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Showing posts from June, 2010

COLUMN PREVIEW: A sneak peek at tomorrow's edition

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I'm not going to give away all of my secrets, but when you pick up tomorrow's Courier & Press, you'll want to look for my column ... especially if you're a cable subscriber.


Also, we'll take a look at these topics:
Insight's new cn|2 channelWhy our local TV stations are ahead of the curveA special honor for a Rockport, Ind. native who's no stranger to southern Illinois TV viewersAnd a note for Memorial football fansIt's all in your Courier & Press and at courierpress.com tomorrow!

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari introduces iPhone app

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The good folks at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari have a new way for folks to keep tabs on what's going on at the park, and you can join in the fun ... with your iPhone!
The new "Holiday World & More" app is free and gives you many neat features.  Get the full official description after the jump.

WNIN sets "Kids Fest" for Sept. 18

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WNIN's annual family festival, the "Kids Fest," will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, on the station grounds at 405 Carpenter St. in downtown Evansville, the station announced today.
The event is sponsored by Bunny Bread, and is free and open to the public.  It will begin at 10:00 AM and run until 2:00 PM (Central time).
Elmo will be there to greet the kids, along with other PBS Kids characters from shows like "Sesame Street," "Clifford," "Wordgirl" and "Curious George."

CBS' Kevin Harlan to replace Albert on radio's "Monday Night Football"

Westwood One announced yesterday that Kevin Harlan, a CBS Sports football announcer, will replace Marv Albert on radio's version of "Monday Night Football."
Albert announced his exit from the position earlier this month.
Harlan will call the games alongside Boomer Esiason, and it's familiar territory:  He called a few of the radio games last season.

"PLUGGED IN" ... Technophiles, NEWS25 has your news segment

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EDITOR'S NOTE:  I'm tardy in telling you folks about this, and for that I'm sorry, but I think you'll find it was worth waiting for. --JN
Recently, the folks at NEWS25 debuted a new news segment in their newscasts, one that is perfect for folks like me who like to keep their finger on the pulse of what's new in the world of technology.
"PLUGGED IN," a daily look at tech news featuring Seth Cheek -- a guy who knows his stuff, it's clear -- is a well thought-out and good addition to each weekday evening's newscasts.
The pace is fast, but not so fast that you'll get lost.  As you watch, you'll find yourself wondering, "Why didn't anyone else think of this?"  It's that good.
If you haven't checked it out, you're missing out on something special.
To see past segments and links to stories covered on "PLUGGED IN," you can go to http://pluggedin.news25.us or you can just click here.

SITE NOTES: A minor adjustment

Beginning today, I've decided to start cutting longer entries down on the main page to enable quicker page loading.
On these posts, you'll see "Read more >>" below the text.  When you click that, you'll be able to read the entire entry.
I hope you'll find this helpful.

Calling it quits: CNN's "Larry King Live" to end this fall

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It's official:  After 25 years, CNN's "Larry King Live" will come to an end this fall.
Here's how Larry King broke the news on his blog: "I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games.""Larry King Live," which debuted June 3, 1985, was recently entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest-running show with the same host in the same timeslot for its entire run.
King says he'll stay on at CNN to host specials on national and world events, but my feeling is that it just won't be the same.

14WFIE hires new weekend anchor/reporter; Araceli Thiele starts here July 19

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14WFIE has hired a new weekend anchor/reporter.
Araceli Thiele (pronounced "teal") will begin working at the station on July 19 and begin co-anchoring the station's weekend newscasts with Brandon Bartlett on July 24.
She will also report three days a week.
A Chicago native, Thiele most recently worked at WGEM-TV, the NBC/CW/Fox affiliate in Quincy, Ill., from 2006 to 2009, and spent the last year getting her master's degree in journalism from DePaul University.
Welcome to the Tri-State, Araceli!
EDITOR'S NOTE:  I apologize for removing the earlier post, but it contained information that was not finalized.  This post is good to go.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable land on an undesirable top ten list

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When you think of companies you love to hate, who's on your list?

Right now, BP is #1 for most folks, for obvious reasons, but there are quite a few others who've done folks wrong over the years.
It should come as no surprise that when CNNMoney.com put together their list of the "Most Hateable Companies (Not Named BP)," there were three big cable companies on it.

Another pay wall: New "Hulu Plus" costs $9.99 a month

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If you enjoy watching your favorite recent shows on Hulu.com, I have mixed news for you.
Starting today, some of what you find on there is gonna cost a little money.

Townsquare Media continues with management shakeup

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The folks at Townsquare Media have been pretty busy of late.
The company formerly known as Regent Communications has a new name, new leadership, and now they're shoring up the management ladder by bringing in new blood.

