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Showing posts from February, 2010

Missed some of the news this week? Catch up on it this weekend!

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Starting tonight, on Fridays I'm going to post quick links to each story JDTVB has brought you during the past week here in the JDTVB Weekender.  That way, if you missed something or want to look back easily and quickly, you'll have the option.
Let's get on with your one-stop look at this week's news -- and I hope everyone has a great weekend!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26 UPDATED SATURDAY MORNING:  Bunning's opposition to extending unemployment benefits will hurt rural satellite viewersLincoln Amphitheatre to be featured on WJTS-18 MondayReminder:  With the Winter Olympics coming to an end, things get back to "normal" at NBCTHURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25 FCC licenses new low-power digital station in Evansville, but it's to be built near Marion, Ill.YOU BE THE JUDGE:  Which station did a better job?IN THIS WEEK'S COLUMN:  Keeping up with radio changes in the Tri-StateBruce Williams, radio host and Hall of Famer, retiring after 35 years on the airWEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24 Ca…

Bunning's opposition to extending unemployment benefits will hurt rural satellite viewers

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UPDATE, 10:25 AM SATURDAY:  Two of Sen. Bunning's Kentucky offices -- in Louisville and Hazard -- received bomb threats this morning, according to WHAS11 in Louisville.   The FBI reports nothing was found in either office.  While I do believe that Sen. Bunning needs to hear from his constituents and be held accountable for his actions, this isn't how to do it.

If you're a rural viewer of Dish Network or DirecTV, you may want to read this.
U.S. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentuckysingle-handedly stalled the extension of unemployment benefits for millions of Americans late last night, complaining that he did so even while missing the Kentucky Wildcats' game against South Carolina.
So what does that have to do with TV, you ask?
As it turns out ... plenty.
The Satellite Home Viewer Act, which allows rural viewers to receive distant channels via satellite if they cannot get them over the air, will expire at midnight on Monday.  A temporary reauthorization of that act was included i…

Lincoln Amphitheatre to be featured on WJTS-18 Monday

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I just got word that Spencer County's beautiful Lincoln Amphitheatre -- home of the drama "LINCOLN: Upon the Altar of Freedom" -- will be featured on Jasper's America One affiliate, WJTS-TV 18 (channel 18.1), on Monday night.
The seven-minute segment will air at 7:30 PM ET (6:30 PM CT).  It will also be rebroadcast Tuesday at 5:30 AM ET (4:30 AM CT).
"LINCOLN:  Upon the Altar of Freedom" opens its second season on June 18.
For those who may be unfamiliar, the Amphitheatre is located within Lincoln State Park, just off of Highway 162 in Lincoln City, east of Gentryville and west of Santa Claus.  I highly recommend checking it out this summer as you travel.  It's a beautiful venue in a beautiful setting, and the production is well worth watching.

Reminder: With the Winter Olympics coming to an end, things get back to "normal" at NBC

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The 2010 Winter Olympics will come to a close on Sunday night, and then it's back to the old grind for not only the Olympians and the city of Vancouver, but your favorite NBC primetime shows on 14WFIE are coming back as well, along with some new ones thrown in just to make it interesting.
As I told you last month, the 9:00 PM hour goes back to regular programming instead of The Infamous Jay Leno Experiment (as you know, Jay's heading back to 10:35 PM after 14 News at 10), so here's what to look for in the now-Jayless hour: MONDAY:  "Law & Order" returns with a new two-hour episode (8-10PM), then goes to its usual one-hour program on March 8.TUESDAY:  "Parenthood" premieres.
WEDNESDAY:  "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" returns with an all-new episode, with encores preceding from 8-9PM.THURSDAY:  "The Marriage Ref" (produced by Jerry Seinfeld) premieres; a sneak preview will air following the closing ceremonies on Sunday ni…

BREAKING NEWS: New low-power digital TV station coming to Evansville? **UPDATED** W33CU-D to use WSIL tower near Marion, IL

UPDATE, 6:50 PM:  According to the maps and information accompanying the construction permit, while W33CU-D is indeed to be licensed to Evansville, it will broadcast from the WSIL-TV (channel 3) tower southeast of Marion, Illinois (west of Creal Springs in Williamson County).  If this is correct, the station would likely not be capable of reaching the Evansville metro area over the air, but it would instead serve much of the northern portion of the Paducah-Harrisburg-Cape Girardeau market, including the Marion and Harrisburg areas.  I'll keep an eye on this and will let you know if something changes.

