THE FIRS'f

!vlAJOR KJ\RKET CABLE TELEVISION

FAILURE:

A CASE STUDY OF THE 1967 IN LAKEvlOOD I

CATV EFFORTS OHIO

A Thesis Presented in Partial Ful llment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts

by
Douglas Alan Ferguson

The Ohio State University 1973

Approved

by

E.dv~ser Department of Speech Communication

PREFACE This thesis 1968 venture Incorporated. the reasons to comment efforts. The first section Lakewood system: of the thesis is an overview of the is a descriptive analysis of the 1967Area TV,

in Lakewood, The purpose

Ohio by Cleveland of this paper

is to demonstrate failure and

for the cable television on important issues raised

system's

by the Lakewood

its significance, features

its ownership

and con-

trol, and its unique section presents

and problems.

The second led to

a chronology

of the events which CATV.

both the birth and the death of Lakewood section explains in detail

The final did

why the Lakewood

venture

not meet with My thanks the making use of

success. to Dr. Donald LeDuc for all his help in Foley for the

of this thesis

and to Dr. Joseph library.

items in his personal

Douglas A. Ferguson February 15, 1973

ii

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE
I. II. III.

•.••••

...

.

INTRODUCTION. THE LAKEWOOD CABLE SYSTEM

...

...
.

Page ii

..

1 13 57 80 84

~mY LAKEWOOD CATV DID NOT SURVIVE

.••

APPENDIX • •
BIBLIOGRAPHY

......

•••.•••••••••

...

..

iii

I.

INTRODUCTION

Significance

of the Case Study 1967, Cleveland Area TV, Incorporated of a cable television Just into

In February

(CATV, Incorporated) system in Lakewood, months

began operation Ohio,

a suburb of Cleveland. quietly

eighteen

later,

the company

vanished

the night, wired

leaving

nearly

the entire service.

city of Lakewood

for a non-existent in Lakewood

The significance of this

misadventure very

lies in the fact that it was the failure for cable television,
and

first major market the last.

probably

Cable television In most instances,

systems

are very rarely

unsuccessful.

cable operators

have a de facto monopoly on cable television of a system's margins

on the cities cites research capability

they serve. which

One writer

indicates

the possibility

of generating moderate

up to 35 per cent profit investment:

for a relatively

[Given a] hypothetical case of a system constructed in a community of 30,000 to 40,000 people, of whom about 10,000 might subscribe .••• ~men such a system has signed up 5,500 subscribers--55 per cent of the potential total in the community, which many systems meet or exceed--it will be producing ••. an annual profit [enough 1

2
to] more than repay four years.l Based on the track Lakewood expecially wide other CATV could record hardly its total cost in less than of other cable operations, but be successful, with

have helped

since it was co-owned

by a corporation However,

experience factors

in cable television. involved in the Lakewood

there were finan-

case besides

cial expertise. Another television resented significant feature of the Lakewood nature; cable repthe Such

venture

was its pioneer

the system

one of the very attempt)2

first attempts

(and perhaps origination.

first major

at local program

"cablecasting," Lakewood

as it is called, pending

was permitted

by the of after by

City Council

that group's

approval

progra~~ing receiving Council

and advertising its franchise,

proposals.

(Two months

CATV, would

Incorporated

was informed over the

that advertising

not be allowed

cable television

service.)

lRalph Lee Smith, The Wired Nation (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1972), pp. 23-24. For the original report see "An Industry Report on Community Antenna Television (Philadelphia: Drexel Harriman Ripley, 1968).
ll

2It would be difficult to identify for sure one major cable system which first originated local programming. Broadcasters still quibble over which outlet was the first commercial radio station. However, none of the seven television markets larger than Cleveland had a "cablecaster" before the Lakewood case.

3

The Lake\vood case also serves as an example of the impact of the FCC rules which discouraged of a "distant (A distant signal" into a top-lOO the importation market. does not

television

signal is one whose Grade B contour in question.)

reach the market

The story of the cable that the FCC had,

system in Lakewood by passing

clearly demonstrates

such rules, effectively

ended the feasibility systems in most top~

of constructing 100 markets,

new cable television regardless

of how diligently

such systems other cable

might try to attract services

subscribers

by offering

in lieu of distant

signals. the Lakewood CATV system~

In order

to fully understand

one must understand

the significance

of the era in which it has been around separated from

emerged and vanished.

Cable television

ever since the late 1940's, when communities television enterprising suitable signals by mountaimand individuals

long distances

produced on

who erected high antennas

locations,

strung cable throughout

the towns, and

sold a television

service to those who often could get Starting in the early and mid~ experienced a were lucrat

such service no other way. 1960's, however, growth rate. scrambling cities.

the cable industry

By 1965, prospective

cable operators in potentially

madly to get franchises

Two groups

(there were others, became

too) which stood fully entrenched broadcast.ers r
Sf'"

to lose out if cable television the American

scene were the over-the-air

4

markets signals,

were to be fragmented and the newspaper competition.

by the arrival

of imported

conglomerates,

who feared any to

additional protect

One way for these two groups

themselves

was to buy into the oncoming which the smart ones did.

"gold rush" The Lake-

of cable television, wood case, however, where

serves as the one and only example diversification by large broad-

this entrepreneurial

cast corporations failure.

and newspaper

chains met with disastrous

The Ownership and Control Lakewood CATV The Lakewood

of (and still is) controled 100

system was

per cent by Cleveland porated), which

Area TV, Incorporated

(CATV, Incor-

is in turn owned Company,

55 per cent by the Forest of the Cleveland Plain

City Publishing Dealer

publishers

since 1842,

and 45 per cent by the Cox Cablevision Georgia.3 CATV, Incorporated was

Corporation

of Atlanta,

3CATV, Incorporated also had franchises at the time for Shaker Heights, Strongsville, Beachwood, and Rocky River (all in the Cleveland area). (TV Factbook 1968-69, pp. 560a, 467a.) The latter two originally scheduled to begin operations on May 10, 1968 I howe ve r both were abandoned by financially troubled CATV, Incorporated and subsequently swallowed up by Telerama, the only Cleveland area cable operator presently protec by the FCC "grandfathering" rule, which permits cable companies operating prior to March 31, 1972 to ignore FCC cable rulings, with regard to existing operations political divisions served prior to the cut-off date, until March 31, 1977 or until the current franchise f whichever occurs first. (Edward J. Walsh, Jr., "The Cable is Coming! The Cable is Coming!" Cleveland, January 1973, p. 67.1

5 formed flfor the purpose service of providing Community of Lakewood Antenna and other this

Television communities

to the residents Cleveland

in the Greater

area. ,,4 Although by owners of

was the first cable The Plain Dealer, or part ownership systems. 5

television

venture

Cox Cablevision in sixteen

held, at the time, full cable television

different

The actual management to basic policy specifically Marcus decisions,

of CATV, belonged

Incorporated,

in regard

to Cox Cablevision, in charge of operations, CATV

to its vice-president (Day-to-day

Bartlett.

decisions

on Lakewood

4Cleveland Area Television, Incorporated, "Proposed Community Antenna Television Service," proposal submitted to the city of Lakewood, Ohio on February 19, 1965, p. 3. 5In 1967, Cox had 100 per cent of cable systems in Astoria and Seaside, Oregon; Bakersfield (California) Cable TV Inc.; Pacific Video Cable Co., El Cajon, California; Mission Cable TV Inc.~ system in San Diego, franchises in Imperial Beach and National City, California; The Dalles (Oregon)TVi Pennwire TV., Lew i.s own , Pennsylvania; c Susquehanna Valley TV, Lockhaven and Tyrone, Pennsylvania; Harbor TV, Aberdeen, Washington; Penninsula TV Cable, Long Beach, Washington; 100 per cent franchise in Porterville, California; 49 per cent of Columbus Cowmunications Corp.; system in Columbus, Indiana, franchises in North Vernon and Vernon, Indiana; 45 per cent of Buckeye Cablevision Inc.: system in Toledo, Ohio, franchises in Maumee, perrysburg and Sylvania, Ohio; 20 per cent of Cox-Cosmos Corp.: system in Charlotte, North Carolina; 80 per cent of Georgia Cablevision Corp.: franchises in Atlanta and Doraville, Georgia; and 100 per cent of Video Service Co. levision Factbook, 1968-69 Edition No. 38 [Washington, D.C.: Television Digest, Inc., 1968], p. 562a.) At the end of 1967, the nurober of subscribers on these systems totaled 84,407. {"Cox Selling Slice of Subsid to Expand in Cable Field," Variety, August 14, 1968, p. 38.}

were made by the local manager.) since been replaced wood CATV, president reported of Cox by William directly

Hr. Bartlett,

who has of Lakethe

pitney,

ex-manager

to J. Leonard

Reinsch,

sting. , the

One should not get the idea ority owner of CATV, Incor-

that The Plain porated,

was left entirely

out of the planning

of Lakewood

CATV; yet, owners powers

it would not be unusual a larger most

for the newspaper

to delegate

share of the policy-making experienced in managing success(The

to the persons

ful cable television Plain Dealer Cleveland declined

operations. to comment CATV,

In all probability on the matter), Incorporated, the

newspaper

formed

with the

help of Cox Cablevision, Telerama, publisher

primarily

as a way of keeping co-owned chief by the

a large Cleveland of The Press

cable operator

(The Plain Dealer's

competiin

tor), from owning the Cleveland ness"

the most cable franchises In addition,

and systems

area.

it was just

"good busiin the very

for newspaper-s in those days to invest cable television business.6

profitable

Ownership cated by what means

of the Lakewood is known

system was further arrangement.

compliThis

as a leaseback

that the cable

itself

and appurtenances company

were owned and of a local

by Ohio Bell, leased

the telephone

in Lakewood,

to the cable operators.

The involvement

6See an article entitled "Move into CATV: advice to dailies" in ~dvertising Age, November 7, 1965, p. 50.

7 telephone company phone in cable companies television was not unusual: many

independent

have gone a step further and operated

than

the leaseback entire

arrangement

and have owned systems. companies

cable television

However, 1956 consent Justice System

the Bell System decree7

were bound by a with the

into which an agreement

they had entered which precluded

Department, companies tariffs having

the Bell service

from engaging had not been jurisdiction.

in any communication filed with

for which commission

the regulatory for these

Unfortunately

Bell companies, vision common

tariffs

could not be filed

for cable teleservices are not

systems ~nce carriers.

such corrmunity antenna

At the time of the Lakewood

venture, to profit in the

therefore, somehow activity

Ohio Bell had no choice
fl )

(if it wanted but to engage and letting

in the "cable TV goldrush of building cable

systems

other par-

ties run them on long-term certificates of public

lease, provided

that Bell with the have,

convenience

and necessity

FCC, as demanded in effect, arrangements

by a 1966 ruling.8

(Recent rulings

prohibited between

any new leaseback a phone company for existing

or pole-attachment

and its affiliate, until May I,

with a grace period

systems

7United States v. western Electric Co., Inc. and American Telephone and Telegraph Co., Civil Action No. 17-49, (D.N.J. 1956). 85 FCC2d 21,1966). 229 (October 12, 1966); 5 FCC2d 357 (October

8 1974.9,1°). would To be sure, Cleveland Area TV, Incorporated and leave the phone

have preferred out.

to own everything,

company

But, as Ralph Lee Smith explains two things systems.ll

in his book

The Wired Nation, independent cable

stood in the way of totally First, the cable system had poles or sat~

no real alternative conduits. isfied with applicants pole rights neurs.12 Unless

but to use the phone company's the telephone company

was completely

the cable arrangements, with franchises,

and if there were other to grant

it could have refused

and sought out those other prospective

cable entrepre~ did not have

Second,

cable operators property,

the easement apartment

rights

onto private trailer had.

such as large homes, that

buildings,

courts

and nursing

the phone companies easement rights,

In order

to get these particular chose the leaseback

many cable companies case,

arrangement. that either

In the Lakewood the agreement 307

it is safe to assume

with Ohio Bell was fair or that 22 FCC 2d 746 (1970).

921 FCC2d

(1970) i

10The one exception is that the FCC would provide a waiver of the Rules upon a showing that CATV service could not exist in the community except through a CATV system related to or affiliated with the local telephone carrier. (E. Stratford Smith, liThe emergence of CATV: a look at the evolution of a revolution," Proceedings of the IEEE, July 1970, p. 567.) llR. L. Smith, op. cit, p. 67. l2See also an article entitled "NCTA charges AT&T stalls use of poles to force CATVers to join 'lease-back' program" in the New York Times, October 15, 1966, p. 60.

9 Cleveland issue ation, Area TV, Incorporated was unwilling Cleveland to push the cable corpor-

since Telerama

Inc., another

also held a franchise

on the lucrative section

Lakewood

community. further

In the third major related system,

of this paper, idea, in regard

problems

to the leaseback will be analyzed.

to the Lakewood

Legal Complications from the CATV Regulators, the FCC Unlike fathered" March Telerarna, CATV, Incorporated was not "grandissued on the by

and, in accordance

with the FCC rules signals

8, 1966, could market

not import

from outside accepted

Cleveland

area except upon a showing,

the FCC, that such importation top-lOO country television market

of IIdistant signals"

into a

(Cleveland was eighth

in the

at the time) 13 "would be consistent and specifically of television the establishment broadcast service proved

\vi th the public
and healthy in the area."14 a tremendous

interest, maintenance However, stumbling

these

"evidentiary

hearings"

block to new cable ventures out:

such as Lakewood's,

as Ralph Lee Smith points

Existing or projected stations in the area do not need to offer any evidence that importation of distant signals will harm themi they need only object. The cable system must then prove that such importation will do no harm to established local ininterests. Such proof obviously is hard to get. 13Television Factbook, 1968-69, p. 40a. of 2 FCC2d 725; 31

14Docket 15971: Section 74.1107 Fed. Reg. 4570; or 6 RR2d 1717.

10 The practical effect to most cable in the nat one market areas Is. This, in turn, depr selling point, and has substantially of the cable into most of the nation's urban areas. one hundred top TV s comprise about 90 percent of the nation's population. When the organizers of CATV, Incorporated were planning the system in Lakewood, however, the prospect of inhibiting regulations wa s not clearly known. It was not until the

rules were adopted that CATV, Incorporated realized that the Lakewood venture would need a different, strong selling point, other than distant signal importation. No substan-

tial number of people would be willing, of course, to pay five dollars per month to receive the same TV signals available anywhere in Lakewood with an ordinary set of "rabbit ears," even if such signals are augmented by an AP news wire or a weather channel. CATV, Incorporated, while wait-

ing for the FCC to rule favorably for broadband television, decided to attract subscribers by offering programming of local interest. The decision to use Lakewood, and not some

other suburb, was the result of careful consideration. Why CATV, Incorporated Chose Lakewood In a Rand Corporation report sponsored by the Ford Foundation, N. E. Feldman gives four main reasons why Lakewood was selected for the experiment in cablecasting.16 15R. L. Smith,
OPe

cit., pp. 49-50.