AROUND THE COUNTRY: Two big network success stories get syndication deals on cable

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Two of this past season's biggest hits on broadcast TV are going to cable.
Don't worry -- Fox's "Glee" and ABC's "Modern Family" will still be on their respective networks, but Oxygen has picked up "Glee" and USA Network will make "Modern Family" its first half-hour show.

Is Michael Scott (Steve Carell) leaving "The Office?"

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UPDATE:The New York Times is reporting on this as well in itsArts Beat blog.


Paste Magazine says today that Steve Carell, who plays Michael Scott on NBC's "The Office," will bow out of the show after the upcoming season.
"I just think it’s time," Carell is quoted as saying. "I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go."
I've only recently begun to watch the show, but I have to admit that I can't imagine it without him.

Hey, NPR music fans: There's an app for that

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NPR is the latest group to get an iPhone app, and if you enjoy listening to the music on public radio, it may be just the thing for you.
Radio Ink Magazinereports that the application -- called NPR Music App -- is now available for free in the App Store.  It allows users to listen to music as well as shows found on NPR's many radio stations across the country.  And you can listen while doing other things on your iPhone.
What will they think of next?

"Magnum, P.I." replaces "Quincy" in RTV25 lineup?

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UPDATE: Online program guides seem to disagree on what's happened with this.  As of this afternoon, for tomorrow, TV Guide still shows "Quincy" in the 2:00 PM slot, while TitanTV and Zap2It both indicate "Magnum" will be on.  My money's on "Magnum." 

If you tuned in to watch "Quincy, M.E." on WEHT-RTV25 (channel 25.2) this afternoon, you probably noticed that it wasn't there.
"Magnum, P.I." was on in its place.

KET wins literacy award

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(COURTESY KET)
The National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) has recognized KET with a 2010 NCL Literacy Leadership Award. The Literacy Leadership Awards recognize extraordinary national contributions to improving literacy and raising awareness of the adult literacy and English language learning needs in the United States.
The NCL cited KET’s "Workplace Essential Skills" series, which helps job seekers find and retain employment, and "GED Connection," which helps students prepare for the GED exam. These programs are made available to 87% of American households through public broadcasting.

Why does Time Warner Cable charge more in Owensboro than it does in Newburgh?

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As I've been looking at what all of the Tri-State's cable providers offer, I've discovered something unusual.
And it's something I don't like.
Time Warner Cable not only serves Owensboro, but several other communities in the Tri-State as well.  Among those other communities is Newburgh.
In Newburgh (and Chandler), the full Classic Cable package, which is the only non-digital pack TWC offers there, costs $39.08 per month plus taxes and fees.  You get 54 channels by my count, not including any broadcast HD and digital channels you might get if you have a digital tuner-equipped set.
In Owensboro, however, the Classic Cable package with 70 channels will cost you -- brace yourself -- $61.69 monthly (plus taxes, fees, etc.).  And most of the 16 additional channels Owensboro has that Newburgh doesn't are public-access channels.
Nothing worth an extra $22.61 a month, that's for sure.

NEW FEATURE: Radio stations with live streaming audio now listed

On the Radio Stations page, you'll now find links to live audio streams from stations that have them available (and most stations in the Tri-State do offer them).
If I've missed any stations, please be sure to let me know!

The Weekender

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With another busy week now behind us, let's take a look back at what's happened with the latest edition of The Weekender!

After a "soft launch," Insight's cn|2 is now fully operational

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Insight Communications yesterday officially launched its new cn|2 channel -- located on channel 2 for those of you who are Insight customers served by the Evansville metro area system -- capping off a successful soft launch that lasted several weeks, according to company CEO Michael Willner.
The new channel is also now available in Louisville, northern Kentucky, Lexington and Bowling Green, in addition to the Evansville metro area.  And for those of you who may be wondering, there's no word yet on when it will be available on the Dawson Springs and Providence Insight systems.

Retired Purdue football play-by-play man McConnell receives award

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The Joe Tiller Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame has bestowed its Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award upon former Purdue University football radio announcer Joe McConnell.
McConnell, who received the award earlier this week, retired at the end of last season after 15 years of doing play-by-play for the Boilermakers.

Do you follow 14 News' reporters on Twitter? Their usernames are changing ...

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If, like me, you're a Twitter user (or "tweep"), you've probably noticed today that several of 14WFIE's reporters and meteorologists have changed their Twitter usernames.
Meteorologist Chad Sewich, for example, now uses the name @Chad14News.  All of the new usernames will be in this format.
Reporters Laura Forbes (@Laura14News) and Jasmin Embers (@Jasmin14News) have also made the transition, and the others will be following suit as well, I'm hearing.
You won't need to make any changes to your account; you'll just see new names when they tweet.

