City to Seek Damages From Spectrum During Northwest Blackout

By Chris Ariens 

More than 450,000 Spectrum customers who get their local TV channels from Northwest Broadcasting are without programming for the ninth day.

And now one city is taking action. Yuma, Ariz., which is home to Northwest stations KYMA (NBC) and KSWT (CBS), is seeking damages and credits for every day that Spectrum blacks out the channels. It’s also asking other cities to band together in a similar effort.

Northwest owns stations in Arizona and Idaho, Syracuse and Binghamton, N.Y., and Spokane and Yakima, Wash. which are carried on Spectrum.

Northwest CEO Brian Brady penned another open letter to customers in affected markets, blaming “unbridled corporate arrogance” on the part of Spectrum CEO Tom Rutledge.

“The way they are treating Northwest is the same way they are treating you as customers,” Brady wrote. “Because of their size they don’t care about their subscribers or business partners. They are the bully on the block who thinks their subscribers are nothing more than an ATM machine from which they can extract money at a moment’s notice or with no notice at all.”

Brady also said Rutledge is in violation of his own Customer Notification Policy. “In the section titled, ‘Programming,’ it states, Spectrum will provides notice to its customers at least thirty (30) days in advance of the deletion of any programming service, channel assignment changes or rate increases. Clearly that’s not the case here,” said Brady, who claims Spectrum cut off Northwest stations with 10 minutes notice on Feb. 2.