Showing posts from July, 2009

CORRECTION to August Poll Selection

In posting the new August polls this morning, I inadvertently left Pike County, Indiana out of the counties in the Tri-State.

Pike County is now included in SW Indiana Area #1 as originally intended.

I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

The Music City BREAKING NEWS Report: WTVF surprises viewers with TWO new subchannels

By NashDigie, JDTVB Nashville Correspondent

Breaking News - As of just after 4:00pm, WTVF NewsChannel5 [CBS, Nashville] has added two new channels. The two new channels are NewsChannel5+ and ThisTV. NewsChannel5+, their local cable channel which has local forums, newscast repeats, and some other local original programming) has been a subchannel before, but they took it off Dec. 31, 2004. Now they have put it back on the air. All this was a surprise. Until more news breaks. . .

Heading back to the Neighborhood ... in cyberspace

When Fred Rogers died in February 2003, he was revered by many as a television icon whose influence would stand the test of time.

And even though PBS finally took Mister Rogers' Neighborhood reruns off of its weekday schedule in September 2008, America's love affair with the man in the cardigan still refused to fade away.

But PBS kept the show's website, the last electronic link to America's favorite neighbor, much as it was while Rogers was still alive; indeed, with the passage of time, it fell behind the times and lacked features available on other PBS Kids websites.

That changed recently, and for the better.

Family Communications, Inc., the company Rogers founded in 1971, working with Boston-based animation studio Fablevision, thoroughly overhauled the site, adding more features, like higher-quality video clips and games, which combine to gear it to a whole new generation of kids.

The end result is a simple, even fun to use site that introduces today's kids to Rogers…

Network News: ABC News expands medical coverage

If you watch just about any ABC News program, you're probably familiar with the man who has made medicine understandable since 1975.

That was the year when Dr. Timothy Johnson first joined the alphabet network as a commentator on ABC's then-new Good Morning America.

And now he's been - to use an old phrase, "kicked upstairs" - promoted to the position of chief medical editor.

In an effort to expand the news division's medical coverage, Johnson is to be joined by a new partner, Dr. Richard Besser, who until recently was the acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Besser, whose official title will be senior health and medical editor, spent 13 years with CDC.

He'll begin reporting on-air in September.

Source: TVNewsCheck

Derby City Digest II: WHAS owner's revenue down 23 percent for the quarter

Belo Corp., the owner of Louisville ABC affiliate WHAS 11, announced its second quarter results today. Total revenue was down 23 percent from the same period last year, which is not entirely out of line with what's going on in the rest of the industry.

If the hard numbers interest you, those can be found here.

UPDATED: The Derby City Digest: Tom Wills' last day at WAVE, Dutton to start next week

UPDATED @ 8:30 AM: WAVE3 has video on their site; unfortunately, for me at least, it refuses to play, and I can't make it embed properly here. Stay tuned - I'll try again later.

If you're a regular viewer of WAVE [NBC/ThisTV, channel 3], you've known this day was coming for a while now, but it's still sad.

Tom Wills, who put in 40 years as a meteorologist at the station, took to the air in his regular spot for the final time this morning on Sunrise.

According to The 'Ville Voice, WAVE has devoted this past week to bringing back a lot of memories of Wills' four decades of service to Kentuckiana, up to and including a look back at the deadly and devastating Super Outbreak of tornadoes that swept this part of the country - including the city of Louisville itself - on April 3, 1974.

Best wishes, Tom, for an enjoyable and well-deserved retirement.


In what I thought was a fine gesture, Wills introduced his replacement on this morning's show. Christie Dutton…

AUGUST POLLS NOW UP AND RUNNING (and the July polls will still be up until midnight tonight)

Good morning, readers! I have now posted the August poll questions, which for this month will be geared to our Evansville-market readers who watch OVER THE AIR only, so for those of you who read us in the Bowling Green, Louisville and Nashville markets, please do not vote this month.

Of course, if you have a poll question you'd like to submit for a station or topic in your area, you are most welcome to do so.

Since WEHT [ABC/RTV] seems to be the full-power station with the most viewer complaints about reception (at least based upon what I have been hearing), these polls will deal with WEHT:

Can you receive WEHT over the air?
Yes (no problems)
Most of the timeOccasionallyNoIf your answer is "Yes (no problems)", then you're finished voting; do not tell us in which area you're located (which is question #2).

However, if your answer is "Most of the time," "Occasionally," or "No," I ask that you select your location from the follow…

The Music City Report: WKRP GM updates AVS forum readers, offers hints of things to come

By NashDigie, JDTVB Nashville Correspondent

The GM of WKRP (channel 6, Alexandria, Tenn.) has joined the AVS Forum. He has said that they have fixed the main channel and the subchannels. They are going to add some more channels in the coming weeks. Also, they may make some more small changes. He also said that the furthest viewer he knows of is about 100 miles away in Kentucky.


EDITOR'S NOTE:The Music City Report is JDTVB's new name for all things that come out of the Nashville market. Louisville news items will be called The Derby City Digest, and I'm still working on a name for reports we get from Bowling Green.

The UHF/VHF Conundrum - seeking solutions

In markets where stations have switched from UHF to a low-to-mid VHF channel, such as Evansville and Nashville, folks have been having a tough time getting reception, as we've covered here time and again for nearly two months now.

