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Showing posts from October, 2009

It's that time of year again ... a public service announcement from JDTVB

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Yeah, I know ... it's a pain in the butt to set all of those clocks. But hey, just remember that you'll get an extra hour of sleep tonight!

Be sure also to check the batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too!

THE WIRE - A look back at what's happened this week in TV

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This was another busy week at JDTVB HQ. Lots of stuff to keep me hopping. So let's hop on and get to the news of the week:

MONDAY
I got my eyes examined. Everything turned out well.Consumer electronics advocates said that they want some bandwidth that's now devoted to television. Memo to the FCC: Don't give it to 'em.NBC picked up more episodesof "Community," "Parks and Recreation" and "Mercy."Word's out that George Stephanopoulos and Chris Cuomo are the top candidates for the co-host spot at "Good Morning America." I think Cuomo would be the better choice.I celebrated the Colts' 42-6 stomping of the Sheep Rams in St. Louis and covered a little more NFL news.TUESDAY
I celebrated my birthday. For those of you who are curious, I'm 32.I reiterated my opinion that Evansville needs an Ion station. You can scoff all you want. I ain't changing my mind.Ellis Park announced they would close -- simulcasting and all --…

POLL UPDATE: I'm late getting this up today ...

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... but here are the latest poll results. I'm using new software, so we'll see how this works.

Keep in mind that the three October polls will close at midnight tomorrow night, so this will be the last in-progress update on those. I'll post the final results on Sunday.

The WEHT poll will run until Sunday, November 15.

As always, for a larger view of each graph, just click on it, then to return to this page click your browser's "Back" button.


HOW DID I MISS THIS? NEWS25's Adkins featured in TVNewsCheck story on Twitter

If you're a Tweep (that's shorthand for Twitter user) and you follow any or all of the local news folks who tweet regularly, you know that they've made good use of it to "tease" upcoming stories and get the word out about breaking news more quickly than it can be put on TV or the stations' websites.

That said, I don't know how I missed this article from Sept. 2 on TVNewsCheck. NEWS25 anchor/reporter Scott Adkins was featured in the story about how stations across the country have gone a-Twitter.

I apologize for not getting this up when it came out. It is interesting reading, though.

UPDATE: "The Imploders" will feature Owensboro Executive Inn demolition

I've got the latest update on the implosion of Owensboro's Executive Inn Rivermont for you!
The TLC crew is already in town and will be here until Nov. 9, the day after the implosion. The show will be called "The Imploders."14News reporter Ben Garbarek says that spectators will be kept 750 feet from the blast site; McConnell Plaza, Second Street and the Glover Cary Bridge (the blue bridge) will be closed.
NEWS25 reporter Corey Allan says the 750-foot zone will also include St. Elizabeth and Elm streets, and that police and fire personnel will patrol the river.Grandstands will not be set up; you can, however, bring a lawn chair.
When I get more news, I'll let you know!

AROUND THE COUNTRY: Your look at TV news outside the market

I think I'm going to start giving you the TV news from around the country each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so let me know what you think about that idea.

That said, let's get started on today's installment:

SCRUBBING UP FOR ANOTHER SHOT -- After substantial reconstructive surgery on the format of the show, ABC is bringing back "Scrubs" on Tuesday nights at 8PM CT starting December 1. Variety reports that Zach Braff will appear in a few episodes. [Variety]

NBC DECIDES TO "CHUCK" "TRAUMA" -- The peacock network has green-lighted six more episodes of their new dramedy, "Chuck," while tossing aside the poorly-rated "Trauma." [The Hollywood Reporter]

A LITTLE EXPLANATION GOES A LONG WAY -- It seems Omaha NBC affiliate WOWT, which has been transitioning its newscasts to high definition, has been having some technical difficulties in the process which got a few viewers upset, so the folks at the station were good enough to post a …

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HARD NEWS: You can't make this stuff up

I know that some people already think I'm being too hard on WEHT-NEWS25 over the "McDonald's McCafe Monday" thing, but I am not going to apologize for my stance.

So, let's lighten the mood a little. Again, this comes from NEWS25, but you have to admit, it is pretty entertaining, despite the fact that it's the lead-in to a story on swine flu:


Mobile TV in your car? If you buy a new Chrysler, you can get it

Chrysler, the smallest of Detroit's three automakers, will be the first automaker to offer mobile television in its cars.

The Qualcomm Flo TV system will be a $629 option (plus installation) on most Chrysler vehicles with available rear-seat DVD players (such as the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country) starting in December.

This system is different in concept from the Sirius Backseat TV offering that has been available in Chrysler's minivans since 2007 and offers more programming choices.

Flo TV offers up to 20 channels, and Chrysler will include a one-year subscription to the service with the purchase of the system. The car company is said to be negotiating the monthly cost thereafter, but the Associated Press reports that packages could cost as little as $9 per month.

