Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thursday Stuff

And unlike our last update, most of this is not related...

THIS PORTION OF OUR ITEM IS PAID PROGRAMMING: No, not really. We don't have an ad sales department here at the Mighty Blog of Fun(tm).

But Raycom Media is at it again in Cleveland.

Numerous readers let us know that the company's CBS affiliate, WOIO/19, pre-empted an hour of CBS prime-time programming Wednesday night from 8-9 PM for...paid programming. Infomercials. You know them. (We'd love to know what they actually aired.)

The paid spots bumped two episodes of the popular CBS comedy "The King of Queens" off the WOIO schedule in favor of quick cash for Reserve Square.

OK, let's come down a BIT off the high horse here.

"The King of Queens" is well into reruns for the summer. The sitcom aired its final first-run episode, if we remember right, a month or two back. The two reruns are basically summer filler on the network's own schedule. least "KoQ" would have viewers, even if people had already seen the episodes.

As we've said before, we understand the modern reality of television financing. Infomercials are basically "free money", and occupy much of the weekend late morning/early afternoon schedule on nearly all local stations.

But CBS prime time?!?

Rerun or not, the practice seems rather cheap to us. It sounds like something a company like Raycom would do.

No, wait...they have, already. Sound familiar?

Yep, sister station WUAB/43, then a UPN affiliate, did the same a year ago on a Saturday night. But 1) UPN isn't CBS (nor is MyNetwork TV, either) and B) UPN did not program Saturdays.

Now, this is not 100 percent new, and is not something only Raycom does, even in the Cleveland market.

We believe it's Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 that occasionally clears out an hour for the Billy Graham Crusade, and Channel 5 and other local stations have pre-empted generic network made-for-TV movies from time to time to burn off old show reruns ("Matlock") to get some extra cash by selling more local spots.

It just seems a little, well, more unseemly when WOIO/WUAB do it. And we don't know what got sold at 8 PM and 8:30 PM Wednesday on "Cleveland's CBS 19", but we'd assume they were rather generic infomercials. At least Rev. Graham gets viewers...

AND NOT AN INFOMERCIAL: As far as we know, at least...

We've heard radio spots and seen brief TV promos for a program that'll air this Saturday at 7 PM on Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3.

The show is called "Lake Erie: Beyond The Surface", and the brief radio commercial we heard promises an in-depth look - literally - at the lake and its eco-structure. We believe we heard it called a "series".

And what perked up our technology-loving ears?

Channel 3 is producing "Lake Erie: Beyond The Surface" in HDTV.

This would be one of the first regular non-news/non-sports local TV presentations in HD, if we remember right. We'll be tuned in, and expect to hear more from the one and only Frank Macek, WKYC senior director and author of the station's "Director's Cut" blog... link to your left!

NOT SMOOTH SAILING: If a headline on the website of the Youngstown Business Journal is to be believed, the move to sell at least one Youngstown TV station is "stalled" at the FCC.

We'll assume that's ABC affiliate WYTV/33, since the transfers of CBS affiliate WKBN/27 and sister LPTV duo WYFX-LP/62-WFXI-CA/17 have already been made to New Vision Television, the outfit that started all this.

Earlier this year, a new outfit called Parkin Television, headed by Todd Parkin of Los Angeles, filed to buy WYTV. That wasn't the controversial part.

The controversial part was part of the WYTV license transfer application, which indicated that the new licensee intended to enter a "Shared Services Agreement" with WKBN/New Vision, the ultimate presumably to utilize WKBN to produce/help produce/somehow put together news for WYTV.

We aren't a Business Journal subscriber, online or otherwise, so we'll quote the front of the website:

As License Transfer Stalls at FCC,
Stations’ Employees Ask, What’s Up?
June 27, 2007 7:14 a.m.
Commentary by Andrea Wood
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – What’s the real story?

Don’t ask the employees of WYTV or WKBN/WYFX because they know only what they’re told – and the stories they’re hearing are not the same.

Confused? So are they.

Employees of media outlets getting mixed signals from management and ownership? Why, we never...


Anonymous said...

Last nite WFMJ here in Youngstown also had paid programming for operation smile at 8 PM. What was the paid programming on WOIO anyways?

If it is for Billy Graham Crusade, operation smile or St Jude that is one thing since it usually a one time shot and for the most part it helps people out but if it is for someone like Kevin Trudeau or Billy Banks selling his taeboo stuff then that is pure BS and WOIO should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

WOIO should be ashamed of itself for trying to pass off their "newscasts" as actual news...I think they could teach the Tabloid TV'ers [Extra, Access Hollywood, Inside Kazooers or whatever it's called] a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

I literally could not BELIEVE what I was seeing when I turned to WOIO to watch King of Queens. My, oh my, how the once-proud "tiffany network" has fallen. Paid-programs in Prime Time. WWLS? ("What Would Les Say?") Ahh, who cares?

I quickly changed channels to watch Last Comic Standing on NBC...even if I had already seen the 8-9pm episode. There was, is, and never will be an infomercial I will sit thru (other than the Dean Martin Roast & Laugh-In, which were entertaining). I'd rather go to bed at 8pm than listen to a product pitch. Way to go, CBS...a real "black EYE," for sure.

Anonymous said...

