Time Warner Cable and Sinclair are closing in on a Dec 31 deadline to reach a new retrans deals for continued carriage of several stations in former Adelphia markets, including Buffalo Fox affil WUTV and Columbus, OH, ABC affil WSYX. The broadcaster has already urged viewers to call DirecTV and DISH Network, with Sinclair noting that DISH is offering a special rebate promotion in certain markets. A slightly positive sign: Sinclair gen counsel Barry Faber described negotiations with Time Warner as “a little more optimistic” than the Mediacom stand-off (see Cable360.net). Mediacom is set to lose its Sinclair stations Jan 6 unless a new deal is reached. The broadcaster has said it doesn’t expect an agreement. Meanwhile, another retrans fire continues in ID. KAYU gm Jon Rand has asked North ID mayors to stage a public forum for his broadcast station and TWC to present their cases in a retrans dispute that has seen the Fox affil pulled from subs in Coeur d’Alene and Moscow, ID; Libby, MT; and Pullman, WA. The office of Coeur d’Alene mayor Sandi Bloem said it informed Rand that it didn’t believe the city was a neutral party (it benefits from TW franchise fees) and wouldn’t be the right forum for a public information session. The office suggested he contact local organizations, such as the Kiwanis. Time Warner said its local mgmt team is already speaking to customers and elected officials on a daily basis, and a TW spokeswoman said customers have “generally” supported the MSO’s stance that they should not pay a surcharge to see KAYU’s programming. KAYU is owned by Northwest Broadcasting and originates from Spokane, WA. Time Warner subs, formerly Adelphia customers, have been without the channel since 12:01 am Fri.