16N. E. Feldman, Cable Television: Opportunities and Problems in Local Program Origination, 570 FF, September 1970 (Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1970), p. 14.

11 First, the Lakewood venture would combine low capital inhad

vestment

with high community

interest.

Since Lakewood

a city government, and a vigorous ondly, Lakewood

there existed

both a political

identity Sec-

local interest

in community

affairs.

had two local weekly

newspapers

(The Lake-

in the promotion later point ales.) about

of the system.

(More is to be said at a rationper

the irony of these two selection effective disposable

Third,

the median

income

family at the time was $10,583--a value--and the low-income for selecting

relatively

high median The system's to Feldman, stable popu~

group was small. Lakewood,

final reason

according

was the fact that Lakewood lations

had one of the most

to be found in any large U.S. city. population Feldman has been

Since 1925 A fifth the populaSchmitt, chanof the 12,000 denis houswith

Lakewood's factor,

about 70,000.17

which

does not cite, concerns According CATV's to Robert

tion density

of Lakewood. of Lakewood

chief engineer nel 6, during

local origination planning has over population

its operation,

the original

system took note of the fact that Lakewood people sities per square mile, one of the highest in Ohio.18 Closely allied

with this statistic of duplex unit.

the fact that Lakewood ing, thus compacting

was a proliferation

the population

per housing

l70hio Almanac 1973 Company, 1972), p. 241. l8Robert Ohio, January

(Lorain, Ohio: The Lorain interview

Journal

Schmitt, personal 9, 1973.

in Lakewood,

12 more homes Lakewood and people per unit of distance, system realized the planners of

cable

television for laying be lower

that the cost-

per-subscriber per mile,19 where

cable, which cost at least $4000 in a city such as Lakewood, strung by Ohio Bell.20 location for a

would

90 miles of cable were Finding that Lakewood service

was an excellent

cable television ing the system. thought menting Council about

was not the final step in buildthe company even gave a impleCity

Back before

the FCC it had to do one thing before It had to convince One writer the Lakewood

its plans:

of its plans.

describes

cable as a

game with

its ovm rules:

..• Any number can play .•. But the fact is, whichever company gets to a suburb first-with-themost has a good hammerlock on a coromunity, because the majority of suburbs don't have housing populations large enough to support more than one cable operator. Object of the game is to get the franchise.2l The attempt Lakewood with cable to get the franchise The next major and traces system marked the "birth" of starts

CATV.

section of this paper

this birth television

the history

of the Lakewood

to its "death."

19verne M. Ray, ed., CATV Operator's mont, Maryland: TAB Books, 1967), p. 7. March note

Handbook

(Thur-

20"Cablemen to study local origination," 20, 1967, p. 73. 2lEdward 3. J. Walsh, Jr., op. cit., p. 67.

Broadcasting, See supra,

II. The Original Plans

THE LAKEWOOD

CABLE

SYSTEM

On February presented service proposal Lawther

19, 1965, Cleveland

Area TV, Incorporated television the

its proposal

for corr~unity antenna City Council. to Lakewood

to the Lakewood

Accompanying Mayor

were two letters and members

Robert M.

of the city council. and editor of CATV,

One was from

Thomas Vail, chairman

publisher

of The Plain Dealer and and the other

of the board,

Incorporated,

was from J. Leonard Corporation, porated. resources argued

Reinsch,

president

of Cox Broadcasting and CATV, Incor-

Cox Cablevision

Corporation,

Both letters

pointed

out the two parent and,

company's

and communications

experience,

in general,

the benefits

of cross-media

ownership. the special qualiIn speak-

In addition, fications

the proposal

described

of the applicant, companies,

CATV,

Incorporated. stated:

ing of the parent

the proposal

As partners in CATV [community antenna television] , these two companies can perform an outstanding service for the people of this city. We are pleased to see that the number of companies getting into the field for quick profit is rapidly declining. We believe that operating a cable system in the public interest, with financial and community commitments that extend over a great number of years,

13

14 is the vital ingredient which is determining ~he true pioneers of the new and vital industry.2 The next portion services of the proposal provided an outline of the

to be provided

in Lakewood. factors must be realized by CATV, in

However, any analysis First,

two situational of the service

proposals

Incorporated. also

one other Cleveland

cable company,

Telerama,

had its eyes on Lakewood not to the same extent. Viacom owned International,

in the early part of 1965, though Telerama, prior to its purchase 1972, was and by

Incorporated

in January,

51 per cent by eleven

Cleveland

area businessmen Company

49 per cent by Scripps-Howard ow~ers also published Telerama, television,

Broadcasting Cleveland's

(whose

The Press,

other daily Lakewood

newspaper). with cable oriented

too, proposed although

to provide

it is not clear how localseem-

the programming its plans

was to be, since Telerama in Lakewood when

ingly abandoned distant kets. signal

the FCC froze marin and

importation

in thetop-100

television interested

There were other cable operqtors but not to the extent of CATV,

Lakewood, Telerama.

Incorporated

Second, porated Qrder,

the proposal

of cable

service by CATV,

Incor-

was made in which

two months

prior to the First

Report and

the FCC virtually Area Television,

froze future microwave Inc., Ope cit., p. 6.

22Cleveland

15 cablesystems,23 Report and Order, and thirteen a ruling months prior to the Second stopped systems disin

which

effective

tant signal the top-lOO

importation television

for non-grandfathered markets.24 as CATV,

(Telerama was in the Incorporated only since the

same regulatory former company operations.) 25 original

situation was

"grandfathered"

for its existing

Therefore,

many of the items in the what might have been had interest." is one

proposal

may illustrate

the FCC not stepped The opening

in to "protect

the public

statement

in the service expertise

proposal

which may indicate ment sector: antenna

the technical

of the managecommunity area

"We propose system

to install

an all-band

television

for the Greater

Cleveland

that is capable set 12 clear, course,

of reproducing

on any attached

television of

interference-free

pictures. ,,26 Nothing,

could be further

from the truth.

Since there were VHF channels on

strong over-the-air at all receivers, the cable because 23Dockets 24supra,

signals Channels

on the Cleveland

3, 5, and 8 were not usuable which are caused by the

of ghosts,

14895 and 15233: note 14.

38 FCC 683 or 4 RR2d 1725.

25For an FCC decision relating to Telerama's inability to be grandfathered for new operations, despite the company's claim that disastrous economic injury would result without such protection, see 3 FCC 2d 585. 26Cleveland Area Television, Inc.,
OPe

cit, p.

3.

16
presence between of two s them caused

s

Is

a

1 time delay

by the differing carriage.27

speeds of cable carare pres-

riage and broadcast

Some attempts

ently being made to improve television sets, yet, back

the technology

on future

1965, twelve clear channels
service for Lakewood.

were not possible Ironically,

over the propo

the three channels

that had to be subtracted given below were chosen by the FCC rules

from the original

list of eleven signals markets. PROPOSED

from the five distant on top-lOO television

prohibited

SERVICES28 ABC CBS NBC

Network

Co~~ercial WEWS-TV WJW-TV KYW-TV (now WKYC)

Cleveland-5 Cleveland-8 Cleveland-3

Non-Network Commercial WPIX-TV WOR-TV WGN-TV Educational WVIZ-TV Proposed CKLW-TV CPPL-TV

New York-II New York-9 Chicago-9 Cleveland-25 Windsor, Ontario London, Ontario

Independent Independent Independent NET CBC CBC

Local Origination Weather Channel Background Music Channel (These two channels 27Peldman, 28Cleveland op. cit., p. 14.

eventually

Area Television,

Inc.,

OPe

cit, pp. 9-11.

17
merged to make way for vJAKR-TV, Akron-49 [now Akron-23] f an ABCCBS affiliate) PM Radio Channels No spec~f~c signals mentioned points given by CATV, was protection Incorof

One of the big selling porated local to the Lakewood (Cleveland)

city fathers

stations:

We will protect the three Cleveland stations by not bringing in the same programs from a station in another city. This means the system we propose will not dilute the ABC audience of WEWS, or the CBS audience of tAJJW-TV,or the NBC audience of KYW-TV. Our pro osal is unique in this very important respect among t.e Cleveland appllcants. (or~glnal emp aSlS Of course, one cannot be sure whether this protection to avoid of

local stations trouble

was a noble gesture

or a means

from the Cleveland significant cable

television

stations. proposals absence of

Another for Lakewood any plans Obviously, touted

aspect of the service was the complete interest

television public

to originate

programming

locally.

such high-minded

service

as was later to be to enlist cable

as Channel

Six was not necessary the pre-Second of CATV,

subscribers,

during

Report

and Order era. saw its New legally to

But once the organizers York and Chicago untenable, experiment

Incorporated

services

via microwave for reasons system

as being

they decided, with

given earlier, in the hope that

the Lakewood

29 Ib id., p. 9.

18
cablecasting water until local s would ir hope never above
ed ,

the FCC saved the day--a irony is pointed

A bit of cruel original

up in this statement

in the

proposal

in 1965: Chicago stasubject to no reason to against ssion has to the people for cable stated its

Our proposal to bring New tions to Clevel is necessar microwave approval by the FCC. believe the sion would d Cleveland in this respect, acted to increase total TV service wherever possible.30 There were other service intent in Lakewood. to provide school features First,

of the proposal Incorporated

CATV,

a free cable connection in the wired area.

to each public was

and private

This commitment County

to have been extended served by CATV, Incorporated ground music

to any Cuyahoga

cOITmunities Also, CATV,

Incorporated

in the future.

promised

not to enter

into the sale of backperformance, and, to

for public

or commercial

this end, pledged system to motels,

not to supply music hotels, bars, clubs, offered

from the proposed or in non-residenincluded free moni-

tial premises. tor service Engineer's vice,

Other

services

at the City Manager's office, full-time

office

and at the City maintenance ser-

subscriber service.

and future

closed

circuit

The next section Lakewood contained

of the cable

television

proposal

for

most of the eloquent of CATV, Incorporated.

and logical Cable

plead-

ings of the owners 30Ibid.,

television

p , 10.

19 was described industry" television ority as "a logical extension of the broadcasting for our present claimed superi-

and "not

• • • a substitute CATV,

31 service ...

Incorporated

in this way: The scope of ion is far beyond that of any on record. The transport of big independent channels here by microwave is a major calculated business risk that requires considerable resources to justify. Our microwave costs alone will exceed one thousand dollars per day. The operating costs of the Cleveland Area complex will run into the millions of dollars annually. The number of men and women employed regularly for this project will exceed one hundred. Many more will be needed to construct the new system. We do not propose to install a CATV system and run it to protect another business, for there is no inherent conflict of interest either in the Cox or The Plain Dealer groups. --• . . Behind our company are visionary but practical men who are committed to uphold their past public service records, but who are also determined to press on to new communications horizons. Community antenna television, in the proper hands, can develop into a vital institution for serving the people of Lakewood and nearby co~~unities. In unimaginative and incompetent hands, it will never give the people the maximum service to which they are entitled. Cox Broadcasting and The Cleveland Plain Dealer place their corporate reputations and resources behind the constructicnof this new cowmunications industry in your city.32

Of particular installing business":

note in the above quotation and running

is the mention

of

a CATV system

it to "protect

another

this is a definite

gibe at Telerama, Company.

Incorporated

and the ScripPs-Howard

Broadcasting

The fact is with The

that not only did Scripps-Howard 31Ibid., 32Ibid., pp. 13-14. pp. 14-15.

have connections

20 Cleveland affiliate Press, but it a vvEWS, ABC television Broadcastof Tele54 per

in Cleveland. listed

(Although Scripps-Howard as a 49 per cent owner had a controlling owners

ing was officially rama in 1967

1968, it really

cent ownership, since one of the eleven making up the other Hlinka,

officially vice-presi-

51 per cent was Telerama with 5 per cent,33

dent Peter

who was also at the h~WS-TV.34)

time Ohio sales manager CATV, Incorporated, conflict

for Scripps-Howard's

in pointing of interest"

out that there was "no in either parent company,

inherent

was apparently interested WEWS-TV,

anxious

to discredit

Telerama

as a system

in the Cleveland

area in order

to protect

to the benefit

of Scripps-Howard.35 of cable model service by of Area

The final part of the proposal CATV, Incorporated was a "suggested section

ordinance" Cleveland

franchise

agreement.36

1 granted

33Television 34Ibid.,

Factbook,

1968-69,

p. 574a.

p. 534b.

35The root of this rivalry between Telerama and CATV, Incorporated began when The Press, controlled by ScrippsHoward, as was ~'mWS-TV, "let it be known," before The Plain Dealer's entry into cable television that it, too,-would attempt to start a successful cable company in the Cleveland area. In March 1965, about one month after CATV, Incorporated began, Scripps-Howard bought into Telerama, which had been formed by 6 Cleveland area men ip November 1964. See "Cleveland may get CATV,II Broadcastinq, November 16, 1964, p. 114; "Cleveland Groups See CATV Rights," Advertising Age, February 15, 1965; and "Scripps-Howard, Telerama Team Up for Ohio CATV," Sponsor, March 8, 1965. 36Cleveland Area Television, Inc., op. cit., pp. 16-20.

21 TV, Incorporated utilize period a cable right television to erect, service 2 de of in, operate t.akewood for a wor-d "televiand

of 25 years.

Section

sion" and Section facilities,

3, on the matter the clause:

s, towers, and
inten••• with

contained

"It is the stated of . • . permits

tion of Lakewood for the use of CATV, .

that all holders poles

. • • shall co-operate

Incorporated."

Sections

4 and 5 set forth procedpoles wherever on the system's bridges, deemed use of

ures for the erection necessary equipment public and explains on and over

of additional limitations streets,

alleys,

or other

property.

Section

5 set the condition

that CATV,

Incorporated

indemnify

Lakewood

for losses or any damages, to be carried CATV, by CATV, to faith-

and sets the amounts Incorporated. furnish

of insurance 7 ordered

Section with

Incorporated

Lakewood

a $10,000 bond, guaranteeing under the terms

ful performance franchise, necessary ernments. direct Section

of obligations

of the receiving govto and

conditioned licenses Section

upon CATV,

Incorporated

or grants

from State and Federal that no interference be permitted

8 stipulated television

off-the-air

signals

9 set the rates

for service

at a maximum

of $19.95

for installation charge. Lakewood Section

and at a maximum 10 specified

of $5.75 per month Incorpora of charges 9. Sec pay paid 11

that CATV,

3 per cent of the gross receipts under the terms of Section

by subscribers

22 listed procedures for relocation or of cable facil-

ities and absolved

the city of any cost or loss. the franchise

Section upon

12 gave the city the right to revoke failure of CATV, provisions Incorporated

to comply with the franchises the rights and privil-

and Section

13 declared

eges of the franchise stances of bankruptcy

non-transferable or trusteeship,

under any circumand prevented alienating CATV,

Incorporated franchise terms.

from selling or otherwise the prior approval

the under its

without

of Council,

Section

14 set the commencement at three years ordinance. Incorporated, grounds

date for installa-

tion of the system

after the effective Except in cases beyond to meet the of

date of the franchise the control deadline franchise chise of CATV,

failure

was to constitute rights. Sections

for termination

15 and 16 granted

the franand to

subject

to the terms of Lakewood's 17 ordered CATV,

Charter

Ordinances

and Section

Incorporated

file acceptance Local Agreement

of the ordinance

in 30 days.