An apology to Memorial football fans

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In today's column, I mentioned the Reitz Panthers' 4A state football championship last year, but in my haste to get the piece written, I neglected to give credit to the state runners-up in class 3A, the Memorial Tigers, who finished last season 11-4.
I can assure you that I did not intend to slight the Tigers; indeed, if you look at this site, you'll find no fewer than 10 posts which mention Memorial last season.  I have great respect for the Tigers' program and would never intentionally forget them.
But the fact remains that, at least in this case, I did forget them.
And for that I apologize.
EDITOR'S NOTE:  A correction will also appear in next week's column in the Courier & Press.

Will CBS replace "As the World Turns" with a talk show or a game show?

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Broadcasting & Cable reports that CBS Television Distribution is working on a new talk show, evidently with the intent to replace the soon-to-depart soap "As the World Turns."




Tentatively titled "Say It Now," the show's pilot was hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and Australian talk-show host Rove McManus.

CBS announced six months ago that the network wouldn't renew the 54-year-old soap, which will end its run on September 17.

Sears and Kmart join digital download wars

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You can already buy TV shows and movies through services such as iTunes, Walmart (through its Vudu service), Netflix and Best Buy, just to name the ones I know, but now the folks at Sears and Kmart want some of your business, too.

TODAY'S COLUMN: NEWS25 again to tackle area high school football

This week's column, which covers NEWS25's foray into weekly high school football games, is now available online.  Here's the link.
I'll have more updates throughout the day, so check back with JDTVB all day long for more!

SITE NOTES: Download feature improved

Before I close out my day, I wanted to let everyone know that I've improved the process of downloading the PDF guides available in the "Downloads" section.
There's no longer any need to go through a separate website to get 'em.  Now it's just a simple click-and-open or click-and-download.

PREVIEW: Get a sneak peek at tomorrow's column

Tomorrow's column in the Courier & Press is easy to tell you about this week.  It's all about NEWS25's decision to air 13 high school football games this fall.
I'm excited about being able to watch the Tri-State's best and brightest gridiron talent on channel 25.2 this year, and I hope you are, too!
Check it out in tomorrow's paper or stop by late tonight (after midnight) for the link!

FCC dismisses two more digital LPTV apps, both from "Kingdom of God, Inc."

Two more low-power DTV applications for stations to be built in Evansville have been dismissed by the FCC.
Kingdom of God, Inc. -- which I could find virtually no information about, but I think it's safe to assume it's a Christian broadcasting organization -- had applied for construction permits to build stations on channels 25 and 50, which are vacant.

New season of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild" coming Sept. 20

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(COURTESY LITTON ENTERTAINMENT)
Litton Entertainment announced today that "Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild,"the Emmy Award-winning nature and wildlife-based television series, will return on September 20 with more excitement, more adventure and more up-close encounters with wild animals.
"Into the Wild" airs on WEVV-My44 (channel 44.2) each Saturday morning at 8:30 AM Central (9:30 AM Eastern).

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: As larger cities' TV stations add newscasts, our locals have "been there and done that"

As stations in cities such as Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Atlanta and now Columbia, Mo. add more newscasts to their schedules, it seems to me that our stations here in Evansville are ahead of the curve.
September will mark three years -- a lifetime in television these days -- since WEHT-NEWS25 added its 4:30 PM newscast, which remains the earliest evening newscast in the area.
And of course, last year both NEWS25 (in June) and 14WFIE (in September) added 9:00 PM newscasts on their digital subchannels, RTV25 and 14Xtra.

WWE fans, take note: Wrestling shows coming to YouTube

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With "Friday Night SmackDown" leaving MyNetworkTV (and, locally, WEVV-My44) this fall for Syfy, the only option for watching your favorite wrestling shows is to get cable or satellite.
That's what I'd been told, anyway.
Today, however, I've learned that WWE will soon begin streaming its various TV shows in their entirety ... on YouTube.
I don't yet know if you'll have to pay for them, but I'll keep an eye on it and let you know.

A new personal record for TV reception: 301 miles

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Most of you who read JDTVB regularly know that I enjoy seeing which stations I can get and from how far away I can get 'em.

It's called DXing, and I had another tremendous night of it last night; indeed, I set a new personal record.
I received -- and watched at length -- WQAD-TV, the ABC affiliate for the Quad Cities (Moline/Rock Island, Ill. and Bettendorf/Davenport, Iowa).  WQAD's tower, according to calculations I got from Trip Ericson's RabbitEars.info, is located some 301 miles from my house.

