to Charter management the notion of surveying the subscribers in Litchfield County to see if they would pay extra to get NESN on expanded basic if it were possible. Jim Lang suggested that subscribers from Litchfield County start a petition about this.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes from March 11, 2007 meeting. Deborah Cox motion, Jim Lang second, approved 7-0. with correction ofTammy Fairchild’s name
Motion to accept the report by Kate Donahue, second by George Fletcher, approved 7-0.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT.
Tom Cohan had a conflicting meeting. Tammy Fairchild is the call center liaison. We asked her to make sure that the call center reps have accurate information about NESN because it seems subscribers are getting misinformation. Tammy said that call center policy is set at corporate, not locally. We also asked why Charter can’t have “universal reps” because often subscribers get bounced around in order to get a problem solved. Tammy said they moved away from universal reps in order to develop “experts” in certain areas. Gene and Jim indicated that it is really frustrating to call multiple times to solve a problem and have to explain the entire situation over and over again because there are no notes in the system from previous conversations. Tammy said she would bring our suggestions to corporate.
Greg Van Antwerp reported that they are adding Producer training, lighting and sound workshops to their internship program in an effort to provide more opportunities. The program is 10 years old. they are actively reaching out to Western Connecticut students.. 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.
Paula told us that AZN went off the air in April. Boomerang (old cartoons) will be added to digital package in July. Flix is part of movieview and will move to expanded basic on July 1 for digital customers only. ESPN HD and ESPN2HD are available to all HDTV subs. They are redoing the digital lineup for company-wide consistency sometime later this year to make room for more HD channels. Hoping for 40 HD channels by the end of the year.
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:
All official reports are no available online. The Council would still like to get statistics that are nolonger required by the state.
Grant Process: Grant Awards: Eight schools submitted applications, 4 schools – New Fairfield, Pomperaug, Nonnenwaug and Newtown got grants totaling $7677. George Fletcher made the motion, seconded by Gene. Passed 7-0. The Council indicated it would like to do this again after it sees how all the documentation comes in for these grants. Motion to move the money to cover these awards made by Deborah Cox, second by Stephanie, 7-0 passed. Thanks to Jim Lang for all the hard work on this.
News 12 – Looked at sample of programming taped by friend of Craig Tunks. Letter sent by First Selectmen of Trumbull and Monroe to Charter shared and response by Tom Cohan. First Selectmen have not yet responded.
Time to elect new officers. Carmella will email request for nominations.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 9:30 PM. Respectfully submitted by: Kate Donahue, Secretary.