Of the various franchise

companies

interested

in obtaining

a

in Lakewood,

only Cleveland were

Area TV, Incorporfinally chosen at a

ated and Telerama, meeting Council

Incorporated

of the Lakewood minutes

City Council

held July 19, 1965. the actual

for the meeting

did not record

discussion

for some reason,

but the decision

to let

23 Telerama share to br cable to spite of the Incorporated's is

alone significant subtle rhetoric

in that it was wade against Telerama in CATV,

cable television

proposal. February 7, 1966 that a ordinance City Council for CATV, appears of

It was not until was actually Incorporated. adopted

by the Lakewood

The complete

text of this ordinance

in the Appendix. an ordinance before

It should be noted that this adoption a franchise came a whole Report month

to grant

the release the

of the Second

and Order but only The similar The to

one week before ordinance

"grandfathering" and amended ordinance" worth

deadline.

as adopted model

was extremely described explaining. on February instead Second,

the "suggested differences First, extended

earlier.

are, however, the ordinance

adopted

7, 1966 of twentyunlike the

for a period

of twenty

years,

five years proposed words vision

as in the model

ordinance.

ordinance,

the actual right"

one granted to operate and very

in so many a cable telesignificant, proviso on

"the non-exclusive system

in Lakewood.

Third,

the actual

ordinance

contained

the following the system:

the grant of the right

to operate

. but the Company shall not originate or produce any program, signal, message or advertisement to be transmitted and distributed over or

24 through s tern of wires or facil s in the City, except such as may be approved by the Council of the City.37 Fourth, phone instead of having to co-operate Lakewood politely asking the "at in

company

with CATV, rates,"

Incorporated

reasonable, the model

non-discriminatory ordinance,

as it is stated merely reads:

the actual ordinance that the Company "

"It is contemplated ments

will make arrangebetween in

with Ohio Bell ••.. wording

A fifth difference in Section

the two ordinances' addition

comes

8, where, to

to the proposed

edict that no interference signals"

"direct-off-the-air mitted does

television stating

was to be per-

there was clause

that if any interference within one week, the

exist and is not eliminated would be revoked.

franchise

On the topic of money, quently. raised monthly Second, First, the maximum

the ordinances installation

conflict charge was

fre-

from the proposed

$19.95 to $25.00 and the maximum instead of $5.75. paragraph

charge was reset at $5.90, there was the addition version

of the following

in the Council

of the ordinance:

If for any reason • • • I said Company shall cease to furnish its services to its subscribers, the original installation fee shall be refunded, at a pro-rata basis, to all subscribers who had had the benefit of said service for less than one (1) year, each such subscriber to receive a refund of one-twelfth of said installation fee for each month, 370rdinance 6-66, City of Lakewood, Ohio, p. 1.

25 or portion thereof, in which the subscriber furnished said service by the company.38 Section 10 of both the proposed concerning ordinance is not

and the actual to Lakewood by

ordinance, CATV,

the annual payment entirely

Incorporated,

was almost

rewritten

in the

latter version.

It included

the recommended

3 per cent of

the gross receipts, units, with

but only for the first 8000 dwelling for the next 4000 and 8 per cent In addition, there was the following

5 per cent 12,000.

for any over provision:

Notwithstanding the provisions contained herein for payment of an annual fee to the City, if the Council of the City determines that any rate or schedule of fees which the Company is obligated to pay to any other municipality of the same size or larger within Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is more favorable than therate of (sic] schedule of fees provided for herein, then the City may require and the Company shall pay fees to the City in accordance with such more favorable rate or schedule.39 Also, there was a paragraph by a statement of CATV, public setting forth that payment revenue received be from

accompanied

of service

the subscribers pendent

Incorporated, accountants,

certified

by inde-

certified

and that all relefor a

vant records period

be open to inspection following

(by the city)

of six months

delivery

of the annual

statement. The last, but certainly ences between 38Ibid., 39Ibid., the proposed p. 4. p. 4. not the least, of the differand the actual

ordinance

26 ordinance system. contrast lowing: The Company agrees that it will immediately upon the pas of this ordinance, proceed to complete the engineering for the proposed television cable service and negotiate those pole line contracts re.quired for said installation and complete and meet all rulings established by any other Governmental Agency. The Company agrees to make the service provided for herein available to subscribers within one year of the effective date of this ordinance.40 ~mphasis added) Since the proposed years, ordinance set the deadline at three course to concerns Section the deadline for construction ordinance of the in

13 of the enacted

provided,

to Section

14 of the proposed

ordinance,

the fol-

one can only conjecture if any, had CATV,

about the different Incorporated

of history,

been allowed

begin operations Ordinance bring cable Lakewood

two years later. 6-66, which enabled CATV, Incorporated by the cast. with to

television

to Lakewood, without

was adopted vote

City Council listed

a dissenting

the exceptions proposed

above it was exactly on pages

the same as the

ordinance

described

17 and 18.

Preparation, During ordinance

Personnel,

and Promotion the adoption of the enabling CATV, Incorporcom-

the year between

and the first day of operations, readying

ated was very busy pleting

the new Lakewood

system:

its negotiations p. 5.

with Ohio Bell concerning

the

40Ibid.,

27 leaseback of equipment, making considerations on the scope

of its planned arranging Jerrold

experiment

in local program of a head-end

origination, from the store

for the purchase

system
1

Electronics

Corporation,

a paint

to serve as studios hiring personnel

for the local origination and promoting Information

channel, the service

for the system, subscribers.

in order tiations localized

to enlist

on the negoof the

with Ohio Bell and the managerial planning service, program including types, information

on the "testing" Underare

on various standably,

is virtuall1y unavailable. of CATV, failure Incorporated

the parent

companies

not too proud of this singular and are not eager to release dredge up old difficulties. information

in a major market

private However,

files which might there is a wealth of

descriptive and software days when

available

on the system's

hardware

via press notices Incorporated their plans

released

in those beginning for everyone to

CATV,

was anxious for Lakewood.

know all about A press of Lakewood Sun-Post concerning

release

from Jerrold

Electronics

to the people

in the February

2, 1967 edition

of the Lakewood information but

is interesting the equipment

not only for its basic used by CATV,

Incorporated,

also for its indication CATV, Incorporated.

of lack of planning

on the part of assured with at the the

The full-page television Channel

advertisement reception, Commanders

Lakewood

of high-quality

description

of its Jerrold

28 head-end and of its solid-state But more Jerrold Starline Distribuin-

tion System. cluded

importantly,

the announcement to Lakewood, the

the following

in its message

heavily-populated ing the Cleveland

suburb with city line:

its eastern

boundaries

shar-

NOw, at last, you're able to enjoy clear, snowfree television reception •... with the cable in, you're out of the "fringe area" for good. We welcome you to the growing family of communities enjoying crystal-clear TV pictures in areas once considered "out of bounds."~l One can only about being Jerrold systems imagine what the citizens relegated of Lakewood thought

*

*

*

to the "boondocks."

Of course, copy for all the yet it was such an basis, to

probably it serves

uses the same advertising and just changes for CATV,

the names,

quite an oversite advertisement, appear

Incorporated

to allow

which was probably promotional

on a trade-off

in its special

section of the Lakewood

Sun-Post. The location at 14311 Madison chosen because of offices Avenue, and studios paint of Lakewood CATV was

a former

store location, (7200 spots

of the large amount

of floor space

square feet) and because in Lakewood, temporary affording

it was one of the highest reception

top television

for a offices,

antenna.

The building

contained

business

one studio,

the control

room, and a garage

for the mobile

4lnSincere Congratulations •.• to the people of od," Lakewood Sun-Post, February 2, 1967, p. 2-B.

29 video tape unit and installation under the direction trucks. The studio, con-

structed casting, cameras

of Terry Spearen

of Cox BroadRCA

was a 30 x 35 room with two black-and-white and quartz-iodine of equipment Kliegel for remote lights.

To facilitate the entire

the moving

progra~~ing,

system was transistorized. Very details little information people is available concerning the

of finding

to operate

the various

phases of about

the Lakewood Bob Buck, CATV'S niques

CATV operation.

However,

in an article for Lakewood

sportscaster

and news director

Channel of CATV,

6, some light Incorporated

is shed on the hiring in the following:

tech-

Buck, who for a long time wanted to be a professional baseball player, worked at a myriad of jobs until one day last summer--when his wife Martha, spotted a newspaper ad--and helped change things. "Wanted-TV announcer,tI it read. tlMy wife talked me into applying,tI said Buck. tlIhad applied at so many places before, but the answer was always the same--'get some experience and come back.' But where could I get experience? "However, I went for an audition--and was hired," Buck beamed.42 As for the other personnel at Lakewood CATV, there is data

only on six of them: Hy Triller, an extensive background

a native

of Canada with

in both theater

and cable televiwho was program News Director Channel 6,"

sion, was the first manager; director, had worked

Greg Liptak,

previously

as Assistant

42Dick Zunt, "Bob Buck--Voice of Lakewood The Plain Dealer, December 14, 1967.

30 at WAND-TV in Decator, director Illinois; Sydney Staley, Lakewood was a graduate of

CATV's women's

(and secretary),

Ohio State, where Joseph Speroni,

she majored

in English and Theatre; of the Army and the Air

a 30-year veteran

Force, as a radio officer, Robert Schmitt,

was the chief technician; supervisor of an

who had been technical

ITV system in Parma, Ohio, was chief engineer origination experience rector, channel; and Stewart Morrison,

for the local

with television

at stations WAST and WRGB, was the studio diincluded copywriting and announcing. from the Clevestudents who cameramen. operadver-

whose duties

Staley, Buck, and Schmitt were originally land area, in addition worked evenings to the high-school as part-time

and weekends

The promotion

of the Lakewood primarily

cable television

ations was engineered tising. Managerial

by use of newspaper

thinking

at the time was also geared to advertising would spread from Evidence

the idea that word-of-mouth those who first subscribed of either the newspaper advertising is difficult

to the cable service.

advertising

or the word-of-mouth files in both

to find; clipping libraries

the Cleveland advertising.

and the Lakewood

are devoid of on the promotion

A third kind of information system is abundant:

of the Lakewood

press releases. "CATV Plans

The first available

news item, entitled

Local Shows," comes from the April 21, 1966 edition of the Lakewood Sun-Post. Unlike those to follow in the early

31
part of 1967, the article motion, is not ly an example of pro-

but it did serve to make the The first important s

ic aware of the bit of information by the Lakewood local City in

corning service. it concerns Council

the grant of Incorporated

to CATV,

to present

shows as the

long as the shows were not to be sponsored. article approval would stated that the company tower

Second, FCC

was then awaiting

of a sending

in North Royalton

and that it

take six months Finally,

to hook up local sets to telephone that two other companies franchises no at the

cables.

it revealed for "pay

had applications

[sic] television" There

under consideration record

by Council.

is, however,

of the names or proposals City Hall.

of these companies

Lakewood

The next article tem comes 1967. written

on the Lakewood

cable television 29,

sys-

from The Plain Dealer "Lakewood Editor

itself, on January

Entitled

on CATV Beam," the article Bert Reesing

was

by Radio-TV

and was concerned CATV. It

with all the services detailed ried with terest, the various

to be provided local con~ercial

by Lakewood stations

to be carin-

interference-free

reception, living

of particular

it said, to families of Lakewood.

in "blind spots" on the

east boundaries page spread, service.

The major part of the halfon the touted localized on

however,

centered

(The exact nature

of the local programming

32 Channel thesis.) 6 will be described Hy Triller at a later point in this

is quoted

on the subject:

ft ••• our big service to this community," he said, "w~ll be a dedication to 's spirit, its churches, neighborhoods, people, schools, athletics all other activities. We are 0 ing a public service to this 's subscribers. Our r.akewocd Channel 6 will cover a diversified programming schedule. ,,43

The article

also noted

that visitors

were welcome

to in-

spect the new CATV facilities Three photographs panied

from 2 to 5 p.m. daily. scanner accom-

of the studio and weather by CATV,

the free promotion

Incorporated

parent,

The Plain Dealer. The day on which February leases coming Lakewood CATV began its operations,

2, 1967, marked

the biggest concerning suburb.

splash of press recable television's in order to more the

and advertisements to the Cleveland

Probably

effectively promotional

reach prospective emphasis appeared

subscribers

in Lakewood,

in the LakevlOod Sun-Post. appeared on the front Schmitt inof

The lead article page, with specting

in that newspaper

a photo of Hy Triller panel,

and Robert

a studio control

and the major appeared

portion

the advertising edition tainly

and news releases eight-page

in the same

in a special

section,

wh.i.ch was cerwork.44

a very thorough

piece of promotional

43Bert J. Reesing, "Lakewood on CATV Beam," The Plain Dealer, January 29, 1967, p. 4-A. 44"Cable TV is here!" 1967, pp. l-B-8-B. Lakewood Sun-Post, February 2,

33 This article Incorporated scribers, street nection were explained involved that both Ohio Bell and CATV, with the hook-up making to home sub-

with

the phone

company

the drop

from the the conand that iromedi-

to the house and the cable company from the drop to the television chanel set(s),

the local origination

(Tv-6) was to start with the complete

ately on a "test run" basis, officially After

schedule 6, 1967).

to begin on the next I-1onday (February the various services to be provided

listing

by Lakeday

wood CATV, only homes would been

the article and business

revealed places

that on the opening south of Detroit since cables

Avenue had not at the

be eligible strung

for installation, Avenue.
I

north of Detroit

(Geographically, including

least 40 per cent of Lakewood homes and property Detroit Avenue.)

s total area,

of the very wealthy, However,

lies north of households were

those excluded

to be serviced, 1967. Also, was

for the most part, by the end of February was quoted as saying that customer

Hy Triller

response

"gratifying" so backlogged

and that orders

for the cable TV

service were wait

that there was an 8 to 10 day the article called attenCATV.

for installation.

Finally,

tion to the special

eight-page

section on Lakewood section

The front page of this eight-page in two-inch advantages

proclaimed

type that "CABLE TV IS HERE!" of Lakewood cablevision were:

and that the

34
*Nore Channels *Better TV Pictures *Save Antenna Costs *Easy Tuning-All Stations *Ideal for Color *Hi-Fi Music *24-hr. Weather Service *24-hr. AP News Service *Loc Lakewood Newscasts *Lakewood Sports Events *Special Local Programs *Uninterrupted Feature Movies advertisement biothe

The second page was a previously-mentioned for Jerrold graphical local Electronics.