The same is true in El Paso, Texas, where the local ABC affiliate, KVIA, moved from channel 17 to channel 7. (Sound familiar?) So, KVIA got approval to turn its pre-transition channel (17) back on and is simulcasting on both so engineering can compare the difference.

And they're not alone in wondering if VHF was really such a good idea to begin with, as this article shows; many stations across the country are wondering the same thing. Personally, I predict that most VHF stations - particularly on channels 2 through 8 - will petition to move off of those channels and back to (or to) UHF, with many of those doing so before this year is out.

Until then, though, the FCC is going to be busy, and viewers are going to complain ... or worse ... change the ch…

DirecTV adding more HD locals, but not yet for Bowling Green

DirecTV announced seven new markets for HD local stations today, but unfortunately for our Bowling Green-area friends, you're not yet on the list.

Evansville, Louisville and Nashville HD locals are already available.

On the "upcoming" list are:
Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va. (should be live now)Shreveport, La. (August)Charleston-Huntington, W.V.; Columbia, S.C.; and Huntsville-Decatur, Ala. (September)Jackson, Miss. and Lexington, Ky. (October)If markets of the size of these are just now getting DirecTV's HD local service, I have a feeling it will be some time before Bowling Green gets it ...

POLL UPDATE - One more day to vote!

We are now in the final full day of voting in the polls, so let's go straight to the numbers:

LATE NIGHT (56 total votes)
Dave and Conan are, at the time of this post, once again tied at 17 votes each (30%).None of the above is a close second at 13 votes (23%).Nightline has fallen way back in the pack, with just 7 votes (12%).2 voters watch more than one show (3%).MORE OR FEWER DIGITAL CHANNELS (85 total votes)
36 voters say they get fewer channels now than before (42%).29 voters get more channels (34%).14 voters get the same number (16%).6 voters aren't sure (7%).SATISFACTION WITH DTV (78 total votes)
46 voters are not satisfied with DTV (58%).25 voters like it (32%).7 voters are undecided (8%).Thank you to all who have made this our most-participated-in poll ever!


For the month of August, our poll will be for Evansville market over-the-air viewers ONLY. The questions will be as follows:

Can you receive WEHT (News25/RTV25)?
Clearly and all the time
Sometimes, but not always
Not …

Judge approves Gray management of 7 Young stations

TVNewsCheck reports this morning that Gray Television has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy court as the "management advisor" for the following seven Young Broadcasting stations:
WKRN [ABC], Nashville, Tenn. — DMA 29WTEN [ABC/RTV] Albany, N.Y. (also includes WCDC North Adams, Mass.) — DMA 57WRIC [ABC] Richmond, Va. — DMA 58WBAY [ABC/RTV] Green Bay, Wis. — DMA 70KWQC [NBC] Davenport, Iowa — DMA 97KELO [CBS/MyTV] Sioux Falls, S.D. (also includes South Dakota satellites KCLO in Rapid City, KDLO in Florence and KPLO in Reliance) — DMA 113KLFY [CBS] Lafayette, La. — DMA 123It should be interesting to see how Gray's management works for these stations. Should be a win-win for everyone involved.

NBC Universal planning Rockford revival?

Variety reports today that NBC Universal has tapped producer David Shore (creator of Fox's House) to head up an effort that they hope will bring to TV a successful revival of The Rockford Files.

The fact that everyone involved knows how popular the original 1974-80 series was (and still is, thanks to Hulu and reruns on RTV) means that they're planning to work extra hard to get it right.

I hope this means we could be seeing the return of "Must See TV." Sure beats the heck out of a reality show.

The Latest from Nashville: WNAB Engineering expands on the problem

NashDigie checked in tonight with this word from CW 58 Engineering:
We experienced a major issue when Nashville Electric Service’s power went down after a tree fell across their power lines. It caused a large surge in power that has damaged our transmitter as well as some other equipment. The output power is currently in the 70% range of our normal operating level. We have sent off the damaged components for repair and do not have an ETA on their return." It's always nice to get the technical side of things. Thanks to Nash for the update.

NASCAR News: Ford to put Mustang in the Nationwide Series for 2010

This sort of hurt my eyes a little.

OK, maybe a lot.

I like Ford Mustangs, but this is ridiculous.

They had to pinch the decal "grille" and other trademark styling features to such an extent that it really only resembles the real car in name only.

I think Ford is doing this because they wanted to get more publicity for the world's first ponycar, which is still the top-seller in a once-again crowded field.

As if Ford needed to put the 'Stang in front of more people. I mean, they've sold how many gajillion of these cars since 1964?

Regardless, the Mustang will make its limited debut in NASCAR's Nationwide Series, which, by the looks of this car, will cause me to change the channel on those rare occasions when I am blessed (cursed?) with the opportunity to watch a Nationwide race.

PHOTO CREDIT: Ford Racing, via Autoblog

UPDATED - The Derby City Chronicle: RTV coming to WBNA

UPDATE #1, 9:55 AM, July 28: Trip and Jarrod in Breckinridge County both wrote in this morning to let me know that RTV's site has it wrong, which is sort of what I figured all along. RTV programming is on 21.4 and is now on air. Thanks, guys!

