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Showing posts from September, 2008

REVIEW: RTN's "Unreliable Sources"

Let me start this off by saying I really wanted to like this show.

RTN's Unreliable Sources is a live, hour-long call-in show from 10-11 PM (Central), which means that, in the Evansville market, it's up against the late local news from WFIE and WEHT-1. That time slot, in and of itself, is a deal killer for the show. Most people who are awake at that hour would rather catch the latest news, in my humble opinion.

Host Gary Lee Robbins, for his part, does a credible job, aside from a few minor quibbles that I need not go into here. But the production team is the real letdown of the show. Sometimes Robbins can be seen and not heard, sometimes callers are not heard. It does seem Robbins himself is able to hear them, because he answers pretty much every question entirely, whether we hear it or not.

Adding insult to injury, at the end of the show, Robbins often gets cut off because he talks too long; whether this is his fault or the director's is beyond me. But it shows once m…

A sad note

If, like me, you grew up watching Peggy Mitchell each weekday morning on WEHT, you might have taken note of Shelley Kirk's story yesterday.

Peggy is 72 now, and was diagnosed in February with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

ALS eventually robs its victims of the ability to control most bodily functions, although it does not affect mental capabilities. Basically, these folks become trapped within their bodies.

It's a sad thing, but Peggy is facing this trial with the grace and gentility she was known for on her show. She even brought out her dear puppet, Esmeralda, to sing a song at the end of the story, which immediately brought tears to my eyes. I have to admit that.

Godspeed and God Bless, Peggy. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

New stuff

If you're reading this in Owensboro, the Frederica Street Wal-Mart did have a couple of the most recent RCA converter boxes still available. I kind of wish I'd waited to buy those, as I like them better than I do the Magnavox variety, but hey, you pays your money, and you takes your chances, as the old saying goes.

There is a new television viewer in my house today; my wife and daughters presented me with a new kitten on Saturday. He's eight weeks old, and he looks so much like my dearly departed Frankie, orange and yellow, a real handsome tabby, that I named him Frankie II, but I call him "Deuce." If he proves to be anything like his predecessor, by the time he's fully grown, he'll find a comfy spot on my bed in front of the TV, watching such programs as The People's Court and The Price Is Right. What a rough life, huh?

Anyway, that's about it for new stuff today. C'mon folks, let's hear what's up with you and DTV. We can make thi…

Been away a while

Sorry it's been a few days since my last post, but I've been a mite under the weather. I blame Ike.

No, seriously! Every time a dying hurricane scoots our way, and I get out in the weather even for a short while, I end up getting a major allergy attack.

And I did.

I am doing somewhat better today, so I thought I would check in.

WEVV/WTSN got back up and running earlier this week, so that's good news. On the analog front, I found out that W38BK (Trinity Broadcasting's Evansville low-power translator) was also off, but it, too, is back on.

While I'm on the subject, here are some tidbits about W38BK. Now, I may be wrong, but I know that TBN has a permit to go digital with Channel 38, at a power of 15,000 watts. They don't, however, have an alternate channel, so I believe -- although I haven't confirmed this -- that they will flash-cut to digital in February. If that happens, they will have five subchannels, including what would be the first Spanish-language c…

Outages

Did Ike mean business or what?

Normally, when a hurricane strikes in the western gulf coast region, it takes three or four days before we feel any effects from it.

Not this time.

Ike roared up from Texas in a day and a half, bringing 60- to 70-MPH wind gusts across the Evansville tri-state area. Many thousands will be without power for several days; your humble correspondent was without electricity until 6:00 PM tonight. Kudos to OMU for getting us back on so quickly!

It wasn't just homes and trees that took the brunt of the storm. Of course, without electricity, I couldn't be sure how the local TV stations fared, but according to Joe Lowe of WOMI Radio 1490, all but WFIE were off the air at some point during the windstorm.

