The folks at NY1 are facing yet another change in corporate ownership with news this week that Charter Communications plans to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc., the current owner of the New York-centric news station. But fear not, Pat Kiernan fans: Charter has vowed to keep the much-loved New York staple up and running, at least for now.
“I can confirm to you that Charter will keep NY1 intact and doing what it does best, and the same goes for the other TWC and Bright House Networks-owned news networks,” a Charter spokesman told International Business Times.
Charter announced on Tuesday that it will purchase its larger rival for $56 billion, a deal still subject to regulatory approval. In a separate transaction, the Stamford, Connecticut, company will also acquire Bright House Networks for $10 billion. If both mergers close, Charter would become the second-largest U.S. cable operator behind Comcast. It was only a month ago that Comcast walked away from its own bid for Time Warner Cable, a megadeal that faced resistance from regulators at the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission and aroused wide opposition.
A representative for NY1 did not comment specifically on Charter’s statement or the pending merger, but said NY1’s news operations are “a valuable part of the TWC portfolio.”
In response to an inquiry from IBTimes Thursday, Charter did not share specifics or elaborate on its plans for NY1 beyond saying that it will keep the operation intact. News of the pending merger stirred some speculation on social media about what will happen to the 23-year-old station, which is popular among New Yorkers for its focused coverage of the five boroughs. New Yorkers’ protectiveness of the station was underscored in 2013 when a plan to rebrand NY1 as “TWC News” faced significant backlash. The station eventually settled on “Time Warner Cable News NY1,” a mouthful of a compromise.
Charter did not respond to a question regarding a possible future name change for the station, but clearly many viewers would not miss the words “Time Warner Cable” should they be stripped from the station’s moniker.
If Charter gets the "Time Warner Cable News" out of NY1's name, much will be forgiven.
â€” Michael Roston (@michaelroston) May 26, 2015
As CNN reported earlier this week, Tom Rutledge, Charter’s chief executive, said the “vast majority” of TWC employees will keep their jobs after the merger.