I just got word from my good friend NashDigie that one of the many recent low-power digital TV applications for the Evansville area was approved today.
The FCC approved the application of DTV America 1, LLC, a company out of Sunrise, Florida.  The station, which will bear the call letters W33CU-D, will reside on channel 33 and transmit at an effective radiated power of 3,000 watts (or …

YOU BE THE JUDGE: Which station did a better job?

When the former William Tell Woodcrafters factory in Tell City burned to the ground yesterday, all three local TV news stations covered the story in their own way.
I know in writing this that I'm going to make some people mad, but there was really only one station that gave this story the time and effort that it deserved, and that was 14WFIE.
Brandon Bartlett was live at 5 and 6 yesterday with the story, and he was the only Tri-State TV reporter on the scene.
The building that burned was built in 1872 and was a relic of Tell City's rich history of furniture manufacturing.  That's why it was important to tell its story and help people in other parts of the Tri-State who may not have known about it understand why it was a big deal.
Fox 7 News and NEWS25 did utilize submitted photos; Fox 7 got its pictures from the Perry County News and its editor, Vince Luecke, while NEWS25 got photos from local photographer Danny Bolin.
But was that enough?
I don't think so.
What do you think…

IN THIS WEEK'S COLUMN: Keeping up with radio changes in the Tri-State

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In this week's column, I take a look at the big news in radio this week: WSWI's jump to FM HD radioFormat changes at WSON, WVJS and WTCJNikki Sixx's new show on WKTGI hope you'll head on over to the C&P and check it out!

Bruce Williams, radio host and Hall of Famer, retiring after 35 years on the air

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Longtime talk radio host Bruce Williams has decided to retire, according to this story in Inside Radio.
Williams' last show will air on March 5, and in a note to his affiliates, he said, "This moment is closing a chapter of my life."
"The Bruce Williams Show," which airs in the Tri-State Monday through Saturday evenings on WRAY-AM 1250, is the longest-running talk radio program currently in syndication, having begun in 1975.  NBC's Talknet picked it up on a national basis in 1981, and it's been on the air just about everywhere ever since.

Read more after the jump.

Cardinals announce TV schedule for 2010

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The St. Louis Cardinals announced their TV schedule today, according to this story in the Courier & Press.

For the full schedule, click here.
Locally, WAZE (channel 17 analog, 19.1 digital) will air two spring training games and 20 regular-season games that it gets from St. Louis station KSDK, but the majority -- 130 of the at least 160 games this year -- will be on Fox Sports Midwest.
Other games will be broadcast on other networks, namely ESPN and Fox.  WTVW-Fox 7 (channel 7.1) will have the games broadcast by Fox.
For those who prefer to use radio, there are a number of area radio stations airing the games this year as well:
In Illinois: WSEI-FM 92.9 and WVLN-AM 740, Olney; WYNG-FM 94.9, Mt. Carmel; WEBQ-FM 102.3, Eldorado; WOKZ-FM 105.9, Fairfield; and WROY-AM 1460, CarmiIn Indiana: WQKZ-FM 98.5, Ferdinand and WYFX-FM 106.7, Mt. VernonIn Kentucky: WMSK-FM 101.3, Morganfield; WFMW-AM 730, Madisonville; and WSON-AM 860, Henderson

KET's "TeleFund" starts soon

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You may have noticed the public service announcement in the left-hand column about KET's TeleFund drive, which begins March 6 and runs through March 21.  This spring, TeleFund brings even more exciting new programming for viewers, including an all-new special, which I'll tell you more about shortly.  Here's what KET has to say about TeleFund 2010: "KET's TeleFund 2010 brings viewers an exciting blend of programs celebrating Kentucky, legends of the music world and much more. TeleFund is the most widely available opportunity for the public to support KET's mission to provide quality, trusted programs that inform, inspire, entertain and are safe for the whole family." Coming up March 8 is just one example of the great programming on KET.  "Thoroughbred," a great new special directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner, takes viewers from Central Kentucky to Dubai to capture the beauty of this beautiful, spectacular breed of horse, wh…

Giddish gets new role in NBC drama pilot

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Well, that didn't take long!
After Fox canceled "Past Life" last week, University of Evansville grad Kelli Giddish was without a job, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, she's signed on for the lead role in "Chase," a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced pilot for NBC.
"Chase" is the story of Annie Frost (portrayed by Giddish), a U.S. Marshal who leads a group of marshals in the hunt for the country's most dangerous fugitives.
It sounds like an interesting show, and one worth looking into further as it develops.  There's no word yet on when we'll get to see it, but I'll keep you posted.

