OMG, I’m NOT getting a TV Signal, Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me TV Stations Were Going to STOP Analog Signals!!!!!!!

I’m expecting to have a couple of TV Live trucks whipping up to my house just any minute now with reporters breathlessly sharing how some folks (including me) missed the boat on the switch to Digital Only Signals.  Okay, I’m kidding…not just about my TV sets NOT working but also about TV Live trucks whipping up to my house.  They wouldn’t do that now would they.  Okay, maybe they would.  The way that I look at it is if some yahoo hasn’t gotten the message about pulling the plug on analog signals by now then they NEVER would get it.  I’m sorry but that’s the way it is.  There’s been plenty of notice and one big delay.  Either get with the program or get out of the way.  Since I won’t be watching, someone will have to tell me how many local stories and much local air-time will be devoted to those poor souls who were lost in the lurch over the transition.  Moving on.

I’ve been out of pocket with work and haven’t had much time to check my usual internet haunts.  I was distressed to see that Mediaverse has gone on hiatus.  Here’s what you find at their site:

This site is on hiatus until Sept. 30. It’s a self-imposed deadline to implement a feasible business model for Mediaverse®.

It’s not that the current model–the blog–does not work. It does as evidenced by the wide usage of this site as a resource on journalism, news professionals and various related issues. The blog averages about 20,000 page hits a month, which is pretty cool considering that Mediaverse® does little to no external advertising beyond word-of-mouth and ending up in search engine results.

Blogging is easy. Developing a dynamic business model is not.

I can feel their pain to some degree.  Those folks put a lot of effort into their blog and there needs to be some pay-off.   I know I had to scale back so I could concentrate on income as opposed to “outgo”.   I hope they (Mediaverse)  return.  I miss them already.

I received a note regarding a previous posting about WMC’s Sky 5 Chopper being down for a couple of months.  Lead Pipe shared some information (which I will call rumor until I can get confirmation) that the formerly bright red “News Chopper 3 from WREG” which flew off into the sunset after the last ratings book (actually back to the owners in St. Louis)  was being repurposed.  NC3 was newer and had some much newer (and perhaps better) equipment on board and I’m told that it’s being repainted and will return to Memphis at Sky 5.  Talk about the irony there.  If this is true, it will be interesting to see if, after a live shot for WMC, the chopper tries to make a landing at its former home at WREG because it is homesick.  If anybody knows about this possible changeover, give me a shout.

Speaking of changes, I also received word that there is a change of news directors at WPTY/WLMT.    I’m told that Jim Turpin is no longer at the helm and that Peter Jacobus (formerly of Magid,) is in.  For some reason I was thinking that JT (who once worked at WREG as a producer before moving on his way up the career ladder around the country) had received a new and improved title and position that was actually more of a corporate thing.  Maybe I’m just suffering from “Old Timers” disease.  Don’t know if JT is still with the company, still in Memphis or basically anything else so someone fill in the gaps please.

From the “It’s not my imagination after all” file, I see the issue of LOUD commercials on TV is finally being addressed.  For years I fielded calls at the TV station from people calling to ask why the commercials aired were so much louder than the regular programming.  The engineers would dutifully tell me that the audio levels were normal.  After I left the TV business, I posted on that issue and received something about that audio levels were within levels and that it had something to do with compression or the muffler bearing or the freebus pin or whatever.  I’m glad to see that the issue if inally being addressed, at least according to an article in the local newspaper (and they can’t print it if it isn’t true now can they).

I mentioned in a previous post that I was in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina for business (a really quick trip).  I was watching the early morning news (WRAL) and saw yet another case where some video had lost lip sync.  This time it was a network package that the local affiliate was playing during their local news.  Is there nobody who catches this kind of stuff in the news department.  The lack of lip sync was obvious.  Come on folks, let’s get it together.  It must be a digital issue as I have seen it in the Orlando, Baltimore and now Raleigh-Durham area. Maybe there’s no quality control….naw, that would never happen in the TV news business.

While I was in the R-D area, I received an email from former Memphian and now North Carolinian Byron Day who had read that I was in the “hood”.  Viewers of Memphis TV will remember B-D from WHBQ before he went to the big-time and later his return before departing for the Tar-Heel State.  B-D,I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get together with you because this was a last minute trip.  Trust me, the next time I’m there, I will look you up and we can consume adult beverages and swap war/TV stories.

And finally, a little something to share about my trip to the Raleigh-Durham area.  It was a last minute trip and I was scrambling just to get on a flight.  It was like pulling teeth to find a rental vehicle.  The agency worked for half an hour and said all vehicles were gone because of a race in the R-D area.  I was thinking NASCAR but it was a foot-race that drew about 40-thousand folks. They finally tracked down a vehicle and told me that I could not pick it up until Wednesday morning.  Just having access to a vehicle made me happy as I was ready to rent a goat or a mule to get me where I was going.  Imagine my surprise though when I stopped by the rental place and the vehicle I got was a pick-up truck.  Specifically it was a four-door Dodge Dakota.  Am I the only one who didn’t know that rental agencies rented pickups?  Hey, I’m not thumping the melon here.  I grew up driving pickups and drive a SUV now.  I was just surprised that’s all. Just so you know I’m not yanking your chain, I wanted to share some pictures of me and my ride.

NC rental vehicle 1NC Rental vehicle 2

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2 Comments on “OMG, I’m NOT getting a TV Signal, Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me TV Stations Were Going to STOP Analog Signals!!!!!!!”

  1. Doug Johnson Says:

    A few years ago, my last ride (blue 1991 Mitsubishi Mirage) stopped cold near Poplar when the onboard computer died. I called Enterprise (because they pick you up!) and they put me in an F-150 King Cab. When I got to work at NC3, Jamey Tucker asked if it was my new ride (first time he ever seemed impressed with me).

    I broke down and turned on the local news last night to see what madness the city mayor was up to, and saw another update on the Big Switch. Folks were standing in line to get vouchers for converter boxes…. THE DAY BEFORE THE SWITCH! Nice preparation people. During my Nashville sojourn (1998-9), I took a tour of a display PBS had put on the road. It was a demonstration center of all the things digital TV could do.

    Not only did they have the giant HD screens with the crystal clear pictures, they also showed how stations could use the bandwith to include website and other information that could be displayed and accessed at the same time as viewers were watching TV. It had shopping, education, communication and a bunch of other applications.

    The station I was with was planning to use the expanded bandwith to create several additional channels… Spanish language, shopping, weather, news/talk. I’m sure a lot of stations were thinking about that in 1999… With the economy the way it is, I’m sure the best we’ll get is network programs in HD… and unless a station has already converted to HD, local programs will stay in SD.

  2. JD Says:

    Hi Joe:
    All I can say is….based on the way you are posing….the size of the watch….the shark like smile….Larry Enis look out!

    On a serious note, I am saddened that it has come down to firing people, and laying off people from Television stations in what seems to be a random and capricious way. This does not speak well to those young people who want to enter the profession of broadcast journalism.
    The GM once mentioned about doing a fabulous job and you might get to stay employed. The question I have is, how can someone be expected to work in an environment of fear that the next call will be to tell you security is on the way, to escort you out of the building?

    Joe, I think the people doing Mediaverse may be just burned out. It happens and it is unfortunate. Tremendous information always on there and very factual!

    As to Ethel Marie…….she will now have her hands full with Miss Violette! I’m waiting to see if she will turn into a “Mrs. Mean”!
    Stay Well…….JD

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