As of 9:00 PM, WEVV/WTSN are the only stations still off-air, both analog and digital, and when I find out how long that will last, I'll pass the info along here.

I actually got WAZE briefly last night!

Yeah, I did!

I can't get their management or anyone else to reply to my queries, but I actually did get WAZE.

And it was, not surprisingly, a total disappointment.

I did get a steady, albeit poor, signal. But it wasn't worth the time I wasted watching it. The picture quality was crappy, and "Friends" was on, so of course, it was worthless.

I can't help but think I've not missed much by NOT having WAZE. Roberts Broadcasting has a long way to go if they think they can run a TV station even close to the quality of a WFIE or WEHT. Hell, even WEVV/WTSN exude more professionalism in their presentation than WAZE.

And that's too bad.

Liquid Gold

So, did you get gouged at the local gas station today? I want to hear about it!

Yesterday, we gassed up our Dodge Caravan for $3.559 a gallon. Good thing, too ... some stations were as much as $1.03 higher today! (Yeah, I'm talkin' 'bout you, Kroger!)

That's right, gas here in Owensboro, Kentucky, which was one of the cheaper places to buy gas when I was a kid, was selling for anywhere from $4.00 to $4.589 a gallon. And still tonight, it's not much under $4.00 if you can find it at all.

Of course, all three local news stations were covering this as the major story tonight. And for good reason; it is big news when someone reaches deeper into your pocket. The local wholesalers who are providing gas to our stations should be ashamed.

"But we can only do what we're told to do," they say.

So did the Nazis. And look what happened to them!

Our government has failed us. We have vast stores of oil in this country, good refining capacity, and both could be be…

A useful tool

If, like me, you're curious which DTV stations you'll be able to pull in, there's a neat website you should try.
It's called TVFool.com, and there you'll find coverage maps (both online and downloadable, using Google Earth), and a locator which generates, in easily-understandable form, a list of your local (and out-of-market) stations.
I like it, and I think you will, too. Now, what are you waiting for? Check it out!
Oh yeah ... they've also added FM Fool, which gives you a list of FM radio stations in your area. I've long used Radio-Locator.com for that, but FM Fool is easier.

RNC coverage notes

As I write this, we're several hours from John McCain's acceptance speech in St. Paul, but I thought I'd weigh in on the networks' coverage of the events.

Now, as you know, the convention got off to a faltering start because of Hurricane Gustav, but that didn't stop things from getting up to speed for too long.

I think coverage has been pretty much OK, but the constant spotlight on Governor Palin's pregnant daughter has gotten on my nerves.

Well, that, and the "regular folks" speeches. They've all looked like they were reading from scripts. Ouch.

But Fred Thompson, Joe Lieberman, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee et al, now those speeches were real good stem-winders.

Palin electrified the crowd with her speech, too.

But one can't help but get the feeling this may be one convention that folks will be trying hard to forget ... I don't know why, but I just feel that way.

"So, after two weeks, you've heard from WAZE, right?"

I've heard that question the last couple of days, but no, I've not heard a word.

Not that I'm at all surprised, of course. They are a two-bit operation and I have given up on hearing anything.

Does anyone have viewership numbers on WAZE? I'd have to guess it's infinitesimal. Their PR sucks, their website sucks ... oh, their whole STATION sucks!

If anyone from Roberts Broadcasting sees this, I hope you're happy. You're running what could be a good station clear into the ground. If you'd intended to, you couldn't have done it any better.

Happy Labor Day

... and thank you to everyone who works to keep this country moving day in and day out. I tip my hat to you all.

Yes, I know, I wasn't going to blog until tomorrow, but I couldn't resist just a brief message and a quick note on Hurricane Gustav. Specifically, I hope that all who might be seeing this are safe and not personally affected by the storm. Thoughts and prayers along with much help are available, and once again, I believe the people of the U.S. will band together to make sure all are taken good care of. In times of crisis, I'm PROUD to be an AMERICAN!!!

God Bless!!!