08/29/10 — TWC to drop PACC 10 Tuesday

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TWC to drop PACC 10 Tuesday

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 29, 2010 1:50 AM

Wayne County and the city of Goldsboro are going into the television business in order to ensure survival of a local government cable TV channel.

Effective Tuesday, Time Warner Cable will end its programming agreement with PACC-10 and the channel will be designated as a government channel for use by the county and city of Goldsboro.

City Council and county commissioners' meetings will continue to air on Channel 10, but the station will no longer be PACC-10.

Commissioners' meetings will continue to be recorded on the first and third Tuesday mornings of the month and televised that evening.

City Council meetings that had been televised live will now be taped and televised the following day.

Parker Advertising was paid a monthly fee by TWC to broadcast county and city meetings for the city. That arrangement meant that the cable company did not have to invest in equipment, staff or facilities to meet the requirements of the franchise agreement.

TWC is now in the process of running fiber optic cable to the county courthouse annex.

The change will not cost the county any additional money since it will be able to utilize cable franchise revenues to offset the cost of equipment, setup and operations, as well as what had been budgeted for PACC 10 in the 2010-11 county budget.

It had been feared that failure by the county and city to ask for the channel would lead to TWC awarding the channel to someone else.

"Channel 10 will be a government access channel -- where the citizens can see both Goldsboro City Council and Wayne County commissioners' meetings," said County Manager Lee Smith. "The infrastructure is being put in place, and the new channel should air sometime in September."

For now, programming will be limited to meetings and some PowerPoint presentations. However, county officials are hopeful that more county and city government programming will be added at some point.

It is also possible that Parker Advertising will still be used to create video presentations for both the city and county for the channel.

What will be missing will be the commercials, the reruns and PACC 10's original programing -- things TWC officials said do not meet new statutory requirements.

TWC informed Parker Advertising last December that a change in the state franchise law required the company to operate under the state franchise agreement and not under any city or county agreements.

Both the city of Goldsboro and the county were notified regarding TWC's intentions to terminate its access programming agreement with Parker Advertising.

Parker Advertising and TWC attempted to work out a new lease agreement, but TWC argued that that Channel 10 was, and always had been, a government channel and that having paid advertising on such a channel didn't meet the new statutory requirements.

"We wanted Parker Advertising to keep doing business in Wayne County and we supported Bobby Parker's efforts to negotiate a new agreement with Time Warner," Smith said. "We told (TWC) that Parker Advertising had provided a valuable service to the citizens of Wayne County for many years by operating this channel, and we wanted that service to continue."

The city of Goldsboro also lobbied for the channel to continue.

Owner Bobby Parker could not be reached for comment.