Traverse City's attorney says Charter Communications can't move public access television stations against the wishes of local governments. The cable company says it will reassign channels in December for some community-run TV stations, including Up North 2.
For more than 15 years people, in the Grand Traverse region have been able to make TV shows and show them to cable subscribers on cable channel 2, previously it was TCTV 2. The station has always been run under an agreement between local governments in the area and Charter. Traverse City manager Ben Bifoss says it will cost the station money to rebrand itself at a different channel number. He says if Charter moves the stations once there is no reason to expect they won't be moved again and again and eventually any audience they have could be destroyed.
Bifoss told the Traverse City Commission that fighting the move could result in a protracted legal battle as cable companies are percieved to be litigious. He says other communities in Michigan might support the city if they think their public access stations might also be moved.
Charter's head of goevernment relations was not ready to comment on the issue. He said he was trying to reach Bifoss to discuss the plan.