Sunday, May 21, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: WKYC/3 News Coming in HD

As OMW tipped a month and a half ago, Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC/3 is now touting its newscasts in high-definition.

WKYC is now airing a promo tagged "local television redefined", and promises "the bigger picture... with greater clarity" in a spot helmed by Channel 3 News weekday anchors Tim White and Romona Robinson.

We have only seen the promo, so far, on WKYC's "NBC Weather Plus" feed. And it gives no indication when the newscasts will air in HDTV. For all we know, they already have started, since we haven't watched in a while...but we now have our HD DVR set up to record the station's newscasts so we can check for sure.

Though "local television redefined" is a nice tagline, WKYC is not the first station to do HDTV newscasts. WJW/8 "FOX 8" has been doing all of its newscasts in HD for some time now. What we believe MAY be different at WKYC - they may be airing local field video in HD, which WJW does not. Right now, "FOX 8 News" only airs the studio in HD...remote live shots are 16x9 SD widescreen, and all video is pillarboxed 4x3 SD.

WKYC, of course, has HD-capable facilities at its relatively new broadcast center at 13th and Lakeside in downtown Cleveland, and does HD production of Cleveland Indians games not only for itself, but for the team's SportsTime Ohio.

The move by WKYC is part of what appears to be a chainwide effort by station owner Gannett. The company has flipped or will flip local news to HD in markets such as Washington DC, Atlanta and Minneapolis...


idrmrsr said...

Hope the engineers don't sleep at the switch like last night's SNL which was broadcast not in HD but in 4:3 letterboxed and stretched. Egad! Flip the right switch, Scottie, or you'll blow the pattern buffers. The penalty for not switching on the HD properly should be to have to walk around the next few days 25% wider!

Anonymous said...

Big deal. Their signal is so weak, who can see it over the air? I guess they don't care as many get HD from cable or satellite. But us over-the-air people can't even see it!

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with this particular entry, but what's with Triv repeating himself today? The 15 minute segment after the 10:30 news was replied after the 12:30 news. It wasn't "this is what you heard earlier" - They were playing it as if it was live. Did Triv just do an hour and then tell Rado to play the hour again? On a Game 7 day? Shame. And very sad.

Anonymous said...

this is sort of a channel 3 comment, but does ch 3 have a newschopper. At one time they shared it with WTAM/clear channel but CC does not use theirs any more so does ch 3 still have use of one. I read on the internet somewhere they were not really interrested in one and if they need one they could get one, but since Cleveland is a top 20 marrket you would think they would have their own. Does anyone know?

Ohio Media Watch said...

Two comments:

1) Triv "going home early" while doing weekend fill-in is about as surprising as him talking about "Texas Hold 'em". I missed that segment, but heard Rado going solo, live the last 15 minutes of the special Sunday show. Then again, Triv often goes home before show's end on his OWN show, as old interviews are played.

2) Unless they sold it, we're pretty sure WKYC has a helicopter. It's in fact where WTAM's Pat Butler does his morning reports for both stations. They don't fly it in afternoons/evenings, unless there's a news story, we presume.

The sharing only came about when WTAM dumped its arrangement with Metro for the copter once occupied by Rick Abell. After 'TAM fired Rick (or more accurately, declined to renew his services through Metro), Metro operations chief Terry Groden took over in "SkyChief" until WTAM dumped the arrangement altogether.

The current bird is WKYC's, we believe, and they have WTAM's Pat Butler doing the double-duty for radio and TV. If you didn't catch him flying, perhaps he was (as happens frequently in this region) grounded by weather.

We could be wrong about any of this, so we appreciate any corrections.


Ohio Media Watch said...

Oh, we've also heard that WKYC may be among Cleveland stations looking to equip their helicopter for HDTV, if they haven't already done so.

FOX 8 is also actively in that market.

Meanwhile, "19 Action News" is looking into putting a naked woman up in their helicopter alongside Rick Abell.

(We're only kidding about that last part. We think we are, at any rate!)