Per Nikki Finke:
"What an awful way to ring in 2009. It turns out that Viacom claims it has been trying to negotiate a "fair" renewal of its prized cable channels for months and months, but reputedly Time Warner Cable has been unresponsive and "unreasonable" so talks have stalled. The nation's 2nd largest cable system operator, in turn, claims Viacom is asking for "exorbitant" increases in carriage fees which would have to be passed along to the customer. So now this fight between the two Big Media giants will hurt cable viewers. At 12:01 AM on January 1st 2009 [yes in a couple of hours from when I'm posting this], just after the ball drops in Time Square, Time Warner Cable's 13.3 million subscribers will lose 19 Viacom channels -- Comedy Central; CMT: Pure Country; Logo; Palladia; MTV; MTV 2; MTV Hits; MTV Jams; MTV Tr3s; Nickelodeon; Noggin; Nick 2; Nicktoons; Spike; The N; TV Land; VH1; VH1 Classic; VH1 Soul."
To frustrated fans & viewers of Viacom programs, especially fans & viewers whose only viewing option is TWC, let me suggest 2 things:
Step 1) Per this old blog post on the NoFactZone
Call this number
Problem Child #1 Viacom
Phillipe Dauman (pronounced doh-mon), President & CEO of Viacom
1-212-258-6000 (that's in New York City so it's on Eastern Time)
Change up the message from the old NFZ post to let Dauman know you want a timely and reasonable deal made with Problem Child #2 -- Time Warner Cable -- ASAP. You can give demographic info if you like as spelled out in the post above
Then Step 2)
Call Problem Child #2 Time Warner the parent company of Time Warner Cable, Specifically you want to speak to Jeff Bewkes (rhymes with 'pukes') President & CEO of Time Warner
1-212-484-8198 (that's also in New York City so it's also on Eastern Time)
Be polite but firm with both sides when you call. Be cordial to the poor assistants (remember it's New Years Eve) who answer if you happen to get a live human being (I did when I called Viacom, got a machine at Time Warner) but let it be known that their bosses antics are not going to be tolerated. 'Nuff said.
It would be cool if our SAG members and WGA members and other union members did the same for their colleagues. I know Viacom is not exactly the most pro-union of companies out there but seriously, everyone here could potentially find themselves in the position of hapless fans and viewers of Viacom programming: paying more and/or getting less.
And check in with the NoFactZone for updates on this situation: