Spectrum customers lose WTKR, WGNT, WGN over fee dispute

By on January 2, 2019

Spectrum cable TV subscribers lost several channels on Wednesday, including the Norfolk CBS and CW affiliates, after negotiations on a new contract with the stations’ owner stalled.

Customers on the Outer Banks are no longer getting WTKR-3, WGNT-27 and WGN America. Tribune Media and Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum, were unable to reach a re-transmission agreement before the latest contract expired.

Tribune also pulled the stations from the Spectrum systems in Elizabeth City, Ahoskie and Suffolk. Subscribers in the Richmond-area lost their CBS affiliate, WTVR.

The dispute is over annual fees cable and satellite companies pay local stations for the right to carry the signals on their systems.

The two sides agreed Monday to an extension that expired on Jan. 2 at 5 p.m.

Both companies were running onscreen graphics during the final days of the contract, alerting viewers while blaming each other for the impasse.

“We’re extremely disappointed that we do not have an agreement on the renewal of our contract,” said Gary Weitman, Tribune Media’s senior vice president for corporate relations in a statement on KeepMyStation.com/WTKR.

“The NFL playoffs are in jeopardy, beginning this weekend with critical games in some key markets like Indianapolis and Seattle. We don’t want Spectrum subscribers to miss these games,” Weitman said.

Customers in Dare County still have access to the Greenville CBS affiliate, WNCT-9, which is owned by Nexstar and is not affected by the Tribune dispute. Earlier this month, Nexstar announced it will buy Tribune for $4.1 billion.

Spectrum countered on the website, TribuneFairDeal.com, that “we don’t think it’s fair that they are demanding huge fee increases, especially since their programming is provided free with a TV antenna, and much of it is available for free on the internet.

“Spectrum has already offered Tribune compensation for their channel that is consistent with what other companies get for these stations, but that is not good enough for them,” according to the cable company.

Specturm is now running graphics with similar statements on the affected channels.

A total of 24 television markets across the country are impacted by the local stations pulled from Spectrum, and 14 million subscribers nationwide have lost WGN America.

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Called Spectrum and asked if the customers could get a rebate of some sort because we are not able to watch our programs and they said, absolutely not, we don’t do that. They don’t do much and when there is an outage, unless you call them, you won’t get credit for the outage which is outrageous as they know where the outage(s) is and an automatic credit should be given to those customers experiencing the outage. We are their prisoners and, unless and until another reputable company comes here, this is what we will be experiencing without any help from… Read more »

carla sylvas

My question, since your company have taken two stations from us, will our bill go down/per the contract I am paying for these stations. I was paying 130.00 when I first got cable with you, now my bill have increased to 170.00, $30.00 more. Not really worth it, with all the outages I get. I feel like I have a dish. I need some answers or I will have to switch.


I’ve had DISH and Direct T.V. and went through the same situation with dropped channels until they reached an agreement.

This mess makes me sick my cable bill went up in November now I can’t watch the Baltimore ravens and Chargers game I’m post off all my other shows I like lets make a deal,coast live, price is right and wtkr news. I’m thinking about getting some thing else and and say the hell with spectrum. And you know the super bowl is on c.b.s. this year.

If Spectrum does not put WGN back on I will be moving my business elsewhere, I pay enough for my viewing and they have been going up at least twice a year $4 and then 4 or 5 months later another $4 or $5 dollars they have an excuse for the reason why they do not have there customers interest at heart they are lining there pockets they make enough out of us people to make a profit so get your bankruptcy going again as you will have not choice


This is ridiculous! Spectrum charges too much as is! Poor service. High fees

Seriously the networks are going to be a thing of the past. We were paying too much money for a couple of channels we watched. I cut the cable kept the internet. We have Netflix, Amazon, Sling and Hulu that lets us watch Network TV a day late. With those services we are paying a 3rd of what our bill use to be.

So ~ how are you going to adjust my monthly fee? We pay for these channels ~ if we aren’t getting them then we shouldn’t be charged for them. Adjustment please….

I am beyond furious. I am paying $176 a month to watch television which mostly are the channels that are now blocked and because the money hungry millionaires want more, we have to suffer. I am 76 and my programs are sometimes the one thing I look forward to. Of course the NFL supporter is the most important customer and to hell with the rest of us. I also can only get Spectrum where I live so we’re held hostage, so to speak. FIX IT AND FIX IT NOW!!!!!


Who cares, I was going to watch Orville last night and I saw they were not willing to entertain me. They should be loosing advertising dollars as they now have many fewer viewers.

I switched channels and never looked back!

I want to start by saying, I do not work for any TV service providers.

This is not the fault of Spectrum. TV stations and cable companies routinely draft new contracts between each other to provide service to customers. The TV stations keep raising prices. If spectrum agrees to pay, then they will eventually have to raise prices. Prices keep going up because TV stations keep demanding more money. Spectrum is in a sense telling these stations, “We will not pay that much for your channel.”

Mary v

The more these things keep happening the harder it is going to be for any of these companies to get or keep customers. The “millennials” in my area don’t even use cable anymore, as they are more comfortable streaming through Netflix, Hulu, etc. The networks and cable providers better figure out how to work together or they will soon be gone like Blockbuster.

How dare they block WGN. I already lost my husband and that was/is our favorite channel. Those Bastards. Sorry for that language but I am furious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Live in a Retirement community and we only get Spectrum.


Considering the networks did not have to purchase (and continue to use for free) the frequencies they broadcast on, they should not be able to charge to rebroadcast. They are running a monopoly that extracts money from every satellite and cable subscriber whether they want the channels or not. Even more insidious is that you can only get locals in your regional area and not from another part of the country.

When will you get my ABC channel fixed?
This is redicoulous , I can’t watch none of my programs at all.

Gregg pepitone

Spectrum claims to be working on the best interest of their customers….maybe they are. It’s difficult to discearn an altruism on Spectrum’s part as I ‘ve been a customer for 13 years and all I can definatly say is that Charter Spectrum services have been deplorable during all the concurrent 13 years. Non of our issues have ever fully been resolved. Bad service, outdated equipment etc….and prices continue to rise with no reasonable justification. Spectrum might be telling the truth here, I don’t know. I’m just going by their track record they bestowed on me, a customer. I was enjoying… Read more »