ABC news to undergo "fundamental transformation," 300 could lose jobs

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UPDATE, 3:20 PM WEDNESDAY:  Variety has more information on this story as well.  It's worth a look.

UPDATE, 4:15 PM: Read David Westin's memo to the ABC News staff here.  Westin says the changes and cuts will not affect ABC's "first-rate" journalism.

It looks like ABC is getting ready to make some major cuts to its news division.  ABC News president David Westin calls it "a fundamental transformation;" but from the way this L.A. Times piece reads, it looks more like a euphemism for "major layoffs" or "buyouts."
Read for yourself and see.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Thanks to Scott Dimmich for the heads-up on this.

"Judge Karen" returning with a slight title change

It looks like we might see another court show on local TV beginning this fall.
"Judge Karen," which was canceled by Sony TV when they got out of the court show business last year, is returning this fall.  The show will be syndicated by Litton Entertainment and will be titled "Judge Karen's Court."
Roberts Broadcasting and Raycom have both picked up the show for this fall, but it's unknown if Roberts' WAZE-CW19 (channels 17 analog and 19.1 digital) or Raycom's WFIE will air the show in the Tri-State.
When I find out who will have it, I'll let you know.

A new direction ... please bear with me

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You might have noticed in the past few days that there has been a good deal more radio information on JDTVB than I normally include, and there's a good reason for that.
I've decided to dip my toe into the world of radio here in the Tri-State.  I hope to eventually give you as much about radio as I do TV, but it'll take time to get it right, and I want to be absolutely sure that I do get it right.
That's where you come in.  If you hear something different on the radio, let me know about it!  If there's something you think will interest others, tell me!  I want to share any and all info that's out there with the folks right here in the Tri-State.
To start this off, I'm working up a list of all of the radio stations here in the area, and you'll find that on the "Area Radio Stations" page (its permanent link is above).  I've got quite a substantial list already,  listed by state, although it's not even close to complete, and it won't be …

THE FIRST DAY: WSWI signs on, November 3, 1981

With today's official announcement that WSWI is now in HD on the FM band, I decided to look and see if I could find some news from the days when the station was in its infancy, to give you some perspective on its history.
To my surprise, I found an article from the Nov. 3, 1981 issue of The Evansville Press, which gave a lot of great details as the station took to the airwaves for the very first time.  Here are a few: WSWI signed on at 7:29 AM on Nov. 3.  At that time, USI was still known as Indiana State University Evansville (ISUE), and the first broadcast day started with a message from then-university president David Rice, followed by a 30-minute news broadcast and classical music programming for the remainder of the morning.Another 30-minute news program was aired at noon, followed by jazz music until sign-off, which in 1981 happened at sundown.The 820 kHz location on the AM dial was the original home of WIKY, which today resides at 104.1 on the FM dial.  Then as now, WIKY was …

On tonight's "Kentucky Tonight": Discussing Kentucky's domestic violence laws

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UPDATE, 5:57 PM:  "Kentucky Tonight" host Bill Goodman gives a good deal more insight into tonight's program with his most recent blog post

Domestic violence is almost a hotter topic than Kentucky's budget woes in recent months, and by rights it should be:  It is on the minds of many Kentuckians and the state's legislators this year as former state representative Steve Nunn -- son of former Governor Louie Nunn -- stands accused of murder and violation of a protective order n the death of his ex-fiancee, Amanda Ross, last September.
Ross had held a protective order against Nunn since a February 2009 assault.
On tonight's edition of KET's "Kentucky Tonight," which airs locally on channels 31.1 and 35.1 at 7:00 PM, host Bill Goodman and his guests will discuss Kentucky's domestic violence laws.  Those guests are: State Rep. Jimmie Lee (D-Elizabethtown)State Sen. Tom Jensen (R-London), chair of the Senate Judiciary CommitteeSharon Currens, direc…

Leno's back on late-night with an all-star guest list -- and even a new logo

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Unless you've been living under a bridge lately, you know that Jay Leno is moving back to late night starting next Monday on NBC (14WFIE, channel 14.1).
Ol' "Big Jaw" (to use David Letterman's term of endearment for Leno) is returning to "The Tonight Show" after perhaps the most disastrous period in NBC's recent history, a time in which not only the network lost viewers, but so did affiliates nationwide.
To give Leno a boost in his first week back at 10:35 PM, the show has signed some big name guests.  Here's a look at who's coming to beautiful downtown Burbank to welcome Jay back: Monday Jamie Foxx, Olympic Gold Medal Skier Lindsey Vonn and a musical performance by Brad PaisleyTuesday Sarah Palin and Olympic Gold Medal Snowboarder Shaun WhiteWednesday “Jaywalk All-Stars” with the cast of “Jersey Shore,”Chelsea Handler, the most decorated American Winter Olympian of all time Speed Skater Apolo Anton Ohno and a musical performance by Avri…

It's official: WSWI simulcast on WPSR

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UPDATE, 4:30 PM:  Here is the official press release from USI regarding their partnership with EVSC and WPSR:
The University of Southern Indiana's radio station The Edge is broadcasting on a high definition frequency through a strengthened partnership with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. Starting today, programming is available on the 820 AM frequency and the EVSC station WPSR HD2 FM.

