(Edited from Duluth News-Tribune) Negotiations between Granite Broadcasting Corp. and Mediacom over how much the cable provider should pay to carry Fort Wayne’s WISE have turned heated as they near a Sunday deadline.
Mediacom is accusing Granite of asking for a 100 percent fee increase for Mediacom to carry the Fort Wayne NBC affiliate and the MyTV FWA programming — including NBC shows — on Mediacom’s cable systems in Decatur and Albion.
Granite, the owner of WISE, has fired back that it is Mediacom that is holding up the negotiations.
The end result, if they don’t strike deal by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, is that Northeast Indiana Mediacom subscribers may not get to watch NBC shows or NBC 33 or even MyTV Fort Wayne’s local and syndicated programming.
“Granite is seeking in excess of a 100 percent rate increase over our current contract for the continued carriage of WISE, so it is really the hard-working residents of Northeast Indiana who should be disappointed in how these negotiations are progressing,” Thomas Larsen, Mediacom’s group vice president of legal and public affairs, said in a statement to the News Tribune. “It is Mediacom’s goal to provide our customers with a great programming lineup at a reasonable price. When the channel owners ask for more money, we negotiate with them in an effort to keep the costs our customers ultimately pay as low as possible.”
Larsen accused Granite of trying to hold Mediacom customers “hostage” so Granite “can extract a higher price for their product than if they relied on objective criteria to value their stations such as ratings, quality of content, etc.”
Larsen told the News Tribune that if negotiations fall through, Mediacom would want to import an out-of-market NBC station to replace WISE — but federal laws prevent it from doing so. The laws give WISE exclusive broadcast rights to NBC programming in the Fort Wayne market, he said. That would mean no NBC programming over cable for Mediacom customers in Northeast Indiana until an agreement is reached — although they still could access NBC shows using Mediacom’s “TV Everywhere” apps, Larsen said.
Duane Lammers, chief operating officer for Granite, told the News Tribune that Mediacom did not appear to be responding to Granite’s most recent offer.
“It’s pretty hard to negotiate when there are no communications,” Lammers said Friday afternoon.
In a formal statement posted on the NBC 33 website, Granite officials said that “we have tried hard to reach a fair agreement with Mediacom so that our viewers would not miss any of our stations’ around-the-clock news coverage, weather emergencies, public service announcements and favorite local, NBC 33 and My TV Fort Wayne programming,” the company said. “Thus far, we are disappointed in the lack of progress in our negotiations, especially since we have successfully reached deals with every major cable, satellite and telecommunications company that recognizes our fair market value.”
The company added that it “will continue to negotiate with Mediacom. Unfortunately, we do not know if, or when, an agreement will be reached. In the meantime, we hope you will continue supporting local television and watch us through alternative means including free over-the-air service via antenna, through DirectTV, Dish Network or another cable provider.”
Anchors Kylie Conway and Lauren Lowrey, of Indianapolis’ newly-crowned CW affiliate WISH, suffered a champagne malfunction on the “Daybreak” set last Friday.
The duo were wrapping up a story about how champagne gives you a worse hangover than other alcoholic beverages, when Conway grabbed what she thought was an empty champagne bottle and sprayed its contents all over the set (and all over her co-anchor’s legs).
Meteorologist Randy Ollis popped in at the end of the segment to let his boss know he had nothing to do with the now booz-soaked set.
This deserves to have “The Price is Right” losing horns.
The All-New INNewsCenter’s first post will be a major network affiliation switch in Indianapolis in 35 and half years (not counting a third between WTTV and WNDY in 1998).
The last time a major network affiliation switch in Indianapolis happened, Bob Barker of “The Price is Right” became a vegetarian, Nickelodeon launches the first network for kids, and on November 4 of that year “Jaws” airs on network TV for the first time airing on WRTV instead of WTHR as they swapped networks June 1, 1979.
The last NBC program to air on WRTV was the Tomorrow show that ended at 12:37 a.m. and the first ABC show to air was none other than “Good Morning America” airing at 7:00 AM June 1, 1979 while WTHR’s last ABC program was “20/20” (if memory serves the Zinn family correctly) that ended at 10:00 PM May 31, 1979 and signed off shooting the ABC loving cup that WTHR received in 1977. WTHR signed on on the morning of June 1, 1979 with the NBC chimes (WTHR’s first logo as an NBC affiliate is shown below from our friends at FuzzyMemories.TV.)
Thirty-five years and seven months after WRTV became an ABC affiliate and WTHR affiliating with NBC, with the latter one of the strongest NBC affiliates in America, WTTV will become known as CBS4 (left) to reflect its CBS affiliation and WISH-TV will take WTTV’s outgoing CW affiliation as 12:00 AM of January 1, 2015.
So for starters, the last Indianapolis Colts game to air on WISH-TV will be the Indianapolis Colts/Tennessee Titans game. The last CBS program to air on WISH-TV will be “Stalker” that ends at 11:00 PM on December 31, 2014. WISH-TV will then air its first CW program at 1:00 PM “The Bill Cunningham Show” on January 1, 2015 after WISH-TV’s expanded noon newscast.
For WTTV, though the last CW program to air will be the iHeart Music Festival special that ends at 10:00 PM on December 31, 2014. At 12:17 AM January 1, 2015, WTTV’s first CBS program will be “The Late Show with David Letterman,” hosted by the Indianapolis native and Ball State University alum.
Ava Zinn has been asked this as the revival of INNewsCenter is now live. Yet there are some things that will be different from the original version of INNewsCenter and what will be seen on the all new INNewsCenter.
First and foremost, just to be clear that all of INNewsCenter’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages are going to remain the same as it was before she closed INNewsCenter in 2011. Ava Zin is still administrator of the INNewsCenter revival. So if you haven’t done so already, please follow INNewsCenter on Twitter (@innewscenterhd), like us on Facebook (facebook.com/innewscenter), and subscribe to our channel on YouTube.
