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Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014

CableOne manager declines meeting with city committee

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The city of Dyersburg's latest attempt for a meeting between cable committee members and CableOne manager Elvis Brown resulted in a few empty chairs on Thursday morning.

Brown declined attending the meeting, because he did "not have any new information to share" with board members. But his was not the only empty seat in the conference room.

Cable committee members Bart Williams and Charles McCright were also unable to attend the meeting.

Cable Committee Chairman Freeman Dudley and Mayor John Holden were the only members of the cable committee to attend, but aldermen Bob Kirk, Lewis Norman and Kevin Chaney were there, as well as City Recorder Gleyn Twilla.

Mayor John Holden said he and city aldermen have been attempting to schedule a meeting of the cable committee since CableOne dropped two more channels from its lineup on Feb. 4. The channels were brought back just over one week later, but since that time, aldermen have repeatedly requested another meeting with Brown to discuss the situation.

At Thursday's meeting, Holden reported sending several requests to the CableOne manager concerning a time convenient to Brown to schedule the meeting and shared his final e-mail with Brown, dated Friday, Feb. 20.

"At our board meeting Monday night, (Feb.) 16, the issue of holding cable committee meeting came up and the chairman asked that I contact you to schedule a meeting one day next week," said Holden in the e-mail. "Please let me know some available days and times next week in which we could schedule a meeting. ... If you are unable to meet with us next week, I anticipate that the committee will proceed with the meeting regardless in order that we discuss our current cable situation."

Brown e-mailed a reply on Monday, Feb. 23.

"Please thank the cable committee for inviting me to meet with them concerning the current situation with certain channels," said Brown's e-mail. "Unfortunately, I do not have any new information to share regarding these channels at this time. However, please keep in mind that CableOne is continuing negotiations for carriage of WPTY and WLMT as I have mentioned previously."

After the meeting on Thursday afternoon, Brown confirmed that negotiations are continuing between CableOne and Newport Television Broadcasting Corp. to carry WPTY and WLMT out of Memphis, but declined to comment further on why he chose not to attend the meeting.

"I know the mayor has made several attempts (to schedule a meeting)," said Dudley as he called the meeting to order. "It basically boils down to him saying he doesn't have anything to say to us."

"The thing that bothers me is that he does not see fit to come over and talk to us," said Norman.

At the meeting, Holden also shared a memorandum informing aldermen of CableOne's application for a state franchise, which Holden expects will be granted within the next 45 days.

"With a state franchise in place, CableOne is not required to have a local franchise agreement with the city, but will (still) be required to pay the city five percent of all revenue generated from cable services provided within the city, excluding internet and cable phone services," the memo stated. "The city's local franchise agreement with CableOne expired on Aug. 15, 2008. Subsequently, the city and CableOne agreed to operate under the terms and conditions of the Agreement until the parties reached a new agreement or CableOne applied for a state franchise. We have negotiated with CableOne regarding a new agreement, but negotiations have stalled due to service issues."

Aldermen asked Holden if CableOne had informed him that they applied for a state contract, or if he found out through other means. They also asked if CableOne was current with franchise fee payments to the city.

"They did not officially notify me of the state franchise," said Holden. "They are current. They pay quarterly."

The aldermen also related their surprise at the continuing negotiations between CableOne and Newport stated in Brown's e-mail. Several of the aldermen said they thought the negotiations had been successful when the channels returned to CableOne's lineup.

"My question is, if the negotiations are still going on, why was it so imperative to cut the channels off by midnight on Feb. 4," said Chaney, who was one of four aldermen to switch from CableOne service during the time the channels were down.

"I've had several people come by to talk to me," said Dudley. "People wanting a portion of their money back."

"That's what I hear," said Chaney. "They are charging for something they are not providing. (The residents) think it's a city service."

"And we are just a captive audience," said Norman.

"We have absolutely no recourse whatsoever and an empty chair to ask questions to," said Chaney.

"A few years back, we had cable issues and a representative from Phoenix came and fed us. He took us to Neil's and listened to our issues," said Norman. "Now we can't get any higher than the local guy and he is letting us know that he is in charge."

"The girl I talked to who is supposed to be 'in the know' over there said they are talking about a 10 percent increase," said Dudley, who said he also heard CableOne lost as many as 250 customers in the week the channels were taken off the air. "I don't know if those numbers are accurate, but I do know they lost four (aldermen)."

"The tragedy is people are looking to us (for help)," said Norman. "(Mr. Brown said) 'Get them to call me.' But if you've ever tried to call over there, you can't get through. I suggest (the mayor write) a pretty straightforward letter to someone higher up than Mr. Brown."

"Mayor, would you feel comfortable doing that?" asked Dudley.