Mike Reininga
, general manager of WPSR, and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation have made the collaboration possible. With the co-operation of the EVSC, the USI station has been broadcasting play-by-play of USI athletic events.

"The technology, fairly new in this radio market, will offer a clearer signal and raise the enjoyment level of our listeners," said
John Morris, the general manager of the station. "This gives our students an opportunity to study and train on the newest technology," he added. It will allow the USI station to expand th…

UPDATED: USI's radio station, WSWI 820, getting new technology in partnership with EVSC's WPSR-FM

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UPDATE #2, 6:23 PM:  More great info from Simply is available -- just check out the comments section of this post.  Thanks again to him for the insight!

UPDATE, 5:50 PM:  Reader "Simply" joins the discussion with this, and I am grateful for the information:
They've been broadcasting on 90.7-2 HD for over a month now!! I have two HD radios, one in the house and one in the truck, and noticed they've been simulcating on WPSR HD 2. They're calling it "THE EDGE WPSR" right now. I heard rumors that WSWI also got new automation software made by Google. This is all because they were rated the number 1 college station (I still don't see why since they're on AM) in the state of Indiana. It looks like the University of Southern Indiana's radio station, WSWI (820 AM), will be getting some new technology as the result of a partnership with the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and EVSC's radio station, WPSR-FM 90.7, according to a new…

Fox pulling "Past Life" from schedule; remaining episodes to air later this year

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Fox's new drama "Past Life" is now as much in the past as its name.
The network says it's killing the show that aired locally on WTVW-Fox 7 after only three episodes, due to bad reviews and low ratings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show has one link to the Tri-State as one of its stars, Kelli Giddish (who also formerly appeared in ABC's "All My Children"), is a graduate of the University of Evansville.
The remaining episodes (I'm assuming there are ten left "in the can") will be shown later this year, although Fox hasn't announced when.

CORRECTION to the time and place for Aiken memorial service

I got a correction to yesterday's post of the time and place of Larry Aiken's memorial service from Bill Merkel this morning, and I'm just now getting around to posting it on its own.  We apologize for any confusion that may have been generated.
Here's Bill's message: I made a mistake. I thought the Victory had named a hall in Larry's honor ... that's not correct!  It is actually the auditorium inside The Centre - 715 Locust St., that changed (its) name from a rather bland The Centre auditorium to Aiken Theatre. Again, this is inside The Centre!So (the) memorial service will be at 1:00pm Saturday 2/20 in Aiken Theatre at The Centre - 715 Locust St. Friends may visit w/family from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. Thanks as always to Bill for the information and the clarification.

TV news you might have missed this week

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Now that we have the political and sports stories of the day out of the way, let's move on to the national scene and some TV news you might not have heard much about this week:
PBS "most trusted" for news; PBS Kids programming also rates high A new GfK Roper poll shows that PBS is the most trusted network when it comes to news, with 40% of those surveyed saying they turn to PBS.  Fox News was second with 29%, and CNN came in third at 27%.  PBS Kids, the daily programming block designed to educate and entertain children, earned the approval of 67% of respondents.  All in all, a good showing by the public broadcast folks.  (Broadcasting & Cable) Wife of well-known, controversial televangelist files for divorce Pastor Benny Hinn's wife of more than 30 years, Suzanne, filed for divorce this week in a California court, citing "irreconcilable differences."  Hinn, long a fixture on television, is an advocate of the controversial "prosperity gospel," hav…

BREAKING: House, Senate races heating up in Indiana as VanHaaften says he'll run for Ellsworth's House seat and Ellsworth confirms he's running for the Senate

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UPDATE, 11:15 AM:  Fox 7 News will have a full report at noon.


UPDATE, 10:50 AM:  NEWS25 has broken into programming during "The View" and will also report the story on "The Friday Show" at 11:00.

