The Best News Source About Television Stations in the Southeastern U.S.

Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

High Definition: Game Changer in Newscasts?

In ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, Graphics, HD, MyTV, NBC on December 29, 2010 at 5:10 am

Since the availability of high-definition cable channels and a higher flat-screen adoption rate among consumers, many stations have made the decision to upgrade their facilities and go HD with their newscasts.

What’s surprising, though, is that dozens of stations in top 50 markets still aren’t. Well, first of all, the upgrade isn’t cheap; you’re talking at least a million dollar investment in terms of camera equipment, control room facilities, etc. And then there’s adjustments to the workflow in a newsroom, with many still depending on Digital-S or DVC-PRO for their needs.

The whole thing has me wondering: is it worth it? Do viewers really care enough to watch in bigger numbers, which increases ratings and therefore brings more advertising revenue to the station? Or is it one of those “mine’s bigger” contests among competitors?

Obviously, going tapeless in a newsroom and moving entirely to hard disk or portable media recorders saves money over costly analog tapes.

But then there’s the realization you’re going to see that anchor you’ve trusted for 15 years up close and personal, pores and all.

I’m compiling a list of stations that haven’t yet made the switch, and will have that posted once I’m through. I also welcome your comments.

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Post-Christmas/Pre-New Year’s Entry

In Editor's Desk on December 27, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Sorry about the lateness for all two of you who read.

I’ll have my HD-themed post and more on Raycom tomorrow.

Raycom Stations Dispute DirecTV Contract for “Fair Compensation”

In ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, MyTV, NBC, Raycom on December 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

It started simply enough: what looks to the untrained eye as a power play from Raycom Media to the nation’s largest satellite provider: charge a premium (referred to as “fair compensation” on many of the station’s websites) in exchange for being carried within the provider’s programming lineup.

What isn’t being disclosed: how much the conglomerate wants per station from DirecTV.

Here’s a list of stations involved in the dispute. Chances are, it will probably involve one you watch if you live in the southeastern United States.

From what’s been listed on several Raycom station websites, if negotiations aren’t reached by December 31, DirecTV will end up dropping the stations from its programming lineup. For example, if WAVE (NBC affiliate in Louisville, KY) is dropped, DirecTV cannot by federal law put another NBC affiliate in its place from a different DMA because of usage restrictions.

Here’s the notice from one such station, WTVM (ABC station in Columbus, GA).

And that means that, because Raycom says it needs “fair compensation” for the “millions of dollars it puts into its programming”, in the long run, the viewer is the one who ends up having to do without.

South TV News will keep on this as it continues to develop.

Local News and Twitter

In Editor's Desk, Social Media on December 23, 2010 at 1:56 am

More than 140 stations across the southeastern United States have Twitter accounts.

On paper, this seems like a good thing, stations trying to bridge this “disconnect” with younger viewers who get most of their news online these days.

However, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend; the vast majority of accounts I’ve decided to follow use services that tweet automatically, whenever a story’s been posted to their page.

Take it from somebody who’s in college and under the age of 25: we like tweets with information and links, but it needs to be a happy marriage of the two, human and automated tweets.

And until I start getting news tips and info from the stations across the region, I’ll be peppering the blog with these types of posts, strictly to give the page some extra content. Feel free to comment/discuss this if you like.

The Site’s First Post: A Resurrection of Sorts

In Editor's Desk on December 18, 2010 at 6:58 am

After being something of a nerd in the television news scene (which tends to happen when you’ve lived in three different states by the age of 15), I stumbled onto a site quite by accident, http://www.southtvnews.com. The site had all sorts of information from stations around the southeast; in essence, it was “the news about the local news” (my apologies for any plagiarism, TVNewser).

Sadly, that owner ended the site sometime in 2004.

I intend to bring it back, but I need your help. If you work for a television news station anywhere from Texas to Florida, New Orleans to North Carolina, we want to know what’s happening in your newsrooms! Job changes, format changes, graphical updates…you name it, we’d love to know it. And along the way, we’ll also keep others in the community in the know about their neighboring states.

I’m looking forward to what this site can do.

If you need to contact me anonymously to leave tips (or you can indeed give your name if you so choose), you can do so at southtvnewser@gmail.com or send me a tweet at twitter.com/southtvnewser.

By the way, thanks for stopping by!