Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Grab Bag

Yes, we're adding a Saturday update here at the Mighty Blog...mostly because Friday got away with us...

TOWER RISING: We've visited the transmitter site of Cleveland Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3 so often, the site's neighbors living along a nearby Parma street are starting to recognize the OMW Mobile on sight.

We've made fast friends with a couple of 'em, and as a result, we're now hearing that WKYC's long-delayed tower is finally starting to go up - as of Friday. (As it turns out, if you live on a street that borders a TV station's transmission towers, you pay a lot of attention to what's going on in your backyard.)

Somewhere between now and Sunday evening, we're likely to be in the neighborhood. (Maybe one of the neighbors will invite us in for lunch!)

We'll try to take more pictures if there is significant photographic evidence of a rising tower, and then, assuming the weather holds, it'll take about four to six weeks to fully raise the new WKYC/WVIZ tower.

That would still give the folks at 13th and Lakeside - and at the ideastream headquarters in Playhouse Square - some breathing room to do testing before the digital TV transition...currently set for (let's see here, yes) June 12...

SPEAKING OF 13TH AND LAKESIDE: A story that as far as we know did NOT get told on WKYC's "Channel 3 News" itself affected a lot of people in the building this past week.

But we didn't know about it until we stumbled onto WKYC night assignment editor Danielle Fink's "Swing By And Spray" blog.

Fink is usually directing reporters and camera crews to stories, among them major accidents that cause headaches for motorists on the Shoreway or the Innerbelt. This accident caused major headaches...for WKYC night assignment editor Danielle Fink. We'll pick up her narration:

I am minding my own business doing my thing, getting ready for yet another web chat during the 7pm news when my cameraman Craig comes flying into the newsroom toward me. He's speaking a mile a minute and says 'there's been an accident in the garage and your car was hit.' He then flies back through the full length of the newsroom and down the stairs to the parking garage.

And what happened? Here's Ms. Fink again, from her blog:

What I was told: an SUV being driven by a man professing to Cleveland Police officers that he was under the influence of 'something' had driven erratically down the hill leading to the Channel 3 Parking Garage, had entered the parking garage, hopped the curb missing numerous other vehicles and numerous concrete barriers and had struck my vehicle smack dab in the center of the driver's side door....which in turn pushed my vehicle into Carole Sullivan's. It appears Carole's car sustained slight damage/scratches /pings.

My car, on the other hand, was t-boned between a concrete barrier and the SUV and was not drivable.

We're not surprised that Danielle is still freaked out about it. She's still in the early stages of dealing with insurance companies and trying to figure out what can be done with her car...which was basically destroyed while parked in a theoretically secure underground parking lot.

And Danielle? We don't have the money to buy a new car, we sympathize with you more than most...

THIS IS STILL NOT HERE: Nope, at last check, Raycom Media MyNetwork TV affiliate WUAB/43 hasn't lit up its DT 43.2 channel with MGM's "This TV", a subchannel that will deliver second-tier catalog MGM movies and other programming to digital TV (and presumably digital cable) viewers starting on April 1.

That doesn't mean that our readers aren't still keeping track.

We hear that "This TV" has started populating its programming guide information with schedules, and that after all this time, 43.2 is no longer listed as "Tube", too, shows up as "THIS TV" on digital tuners and converter boxes.

All this for a channel that we're pretty sure we're not going to watch to any degree.

Like some of our other readers, we do hope that someone in the Cleveland TV market picks up Retro Television Network (RTN), with what we consider to be a more appealing mix of classic sitcoms and dramas.

So far, the chances of that happening appear to be remote...


Mike Golch said...

thans for the info and the link.

emery_r said...

This TV really isn't all that bad -- a combination of recent and not-so-recent movies, plus some B&W TV series from the 1960s once syndicated to local stations, or later on relegated to TV Land, etc. This TV is on Cincinnati's WXIX 19.2, also replacing the long-dead Tube music network, and my favorite so far is the original "Outer Limits" (even though I already own the series on DVD). To me, it's the best science fiction series ever broadcast on network TV.

I also think it's ironic in a way that old series like "Outer Limits" and "The Patty Duke Show" were United Artists productions, which mean these will be appearing on WUAB, which still bears its original call letters standing for United Artists Broadcasting. The familiar dynamic "UA" logo after the closing credits of these shows proves the ancient connection.

Tim Lones said...

I mentioned the same thing about the United Artists-WUAB connection in a post at the AVS Forum-Cleveland-HD Thread. I just recently purchased a Free-To-Air Satellite System with a motor that has both ThisTV and RTN East/West...I think ThisTV is ok, but am really looking forward to RTN.

emery_r said...

Oh, I agree -- RTN's programming does look more interesting than This TV, especially the color TV series from the 1970s and later that haven't been seen in a long time. I'm also looking forward to the promised appearance of RTN on Cincinnati low-power station WOTH-25. At one time, they told me RTN was supposed to show up on a digital sub-channel about ten days ago, but so far, nothing.

This TV does emphasize movies much more than older TV series, which tend to be relegated to early morning between 4 and 7 AM. Then, of course, there's White Springs TV, which is already on WOTH-25.4; it's a real mess, very low-definition and dark. Hardly worth the effort to watch it. (For anyone who's never heard of White Springs TV, check out Wikipedia!)

Anonymous said...

WUAB's original logo, BTW, was a stylized "43" in the standardized UA/Transamerica font - from the insurance company that owned the movie studio until "Heaven's Gate."

(I want that font... as well as the old Kaiser/Field "Emeritage" font... neither one seems to be available. Grrr...)

I think WUAB kept that original logo until 1979, while UA kept their font until 1987 or so.

-Nathan Obral