UPDATE, 10:38 AM:  14WFIE's Gretchen Ross is reporting that Ellsworth will run for the Senate seat.  Ellsworth confirmed this directly to Ross just moments ago.  14NEWS will have a live report during "Midday with Mike" at 11:00.

The Courier & Press is reporting via Twitter that Indiana State Representative Trent VanHaaften has confirmed that he will run for Rep. Brad Ellsworth's Eighth District seat in Congress, and that Ellsworth is set to make an announcement that he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh.
This is a breaking story, and I'll have more as things develop.

Tiger Woods going to the podium now

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UPDATE, 10:21 AM:  Woods says he won't return to golf now.  He's returning to therapy.

UPDATE, 10:15 AM:  As Tiger was stepping before the cameras as I was originally typing this post, I didn't get to explain why the change from not covering to covering was made at Fox 7.  Bob Walters, the station's ND, tells me that Fox decided to offer the coverage just this morning, and since this is obviously one of the most talked-about events of the day, that's why the station put it on.

OK, so WTVW-Fox 7 IS carrying the statement from Tiger Woods live, as Fox News is covering it for the affiliates.  That just came down this morning and as I type this, Tiger is speaking.
That means all the major networks are on it.

ON THE RADIO: WSON, WVJS, WTCJ switch formats

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UPDATE, SATURDAY, 4:42 PM:  I read on the Radio-Info.com boards that WSON is now using Citadel Media's "Classic Hits" format (which is music from the '60s through the '80s).  Citadel used to be known as ABC Radio.

WVJS/WTCJ is now on ex-Jones/now-Dial Global's "Classic Hits" format, which is, according to DG's website, primarily based around '70s rock, with some late '60s to early '80s mixed in for good measure.  Not a whole lot different from what Citadel offers, I suppose.

I'm not much into radio, but I do listen to one local station here in Owensboro, and that's WVJS (1420 AM).  Typically I listen to their FM translator, W263BG (100.5 FM) for the better sound quality, and when I'm in the Tell City area, it's WTCJ (1230 AM), which broadcasts basically the same thing.
Until recently, WVJS and WTCJ were branded as "Timeless Favorites," but the  word on the Radio-Info.com boards is that the programming service …

Bayh's first post-announcement interview set ... for "The View"

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According to a story on NEWS25 at 6:00 this evening, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh's first interview after the stunning announcement that he was leaving the Senate will happen on Monday.
Interestingly enough, the Senator has chosen not to sit down with one of the networks' many political powerhouses.  Instead, he's decided to sit down with the ladies of ABC's "The View," which is seen locally on NEWS25 (channel 25.1) each weekday morning at 10:00.
I'm not a regular viewer of "The View," but it will be interesting to see what he has to say.

Aiken memorial service place, time set

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It was only fitting that when Larry Aiken was buried Tuesday in McCutchanville's Bluegrass Cemetery that his funeral procession filed past several of the entertainment venues that were so important in his life.
We found out overnight that the time and place for Aiken's public memorial service have been set, and, appropriately, it will be held in the Aiken Theatre at the Victory downtown, which was named for him last year.
Bill Merkel reports that the memorial service will begin at 1:00 PM Saturday afternoon, and friends may visit with Aiken's family from noon until service time.
Our good friend Bill Merkel of EvansvilleWatch has some pictures of the funeral procession as it passed The Centre.

** UPDATED ** From the weird and weirder file: Woods to speak out tomorrow, while Trudeau tossed in the slammer

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UPDATE, 7:17 PM: OK, here we go, the final list of who's carrying the speech, plus the list of programs being interrupted.  Coverage of Woods' speech is expected to last between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on who you talk to.  We'll see.
WTVW-Fox 7 will NOT be covering this live, so no programming will be interrupted.  I'm told there will be online updates at tristatehomepage.com afterward.14WFIE will have it live on channel 14.1 and on 14wfie.com.  "Today" will resume following coverage.WEHT-NEWS25 will go live with ABC's coverage; "The View" will start later than normal.WEVV-CBS44 will carry it live. "The Price is Right" will start in progress.Tiger Woods is expected to finally break his long silence tomorrow, and there is much speculation about what he will say.  Will it be about his future?  His past?  Who knows!?
However, the golf superstar won't take questions and he's limited the media coverage.  Talk about controlling th…

This week's column is now live

Here is a link to this week's column in the Courier & Press, as previewed last night here at JDTVB. As always, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please let me know!

