Friday, January 30, 2009

It lives...

No surprise.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ooh, snap! Now it gets interesting

Republicans killed the DTV transition delay in the House.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monument team on Amazing Race

Margie and Luke Adams of Monument will be competing on “The Amazing Race 14,” which premieres Feb. 15 on CBS. Luke, the show’s first deaf contestant, attended the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind here in the Springs.

And they sound pretty confident.

DTV conversion: Dee-layed

I know I shouldn't be surprised that the government is actually going to delay the DTV conversion, but somehow I am. The Senate voted yesterday to push the switchover back to June 12 and the House is likely to follow pretty quickly.

And then they're going to throw another few billion at converter box coupons.

I find this foot-dragging so annoying. Congress gave people essentially 10 YEARS notice that this was coming.

If people made it through the last several years of PSA's and promos and still don't have cable, satellite or a converter box, I think they deserve what they get. If they find going without television too painful to bear, they can spend the $50 to buy a converter box with their own money (as opposed to buying it with my tax money).

I don't even know who's crying to Congress to change this. Is there some constituency that benefits by the delay?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

KILO tops Arbitrons again, 1,850 laid off at Clear Channel

KILO (94.3 FM) took its third ratings title in a row, narrowly topping KVOR (740 AM) in the latest Arbitron radio ratings.

KILO was also tops in the 25-54-year-old demographic, where KKLI (106.3 FM) took second.
The big news of the day, though, was the layoffs at Clear Channel. Nationwide, the radio giant is cutting 9 percent of its staff - some 1,850 people. No word on local layoffs yet, I'll definitely report it when I hear.

Lingerie Bowl: Playing at a nudist resort degrades the game’s intergrity

I'm not sure if this is a joke or not, but it's definitely funny.

Key quote:

"I don't have anything against the lifestyle," Sky said, referring to the nudist resort Caliente. "But we as players were having a hard enough time dealing with and defending against the negative stigmas and stereotypes associated with the sport and playing attire before it was announced that we would be playing at a nudist resort."

How is it that I can't find a photo to run with this post?

EDIT: OK, found one, but I have to say, it's not as titillating as the name suggests.

Friday, January 16, 2009

NY Post: D-Day is Tuesday at Clear Channel

The New York Post is reporting that Clear Channel radio is going to take a ginormous axe to its thousands of stations next week. Here in the Springs, CC owns KKLI (106.3), KIBT (96.1), KVUU (99.9), The Jet (I cannot remember what its actual call letters are, 107.9), KCCY (96.9)... am I missing any? It also own a few more in Pueblo that reach parts of the Springs (KPHT, KDZA and, uh, something else).

The local CC stations are already run pretty lean - but in radio, voicetracking and syndicated shows can mean a very lean "lean" indeed. It would be self-defeating at some point, but we'll find out Tuesday how far they'll push it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hawaii's gone digital and hasn't fallen into the sea

Yet, anyway. I mean I guess, it technically started out in the sea, so there was nowhere to fall, but still: The aloha state's gone digital as of today and the sun's still shining, the birds singing, the tourists drinking.

I guess we won't really know if aliens will use the digital signals to seize control of our brains until noon today, when the last TV stations in Hawaii make the switch.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Farewell to Fantasy Island

Ricardo Montalban is dead at 88. Tattoo preceded him in death in 1993.
Don't know why that strikes me. Just one of those influential shows of my youth, I suppose.

Monday, January 12, 2009

LA Times: TV demos? Dead

I don’t know how much I believe this LA Times story that says TV networks are moving away from their youth-obsessed scheduling, but, if true, it’s a long-overdue switch.

This idea that 20 years olds are somehow more suggestible and can be molded into brand-loyal consumers just seems ridiculous in the modern media marketplace. Plus, they don’t have any money and they don’t watch TV.

It always seemed way smarter to me to focus on those kids’ parents with broad-themed shows that will attract as many of the young ‘uns as possible without turning off the larger audience.

I think the real problem has always been that advertising agencies think that pitching products to 50-year-olds is boring. They set the trend, find a justification and everyone on Madison Avenue and in the network offices jumps on board. Local TV stations have always been somewhat more open-minded about this (at least if 25-54 counts as open-minded).

Key graphs:

None of this means, of course, that the 18-to-49 yardstick is about to become as
obsolete as rabbit-ear antennas. Young people remain the most important early adopters of new products and cultural trends. Their purchase decisions are vital
to marketers in such big categories as consumer technology, movies and cars.
This is true even though some network executives and media buyers think the notion that young people’s brand loyalty must be won early is, in Moonves’ words, “an old wives’ tale.”
The idea was that “if you bought Crest toothpaste when you were 18 years old, when you turned 50 you would still use Crest toothpaste,” Moonves said.
Indeed, Sternberg and others said they knew of no reliable studies backing that theory.

Rumors, innuendo and (a few) facts

Catching up with comments and rumors from an earlier thread - Laura Forbes gone at Fox?

