On Page 13A of Your Morning Paper is Dora the Explorer, crying all over a full-page ad that screams: "Time Warner Cable is Taking Dora Off the Air Tonight! Along with 19 of your favorite channels!" Which is a bit of a stretch. Spike? Please. MTV? Since when? 1985? TV Land? Since when? 1966? OK, though, Comedy Central's a favorite, at least for one hour four nights a week (except during reruns, and even then we've always got the Internet). So why the late-hour tear-stained threat? It's the oldest story in the cable business. See also, Belo v. Charter.
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Viacom, which owns the networks likely to vanish after midnight, wants Time Warner Cable to fork over more dough for the right to broadcast its teevee shows. To which Time Warner, the No. 2 cable provider in the country, has said, "Naw, that's OK." To which Viacom has responded with the series of print and television ads, including the one above, and a statement that reads, in part, "This move by Time Warner Cable to force such channels as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV off the air is another example of a cable company overreaching for profit at the expense of its viewers." But, as LA Weekly colleague Nikki Finke notes, these kind of feuds usually end shortly after they start. Again, though: Cable, how adorable. --Robert Wilonsky