Coming up in tomorrow's column

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In tomorrow's column in the Courier & Press, I'll give you my take on The Winter that Will Not Die, the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, the death of Larry Aiken, and the beginning of the end of Evan Bayh's Senate career, and more importantly, how all of this is playing out -- or will play out -- on TV.
I'll post the link as soon as I have it.
Be sure to check it out!

No crawling? Radars running backwards? We can explain that ...

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If you've been watching 14Xtra lately, you may have noticed a couple of unusual things, but there are easy explanations for both.
First, the normal weather "crawl" or "ticker" (whichever you prefer) is missing in action.  The station's news director, C.J. Hoyt, tells us that's because the station is working on installing the new equipment to run their weather/closings ticker for 14WFIE (channel 14.1) in high definition.  The equipment will also evidently generate the ticker for 14Xtra.
The other oddity is that the 14 Dual Doppler radars are running backwards (counterclockwise).  Chief meteorologist Jeff Lyons reports that they run them in that manner from time to time to save wear and tear on the radars' bearings.
See?  Everything happens for a reason.

Just a few notes

When you watch as much TV as I do, you start to notice a lot of "little things," but sometimes I forget to mention them when they first enter my mind, so this afternoon, in no particular order, here are some "little things" I've noticed lately: I don't know when it started, but WTSN (channel 36.1) has been broadcasting USI men's and women's basketball games on tape delay.  For those of you who've been chomping at the bit to see more local sports, that's great to see, and it should prove to be a popular programming choice, especially given the popularity of USI sports locally.  If at some point 'TSN should become able to broadcast the games live, it would be even better, but we'll take what we can get for now.Have you noticed WNIN's new "bugs?"  The logo of a station (or network) shown at the bottom corner of the screen (typically the lower right) is known as a "bug," and WNIN has redesigned the bugs for WNIN HD…

Nikki Sixx brings show to local radio

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If you're a regular listener of 93.9 WKTG, the local rock station which is based in Madisonville, you probably noticed a new show from 7 to midnight that started on Monday.
Motley Crue and SIXX:A.M. bassist Nikki Sixx's new show -- aptly named "Sixx Sense" -- debuted on the station this week.
I've not yet heard the show, mainly because I'm not "in" to that kind of music, but Sixx is also known as an "author, philanthropist, photographer and more," according to his bio, so I might check it out and see what's up.
For more, check out http://www.sixxsense.com.

Aiken memorial service to be held Saturday

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Bill Merkel of EvansvilleWatchreports that a private burial service for local entertainment legend Larry Aiken was held this morning. A public memorial service is being planned for this Saturday.  The time and place have not yet been announced, but when final details are released, you'll be able to find them here and at EvansvilleWatch.

Prominent retirements mean we'll probably see LOTS of political ads this year

EDITOR'S NOTE:  In my post yesterday about Sen. Bayh's retirement, I inadvertently failed to mention that WTVW-Fox 7 also carried the Senator's press conference live.  I regret the error.

With yesterday's announcement that Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is retiring after two terms and today's news that longtime State Rep. Dennis Avery (D-Evansville) is also stepping aside, don't be surprised to see lots of political ads running this year in those races and others.
My feeling is that our local stations will have no trouble filling commercial time, given the sheer importance of some races this year, and some of the big names who are sure to be fighting hammer and tongs to take the places of those stepping aside.
Read more after the jump.

This year's Barbara Walters Oscar special will be her last

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It's a tradition for many Americans -- watching Barbara Walters' Oscar night special in which she interviews many of Hollywood's brightest stars.
For 29 years, Walters has done the show each year on ABC, and on March 7, she'll do it again.  However, she announced on "The View" this morning, it will be the last.
The Associated Press reports that Walters said she's "been there, done that" and is ready to move on.
Walters said she plans to continue her "Ten Most Fascinating People" specials, special assignments, and co-hosting "The View."

UPDATED: Bayh won't run for re-election

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UPDATE #2, 12:30 PM Tuesday:  I neglected to mention yesterday that WTVW-Fox 7 also carried the press conference live on channel 7.1.  I apologize to the folks at Fox 7 for the oversight.

UPDATE:  OK, maybe it won't be the "top story," but I'd be lying if I didn't think it'd be right up there.  This is a very big deal.  Maybe not "oh my God, we got more snow!" big, but it's big.

WFIE-14Xtra (channel 14.2) carried the Senator's press conference live, and WEVV and WFIE both streamed it live on their respective websites.

