09/08/10 — Mayor asks company for live city coverage

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Mayor asks company for live city coverage

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 8, 2010 2:24 PM

Mayor Al King vowed Monday evening to fight for local residents -- to take a stand against Time Warner Cable for making a decision he said negatively impacts the quality of life of Goldsboro citizens.

But with the exception of the handful who turned out for the City Council's first meeting of September, none of those he spoke on behalf of heard it -- and won't until today, if at all.

And that is King's problem.

For the first time since Time Warner ended its programming agreement with PACC-10 -- the channel was dropped Aug. 31 and replaced by the WGTV, a government channel for use by the city and county -- the board's meeting was not aired live.

And even after Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan said she and other staff are still pleading their case to have the decision reversed, King wasn't satisfied.

"We will continue to air the meetings, but they will be delayed. We will air them the following day," Ms. Logan said. "I think the primary concern for us right now is that people are used to seeing the council meetings while they are taking place, and we have expressed to Time Warner that we did not feel that would be taken by the public very well."

"This is definitely a quality of life issue for our residents, especially our older citizens," King added. "They look forward to this. This is their news, their entertainment -- it's a lot of things. So it's critically important that we have live coverage. Any other option is not acceptable to me and I don't think it's acceptable to this council."

But Ms. Logan said based on current legislation, Time Warner is only obligated to provide the channel, not the live service.

"They have given us that access by providing the channel. The legislation does not say they have to run the meetings live," she said. "They have to provide a venue for us to show our meetings."

Under the current agreement, City Council meetings will be taped and aired the Tuesday following each session and county commissioners' meetings will continue to be recorded on the first and third Tuesday mornings of the month and televised that evening.

But for King and other members of the city board, a live feed is a must -- so much so that they discussed the possibility of eating any cost associated with tapping into Time Warner's head-in.

Whether or not Goldsboro will be granted the permission to do so remains unclear.

But one thing seemed fairly certain Monday: King's malcontent for the situation.