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    Stewart's Shops Tests Flat Screen Televisions

    Time Warner affiliate partners with retailer to push news channel in retail sites.

    BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- Television sets may be coming to Stewart's Shops convenience stores, according to a report by the Times Union.

    Executives at Stewart's Shops are considering placing large flat-screen TVs in stores across the Albany market in partnership with Capital News 9, the channel owned by Time Warner Cable.

    The retailer has installed televisions in stores in Ballston Spa and Wilton, N.Y., to gauge customer reaction. Stewart's management team wants to determine where in each store it should place the sets, and whether they should be muted, the newspaper reported.

    In the Ballston Spa store, the set hangs above the cashier area. The volume is off and, according to the report, few store visitors glance at the 42-inch screen.

    "Some people see it. Some don't," Tom Mailey, a spokesman for Stewart's, told the newspaper. "I guess that's a testament to the number of TVs that a lot of us have in our homes."

    Mailey said the broadcasts garner more attention during severe weather or breaking news reports.

    Stewart's is in early discussions with Time Warner about the arrangement.

    It's likely, though, that Stewart's and Time Warner would share the cost of installing cable and placing the TVs in about 300 of the company's 321 stores, the newspaper reported. The arrangement would provide unparalleled exposure for the station, available only to Time Warner subscribers.

    Stewart's team is considering whether or not the televisions will irritate customers, particularly if their volume interferes with customer service.

    Theft, however, is not a concern. "They're bolted in there pretty good," Mailey told the newspaper. "We haven't worried about that."

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