However ... there are no local channels, so if you're stuck in traffic and want to see those traffic cams, you're out of luck.

Update on today's column

If you have not yet read today's column, there are some very interesting comments from readers there. Also, thanks to those of you who have already voted in the poll.

Now I'd like to update you on WTVW-Fox7's position regarding commercials within newscasts.

This afternoon, I got an e-mail from their news director, Bob Walters, and Bob told me that his station, like WFIE, also has a policy that prohibits product placement within newscasts. McDonald's does sponsor the 3-Degree Guarantee and they do give away coupons, but -- and this is a very important distinction, so I will quote Bob here -- "(W)e do not discuss the virtues of the actual product on the air."

Thank you, Bob, for the update!

DXing again -- this time from Huntsville, Alabama!

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I was surprised this morning to pull in WHIQ (25), the Alabama Public Television station out of Huntsville.

The station's transmitter is a whopping 209 miles from my home, but as I type this at 4:30AM, I'm getting a 32 percent signal on my bedroom TV. It's currently set up with the Magnavox TB110MW9 box out of the now-winterized Mobile Command.

APT offers three subchannels:
APT HD (the standard PBS feed)APT IQ (which runs a LOT of children's programming)CreateI hope to get this station again in the future. The overnight kids' shows will be helpful if my two youngest kids have trouble sleeping again ... I'm dealing with that problem this morning, which is why I'm still up at this hour.

UPDATE: I also -- briefly -- pulled in enough signal from WAAY (31), Huntsville's ABC station, for its basic information to come up on screen. Unfortunately, I didn't get any more than that.

THE MUSIC CITY REPORT: WKRN alters schedule ... for "Titans on 2"

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I'd read a little about this on some Tennessee Titans web boards (hey, sometimes even a Colts fan checks out what the competition's fans are sayin'!), and discovered that folks were ticked off about it, but NashDigie checked in overnight to give us some good info about how WKRN (2) has been fiddling around with the usual Tuesday night ABC programming.

For several weeks now, WKRN has put "Shark Tank" on tape delay in order to broadcast "Titans on 2," the show featuring none-too-popular-right-now Titans head coach Jeff Fisher. "Shark Tank" is shown at 1:35 AM Wednesday mornings, a time slot in which I can say to a degree of metaphysical certitude ensures that almost no one has been watching it.

What is almost as certain is that non-fans really don't give a rat's behind about a team that is now 0-6. Heck, at this point, even the die-hard, hardcore fans aren't real sure about 'em, either!

But WKRN will not move the show to the Nashv…

New column is now available

Good morning, folks! This week's Courier & Press column is now available for you to read. This week, I go in-depth on the McDonald's commercial that was in last Monday's NEWS25 Daybreak newscast.

If you've already read the column and want to vote in the poll, you will find it in the left-hand column. Be sure to scroll down and vote in my other polls as well, if you haven't already done so.

And, in case you missed last week's column, it is available here. In that installment, I reviewed ABC's "Modern Family," which I feel is the best of the network's new fall comedies.


In the "spirit" of Halloween ...

I've changed the site to reflect one of my favorite days of the year. Maybe it's because I was a late-October baby. Maybe it's because my first three birthdays were Halloween parties.

I dunno.

But I love doing stuff like this ... and I thought you might enjoy it, too.

Now THIS would be an improvement!

Even though the DTV transition is done, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) hasn't packed their bags and left town.

Far from it.

Recently, they approved a single standard for Mobile DTV, and now they're working on a new Recommended Practices standard for loudness in television.

You're familiar with the problem. You set the sound level for your favorite show, and the next thing you know, good ol' "Dishonest Don The Dealin' Dude" is on your screen BLASTING YOU OUT OF YOUR SEAT TRYING TO SELL YOU ANOTHER RIDICULOUSLY LOW-PRICED NEW CAR!!!

Well, folks, the good news is that this standard, if it's approved next week, should take care of that by putting everything that's broadcast on an even volume playing field.

And if it doesn't pass, Congress is currently considering the CALM (Commercial Advertising Loudness Mitigation) Act. If CALM comes down to a vote, that bill is expected to pass easily.

Oh, Bob ...

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Evansville native Bob Griese, who led the Miami Dolphins to three consecutive Super Bowls before going on to become a well-known football commentator, first at NBC and later at ABC and ESPN, made a boo-boo during Saturday's Ohio State-Minnesota game.

During the telecast, a graphic listing the top five NASCAR Sprint Cup points leaders was shown, and when Griese's co-analyst, Chris Spielman, asked where Juan Pablo Montoya (a Colombian who isn't in the top five) was ranked, Griese said the driver was "out having a taco."

Griese apologized twice on the air for the insensitive comment, but ESPN suspended him for a week.

