Spectrum Plans To Yank Another Mass. TV Station
Spectrum is yanking another Massachusetts television station from Berkshire viewers, leaving just one in each section of the county.
Effective on or after June 4, local Spectrum subscribers from the Pittsfield area south will no longer receive WCVB-TV, Channel 5, Boston's ABC network affiliate. That's according to a letter the parent company Charter Communications sent May 1 to the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications & Cable.
The removal leaves WBZ-TV, Boston in North Berkshire and WSHM-TV, Springfield in Central and South Berkshire; both CBS affiliates on channel 3 of their respective cable lineups.
iBerkshires.com reports the move to black out WCVB comes a year after Charter pulled the plug on WWLP, Channel 22 in Springfield. In that case, Charter said it acted to cut duplication with another NBC affiliate it carries from Albany, N.Y. Under Federal Communications Commission rules, Charter can eliminate the Springfield station because the FCC lists Pittsfield and the Berkshires as part of the Albany media market.
However, Charter's letter to the state gave no reason for removing WCVB. In response to an email question from The Eagle, Charter said WTEN Channel 10 in Albany is "the correct in-market affiliate for the Berkshire market."
Charter also didn't say if the two remaining Massachusetts stations are in jeopardy of being removed.
Local municipal cable officials and Berkshire state lawmakers are upset over what they consider Spectrum's latest move to short-change county viewers.
"My polite reaction to this is that it stinks," said Linda Miller, chairwoman of the Five Town Cable Advisory Committee representing Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Sheffield, and Stockbridge.
Charter also serves Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton, Lanesborough, North Adams, Pittsfield, Richmond, Hinsdale, Williamstown and West Stockbridge.