Statement of Cox Communications Re: Allbritton Communications' Threat to Remove WJLA ABC-7 & NewsChannel 8 From Cox's Northern Virginia Cable Systems
From Gary McCollum, Cox Communications Vice President and General Manager
ATLANTA, Oct 4, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- We are very disappointed that Allbritton Communications is publicly threatening to pull the plug on WJLA ABC-7 and NewsChannel 8 for Cox's Fairfax County customers. Further, we're shocked that they have decided to take our private negotiations public, and with such an offensive, misleading posture.
Cox and Allbritton had agreed in principle on terms of the retransmission agreement for WJLA, but Allbritton is now refusing to sign the agreement unless Cox also accepts onerous carriage terms for NewsChannel 8. Today, Allbritton misleadingly suggested it is offering Cox the same favorable terms as it has agreed to with other cable providers in the Washington area. If that were the case, Cox already would have signed the renewal agreement, and we could have avoided an unnecessary, unproductive public squabble.
The most critical concern is to ensure that the more than 240,000 Cox customers in Fairfax County continue to receive uninterrupted access to ABC programming on WJLA, as well as local news via NewsChannel 8. We call on Allbritton to return to our good-faith negotiations and to drop its threats to pull its programming. We are hopeful we can reach a fair agreement with Allbritton, so that all concerned parties can get on with the much more important activities in their homes, communities and businesses.
Cox Communications Scott Broyles, 703/378-3961