Dish drops four Disney networks in disagreement over fees

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If you're a Dish Network subscriber and woke up to four fewer HD channels this morning, there's a reason why.
The Walt Disney Co. sought additional fees from Dish to carry Disney Channel HD, Disney XD HD, ABC Family HD and ESPNews HD.  Dish wouldn't agree to pay more, and the company has dropped the channels.

CNN dumps AP

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CNN, the oldest cable television news network, has told the Associated Press that it no longer requires the 164-year-old news agency's services.
The AP, which provides and gathers news from across the country and around the world, is used by thousands of newspapers and television stations nationwide, including ours here in the Tri-State.

No updates until later today

I just wanted to let everyone know that I won't be posting any updates until later today because I have a doctor's appointment.  Everything is cool, no big deal, routine stuff.
In the meantime, I added some more neat tricks over on the right side of your screen, starting with a new "Today's Headlines" section, followed by the "InfoPages" links, and then a new "Downloads" section, where you can click to get printable PDF copies of my TV, radio, sports radio and NOAA Weather Radio guides.
I'll be back this afternoon and will catch up on everything then.  You can always tweet me (@JakesDTVBlog) or e-mail me any news tips you have, and that way I'll be able to pull 'em up first thing.

Nexstar boss talks shop with Broadcasting & Cable

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Perry Sook, the chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar Broadcasting Group (which owns WTVW-Fox 7), sat down with Broadcasting & Cable to discuss his company's successes.  The article, published today, is here.
Some of Nexstar's more successful approaches to the TV business in recent years include: Retransmission consent.  Sook was a pioneer in getting cable companies to pay his TV stations for the rights to carry their programming.  It's a major reason for Nexstar's financial success of late.Virtual duopolies.  Nexstar operates 25 stations it doesn't own alongside some of the 34 stations it does.  It's extremely profitable.E-media.  Nexstar station websites are typically branded for their areas as "community portals," and not for the stations that operate them.  WTVW's website, for example, is known as Tristatehomepage.com.

If you want satellite, you can have it, even if you rent: Find out the top 10 reasons landlords don't want satellite dishes

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It's against the law for a landlord to tell you that you can't install a satellite dish.  Period.
Sure, he or she can set rules about how it's installed, but if you want Dish or DirecTV, you're within your rights to get it, no matter where you live.
But some landlords are, shall we say, difficult on this matter, and the friendly folks at SatelliteDish.org have come up with some of the reasons landlords give for not wanting dishes mounted on their properties.
Click here to see "The Top 10 Reasons Landlords Don't Want Satellite Dishes."
It's a good read.

Pacers re-up radio deal with Emmis; three Tri-State stations will carry games

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A new long-term deal has been signed between the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Emmis Communications, allowing Emmis exclusive rights to air Pacers games on the radio.
The upcoming NBA season will mark the team's 15th with Emmis, which broadcasts games throughout the state on its Network Indiana affiliate stations.

WSIL-TV wins Medium Market Station of the Year award from Illinois Broadcasters Assoc.

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Harrisburg, Ill. ABC affiliate WSIL-TV (which can be seen in the western portions of the Tri-State) has been awarded the Medium Market Station of the Year award from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.
The award was bestowed upon the station as part of this year's Silver Dome Awards.

NEWS25 Sports to broadcast 13 high school football games on RTV25 this fall

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(EDITOR'S NOTE:  To watch the video from today's announcement, CLICK HERE.)


NEWS25 Sports announced today that they will broadcast a total of 13 high school football games this fall with sports director Lance Wilkerson calling the play-by-play action.
This expands on the popularity of last year's playoff games, which the station aired live on RTV25 (channel 25.2).  That channel will be the home of this season's games as well.
Vincennes University, a longtime sponsor of "Home Team Friday," the only 30-minute football show on Tri-State TV, will be a title sponsor this fall.

New downloadable, printable TV Channel Guide and Radio Station Guide now available

The final new feature I'm rolling out as part of JDTVB's new look is now available. 
I've created printable Adobe PDF files listing all area TV and radio stations.  The TV channel guide also has contact information for all area cable companies -- something I'm hopeful you'll find is handy to have around.
You'll find download links to the new guides on the Local TV Stations page and the Radio Stations page.  You can easily print them and keep them with you, even when you're not near your computer.