"I will," said Holden, who said he wrote a similar letter over a year ago. "I'll bring up the issue of the channels and any reimbursements for the channels and our level of frustration with the service and quality. We will send a letter out today or tomorrow expressing our concerns and requesting someone to come give us some more information."


Comments
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if he doesn't care to discuss solutions then maybe mr. brown himself is part of the problem

-- Posted by jeramy on Sat, Feb 28, 2009, at 9:24 PM

What are the city fathers going to do now since cable/one thumbed their noses at them? If you switch to say directv, how much money does the city lose each month?

-- Posted by jscott on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 6:06 AM

That's an interesting observation, j. I'm a satisfied Cable One subscriber. I'm satisfied with the product, the service and the personnel. The only time I get upset with Cable One is when I read about Mr. Brown in the news. I have never met Mr. Brown and he may be the nicest man on earth but he comes across in the news as having a major attitude problem. Not willing to walk across the street to meet with city officials, with or without any new details, was insulting. Is he unaware of public relations and common courtesy? Is he following orders from headquarters? Is he echoing the Phoenix attitude toward Dyersburg? If not, I suggest the home office have Mr. Brown do a local TV spot with him singing "watch us make you smile."

-- Posted by gb on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 6:11 AM

For the people out there that have never known nothing but Cableone and are satisfied with there service. You have never experienced anything other than service with Cableone. If you had you would not still be with Cableone at this moment. I had Cableone for years and thought I was satisfied with there service till I started checking into other options. I had checked with a satellite service and discovered they had more High Definition channels available than Cableone. When I got to looking at price it was just about the same or just a bit higher. But with the more HD channels I expected it. Once I switched to satellite service I could not believe the different. Oh my, what I have I been waiting on? The channels was much clearer and more channels. But the picture for local channel was far much better than what Cableone had. I did have to keep my internet serivce with Cableone. So when I did go in and pay for my internet the next month I explained to them how thankful I was for them having such a bad pictures and service. Because I would have never switch over if the cable had a good picture and service.

You don't know what you are missing till you try it.

-- Posted by ermco1 on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 8:21 AM

I agree with Ermco1, I'm in Nashville and just switched to DirecTV, and it blows my mind how clear the signal is.

It came a severe thunderstorm earlier this week, and I still had a signal, and was able to get my local weather. Also, I'm still using Comcast for my Internet, so that's not even a problem for those worried..the installer knows how to work around that.

-- Posted by CodeyH on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 8:51 AM

Cable one has always been a mess with over priced bill for the last twenty years. Our city need,s and deserves much better. How much longer can this mess go on. The ones that can stop it are dragging not only their feet but also their face with a few words of the problem. Facts backed with Action need,s happen not words. Get them out of hear / stop playing around with Brown.Get an satisfying company in Dyersburg. Direct TV customer for four years and want to let people know it is wonderful/ plus cheaper.

-- Posted by chief_ty20 on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 11:19 AM

Sounds to me as if Mr. Brown is rather arrogant. I changed to Direct TV and, so far, am very satisfied with the service. It is cheaper than Cable One and the picture is clearer. Their internet is OK but their cable service leaves a lot to be desired. When I was a cable customer and had a problem, I would call up there and all I got was a machine. The only time I could talk to a human was when I went up there. I believe another cable company would be feasible, after an investigation of their record, of course.

-- Posted by The Riverman on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 11:38 AM

Wow! I'm not sure that I have ever heard as much trash-talking about one place in all my life. This is really sounding like the Salem witch trials of old. I saw someone say earlier that the cable guy(Mr. Brown) couldn't just walk across the street to meet with the board. Couldn't they(board members) just walk across the street too? The only news about CableOne I ever hear is bad. The city board and the newspaper are always giving CableOne a hard time. I can't blame Mr. Brown for not meeting with them. The odds(8 on 1) are not in Mr. Brown's favor. For all those complaining about the price, let you not forget the 5% that the city gets right off the top. Also, do the sattelite providers have to pay that same amount to the city? As for the newspaper folks, let us all recall that we lost our Monday edition. My subscription price is still the same as it was before losing that day's edition. Huh, that's odd. I guess it is much easier to point the finger than to own up to similar business practices. I also have to wonder why our city officials and our local newspaper would appear to be trying to "push" a local business out of town. I don't think CableOne is perfect. I also don't think any other business or government entity is either. Times are tough right now, and I think we all should work together for the greater good.

-- Posted by dyercountynative on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 1:05 PM

Native, I can agree on part of your comment. The truth is that the people of Dyersburg have been putting up with this Baloney for years . I think that for a long time now Cable has been given the benifit of the doubt and now should be held accountable for their sorry service. Yea Dyersburg gets 5% off the top but we have been increased alot more than 5% on our bills . Have you checked yours lately?

