February 5, 2018
Catholic Communications broadcasts to return to Berkshire County
By Sharon Roulier
SPRINGFIELD – Catholic Communications weekly television programing will be returning to the Berkshires on Feb. 18.
Both “Real to Reel” and “Chalice of Salvation” will now be carried on the air in Berkshire County via WXXA Fox 23 out of Albany, NY. Viewers can watch “Real to Reel” every Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m., followed by “Chalice of Salvation” from 6-7 a.m.
This comes nearly a year after Charter Communications dropped the NBC affiliate WWLP-22News from its Berkshire County lineup in April 2017. WWLP-22News is the local station that currently carries both programs.
Since FCC rules state that Berkshire County lies within the designated market area of Albany, N.Y., Charter Communications is required to carry the New York NBC affiliate, WNYT, on its Charter Spectrum lineup. While Charter could also carry a second NBC affiliate, it has chosen not to, stating that WWLP’s owner, Nexstar, has established a higher rate for carriage of that station.
“It had become obvious that Channel 22 was not going to return to the Charter Spectrum lineup, so we had to explore other options,” said Mark Dupont, Catholic Communications executive director. “After a few false starts, Channel 22 introduced us to their sister station, WXXA Fox 23 in Albany, a channel which is carried throughout Berkshire County on the basic lineup.”
Dupont admitted that it was a challenge for Catholic Communications to secure a continuous time slot for both programs.
“It will be on early Sunday morning. It is hard to find a time on any broadcast station that is available for 52 straight weeks a year,” Dupont said. “Rather than jump time slots every few months, we thought this would be the best option.”
He urged viewers to set their DVRs to record both programs to watch at their convenience.
Both “Real to Reel’ and “Chalice of Salvation” will also continue to air on Northern Berkshire and Pittsfield Access stations on a week delay basis.
“We are very grateful to Northern Berkshire Cable and Pittsfield Access for going above and beyond to try to help bring Catholic Communications programing to their viewers,” said Dupont, noting that due to Catholic Communications’ production schedule and to the fact that the cable access stations are staffed by volunteers, programing is run on a one-week delay.
“We will evaluate this new partnership and schedule over the course of the coming year,” said Dupont.
Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has been in contact with Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, said Dupont. “Bishop Scharfenberger has expressed his welcome of our programing.”