Cable subscribers in Carthage and Lamar should be paying attention to what is going on with Cable One and Nexstar. The showdown will be transferred to those communities one year from now.
The Turner Report has featured over the past several days updates as Nexstar, owner of KSNF and operator of KODE (and de facto owner, according to documents filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission), has demanded cash, initially 25 cents per month per cable subscriber, now 30 cents, to allow Cable One to continue providing the channels to its Joplin subscribers and to its station in Texarkana, Texas. Cable One has 34,000 customers in Joplin and 22,000 in Texarkana.
Nexstar is also battling with Cox Communications, owners of the Lamar and Carthage cable systems, asking for cash to continue to allow Cox to carry KRBC, the NBC affiliate in Abilene, Texas, and KLST, a CBS affiliate, and KSAN, an NBC affiliate, both in San Angelo, Texas.
The issue should be a bigger one across the U. S. at this time next year since only a handful of stations had deals that expired at the end of this calendar year. Most of them expire next year.
The battle has spilled over into the news coverage offered by KODE and KSNF. While KODE recently broadcast a staged demonstration (reportedly by a dish satellite provider) against Cable One, and both stations have featured statements and crawls during their newscasts which offer a one-sided viewpoint of the controversy, neither station has sent its cameras to cover another noteworthy development.
I stopped by the Cable One office this afternoon to see how many people were picking up free antennas so they can continue to receive the two Joplin stations. I didn't have to go inside. The parking lot was jampacked, the line to get the antennas was stretched out well beyond Cable One's doors and cars were in the street waiting to get into the parking lot.
Multichannel News, an industry publication, said that Cable One had already given away 1,500 antennas as of late last week.
The problems with Cable One seem to be clouding the two Joplin stations' news judgment in other areas, as well. KOAM was the only station to show tape during its 6 p.m. newscast moments ago of an incident in Cassville today in which a deputy was injured and a suspect was shot. It made for great television. I didn't catch what KODE had on the story, which led off the KOAM report, but KSNF only featured reporter Kourtney Kullor reading information about the incident. That is the danger when decisions are being made for two stations' coverage instead of each station's news directors making their own decisions. Surely, two news directors wouldn't have decided not to have a team in Cassville.
KOAM also scooped its fellow area stations on the decision of a Neosho family to sue the Neosho R-5 School District and a school bus driver as a result of their son being killed by the driver recently.
Sad news for people who enjoy listening to the best music of all time, the music from the 1950s and 1960s. Reports are coming out of southeast Kansas that 103.5 will only retain that format through Jan. 31, then will join the long list of country stations in the area.
The Pittsburg Morning Sun is reporting that Meadowbrook Mall will undergo an expansion. The mall owners bought nearby property in November 2003 and plan to add a new shopping development, blending the mall and the development and adding new businesses that don't overlap with the current ones, according to company owners.
A number of new laws take effect in Missouri as of Jan. 1, 2005. One will require all school employees, not just teachers, who undergo criminal background checks before they are hired.
Great story by John Hacker on page one of The Joplin Globe today concerning the amount of comp time McDonald County is going to have to pay to nine deputies who were fired by incoming Sheriff Don Schlessman.