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewicz told the Associated Press that ESPN honchos had spoken to Griese and that "he understands the comment was inappropriate."

For his part, Montoya didn't seem to mind -- when asked, he told reporters that he'd never heard of Griese.

PHOTO CREDIT: autoblog.com

THE DERBY CITY DIGEST: Retirements aplenty -- WAVE anchor Hays and WDRB reporter Irby stepping down

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In the past year or so, we've seen a lot of well-known and well-liked Louisville news personalities retire.

Now there are two more.

After more than 21 years at WAVE-3, anchor Jackie Hays is retiring.

In a news release, Hays cited a desire to spend more time with her family as her reason for leaving.

Hays came to WAVE in 1988, and is currently co-anchor of the station's 5 and 6PM newscasts.

Meanwhile, over at WDRB (Fox 41), Dick Irby, who's been reporting at that station since 1991, will retire this Friday. He's uncovered a lot of big stories during his years at Fox 41.

Both will be missed by their loyal viewers.

JACKIE HAYS PHOTO CREDIT: WAVE
DICK IRBY PHOTO CREDIT: WDRB

New poll

Good afternoon, everybody! I've been doing some work around the house and a little last-minute fine tuning to my column, so I'm just now getting around to checking in.

As a tie-in to this week's column, from now until Sunday, November 15, I'm going to run with a new poll question, and here it is:
Was WEHT (NEWS25) wrong to put a McDonald's commercial within their NEWS25 Daybreak newscast?It's just a simple "yes or no" question this time around. If you haven't yet seen the video, here it is.

So ... go ahead and start voting!

(PLEASE NOTE: The October polls will continue to run until Saturday night, as promised.)

Closin' it down for the night

OK, everybody. Everything that needed to get posted has now been posted, so I am shuttin' down the office here at JDTVB so I can enjoy a quiet evening with my family. If you have any comments or questions on anything that's been posted today, please feel free to use this as an open forum.

Have a great night, and we'll get after it again in the morning!

Elberfeld resident to appear on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" this week

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks again to Melisse Marks from WEHT for the heads up on this story!

Local folks are sure getting a lot of positive air play on national TV of late -- witness the Mattingly family of Daviess Co., Kentucky (who will appear on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" this Sunday night) and Owensboro resident Justin Mulhollen, who got a video on "AFV" last Sunday. The latest to get national exposure is Melissa Storms of Elberfeld, Ind.

Storms, who is pictured at left above, will appear beginning this Friday evening at 6:30PM on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" with Meredith Vieira.

WWTBAM airs each weeknight at 6:30PM on NEWS25 (channel 25.1).

PHOTO CREDIT: WEHT

Go "Behind the Big Build" with NEWS25 this Sunday

EDITOR'S NOTE: This information was provided courtesy of Melisse Marks, marketing manager at WEHT-NEWS25.

NEWS25 will air “NEWS25 Behind the Big Build” on Sunday, November 1 at 5:30PM. NEWS25 DAYBREAK anchors Whitney Ray and Jon Chrisos take you behind-the-scenes of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build in Daviess County, Kentucky. The show includes NEWS 25 interviews with show designers and the Mattingly family. Viewers will see all the rare moments, the excitement, the up-close and personal look as seen through the cameras of NEWS 25 during this Tri-State event. “NEWS 25 Behind the Big Build”will air from 5:30 to 6PM Sunday, November 1 on NEWS25, RTV 25 and online at news25.us. The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” episode featuring the Mattinglys' build in Daviess County, Kentucky airsat 7PMon NEWS25, also on November 1. The news stories, along with the uncut video shot by NEWS25 during the build, are available for viewing online. Visitors can log on to news25.us a…

UPDATED: "Evansville Basketball with Marty Simmons" coming to 14WFIE beginning Nov. 8

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WFIE News Director C.J. Hoyt announced this afternoon that the sports team at Channel 14 will debut a new men's basketball coach's show with University of Evansville Purple Aces head coach Marty Simmons starting November 8.

The show, which will air as part of the 10PM Sunday newscast, will be hosted by Mike Blake and include sports anchors Joe Danneman and Bo McFall.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the show will be viewers' ability to use Facebook, Twitter and e-mail to interact with Simmons.

It's also interesting that WFIE has chosen to put the show within the newscast instead of after it, as it was for the past several years on NEWS25. I'll be interested to see how that plays out.

UPDATE: NEWS25 Sports Director Lance Wilkerson contacted me to send his best wishes to the folks at WFIE. Wilkerson said, "It was a privilege to host the Aces TV/Radio Show for 7 years. Both Coach Simmons and Coach Merfeld treated me like family. I will miss it this wint…

Coming up later tonight on JDTVB

I've got some important news coming along this evening, so be sure to check back regularly tonight so you can get these full stories:
An Elberfeld, Ind. resident on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"More info on "NEWS25 Behind the Big Build"Read about an exciting new sports program on 14WFIEI'm getting all of this info sorted out and plan to get things published as soon as possible.