Devra Ashby left Springs TV for D11, she wasn't laid off.

James Jarman leaving 5&30? I hadn't heard that, although I heard he has plans of a different sort.

Oh, and on the radio, KVOR (740 AM) canceled Mike Steczo's handyman show after 20 years over the holidays.

What else is going on?

UPDATE: And, as you can see in the comments section, Mark Stevens is back on the air afternoons at KKFM. Bring back the Marks Brothers!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Holy crap! Obama wants to delay the DTV date

I kinda expected Congress to cave and delay the drop-dead date - but like months ago, not now. I figured they'd look too chicken if they went back on the DTV transition now (plus, imagine the confusion caused by changing everything at the last minute).
But Obama's asking for just that. OK, John Podesta, a top aide. Whatever.

“With coupons unavailable, support and education insufficient, and the most vulnerable Americans exposed, I urge you to consider a change to the legislatively-mandated cutoff date,” Mr. Podesta wrote.

For what it's worth, I think the "education" thing is bogus. Plenty of studies have shown the overwhelming majority of people know about the transition. They're just too lazy/cheap/technophobic to do anything about it.

I expect the delay to happen. Kicking the can down the road is pretty much always Congress' preferred option.

Still, what will it mean? Nielsen was planning to throw out the February book because of the transition confusion. Would they move it back? Would a new date just make the switchover more confusing? Seems like opening a whole can o' worms.

UPDATE: The NAB's position:

"The certainty created when Congress set the February 17 hard date for the
DTV transition was a positive catalyst for broadcasters, manufacturers,
retailers, public safety groups, consumers and the government.

NAB and broadcasters nationwide are committed to being ready by February 17 and strongly support a solution that would enable the government to continue making converter box coupons available to consumers who rely on free television. We continue to urge Congress to act swiftly to ensure coupons are made available for those who
need them.

UPDATED UPDATE: Local broadcasters are not thrilled with the proposal, since
they've spent the last year using valuable advertising time to tell viewers
about the switch.
"We’ve had to run educational campaigns all year telling
people what the date is," said Tim Merritt, KKTV/Channel 11's general manager.
"I think it would add to the confusion."
KOAA/Channels 5&30 general
manager Dave Whitaker said Congress would be better off quickly approving more
money for the converter box coupon program.
"It’s crazy," Whitaker said. "It
comes down to the simple factor that they ran out of coupons. Our industry the
nad is saying that it’s ridiculous. There’s always (going to be) a small
percentage of thepopulation that won’t be digital ready."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Will Dr. Sanjay Gupta grow the beard?

Converter box = SOL

Yahoo's reporting that if you don't have your DTV converter box coupons yet, don't hold your breath. The $1.34 billion Congress approved for the coupon program is gone daddy gone.

Now, on the other hand, a box is just $50, so it won't be the end of the world for most people. On the other, other hand, though, you gotta figure the people who need the converter boxes but haven't done anything about it yet are the ones most likely to balk at a the $50 price tag.

And can anyone tell me why my application got denied? The TV reporter can't even get a damn coupon. Hope y'all had better luck.

What to make of the Nielsens

There was a bit of an argument in an earlier comment thread on the importance of the demos in the Nielsen ratings. For those who don't follow this stuff, demos in TV usually refers to viewers in the 25-54-year-old age group, although at the network level, the 18-34-year-old age bracket is the important one.

I actually find the demos argument pretty interesting. On the one hand, I think in the broadest sense - the sense that makes sense for a newspaper story - using the 12+ numbers is the most reasonable measure.

I mean, political operatives obsess over demos, too, but everybody's vote counts the same in the end, right?

On the other hand, this isn't an election and, in fact, everybody's vote doesn't count the same in the end. So, a 22-year-old male's viewing habits are far more important than his 58-year-old father's TV preferences, because advertisers want to reach those younger eyeballs.

Whether that strategy itself makes sense is another matter, but it's the reality we're dealing with. So, while I think the broadest measure remains the most important one for a newspaper story, I think it's certainly worth mentioning important trends in the demos, because it is those trends that determine which stations are financially successful and which shows get renewed or canceled.

The Gazette doesn't subscribe to Nielsen, though, so I rely on the stations to provide those numbers and to make the case for their own ratings. And, in this instance, KOAA was still No. 1 in most or all of the demos, so I didn't dig into it as much as I might have otherwise.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Nina Sparano out at KRDO

Jeez, you sit back for a minute to enjoy a cold one on New Year's and the TV stations go switching stuff up again.

KRDO/Channel 13 anchor Nina Sparano left the station over the holidays. Sparano was the main anchor with Jon Karroll from 2005-2008, although she and Karroll were replaced last fall as the lead anchors by Eric Singer and Heather Skold. Before 2005, Sparano was the station's weekend anchor.

I heard a rumor about the hows and whys of the move, but haven't confirmed anything yet.