I have commented before on here that if need be people should do what they have to do to be satisfied. we will survive without Cable if have to and as so many has stated that Direct is so much better and cheaper . I for one think our leaders should give Cable a proposition to correct their problems or tell them to take a hike. Should have been done a log time ago.

-- Posted by feels the hurt on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 6:14 PM

feels the hurt, I appreciate your comment and opinion. It seems though the only thing we agree on is that the city gets 5% off the top. I have checked my bill lately, and my bill is the same every month. As for increases over the years, why don't you tell me what product or service has not increased over the years. That's gonna be a tough job! As for bad service, i'll tell you a quick story. I was originally a cable customer, then I switched to Direct. It was good at first, then things went south! After my contract was up, I quickly went back to cable. They both had their ups and downs, but in my experience, cable was better overall. Also, have you seen the markets lately? Have you seen people losing jobs lately? Have you given any of this a passing thought as you tell people to "take a hike"? I bought a truck once. My dad bought the same model as I bought in the same month. He paid over $1,000 less than me. Should Delta Chevrolet and all their employees "take a hike" too? My electric bill has increased over $100 per month. Maybe the electric company and all of its employees should "take a hike" too. My 401k has been losing money all year. Maybe the investment firm and all of its employees should "take a hike". I respect your opinions but I have to say that people need to work and have jobs for the long haul. Businesses in this community and others don't need to "take a hike".

-- Posted by dyercountynative on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 8:37 PM

Did you folks know there was such a thing as "satellite internet"? Here's one website, http://www.elitesat.com/ , check it out. Don't be at the effect of the cable companies, you don't have to be. We had satellite internet for 2 years because we lived in the woods, with no phone land line, generator produced electricity, and had wonderful internet access. When it was storming outside, our neighbors electricity would go out, we still had electricity via generator, internet via Hughesnet, you have to buy the equipment, but they put that charge on the monthly payments, and break it up. Our total for the first year was about 100.00/month, after that 49.95. If you have internet access, you can get internet based home phone service too..so there's that....check it out....

-- Posted by Susie Mosley on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 9:13 PM

For those that are satisfied with CableOne then good for you, but I was not satisfied at all with them. Their package prices are terrible, and we had trouble with the internet service working like it should work.

I now live in an area where I can not get cable, but I do have Direct Tv, and what a difference for the better. For the amount of channels you get and the clarity of the picture it is cheaper than cable.

-- Posted by opinionated on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 5:59 AM

Might be a good time for Mr Brown to take the City Fathers out for more barbeque to get them hushed up in order to put in the 10% increase

-- Posted by olcoot on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 10:47 AM

Could be Mr. Brown is getting tired of telling you the same thing over and over. Is there nothing more to worry about than WPTY and WLMT. How much is your life really affected by this lose of two channels. There are what 58 more to watch. Maybe you need to turn the T.V. off and go do something constructive. I don't blame him for not showing up. Work on something important.....

-- Posted by bond007 on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 1:51 PM

CableOne has always been the favorite target of the city board. What can they say in response? Business negotiations are confidential, They're not allowed to say much about it. So when the cable manager says he has nothing to add, he has nothing to add. He knows that going and talking to the board is a waste of time when he can't give them anymore than he already has. So he essentially would have to sit there and listen to politicians grandstand at CableOnes expense. and the State Gazette sells papers promoting the "crises" while they cut back themselves yet you don't see the board making a big issue out of it. The State Gazette is the newspaper of record for Dyersburg. They evidently don't care about that. (if you use the same logic as complaining about Cable.) Good grief folk, CableOne is not in the business to make thier customers upset. They're not perfect but if this is the worst you have to complain about, your life must be pretty good.

-- Posted by okdoke on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 6:39 PM

Please ..... some are commplaing not only because of the bab every thing of cable, but because some don,t have money to burn on renting movies/ nor go to the movie house. Some are shut ins for what ever reason, and thats sad. Some are trying to help our city be all it can, others have the right to post just as any one else yea! So there is alot more in peoples life than cable, hear or there. i think your post was in very bad taste to make a moition ir thats all you fo got to complain about your doing ok.

-- Posted by chief_ty20 on Tue, Mar 3, 2009, at 3:37 PM

Native, thanks for the response. Do you see all the negative posts on here abt Cable? Am I missing something or are you?I tell you what , go to the Cable office and complain abt their over priced service and demand something better and they will tell you to like it or take a hike. Maybe it doesn't bother you if the price has far exceeded and people can't afford it anymore. Just question why so many are taking that hike. Might not hurt too bad to take a walk yourself.

-- Posted by feels the hurt on Thu, Mar 5, 2009, at 5:58 AM

Just to let everyone know, this was noted on a major tech news site.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/03/07/hd-...

First thing in the list, CableOne refusing to meet with city leaders. Nice job CableOne!

-- Posted by CodeyH on Sun, Mar 8, 2009, at 11:02 AM


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