The Weekender

Here is your weekly look back at what I've covered here at JDTVB.  Let's get started:
FRIDAY AND NEWS25 MAKES THREE:  WEVV and WFIE give you HD weather crawls, but I wasn't aware that WEHT-NEWS25 does as well.  Unlike the others, NEWS25's crawls aren't widescreen because not all viewers have widescreen TVs, I'm told.  Makes sense.OLD TV SETS NEED YOU:  Looking for an extra TV?  Don't want to spend much money?  There's no shame in buying a used TV from a thrift shop.  I've been doing it for years.THURSDAY A "MAJOR PARTNERSHIP": NEWS25 and Vincennes University have entered into a new partnership, the details of which will be announced on Monday.  Best guess is that it involves high school football.FROM THE "YOU HAVE TO CRAWL BEFORE YOU CAN WALK" DEPARTMENT:  WFIE introduced theirnew HD, widescreen weather crawl this week, making life much better for those of us who have widescreen sets.  No more slipping back to SD when bad weather th…

CORRECTION: NEWS25's crawls are in HD, just not widescreen

UPDATE, 12:40 PM:  Meteorologist Scott Dimmich tells me via Twitter that the station actually has both SD and HD weather  and news crawls.  Both provide the same information but look different.

I always welcome corrections when I'm wrong about something or if I leave out something just because I don't know.
Today is no different.

Yesterday, I told you about 14WFIE's new HD weather crawls.  Today, WEHT-NEWS25 chief engineer Darren Gibson got in touch with me today to let me know -- so I could let you know -- that NEWS25's crawls are in HD, even though they aren't shown in widescreen.
Why is that?
"They are not full-width in order to accommodate viewers with conversion boxes," Gibson told me, "but we do not switch out of HD for weather-related crawls."
So there you go.

Old TVs need love, too: Thrift stores offer good deals on old sets

I'm almost ashamed to admit that we have TVs in just about every room in our house.
The upside of this is that everyone can watch whatever they want, whenever they want, within reason.
But sometimes TVs quit working, for whatever reason, and sometimes it happens when money is a bit tight.  In our house, the kids don't get brand new sets, and I apply that prohibition to my office, as well.
For the kids and the office, I shop thrift stores.
When the DTV transition really started revving up, people started throwing out or donating old TVs by the truckload, it seemed. And that's a shame, because while the new flat-panel TVs are great, there are some places -- like a garage-turned-office -- where an old, cheap set just works better.
Indeed, one thrift store I visited today had at least 20 older tube-type sets in sizes from small to large, ranging in price from $4 to $55.  And they all worked just fine.
My two best TV sets came from the store in question.  My office TV, a 20" San…

NEWS25, Vincennes University enter into "major partnership" to be announced Monday

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There will be a major announcement on Monday afternoon on NEWS25's website (at 1:30 PM CDT/2:30 PM EDT) regarding a partnership between NEWS25 and Vincennes University.
I'm told that VU's president, Dr. Richard Helton, will make the announcement.  Also on hand will be NEWS25 and Gilmore Broadcasting president/COO Doug Padgett, sports director Lance Wilkerson and several area high school coaches, including: Tony Lewis (F.J. Reitz High School)Clay Clevenger (Henderson Co. High School)Joe Prince (Owensboro Sr. High School)Since Lewis, Clevenger and Prince are all football coaches, I think it's safe to assume the announcement will have something to do with football, and I'll bring you all the details as soon as I get them on Monday.

WFIE debuts new crawl: Station no longer has to drop to SD in bad weather

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You can add WFIE to the list of stations that don't have to revert to a standard-definition picture when severe weather threatens.
As I type this, I'm watching the U.S. Open, and there's a Severe Thunderstorm Watch crawl, but it's in HD!  Some time ago, I told you the station was working on it, and now it's in action.
WFIE news director C.J. Hoyt tells me that 14's setup works for weather alerts, school closings, election results ... well, pretty much anything that they would crawl on the screen.
"(It) took longer than we would have liked," Hoyt said, "but it definitely benefits the viewers."
Hoyt also said that the 24/7 crawl on 14Xtra (channel 14.2) will be returning soon, now that the main setup is complete on 14.1.

WFIE, however, is not the first Tri-State station to crawl in HD.  WEVV-CBS44 can rightly claim that distinction.

Indiana Senate candidates agree to 3 televised debates

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Indiana's three candidates for U.S. Senate -- Republican Dan Coats, Democrat Brad Ellsworth and Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris -- have agreed to meet for three televised debates ahead of the November general election, according to this story from NEWS25.
No word yet on the dates or times for the debates, or even where they'll be held.  I also don't know which local stations will carry the debates.  That's still being decided, I'm sure.
Of course, I'll get that information to you as soon as I have it.

Be sure to check out this week's column -- and the latest refinements here!