Stay tuned!!!

National update

Here are some items of interest from across the nation today:

MICROSOFT WALKS AWAY FROM FOX SPECIAL: Microsoft was to have been one of the main sponsors of Fox's "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show," but the word today is that the software giant has pulled out due to concerns that the show's content might be too extreme. Really? A Seth MacFarlane show? Extreme? Objectionable? Maybe even raunchy? Surely they're talking about another Seth MacFarlane, right? *sarcasm* [Variety]

CNN FALLS TO DEAD LAST: If you're a cable or satellite subscriber, you've got four major news networks to choose from -- Fox News, HLN, MSNBC and CNN -- and today there's proof that being the original doesn't mean you'll always be #1. CNN is finding that lesson out the hard way; they're now dead last among the four in the primetime ratings race. Maybe Ted Turner does need to come back, after all. [The New York Times]

JUMPING THE S…

BREAKING: Ellis Park to close ... temporarily

EDITOR'S NOTE: I inadvertently left out my source for this story. Sorry, Lance!!!

I got word a short while ago from NEWS25 Sports Director Lance Wilkerson that Henderson's Ellis Park racetrack will close and end simulcasting operations on November 8.

The track will remain closed until April 1, 2010.

Ellis Park says that some 75 employees will be affected by the temporary closure.

The park's future has been in some question because of the Kentucky legislature's failure to provide some help to what is one of the state's signature industries. Ellis' owner, Ron Geary, is a staunch supporter of adding video gambling terminals at tracks, but as yet has been unsuccessful in getting them.

For the full press release from Ellis Park, click here. For NEWS25's story, click here.

Why the Evansville market needs Ion

I've made no secret that I wish we had an Ion station here in the Evansville market, but now my desire is burning even hotter than before.

Ion has signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to secure the broadcast rights to theatrical releases for three new movies -- "The Return," "Breach," and "Miami Vice."

In addition, the documentary "March of the Penguins" will air December 12.

Of course, those of you within range of Louisville's WBNA and Nashville's WNPX will be able to see all of these. I'm jealous.

Happy Birthday to me!

Due to the fact that today is my birthday, I'll be taking it easy today. There are a few things I want to cover, however, and I'll get to those later.

Colts move to 6-0 and other NFL news

It's a good day to be a Colts fan. After drilling the Rams 42-6 yesterday in St. Louis, the boys in blue gave me yet another good reason (besides the chilly morning) to don my favorite sweatshirt with the horseshoe on it.

The Colts in general look awesome, and the record reflects that. The only thing that really ticked me off about the whole game was the third-quarter excessive celebration penalty against Jacob Lacey. Give the guy a break, officials!

Anyway, we're up to a 15-game win streak. That's pretty impressive ... especially for those of us who lived through the "Cardiac Colts" years.

So ... what else happened in the NFL this weekend? Get a load of this:

IT COULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED TO A NICER GUY:BrettFarveFahrveFavre and his Minnesota Vikings lost to Pittsburgh 27-17. Awww ... they're not undefeated anymore. Shucks. OK, Brett, you can retire now again.

WELL, HEY ... AT LEAST THEY PUT SOME POINTS ON THE BOARD: My in-laws are really not liking me t…

Catching up on the weekend's news

Here are some of the things that caught my eye over the weekend, but I didn't have a chance to get 'em boiled down until this morning:

THEY WON'T GIVE UP: The Consumer Electronics Association would love to get their hands on some of the broadcast bandwidth that TV stations now have access to so they can devote it to broadband internet use. I love the internet, don't get me wrong. But this is just a bad idea. Bad, bad, dumb idea.

NBC ORDERS MORE: You say you like "Community"? How about "Parks & Recreation"? "Mercy," too? I have good news. NBC signed up for nine more episodes of each new show. [Variety]

CLASH OF THE TITANS? MAYBE: From all indications, it's down to a contest between George Stephanopoulos and Chris Cuomo to replace Diane Sawyer at ABC's "Good Morning America." I personally think Cuomo's the right guy for the job; he works hard and does well in the morning. Not sure George would do well wit…

Good morning!

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I've got an appointment with my eye doctor this morning, so I'll be gone for a short while. When I get back, I'll post some of the things that caught my eye over the weekend, and maybe we'll even talk a little football.

See you later!

PHOTO CREDIT: beaconoflight.org

JUST A WEEK TO GO ...

Have you voted in this month's polls?

You need to get your votes in this week -- they will close at 11:59PM CT next Saturday night!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

THE WIRE - Catching you up on the news of the week

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It certainly seems to have been an interesting week in the world of television. It started off slowly, but things sure heated up on Friday as discussion centered around the selling out of WEHT's NEWS25 Daybreak program to McDonald's.

