The Polls Closed and the Winners Are!

I had a couple of projects on my computer that I worked on during the early part of election night so I thought I would be clever and keep abreast of the returns on the internet. I first pulled up WMC and WREG figuring they had the larger staffs and things might get loaded onto the internet faster. I was most interested in the U-S Senate race for Tennessee, the U-S Representativie District 9 race and the State Senate District 29 race. Both stations had numbers in the Corker/Ford race but I waited and waited and finally WMC brought in some returns on the other two races. At 8:45 WREG still had no returns on those two races. At 8:57 WREG still didn’t have returns on the District 9 and District 29 races and yes, I was hitting the refresh button as the instructions said. At 9:05 I checked in with WHBQ’s website and they had results on those three races while WREG still had nothing. WHBQ’s numbers looked like they were about 75-thousand voters behind WMC on the Corker Ford race. I checked in with WPTY and didn’t find much there so I switched back. At 9:10 I checked in with WMC to get updated numbers and some of the races I had followed then showed NO returns. No amount of refreshing of the computer resolved the problem. At 9:30, WMC’s return screen disappeared to be replaced with about eight or nine lines of something that looked like a default screen. I then turned off my computer and watched the rest of the returns on TV. Perhaps my computer had a problem but I think not.

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8 Comments on “The Polls Closed and the Winners Are!”

  1. John Says:

    From what I could tell the internet results were not too reliable for me either last night. All of them seemed to be delayed, and at times it was hard to get anything at all. It was the first time I attempted to look at results through the locals on the internet, and was not satisfied. On the other hand, the national networks had a lot better stuff, I ended up on CNN’s page most of the evening, which was very well put together and up to date. It even broke down results by county which was crucial last night.

    Also, on the TV front, I remember during the primary you commenting on WHBQ dropping out a little after 10 before some key races were even decided. Well this time they came through big time – they stayed on the air until the Senate race could be called, which was nearly Midnight. Everybody else bailed out at 11 and came back after Midnight to announce the call and show the speeches. It was nice to see them step up for this one. Nevertheless, everybody working at a Memphis (and TN for that matter) station had a long night, but I’m sure they were expecting it.

  2. Joe Larkins Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on the TV front since I didn’t tune in locally to see how the races panned out. I’m glad to hear that HBQ stuck it out after the other folks bailed.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    It wasn’t your computer. TV stations around the country that use WorldNow to host their websites (WREG and WMC locally) had problems. WorldNow wasn’t able to keep up with the high election night traffic.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Ratings wise, 5 won noon, 5,6 and 10. at ten the win was by 5 points over 3 i believe and i was told 13 beat them too. 3 wimped out by renaming their coverage so it won’t count. i’ve always thought that was a biatch thing to do. seems to me you should have to petition Nielsen and they decide whether it’s proper.

  5. Blake Johnson Says:

    I also experienced a problem with the WMC site at one point because of the traffic but it was resolved relatively quickly. Being an ex soon to be back in the TV business guy, I opened WMC’s live streaming where you could watch feeds from the various champaigns. I also was able to watch the 10pm live which was pretty cool because I now live out of state. They also offered a second stream from NBC News Channel (NBC’s affiliate feed) that showed campaign headquarters from around the nation. It was a nice information overload for a news junkie. We have come a long way from typewriters and phone calls for results. Even though there were glitches on the websites, it shows that the web viewers were there and in my opinion, a television station’s website is now as important as what goes out of it’s transmitter.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    WREG re-titled their late news on election night. What kind of no-confidence message does that send to the news team?
    It’s one of the biggest news nights of the year and they gave up!
    I would not be proud of that tactic, even though it may seem “wise.”

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Joe, this is way off topic but do you have any thoughts regarding Ed Bradley and his passing?

    Didn’t know if one of the perks at Channel 3 was getting a chance to meet some of the Network Talent.
    Did you ever get to meet him?

    He came across on air as a real nice guy.

  8. Joan Carr Says:

    The web is becoming so important that TV stations are going to have to start throwing real resources at it. For years the station DOTR ran its website with one full-time “webmaster.” Everyone else was supposed to pitch in, but continue doing all their other full-time jobs as well. As you can imagine, no one was happy about that. And when you make it everyone’s job, it often turns out to be no one’s job. World Now is anything but user friendly, so a lot of not-so tech-savy employees had a lot of trouble with it. The webmaster quit after a couple of years of doing the difficult and thankless job. If the future of the industry is the web, it’s about time TV stations began hiring people with the right skills who are dedicated to the website full-time. Otherwise TV websites will continue to be bastard step-children.

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