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90's Channel Press Release
From: David Farber <farber () central cis upenn edu>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 17:48:49 -0500

From: robg () halcyon com (Rob Glaser)

Thought this would be of interest.  Feel free to forward/report.  For 
further information, please contact John directly.

Open Platforms, anyone?


X-Sender: schwartz () cscns com
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 23:42:47 -0700
To: robg () halcyon com
From: schwartz () usa net (John Schwartz)
Subject: 90's Channel Press Release
Content-Length: 4511
X-UIDL: 790716089.002

Rob:  This press release (or varient thereof) went out to a considerable 
range of trade, progressive, and consumer press today.  I also posted it to 
the telecomreg and roundtable mailing lists, to which I subscribe.  I would 
appreciate your help in getting it posted widely.  Please feel free to 
re-post it.  If you would prefer, I would be pleased to post it in 
additional locations you suggest.  


                             PRESS RELEASE


                                              JOHN SCHWARTZ 
                                              (303) 442-2707


      Gingrich Stars, But the Liberal 90's Channel is to Get the Ax

    BOULDER, COLORADO, January 20, 1995.  The 90's Channel---the nation's
only full-time liberal television network---today charged that
Tele-Communications Inc. is shaping its recently-announced political program
package to favor powerful right-wing interests.
    "Just look at this biased line-up," said John Schwartz, president of the
Boulder-based 90's Channel.  "There is National Empowerment Television,
starring Newt Gingrich and the National Rifle Association; The American 
Conservative Network; and two non-partisan channels---C-SPAN2 and the American
Political Network.  TCI also has long carried Pat Robertson's Family Channel,
and owns part of it."  
    Denver's Rocky Mountain News recently published details of the new
political programming line-up.  
    TCI has made no arrangements to carry a liberal network.  
    Since it went on the air in 1989, the Boulder, Colorado- based 90's
Channel has carried a diverse mix of controversial programs with a liberal
point of view.  The network has criticized the Persian Gulf war, revealed
inhumane prison conditions, reported on President Bush's Iran-contra ties,
championed the rights of gays and lesbians, backed trade union organizers and
exposed corporate polluters.  
    Ironically, part of The 90's Channel's cable carriage now comes from TCI,
which runs the network on seven of its more than 1,000 systems.  "Far from
adding us on more systems, all indications are that TCI plans to delete the
channel when our current agreement expires later this year," said Schwartz. 
"We have received no response to our repeated inquiries concerning continued
carriage, or inclusion in the new political programming package."  
    "There is, however, a published account that TCI 'absolutely' will not
keep the channel once the current contract expires," Schwartz added.  
    In August, 1992, TCI informed The 90's Channel of its intention to drop
the network on all its systems.  The channel took TCI to court and negotiated
an agreement for carriage through October 31, 1995.  
    TCI is the world's largest cable operator, and serves approximately
one-quarter of all cable subscribers in the United States.  
    "The public needs to be concerned about TCI's monopoly control over
information," said Jeff Cohen, the executive director of FAIR, the New
York-based media watch group.  "While cable often offers 50 channels or more,
the cable company has almost absolute discretion over what is carried and what
isn't.  The fact that TCI is using its control for ideological purposes is
very disturbing."   
    "This is not the first instance where a cable company has  abused its
monopoly power," observed Jeff Chester, executive director of The Center for
Media Education, a Washington-based public interest group.  "For instance, it
has been widely reported that TCI and other cable operators have even blocked
the plans of other media giants like NBC and Fox to create all-news channels
which would compete with the Cable News Network because CNN is owned in large
part by cable companies.  But here we have a blatant instance of a cable
company's thwarting the competition of ideas, and favoring one ideology over
another.  This control over political communications is a direct threat to
American democracy."    
Copyright 1995 Denver Area Educational Telecommunications Consortium, Inc.  

This press release may be freely reposted, as long as its entire contents are

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