I'll be "off duty" today and tomorrow, but feel free to use the comments section below as an open discussion forum.

With that out of the way, let's get on with this weekend's wrap-up of all things JDTVB:


MONDAY, OCTOBER 19
Vincennes University's WVUT got a USDA grant to help fund the purchase of new equipment so the station can transition to producing its own high-definition programming.Around the country, other networks' affiliates showed their admiration for Jay Leno's way of throwing to the local affiliates' late news programs by asking for something similar.Owensboro homebuilder Thompson Homes announced they will host a viewing party for the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" episode filmed near Owens…

TLC show to feature implosion of Owensboro's Executive Inn Rivermont

Mark your calendars, folks:

On Sunday morning, Nov. 8, the old Executive Inn Rivermont in downtown Owensboro will be imploded -- using explosives -- at 8 AM CT.

A crew from TLC will be on hand to film the event, which will be used in an upcoming program.

For more details, stay with JDTVB. I'll post any new info that I find out.

Reader reactions to "When is a commercial ... not a commercial?"

As I figured, it didn't take long before readers started putting in their two cents on the previous post about the NEWS25 Daybreak team shilling for McDonald's.

Here are some snippets from comments I've gotten:
One anonymous reader called it "McNews."Teacherjake said: "McNews, indeed. I know WTVW has a sponsor ad in the corner of the scroll on every newscast, but what WEHT is doing is completely ridiculous. WTVW's sponsors are usually local, hometown places if I'm not mistaken."Still another reader wrote: "It makes me physically ill to watch."Teacherjake makes a valid point. It is true that WTVW (and WFIE) show sponsors' logos at various points during their newscasts and sports, but nothing that has ever gone this far. Logos are one thing. Devoting almost an entire minute to a sponsor's product during a newscast simply goes too far.

In my opinion, WEHT has crossed the line that should never be crossed between advertising and n…

When is a commercial ... not a commercial?

When advertising seeps into a newscast, that's when.

Watch this video and tell me what you think:


DISCLAIMER: This video was not recorded by me (I don't have the equipment to do so). I only have it because a reader sent me the link.

POLL UPDATE: Keeping track of who watches what with what

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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this week's Poll Update. By clicking on the graphs below, you can get a breakdown of each poll question. We'll update the polls again next Friday morning and announce the final results here on November 1 and again in my column in the Courier & Press on November 5.

A quick update on the FCC's new net neutrality stance

Yesterday, I mentioned that the FCC is working to create new rules that would keep telecoms from limiting internet users' ability to use the bandwidth that they (we) pay for.

Well, almost immediately after the FCC voted to do so, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) came forward with a bill that would keep the Commission from doing that.

Why is this important to you? If you enjoy watching TV shows (on sites like Hulu) and other online videos (say, YouTube, for example), telecoms would like to keep you from doing that as often. You see, they'd like to charge you more based on the amount of data you download ... as if you're not paying enough already in many cases. Or, if you resist that approach, they'll just throttle you back and not let you have internet for a predetermined period of time.

That must sound like a good idea to Sen. McCain. It doesn't sound like a good idea to me. And it shouldn't sound good to you.

Hulu will start charging users in 2010

If, like me, you catch up on some of your favorite TV shows on Hulu, you'd better enjoy it while you can.

Starting next year, it will no longer be free.

For more on this, check out this story in TVWeek and also this story in Broadcasting & Cable.

IN COMPUTERS: Are you upgrading to Windows 7?

Ready or not, here comes Windows 7 ... and my question is, is it really worth it?

For my purposes, probably not. My MSI Wind U100 netbook came with Windows XP SP3, and I plan to keep it just as it is for as long as I can.

Why?

I was an early Vista adopter. When I bought my former doorstopAcer Aspire 5610 laptop in early 2007, it had Vista Home Premium, and from day one, it was a pain in the rump. Oh, sure I liked some of its features, but the overall experience was awful.

And unlike all previous forms of Windows that were not too difficult to get used to, Vista was a nightmare of nannyish warnings and other nonsense.

So you can imagine that I was not too sad when the Acer took a permanent nap about 10 months ago.

The fact that XP was the netbook's #1 choice of OS was a real plus to me. XP is much easier to use than Vista, I've had no driver issues, and as you can see, I can put together a mighty fine ol' blog using it with no problem at all.

