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CTAM '08: Communication Needed on DTV Transition

BOSTON--You can’t over-communicate the message when it comes to the digital television transition, say executives who have made the jump or experimented with a drop of analog, for a portion of “people out there really do live under rocks.”

Kim Cannon, vice president and general manager of Time Warner Cable’s system in Wilmington, N.C., the test market for digital transition in September, noted that despite the tonnage of spots, local events and other messaging about the transition, 18% of over-the-air households, or 2,500 people, called the Federal Communications Commission with problems after the change-over date. Five percent of the community said they didn’t know about the transition.

Her advice to other operators: don’t plan DTV informational events, “people won’t come.” The system had a DTV event, co-sponsored by Retirement Living TV, and seniors came only because “we bribed them with lunch,” she joked. Instead, target dedicated events likes fairs and festivals.

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