WOIO is finally meeting up with WUAB with paid junk programming, now in the primetime hour

johnny morgan said...

Billy Graham's Crusades can be written off on the renewal as "public interest"/"public service" programming. It's one reason TV stations have been broadcasting them for decades.

Kevin Trudeau has no such luxury. His value is commercial only.

Jack said...

If there is a Billy Graham special or a St. Jude special, those are listed by their titles, not as "paid programming" (unless the channel has not reported the name of the program).

Anonymous said...

inside edition was supposed to have aired an episode with an interview of the bobby cutts jr. family (cutts is the one arrested in the jesse davis murder case) aired in other markets...the family is wondering if WOIO pulled the show because they were in it...??? would a fox affliate do such a thing?

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong about this, but I do believe that most affiliate contracts have set aside a specific number of hours each year that each affiliate can preempt network programming for local programming. And at the end of each contract or calendar year, if they don't use them -- they lose them.

So this could really be Raycom/WOIO using some of its allotted number of hours that they can use for preempting with local programming... and perhaps before the end of their contract year. I don't know the terms of their deal -- whether its based on calendar or contract years.

For example, here is a link to an "Affiliation Agreement" between CBS and Fisher Communications for station KIDK in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

From it, says the following:

"Broadcaster agrees to limit one-time-only primetime preemptions to no more than 12 hours per calendar year allocated proportionally in partial years (“the Primetime Preemption Cap”). For any Primetime preemption beyond 12 hours and up to 17 hours annually, the Station agrees to pay CBS [*] per hour with an increase effective on each anniversary of the Agreement of [*] (the “Primetime Preemption Fee”). Any Primetime preemption beyond 17 hours annually shall be considered a breach of the Affiliation Agreement unless such preemptions are made pursuant to Section 73.658(e) of the FCC’s rules. Station acknowledges that any primetime preemptions of Network Programming in primetime for paid religion are done strictly for financial reasons and in consideration of the terms hereof agrees not to preempt Network Programming in primetime for paid religion during the Term.

Similarly, Broadcaster agrees to limit one-time-only preemptions of Weekend Sports programming to no more than 13 hours per calendar year allocated proportionately in partial years(“the Weekend Sports Cap”). For any Weekend Sports preemption beyond 13 hours and up to 18 hours annually, the Station agrees to pay CBS [*] per hour with an increase effective on each anniversary of the Agreement of [*] (the “Weekend Preemption Fee”). Any Weekend Sports preemption beyond 18 hours annually shall be considered a breach of the Affiliation Agreement unless such preemptions are made pursuant to Section 73.658(e) of the FCC’s rules.

Station will promptly notify CBS of any preemption and payment of any Preemption Fee will be made within sixty (60) days of the written notification from CBS of the amount due."

Anonymous said...

A Billy Graham or St Jude is OK(ususally they interrupt something not important), but paid programming is too far. Especially on CBS, the top rated netowrk. Today the King of Queens, what next, CSI?

And on WJW's weather set, I noticed that the TVs are on the wall next to Andre, seems like the 3 TVs shoud be behind where the weatherman sits, like WKYC's weather center. Whatevers going on, it looks like part of a bigger renovation.

johnny morgan said...

Here's a question:

Is Channel 9 planning on changing the news open music bed?

Might I suggest the middle section from "MacArthur Park"?

And rustling up some great booth announcers?

JM said...

Channel 8, sorry.

Though since I was in wayback mode, I guess 9 can be right.

Anonymous said...

JM- we'll probably see a FOX News music package, similar to music used by other O&Os.
Possibly like this:

Ohio Media Watch said...

Johnny, that middle section of "MacArthur Park" also plays a role in media history elsewhere in Northeast Ohio.

We should hold a trivia contest or something...


Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster 11:08 AM:

You talk like CBS ran these infomercials. CBS did no such thing. Had I been wanting to see CBS programing and saw these infomercials, I'd just tune to WKBN-DT where I'm willing to bet the CBS feed was carried.

This kind of preemption is common on WEWS and WKYC. While the Raycom gang is late to the party, they have chosen to take the road that travels all the way to the bank. No one is watching? Who cares! As long as there is a sucker infomercial company willing to pay for prime-time air.

At least I have an optional CBS and FOX station thanks to the great coverage area of WKBN-DT. Unfortunately that coverage is not so great for WFMJ and WYTV. At least I can get WFMJ-TV (analog)on a regular basis, and have watch it when WKYC shows old Matlock re-re-reruns on Saturday nights :p

Anonymous said...

There's an enormous difference between old Matlock movies (which are not that awful), or even a Billy Graham crusade (at least there's a purpose) opposed to WOIO Ch. 19's blatant money-grubbing infomercials. There's no defending it; please stop trying. Viewers would have been there for King of Queens. Paid Program? Uh-uh.

Anonymous said...

NBC, ABC, CBS and WUAB are out right now on Time Warner in Akron, they are the only channels out?????

Anonymous said...

Is this what OMW and JM are talking about?,4546


Anonymous said...

I know some one who works at WOIO and they told me the new news director had a meeting last summer and told the employees that he was glad to get out of the Browns pre-season contract because the station could use the money. He said he also hoped that the Browns would not pay the settlement in one lump sum because the compamy would blow it too soon.