No, I won't be migrating to the…

Around the country today

Here are some interesting things I'm following around the country today:

HONOLULU LOSING CBS OVER THE AIR, AT LEAST TEMPORARILY: I'd hate to be in Honolulu right now. On Monday, the city's CBS affiliate is going off the air ... except on cable or satellite. Three Honolulu stations are getting signal upgrades, but only the CBS station is going off because of the work. Sources differ on how long the station won't be available to antenna users (one source says it won't be back until after the first of the year!), but the whole thing is raising a stink among viewers. There's a lot more to this, more than I can really go into here. [Honolulu Star Bulletin]

THE WEATHER WILL ALSO BE IN HD: I've covered in detail the fact that HD news is the "next big thing," so it's only natural that stations will eventually add a lot of "gee whiz" HD stuff when it comes to weather forecasting. It's already happening in some parts of the country. …

Resting for the morning

I did not sleep well last night, so I am resting for a while this morning. I'll be back this afternoon.

Meanwhile, if you've read this week's column, let me know what you think!

CORRECTED: WNIN Local now on Insight and WOW

EDITOR'S NOTE: In the earlier version of this post, I mistakenly wrote that WNIN Local on WOW is on channel 111. It is on channel 102, and I have corrected that below. I apologize for any confusion and inconvenience this may have caused.

Loyal friend of JDTVB teacherjake reports this afternoon that WNIN Local (channel 9.2 for those of us with antennas) is now available to Insight and WOW cable subscribers.

Insight viewers can find it on channel 422 (using a box) or 9.2 (hooked directly to an HDTV). WOW viewers will find it on channel 102.

It's almost that time again ...

We're rapidly approaching 2010, and as most everyone knows, that means we'll be seeing political ads start to heat up the airwaves again before too much longer.

Mediaweek reports today that a Wells Fargo Securities report predicts some $3.3 BILLION will be spent on campaign ads and issue ads in the coming election cycle. Look for a good chunk of money to flow to stations in Evansville and Louisville, among other markets, because there's going to be some action around these parts in '10.

SENATE RACES

In Indiana, Senator Evan Bayh is probably safe in his quest to get re-elected, so look for fewer ads geared toward Hoosiers in that race; the ones that do run, at least from the Bayh camp, will be largely of the "feel good" variety, I believe.

Here in Kentucky, however, it's another story. Jim Bunning is retiring after 12 years in office, and the race for his seat is very much a toss-up at this early stage of the game. I expect a great many ads will come along …

KET names new executive director

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The Kentucky Authority for Educational Television -- the governing board which oversees KET -- has chosen a new executive director to replace Mac Wall, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Shae Hopkins will take over the top job on January 1.

Hopkins has been with KET for 24 years, and was the founding executive director of the network's fundraising arm, the Commonwealth Fund for KET. She is also a respected producer and executive producer, having under her belt some of the network's more notable productions.

For more on this story from KET, click here.

PHOTO CREDIT: KET

Owensboro man's video to be on AFV this week

Since this fall marks the 20th season of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC, the show is featuring segments filled with videos from each of the 50 states this season.

This week's show, to air Sunday evening, will salute Kentucky, and one video was submitted by Justin Mulhollen of Owensboro.

I'm not going to ruin the surprise, but let's just say that the video is great!

AFV can be seen on the following stations each Sunday evening at 7PM ET/6PM CT:
WEHT [25.1]WHAS [11.1]WBKO [13.1]WKRN [2.1]

IN BRIEF: Hart recovering from gallbladder surgery

The latest word is that WEHT-NEWS25 Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart is recovering nicely following surgery to remove his gallbladder.

Weekend meteorologist David Heckard will be filling in for the remainder of the week while Wayne rests at home.

Get well soon, Wayne!

UPDATED: Coming attractions

UPDATE: NashDigie reminded me that The Oprah Winfrey Show is also seen on WBKI each weeknight. The listing below has been updated.

OK, folks, I'm going to try something new today. I've been finding out about some interesting programs (well, all right, they're interesting to me, anyway), so get your VCRs, your DVRs, your Betamax machines and whatever else you might use to record shows ready. Here we go:

ONE TO ONE with BILL GOODMAN
Goodman will interview former Louisville Courier-Journal editorial director David Hawpe. Hawpe, who retired recently, talks about Kentucky politics, his years at the C-J, and his plans for the future.
KET, Sunday, November 1 at 1PM ET/Noon CTKET2, Tuesday, November 3 at 7:30PM ET/6:30 PM CT
BILL COSBY: THE MARK TWAIN PRIZE
Bill Cosby is the recipient of the twelfth Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The program will feature highlights of Cosby's career, and he will be honored by the top comedians in America today.
WNIN 9.1/WNPT 8.1, Wednesd…

Rest in peace, Vic Mizzy

The odds are pretty good that you have no idea who Vic Mizzy is.

But if you've watched much TV over the years, you know his work. Mizzy died Saturday at the age of 93.

Still not sure about him?

Then perhaps you might think of the following lyrics:
"They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky: The Addams family!"Yes, not only did Mizzy write the lyrics to the well-known theme to "The Addams Family" and that of "Green Acres," but he also wrote songs that ended up being recorded by such notable singers as Dean Martin and Perry Como.