Today's column is now available at the Courier & Press website.  I think you'll enjoy this week's edition.
In addition, I've been working hard to wrap up the refinements to the InfoPages here at JDTVB.  The latest to go under my "digital knife" are the Sports and Racing Radio Affiliates and the About JDTVB pages.
In the next few days, I'll wrap up the final improvements here.  I appreciate your patience as I've made these changes.  I know it's probably frustrating to see things change, and change, and change some more.  Once I'm done with a few more tweaks, it'll be done and it'll stay that way for the foreseeable future.

PREVIEW: Get a sneak peek at tomorrow's column

In tomorrow's Courier & Press, you'll find a whole bunch of information about what's happening in Tri-State TV and radio this week, such as: Info about NEWS25's newest Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, new reporters and a new full-timer on the station's sports teamFox 7 News anchor Randy Moore's regional Emmy nomination for his 2009 story on Berry Plastics' plastic cupsThe answer to the question: "Where did Lori Mae end up?"And a new cable company is serving some Tri-StatersGet the full details on all these stories in the C&P tomorrow!

THE DIGITAL TRANSITION, A YEAR LATER: Tri-Staters, are you better off?

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This past Saturday, a milestone was reached ... quietly.
June 12 marked one year since the digital TV transition.
Are you better off?  I can honestly say that I am, and many would agree with me.  Not all, but many.

Sure, there have been problems for some viewers, especially with WEHT (as I covered here many times), but complaints about reception from there have dribbled off to almost nil since the station erected its new antenna last year.  And other problems were typically rectified with very little fuss, usually with an antenna adjustment or, in a few extreme cases, a replacement.
The number of those who have had difficulties is small because we live in such a "connected" region.  Cable and satellite TV penetration in this part of the country is high; indeed, I'm told it's among the highest in the country.  If you need evidence of that, look at the Cable Channel Lineups page and see how many companies serve this area.
Some of those cable companies -- Avenue Broadband, I…

The future of HD Radio: Broadcasters support raising power

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When the FCC's Media Bureau recently moved to allow stations broadcasting in HD Radio to increase their power -- and, thus, the quality of reception -- some folks weren't happy.
Indeed, some notable objections to the Bureau's move were filed (including from the Prometheus Radio Project, a group that champions small, non-commercial local radio stations), but today comes word that 18 broadcasters (including Indianapolis-based Emmis) have teamed up to give the move their backing.
I also believe that the Media Bureau was right to OK the improvements, because any new technology will only succeed if it's accepted by the public at large.
Of course, here in the Tri-State, we have only a handful of stations broadcasting HD Radio signals (see the list on my Radio Stations page), but I truly believe if more broadcasters see that it works, that number will grow.
To hear an HD Radio broadcast, one must have a special tuner.  These are becoming more and more affordable, and several auto…

Over-the-air viewers, hang on to your antennas: FCC wants to "repack" the TV spectrum ...

The FCC has released today a 57-page document outlining what it believes is the future of over-the-air TV.  Specifically, the Commission wants to take 120 MHz of "spectrum" -- the airwaves our TV stations broadcast over -- and dedicate it to mobile and broadband purposes.
That's 20 channels (probably 31-51).
Now, I am not completely against the idea of improving mobile and broadband.  We do need that.  However, I feel that the spectrum that's already available after cutting channels 51-69 last year is probably nowhere near used up yet.
And there's other spectrum out there, too.
The Commission also thinks that TV stations which get moved from the channels in question could share space with other stations, and maybe even still broadcast in HD.
Maybe.
But maybe not.
Then what?
Thankfully this is "just a starting point."  I'm hopeful it will be an end point as well.

Presidential speech to air on networks Tuesday night

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President Obama will address the nation live tomorrow night regarding the latest on the containment of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The speech, which will begin at 7:00 PM CDT, will air locally, of course.  All of the major network stations will carry it: ABC (WEHT-NEWS25, ch. 25.1)CBS (WEVV-CBS44, ch. 44.1)Fox (WTVW-Fox 7, ch. 7.1)NBC (14WFIE, ch. 14.1)PBS (WNIN-PBS, ch. 9.1, KET chs. 31.1 and 35.1).I also expect the cable news channels to carry it.
Reports indicate that the speech won't be long, so regular programming shouldn't be interrupted too much.  Indeed, I'm told that Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" will air in its entirety after the speech ends.

More changes to JDTVB -- improved Local TV Stations and Radio Stations pages

As part of my continuing efforts to make JDTVB more reader-friendly, over the weekend I revised the Local TV Stationspage, going away from the graphic-based model to a new text-based version.  You'll find, for the stations which have websites, that by clicking on their call signs, you'll go right to the site.  I've also done this on the Radio Stations page, which features the same general layout.
And, as before, in addition to the Evansville TV stations, for those of you on the fringes of the Tri-State, you'll also find station listings for Bowling Green, Louisville, Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Paducah/Harrisburg/Cape Girardeau and Nashville.
Be sure to check 'em out today and let me know what you think.  I'm always happy to get your thoughts and suggestions!