UPDATE #2, 10:15 AM, July 28: See below for WBNA's full subchannel lineup.

I received word tonight from Trip at that WBNA (21) in Louisville has added the Retro Television Network (RTV) to its diverse array of programming.

WBNA also carries Ion Networks' programming on its other digital channels, although it does appear that RTV has replaced the Worship channel.

WBNA's full subchannel lineup is now:
21.1 - Ion21.2 - qubo21.3 - IonLife21.4 - RTV21.5 - GodTV21.6 - Daystar

UPDATE: Emmy award winners list, including an award for WLKY

As promised, here is the list of awards won by WHAS, WAVE, WLKY and KET from this year's Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards.

My sincere apologies to the folks at WLKY for missing them in yesterday's post.

Congratulations to all of this year's winners!

Windstorm 2008, WHAS -- Genie Garner

Giavanni's Battle with Ovarian Cancer, WHAS -- Andy Treinen

20 years after the crash, WAVE -- Connie Leonard

The year in blogs, -- Joe Arnold

Lincoln: I, Too, Am a Kentuckian, KET -- Brent Abshear and Chuck Burgess

Composite, WHAS -- Steven Richard

Lincoln: I, Too, Am a Kentuckian, KET -- Matthew Grimm

News Composite, WLKY -- John Boel

Don't Go Ape, WHAS -- Kirk Szesny

Lincoln: I, Too, Am a Kentuckian, KET -- Joy Flynn & Marsha Hellard


WNAB signal update

Mike Hook of CW58 Programming in Nashville was kind enough to expand upon NashDigie's information from over the weekend regarding the signal issues the station has been experiencing:
WNAB is having a bit of signal issue and is currently operating on reduced power. Parts for the transmitter are on order and they expect to be back at full power sometime towards the end of August. So there's the definitive answer direct from the station itself. Thanks to Mike for letting us know what's going on, and to NashDigie for bringing the issue to our attention!

WFIE's Liz Nichols moving on

I just received word a short time ago that WFIE weekend anchor/reporter Liz Nichols will make her final appearance on 14 News tonight at 10. She is moving out of the area with her fiance.

Liz came to WFIE from Terre Haute, Ind. CBS affiliate WTHI in August of last year.

We'll miss you, Liz!

Master of my domain?

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous wrote in earlier to ask:
When are you going to purchase a real domain from a reputable domain registry company? It would be nice to just time in or something easy like that.Yes, it would be nice, but JDTVB is a shoestring operation (as if you couldn't tell from my videos!). I don't have the funds to buy a domain right now, but once I do, rest assured that I will.

Of course, if anyone wants to donate one, I'm no beggar, but generous donations and/or sponsorships will be accepted with gratitude ... ;-)

WHAS, WAVE and KET take home regional Emmy awards

Out of Louisville today comes word that WHAS (11), WAVE (3) and KET have all brought home the hardware in this year's 45th annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmys.

WHAS cleaned up, bringing in several awards. KET won in a couple of different categories, while WAVE took home one award.

Interestingly, none of the Evansville stations won anything, at least as far as I can tell from the list I've got, but I'm still going over the paperwork, so I'll be sure to post who won what as soon as I have everything together.

Or, if you'd rather look now and not wait for me, here is the list.

JDTVB VIDEO UPDATE #2 - Talkin' Hoops!

Goodbye, news feeds

OK, I've heard from a few of you, and it seems very few people actually use the news feeds, so as of this afternoon, they are going away.

One reader asked me when I was planning to add a WEHT news feed. I wanted to; I really did, but their website does not have an RSS feed, so I couldn't make that work. When I went to SpringWidgets to make the gadgets for my site, the one requirement for the news readers is that the sites you use have RSS feeds.

That's why WHAS, WTVW, WEHT and other stations never made it onto the site.

So there's your answer on that.

An added benefit of removing the feeds should be faster loading for the site. I know it gets a little bit bogged down on my own computer the way things are now.

UPDATED - YOU WRITE, I RESPOND #5: It's about sports

UPDATE #1: Be sure to read the comments that follow this post; WEHT Sports Director Lance Wilkerson clarifies some things that make a great deal of sense.

Football and basketball season will be here before you know it, and with my post yesterday about a new Tennessee Titans radio station for Owensboro fans, at least one reader had some thoughts and a question:

jgleenn writes:
103 (the rock station out of Evansville) plays the Colts pregame stuff, and I think one of the stations owned by that company plays the Colts games too.

Still no love for us Pat fans around here though. lol

On the topic of sports though, I still cannot figure out why one of the local TV stations doesn't play either UE (University of Evansville), USI (University of Southern Indiana), or KWC (Kentucky Wesleyan College) basketball games. I mean we have a D-1 program and two of the most dominant D-2 programs in history right here in our area, but no one has ever thought to give them a TV deal.

With 14, 25, and…
Welcome to this week's edition of The WIRE. It's been another busy week around here, and there's been a lot to talk about.