Today, so few shows have memorable themes (although CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" has a pretty neat one) that kids raise their eyebrows when their parents recall old favorites like the ones Vic Mizzy was best known for.

And for that, we should be thankful to Vic. May he rest in peace.

You say you like "The Biggest Loser?" Are you ready for a spinoff?

Ready or not, here it comes.

"The Biggest Loser" trainer Jillian Michaels will be the star of a new weight-loss show in which she travels around the country, moving in with families who need her help.

NBC has picked up eight episodes so far.

And, yet again, it's probably cheaper than something with a script.

Want to watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" with the family who got the new home? You'll get your chance

If you were anywhere within eyesight of local TV news recently, you know that ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" crew built a home for the Mattingly family of rural Maceo, Ky.

The show is set to air Nov. 1 on WEHT-NEWS25 [25.1], and the home's builder, Thompson Homes, has decided to host a viewing party for area residents to watch the show with the Mattinglys at Owensboro's RiverPark Center.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports that those in attendance will have a chance to see a special program called "Behind the Build" prior to the show. This program was produced by WEHT.

I'll see if I can get some additional details on this and will let you know what I find out.

Tidbits

Over the weekend, there were a few stories which caught my attention. Perhaps you might be interested in seeing some of these:

"UGLY BETTY" OFF TO SLOW START: Preliminary numbers for the ABC telenovela's season premiere show that Friday night might not be right for Betty. The show garnered a 1.3 rating/5 share in the first of the two hours, then rose -- barely -- to a 1.4/4 in what will be its new normal 8PM time. That's way off the show's Thursday numbers last year, but, in all honesty, it's about par for ABC's Friday night shows. [Variety]

FILLING THE GAP: One thing Jay Leno does well -- very well -- is his energetic throw to the late local news after his show ends at 10PM. The nearly-seamless transition is something other affiliates, particularly CBS stations, want to see their own networks do. In CBS' case, that would mean extending the 9PM programs for a few minutes. [Broadcasting & Cable]

IF ONLY HE DID EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WELL: While …

WVUT wins grant to help fund HD conversion

As much as WFIE wants to be the first to broadcast news in HD in the Tri-State, it looks like Vincennes University's WVUT [22/PBS, Vincennes, Ind.] might be the next station in the market to produce its own HD programming if all goes well.

(Yes, I consider WVUT in the Evansville market, as it does reach at least part of the northernmost segment of the market.)

The station recently won a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which will help fund the purchase of cameras and other equipment the station will need to make the move.

I'll stay on the story and let you know how it all turns out.

Good morning!

It's a beautiful if chilly morning here at JDTVB HQ, and I'm already looking at some things that are going on around the world and right here at home.

By the way, I decided NOT to post after last night's Bears/Falcons game. I've no desire to kick you poor Bears fans while you're down. All I will say is that at least you're not Titans fans, and your team didn't get blown completely out of the stadium. ;-)

Anyway, I'm still wrapping up some loose ends on this week's column, which is due at 5:00 this afternoon, so posts might be few and far between until I get done. Just watch for more stuff this afternoon than this morning!

Have a great day!

A couple of quick NFL notes

Did ya watch any football today? My Colts have the week off, so I've been thoroughly enjoying some other teams. To wit:

LIKE LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER: My sides are still aching from laughing at the train wreck that is the Tennessee Titans. In the midst of a mid-October Massachusetts snowfall, the New England Cheaters Patriots lit it up to the tune of 59-0. Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you that if Titans owner Bud Adams doesn't fire head coach Jeff Fisher tonight, he deserves to have a record at the end of the season that matches Detroit's performance last year. They're well on their way.

HEY! THEY FINALLY WON ONE! The Kansas City Chiefs are winless no longer, which means that Lamar Hunt's ghost can stop haunting Todd Haley now. The Chiefs traveled to Washington and handed it to the Redskins, 14-6.

COMIN' UP ON SNF: Bears vs. Falcons. I think this should be a good one to watch, but I'll be taking football in small doses tonight in between Animatio…

THE WIRE - Now yours to discover on Saturday!

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As I mentioned last night, The Wire is now yours for the whole weekend, not just to examine on Sunday afternoon. So, without further delay, here's the week in review for you:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 12
NashDigie announced that he's going to take over Nashville TV news coverage on his own website.The carnage at NBC is starting to stack up as critics continue to question the wisdom of running Jay Leno five nights a week in primetime.Evansville-area viewers now have three 9PM newscasts to choose from, and I offered my take on each one.TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13
"Southland," which proved to be one of the 9PM victims of the Leno Experiment at NBC, might move to TNT.Legendary radio DJ Big Bill Love retired from WKDQ-99.5. Not exactly the way he wanted to, either.In Louisville, WDRB and WMYO applied for licenses to cover their construction permits.WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14
I covered the Big Bill Love story for the Courier & Press.Around the country, Comcast said they wanted NBC Universal pr…

A schedule change

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to begin taking each weekend off from JDTVB duties to spend time with my family and prepare the next week's Courier & Press column. My deadline for the column is 5:00 each Monday afternoon, so I plan to use the downtime to prepare material and then make the final push to get things done on Monday morning.

