Senators Markey and Warren and Rep. Neal Urge Charter to Keep WWLP on in the Berkshires

16 communities and approximately 30,000 Charter Cable subscribers in the Berkshires could lose access to local news and broadcasting from WWLP Ch. 22

Washington (March 22, 2017) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Congressman Richard Neal (MA-01) sent letters today to Charter Communications and WWLP-TV in Springfield expressing concerns about the ongoing business dispute between the two parties. Media is reporting that Charter Cable will no longer carry WWLP in its channel line-up starting sometime in April, impacting 16 communities and approximately 30,000 charter Cable subscribers in the Berkshires.  

“We encourage both parties to pursue good faith negotiations in this matter so that Berkshire residents continue to receive Massachusetts information, including emergency alerts, weather closings, and daily news,” write the lawmakers in the letter. “Consumers should not be caught in the middle.”

 

Text of the letter is below.

 

 

Thomas M. Rutledge

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Charter Communications

400 Atlantic Street, 10th floor

Stamford, CT 06901

 

William M. Pepin

President/General Manager

WWLP-TV
P.O. Box 2210

Springfield, MA 01102

 

Dear Mr. Rutledge and Mr. Pepin,

 

We write to express our concern about the approximately 30,000 Charter Cable subscribers in the Berkshires who will be losing access to local news and broadcasting from WWLP, their Massachusetts NBC affiliate.  According to recent reports, Charter Communications will no longer carry WWLP in its channel line-up starting sometime in April.  The 16 communities that would be affected have received WWLP for decades.  The loss of this channel will prevent those in the Berkshires from viewing Massachusetts news over their set-top box from the only channel that is currently providing these residents with daily live coverage from the Massachusetts State House.

 

We make no representations as to the merits of either side’s position, as these are contractual discussions between private parties.  We encourage both parties to pursue good faith negotiations in this matter so that Berkshire residents continue to receive Massachusetts information, including emergency alerts, weather closings, and daily news. Consumers should not be caught in the middle. 

 

We look forward to your prompt responses.

 

Sincerely,