Take a look at what we've covered this week, and if you have any commentary to add, it's always welcome, either here on the blog or by dropping me a line at

Fox passes on President Obama's presser ... againCronkite's voice will continue to open "CBS Evening News"It's official(Jackie Monroe's move from WTVW to WFIE)TUESDAY, JULY 21
Can we distinguish good TV from crap TV?Is WEHT having trouble getting viewers for its 9PM newscast?WEDNESDAY, JULY 22
Taco Bell spokesdog dies of a stroke at 15Gray Television to manage Young Broadcasting stationsWhat's going on outside the Evansville market?THURSDAY, JULY 23
POLL UPDATE - One week to go!The funeral: My takeTaking the afternoon offUPDATED: Cronkite's funeral to be webcast live on CBSNews.comJDTVB's FIRST VIDEO UPDATE!FRIDAY, JULY 24

The Latest from Nashville: WNAB signal issues?

NashDigie reports tonight that there have been some problems with reception for folks watching Nashville's CW affiliate, WNAB (58.1).

Here's the story:
For about the past few weeks, WNAB (CW, Nashville) has been kind of flaky. On the Philips dvd recorder, it was glitchy (or pixelating, however you want to say it), but on the Sylvania set top box, it was fine. No pixelating. I thought it was my reception until yesterday, when I heard two other people having problems with the channel. Then today not only me, but two other people as well are not having the problems anymore. So, I am guessing it wasn't at my end but at the station's end. I will be e-mailing them and asking them what the problem was.And we'll be sure to bring you the latest when we get that word from WNAB.

Do you use 'em?

A while back, I added news feeds from one station in each of the four markets that JDTVB covers so that you, the readers, would have one place to access them.

As of today, the stations whose RSS feeds power this feature are:
Evansville: WFIE (14)
Bowling Green: WBKO (13)
Louisville: WLKY (32)
Nashville: WSMV (4)
My question now is this: Do you use them? If so, are they easy to use? Or would it just be better if I did away with them?

Let me know what you think.

UPDATED: Owensboro area Titans fans rejoice: 97X to be NFL team's new radio home locally

UPDATE #1: 8:25 AM, July 24

EDITOR'S NOTE: I know this is a TV blog, but this is big stuff for us here in Owensboro. We are a sports town, so by golly, I'm gonna spread the word!

Being a longtime Indianapolis Colts fan, I was thrilled last season to be able to catch my favorite NFL team's games on Owensboro's WVJS (AM 1420, simulcast on W263BG 100.5 FM).

Now, WVJS' owner, Cromwell Radio, is showing local Tennessee Titans fans the love.

The announcement came down at 7:30 this morning that Titans games will be broadcast over WXCM-FM (97.1). The station, known as "97X," is Owensboro's classic rock station.

One thing's for sure: When the teams play each other, it should make for very interesting listening around town!

UPDATE #1: Mike Chaney, the news guru of the local Cromwell stations, also pointed out that listeners in Tell City, Indiana can catch Colts football on WTCJ (AM 1230). I should have known that, because WTCJ simulcasts WVJS' programm…

Check out Lance's new blog!

Most of you in the Evansville Tri-State area know who Lance Wilkerson is. He's the longtime (16+ years? Can it really be, Lance?) Sports Director at WEHT News25, and not only that, I consider him a friend ... even though we find ourselves at odds on occasion when it comes to discussing the Cubs and Cardinals!

Now Lance has started his own blog at This blog is completely separate from his day job, and you'll find his take on sports, music (he's a HUGE Dave Matthews Band fan, and I have to admit, that's been rubbing off on ME to a certain degree!) and whatever else he feels like talking about.

As he told me last night, the blog is a work in progress, so if he's anything like I was when I started JDTVB last summer, it may not look the same way twice for a while. That's not a bad thing.

So head on over there and check out Lance's blog. I think you'll enjoy it. I know I do.

The Latest from Nashville: WKRP getting there, a little at a time

With so many TV stations nowadays being owned by big companies, it's nice to see a "Mom & Pop" operation coming along.

Alexandria, Tennessee's own WKRP-LD (6) is one such station, and our Nashville Correspondent, NashDigie, gives us the latest on the progress they're making in taking care of some issues that viewers have had with getting their signal:
They've about got it corrected. The audio they have corrected, but now the video. The setup is like this, 6.1 is Daystar, 6.2 is RTV, and 6.3 is Country Music Clips. The thing is, some tuners and converter boxes, I have heard, are having problems decoding 6.1. Some can't show it, some show Daystar for a second then switch and show RTV on 6.1. So, hopefully, they can get it fixed.
I'm sure Nash isn't the only one hoping for that. RTV has a lot of fine programming, as does Daystar (particularly my beloved Gaither Homecoming Series shows). And where else but the Country Music Capital of the Known…

Pictures from distant stations

Something I've long noticed and appreciated on my fellow DXers websites are pictures of distant stations that they've received. They're typically called "screen captures" or "screencaps," but until recently, I'd never done any.

Now I have.

In numerical order, here they are:

13.1: WBKO, the Bowling Green ABC/Fox/CW station has become quite the fixture here on Owensboro's southwest side, at least since WNIN vacated channel 12 and eliminated the external interference that kept it from me.

16.1: WUSI-HD, the Olney, Ill. translator of Southern Illinois University's PBS affiliate WSIU. The Olney transmitter is approximately 92 miles from my house.

23.1: W23BV, the Evansville outlet of 3ABN, recently returned to the digital airwaves after an absence of several months. It's a low-power station, even lower and farther away than WTSN-LD 36, but I have very little trouble getting 23; WTSN is, well, another story.