The third page contained involved

information

on the key people with photos

with

cable operation,

of each, and carried and on the second in Cleveland,

stories

on the remodeling

of the studios station

anniversay which CATV,

of UHF educational

WVIZ

would be brought

for the first time, via Lakewood to get UHF conthere was a which

to the many people who never bothered for their TV sets.45 advertisement In addition,

verters

third-page read,

for Ohio Bell Telephone

in part:

Cleveland Area TV, Incorporated will use Ohio Bell service to carry program material from its antenna location to homes of CATV subscribers in Lakewood. It's a natural choice •••• Although the announcement circuits was promoting Ohio Bell's experi-

ence in providing wide television

for the transmission communication,

of nation-

and other

the last line in

the above quotation, "choice" in reference

specifically to CATV,

its use of the word is still open

Incorporated,

to interpretation. 45According to page 33 of its 1963 Annual Report, the FCC prohibited the interstate shipment of non-UHF TV sets made after April 30, 1964. This was done in accordance with an all-channel receiver law being passed on July 10, 1962 by Congress (76 Stat. 159-151).

35

The center advertisement coupon,

spread,

s four and five, was one giant CATV, complete with mail-in and large ibe today! of Cable Be

for Lakewood

list of reading:

eight channels "Don't Delay.

offered, .•

headlines

the first on your block TV. . • •II One notable

to enjoy the benefits promotional

claim vJas that color system, but

reception

would be lIunexcelled" over the cable of TV-61s being

there was no mention The most unusual very misleading diversity

in black-and-white. promotion offers] was a a new else in

claim one:

in the two-page

"[CATV,

Incorporated

in television

programming Lakewood

available

nowhere

in the nation!" local programming, to be the only page contained

Although

CATV was a pioneer

it was quite a lot of puffery in the country. on Cleveland

to claim

such pioneer more

The sixth Area TV in the About

information entitled

form of an article Lakewood

"Questions

and Answers

CATV" and presented concerned

eight photographs various phases

covering of the local a nearlyfor TV-6, des-

half the page which cable operations. full-page

The seventh

page displayed specifically

advertisement

designed channel,

the local origination cription

containing

detailed services

of the services shortly.

to be offered,

which will sec-

be discussed

The final page of the special for a television dealer

tion was an advertisement wood.

in Lake-

36 The final news release of Cleveland appeared after available, concerning the debut

Area TV, Incorporated

in the city of Lakewood

in The Plain Dealer launching

on March

1, 1967, the day
CATV. Aside from

the formal

of Lakewood

the usual promotion stated that CATV,

of the local programming, hoped eventually and Youngstown

the article to relay in Ohio and also were

Incorporated from Toledo

television London, awaiting variety Nature

stations

Ontario,

and that the cable operators

"a breakthrough programming

in W'ashington" to start bringing urban centers via microwave.

from major

of the Services provided by Lakewood CATV were carried, which were as

The services as mentioned follows: LAKEWOOD CATV CHANNEL 2
(3) 4

above,

on eight channels,

SERVICE Cleveland's NBC network affiliate, WKYC, Channel 3 Unused due to ghosting (see supra , note 27) Cleveland's ABC network affiliate, WEWS, Channel 5 Unused due to ghosting Lakewood's local origination, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cleveland's CBS network affil , WJW, Channel 8 Unused due to ghosting 24-hr. AP news wire service, PM music Cleveland's educational station, WvIZ, Channel 25 24 hr. weather information, with F~l music (WDBN) Originally unused. Ak ron I s ABC ne two rk affiliate I ~vl\KR, Channel 49 (now 23)

(5)
6 7

(8)
9

10 11
(12)

13

37

A few additional nal schedule. for a televised

services were later added to this origi11 was changed to make way ticker. The stock market delay and was only in

First, Channel stock market

ticker was on a mandatory operation,

IS-minute

of course, during the 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. hours (10:15 to 3:45 with the 11 was

of the New York Stock Exchange delay). The remainder

of the air time on Channel

used by the w~ather

scan device.

Second, a children's station schedule, Third, in for the

program was added to the cablecasting thus resetting January then-new

the sign-on for TV-6 at 11 a.m. were made to provide

1968 arrangements television

station in Cleveland, 12.

WKBF, Channel CATV sur-

61, via the unused Channel vived longer,

(Had Lakewood

it would have had to also make arrangements signal, h~AB-TV, Channel 43 15,

for another new Cleveland-area

in Lorain, which did not go on the air until September 1968.) The most significant uniquely by the operators service of all those offered of Lakewood TV-6.

CATV was, undoubtedThe other local scanner, the AP news

ly, the local cablecast originations,

channel,

specificallY

the weather

wire, and the stock market ticker, were not sufficiently motivating to prospective subscribers, for the most part. program-

Even the possibility

of receiving

UHF educational

ming for the first time, or in better quality, most likely did not inspire many people to subscribe to Lakewood CATV.

38 The formation resident could were most
I A14

s

ticker was a very did not account UHF progra~ming Furthermore, missed s rece to

a handful. hardly have

non-UHF

televis especially since all

not even know were available rsuade for llation, TV-6

existed, on VHF. Lakewood

If there was any residents to

was the one. TV-6 was proudly Television hailed by People" vvith its for as "Lakewood being industrial

for Lakewood

"Total Commun i,ty Invo and Hollywood Programming film packages,

"
this

was true enough. to fourteen amount of pro1

on TV-6

was delivered

hours a day, depending gramming avail

on

day

, and truly
Howeve-r
I

ified day, and

progr amming . often

at to each To ish

six, were wez e

s.
same movies hours at d of the

ent movies

we re shown all week. were rotated

s

so that each film was avai Because of the varying

hours each day.

39

movies,

free industrial

films were used to fill in vacant

spots in the schedule. Despite the heavy diet of film prograIT~ing, however, to bring a of Lakewood. such a an

honest attempt was made by CATV, Incorporated highly personalized The various service to the community

types of programs

shown on TV-6 covered

wide range that it can be safely said that the entire schedule seemed to be in a continual some semblance state of flux. There

was, of course, At 11 a.m.

of a consistent

daily fare.

there was a children's

show, which in com-

parison to the kind available station, depending locally produced,

on the average commercial Following it,

was typical.

on the day, was either a film or one

(or more) of

the many special-interest lowing categories: decorating cooking

programs which fit into the folinstruction, exercises, home

instruction,

fashion discussion,

a call-in

"want ad" program, demonstrations reports,

demonstrations

of floral arrangement, high school student

of ceramic decoration,

and even soccer games. a 90-minute program called "Midday" was

At 1 p.m. dedicated director

to women's

features

and was hosted by women's
II

Sydney Staley.

"Midday

featured household held discussion appearing

hints by

from local experts

and occasionally

groups of local women.

Two regularly

women on on

the program were Mrs. Louise Lamb, who gave instructions

40 knitting and handicraft, and Mr a , Angela Cook, whose topic

was sewing. Prom community a different 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., TV-6 presented affairs entitled a program which on had

"Pocus on Lakewood,"

topic for every day of the week. to religious the Clergy," matters, which

One day of

the week was devoted called verate "A Chat with

in a program a trium-

featured

of local religious of Lakewood pastor

men: Rev. Phillip Baptist Church;

P. Whitaker, Edward J.

senior pastor Murray, Church; Temple

Father

assistant

of st. Clement H. Grosse,

Roman Catholic of Beth-Israel

and Rabbi Frederick West. Another

day was devoted

to health, featured

in a propromin-

gram called ent medical listeners format

"To Your Good Health," experts

which

and practitioners about specific

who answered topics. A third

questions

health

for "Focus on Lakewood, community-wide of several

"entitled problems, points

"Basis for Deciwith discussion Other forofficials, (also

sion," concerned by representatives mats dealt with

of view.

school

affairs, Following

city government

and Law enforcement. known as "Focus"), programs

"Focus on Lakewood"

was an hour devoted of the sort described

to films or specialabove. a half-hour pro-

interest

At 4:30 p.m. Lakewood gram called teenagers

TV-6 presented featured

"Teen Talk," which schools,

a panel of four various topics.

from local

who discussed

The four panel members

stayed an entire week

in order to

41 carry the same topic from one day to the next for one week. "Teen Talk" was produced Y?<lCA and YWCA. presented in cooperation with the Lakewood was

At 5 p.m. various period.

filler programming

for a 45-minute

From 5:45 to 6:00 p.m. TV-6 news director went on live with the local news. videotaped and repeated

Robert Buck

The program was also 6 and 7 p.m., in

four times between

order that viewers favorite

could have a chance to watch their on other channels and then

network news programs

switch over to TV-6 whenever Originally the 7 o'clock

it would be convenient. segment of the schedule was show, wh i.ch was fol-

set aside for a half-hour lowed by a post-1959 logo "Playhouse,"

children's

Hollywood

film feature, under the Later, however, after the

until 9 p.m.

advent of the I a.m. children's movies-per-day

program and the threeprogram "pop" disc

idea, there was instead a two-hour at 7 o'clock which featured students

each evening beginning music, with high-school jockeys, calling playing

serving as on-camera

records

that are requested

by listeners

in on the phone. featuring videotapes or films of

"Sports Spectacular," national Examples included:

or local events, was shown each evening at 9 p.m. of athletic events covered by "Sports Spectacular" football, and soft-

local high school basketball, tournaments;

ball games; city softball the Cleveland Stadium;

soccer games from every Saturday

and league bowling

42

(taped and shown on Sunday and Honday) ing establishments. was a segment called

at four local bowl-

A regular feature of TV-6 programming "Coaches' Corner," on which coaches

and players were invited to analyze past and future sporting events. At 10 o'clock Lakewood" a rerun of the afternoon's "Focus on

was shown so that those who worked during the day too. Another local newscast was included of local

could view the program, telecast council

at 11 p.m., often with coverage and school board meetings

of that evening.

It must be remembered

that the daily schedule of TV-6

varied quite a bit over the eighteen month life of Lakewood CATV. Since programming was not sponsored, it was not dif-

ficult to make last-minute This schedule however, flexibility

changes in the daily offerings. had one substantial drawback, what the

since it was often unclear

to subscribers

schedule was.

This problem was intensified newspapers listings

by the fact refused to

that both of the local Lakewood include TV-6 in its television The cable's in the programming during audience

free of charge. major role

played a potentially

of TV-6.

First, there was at all times invitation to the

the operation

of TV-6 a standing

people of Lakewood

to come up with programming

ideas; those

with ideas for a television wood CATV.

program were to contact Lakeparticipation innovation on for

A second audience

TV-6 was called

"reruns by request,"

by which requests

43 reruns morning of any TV-6 programs were honored by its showing programming in was

or late night hours when no regular

scheduled. The National an organization sion operators, Ford, Community Television Association (NCTA),

dedicated which,

to the interests the leadership

of cable televiof Frederick to originate in the W.

under

had been encouraging

cable operators

local programs cablecasting

since 1966,46

was very interested CATV.

activities

of Lakewood venture

So interested a

was the NCTA in the Lakewood "how-to" seminar

that it sponsored

on local program

origination

in Lakewood, after the

Ohio, on March formal opening gers across meeting

30 and 31, 1967, just one month of the city's system. p~out

50 CATV manaLakewood Jim Crooks, Incor-

the country featured

attended

the two-day

which

the following Ken Lawson,

speakers:

of the Ampex poratedi prompter operations

Corporation;

of Telemation

Jay J. Merkle Incorporated; in Weston,

and Robert Bill Adler,

Leyer,

both of Telewith CATV of the

connected

West Virginia; general

S. S. Street,

NCTAi and Hy Triller, program director,

manager,

and Greg Liptak, system.47 local

both of the Lakewood

46"F. W. Ford urges CATV operators to produce shm'ls," Advertis ing p.ge, July 4 I 1966, p. 20. March 47"Cablemen to study local origination," 20, 1967, p. 73.

Broadcasting,

44 Finance The cost to subscribers by Lakewood fee. for all the services offered

CATV was $5 per month,

with a $15 installation Lakewood CATV had a out of

In its year and a half existence, of 1500 households attached

maximum

to its service,

a possible simplifying first month the case), installation operators

25,000 households. the numbers,

Assuming,

for the sake of the

that all 1500 subscribed the failure

and stayed on until the annual fees,48

(such was not excluding

income per subscriber, $60.00. Annually,

then, the cable

could count on $90,000

from the 1500 subscribers. refor

Since there was no advertising ceived from the cable CATV. is scant information of CATV,

on TV-6, the revenue

subscribers

was the sole income

Lakewood

There

regarding

the exact finanin Lakewood,

cial affairs possibly

Incorporated's

venture

because

of its owners'

reluctance

to be further Pitney, the and

embarrassed manager

by this failure.

However,

William

of Lakewood

CATV during of operations

its final twelve months for Cox Cablevision, at least 5000

now vice-president

did

state that the Lakewood

system needed

48Installation fees were not included for two reasons: (1) the $15 charge was used exclusively to pay for the costs of installation, and (2) the installation fees were one-time payments which could not be figured in the annual per-subscriber income.

45 subscribers ated needed above water, ($200,000 just to break at least even.49 Thus, if CATV, Incorporto stay

$300,000

per year in revenue lost at least

the Lakewood during

venture

$300,000

a year)

its 1 1/2 years of cablecasting

to the people

of Lakewood. annual liabilities of Lakewood payment CATV broke

The $300,000 down as follows: capital

3 per cent revenue programming

to the city, and salaries, costs and

investments, rent,

costs, wages

utilities,

leaseback

overhead,

and assorted

such as depreciation interest available intricate However, on loans.

on assets, Again,

return on investment, information such

there is little budget,

on Lakewood financial

CATV's

especially

data as cash

flow or depreciation.

in the aforementioned substantial ground

Rand study N. E. Feldman in the mystery quoted of Lakewood below on capexpenses

has broken CATV's

financial

records;

the figures costs,

ital investment, are his.50

programming

and operating

Since the city only received centage charges, of the monthly the annual

payment

based on a per-

fees, and not on the installation the cable system for to

cost of operating

1500 subscribers

paying

$60 per year was $2700, payable This sum represented personal interview

the city of Lakewood. 49William Pitney, on January 22, 1973. 50Feldman,
Ope

only nine-tenths

held via telephone

cit., p. 15.

46 of 1 per cent of the total annual Mr. Pitney). The total capital ities and equipment, permanent investment in the cablecasting facilliabilities (as set by

including

a mobile

studio van and the The two RCA $11,600, and in-

studio, was approximately cameras

$75,000. cost

PK330 black-and-white the custom-built volved

together $5000.

van cost about

The expenses

in constructing

the permanent

studio

and remodel-

ling the offices of $37,500.

of Lakewood

CATV were

in the neighborhood

The remaining

$20,900 was spent on the head-

end equipment. The total annual $75,000, of which programming budget was approximately film packThe

$10,000 went for the feature motion pictures

age of two hundred remaining daily,

for the year.

