Hosting a cable show on our local public access cable show for fourteen years this December, it was disturbing news when I received a letter in the mail saying the studio I use to tape my show would be shutting down permanently at the end of the year.
Technically, it’s even sooner than that since any program has only until December 6th to actually prerecord a show or do one live. After this, the show will air for a week in its usual six towns, and then have to be sent to the main Charter/Spectrum studio located in Newtown, CT with all papers needed to be signed to air from there.
As quoted in Connecticut’s newspaper, The Republican American, the Charter/Spectrum spokeswoman said in regards to the shut down of the studio which has been up and running for 25 years, “This change is more efficient use of public access facilities, and will offer a more extensive programming line up and community information to better serve our customers.” But, wait, there’s more.
“Spectrum (the parent company owner) in our Western Connecticut system will gain access to content and information regarding activities and events across the entire 20-town area.” Blah blah blah.
Most notable in this latter quote is this: “Spectrum (the parent company owner)…will gain access to content and information…”
True. This is the real agenda in this blogger’s opinion.
To me, what is really happening, is the start of a shut down of conservative voices pre-2020 election, whether it’s via television, radio, internet, social media or print. One could go further with school classes and such but let’s stay with the media with this post.
The left, or Democrat Party, focused intensely here in Connecticut in 2018 on small local elections. Town by town, especially in Republican held districts. National Democrat campaign money was used to build up the smallest races for any gain. This was the same method used in other states, and it was the first real grassroots effort by Democrats, in that this tactic has been engaged much more commonly by Republicans for years.
And, it worked, which is how the Democrat Party (not Democratic, which means this: “relating to or supporting democracy or its principles.” ) The mainstream media and the Democrats have twisted the definition of this word for a long time now, as if it somehow translates to the name of their political party. Nope. Sorry. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Getting back to our local studio here in Northern Connecticut – a well run facility that delivers community video of many things vital to its viewers – simple things, like graduation ceremonies, little league games, football games, events, and the token community board bulletin which is basically an upcoming calendar for those in the viewing area.
Far from Fairfield County, where the main Charter/Spectrum HQ, Winsted cable hosts and producers are now expected to drive over an hour each way to continue airing their shows. Literature mailed to hosts from Charter/Spectrum gives them an alternative saying they can find somewhere else to tape their shows and send their new programs in whatever format to be broadcast from the Newtown office.
There were signs of the upcoming shutdown.
First and foremost, Charter switched the public access channel from the traditional channel 13 to 191, which meant seniors, fixed income and I/we-don’t-watch-TV-too-much subscribers had to now go from paying the lowest basic cable tier for general news, PBS and public access, to renting a cable box at around five to eight dollars a month, depending on the year, to even access their local public access station.
Please read the history of Public Access television: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public-access_television
Secondly, the channel was switched from 191 to 192 for no apparent reason, just to keep anyone still interested confused.
Thirdly, many forms suddenly had to be signed by hosts and guests after each show.
Fourth and final, Charter/Spectrum decided not to air the programs recorded in studio on their own website via On Demand. The last shows that were available On Demand for viewers to watch were in August 2019. This means anyone out of the six town viewing area, statewide, nationally or internationally, could no longer see any show online. The Winsted studio was also able to download any video so users could then upload the mp4 file to post their show on YouTube or anywhere on the web via viebit streaming.
Researching politics in CT for over a decade now, I was curious why shut down a well operated studio that was used in many ways to serve so many residents?
Looking for President Trump’s and all candidates’ results here in CT in 2018 on the web writing this post, all that came up on the SOTS site for election results was this:
A map and page that does nothing with any click of the mouse. The “My Races” tab at least pulls up a list of statewide data but there is none to be seen. Zip.
Interestingly, looking up my own run for State Representative in 2006, as someone who had only lived in this district for barely two years, I found tonight only the primary results from August are posted on the SOTS website.
Anyone who has followed me for fourteen years now in hosting and producing our Republican Town Committee’s show, created by our former fine conservative Secretary who moved away quite awhile ago, sadly, in 2004, or anyone who has followed my political commentary in different venues for about ten years online, knows I can go on and on…
The bottom line with this post, my first post in some time on my own blog which I now mostly maintain to archive my former work, is that the Democrats and/or the left, continue to chip away at our Constitutional rights, and more and more aggressively.
To me, whatever the agreed upon communication from the Charter/Spectrum leadership for their press release was as to why they were shutting down the Winsted studio, is just pablum. Marketing rhetoric.
A company worth this much doesn’t need to downsize or consolidate satellite studios to save money. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_Communications
It also does not “better serve customers” by telling people in the towns of Winsted, New Hartford, Colebrook, Hartland, Barkhamsted and Harwinton, what events are coming up in Fairfield County. It’s a simple excuse.
The real purpose here is to take off grassroots programming from conservatives, or anyone who doesn’t agree with their agenda. This has been a goal of the left for some time, a serious infringement of the First Amendment.
Cancel culture. If the left doesn’t like what you say, they’ll shut you up. Cancel you.
Lastly, this isn’t even a partisan issue. Anyone can do a show on public access. It has nothing to do with what Party one is affiliated with – someone doing a show could not even be registered to vote, but likes to garden, cook, paint or talk about literature. Green Party members, Libertarians, and Unaffiliateds can all produce a regular program.
What makes it partisan, at least here in Connecticut, for example, is the Democrat voters who can take time to do a half hour or hour long show, don’t care to do so except here and there, because they are fine with the status quo. Their needs are being met; they have an O’Reilly life of sorts, and will keep filling in that Democrat circle on the ballot.
The reason it’s Republicans and Conservatives who take up most of the programming schedule is because we don’t like the status quo. We care about excessive taxation. We care about our Constitutional Rights being chipped away every day. We care about the direction our country is going.
Charter/Spectrum knows this, and it’s why as my friend, Don Pesci, a political commentator and long time guest on my show “Conservative Chat”, wrote this article on PURA, our state agency who actually has the final decision as to why our Winsted studio can remain open, not Charter/Spectrum. PURA has said they won’t hold a hearing absent objection. Only one complaint has been filed so far. All program hosts and producers have been asked to file complaints, along with legislative help, before the lights go out on the productive studio in Winsted, CT.