Will Koch, president of Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, dies at 48

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The Tri-State has lost a great man and a great friend.
14WFIE was the first to report via Twitter early this morning that Will Koch, president of Holiday World and Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., has died.
He was 48.
Koch, who represented the third generation of his family to run the world's oldest theme park, is familiar to many Tri-Staters, having been prominent -- along with his mother, Pat -- in Holiday World's television and radio commercials.
Not only that, a visitor to the park could expect to see Will just about anywhere -- even filling in playing bass for the Beachcombers, the band that plays in Splashin' Safari, as he did when the band's regular bass player graduated from Heritage Hills High School recently.
Having met Will on several occasions in my past career as a newspaper reporter in Rockport, Ind., I can tell you that I always held him in the highest esteem, mainly because it was clear that he genuinely cared about people.  Sure, he had a business…

Jimmy Dean -- singer, actor, sausage baron -- dies at 81

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Jimmy Dean, the man who took "Big Bad John" to the top of the country and pop music charts in 1961, before hosting his own ABC-TV variety show and starting a sausage empire, has died of natural causes at his Virginia home.
Dean was 81.
"Big Bad John" told the story of a "giant of a man" who died saving others in a mine collapse.  The song, which was really more of a recitation, rocketed to #1 and eventually won Dean the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Song.
From 1963 to 1966, Dean hosted "The Jimmy Dean Show" on ABC, and although the show lasted only three seasons, it wouldn't be his last television exposure.
In 1969, Dean and his brother, Don, founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Co., and Dean himself extolled the many virtues of the product on television for many years.

In 1971, Dean appeared as Willard Whyte, a reclusive Vegas billionaire, in the James Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever."  Wikipedia also lists that he guest…

Radio Stations page revamped, returns popular feature

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I've spent a hot Sunday afternoon keeping cool indoors, working to revamp the Radio Stations page here at JDTVB.  One feature that readers have been requesting since I last overhauled the page is links to the area stations' websites.
Unfortunately, I never could make it work with that layout.
Now, however, I can.  And I have.
Tomorrow, I'll bring back the list of stations which broadcast HD Radio signals.
As always, readers, if you have any suggestions, comments, complaints or questions, be sure to let me know!

Crystal Broadband Networks takes over cable service in Bremen, Lewisport and Hawesville

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UPDATE, 10:00 PM:  I attempted to contact CBN via e-mail seeking more information.  However, the e-mail address on the company's website turns out to be invalid.  I've been given a telephone number to call; I'll be checking that out on Monday.

If you've been checking out JDTVB's new Cable Lineups page, you know that the Windjammer Cable listings I posted last week for Bremen, Lewisport and Hawesville are no longer operational.
There's a good reason for that -- Windjammer has sold those systems to Crystal Broadband Networks (CBN for short).
Illinois-based CBN is a fairly new company, just formed within the past year.  From what I've been able to determine, they have bought some of Windjammer's older systems that have not yet been upgraded with digital service.
Of course, just a couple of years ago, Windjammer bought them from Time Warner, so one wonders if this will be the last time these systems are sold ... or if they'll finally get upgraded.
I'll …

NEWS25 becomes first and only station in Tri-State to have full staff of Certified Broadcast Meteorologists

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(COURTESY OF WEHT-NEWS25)
NEWS25 Meteorologist Scott Dimmich has earned the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation, a professional recognition of the quality of his weather broadcasts.  
NEWS25 is the only station in the Evansville television market with three Certified Broadcast Meteorologists on staff.  In 2005, NEWS25 Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart earned the first CBM in the Evansville market.  In April of this year, NEWS 25 Meteorologist David Heckard earned the designation.  Among radio and television meteorologists, the CBM designation is sought as a mark of distinction and recognition.

The AMS grants the CBM designation to broadcast meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations.  The CBM is a new program, launched in January 2005 as an upgrade to the Society’s Seal of Approval program. 

“The Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist design…

SHHHHHH!!! Senate committee approves CALM Act to quiet commercials; bill now goes to full Senate

While I think most of us would agree that the U.S. Senate has more pressing issues it needs to deal with, the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has approved a bill known as the CALM Act, which would make it mandatory that television commercials be no louder than the television programs which they interrupt ... hence the acronym CALM, which stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation.
I first told you about the Act back in October, when the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) was working on it.
Well, since October, it's passed the House of Representatives, and it looks like the full Senate will take it up soon.
I'll let you know what happens.