$65,000 was spent for the six to eight hours week, of live or taped cablecasting. was taped for replay and rethe aver$70

on a five-day

Since all live programming peated at least once

(largely on the weekends), programming

age cost of local-origination per hour. Personnel electricity varied and a prorated

was about

portion

of the heat and budget, which

were paid out of the operating per month, budget

from $6000 to $6500

or about figure,

$75,000 however,

annually.

This total operating

does not include by Lakewood CATV.

rent of the office

studio and space used

47
By subtracting sary $300,000 remainder the costs listed above from the necesCATV, the overhead,

per year total budget

for Lakewood leaseback

to have been spent on rent, and amortization, and $100,000

depreciation between

and interest annually,

on loans, was upon how

$75,000

depending

much of the capital

investment

was recovered

per year. data exists were to Ohio to

It is truly unfortunate for the public

that no precise payments

on what the monthly arrangement; figures,

Bell for the leaseback release such financial

Ohio Bell refuses

and, since cable televias presently defined, the

sion is not a "common carrier" Public Utilities Commission

of Ohio

(PUCO) does not have on file. However,

the exact rate schedules when Ohio Bell officially business on April

for Lakewood entered

the cable television of

9, 1965, it filed a rough estimate an agreement

rates with satisfactory

the PUCO, along with transmission

to guarantee from

for a distance

of 11 miles

the head-end

of any cable system According

served under

the lease-

back arrangement. Age, the monthly

to an article

in Advertisin[

rates charged

by Ohio Bell, as filed with for each

the PUCO, were between quarter-mile wood system

$8.25 and $16.25 per month As mentioned earlier,

of cable.5l consisted

the Lake-

of 90 miles CATV

of cable.

Thus, the between

monthly

charge

to Lakewood

fell somewhere Advertising

5l"Ohio Bell Enters CATV," 1956, p. 80.

Age, IY1ay 10,

48 $2970 and $5850; annually the owners $70,000. $100,000 which of CATV, Despite the leaseback between arrangement $35,000 and to out of cost

Incorporated

the fact that the same $75,000 break-even figures)

(based on Pitney's payments

the leaseback

were to come also paid the and interest on loans, to the

rent, depreciation the yearly $70,000 $60,000 payment

and amortization,

to Ohio Bell probably

was closer

figures

than the $35,000

figure--approximately

per year.52 on Lakewood CATV in the Rand study on does not CATV, In-

In his chapter local program even mention corporated

origination, the leaseback

author

N. E. Feldman between

arrangement Yet, issue.

and Ohio Bell.53

the arrangement

turned interabove,

out to have been a crucial view with the ex-manager Mr. Pitney less admitted

In the telephone CATV mentioned

of Lakewood

that "we could have broken

even with

subscribers

than that

[5000] had we not had the high it would have been better its own

leaseback for CATV,

payments. ,,54 Indeed, Incorporated

to have been able to string

52A similar system also owned 45 per cent by Cox Cablevision in Toledo, Ohio, but one with more miles of cable, paid Ohio Bell $777,000 for installation of cable and was committed to monthly payments totalling over $5 million over a ten year period. See 3 FCC2d 811. 53Feldman, 54William op. cit., pp. 14-18. Pitney, op. cit.

49 cable Bell. in Lakewood and pay pole-attachment annual charge rights to Ohio

In 1965 the per-pole was about

asked by the BeTl

companies

$2.50, although would

there was some concern According to an re-

at the time that the engineer quires Thus,

rise.55 cable poles

at Ohio Bell in Columbus, 26 telephone

television

approximately the Lakewood

per mile of cable.56 2340 poles for the

system used at least

attachment attachment

of its 90 miles of cablei fee to Ohio Bell would leaseback Of course,

the annual pole$5850,

have been about payment Lakewood

the same as the monthly required by Ohio Bell.

(high estimate) CATV would for have

had to buy the cable outright, $360,000. arrangement Yet, after about would

at $4,000 per mile,

seven years costlier

the leaseback than private owner-

have proved

ship of the system by CATV, latter process,

Incorporated, since, under the rights plus

the cost of pole-attachment

the entire about year

cost of the system of cables at year

would

have been at

$400,000

seven, as compared arrangement

to $420,000

seven under

the leaseback

(with the difyears). It is

ference

to grow much wider "lith additional that Ohio Bell did not want rights,

a small wonder pole-attachment

to only lease to be

since there was more money arrangement. Moreover,

made with the leaseback

those July

55"CATV'S big issue: Pole lines," 12, 1965, p. 55. 56William Olgsdon, February 22, 1973. personal

Broadcasting,

interview

via telephone,

50 cable operators in other states which did build their own to raise the pole-

systems found that Bell Telphone wanted attachment

rates to about $4 per pole per year, in order private systems be more on par with those The negative impact of as it

that existing

under the leaseback the leaseback

arrangement.57

arrangement

was even more far-reaching,

will be later shown. Ohio Bell was taking a substantial leasing the Lakewood risk, however, by

system to CATV, Incorporated, able to "temporarily

since

the latter was presumably its operations

discontinue"

and leave Ohio Bell with a great amount of "hanging around." There are no public

unused cable trunks records available

concerning

the losses of Ohio Bell. ab-

Just how well the owners of CATV, Incorporated sorbed the quarter Lakewood venture of a million dollar

loss during the It is CATV's

is not a matter of public record. that within two weeks of Lakewood

known, however, termination

of service,

the Cox Broadcasting

Corporation which owned its plans, of its 20 Cox

(CBC), 100 per cent owner of Cox Cablevision, 45 per cent of CATV, Incorporated, effective in October disclosed

1968, to finance expansion selling minority

CATV operations

by publicly

interest,

per cent or 500,000 shares, in its renamed Cable Communications, Incorporated,

subsidiary,

plans which were to

57"Bell's CATV rates probed in New Jersey,1I Broadcasting, July 5, 1965, p. 37.

51 raise close ported to $7 million in new equity capital.58 CBC re-

on July

30, 1968 that revenues

for the first half

were up 13.8 per cent dipped

from 1967, but that net profits year.59 Of course, but also in

14 per cent from the previous involved

CBC is not only program

in cable ownership,

production

and distribution

and in the ownership and four Am-FM Pittsburgh, radio San

and operation stations

of five VHF television Charlotte,

in Atlanta,

Dayton,

Francisco/Oakland president of CBC

and Miami. (and CATV,

Yet, J. Leonard Incorporated)

Reinsch, said

at the time,

in his explanation ter of 1968 CATV's

of another

net loss in the third quarof Lakewood operations all

(which included

the final month

operation)

that the "cable television Surely he was speaking

showed gains.,,60 gain. Moreover,

of a total net

it is inconceivable

that CBC, with a 1968 suffered from a quarter-

stockholder million

equity of $48,844,060,

dollar

loss; CBC most likely

could have continued the FCC changed its to do

operation

of the Lakewood

system until losses,

cable rules
50.61

in 1972, despite

if it had chosen

It was The Plain Dealer which 58"Cox Selling Slice ••.

had the controlling

," loco cit., p. 33. Dip," Variety, July

5911COX Revenues 31, 1968, p. 34.

Up, But Earnings

~O"Cox Net Down for Qtr. & 9 Monthsi Cite CATV as Strong Growth Factor," Variety, October 30, 1968, p. 38. 1968 6lCox Broadcasting (Atlanta, Georgia: , p , 4. Corporation, Financial Statement Cox Broadcast~ng Corporation,

52 interest in CATV, Incorporated, however. Perhaps it just

grew tired of its only cable red." Unfortunately,

television

system being" in the figures avail-

there are no financial which are comparable

able for The Plain Dealer the CBC. The Failure When two press ers. CATV, arily the end finally releases

to those of

came,

it camequietly.

On July 31, newspap-

appeared

in the two Cleveland

The Plain Dealer Incorporated its operations

disclosed

that on the day previous plans to "suspend television system temporin

had announced of a cable

Lakewood."

(It is important

to note that The Plain Dealer be until the "temporary" by attributFCC were to sub-

did not tell how long it would suspension would end.)

The article the idea that distant

continued

ing to William regulations blame

Pitney

"restrictive" importation

concerning

signal

for Lakewood

CATV's

failure

to attract

enough

scribers.

The final

sentence

stated

that The Plain Dealer The other article Press,

is a co-owner

of CATV,

Incorporated. appeared

from a Cleveland

newspaper

in The Cleveland

owned by Scripps-Howard earlier,

Publishers interest

(which, as mentioned in Cleveland's and presented First, largest the same to

had a controlling baron,

cable television story with

Telerama),

two basic differences. for the suspension

it neglected

give a reason

of services,

and, second,

53 it disclosed vised that that city officials in Lakewood had been adthe cable

it would be at least two years before service could be started releases again

television Actually, notices

in that city.62

these two press

were only official a week before, Press, was in

of the Lakewood

cable

failure;

his radio-television Barrett hinted

column

in The Cleveland CATV company

Bill ~

that the Lakewood

"ready

to give up," and he said further: If they fold--and no one at this writing will confirm or deny--it would hit the cable television business smack in the reputation. Folding cable outfits are as rare as four-star TV movies on the late-late show.63 Lakewood CATV officially would set september completely 1, 1968 as the date the

when its operations cablecasting 1st.

halt, although

was discontinued paper

as of the morning to carry which

of August

The only Lakewood was The Lakewood " •••

the story of the quoted Pitney as

failure saying: accepted

Ledger,

it's a shame that the service was not

by the community.,,64 a radio-television the demise newsweekly, printed

Broadcasting, a story relating

of Lakewood

CATV in its August The Press,

62"CATV to Halt Operations July 31, 1968.

in Lakewood,"

63Bill Barrett, "Lakewood Cable Company Reported Ready To Give Up," The Press, July 23, 1968. 6411CATV Suspends August 1, 1968. Operation,
II

The Lakewood

Ledger,

54 5, 1968 issue.65 The article quoted a spokesman there was for Cleve-

land Area TV as saying that although pending" inherent and "nothing in the Second was refused," Report

"nothing

there was a "restraint" Details of the

and Order.

local program

origination

in Lakewood

were also described director Greg conjust in

by the news release. Liptak vention was quoted

Lakewood

CATV program

as having

said at the 1968 Boston Association,

of the National previous cities

Cable Television

one month

to the failure, rested

that cable's

£uture

major market

principally

in providing termed the

"counterprogramming.,,66 system as being placed

Finally,

the article

in a "state of suspension." City Council dated August of

In a letter 27, 1968, Pitney CATV,

to the Lakewood wrote

to inform the city of the nature

Incorporated's in Lakewood.

withdrawal

from the cable television

business almost

The first half of the letter was of July 31, 1968, in the following to retain the

identical

to the press release

The Plain Dealer. information:

The second half contained Incorporated planned

(1) CATV,

lease on the offices

and studios

at 14311 Madison

Avenue;

(2) there would be refunds of installation
accordance
w i t.h the franchise;

fees, in

(3) the $10,000 bond reBroadcasting, August

5,

6511Local CATV feels 1968, p. 40.

'restraint,'"

66For original quotation 1968 issue of Broadcasting.

of Liptak,

see the July 8,

5$
quired by the ordinance would be "maintained"; and (4)

arrangements

had been made with Ohio Bell to leave intact all cables, wires, and appurtenances.

for the present There plans

is no mention

in the letter, or anYVlhere else, of equipment in order to recoup losses CATV.

to sell head-end during

incurred

the eighteen-month later,

life of Lakewood

Two years

on July 7, 1970, Pitney

wrote George Utili-

J. Usher,

chairman

of the Lakewood

City Council's

ties Committee
, Notlce f 0

to inform

him of the FCC's

then recent

Propose d Ru 1e Ma k' lng, 67 w h' h p't ney b e l' lC l leve d t0
a viable market, and to request for a two-year granted a hearing on extension 30, because of of

make Lakewood

July 20th in order the original 1968.

to arrange

two-year

suspension

on August

Evidently

the meeting

went well

for Pitney, Assistant

on August

7, 1970 William wrote

E. Blackie,

Director that it

Law in Lakewood

the Council

recommending

grant the extension However,

without

a change

in the franchise. Incorporto

two more years

later, both CATV,

ated and the city of Lakewood be outdated, released

found the 1966 ordinance

in light of the new cable television 3, 1972,68

rulings

by the FCC on February

and on June 19,

1972 proceeded

to adopt a new franchise 24 FCC2d 36 FCC2d 580 143.

ordinance

67FCC 70-676: (1970) • 68FCC 72-108:

(1970); 35 Fed. Reg. 11045

56 (No. 34-72) which especially otherwise. At the time of this writing, busy in Lakewood and legal Cleveland taking CATV, Incorporated Section incorporated 76.31, the new Federal rules, changes

and made a few minor

is

the necessary

technical,

financial,

steps to put the citizens back "on the cable."

of that suburb of to Section 76.61

According

of the new rules mentioned Lakewood CATV would

in the last previous to import

paragraph, of

be permitted

the signals of its to do.

three independent Grade B contours, Lakewood residents

television

stations

outside

as it originally

had planned

Now, to

will have good reason and Cleveland provided

to subscribe

the future

service,

Area TV, Incorporated of

will finally signals

succeed,

that the importation

from independents regulations of cable

is not complicated

by the program

exclusivity the course

of the latest FCC pronouncement One FCC commissioner

on

television.

is
in the

not optimistic

about the future of cable television It will be interesting

top-50 markets.69

to see how it all

wo rk s out in Lakewood. 69Ibid., p. 311. Commissioner Nicholas Johnson presents some very persuasive arguments that the program exc ivity rules in the top-50 markets will have deleterious effects on the importation of distant signals. The system, now in ARB market number 8, may be able to independent signals, but the question remains as to lity, in the eyes of potential subscribers, of practice of "blacking out" of programming on imported independents, whenever it is "owned" by over-the-air broadcasters.

III. There

WHY LAKEWOOD

CATV DID NOT SURVIVE why Cleveland Area

are essentially

ten reasons

TV, Incorporated

did not survive.