24.1: WKYU, the Bowling Green PBS a…

POLL UPDATE - One week to go!

Going into the last week of voting in the current polls, I continue to be just flat-out amazed at the response.

Things have started to tighten up in the late night poll, with 44 votes now cast. Here are those results as of right now:
Conan now leads with 13 votes (29%).Letterman is hanging in there, nipping at Conan's heels with 12 votes (27%).None of the above is in the mix too, with 11 votes (25%).After a strong early showing, Nightline has absolutely fallen flat in the voting, with just 6 voters (13%) watching. Could it be all the Jackson coverage?Moving along to the "more or fewer channels" question, where an astounding 76 votes have been cast, here are those results:
34 voters receive fewer channels (44%).27 voters receive more channels (35%).12 voters receive the same number of channels (15%).3 voters aren't sure (3%).Finally, let's take a look at the DTV satisfaction question. Again, I am amazed at the voter turnout on this one. With 70 votes cast, here&#…

The funeral: My take

I watched most of Walter Cronkite's funeral today. It was, as I had hoped it would be, a truly fitting tribute to a beloved American icon.

When Andy Rooney lost his composure and had to leave the podium, I nearly lost mine as well. I think Walter would have understood.

Taking the afternoon off

There will be no further posts this afternoon, so I may watch the funeral of Walter Cronkite via the internet.

Posting will resume at some point this evening.

UPDATED: Cronkite's funeral to be webcast live on

UPDATE #1 - 9:55 AM, July 23
UPDATE #2 - 11:40 AM, July 23
UPDATE #3 - 12:05 PM, July 23

CBS News will carry the funeral of former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite on the internet in real time this afternoon via, Variety reported last night.

The funeral, which will begin at 1:00 PM CDT (2:00 PM EDT), is to be held at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan, where the funeral of Cronkite's late wife, Betsy, was held just four years ago.

UPDATE: I have received word from Evansville CBS affiliate WEVV 44.1 that they will also carry the funeral on their website, with coverage beginning at 11:30 AM CDT; those arriving for the service will be shown at that time, and the funeral will begin at 1:00.

UPDATE #2: As of 11:30 AM CDT, WEVV's live feed is showing CBS News' Washington Unplugged, today being hosted by Bob Orr, as I'm sure Bob Schieffer is preparing for Walter's funeral.

UPDATE #3: OK, they're running a little behind in New York. Now watching those who wil…


It's not perfect, but I think it's a good first effort, given the basic equipment I have to work with -- the webcam and built-in mic on my netbook!

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Taco Bell spokesdog dies of a stroke at 15

I'm sad to report this afternoon that Gidget, the winsome little Chihuahua who tiptoed her way into the hearts of millions in the "Yo Quiero Taco Bell" ad campaign from 1997 to 2000, has died at the age of 15 due to a stroke she suffered last night, her trainer, Sue Chipperton, told People magazine today.

This reporter is not ashamed to admit that I had all of the promotional talking chihuahuas that Taco Bell offered during that time. In fact, it was only within the past year that I finally sold the last one at a garage sale.

Rest in peace, Gidget.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sue Chipperton/, via People

Gray Television to manage Young Broadcasting stations

It appears certain now that Bowling Green's WBKO (ABC/Fox/CW, 13) and Nashville's WKRN (ABC, 2) will become sister stations, thanks to today's approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Young Broadcasting's sale to its senior secured lenders and the selection of Gray Television to manage the Young stations.

Gray looks to come out well ahead on the deal, making more than $2 million annually for its services, plus other remuneration based upon performance.

Hopefully this will get some much-needed stability for the folks who work at the Young stations.

What's going on outside the Evansville market?

I seem to find myself focusing more and more on the Evansville market of late, so I'd like to apologize to the folks in and around Bowling Green, Louisville and Nashville for not keeping my finger on the pulse of what's going on with the stations in those areas.

But there is an explanation: One person can only do so much.

So, to refocus on all of the markets as equally as I can, I am officially asking for your help. If you know of something going on at your local stations, DROP ME A LINE! If you'd rather write it yourself and then send it to me, do it. I'll be glad to post it. Heck, I'll even give you a title - you can be a JDTVB Correspondent!

Speaking of correspondents, it feels like it's been a while since we've heard from our good friend, our Nashville Correspondent, NashDigie. So, Nash, if you're still out there, drop me an e-mail (it's jnewkirk77 at att dot net) and let me know what's up down that-a-way, if anything.

Also, I still want …

Can we distinguish good TV from crap TV?

ABC won the night last night.

The overnight ratings put the alphabet network on top with The Bachelorette and the insipid new "reality" crapfest called Dating in the Dark.

Have we all lost our minds? I mean, seriously -- is this the kind of crap we want our children to look back on in years to come when they think of classic television?

I sure hope not.

Is WEHT having trouble getting viewers for its 9PM newscast?

UPDATE #1 - 5:10 PM, July 21

It would seem that News25 is having some difficulty getting the word out about their 9PM newscast on RTV 25 (25.2), which debuted in early June.

Anchor Brad Byrd had this request for his Twitter followers this morning:
"Followers: Please let me know if you've watched News 25 at 9 on digital channel NEWS25-2. Do we need to get word out more it's there?" Despite the recent spate of promos from 25 about their more hard-hitting news coverage, the 9:00 show does seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle, as there has been little emphasis on the fact that it is out there.

