EXCLUSIVE: Time Warner Cable Restructures Local Production, 17 Let Go

The Cleveland operation of Time Warner Cable, the former Adelphia-owned system which covers the bulk of the Cleveland area, is changing how it does its local programming.

As a result, 17 Time Warner studio/production employees will no longer be working for the company as of December 1st. They produce a variety of programs seen on the company’s cable channel 15. OMW hears that some employees have been with the former Adelphia system back to the days when it was owned by Cablevision, some 20-plus years ago.

The move is because of a difference in how Time Warner and Adelphia produce local programming, according to TWC local media relations vice-president Bill Jasso.

Jasso tells OMW that unlike Adelphia, which maintained an in-house local production team, Time Warner produces local programming with a small in-house staff, and contracts out to other production companies for the bulk of the work.

You’re unlikely to see many on-air (on-cable?) changes as a result of the dismantling of the former Adelphia studio operation. Jasso tells us that the system plans to keep its existing local programming in the Cleveland area, including “More Sports and Les Levine”, the highest profile program on what is now Time Warner Cable channel 15 on the Cleveland system.

He also notes that there have been on-going negotiations regarding the 17 dismissed staffers since Time Warner took over the Adelphia Cleveland system, and that their final work day was moved from November 1st to December 1st at the request of a union bargaining agent “in order to ensure that benefits would continue through the holidays.”

Jasso tells OMW that TWC offered “a severance package” to the employees, which the local TWC executive says “was not in their union contract”.

Many will presumably try to take up working with the outside contractors, though it won’t likely be the same level of work (or benefits). But this has been a pretty brutal season on the media job loss front, as you can ask many Clear Channel employees in the past few weeks…

The move does not affect the company’s Akron/Canton programming staff. That existing group is already operating under Time Warner’s local programming guidelines…and produces a lot less programming than the Cleveland studio does…

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