Briefly,

these are:

1. The FCC's Second Report and Order of March 8, 1966 made it improbable to import distant signals necessary for Lakewood CATV to enlist subscribers. 2. The cablecasting experiment failed because, as a suburb of Cleveland, Lakewood has insufficient community spirit to support community-oriented programming. 3. Much of the cablecasting audience appeal. programming had little

4. Lakewood CATV's local TV-6 was progra~~ed in black-and-white (to save money) at a time when color television was beginning to become very popular with the public. 5. The state of the art in equipment and techniques was not far enough advanced to serve satisfactorily an audience accustomed to commercial network programs. 6. There were no suitable means of advertising the cablecasting services on a day-to-day basis. 7. The handling of customer complaints was unduly complicated by the leaseback arrangement. 8. There was little, if any, chance for the average viewer to view TV-6 continuously; TV-6 was a "tune-in then tune-out" service. 9. The entire effort to provide local-oriented programming was not really planned until the final stages of the arrangements to build the system. 10. Once the local programming was installed, it was viewed by management not as a permanent facility so much as it was viewed as something to hold onto

57

58

while waiting for the FCC to allow distant importation into the top-lOO markets. Before giving the details

signal

on each of these ten factors, reasons,

it is fitting at this point to give the official in the eyes of those directly the Lakewood notified system. involved,

for the failure of

When Cleveland

Area TV, Incorporated

the various news media at the time of the Lakewood the blame was squarely placed on the FCC prohibiting television importation markets. of distant signals into

CATV demise, regulations the top-IOO

However,

there was abso-

lutely no attempt

by CATV, Incorporated to attract

to give reasons subscribers, an

for failure of TV-6's ability ability which, in theory,

could have made the system signal it is

viable regardless importation

of the legal status of distant market.

into the Cleveland for a company

Of course,

not very unusual

to remain silent on its cable to

own lack of good planning. operators

Indeed, the Lakewood

were largely responsible

for what happened

TV-6 since the FCC had not yet enacted rules on cablecasting. But there were two outside Lakewood CATV from accepting influences which kept

entire blame for the failure First, the city council proPerhaps

of both the system and TV-6. hibited advertising if local merchants

on the local cable channel. were allowed to promote

their products

and services on TV-6 as they could have done if TV-6 had

59

been a over-the-air

TV station,

the financial backing thereby

Lakewood to proincrease

CATV would have had sufficient vide extremely subscriptions influence, attractive

programming A

to the service.

more important, arrangement with

however,

was the leaseback

Ohio Bell, under which Lakewood words of Bill Pitney,

CATV had to pay, in the overhead.
II

"high monthly

It is strange that no mention was made of the deleterious effects of the leaseback wood system failed. arrangement when the Lakeinterviews of staff with

Years later, however, Schmitt, ex-chief

Pitney and with Robert Lakewood

engineer

CATV and the only member of the original

still living in the Cleveland back payments were crucial ations in 1968. A possible

area, reveal that the leaseto cease oper-

to the decision explanation

for this past

unwillingness

and present willingness

to blame the set-up

with Ohio Bell may just be that, after the FCC broke the power of the phone companies operations CATV, over private earlier, cable television the operators of

in 1970, as described

Incorporated,

who had plans to try again in Lakewood suburbs, pointing no longer feared the conseout the inequities of the

and other Cleveland quences of publicly

leaseback

arrangement

with Ohio Bell.

This line of reasoninterviewed by

ing might also explain Feldman

why those persons

for his chapter on the Lakewood arrangement

venture did not

lead him to the leaseback

as a factor at work

60 in the downfall The first of Lakewood CATV~s local origination. listed above are from

six of the ten factors

lems in Local Pro9ram Rand study,

Origination.

In the statement:

of that

he gave the following

The experiment with local origination in Lakewood was a failure simply because it was not possible to attract large numbers of subscribers by locally originated programming alone. The cable operator was not only faced with strong competition from the well-developed, over-the-air service of good signal quality available in the Cleveland area, but was also handicapped by the lack of community spirit in Lakewood .... (T]he Lakewood operator was not able to depend on importing distant sign,bs to assure the profitability of the cable system. Unfortunately, plained later the entire story of the failure is not ex-

so "simply"

as Feldman

may imply, as will be shown four factors. to effectively into the

in the explanation Without a doubt,

of the final

the FCC's decision television effect

halt importation top-lOO markets

of distant

signals

had a profound

on the plans of the microwave

Cleveland limitations effect

Area TV, Incorporated.7l of the First Report Incorporated's

Although

and Order had a serious original 1965 plans to put

on CATV,

Lakewood

homes on the cable,
OPe

it was the 1966 freeze on the

70Feldman,

cit., p. vi.

7lThis factor of government regulation proved ironic in light of very optimistic statements made by Cox Broadcasting president J. L. Reinsch in 1965. See "Reinsch: Government Regulation No Threat To CATV Investments," Sponsor, April 19, 1965, p. 24.

61 top-lOO chances markets which really crippled the cable operators'

of succeeding, Cleveland distant

since the name of the game in the of

immediate extremely

area was not so much the importation but the importation in good quality

signals,

of any sigvia an

nals not available ordinary outdoor

over-the-air

TV antenna.

The intent of the FCC to by its freeze of

protect independent UHF in major markets distant signal importation,72 Seiden Report,73 as well

as the impact of the to

controversial the owners Second

did not really matter

of the Lakewood and Order,

system,

since the effect of the made for the probser-

Report

not the causes, a viable

lems involved

in operating area.

cable television

vice in the Cleveland CATV, hearing distant question land Area system's terview Lakewood Incorporated

never did seek an evidentiary special relief Feldman from the does not

to show that it deserved signal importation

regulations.

this apparent

disinterest

on the part of Cleveon the Lakewood a personal inof to

TV, Incorporated local origination.

in his chapter Only through

with Robert

Schmitt,

who was chief engineer of CATV,

CATV, did the reluctance steps become clearer.

Incorporated that Cox system in

take legal Cablevision

He explained cable

was preoccupied 725, pars.

with another 111-146.

722 FCC2d 120.

7338 FCC 683, pars.

20, 32; 2 FCC2d

725, pars.

119-

62 Toledo,Ohio.74 Upon further investigation, it turns out

that Cox owned 45 per cent of the system, Lakewood markets

just as in the

case, and that Toledo also was in the top-100 (26th in 1965), a fact which made the distant regulations applicable to non-grand-

signal importation fathered systems.

This system, Buckeye Cablevision, on March 16, 1966, about

Incorporated,

began operations

one week after the release In violation Buckeye

of the Second Report and Order. specifically imported Section distant 74.1107, signals a

of these rules,

Cablevision,

Incorporated

into the Toledo market

and on March 25, 1966, received

order from the FCC to show cause why it should not cease and desist from such operation 28th. and to appear at a hearing and other pro-

to be held on April ceedings,

In that hearing

Buckeye applied

for special relief from section orders by the its

74.1107 and, on May 25, 1966, in separate FCC, was denied relief and ordered violation hearings, investment of rules.75 in general,

to cease and desist by Buckeye in the

The arguments

pointed out the tremendous

financial

made in the Toledo

system prior to the Second that such huge obligations The lack of symimportance

Report and Order and pleaded

made Buckeye worthy of special relief.

pathy in this case by the FCC was of particular 74Robert Ohio, January Schmitt, personal 9, 1973. interview

in Lakewood,

753 FCC2d 798; 3 FCC2d 808.

63
to those behind with great the Lakewood venture, since Lakewood , also had far stopped

plans before

the March

8, 1966 ruling, to getting

less about which cold by adverse Lakewood 1967.

to complain regulations,

in regard

in light of the fact that until February 2,

CATV did not start operations the FCC decision

Certainly,

on May 25, 1966 CATV to ask

squelched

any thoughts relief

on the part of Lakewood finalized

for special

and probably programming

the idea of sub-

local origination scribers arguments CATV would

as a way of attracting Furthermore, imagined

in the Cleveland in an evidentiary

area.

since any by Lakewood would not

hearing

have to show why its cable operation to local UHF independents, memory that in the Buckeye

be injurious uncomfortable in Toledo station whereas

there would Cablevision

be the case

it was a dubious

act to call the local UHF favored) a true independent, station. Thus,

(which the FCC clearly Cleveland's

UHF was an educational really

all the Lakewood at cablecasting, to allow

system could

do was to try its hand up .enough Lakefor downCATV

at least until the FCC softened of two Canadian stations

importation

which

wood CATV had been eyeing. the failure, therefore,

The rest of the reasons the role of TV-6's history of Lakewood

deal with

fall in the overall in 1967 and 1968.

unsuccessful

64 The first reason factor to the failure which Feldman cites as a contributory as a

of TV-6 was that Lakewood, rather

metropolitan community number

suburb of Cleveland market,

than a separate

or separate

did not have a substantial local activities or

of inhabitants

who cared about

affairs. Lakewood between Lakewood street Avenue,

With the largest residents often

city in Ohio at their side door,

lose sight of the separation Legally and politically,

the city and the suburb. is separate,

but no one would Clifton

know to look at the Detroit five of con-

signs. Madison

Lake Avenue, Avenue,

Boulevard, Boulevard,

and Franklin

the eight major tinuations Furthermore,

thoroughfares

in Lakewood streets

are merely

of identically citizens

named

in Cleveland.

of Lakewood

can get all the pertitelevision indep-

nent news concerning stations. pendence people,

them over the Cleveland indicative

(Particularly on Cleveland

of Lakewood's

is that, in a city of over 70,000 station.) Like certain cities

there

is no radio

in New Jersey near New York City, Lakewood community" course, Lakewood strong

is a "bedroom Of in as

to those who work and shop in Cleveland. spirit

this is not to imply that a community did not exist;

but such spirit was not nearly of Cleveland

as the organizers

Area TV, Incorporated of their research).

had imagined

(which was about the extent for the failure

A second reason satory explanation

of TV-6, and compen-

set forth by those who insist that

65
Lakewood has great community had little spirit, is that much of the points out some

programming specific

appeal.

Feldman

examples

in his Rand study:

(1) a swap show, which is a waste of no

can be a real blockbuster time on a small system callers-in); the movies

on a large system,

(on some days there were

(2) the free industrial were too dated;

films were dull and were often in-

(3) the originations and

very amateurish dication

and experimental;

(4) an overall

that programming

left much to be desired students

was the

fact that parents teams would the season, advertising

of high school subscribe

on the school CATV only for also notes that greatly,

sometimes instead revenues

to Lakewood Feldman

of year-round. might

have improved

things

but could not because advertising. A third factor,

of the City Council's

ban on cable

and one related

to the second, was

that all programming According vision to Feldman,

on TV-6 was in black-and-white. Lakewood had 35 per cent color the appeal which tele-

set penetration, programming highly

thus reducing to an audience

of the

origination television Another

both valued set.

and which

could afford a color factor

aspect

of the black-and-white networks, program

is that at the

time, the three major all offering increasingly

for the first time, were schedules--a fact which

full-color

made monochrome

fare out-of-style.

66 Feldman's fourth reason for the failure of TV-6 conwhidh

cerns the state of art in equipment did not seem far enough wire as not particularly were often unclear advanced. pleasant

and techniques, He cites

the AP news the letters and the mater-

to watch: inking

because much

of faulty

ial was presented reading speed. effort

slower

than any given comfortable he claimed that it was a to and from the had

Furthermore,

herculean studio

to move the equipment van.

and the mobile effect

This lack of easy mobility of programming:

an indirect

on the quality

Because

it was expensive

in terms of time and wear on equipment for constant moving, there was on

which was not designed less money TV-6. At present, gramming sources available

for higher

quality

programming

however,

equipment, different

techniques,

and pro-

are vastly

from 1967 and 1968. in either color

New compact

television

cameras,

available

or black-and-white, lems of mobility videotaping new compact improvement ers using

have substantially

solved

the probof

and quality. locations video

Furthermore, is easier

the method nowadays

on remote half-inch

with the

recorders

which

are a marked record-

over the bulky helical-scan two-inch

videotape

tape which were the only available during the Lakewood CATV venture. much in the As

means of videotaping for programming way of low-cost

sources,

there is presently

film packages

which were not available

67
five years ago to the same extent. Had Lakewood CATV held out thus sub-

on for just a few more years, better helping quality programming

it could have turned

on TV-6 for less money, in attracting

the cable system to succeed

scribers. Feldman relationship tors leading local program reasons reason does not, however, common note one very third, important facin

to his second,

and fourth efforts

to the demise origination.

of Lakewood

CATV's

The bringing

together

of these

for the failure

of TV-6 creates

a kind of "hybrid" Potenover blackpublic

for the non-acceptance in Lakewood sets.

of local origination: network quality

tial audiences their television and-white, affairs

expected

Unsteady talent,

camera

operation,

unexperienced

Grade C movies, and a general

instead

of entertainment

lack of to a vast

"slickness" number

all combined

to make TV-6 unbearable

of people who were conditioned to expect

by commercial bland, irrele-

broadcasters

perfection--perhaps

vant perfection,

but all the same, perfection. for the failure of TV-6, according effective means was or active,

The fifth reason Feldman, available

to

was that no inexpensive, for informing

subscribers,

potential

about the local origination basis.

programming

on a day-to-day

For one thing, he points program

out that for a long time schedule with which to evolved, the

there was no consistent build a loyal audience.

Once such a schedule

68
operators papers of Lakewood CATV found that the Lakewood news+

refused

to print the listings because only

for TV-6 in their

television

sections

6 per cent of the city was in the Cleveland news-

on the cable papers, aside

and that advertising from reaching

too many persons

not in the At

promotional first,

"target group,"

was just too costly.76 advertisements

Lakewood

CATV purchased

each week in know the

the Lakewood schedule method,

papers

to let the city's Even though direct

residents

of TV-6.

mail was a cheaper to stop its weekly

the cable operators listings,

hesitated

newspaper means ever,

lest the system new subscribers.

lose its only active After a while, howthe

of attracting it seemed

that the advertisements in terms of attracting to inform

were not worth subscribers, subscribers and of

extra expense, Lakewood TV-6's

CATV began

its active

schedule

by direct

mail. those which Feldman failure in terms

Of the remaining does not cite

four factors,

in his explanation origination, for Lakewood

of the Lakewood significant

of local program of life or death

the most

CATV concerns between

the complicaCleveland In earlier created by the Area

tions of the leaseback TV, Incorporated sections

arrangement

and Ohio Bell Telephone. burden

of this paper the financial

76It seems very strange that The Plain Dealer did not offer to carry the TV-6 schedule for free in 1tS television section.

69
monthly overhe payments to Ohio Bell has mention thoroughly

discussed. itable

In addition,

has been made of the vercable companies like CATV,

straight-jacket

in which

Incorporated ship of poles power. dilemma Schmitt,

were held by the phone and easement rights

companies

whose owner-

gave them a formidable formed only part of the According to

These problems, of the leaseback the handling

however,

arrangement.

of customer

complaints

was unduly

complicated Schmitt

by the leaseback suggested

arrangement. example of what could CATV.

the following

(and did) go wrong A customer cable would

during

the operation

of Lakewood

call Lakewood service

CATV to report

that the

television

to his or her home was malfuncregular the

tioning. office general

Provided

that the call was made during immediately contacted

hours,

the secretary during

manager;

off-hours

complaints

were recorded back each

on a automated morning.

phone answering manager

machine contacted

and played

The general

Ohio Bell, which

then contacted next called which

its area supervisor.