And then there's the simple fact that RTV 25's penetration in the market is not substantial. The cable companies in the area which offer the station only do so in their digital tiers, which cost extra -- an important consideration in this economy -- and the satellite companies don't offer it at all.

OTA isn't much better. A number of over-the-air viewers I've sp…

Fox passes on President Obama's presser ... again

It appears that the Fox broadcast network (represented in our coverage area by WTVW 7.1, WBKO 13.2, WDRB 41.1 and WZTV 17.1) will not be airing President Obama's Wednesday night press conference in which the president plans to discuss health care reform. Once again, this means that Fox will be the only one of the Big Four networks not to do so.

You may recall that Fox also declined to cover the presser that the president held in April.

In my opinion, we're in the dog days of summer, when there's very little worthwhile programming on the air anyway, so why not air the press conference?

Cronkite's voice will continue to open "CBS Evening News"

If you're a regular viewer of theCBS Evening News with Katie Couric, you know that Walter Cronkite's voice has opened the program nightly since 2006.

With Cronkite's death at age 92 this past Friday, TVNewsday reports that CBS management planned to shelve that portion of the intro, but after consulting with Cronkite's family, they reconsidered, so the former anchorman's voice will continue to be heard each weekday evening for the foreseeable future.

In this reporter's opinion, it's a great tribute, and, to add to Walter's famous line, I'm glad that's the way it is.

A JDTVB FIRST: I'm going to start doing the occasional video uploads -- shot with my very own camera! -- so I figured I'd honor Walter Cronkite with my first, a brief clip of him opening the CBS Evening News in September 2008. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually, so please bear with me! (And let me know what you think -- is this something you want to see?)

It's official

UPDATE #1 - 10:20 AM, July 20
UPDATE #2 - 11:35 AM, July 20
UPDATE #3 with info from WFIE - 7:00 PM, July 20
UPDATE #4 with link to Courier & Press story - 11:30 AM, July 21

Jackie Monroe has joined the team at 14 News. Monroe comes to WFIE from WTVW, where she co-anchored Fox 7 News at 6 and 9 for five years.

According a press release from WFIE, Monroe will start work on August 3, but due to a non-compete clause in her WTVW contract, she will be producing and doing other off-screen work until the expiration of her contract ... next summer.

“I’m excited to be joining the 14WFIE team,” said Monroe in the statement. “It’s a great move to a great station at a great time in my life. This is a big, new chapter for me."Monroe's excitement is shared by news director C.J. Hoyt, who added, “Jackie will fit in great in our newsroom. She already knows most of the people that she will be working with."

When Monroe's non-compete clause expires, perhaps her most visible role will…

The WIRE: 400th Post Edition (for the week of July 12-18, 2009)

Good afternoon, folks, and welcome to this week's edition of The Wire. This week's Wire is a special one, because it's also JDTVB's 400th post!

Thank you all for being an integral part of JDTVB's nearly year-long efforts to follow what's happening in TV.

So, without further ado, here we go:

MONDAY, JULY 13, 2009
Change is comingNOT (entirely) TV RELATED: GM to try selling cars on eBayOutlying Cincinnati-market viewers the latest with DTV woesTUESDAY, JULY 14, 2009
WBKO weekend meteorologist attacked by stray dogWill Sinclair be the next in BK court?WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009
Bankruptcy update: Young bankers getting stations, Sinclair said to be "posturing"WEHT promos revisitedWhat the hell?Are you watching?THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2009
TVNewsday changing its nameOh, good Lord...UPDATE: Young Broadcasting auctionWTVF translator update: Construction permit grantedCan I pick your brains a little?FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009
BREAKING: Walter Cronkite has diedUPDATED: Hard to b…

BREAKING: Walter Cronkite has died

UPDATED - 7:30 PM, JULY 17
UPDATE #2 - 9:00 PM, JULY 17
UPDATE #3 - 3:05 AM, JULY 18

CBS News broke into regular programming shortly after 7:00 PM CDT to report the sad news that Walter Cronkite, longtime anchor of the CBS Evening News, has died at the age of 92.

UPDATE: You can read more about Cronkite and his long, distinguished career here.

Known by many as "the most trusted man in America," Cronkite had been in poor health recently, and, evidently, earlier reports claiming he was near death were, sadly, accurate.

Cronkite's death, interestingly, comes on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, which he so enjoyed covering on CBS as it happened live.

CBS will broadcast a special entitled "That's the Way it Was: Remembering Walter Cronkite" on Sunday evening at 7:00 PM ET (6:00 PM CT). In this area of the country, it will be broadcast over the following stations:
WEVV (44.1), EvansvilleWNKY (40.2), Bowling GreenWLKY (32.1), LouisvilleWTVF (5.…

UPDATED: Hard to believe ...

UPDATED - 3:35 AM, JULY 18 (see below)

... but it was eight years ago today that, without any warning to viewers or even the staff, WEVV (CBS/MyTV, 44) shut down its news department.

I remembered it being sometime in 2001, but I had forgotten that today was the anniversary. Brandon Bartlett, now an anchor/reporter at market-leading WFIE (14), worked in a similar capacity at Channel 44, and remembered the event in a tweet earlier today.