Just when I thought that nothing could push the snow and the cold out of the "today's top story" spot locally, something did.
In what can only be called a surprise move, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) has decided not to run for re-election, according to most major media outlets.  You can be sure that unless something bigger happens later today, this is the story that will lead all of the local newscasts this evening.
Bay…

McMurray wins Daytona 500

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UPDATE, 6:50 PM:  After six hours and ten minutes and several delays to repair potholes (!) on the track, the Daytona 500 was finally won by Jamie McMurray.  More good news:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. came from 16th to second in two laps to put up his best Sprint Cup finish in recent memory.

For my fellow Tony Stewart fans:  Smoke ended up 22nd.

EARLIER:  If you're looking for a break from the Olympics, Fox (WTVW-Fox 7) is airing today's Daytona 500, which is about a quarter of the way done as I type this.
Indiana native son Tony Stewart is doing well, running in the top 10. Stewart won yesterday's Nationwide Series race, and hopes to pull off his first-ever 500 win today.
And of course let's not forget that Owensboro native Darrell Waltrip makes every race on Fox MUCH more enjoyable.  Boogity, boogity, boogity!!!

BREAKING NEWS: Larry Aiken has died

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EDITOR'S NOTE:  This post will be updated as further details come in.  Many thanks to Bill Merkel of EvansvilleWatch for his gracious help in getting this story together and to Wendy Bredhold and the Evansville Courier & Press for additional information.
It is my sad duty to report that Larry Aiken has died.

Aiken, who was 69, started as a radio DJ who came to local prominence as "Lonesome Larry" on WEOA -- while he was still a student at Bosse High School -- in the 1950s.  After leaving Evansville in 1958 for radio stints in Louisville, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, he returned to Evansville in 1963, forming the company that eventually became Aiken Management with his brother, Keith.

The company, which Aiken sold in 1999, eventually became the second-largest presenter of touring Broadway shows in the U.S., according to the Courier & Press.  Aiken Management also put on over 1,700 shows during its 36-year run, a remarkable record.

Aiken later became a restaurateur, owni…

Winter Olympics opening ceremony was most-watched ever for non-U.S. Games

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The opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics were, according to NBC, the most-watched ever for games not hosted in the U.S.
The network says that 67.5 million viewers watched last night as the Games kicked off with great fanfare, up by 17 million over the Games held in Torino (Italy) four years ago.
NBC Universal will air a staggering 835 hours of coverage from the Olympics on its various networks, including the NBC broadcast network.  14WFIE is carrying the games locally on channel 14.1.

TV News you might have missed this week

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It's been a busy week here at JDTVB, but I found some obscure things in the news that I wanted to share with you. So, without further ado, here are a few things you might have missed:
ABC begins branding affiliates on Hulu.com While I was watching this week's episode of "Modern Family" on Hulu.com yesterday, I noticed something new -- the familiar "NEWS25" logo in the lower left-hand corner of my computer screen.  From what I read in this story, it's something that ABC has done to give their affiliates a broader online identity, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the other networks that helped found Hulu (Fox and NBC) to do something similar.  (NewTeeVee.com) All these years later, they're still going at each other! I know, it's hard to believe, but CBS is still fighting the FCC over the infamous-but-by-now-nearly-forgotten Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" that happened during Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004.  The Thir…

NEW! Local OTA and cable lists now on their own pages!

UPDATE, 3:00 PM:  The links page is now live.  Click "Links" at the top of the page to see them.

Thanks to a tip from longtime reader Jake Kohlmeyer, I've been able to reduce some of the clutter on the main page by moving the OTA local and local cable channel lists to their own pages.  To find those, just click on the titles shown below the JDTVB animated banner at the top of the page.
It's just one more way I'm working hard to improve things for you here at JDTVB.
I'll be moving my list of links to their own page as well; look for that page to go live later today.

This is ... interesting: Fox to broadcast European soccer final

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If you're a soccer fan, it looks like you're about to get a real treat as Fox  (and local affiliate WTVW-Fox 7, channel 7.1) will broadcast the European Champions League final live in HD from Madrid, Spain on May 22. The championship game will be the first major soccer final to be carried on a major U.S. broadcast network, but the game was originally supposed to be carried by Fox's cable network FX, according to Television Broadcast.
However, Fox's broadcast net reaches more households -- an estimated 20 million more -- than does FX, so it was probably a no-brainer on the part of Fox's top brass.  If you can reach more viewers the "old fashioned way," you do it.
My question is this:  Is soccer a big enough draw in this country to make it a success?  I have my doubts, but I guess we'll see in May.

Are you ready for the Olympics?

