BY SHIRLEY BRADY Operators, for the most part, were spared outages, possible hypothermia and other frozen effects of last week’s continuing severe cold spell in the Northeast. MSOs reported no service problems last week, with the exception of Comcast. Officials at its New Jersey system blamed the winter chill for a power outage that affected subscribers in at least ten communities, including Ocean City, Bridgeton, Millville, Egg Harbor Township, Atco, Marmora, Galloway, Monroeville, Mullica Hill and Pilesgrove. The company serves more than 1.3 million cable households in more than 300 New Jersey municipalities. A Comcast spokesman said although several hundred customers experienced loss of service last week, the interruption was not considered an outage as less than 500 customers were affected at the hub level. The freeze-out was particularly irksome to any Comcast technicians sent out to face the cold in order to restore service, but cable network production crews dispatched to cover the wintry winds were deserving of more pity. While the Weather Channel enjoys a ratings lift in extreme weather, one unlucky CNN reporter spent Thursday on Rainy Lake in northern Minnesota, broadcasting regular spots about the crippling cold (and frosty ice fishing) throughout the day. Brrrr, indeed.

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