KXAN Airs Its Time Warner Laundry

KXAN broadcasts its disgust with Time Warner

KXAN-TV launched a full-frontal assault this week in its negotiations with Time Warner Cable over retransmission fees. On Monday, the NBC affiliate sent out a press release and began running a scroll on the bottom of the screen warning viewers that Time Warner would drop the channel on Oct. 2 unless the cable system reached a deal with KXAN owner LIN TV. And then General Manager Eric Lassberg delivered a "commentary" during KXAN's 10pm newscast accusing Time Warner of being unresponsive to KXAN's attempts to reach a deal. "It's a typical negotiating tactic for LIN," countered Time Warner spokesman Roger Heaney.

LIN wants Time Warner to pay more compensation for the right to retransmit KXAN's programming to its 311,000 Austin-area subscribers, an increasingly common dispute as broadcasters seek new revenue. Cable systems like Time Warner say they don't want to pass on the costs to their customers (translation: They want to maintain their profit margins).

KXAN engaged in a similar action earlier this year with Suddenlink, a system in Wil­liam­son Co. Suddenlink eventually replaced KXAN with another NBC affiliate; a few weeks later KXAN and the cable system reached a deal, and KXAN was back on the air. As it did in the Suddenlink dispute, KXAN is advertising a special $50 coupon for any current Time Warner Cable subscribers who switch to the Dish Network satellite service, which will still carry KXAN.

Meanwhile, in other KXAN news, co-anchor Michelle Valles has officially left the station after a contract dispute. "I wouldn't even consider the deal that was offered," Valles told the Austin American-Statesman. "I just want to be appreciated."

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KXAN, Time Warner, Michelle Valles

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