Kasich Has Good Things to Say About Cable in Campaign Exit


A prominent figure in today’s Washington, D.C., media landscape has connected cable with the virtuous circle theory, and this time it wasn’t FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler has said, in justifying regulation, that cable operators are a potential threat to the virtuous circle. But Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in his speech exiting the Republican presidential race — carried as a public service by the cable industry-backed C-SPAN — put the two together in a more positive light.

In talking about the impact his literally touchy-feely campaign had made on him and others — Kasich is a big hugger — he said that he had talked to a woman in Philadelphia, self-identified as the producer on “a major cable show,” who said she had watched his town halls and heard him talk about the spirit of the country and her role, and told him, “You’ve affected my life.”

Kasich used that to illustrate his theory that everyone needs to live a life a little bigger than themselves and to reach out to help someone else. He said human beings were hard-wired to want to give someone else a lift. That, he said, allows the “helper” to accept help themselves. “You see,” he said, “that’s a virtuous circle.”

The Wire quite agrees.

The 2 Time Warners, Cable and Programming, Sometimes Don’t Meet

The Wire has often been struck whenever a (probably) coincidental disconnect shows up between Time Warner Cable, the distributor, and Time Warner Inc., the programmer. After all, they were part of the same company since Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications in 1990 until 2009 when they completed a split.

Since then, at various times, the cable company (which is in the process of merging with Charter Communications) has seemed oddly distant from its former programming sibling. When TWC launched its first iPad app in 2011, Time Warner-owned CNN and HLN were on board but TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, truTV and Turner Classic Movies weren’t.

TWC now appears to be the only major pay TV provider that does not authenticate its customers to watch CNN programming on the CNNgo mobile app, even though TWC carries CNN. “Give me a break it’s CNN for goodness sakes,” a commenter noted under a recent MCN online story.

The latest: HBO CEO Richard Plepler said he sees upside after Charter acquires Time Warner Cable, because HBO has far higher penetration at Charter historically than at 10.8 million-subscriber TWC, and because the enlarged Charter will have about 6 million broadband-only customers — fodder for the HBO Now standalone online service.

One theory: TWC over the years has taken the philosophy of dealing with its former sibling at arm’s length to extremes. The Wire welcomes other explanations. Email them to us at mcnletters@nbmedia.com, and we’ll share them in a future column.

— Kent Gibbons

They Say War Is Hell, And New Book Shows Hell Lingers for Years

“Old cable guy” Brian Gruber, as the former C-SPAN and MSO marketing executive likes to call himself, has completed the odyssey he wrote about in a January 2015 guest blog on our site and published War: The Afterparty.

Gruber, who’s also backed the FORA.tv and ShowGo.tv streaming ventures, spent about a year and a half visiting Afghanistan, Laos, Guatemala and other places where the U.S. government staged interventions, overt or covert, to talk with people there about how well or badly their lives are now. He was inspired by the August 2014 anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in Congress that led to the Vietnam War.

Some conclusions he shared at book parties in New York City and Santa Monica, Calif.: Violence rarely achieves political goals and there are always lots of unintended consequences. (See: Iraq.)

The book’s available on Amazon for about $20.

— Kent Gibbons