Lammers Hammers Cable Over Retrans

Our sister mag Multichannel News has an engaging cover story on Duane Lammers, the retrans attack dog hired by broadcasters to snag consent fees from cable and satellite. Lammers made his bones at Nexstar and now consults for a number of stations, include those owned by Granite. 

Lammers would not comment for Linda Moss’s story, but a few others did. 

Here’s an interesting anecdote from former Nexstar marketing guy Paul Greeley:

At one point during the Cox-Cable One dispute, three of the MSO’s executives traveled to Nexstar’s headquarters outside Dallas to negotiate face to face, meeting in a conference room with Lammers. “I saw Duane walking around with a penny,” Greeley said. “He told them he would allow them to carry our signal, in the markets where they were in dispute, if they would agree that our signals and our channels were worth at least a penny as a starting point. … I thought it was an ingenious move on his part.”

Then this, from Baja Broadband CEO Peter Kahelin. 

“His job as a consultant, and I understand that, is to represent his client,” said Kahelin. “I don’t particularly like his tactics … He’s quite aggressive, very aggressive, and I would imagine for some operators that aggression is enough to scare them into making decisions that may be become very favorable to Duane’s clients. There’s no doubt he’s very good at his job.”

Kahelin said that in one phone conversation, Lammers called the cable system’s management “cheaters” for carrying KTSM’s signals, according to Kahelin.

“I asked him to repeat it,” Kahelin said. “Not only did he repeat it, but he went, ‘Yes, cheater, cheater, cheater.’ I just laughed at him and I said, ‘You want to say it a fourth [time]?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, cheater.’ And I said, ‘Words spoken of a little and a pitiful man.’”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.