(NEW) Second, expect certain clips (as was the case for Cheryl Parker’s final WXIN-TV newscast and the American Idol 9 finale which was never uploaded to INNewsCenter’s YouTube channel) to be featured on both Vote for the Girls and INNewsCenter (clear examples are Vote for the Girls picks of American Idol 13’s Marrielle Sellars, So You Think You Can Dance 11’s Valerie Rocey, The Voice 5’s Olivia Henken and The Voice 7’s Allison Bray), as BOTH sites are owned and operated by Aeverine Zinn Holdings. Such INNewsCenter clips will be female contestants (of which are supported by the American adaptation Vote for The Girls) and/or someone that Ava Zinn went to school with makes Indiana headlines and/or as was the case with the Ashley Rheam affair (which is covered on AvaZinn.com), especially for Issues related in the Marion, Mississinewa, and Eastbrook Community School Districts, and typically seen on the Ava Zinn You Tube Channel.
Third, at the time of INNewsCenter’s closure, and since the very last post on the site was WFFT-TV (channel 55, former Marion cable channel 2) losing Fox (and on March 1, 2013, WFFT has re-affiliated with the network) as well as a cable television dispute that lead to dropping Bright House Networks (not because of cable TV rates in case anyone wondered, but it was due to the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute in October 2008 that lead to the repercussions of the big four Fort Wayne stations dropped) and eventually replaced with AT&T U-Verse (via internet streaming) and over-the-air hybrid. There won’t be as much montages from the original as Ava will be most likely have to take an indoor TV antenna, and VCR to a hotel (especially in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, of which when Ava launched INNewsCenter in November 1999, only the Fort Wayne and Indianapolis markets were covered before adding the eight other markets that serve all 92 counties in Indiana.)
Fourth, due to Ms. Zinn’s commitments with Vote for the Girls (the American/USA version since 2010, UK/British version since 2013, and now the Australian version as of April 2015), Housing Hell (coming in 2016), family obligations (yes, Ms. Zinn does have a family), and other issues that do come up often, expect INNewsCenter to have a “INNewsCenter team” that will run the web site similar to “Nightline”‘s format since 2005 after Ted Koppel retired with all posts final by Ava Zinn.
The fifth thing that will be different from the original INNewsCenter and the revival is going to be a new, yet likely going to be a YouTube copyright issue at the end of the day. In 2008, months before the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute, I was notified as the administrator of INNewsCenter since LIN TV of Providence contacted Ava about using INNewsCenter’s graphical elements (such as high definition pillars on clips used for 4:3 videos in 480 i as INNewsCenter will still be presenting clips in high definition when the original version upgraded to high definition/widescreen in 2007 and a digital on-screen graphic) and in 2013 on the INNewsCenter YouTube channel asked to take down clips from WIPB-TV in Muncie, which is a bloody shame. With that in mind, that lead Ava to consider a new feature, mostly for the station owner’s interests and copyright claims — The INNewsCenter Safe Haven Policy, which allows Ava Zinn (as the owner and admin of INNewsCenter) at the station owner’s request in the event the clips be taken down from INNewsCenter’s YouTube channel and as the administrator of INNewsCenter, offer the station owner (like Scripps, Tribune, or Media General) the use of INNewsCenter’s clip(s) be uploaded to the station’s YouTube Channel (such as WISH-TV or WRTV) to be presented it was seen on the station involved. A clear example of this is from WTWO-TV in Terre Haute (watch below).
BTW, since INNewsCenter is owned and operated by Ava Zinn, the civil policies are subject to the 2-5-10-BANNED Rule, that went into effect July 4, 2014. Should a station owner request a station’s material be taken down on YouTube due to copyright, that’s an automatic 20 year BANNED/BANNED as long as the station remains on the air. Another example is after Josh Kaufman won The Voice of America 6, INNewsCenter will not be uploading anything from WTHR from July 4, 2014 until January 4, 2016 under Ms. Zinn’s discretion and this applies to Vote for the Girls USA.
And last but not least, the sixth and final thing that will be different on the INNewsCenter revival is that only five significantly viewed markets of Peoria/Bloomington (viewed in Terre Haute); Grand Rapids (viewed in South Bend/Elkhart); Toledo and Detroit (viewed in Fort Wayne); and Lexington KY (viewed in Louisville and Cincinnati OH) are being added to the ten markets that INNewsCenter covered during the original 1999-2011 run. When the site launched, INNewsCenter only covered Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, and in 2004 added the eight other Indiana television markets of South Bend, Evansville, Terre Haute, Lafayette, Gary (Chicago, IL), New Albany (Louisville, KY), Richmond (Dayton, OH), and Rising Sun (Cincinnati, OH).
In closing, things will basically be the same on INNewsCenter when Ava Zinn closed the site on June 30, 2011. Zinn said of the revival, “Closing INNewsCenter was the biggest regret I’ve ever made. When I relaunch the INNewsCenter site, it will be located at avazinn.com/innewscenter because INNewsCenter.net has since been taken by another owner.”
We look forward to these changes as we will still be covering all Indiana’s 92 counties.
The last time INNewsCenter posted a story about Indiana TV news was Ava Zinn’s announcement closing the site on June 30, 2011 after a successful 12 year run. The reason for the site closing was Ava Zinn auditioning for American Idol’s 11th season and the Vote for the Girls franchise.
The next to last post was an affiliation change in Fort Wayne when Fox was moving from WFFT to WISE-DT2.
The next post will be another major affiliation switch in 35 1/2 years in Indianapolis….
In the next few posts, there will be a few things that will be different from the old INNewsCenter and what you will see on the all new INNewsCenter.