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One Travis Eckert, an Austin insurance man, asked the council to provide that no cable TV contract be granted to anyone who controls a TV station in Austin. F.C.C. rules would prohibit such an arrangement as to TV stations in the same town, but they do not apply to cable TV. O’Quinn, rising again, charged that the applicants had thought the council intended to give the franchise to one company. He exclaimed that “this city council ought to have the courage to go ahead and award it, and if it goes to Capital Cable, that’s all right.” Shanks retorted: “That’s your opinion, but there’s just one difference you’re not on the city council.” Perry took offense at O’Quinn’s “sassy remark” about courage and told him, “You’re interested only in lining your own pocket, and we’re interested only in the people of Austin.” In this atmosphere, Frank Denius rose for Capital Cable. “My client is ready, willing, and able to proceed on these 21 points,” he said. Davis, for I.C.T.V., asked Denius if, since “he also represents the TV station in Austin,” and “since your application has been on file six years,” he would object to waiting until other applicants could get answers from the telephone company. “Yes, we do object,” Denius said. “That’s their problem. We worked hard to get this contract with the telephone company,” said the local attorney for the telephone company. Joseph volun 14 The Texas Observer Excellent Food by Candlelight Served in Romantic Old World Atmosphere Italian Inn Restaurants DALLASDowntown : 407 Olive, Across from Southland Life Bldg. RI 1-0019 FORT WORTH: 3132 East Lancaster JE 4-3687 teered, “This eliminates everybody else, Mr. Mayor.” Palmer said all he could go by was statements in “some of the proposals” that the firms had been told by the phone company that the necessary arrangements could be made. When a law student from the University of Texas suggested a city referendum on the issue, Perry told him, “We’re in a position . . . to know what the people want . . .” They want more TV programs, he said, and “They don’t care . . . from whom they get ’em.” And so, the contract was called for, and Doren Eskew, the city attorney, produced it from his office, with blank spaces for the name of the company. O’Quinn muttered under his breath, “Variety Magazine called it ‘Ladybird’s Gravytrain.’ The gravy train now has a cable connection, run by air and cables.” Denius read the contract, signed it, and tendered it to the council. The council voted for it, 4-0, and acting for the council, the city manager signed it. The next day the telephone company division manager, Tom Brown, said Southwestern Bell would sign the same contract Midwest Video has with any other company the council signs up. But, he said, just how many cables each pole could hold would -require a survey. As Eskew saw it, the issue was whether the city would regulate the cable TV company’s profits, with the city council protecting the public interest by insisting SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin 5, Texas Enclosed is $5.10 \(or if the subscriber lives outside of Texas, tion to the Observer for: Name Addr,ess City, State El This is a renewal. El This is a new subscription. that it would and some of the applicant companies wanting unregulated rates. There was talk of petitions; there was talk of a coalition against the city councilmen at the next election; and there was even more serious talk than the talk about these things. Lo! last Friday the telephone company announced that it would let only one company’s TV cable on each of its telephone poles. “The telephone company has never contemplated that more than one TV attachment would be made to any one telephone pole,” said the telephone monopoly’s statement. Ergo, the LBJ Co.-associated Capital Cable seemed to have a monopoly on all the poles that it wanted to use. The city’s “open to all” policy was squashed flat. The mayor was quite upset and called another council meeting. The telephone company’s Brown seemed to reverse the company’s position again. The company would let more than one company put cables on its poles, if it was safe and could be done. A man from Mineral Wells, John G. Campbell, identified with a small manufacturing firm, told the council that he wanted to apply, in the name of TV Cable of Austin, for a franchise to compete with Capital Cable. Maybe, after all, the newcomer would bring competition to Austin’s Cable TV. It remained to be seen. 11kA/ V V ELL,” said Franklin Valentine of Mico, “I just hope that they will proceed to construct a cable system that will give the people of Austin TV signals, without interruption, dilutionor any type of interference.” And he laughed. R.D. 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