The area supervisor who assembled home. a crew,

on the chief technician,

was dispatched

to the complainant's

If the

malfunction house,

was linked

to the drop from the pole to the on the spot. However, if the drop

it was corrected functioning,

was properly chief

the crew returned

and told the

technician,

who set the process and down,

in reverse motion eventually, to the

back up his chain of command

70

secretary service's

at Lakewood

CATV.

She then contacted

the cable

crew, which was dispatched the connection Usually

to the complainant's

horne, where

from the drop to the television the problem was found and corcall). it on

set was checked. rected by the crew

(otherwise

Ohio Bell got another was a situation before

The end result often

of this process

in which

took one to two days of delays were given thorough processing

complaints termed prob-

service

attention.

Schmitt a "serious

this lengthy lem.«77

of complaints

Certainly, were made business. which wrong.

the complicated

way in which

service

calls

to complaining No one wants

subscribers

hurt Lakewood

CATV's

to pay $5 per month prompt aspect number would repair when

for a service something goes

does not guarantee Had the financial by a greater

of the leaseback of subscribers,

problem this slow

been altered

way of answering leaseback

complaints

have still given the with Lakewood CATV.

arrangement

a bad reputation

Either way,

the arrangement

with Ohio Bell was very injuriin Lakewood.

ous to the probability The eighth Lakewood gramming. venture overall

of cable TV's success reason

for the failure of the of TV-6 daily proall

was the discontinuity

In its attempt

to cut costs by repeating Lakewood

live and taped shows at least once, 77Robert Schmitt, Ope cit.

CATV managed

71 to create a channel which no one could comfortably turn on

and leave on. television

One of the basic common sense rules of is that programs should each lead the quality

programming

into the next in some way, if only by keeping consistent. The way to build an audience

for evening pro-

grams is not to precede those programs five identical origination TV-6 appears IS-minute news programs.

with 7S minutes of Like the other

channels

(weather scanner, news wire, etc.), as a service to tune

to have been programmed

in, then tune out. progra~~ing televiewer, programming

The problem with such a method of is set by an individual especially if the

is that once a channel the selection is good.

is maintained,

TV-6 was, in this way, very easy to to tune in. reason Of course, TV-6 had an audience;

tune out, but difficult no advertising-related however, without

for building audience,

a consistent

TV-6 could never of potential sub-

hope to become well-known scribers. Another ushered

in a community

reason for TV-6Is

failure

(a failure which

in the failure of the entire system) was the lack given to the idea of local program proposal origination. as

of planning The original mentioned casting

for cable service to Lakewood,

earlier,

did not even hint at the idea of cableprogramming. But, when the FCC or CATV

community-minded

effectively distant

stopped any plans for either microwave the organizers

signal importation,

of Lakewood

72 decided, program on criteria origination which are not clear, to give local a try in a major market. This decision work in

was undoubtedly the planning

followed up by very professional

of TV-6, despite

the fact that TV-6 was to be

the first of its kind. nature of the planning

And yet, the very last-minute must have detracted from what sucidea

cess might have been possible been conceived

had the origination Perhaps

from the beginning.

if Lakewood CATV

had began its planning slowly checked itdd,

of TV-6 earlier,

if it had more pulse than

the collective

co~munity-spirit

it might not have even tried to start a cable system dependent on its local program origination. and one which is is that Lakewood

entirely

The tenth reason for the failure, closely connected to the ninth reason,

CATV did not seem to have enough the local program origination.

"heart" in the success of The cablecasting experi-

ment, which could have succeeded, device of desperation permitted

was viewed as just a until the FCC

to stay in business

the company to import signals from Canada, ones the Grade B contours. The promotion of the

just outside localized

service was just that: advertising

to attract a was in

viable number of subscribers. the veiled promises

The real promotion

in the press releases (i.e., distant

and advertise-

ments that more service

signals) was hopeIt was

fully on its way to Lakewood via cable television.

at the same time in which these great hopes for something

73 better than the better-than-nothing were dashed, public affairs pro-

gramming

in fact, that Lakewood Cox Cab1evision where the FCC,

CATV decided immersed in

to give up "temporarily." crucial problems in Toledo,

was

told Buckeye

Cab1evision station,

that, because

of complaints

from the local UHF

it would

not be able to carry Detroit-Windsor

signals even though the signals were not "distant sig78 . na1s"; 1f Cox was losing its rights to carry market signals getting in Toledo, permission back it must have suddenly to carry non-market suites lost hope of in Lakewood. Cox with

signals

Meanwhile,

in the executive Reinsch

in Atlanta,

prexy J. Leonard Cox Cab1evision pective

was planning wondering

to go public what

and probably

to tell proslosing It is a

stockholders

about a Cox system the problems

in Lakewood in Toledo.

its shirt, not to mention small wonder ari1y" indeed

that the decision CATV.

was made

to "tempor-

shut down Lakewood

The ten reasons the failure

listed

above accurately cable television

account efforts

for of

of the Lakewood The major

1967 and 1968. by anyone Second

reason,

the one most

often cited

connected

with CATV,

Incorporated,

was the FCC's for

Report

and Order.

In light of the reasons

7815 FCC2d 1030. The severity of this decision might be linked to the previous unhappiness on the part of the FCC with Buckeye Cablevision's open violation of the distant signal importation limitations. See supra, note 47.

74 choosing Lakewood for a cable TV venture, sented earlier

in the paper, reasons two and six of the list of reasons for the failure are the most ironic in that two of the very items on which Lakewood proved ranks to be elusive. CATV's organizers had counted

The leaseback

problem certainly

second to the Second Report and Order as a chief burdens of Lakewood CATV. The im-

cause of the financial portance

of the success of TV-6, moreover,

cannot be over

estimated. Although vertising burdens, it may be said by some that the lack of ad-

on TV-6 might have played a role in the financial there is no indication that Lakewood CATV would it. The

have done much better with it than it did without key to success in cable television scribers;

is the number of sub"gravy."

any other sources of income are so much

Lakewood scribers casually "inherent

CATV simply could not attract enough subfailed. One may an

to pay its bills, and therefore

assign all the guilt to the FCC for placing restraint" on top-IOO markets in its Second

Report and Order. dition program however,

Another person may blame the poor conorigination, albeit local Certainly, the

of the local programs origination

under strange conditions.

it was a mixture regulations

of both of these elements,

restrictive

and the shoddy planning

of TV-6,

which brought venture

forth the failure of CATV, Incorporated's

in Lakewood.

75 In a greater the times in which sense, the failure of Lakewood speaks of

the event took place. the highpoint industry.

The years 1964 of

and 1965 were innovation

in reality

of the success

in the television

Those who entered profits, for for

the cable business the most part, the first service. stagnation sion.

in time reaped

handsome

and those who received

distant

signals

time were the beneficiaries The years between of television's

of a great public a

1966 and 1972 represent new development--cable

televi-

Those who entered

the cable business

in those years,

like Lakewood fathered" about

CATV, did not do as well Moreover, there

as the IIgrandmagical

systems.

is nothing

the year 1972; perhaps

the stagnation industry,

will remain

for years innovative There outlets top-IOO

to come in the cable broadcasting

or in any other

industry

for that matter. the number systems of cable in the All

is no way of calculating

which

did not try to start CATV because of restrictive

markets,

regulations.

that can be known of the possibility system in the top-IOO markets,

of operating

a cable

on a scheme of attracting origination, No other perhaps lies in system foolishly,

subscribers

by offering

local program CATV.

the above case study of Lakewood tried to do what Lakewood

CATV bravely,

tried to do. The extenuating bare in the preceding failure in Lakewood.

circumstances

have been laid

discussion

of the cable television

76 It must be remembered failure of Lakewood that the above reasons by taking for the

CATV were derived Perhaps,

the factual failed

conditions

at face value.

Lakewood

CATV

only because CATV,

there was a lack of interest (there is really

on the part of for

Incorporated

no way of knowing by the owners which

sure, given

the lack of cooperation Perhaps

of CATV,

Incorporated).

The Plain Dealer, cable television

presumably

knew that newspaper-owned supposed to receive

systems were on

at least a 12 per cent return in its unsuccessful with Cox Cablevision

investment,79 experiment cided

lost interest

pioneering and deLakewood was

in cablecasting

not to lose another

cent in the unprofitable to suspend

system.

In fact, the decision

operations

facilitated

by the fact that the cable trunk to CATV, Incorporated,

in Lakewood to the of

did not belong telephone

but instead

company;

this may have been the only benefit with Ohio Bell. will CATV.

the leaseback neither

arrangement

Unfortunately, say whose deci-

owner of CATV,

Incorporated

sion it was to close down Lakewood of either merely Cox Cablevision

The possibility having the system had speculainforma-

or The Plain Dealer CATV before however,

lost interest to meet

in Lakewood

a chance tive.

its potential,

is only

There exist too many gaps in the available

tion to state \vith any certainty

that the above counter-

79"CATV investment given cautious recommendation," Editor and Pu~lisher, May 22, 1965, p. 9.

77 explanation of the Lakewood CATV failure is a better reason

than those ten reasons given earlier. Based on all the available cribed in this thesis, information, which is des-

there are two final conclusions to the Lakewood cable telewith

which can be made in relation vision system.

These two conclusions questions:

are concerned

the following

1. Should the Lakewood system have ever started; that is, was it possible for local program origination to succeed in a market where distant signal importation was prohibited? 2. Given that the Lakewood system was begun, should it have been discontinued, as it was, after a year and a half of unprofitable operation? The answers known to these questions are based not on what was

in the years 1965 through 1968, but on what is now system. system was feasible with no signal is in opposition to that of

known about the Lakewood First, importation. N. E. Feldman, the Lakewood

This conclusion who stated

in his chapter on the Lakewood simply could not

system that local program origination attract clusion varied, subscribers in Lakewood.

The reasons for the conwas feasible are earlier. Clearly, the

that local program origination and many have been presented

nine reasons

for the failure of TV-6 were not necessary. could have done

There was little that CATV, Incorporated about the Second Report and Order's signal importation

impact on distant markets. But

in the top-lOO television

78 the success of TV-6 was not automatically It could have worked. system should have continued was not losing suspension" by other of income for a by so doomed by exter-

nal conditions. Second, operations much money services sources myriad trying

the Lakewood

at a 10SSi

CATV,

Incorporated

at the time of the "temporary

that could not have been absorbed of the parent companies. CATV,

Incorporated

of reasons to attract

decided

that it had made a mistake with local program

subscribers

originaa

tion alone, couple

but it had not.

If only

it had waited

or three more years,

the system

could have been

successful.

APPENDIX

79

Nee tine F= br-uar-y7. 1966
O.!IDI!1ANCE NO.

AS P.1{EHD2D

6-66

BY: lle::;::;r3. Usher, Hard, l'lencilln£;J Cain"
Hurr-man" Ke LLey ,

AN other public quent additions distributior; of
lanes,

in,

streets .. Ohio, transt:1ission and enable sale of their ser- City, and other purpo5es~ for a and regulating the same. from Cleveland to engage in t!1e City of Lakewood; the

and

Vice to the inhabitants of period of' tHenty (20) years,

and,

a c ormun.Lt.y antenna

Area ?V, Inc.,

WHEREAS,

An application has been received an Ohio corporation, for pe~ission

television

system

in

installing

streets and hi;;;1'.IaY3 of the Cl ty of Lakewood for
their systems, and,

WHEREAS:. Said

app Lt cant; mus t , of ne ce s a Lt.y , use

the purpose
over

~IHEREAS, It is necessary that so~e re~1atlon 1nstallation be pro::Julgated, nOH, therefore,
STATE BE IT ORDADSD OF OHIO: BY THE COlJ'NCIL OF THE CITY

said

OF LAKmWOD,

end obs e r-vance of the conditions ani r,~serv2..t.ions hereinafter spec Lr.t , the norr-e xc Lu sLve risht is hereby g.r-an t e c to Cleveland ed A:rea TV~ Inc., a co:'porat..ion orr;aniz0d unde:- th~ laHs of the State of Ohio its succes~ors or assigns (hereinafter referred to as "The co:::panyH), to erect ..1J:2.intaln, oper2.te and ut1.1iz~ televis1o~ transnisslon and distribution r~c111tiesJ and additions thereto in, under, above) alon(;, ac~oss, and upon the streets" Lane s .. avenues, s LdeweLks , a Ll.e yc , b~id[;es and other pub Lt c places in t he Cl t.y of Lakev.ood and sub s equen t add! t Lons thereto .. for the purpose of trans::11s~ion 8.:1ddistribution of audio and viG:J3.1 ir..pulses and t.e Lev.Lsi on enerGj" in accordance l'flth the 12..\,;5and reGulations of the United S~:;,t.-::s of Ame r-Lca end the St2. te of O;;'io ~ and t he or-dLnance s and :-':Cu1z. t Lons of the City of: Lal:cHood, rcr- 2. period of t\l'~nty (20) :"22.r8, but the Company shall not o r-Lg Lna t e 0:- pr-oduce any progr'.:l::l, signal, message or adve r t Lseraen t; to be trans::--.l t t ed and distributed over or through its zyste~ of vires or facilities in the City, except such as pay be approved by the Council of tile Ci t:i.
J

Scction 1.

