City continues plight for council meeting broadcasts

Earlier this year, the City of Negaunee filed a complaint against Charter Communications following Charter’s discontinuation of the City’s Local Origination Channel (LOC), and refusal to provide Negaunee residents a Public, Education, Governmental (PEG) channel. The LOC provided programming such as broadcasts of City Council meetings, public service announcements and school-related events. A PEG channel would carry much of the same programming, but with more content, some of which could be produced by students.

Currently, there are no channels carrying this type of programming, nor does the City have the capability to provide live broadcasts of its council meetings.

The City and Charter mediated their dispute, and ultimately agreed to work together toward a resolution.  To that end, Charter indicated it would consider accommodating the City’s request for a PEG Channel, but requested additional information demonstrating community support for a PEG channel.

The City conducted a community assessment survey, compiled the results and forwarded them to Charter, along with information on capital and operational budgets as well as content.

“One major concern is that those who have cable TV as their only source of news won’t be able to stay informed about what’s going on in Negaunee,” said City Manager Nate Heffron.

Survey results indicated a strong level of interest for a PEG channel with content including the broadcasting of City Council meetings, community announcements, calendars and high school events and programming.

It is the City’s hope that Charter will recognize the importance of local broadcasting to the residents of the Negaunee, and work with the City and its resident customers to provide a PEG channel.

“The majority of survey respondents were between the ages of 51 and 80, and I don’t think it’s fair that these folk should be left out and left behind,” Heffron said. “We feel confident that Charter will continue to work with us to ensure that everyone receiving their services in the City of Negaunee can continue to stay engaged with the community’s developments.”