Adelphia Communications Corp. will shutter one of the nation's oldest
regional news operations, Orange County NewsChannel, Sept. 7.
Bill Rosendahl, Adelphia's regional vice president in Southern California,
said the channel has lost 'hundreds of thousands of dollars' in each of the 22
months it has been operated by Adelphia. The operator inherited the channel as
an asset in its purchase of Century Communications Corp.
The channel has been a fixture in the county for 10 years, operating as an
antidote to the Los Angeles-focused news offered by local affiliates of the
major networks. It even provided content to broadcaster KCAL to expand that
station's news focus.
It was launched by Freedom Newspapers, publisher of the local Orange
County Register. The paper, citing mounting losses, sold the venture to
Century in the mid-1990s.
About 600,000 cable homes served by Cox Communications Inc., Time Warner
Cable, AT&T Broadband and a private cable operation in the Leisure World
retirement community cablecast OCN. Adelphia serves 177,000 of those cable
Rosendahl said the other operators have been apprised of Adelphia's decision,
as have been the 67 full-time employees of the news operation. He added that
it's 'quite possible' that some of the news employees will find jobs elsewhere
with Adelphia operations.
'It's a great channel and it fills a great need, but we're running a business
... ad sales are flat, as they are elsewhere in the business. The revenues are
not enough to keep OCN going,' he said.