Time Warner Shutters Two News Channels

New York—Time Warner Cable's local news channels in Houston and San Antonio went dark Friday morning as the cable operator ended its joint venture with broadcaster Belo Corp.

Time Warner will take over 100% of a third channel in the venture, Charlotte News 14 in North Carolina. The company gave notice to 190 employees Friday. Houston subscribers looking for local news were greeted with C-SPAN3. In San Antonio, customers saw only a display saying the channel had been discontinued.

Time Warner says it is reviewing other regional news channels tied to its cable systems for possible cutbacks but currently plans no additional shutdowns.

reported July 5 that Time Warner was reconsidering its aggressive local-news expansion, realizing that some markets couldn't support the channels. A spokesman said Friday that Belo didn't see profits on the horizon and wanted to pull out. Belo, however, remains committed to its statewide Texas Cable News operation.

While the Houston and San Antonio markets may not support a cable news channel, Time Warner believes that Charlotte can share more resources with the operator's channel tied to its Raleigh, N.C., system.

CAB Names Sales Chief

New York—The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau has tapped Chuck Thompson, senior vice president, director of client services at Universal McCann, for the new post of senior vice president of sales. A 21-year veteran of the agency business, he was responsible for strategy and business development at UM. At CAB, Thompson will work with advertisers and agencies to influence strategies on using TV effectively.