New Castle News

TOP STORIES

January 2, 2013

Youngstown station seeks cable reprieve

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County’s Comcast customers have lost access to a Youngstown television station, but the move may not be final.

The cable company, which services New Castle and surrounding communities, dropped WFMJ from its lineup in late December. The station is affiliated with the NBC television network.

However, the manager of WFMJ believes the decision can be reversed. And his station is urging Lawrence County viewers to call Comcast to ask that access to the station be restored.

Jack Grdic, general manager of WFMJ, said he anticipates Comcast officials will be meeting this week to reconsider the matter. He said the cable company’s decision to drop the station is linked to retransmission negotiations that take place between local stations and carriers every year.

Grdic said he believes Comcast “jumped the gun” by pulling WFMJ from its lineup and he is talking with company representatives to restore the station. He said the effort has been complicated by the fact a lot of people are on vacation this time of year and unavailable to participate in discussions.

He noted that under Federal Communication Commission rules, Comcast does not have to carry WFMJ in this county. Instead, the federal regulating agency requires that the cable company carry Pittsburgh stations.

The NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh is WPXI.

“We’ve just been inundated with calls” from Lawrence County viewers concerning the move, Grdic said. He is encouraging viewers to call Comcast at (800) 266-2278 to express their opinions. A message to this effect is posted on the station’s Facebook page.

Grdic pointed out Comcast does not pay anything to the station to carry WFMJ in Lawrence County.

When contacted by the New Castle News about the matter, Bob Grove, Comcast spokesman issued the following statement:

“This was a business decision made between Comcast and WFMJ. Approximately 90 percent of this programming is duplicative in the New Castle lineup, and customers can continue to watch their favorite NBC network programming on WPXI, the local in-market NBC affiliate.”

Comcast continues to carry the Youngstown stations that offer programming from CBS and ABC, which is also provided on the cable system by stations out of Pittsburgh.

Grove added that Comcast has received “only a few calls” from viewers about the decision to drop WFMJ.

(Email: nceditor@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
TOP STORIES
  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Community Easter morning service

    There’s a reason why most holidays last only 24 hours. It’s because when you’re finished celebrating, there’s still work to be done. The Rev. David Young reminded everyone who attended Sunday’s community Easter morning service at Lawrence Village Plaza of that.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • money.jpg Retirements, attrition to save district money

    A slew of retirements in the New Castle School District may result in savings in the 2014-15  budget. The school district plans to introduce its spending plan next month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fletch1.jpg No Retreat: Teacher’s golden retriever proves to be a hero, fighter

    It was last fall, and my favorite time of the year to be in the woods hunting. On this day, I could hunt small game and turkey, though my primary purpose was a hike in the woods with my dog, Maggie. This year was special. I also had my five-month-old golden retriever, Remi.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Firefighters respond to gas leak

    New Castle firefighters responded to a gas leak Friday at the former Lincoln-Garfield school on Long Avenue. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Petrone said Columbia Gas received a call from someone in the 800 block of South Mercer Street about the smell of gas Friday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ATV.jpg City residents register complaints about ATVs

    Some North Hill residents expressed annoyance and frustration over youngsters recklessly operating all-terrain vehicles through their neighborhoods.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barletto.jpg Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

    The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison. Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action on quakes

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • 01.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Crowds of anglers still turned out for opening day of trout season

    Saturday morning marked the beginning of the Pennsylvania trout season. Locally, many anglers took to the county’s rivers and streams, eager to get started. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocked lakes and streams with 3.2 million adult brook, brown and rainbow trout.

    April 14, 2014 9 Photos

  • S_Levar1.jpg Levar Ware’s Story, Part 2: After getting his life back on track, senior ready to tackle college next

    Second of two parts: Even when Levar Ware was at his lowest, people recognized the quality of his character.  Some, like Andy Tommelleo, former director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center, went the extra mile because of it.
     

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos 1 Story

House Ads
Poll

What is your favorite Easter treat?

Jelly beans
Chocolate ... bunnies, crosses, anything that’s chocolate!
Marshmallow peeps
Decorated eggs
Other
     View Results