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Thank You NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for Standing Up for PEG Access

Thank You NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for Standing Up for PEG Access

Posted: September 28, 2015

The Alliance wants to thank New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his recent comments to the New York Public Service Commission on the proposed merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. Mayor de Blasio outlined a significant number of concerns in a letter dated September 16, 2015, including the need for “meaningful and stable support for [PEG] channels….” Significantly, he noted that Charter must prove the merger is in the public interest, must comply with current franchises, and support PEG regardless of “shifts in the cable markets….” It’s worth quoting him at length on this:

“TWC’s lackluster history of supporting [PEG] providers – which provide unparalleled opportunities for media education and content production for City residents – raises serious questions about whether the newly-merged entity will partner effectively with these institutions.

Specifically, the City is concerned that in recent years TWC has shifted numerous PEG providers to higher channel numbers that have decreased visibility. These channel shifts create significant challenges for PEG providers, who lack the resources to develop and distribute notification materials and who risk losing audience members with every switch. In addition, PEG providers have had to struggle with TWC and other providers to secure access to the high-quality recording and transmission technologies – such as high definition – that are available to other content providers.

Charter must commit to maintaining PEG channel capacity at levels in the current franchise agreements, guaranteeing identical quality for PEG and commercial providers and keeping PEG channels in easily accessed, stable locations. In addition, Charter must commit to providing meaningful and stable financial support for public access services regardless of shifts in the cable markets driven by concentration of market power.”

Mayor de Blasio has reason to be concerned. According to a report we are releasing this week, Charter has a long history of treating PEG and local communities harshly. You can find the report here.

Thank you again, Mayor de Blasio for supporting the communication needs of your residents, and for supporting PEG!

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“New Charter” Webinar this Wednesday

Be sure to join us this Wednesday for a webinar on the proposed “New Charter” merger and how you can be involved in protecting PEG community media. The webinar is free, but you must pre-register.

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ACM Public Policy Call First Thursday at 4:00 pm ET

We are resuming our monthly Public Policy Call for ACM members and volunteers this Thursday, October 1 at 4:00 pm ET. The call is usually an hour long and will be on the first Thursday of the month at that time.

You need to be a member to be on this call. It’s meant to help inform you and your organization (or board members and elected officials who rely on you) on significant public policy issues and actions you can take to help our industry. Let me know if you want invites to the call by emailing me at mwassenaar@allcommunitymedia.org and I will send an invite to you.