A new look for JDTVB

Blogger has unveiled a new design feature for those of us who use their services to do what we do, so I decided to try a new look for JDTVB this afternoon.  So far, I'm pretty happy with it, although getting to the point where it is right now is kind of a pain in the butt.
There's a bit of a "learning curve," you might say.  Some pages may look weird until I get things where I want them, so please bear with me.

As part of this new look, I've moved the JDTVB WeatherCenter to its own page.  I'm no longer going to post watches on the main page, mainly because I think the folks who do that for a living are much better resources than I am, but for general weather info, I wanted to keep that around.

The WEEKENDER

It's been a busy week here at JDTVB HQ, and I've covered a lot of ground with you.  For those of you who may have missed out, here's what's happened since Monday:

FRIDAY Cable customers in Bremen, Lewisport and Hawesville, Ky. have a new company providing service.  Crystal Broadband Networks has purchased the systems from Windjammer Cable.NEWS25 meteorologist Scott Dimmichbecomes the station's third Certified Broadcast Meteorologist.   NEWS25 is now the only Tri-State TV station to have all of its meteorologists certified by the American Meteorological Society.The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved the CALM Act, which would turn down the volume level of overly loud commercials on TV. JDTVB got a new look, with a completely revamped layout and the WeatherCenter moved to its own page.
THURSDAY Lori Mae, former personality at "93.5 The Wolf" and 99.5 WKDQ, is now part of the morning team at K105-FM in Fort Wayne.My weekly column ca…

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Lori Mae from WLFW and WKDQ

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I've had several readers recently ask me if I knew what happened to Lori Mae (formerly of "93.5 The Wolf"  and WKDQ).  And, to be honest, until this week, I had no clue where she went.
Now I know!
Indiana Airwaves reports and the station's website confirms that she's joined the morning team at WQHK-105.1 FM ("K105") in Fort Wayne.  She's teamed with Dan Austin and Dude Walker to wake up Northeastern Indiana with "Fort Wayne's BEST and MOST Country."

Here you go ...

If you haven't yet read this week's column in the C&P, here it is!
I hope everyone is having a great day and not getting too hot ... it sure seems like the perfect day to kick back in front of an air conditioner and read!

Coming up in tomorrow's C&P

In tomorrow's Courier & Press column, you'll find plenty to draw your interest, such as these tidbits: We wrap up our look at the coming fall season's lineups with a preview of Fox's new shows.Learn about Joe Danneman's move to the 6:00 PM sportscast at WFIE.Find out why some folks in the Tri-State who can get WUSI-TV (channels 16.1-16.4) at least part time won't be able to when EICB-TV's new W19DL-D goes on the air.And finally, I've added numerous cable channel lineups to JDTVB; you've seen them here, and now I'm sharing them with my column's readers.I'll post a link to the column as soon as I have it.

Busy times at NEWS25 as several new hires come aboard -- and a promotion from within

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By now you know that NEWS25 has a new morning co-anchor, Jordan Vandenberge, but there are some other new faces at the station to tell you about as well, and I apologize for being tardy with these.
Julie Krizen -- a new anchor/reporter -- comes to the Tri-State from WLFI-TV in Lafayette, Ind., where she spent two years as a reporter and producer.  Krizen is a graduate of Florida State University.
Jillian Petrus has also recently joined the NEWS25 team as a reporter.  A recent graduate of the University of Iowa, Petrus most recently interned at KRCG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
And, last but not least, Aaron Hancock, who has worked at the station for some time now as a photographer and reporter -- you've seen him filling in anchoring the sportscasts, I'm sure -- has been promoted to a full-time sports anchor/reporter/producer.  He begins his new duties on July 6.
Congratulations to all of you on your new jobs -- and welcome to the Tri-State, Julie and Jillian!

PBS showing three episodes of "Baseball" to whet our appetites for September's premiere of "The Tenth Inning"

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Nearly sixteen years after it first debuted on PBS, Ken Burns' "Baseball" is still perhaps the best look at the history of our national pastime I've ever laid eyes upon.
And, starting June 30, we'll get to see three episodes -- or innings, as Burns appropriately named them -- of that great series once again: "Shadow Ball," which covers the 1930-1940 era, largely focuses on the Negro Leagues, although baseball's response to the Great Depression also figures prominently.  This episode, which we'll see on June 30, originally aired on September 22, 1994.  It is the fifth of the nine innings in the series.On July 7, "The National Pastime" covers the 1940-1950 era, from the entry of African-Americans into the major leagues, led by Jackie Robinson, to Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak, to the effects of World War II upon the game.  Originally aired September 25, 1994; the sixth inning.Finally, on July 14, "The Capital of Baseball" bri…