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UPDATE: Georgian Olympic luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was thrown from his sled while training earlier today. NBC reports that Kumaritashvili died from his injuries.
Tonight at 6:30 PM, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver will begin, and until Feb. 28, that's more or less all most of us will see when we tune to 14WFIE (channel 14.1).
If you were with me yesterday, I told you about WFIE's news schedule for the duration of the Olympics.  Fortunately, WFIE has 14Xtra (channel 14.2), so they can run more newscasts than they used to during the Olympics.  That was a sound move on the part of the station, and one I think they will be glad they made.
NBC, on the other hand, has, in my opinion, shot itself in the foot with these Games before they even begin.  I've read numerous stories on the interwebs, and most analysts seem to concur that the network paid far too much for the rights to air them, and even the network's own head of sports, Dick Ebersol, says they'll likel…

UPDATE: Evansville NOAA Weather Radio station back on the air

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As of 3:00 PM, the Evansville NOAA Weather Radio station, KIG76, is back on the air.  In case you missed it earlier, the station was knocked off the air overnight because of a problem with the telephone lines which are needed for information to get from the Paducah NWS office to the transmitter.
I don't yet know what caused the problem, but as long as it's fixed, I think those of you who depend on KIG76 should be good to go.

Today's C&P Column ... my take on the Super Bowl commercials and more!

In today's column in the Courier & Press, I expressed my disappointment with most of this year's crop of Super Bowl commercials.  There's already been some good discussion in the comments over there, so check it out, won't you?

No debate: KET won't televise candidate face-offs for 2010 elections

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For political animals such as myself, this is some sad news:  The AP reports today (via the Courier & Press) that KET won't air debates between candidates this election season.
That's a real shame, but because of folks like U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-1st.), who refused to debate his challenger in 2008, demanding instead that the network air a canned video produced by his campaign, I can't say that I blame the folks running the network for throwing in the towel on the old way of doing things.
Candidates in this year's U.S. Senate and U.S. House races will instead be invited on the Monday night program "Kentucky Tonight," hosted by Bill Goodman, where the issues in each race can be discussed and calls and e-mails from viewers can be answered.
I'm sure KET will do the same kind of quality job covering the campaigns as it always has, but it's just going to be different.  Let's hope "different" is "better."

14 News schedule to change during Winter Olympics

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With the 2010 Winter Olympics beginning tomorrow in Vancouver, the schedule for 14 News (on WFIE-14.1) will change for the duration of the games.  Here's the official word from News Director C.J. Hoyt: "These are scheduled start times and live coverage has the potential to push start times back.  Our 9pm will air as scheduled on 14Xtra AND we’ll be streaming the 9pm live on 14wfie.com for those who would like to both watch the Olympics on TV and monitor the day's big headlines and get their weather on their computer." Sunday newscasts will air at 10:00 PM.  Newscasts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays will air at 11:00 PM, and on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, they will air at 10:30 PM.
You will want to note that tomorrow night's newscast will air at 11:00 PM because tomorrow is opening night.
The games will run from tomorrow through Feb. 28, with a return to the normal way of doing things on March 1.

Is Comcast changing its name?

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It appears Comcast is getting a name change, but only for its cable, internet and telephone services.  The corporate name will remain Comcast, but this story in the Seattle Times seems to indicate -- and a new website seems to show -- that the cable giant will soon be doing business as Xfinity.
Comcast doesn't have a very large customer base here in the Tri-State, serving Tell City and perhaps a few other cities and towns in the region (I'm not sure just how many!), but as a company, it is the largest cable operator in the U.S.
Comcast has also been in the news lately with the seemingly endless story of its planned takeover of NBC Universal.  My feeling is that the move to separate its cable system -- at least in name -- from the corporate title may be a play to convince regulators and customers that they aren't planning to meld NBCU too deeply into the corporate structure.
We'll just have to wait and see if the new name helps or hurts their cause.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Evansville NOAA Weather Radio transmitter off the air

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UPDATED 2:25 AM:  I now have a list of alternate NOAA Weather Radio transmitters for many locations also served by the Evansville station.  The list is below.

EARLIER:  The Paducah office of the National Weather Service is reporting this morning that Evansville's NOAA Weather Radio station, KIG76, which broadcasts on 162.550 MHz (channel 7 for those of you with weather radios), is off the air due to telephone line problems.

As a point of reference, the Evansville station serves portions of Edwards, White and Wabash counties in Illinois, portions of Dubois, Gibson, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in Indiana, and the northern portions of Union and Henderson counties in Kentucky.
The good news, if there is any when a weather radio station goes down, is that there is no inclement weather forecast today, and also that the Paducah office has already been in touch with the telephone service provider (presumably AT&T), which is investigating the cause…