In 2001, it seemed like the thing to for a last-place station to do, and not just in Evansville, Indiana. St. Louis' ABC affiliate, KDNL, likewise cut its news department that year, and in the years since, others have followed suit, and for many of the same reasons.

WEVV's newscasts, while journalistically strong (earning A+ grades from the Project for Excellence in Journalism), just couldn't grab viewers in the way that the more established newscasts at WFIE, WEHT and WTVW did, perenially falling dead last in the ratings.

And it was almost cert…


Leave it to our Canadian friends to go to the trouble to study the effect of The Simpsons on children's food intake. It's almost as dumb as a Reagan-era official claiming that ketchup was a vegetable.

I don't even know what else to say.

Dusting off the WAZE file

I got word via Twitter the other night that, at least according to the FCC's files, St. Louis-based Roberts Broadcasting is still officially the owner of Madisonville, Ky./Evansville CW affiliate WAZE (19, and translators on channels 4, 5, and 17).

As you know, Roberts entered into an agreement with BGT Communications late last year to sell WAZE and its translators for the paltry sum of $50,000. Of course, the FCC has been preoccupied with DTV matters since, so it's really not a huge surprise that the deal has yet to get the Commission's imprimatur.

On the viewing front, WAZE's full-power analog signal on channel 19 went away more than a month ago, so unless you have cable (and not all Evansville-market cable systems, particularly out in the hinterlands, even offer it), you're stuck with a snowy, low-power analog signal or nothing, unless, of course, you live close enough to Madisonville to pick up their really, really weak digital signal ... that is, if that is sti…

POLL UPDATE - Late night race tightens up, and dissatisfied customers still lead the way

Good morning, folks, and welcome to this week's Poll Update!

When it comes to the late-night shows, 32 of you have voted and here's how you've cast your ballots:
David Letterman continues to hold a lead, with 10 votes (31%).Conan and "none of the above" are tied with 8 votes each (25%).Nightline has only 5 votes (15%).One voter watches more than one show (3%).Moving to the digital channel question:
32 out of 66 voters (48%) receive more channels than they did before June 12.23 (34%) receive fewer channels.8 (12%) receive the same number of channels.3 (4%) aren't sure.And, finally, when it comes to your satisfaction with DTV:
40 out of 61 voters (a whopping 65%) are NOT satisfied.18 (29%) are satisfied.3 (4%) are undecided.You've still got 2 weeks to vote, so if you haven't yet done so, get your votes in today! And be sure to tell your friends about JDTVB. We'd love to have 'em as regular readers!

TVNewsday changing its name

I thought I'd posted this, but evidently I haven't.

As you know, many of the items I cover are covered in further depth by TVNewsday, a website that follows the entire U.S. TV biz.

But as of July 27, TVNewsday will be no more. Well, at least not in its present form.

It's becoming TVNewsCheck.

Supposedly, the name is changing because people check it day and night. Alllllllrighty then, if that's a good reason for them to change the name, I guess it works for me.

Oh, good Lord ...

So, will they or won't they?

Nexstar CEO Perry Sook, who was trumpeted in this morning's TVNewsday story as the new "white knight" (ha, ha) for Young Broadcasting's stations, now says his company isn't going to manage the properties, after all.

When he finally got back to TVN after their story was posted this morning, he said:
"We were not selected to be the management company. Another company has been chosen to manage those stations."Maybe, just maybe, the consortium of lenders realized they'd be in worse shape with Nexstar running the operations than what they have now.

After all, Nexstar, for all its chest-pounding about how great they are at negotiating retrans fees with cable and satellite operators, is still deeply in debt (to the tune of about $640 million as of March 31), still skirting the rules and regulations set forth by the FCC (by "operating" stations "owned" by Mission), still losing talent to better stations in t…

UPDATE: Young Broadcasting auction

I misstated yesterday that there were no bids for the Young Broadcasting stations. There were bids, I've been told, but none were as high as the one submitted by the station's lenders.

And that's not all. TVNewsday reports today that Nexstar, of all companies, has entered into a management agreement to run the stations (with the exception of the station that killed Young, KRON), and could eventually end up as their owner.

If you thought it couldn't get worse, well, folks, it just did. As badly managed as Young has been for the past several years (after all, you don't wind up in BK court if you're run well, right?), it's only going to get worse once Deathstar takes the reins. Believe me, we've seen that.

WTVF translator update: Construction permit granted

As we've seen in other large markets with DTV signal issues, the FCC has proven -- much to their credit -- that they're not messing around when it comes to fixing the problems.

To that end, they've granted WTVF's request to build a low-power translator on channel 50 that will cover those folks in metro Nashville who lost the station's signal on June 12 when WTVF moved from channel 56 to its original spot on channel 5.

No word yet on when the new translator will be up and running, but as soon as I know, you'll know.

Can I pick your brains a little?

In the process of considering upcoming changes to JDTVB, I've been mulling over several thoughts in my own mind, basically thinking about things I want to do.

But it dawned on me that perhaps it might be best to put this before you, the readers. After all, JDTVB is here for your enjoyment and to bring you information. That only works if I'm delivering the sort of things you want to read about.

