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An Open Letter to Brian L. Roberts, CEO of Comcast Cable

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Like most people, I have an early morning and evening routine that I methodically carry out. I get up every day at 5 AM, pour a cup of coffee and turn on MSNBC while I work at my computer. 3 days ago I did and heard no sound. Getting up to check out the TV to see if the cable was still working I read a message on the screen. On Comcast Cable Channel 56 in Wilmington, DE. It said, "This channel is now available with a CableCard or Digital Cable Box from Comcast. Call 1-800-COMCAST for more information. This change is separate from the federally mandated broadcast digital transition (DTV) scheduled for June 12, 2009." Immediately I switched to Channel 65, The Fox Network. It was still there with no such message. WTF? Is this change politically motivated? I began my research into Comcast and their founders. I discovered some interesting information.

Brian L. Roberts is the CEO of Comcast. After reading his history and acquisition of power within the company I was quite impressed by the fact that he earned his way to the top. His father Ralph Roberts was quite insistent that he start from the ground up. Over the course of Comcast's history, Brian L. Roberts made some very risky yet profitable decisions that led his company to the top of their industry with over 20.3 billion dollars in revenue in 2004.

Comcast states in their Cable TV agreement that they reserve the right to make channel changes at their discretion. Discretion? Is this based on business, religion or political affiliation? I hereby challenge Mr. Roberts to make a statement to the subscribers as to his true motivations. Why should anyone who watches a program regularly have to be subjected to his whims? Especially when the liberally biased station can only be viewed by paying an additional monthly fee to Comcast while the conservatively biased station remains free to basic cable subscribers. Are you a Republican or Mormon Mr. Roberts? Are your whims to change channels to a pay status based on your political or religious views? Please let us all know before we have to shell out an additional $10 a month to your monolithic company.

Also, let's talk about public, educational and government access as well as leased access. The government has mandated that your company provide these services to your subscriber base, yet you are downsizing your staff and production facilities to meet the demands of your bean counters. Many people blame lawyers for our current problems but I submit to you that it is the bean counters. Pinch here, cut there and downsize everywhere.  Yet corporate CEO's walk away with millions of dollars for their hard "work", if you can call it that. Making financial strides and benefitting enormously from those strides personally while you pay your starting workers $14.00/hour without sufficient medical coverage is not very Judeo-Christian-like, Mr. Roberts. You have built your empire off of the backs of worker bees that get up every morning and come to work for your company and squeak through their bills and debts on the meager income you offer them. And then, you arbitrarily deny them the truth about what is going on in the world on MSNBC unless they pay you an additional $10 a month!

You are not God, Mr. Roberts. You have to do the 3 S's every morning, just like the rest of us. Who are you to decide? Oh, that's right. You are the CEO of Comcast. A company that overcharges its subscribers for the services they provide and then decides to CENSOR what they watch through financial discrimination. Please Mr. Roberts, get off your high horse and get in touch with the people. If you want to charge extra for MSNBC then charge extra for FOX. If FOX is free to basic cable, then MSNBC should be free as well. At least give the impression that you are not politically or religiously motivated in making the channel change. We await your answer.


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Dean A. Banks, MCIWD, DD has been a touring musician, recording artist, recording engineer and producer during the course of his 40 plus year career. He earned his D.D. degree (Theology) from UCS in 1985. After college Dean taught audio engineering (more...)
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