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Deadline for WKTV ownership-Time Warner deal looms

By JOLEEN FERRIS

(WKTV) - Since December 2005, the owners of WKTV and Time Warner Cable have been negotiating a fair value for the programming NewsChannel 2 provides every day.

The deadline for those negotiations is midnight on Wednesday, December 15. If no agreement is reached, NewsChannel 2 ownership says they are prepared to tell Time Warner Cable that they must stop running all WKTV programming.

This is bad news to viewers who are far-removed from the corporate negotiations and conference calls.

"I enjoy WKTV," said Sandra Kehrli of Yorkville. "I like all the people. You get used to them. It's like your friends, you know? And the news, we love the news, the way it's done. We don't want to lose it, that's it."

Among the determining factors in negotiatons - viewership.

NewsChannel 2 program director Tom Coyne says that of the top 10 locally-watched programs on any channel in November, four were regularly-scheduled WKTV newscasts.

NewsChannel 2 corporate and Time Warner Cable disagree on what that is worth.

The Decker family of Herkimer hopes the two sides can come to an agreement before a 40-year relationship fades to black.

"It would really affect our lives, especially our local programming," says Grace Decker. "We have WKTV on all the time and it's just so sad."

"We can certainly sympathize with the viewers being put in the middle like this," said Time Warner Cable spokesperson Stephanie Salanger. "We are working in good faith on customers' behalf to negotiate a fair deal for WKTV's programming, just as we do for hundreds of other channels we carry on the cable system."

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