Note from the editor: Okay, I'm trying not to crack up here, but publicity-hungry "small family owned business" WealthTV (which, according to their site, is "headquartered in a 40,000 square foot, high definition state-of-the-art facility in San Diego" -- yep.) issued an anti-Engadget linkbait press release, accusing us of being the long, long tail arm of Time Warner, and "big business at its ugliest." As it happens, this WealthTV network -- which, I, personally, have never even heard of until a few days ago when we wrote a story on it here -- apparently recently went to the FCC to protest Time Warner Cable's "monopolistic program access practices" because the provider didn't pick them up.

Of course, I probably don't have to tell you what an imbecilic accusation it is that some nefarious executive at TWC -- which is only partly owned by Time Warner -- was able to pull strings at Time Warner, which pulled strings at AOL, which pulled strings at Weblogs, Inc., which pulled strings with me, in turn resulting in some pretty hilarious verbal commentary by long-time editor Ben Drawbaugh on the Engadget HD podcast. But just so we're extra clear with the conspiracy theorists in the house that aren't convinced, WealthTV obviously wasn't paying too close attention to how we do our thing.

Knocking on Time Warner Cable is something of a pastime and running joke between myself and Peter Rojas on the original Engadget podcast. Hell, I'd like to take this occasion to remind everyone that in the five years I lived in New York, I had nothing but problems with Time Warner Cable as a consumer (whereas in the last year and a half I've been in San Francisco I've had nothing but amazing experiences with Comcast -- go figure). Might also be worth a quick link to the post where we called a TWC CableCARD installation a "fiasco" -- in the headline, no less!

But then again, since they totally busted us, we should probably come clean about a few Time Warner Cable-mandated stories I've had the team put in the hopper for this week:
  • WealthTV so broke, the bank asked for their calendar back
  • WealthTV so broke that when someone saw 'em walking down the street with one shoe and said, "Hey, you lost a shoe." WealthTV said, "No, we found one."
  • WealthTV so poor when you ring the doorbell they say, "DING DONG!"
Look, WealthTV, if it makes you guys feel any better, we promise we'll never, ever cover your channel again. Thanks for reminding us all that cash and class are obviously two very different things.

Yours,
Ryan

P.S. -Release posted after the break, including the contact email / phone number of the channel's PR rep. Enjoy!

--snip--
Big Business at Its Ugliest: Time Warner's Media Might Punishes Small Family Owned Business After It Speaks Out at the FCC

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 11 -- Ever wonder how far the fingers of the nation's largest media conglomerate reach? WealthTV, a family owned independent channel recently found out some unpleasant truths about AOL/Time Warner, Inc. Just days after WealthTV spoke out about the monopolistic program access practices employed by Time Warner Cable at the FCC in Washington, DC, Time Warner owned weblog service Engadget launched a negative campaign against the independent family owned business calling it "...the worst channel there is." Engadget podcast commentator Ben Drawbaugh stated in a December 6th podcast that, "(WealthTV) is the worst channel ever." Drawbaugh continued his attacks on the small family-run business adding, "I just wanted to throw it under the bus."

"Needless to say, the public may have believed that blog services were independent companies dedicated to providing a free and independent platform for open dialogue," said Robert Herring, Sr., WealthTV's CEO. "Well, it's become clear that some are not. We've just witnessed the ugliest side of America's biggest media mammoth, Time Warner, and how far it will go to maintain its market dominance. We've been forced to defend ourselves publicly and seek expedited relief through the FCC," added Herring.

"Ironically, Engadget's proclaimed 'worst channel ever' is in a dispute with the cable giant, Time Warner Cable, for allegedly discriminating against the independent cable programmer in carriage access negotiations and copying its programming concept. Time Warner Cable has elected to carry its own programming service rather than WealthTV, a tactic that has made it nearly impossible for minority and small independent programmers from gaining critical carriage. In June of 2004, WealthTV launched its high definition lifestyle and entertainment service. Nearly three years after the launch of WealthTV, INHD, a general high definition programming service that is partially owned by AOL/Time Warner, announced that it would be launching a WealthTV knock-off it calls MOJO. MOJO is a channel geared towards the 'active affluents' and is surprising similar in description and style to WealthTV."

"The description of MOJO is so similar to WealthTV that when I first heard that its programming slate was focusing on new series spanning adventure travel, comedy, finance, music, cuisine and spirits and high tech toys, I thought I was reading a description of WealthTV," said Charles Herring, president of WealthTV.

About WealthTV

WealthTV is the premier lifestyle and entertainment network -- the destination for exclusive and original programming, simultaneously transmitted in high definition and standard definition. WealthTV delivers to viewers informative shows that provide invaluable insights on what every American dreams of -- from travel secrets to fast cars, from better etiquette to better investing, and much more. Televised 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, viewers of WealthTV consider themselves to be successful wherever they may be in life. The network fills a television vacuum by delivering intellectually stimulating, thought-provoking entertainment and always-unbiased news from an insider's perspective. For more information, please visit http://www.wealthtv.net.

WealthTV Contact: Elizabeth Iverson, 858-270-6900, or Elizabeth.Iverson@wealthtv.net

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WealthTV conspiracy theorists issue anti-Engadget press release