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Charter lineup getting scrambled

 Charter Communications customers will see a mix-up of the local premium cable channel lineup as the company continues to wrangle with Glendale officials over GTV6.

The channel realignment — which features the addition of 17 high-definition channels and six new digital channels — took effect this week in Glendale, Burbank, La Cañada, La Crescenta and Montrose.

Basic cable channels 1 through 99, which includes the city's government and education access channels, will remain the same, officials said.

City officials said the realignment shows the GTV6 move was not necessary for the Charter service upgrades.

"We've said all along that Charter could add these high-definition channels onto their lineup without moving the channels," said city spokesman Ritch Wells.

But Charter officials say the city's protest forced the company to invest additional time and money to engineer the realignment.

Heintz added that the basic channels in the region remain different from the rest of the company's customers throughout Southern California.

"That's the one reason we did this," he said. "People don't spend their whole lives in one community."

Charter had originally planned to change the entire channel lineup in January under the last phase of the company's two-year plan to align all of Southern California under a unified channel structure. But Glendale officials protested the change in Los Angeles County Superior Court, arguing that changing GTV6, which celebrated its 15th year in February, would undo years of branding.

Negotiations between the city and Charter on the proposed realignment of GVT6 remain ongoing.

The company also claims that the city owes nearly $1 million in back payments for use of an intranet system and cable-modem services. City officials contend that under a previous agreement, Charter must provide those services for free.

Channels were also to be grouped by genre, such as children's programming, sports and movies, said Del Heintz, Charter's director of government relations for the Southern California region.

Charter will also give a free preview of a new three-channel pack of Armenian-language programming.

FOR THE RECORD: This article corrects an earlier version that said the changes were planned. They were implemented this week.

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