WABC doesn't appear ready to back off just yet. But there may be movement.

  I just got off the phone with WABC chief Rebecca Campbell a few minutes ago, who reiterated the station's hard-line position, following an earlier statement
saying "the only way" for subscribers to get the signal back is to switch to another provider.

 Here's what Rebecca told me:
 
 "Basically, our door remains open to reach a fair and equable agreement," while adding that "we talked yesterday and my understanding is that the ball is in their court."

 Otherwise, she added, "I haven't heard from anybody."  While Campbell refused to further elaborate, what her comment does certainly suggest is that negotiations continued this morning and that another counter-offer has been made to Cablevision.  
 
 Could there be the possibility of a truce tonight, in time for the Oscars.  Said she: "The ball is in their court."

 (I have calls into Cablevision; have not yet heard back.)

  Campbell's been the public figure here -even though Cablevision has been trying to blame Disney CEO Bob Iger for the war - something that has clearly angered Disney. 

  I asked her why she and Ch. 7 "pulled the plug" last night and she responded" "They no longer have the right to air the Ch. 7 signal. We can't get into a matter of semantics, about who pulled the plug," but - she added - Cablevision won't be able to air the signal again "until they fairly compensate us. Everyone has to understand that they basically have been charging their  customers for our signal and haven't been willing to share any of those profits with us."
 
  The perils for both companies are considerable and growing - for Cablevision, by  incurring the wrath of subscribers some of whom will indeed switch to other providers - and for Ch. 7, which also stands to incur anger of viewers on the eve of a massive TV event.  It could not be learned whether negotiations are on-going at this very moment, although in the Ch. 7 crawl and audio Cablevision has posted since this morning, the company effectively confirmed that talks continued right up through deadline, and that Cablevision had even offered  a richer deal than the one struck between News Corp. and Time Warner. (Terms were never discloved, but it's believed TW paid 50 cents per sub to retransmit Fox stations). In any event, whether a truce - temporary or otherwise - can be achieved in the next few hours remains very much uncertain.

 Meanwhile, for ABC - as you have read on this blog early - there remains on immediate and significant problem: Loss of local avails, or advertising, during the Oscars and almost as critically, on tomorrow's "Good Morning America," which traditionally enjoys the most-viewed edition of the entire year after Oscars night.   When I asked Campbell about this, she declined to get into any discussion about sales.

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 Then, there's the political pressure. It is my understanding - which Campbell did not dispute - that no one, including the president on down, has any jurisdiction in this dispute, simply because Ch. 7 continues to transmit its signal. Even the FCC has little to say in the matter (and in fact, has said nothing so far). However, during the recent Time Warner/News Corp. dispute, the FCC was about to enter the fray, just before that fight was resolved.

 Meanwhile, Craig Johnson (D/Nassau) just sent this statement out:

 
"I am disappointed that ABC Disney pulled the signal, denying millions of New York area households the ability to see WABC-TV.  It is time for both parties to put consumers first. Therefore I am calling on ABC Disney and Cablevision to agree to a binding arbitration process to resolve this matter. Also, it is imperative that consumers be held harmless during this process by having the signal restored immediately."