Of course, if anyone has questions or comments they want to leave for me, I'll be available to handle that. I just won't post anything new unless there is breaking news that I feel would be of interest to you.

This means I'm going to make some schedule changes. The Wire, which has run on Sundays in the past, will now be posted shortly after midnight each Saturday (beginning tonight), so you'll have the recap of the week to look at over the weekend instead of waiting until the weekend's almost over.

In addition, if you have anything you'd like to talk about, I want to give the floor to you for open discussion. I'm c…

ATSC approves Mobile DTV standard, first units could be out next year

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It looks like we'll see the first Mobile DTV devices on store shelves sometime next year. The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has approved the standard which all such devices will have to meet.

Broadcasting & Cable reports that several companies are working feverishly to get this out there.

I'd watch for a whole host of these things to be at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

That said, if you live around here, I wouldn't get too hot about buying one right away: Only about 30 stations nationwide are broadcasting Mobile DTV signals now; that number could reach 50 by the end of 2009. None are in this part of the country.

PHOTO CREDIT: cellphonehits.net

Could "Billionaire Ted" come storming back?

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It seems Ted Turner is itching to get back into the media game.

MediaDailyNews reports that ol' Ted is visualizing himself in the top spot at Time Warner, the company he sold his cable TV empire to in the mid-'90s.

Since leaving TW's board in 2006, Turner has busied himself with philanthropic causes, and he's known for his work to end the nuclear arms race.

So would Ted have the time to do all that plus run a major media conglomerate?

I wouldn't count him out. If past history is any indication, what Ted wants, Ted gets.

Still more on HD news

If you've been reading JDTVB long enough, you know I have tremendous respect for Harry Jessell, the publisher of TVNewsCheck.

Recently, I covered here and in the Courier & Press the possibility that WFIE could convert to HD for news broadcasting next year. WEVV, which doesn't offer news, has already gone HD, at significant cost and effort. And in this economy, they're among the few that have done so.

Jessell deals with what it takes for stations to do the job in a piece on TVN today. I think you'll find it instructive to read this, because Harry goes much farther in-depth than I'm able to with my limited knowledge of the subject.

Check it out for yourself, then let me know what you think.

Wi-Fi over TV -- not happening ... plus some clarifications

EDITOR'S NOTE: I have removed the earlier version of this post and the part of the previous one dealing with Wi-Fi over TV. I do not know enough myself about the subject -- which apparently is more in the "dream" category than "reality" -- to know which is which.

Thanks to Trip Ericson of RabbitEars.info, however, I can and should clarify the following things that all of us should know:
There is NO SUCH THING as a "new" TV band. Digital television uses the same frequencies as analog TV did, it's just delivered differently. The exception to this is that channels 52 through 69 -- formerly the uppermost reaches of the UHF band above 698 MHz -- have been taken out of the equation.Continuously-updating program listings -- and I missed this part of Josh's statement earlier -- are already available from stations as part of PSIP. PSIP is also what makes each station show up on its old channel number on your TV instead of the actual channel it's…

POLL UPDATE: Keeping track of who watches what with what

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Since I missed posting an update last Friday due to my illness and my wife's surgery, here is this week's poll update. Thanks to everyone who has voted!

In the first question, antenna users outnumber cable and satellite subscribers, but a sizable number of voters say they use more than one type of service.

The second question asks if you have an antenna, where it is. Exactly half use an indoor antenna, with outdoor antennas coming in second.

Finally, among cable and satellite subscribers, a middle-of-the-road programming package is the top choice. Just seven voters have every available channel, and only two voters would admit to having the most basic package.

Remember, if you haven't yet voted, you'll have until Halloween night to get your vote in. Be sure to tell your friends, too!

To see each chart in full size, just click on them.


THE MUSIC CITY REPORT: LP maximization dismissed

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NashDigie checked in tonight to give us some information about a low-power digital station in Nashville that's not yet on the air. It seems the station, WIIW-LD, which is owned by U.S. Television, LLC, had applied to double its authorized power from 7.5 kW to 15 kW.

The application was dismissed earlier today, Nash says, because it would have created interference problems for another LD station in Clarksville, Tenn. Like WIIW, the Clarksville station is not yet on the air.

I'll let Nash tell the next part, because here's where it gets interesting:
I was told a while back that they were buying low power stations to make the digital channels broadcast a Wi-Fi internet signal. I don't know if they are still going to do that or not.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As you will see in a post above, this is not happening.