In consideration

or

the faithful performance

Section 2. i"iherever uaed in this or-d.inanc e , the Hord J'Television" sh~ll mean a syste~ for tr~~3nlss1o~ of audio signals and/or vizual im3.ges or 2.ny other type of closed circuit transm13sion and/or sLgria transmission by mean s o f electrical L i::lpulses. . Section 3. It i::; c on t empLat.ed that the COrlp2.ny\'/ill malce arrangenent::; Hi:::h th~ Ohio Bell ?clcphone Cor;:p~ny.l The Clevel.:tnd. Electric Illu..~in2tlne Comp any , or any o thc r- holder or license3 or franchl:)es I'r-orn the Clty for' the pur'p occ of usIng the to!,-:er;;" poLe s , and a t t ach t::cnt!; thereto of .031d c oztpcn Les for the! attachm~nt of tclevi~lon tr~n8m10s1on 8~d distribution facilitIes, subject to all c;:i::;tlng t!.n~futurc ol~{tir4ance3 of t he City.
of po

poles

Section 4. The Comp:1.r:y will not crcct :1. ncpnr.J.tcny::;tcm Lc s in the City or on 2.n:! :otl'c.~'.; '"herein, but n,y erect
\lhez"2'

t Lon, and

s hown to b£: nc ce cc ar-y lIhel) til!.: nc cc s cI ty, the: locathe :;~~ylc of po Lea have been app r-o ve d by the Dlrcc tor

80

81

2

of Pub Lt c Ho:,ks not urir-ea s onc oLy
subject to all

the-C~ty Director

of which approval will The of poles shall be e~--:istlr:G and future ordin3.r1C03 and regulations of the~eto Bnd under the supervis£on of the

wires~

and distribution syste!7l, poles. lccaced erected, and maintaincd O~ interfere with the lives of perim~rovenents the Cit:? nay d eern proper to make> or to hinder un~ecessarlly or obstruct the free uze of The
and
1

of'poles or equipr:tent when necessary will be a t the Co:::panyI 3 expe ns e ,

the streets~ alleys~ brid;es or other

avoid such j_nterfe~ence

property. Removal

Construction and maintenance of the transmission distribution s vs t em shall be in accordance \1ith the or-ovt s t ons of the NatioTIal- Elec t.r i ca L Safet'r Coce of tru" t:atio:1al Eoard of FIre Unde r-wrLt e r-s , and such <.lpplicable or-dLnanc e s and regulations of' the City of' L:tlceHov,j, affecting electric2.1 Inst2.11ations, vhich may be presently in effect, or changed by f'llCc:.rCrdin.:::.nces. o

A11 installations of eqllip~ent shall be of pe~anent nature, durable, and inst2.11ed in accord2.nce Nith good engineerin~ practice, and of sufficient height to Hith all eXisting CIty regulatIons, ordinances, and state so as not to intcrf'e r-e 1n any rnanner- with the right of the public or Lnc tv Ldue L ,Proper::y owner-s, and she-II not interfere Hit;h the travel and u~e o~ public plaCeS by th~ public during cons~r~ctlon~ repair, or rer:1oval thereof 2.nd shall not unduly obstruct or Impede tra.f.fic. franchise the City shall elect to alte~ or chance the grade of
In the event that at any time durinc the period of this

or other public iday, or to malce any other i!;:.provethe City nay de e m proper to I71Z1!(;e, the Cornp a ny upon reason3ble notice by the Clty shJll remove, relay and relocate its poles, w Lr-e , cables, conduits and other fixtures at Its own s experise , The Coripany s1"'211" on the request of any person holding a buildins moving permit a s sued by t he City, te;nporarily raise or Lower- its 'Hires to pe!'TI1it the nov i ng of bu i Ldt.ng s , rrhe expense of' such te::-:po!"2.ry r-emova L, raising or Lower-Lng of \·;ires shall be paid by the person r-eque s t t ng the unless the buildIng 13 being r.:ovedby the City or The CO'7:_;)2.ny shall be given not less th?n to arrange .for such tC:1porar;t 'Hire c hange s ,
n.e rrt s ·.,.,'hich

any street

Section 5. In the mainte:1ance and operation of its television transmission and dt s t r-Lbut Lon syc t cn in the streets, alloys, and other public places, and in the course of c ons t r-uct Lon or add LtLon to its facilities, the Corr:pany proceed 30 as to C2U8e the le3st possible inconvenience to the general public; any opening or obs t r-uct Lon li1 the streets or other publIc p La c e s nace by the CO;7;.:J:Jny t he course of its in operations :ohall be in accordance with the ordinance::; and 12.tions Governlr.g the of openlnG3 in :::;treets." public wayc or pLace s City of L:1J':CHOOj.1 OhiO, as C~ lislled by the CouncLl, and the Dcpar\;r:;entof Pub Li c \iorlcs of City and \-Ihich arc in effect at that t Lmc ,
harr:11e~s I'r-orn and aC:lln:;t all (:1<:11;-:1::;., dCr:12.nd~;" o f nc t Lon , c oc t s , expcnsc s , 10::; or d~1.r:1..1r:c

SectIon

6.

The

Corr:;"l~nysflJ.ll indcnnlf:r directly

and

hold
;JI~G

the

ty

ccrted

<l£.;::lin:ot C1ty, the

or indirectly,

ar1

out of

82

3
o~ connectd Hlth the ,c-oerationsof the or the exercl~e of ~ny~rights granted shall to p~r~ie~
c La Lrns,

Hlthln the City,

jud;;::-.<::nts

ses and 11abl1itle~~ t, directly, rro~ or reason ~uch loss, injury or da~age. The amoun t s of such i:lcurance aga t ns t; liabillty du;;; to physical sr~ll not be less than One Hundred Thous~nd Hundred Thou~~nd Dollars ( .00) a;Greg~te in any single policy year; and liabili~y due to bodily injury or to death of persons One H'.lndred ThOllsand Dollar:> 000.00) as to any and no less than Three Tllou~a.nd Dollars ( OOO.OG) as to anyone accident. The Co~p~~y ~hall also car~J such insurance as it deems ne ce s sar-y to p r-ot e c t; it rro::1 all cLa Lrns under the l-lorkmens Compensation L2.~,:~ in effect t na t IT..a.y be app.Li.c ab Le to the Company. All insurance required by this shall be and re~ain in full fo:::-ce and effect for the life of this ordinance. Said policy or policies of insurance or a certi.fied copy or copies thereof shall be approved by the Director of Law of' said City and be deposited with and Icepu on .file in the ofrice of said Director.
~~O

) as to

one accident 2nd not less t~n

Section 7. At the time this franchise becomes ef'fect1veJ the Comp~~y shall £tirnish a bond to the City in the a~mount of Ten Tho'.!sand Dollars ($10,000.00), in such form and Hith such sureties as slul1 be acceotilble to the Director of LaH of the CJty, guaranteeing the f2.1thful performance of all t he obligations of the Company under the terms of this franchise • . The Company's performance of its obligations under this shall be conditioned upon the Company1s receiving such 1~cense3 and/o~ Erants as nay be necessary to the perfo~ance of this ordinance, from duly constituted agencies of the Federal bover~0ent or the state of OhiO, ~hich licenses and/or grants the Compariy agrees to apply for ir.c1:ediately upon its acceptance of this ordinance. -

rranchise

Section 8. Installation, operation and ~aintenance shall be such th~t no in~errerence is caused to exlstln3 comnunications systems and so as not to distort or interfere \lith direct-ofr-the-air television Signals. If there !~any 1nter:fei~cnce" ,.;hlch i3 no t cli::11nated ~-:it;hln seven' day s af'ter notice by the City, Council may af t.e r- t.-;enty G.ay's notice, revoke the franchise herein granted.
j

c nar-ge s arid r-a t e s corrt e.Lncd in this section), unless s ame ehaLl. be increased; pr-ovLc.e d, howeve r-, that no increase of charges or rates shall be nado until approved by the Council of the City. .

stallation and until

Section 9. i1hen this franchise t ake s effect, the Company shall have authority to charge and collect the schedule of in-

All fees and cha:::-ges are exclusive whatsoever assessed or assessable aGainst lations and/or services.

of any tax 0::' taxes the scheduled instal-

The sche~uled attach~ent fees shall include that rr~terlal and labor ne cc cua r-y to make a norrcal-t:'ipe connection from the Company'!} line::; t.o the ·subscriber's receiver. Ci12rc;c3 for other than nOY'r.'l:ll-type c onnc c t.Lonc , such a s but not limited to spec La L and concealed ou t Lc t a and burled Lf.ne c , cha LL })~ .J.S agreed to be t.we en the prospective subscribers arid the compcny ,

83

4
(a}
be

for 1n1.':·13.1 t ac hmc t for a Lng Le outlet at
at the max Lmurn r-a z of ..00 e ac n.,

fo~ extensions f~cm nitlal attacr~~nt be at ti12 r.::.lXimLl1TI r a t .,00 each. Ext e ns Lons be limited to c omrne r-cLaL structure dwelling residence unit to be serviced by initial attacn~ent.

(b)

for transmission to initial attacn~ent maxim~~ rate of $5.90 per month.

set receiving be at the

(c)

for transmission to each set receiving on extension or extensions from initia1 shall be at the rate of $1.00 per set per l:!onth.

rr for any reason, through Federal reeulation or otherwise and for reasons l-lithinor beyond the cO:1trol of the CO!7lpany .. said Co:r.oanv shall cease to .furnish 1 t s services to its subscribers~ the original installation fee shall be refunded, at a pro-rata bae1s> to all ~ubscrlbers who h~ve had the beneflt or said service ror less t~n one (1) year, each such subscriber to receive a refund of one-tl-lelr~h of said installation ree ror each mon t h , or portion thereat'. in ;ihieh the suo sc r-LberIs not furnished said service by the company.
The company shall have the right to make all rules and regulations g ove r-m ng its services providing same are uniform and not inconSistent \"liththe terms hereot'. Section 10. The Company agrees to pa~ to the City a percentage of the gross receipts from the charges paid by the residents 01' the City as set forth in par-agr-apris (b) and (c) of Section 9, as follows: Three per cent (3%) of the gross receipts received from the first 8,000 dwelling unIts , within the City. Five per cent (5%) of the gross receipts received f'r'omthe next 4,000 dwe Ll.Lrig units within the City. Eight per cent (8%) of the gross receipts received frow the number of c\·:ellingunits with.in the City over 12,000. . NotWithstanding the provisions cont~ined herein for payment of an annual ree to the City, if the Coun~il of the City determines that any rate or s ch edu Le of fees '1;[hlch the Co[;.pany is ob11[;3.ted to pay- to any o t he r- rnun ipali t y of the same size Lc
or

the rate of schedule of fees provided for herein, then the City nay require a nd the Company chall p ayv f'e s to the Ci ty in ace cordance wi th such mor-e favorable rate or- s che du Le , Suc:h revised rate or schedule shall be applicable to revenue received by the Comp2.nyon and a r t e r- the first cay of the mont.h follo\iing receipt of \-lrittennotice by the Co.npany of such determination by the Council. The fee paid to the City shall be CCllcul.:ltcd on a calendar year- b:lsis and papent :;hall be m2.de for ea c h calendar year wIthin sixty (60) days follo~ine the end of such year, and shall be accc;:;p.J.nlcd by a stut:e~ent of ::;crvlce revenue received

Lar-g e r- wi thi.n

Cuyahor;a Coun ty

r

orn o ,

is

mor-e f avo r-abLe than

84

5
from subscrIbers 10 atcd within the City during the statcrne~t to be cer ified ao to correctness by n02nts. Th~ relevant rccindependent, certified tion by the City's ords of the CO~PQny folloHing the derepresentative for a . liver:l of the Cc:::pany
by the Company

such year;

Section 11. All of the terms, conditions, and provisions of t he Charter of the of L:l!:e\dOodas it now exf.s t s , relating to franchise and hereto shall be considered a part at: this or-d t nanc e the same as if such t.e r-ms , c onc Lt Lons , and provisio!1s were fully written herein. Section 12. It any section, sentence, c Lau s e or phrase , LnvaLl d, or uriof the ordinance is for reason held t the v211di ty constltutlo~alJ such ty shall of the ordinance, and any portions in conflict are hereby repealed. Section 13. The Co~pany agrees that it will ir.mediately upon the pas::;age of this ordinance, proceed to complete the engi~eerlng for the pro~osed television cable service and negotiate those pole li~e co~tracts required for said installation and co~plete and meet all rulings established by any other GovernT.ental Agency. The Company agrees to make the service provided for' herein available to subscribers Hltr.ln one year of the effective date of this ordinance, and if tne Co~pany fails to provide such s er-vi ce Hi t:'1in suc h period, exc ep t Lng for causes beyond its control, the Counc Lf of the City may revoke the fri:lDChise herein authorized after ninety (90) days written notice to the Compar-y. Section 14. The COr:1panyshall remove all equip~ent, installations and facIlities herein authorized and shall restore all publIc property for public use in as bood condition as the abutting portion~ thereof at the Company's own cost 2nd expense vii thin ninety (90) days after the expiration of t.e tna t Lon or rm revocation of this franchise. SectIon 15. The rights and privileges herein granted shall not be as~1~n3ble or transferable in any bankrJptcy proceedir.gs~ trusteeship.- receivership, or by operation of any laY!, 1n any of \ihlch events this fr2nchlse shall terr:1inate forthwith, nor shall said Company sell, lease, assign or otherwise alienate this franchise or any privilet;€ hereunder "'ithout the prior appr-ovaI of Council and subject to such terms and conditions as CouncIl ~ay provide. Sectionl6. Hithin thirty (30) days from the date of this ordinance t:!king effect, the Cor-p ariy sna IL file Hi th the Clerk of the City Counc Ll , its ~iritten ac cep t ar.c thereof; theree UpO:1 this ordinance shall be a contract oetlleen the City and the Company and be binding on both. Section 17. That this oz-dtnance ,shall take effect and be in force frow and after the earliest period allo;.{ed by 1'::'\"1. Jl.dop : ted __

t:_._e"",b..::.. ~,---_\_9__:6,-b;........ __

BIBLIOGRAPHY Books and Reports Drexel, Harriman, ,Incorporated. "An Industry Report on Community p.J1tennaTelevision. Philadelphia: Drexel Harriman Ripley, 1968.
1I

Feldman, N. E. Cable Television: Opportunities and Problems in Local Program Orlgination. Rand Report 570 FF, September 1970. Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corporation, 1970. Ray, Verne M., ed. CATV Operator's Maryland: TAB Books, 1967. Handbook. Thurmont,

Sloan Commission on Cable Corr~unications. On the Cable: The Television of Abundarice , New York: McGraw-HITl Book Company, 1971. Smith, Ralph Lee. The Wired Nation. Colophon Books, 1972. New York: Harper

Tate, Charles, ed. Cable Television in the Cities: Community Control, Public Access, and Nlnorfty O\vnersnip. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1972. Periodicals IICablemen to study local origination." March 20, 1967, p. 73. Broadca~tin2' Editor

"CATV investment given cautious recommendation." and Publisher, May 22, 1965, p. 9.

"CATV program origination; present and prospective." Television Digest, June 9, 1967, p. 2. "F. W. Ford urges CATV opera tors to produce Advertising Age, July 4, 1966, p. 20. Goodfriend, H. E., and Pratt, F. T. television," Financial Analysts p. 48. 85 local ahows
j "

"Community antenna Journal, Harch 1970,

86 "Move into CATV: advice to dailies," November 7, 1966, p. 50. Reinsch, J. L. Commercial p. 604. Advertising Age,

"Cable TV is here to stay and will grow," and Finane Chronicle, August 18, 1966, of CATV: a look at the ings of the IEEE, is

Smith, E. Stratford. "The emergence evolution of a revolution," LVIII, July 1970, p. 967. vialsh, Edward Coming!"

J., Jr. "The Cable is Coming! The Cable Cleveland, January 1973, p. 65. Television

"Will origination build CATV audience?" October 24, 1966, p. 2. Newspapers "Cable TV is here!" pp. lB-8B. Lakewood Sun-Post,

Digest,

February

2, 1967,

"NCTA charges AT&T stalls use of poles to force CATVers to join 'lease-back' program," New York Times, October 15,1966, p. 60. Unpublished Materials (available at Lakewood City Hall)

Cleveland Area Television, Incorporated. "Proposed Community Antenna Television Service," proposal submitted to the city of Lakewood, Ohio, on February 19, 1965. Ordinance 6-66, City of Lakewood, Ohio.

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