Therefore, your humble blogmeister wants to pick your brains, folks.

Let me know about what you like, what you don't like, what you want to see here, things of that nature. I'm open to any and all suggestions, so let it rip.

I'm also contemplating putting up some guest posts if anyone would like to do that. If you're interested in writing something for JDTVB, just drop me a line in the comment section or e-mail me at jnewkirk (at) att (dot) net. Let me know what you want to write about, and the floor is yours.

Well, that's about it for this morning. Have a great day…

Bankruptcy update: Young bankers getting stations, Sinclair said to be "posturing"

In recent days, I've posted about the collapse of Young Broadcasting and the possible bankruptcy of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Now there is news to share on both fronts:
No one stepped up to buy the Young stations (including Nashville's WKRN), so the company is being taken over by its lenders, who made the "highest offer," according to this Broadcasting & Cable article.Sinclair's threat to take the group into bankruptcy has been dinged by a Wells Fargo analyst as little more than posturing. Multichannel News quotes Marci Ryvicker as saying Sinclair is "painting the most dire scenario in a public forum" in an effort to get more favorable treatment from its debt holders.This is probably not the last we'll hear out of either of these ...

WEHT promos revisited

Last Friday, I posted an entry about WEHT's new station promos, and my feelings about them.

If nothing else, it's certainly sparked a lively discussion, based on the comments that have been posted since then. Earl Waitman, whose job it is to make the promos for WEHT, had this to say:
There was a time in TV when all stations took shots at each other. Almost all competitors in every line of work invite direct comparison. If you are proud of your product you have nothing to fear. These promos do nothing more than invite the viewer to make a direct comparison between the tv newscasts and not be brainwashed into watching a certain station's news. If this wish of free will and independent thought is somehow disturbing to you, I would suggest that you are completely missing the point of WEHT's promos.For my part, I still am not sure about them, but as I'm not in station management, my opinion counts for absolutely nothing. However, this is my blog, so here is my final pos…

What the hell?

All right, this is just plain weird. As I type this at 2:18 PM, I am watching Between The Lions on WUSI (PBS, 16.1).

Out of Olney, Illinois.

In the middle of the day.

And, as you can see from the picture, it's got a decent signal.

Now, it's not unusual for me to get WUSI at night -- mostly late at night, but this is just not normal.

And it didn't come alone. It brought friends:
WSIL (Harrisburg's ABC station)WPSD (Paducah's NBC station)WTCT (the Marion, Ill. Christian station)It's rare that I get those three, and this is the first time I've EVER gotten them later than 8:00 in the morning.

Weird ...

Are you watching?

I've been watching -- off and on -- the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Just a few years ago, this would have been the sort of thing that all three broadcast networks would've been showing, but not now.

The only channel in the Evansville market showing the hearings on-air is WNIN Local, 9.2.

So, are you watching, or is this now the sort of thing that generates only passing interest???

WBKO weekend meteorologist attacked by stray dog

Some days, even the dogs don't like the forecast.

All kidding aside, WBKO (ABC/Fox/CW, 13, Bowling Green) weekend meteorologist Jason Berry is recovering tonight from a dog attack in his own driveway as he was headed to work this past weekend.

The black and gray dog, believed to be a stray, bit Berry on the arm and clawed his head.

For more on this story, click here, and if you have any information on the whereabouts of the animal in question, please call the Warren County Sheriff's Department at 270-842-1633.

We wish Jason a speedy recovery.

Will Sinclair be the next in BK court?

If this article in The Hollywood Reporter is to be believed, then yes.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns Nashville's WZTV (Fox, 17) and WUXP (MyTV, 30) and operates WNAB (CW, 58) through an LMA*, has over a billion (!) dollars in debt and barely over $10 million in cash on hand.


So it should come as no surprise that they're likely to be the next broadcasting group headed to court to seek some relief.

Stay tuned. I'm still fairly sure they won't be the last to head down this road.

* In addition to these stations in the Nashville area, in this part of the country, Sinclair also owns KBSI (Fox, 23) and operates WDKA (MyTV, 49/50), which serve the Paducah/Harrisburg/Cape Girardeau market.

Change is coming

Stay tuned. I'm up to something. That's all I'm gonna tell you for now. ;-)

NOT (entirely) TV RELATED: GM to try selling cars on eBay

In an interesting move that bears watching, the "new" General Motors Company is planning to partner with online auction powerhouse eBay.

The partnership would see new GM cars being sold directly, starting in California, with the customer's only contact with a dealer being in the delivery phase.

It is an interesting concept, but how would this affect GM's newly-shrunken dealer base, which now spends large amounts of money on local TV ads? A number of GM dealers (and those of other automakers) sell on eBay themselves, so maybe I'm worrying for no reason.

But I'll be watching, nonetheless.

Outlying Cincinnati-market viewers the latest with DTV woes

A month and a day after the DTV switch, there are still problems out there, and it's finally dawning on folks that it's not just happening in the bigger cities.

While Cincinnati is not a "smaller market," to be sure, folks in the outer reaches of the Cincinnati viewing area in southwestern Ohio, southeastern Indiana and northern Kentucky - who for years relied on the city's VHF stations for news and weather - are now not getting them. And that's WITH outdoor antennas.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has an in-depth story on the problems, and it's a good read.