PO Box 87
Newtown, CT 06470
November 14, 2006 Minutes
CABLE ADVISORY COUNCIL
~ Minutes ~
Minutes of Public Regular Meeting – Tuesday, November 14, 2006
There was a regular meeting of the Cable Advisory Council called to order at 7:02 p.m., Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by Chairman, Carmella Amodeo at the Charter Communications facility, Newtown, Connecticut.
Carmella Amodeo (Newtown), George Linkletter (Sherman), Carl Braun (Woodbury), Kate Donahue (Trumbull), George Fletcher (New Milford), Eugene Rosen (Newtown), Gregory Davis (Roxbury).
From Charter: John Palinkas (community access), Greg Van Antwerp (community access), Brian Downes (operations), Bob Spain (Government Relations) and Paula Cecchetelli (Marketing).
No Public present.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes approved (Motion by Linkletter, second by Davis; unanimous).
Jill Hamilton not present.
CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS REPORT:
Bob Spain report that Paula Cecchetielli has succeeded Len Romano as the new KMA Marketing manager. Paula was Western MA and NY and now adds CT to her responsibilities. Welcome Paula!!
Bob gave a progress report on the Newtown call center closure. They are in the final phase – calls are in the process of being routed based on the type of problem/issue. Billing is being outsourced. Charter has gotten past most of the call response level problems – they are now meeting state standards. He reported that Charter CEO Neil spends time every day monitoring calls.
The year is shaping up pretty well financially for charter. Third quarter revenues are up and profits are down but that’s tied to telephony launch costs. They expect double digit growth in both revenue and cash flow next year. Bundling is driving growth and reducing churn.
Charter currently has two billing systems which they expect to keeping order to maintain leverage between the two.
Spain feels Charter has a great management team in St. Louis including a very strong programming team that is working hard to drive down programming costs (the single biggest operating cost to a cable operator).
Paula Cecchetelli reported that they’ve added WTXX – CW Network (Channel 20) that carries UCONN mens basketball.. She provided us with an updated list of VOD channels. Eugene noted that the VOD software is a little quirky. Paula indicated that they do not intend to move any other channels beyond Bravo to digital tiers. New HDTV channel – the Viacom properties (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, etc.), MSG, ESPN2. Still working on the ABC TV channels as well as NESN, YES and NewsChannel 12. George Fletcher asked about Fit TV which Paula thought was available. She will get the channel to Kate and she will get it to George.
An upgrade to the voice mail on Charter’s telephony service is eminent.
Eugene Rosen offered an update on his stepson’s problem from the previous meeting. He indicated that Len Romano stepped in and took care of it but they did not end up going back to Charter telephony despite a very generous offer. Eugene then shared another recent problem. a friend called wanting to order telephony but was told by the call center rep (who was in Wisconsin) that that service wasn’t available in Newtown. John indicated the rep might have been right – there are some parts of Newtown where telephony is not yet available. Charter will call her to figure it out. Eugene then raised the ongoing problems the Farleys have been having. Brian Downes took charge of this one saying there have been a number of problems with internet service on this account and was prepared to get to the bottom of it.
Greg Van Antwerp shared that he will have the year end report at the next meeting. The Channel 21 newsletter is now available on the website – both the current issue and back issues. They had 13 local candidates do “Please Vote” PSA’s that ran on Channel 21 before the November election. In addition, 6 candidates stated their platforms on the channel.
Brian Downes reported that they are adding a 3rd window in the Newtown payment center. they’ve been working with schools on Career Day including a field trip destination for Masuk H.S. students – the offer stands for other schools as well. Brian will be sending job descriptions of Charter openings to Kate for distribution and posting at local high schools.
COMMUNICATIONS & CORRESPONDENCE:
Grant Process: Carl and Jim not here.
Video Festival: John needs press release and posters for the upcoming festival entry process and a list of who own the last time around..
Officer election: motion to (re)elect Jill Hamilton as Treasurer – motion by Rosen, second by Linkletter, unanimous.
On the Oxygen channel there seems to be right audio only coming out of both right and left audio channels according to Gregory Davis. Brian will check into.
The meeting was unanimously adjourned at: 8:35 PM. Respectfully submitted by: Kate Donahue, Secretary.
Cable Advisory Council