Thursday, January 27, 2005

He's No "Saint" Nick

Why do I constantly get the feeling there are some cable executives that need to be taken down a notch or two? Is it ego that drives these guys or just old fashioned insensitivity? The latest irritant is a quote in the News Sentinel by Nick Pavlis, Charter's regional government-relations manager. Responding to a query as to why franchise negotiations are being held up over a request for $50,000 to fund an institutional network in Loudon County Tennessee, Nick says:

"Show me a business plan of how those funds will be used.”

The county has already said it wants to establish “an institutional network that would put cameras in government buildings and schools to broadcast public meetings and special events.” What more do you want Nickie? Proof of a Standard and Poor’s Triple “A” bond rating?

It would be laughable if it weren’t so ironic. Asked to provide definitive plans for how they will upgrade systems, cable ops guffaw. Asked to open their books for inspection (as in Sacramento), they outright refuse. Asked to justify their ever increasing rates, they just lie. But a county with a population of not more than 40,000 asks for a lousy $50,000 for an I-Net and you get a smart aleck like Pavlis treating it like a red-headed step-child.

It’s not as if Loudon has shown itself irresponsible with money. They have spent several years saving money toward building the institutional network, they’ve almost got what they need and the $50k they’re requesting will make it happen. Instead of recognizing the energy and good faith effort the county and its Cable Television Authority have put into realizing this modest dream, Pavlis has decided they need to grovel just a wee bit more. Hey Nikster, think they should give your shoes a good shine while they’re busy genuflecting?

Of course it’s rash of Loudon to want to put cameras in government buildings and schools to cover meetings and special events. The citizens of Loudon, seeing themselves and their community on television might actually start to think they are somebody, that their community is special and we wouldn’t want that to happen. No, can’t afford to have the citizens informed about what is going on in local government or celebrating a music festival.

Nick says getting this franchise agreement completed is at the top of his list this year. He says he hopes he can have the details of the contract hammered out by this summer. That’s doable, I’d say. All he has to do is stop being so miserly and stubborn and cut the check. After all, it’s not even his money, some of it actually came from the wallets of the locals.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: