Friday, October 29, 2010

WKYC Teams Up with WTAM/1100 for "Coats For Kids"

Your friends at WKYC/TV 3 and Newsradio WTAM/1100 are again teaming up this year for our annual "Coats For Kids" campaign with a 2010 goal of collecting 35,000 coats and raising $125,000.

All coats collected and funds raised benefit children living in Northeast Ohio.

Here's how you can participate:
                              Coats for Kids - Cleveland
                              P.O. Box 74767
                              Cleveland, Ohio 44194
  • Drop off new or gently-user winter coats throughout the year at Armbruster Moving & Storage at 2160 W. 106th St. Cleveland, 44102
  • During the campaign (early November through Early December), you can also drop off coats at any of the following malls: Crocker Park, Great Northern, Legacy Village, Midway, Parmatown, South Park, Great Lakes, at the Howard Hanna real estate office nearest you, or at any BJs locations.
  • Volunteer at the "Coats for Kids" warehouse. Contact Loretta Arnond at 216-986-8957
The actual coat distribution will take place December 15 & 16 at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.

If you have questions or need more information, you can call: 216-986-8957.

"Sunday Night Football" Goes For Guinness World Record This Sunday on NBC

Fans attending “Sunday Night Football” will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for largest Halloween gathering when the last two Super Bowl champions – the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints – meet at the Louisiana Superdome this Sunday on Halloween night on NBC.

An official Guinness World Records® Adjudicator will be on site at the Superdome to validate the game as the world’s largest Halloween gathering, defined as a group of people in costume in one place.

Fans need to wear a costume in order to be counted toward the world record. In addition to participating in the quest for a Guinness World Record, fans wearing costumes can participate in the Saints Costume Contest and may appear on “Costume Cam” on

The Saints are hosting a Halloween costume contest in Champions Square outside the Superdome prior to the game. Winners will win Saints prizes, including merchandise and pregame field passes. For more information, click here:

Sunday Night Football Extra, the live stream of every “Sunday Night Football” game featuring additional camera angles on, will feature its first-ever “Costume Cam,” a camera on site in the Superdome that will capture fans demonstrating their Halloween spirit. For more information on SNF Extra, click here:

Notes From The Newsroom: 10/29/10

By Frank Macek

Time for another behind the scenes look at what's happening at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Happy Halloween this weekend!

We are now entrenched in November sweeps which should prove very interesting this year. NBC's fall programming continues to be weak for the most part which will likely impact our news ratings to some degree. However, we indeed to fight a hard battle. November sweeps started yesterday (October 28th) and will run through Wednesday, November 24th.

Our sincere sympathies to the family of former WKYC Programming/Production Assistant Donna Kropf who passed away suddenly last Friday morning. Donna was a wonderful and kind lady who was friends with everyone she met and worked with. We certainly will miss her, but have very fond memories of some funny times here at WKYC.

Construction has finally begun here in the newsroom as we begin an expansion of sorts. Since we moved to our new editing and newsroom system in late September, everyone now has the capability of editing at their desks and thus we no longer need dedicated edit suites which used to be behind our main Assignment Desk. Instead, we will be knocking down a few walls to give some more room to some of Channel 3's other online projects including WKYC.COM, "Moms Like Me" and "Metromix Cleveland." Plus, these new areas will give us some fresh locations to put reporters throughout the newsroom when reporting about the 'net.

Television stations in the Cleveland/Akron/Canton market are reaping a nice stimulus with political advertising this year. According to the Associated Press, one research group expected stations to take in a record $3 billion dollars in revenue. Unfortunately, political spending is seen as a critical - but temporary - source or revenue. During the midterm elections of 2006, revenue was about $2.7 billion.

Speaking of politics, Decision 2010 coverage planning is in its final stages. NBC and WKYC will have unparalleled coverage on Tuesday night beginning with Channel 3 News at 6, 7 & 11 PM. Plus, we'll have cut-ins all evening long for one of the most important midterm elections in recent memory here in Ohio. Join WKYC's political team led by Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres on Tuesday, November 2nd. The Director's Cut Blog reminds you to vote! Protect your rights.

As always, please don't forget to become a friend of Channel 3 News and Channel 3 Weather. We have special on-line content just for our Facebook friends including your chance to be our "Facebook Friend of the Day," daily behind the scenes promos, sneak peeks at NBC shows, a daily programming guide of what's on Channel 3 and much more.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Social Media: Is This What We Are Becoming?

Check out this video from a Dallas TV station that pretty much sums up the evolution of social media into today's mainstream television (or soon will):

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NBC Announces Special Holiday Programming

The holidays are right around the corner. This year, WKYC and NBC will air several special movies and specials through the end of 2010.

Here is a sample of what's coming up this year:

Thursday, November 25th
*8:00 - 9:00 pm: Special - Taylor Swift: Speak Now
*9:00 - 10:00 pm: NBC Special - NBC's People of the Year

Friday, November 26th
*9:00 - 11:00 pm: Movie - "Enchanted"

Saturday, November 27th
*8:00 - 10:00 pm: Movie - "Bee Movie"

Tuesday, November 30th
*8:00 - 9:00 pm: Christmas in Rockefeller Center
*9:00 - 11:00 pm: The Biggest Loser (Special Episode)

Friday, December 3rd
*8:00 - 10:00 pm: Movie - "A Walk In My Shoes"
*10:00 - 11:00 pm: Dateline (Special Episode)

Thursday, December 9th
*9:00 - 10:00 pm: The Office (Special Episode)

Saturday, December 11th
*8:00 - 11:00 pm: Movie - "It's A Wonderful Life"

Friday, December 24th
*8:00 - 11:00 pm: Movie - "It's A Wonderful Life"

Monday, October 18, 2010

NBC Gives Full-Season Pickup To 'Event,' 2 Others

LOS ANGELES - NBC is giving three freshmen series, including "The Event," a full-season pickup.

Besides the much-hyped thriller "The Event," the network gave a vote of confidence Monday to "Law & Order: Los Angeles" and the sitcom "Outsourced."

None of the series has posted stellar ratings in a season in which new shows have struggled to attract viewers.

But NBC noted that "The Event" and the Los Angeles-set "Law & Order" have improved ratings in their time slots, while "Outsourced" is doing well with advertiser-favored young adult viewers. The network finished fourth last season.

NBC's "The Event" airs 9 p.m. EDT Monday, "Law & Order: Los Angeles" is on 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, and "Outsourced" airs Thursday at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Channel 3, WKYC.

Source: The Associated Press

Gannett Posts Jump In 3Q Profit

McLEAN, Virginia - Gannett Co. reported Friday a rise in third-quarter earnings, helped by a jump in broadcasting revenue.

Advertising at the company's 23 television stations helped the biggest U.S. newspaper publisher halt declining revenue for the first time since 2006.

It offset another decline at Gannett's newspapers, which include USA Today and other dailies. That's not a good sign for other publishers. The New York Times Co. and McClatchy Co. report results next week.

But Gannett's net income climbed to $101.4 million, or 42 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 36. That's up from $73.8 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, its earnings totaled 52 cents per share. Analysts expected 50 cents a share.

Revenue was flat at $1.31 billion. Analysts expected $1.33 billion.

Source: The Associated Press

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WKYC To Help Fight Hunger in Northeast Ohio & Collect Holiday Toys, Coats

Friends and neighbors need our help. With the extended unemployment benefits ending in November and our economy still facing many challenges, this winter could be very difficult for many families.

That's why the Cleveland and Akron food banks, the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland, Coats for Kids, WTAM, and WKYC have come together for a huge food, coats and toy drive at four area Walmart stores.

Donations of new or gently worn winter coats, non-perishable food items, new unwrapped toys and cash will be accepted. Volunteer representatives from those organizations, local schools and businesses, along with WKYC TV3 personalities, local celebrities, high school marching bands, cheerleaders and more will be on hand in the parking lots of these Walmart locations from 9 am – 3 pm to accept donations:

Walmart Supercenter Store #5285
3200 Atlantic Blvd NE
Canton, Oh 44705
(330) 489-9035

Walmart Supercenter Store #3250
7235 Market Place Dr
Aurora, Oh 44202
(330) 562-0000

Walmart Store #2266
8585 Pearl Rd
Strongsville, Oh 44136
(440) 826-0004

Walmart Supercenter Store #4285
3400 Steelyard Dr.
Cleveland Oh 44109
(216) 661-2406

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Prices On LCD Flat Screen TVs To Hit A Record Low

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Jennifer Lindgren, WKYC Reporter

CLEVELAND -- As fast as technology changes, that's not necessarily a bad thing if you're in the market for a new television. Prices on one particular type of flat screen are expected to hit a record low, just in time for the holiday season.

When it comes to buying a new TV, Jim McKay says it helps to know what you're looking for. "The bigger, the better! But not too big," McKay said. 

Price matters to McKay as well, and he says he has noticed a change this fall. "I know they're a lot cheaper than they were," he said.

By the end of October, technology researchers say LCD TV prices will be twelve percent lower than in 2009, which was a slow year for sales. Walmart, HHGregg and Best Buy are already selling 32" LCDs just under $300, and big screens are expected to drop in price as well. "That probably was $2,000 last year," said Larry Haines, pointing out a 50" LCD on sale for $1,660 at HHGregg.

Haines, who is a territory commercial manager for HHGregg, says big screen flat panel prices could drop as much as 20 percent by the end of 2010. "You'll see some things stay the same, but there will be some nice surprises for consumers this year," Haines said.

Haines thinks the change has less to do with an excess of product: he says with the last couple of years down in sales, manufacturers didn't make as many televisions this year. He thinks it has more to do with the advancements in technology. Haines says LED, with its brighter, sharper lights, took off a year ago, making the slightly duller LCD less desirable among some buyers. 

While prices held steady through the summer, Haines says, as Black Friday approaches, prices will fall again.

At HHGregg, Jim McKay decided between a plasma and an LCD flat screen television. "They seem cheaper, money wise, not technology wise," McKay said.

Haines says new, 3D televisions and Internet televisions should help keep the price of LCDs down through the end of the year.  Prices are expected to rise again in 2011.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Promo: Channel 3 Weather Fall Campaign

Check out our new Fall 2010 weather promo from Channel 3 Weather. It's a catchy little tune.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Spotlight Feature: WKYC Debuts New Newsroom Systems

By Frank Macek

It's no secret WKYC has been undergoing some major infrastructure changes over the last several weeks. The headline from this expereince is most of our Avid systems are out and ENPS and Bitcentral are in. And, we couldn't be happier.

After nearly 3 weeks of staff training and show rehearsals, we launched our new system last Wednesday, September 29th, with Channel 3 News at Noon. Except for some very minor glitches, the switchover was extremely smooth. The credit goes to those who were involved in months of planning and preparation and to the on-site project managers from each company who shared their expertise with us.

Let me take a few minutes to explain the basis components of our news systems for those of you who may have worked here or are interested in the technical side of local television.


The ENPS system from The Associated Press is the heart of our new operation. ENPS stands for "The Essential News Production System" and was first developed for the BBC. Today, the system is being installed at all 23 Gannett television stations across the country. The system has already launched in Jacksonville, St. Louis, Atlanta and Cleveland. We were one of the guinea pig stations for the broadcast chain which was both an honor and a challenge.

Everything we do from daily planning to putting rundowns together and getting the show on the air is all interconnected through the MOS, or Media Object Server, features of the ENPS system. Much like a mission control system, the ENPS rundown controls everything from the Bitcentral video system to Avid Deko Graphics  and teleprompter, seamlessly.

In every script, automation commands are placed by producers and directors that tell each playout system what to cue up with each story slug. This includes the appropriate video and graphics. If a story needs to move or be "floated," all the automation information moves as well. As Directors, we also use the system to assign each of these elements to specific playback channels for when the show airs out of the control room.

About 75% of the workflow can be now be done from a newsroom desktop computer as opposed to the control room where an eerie stillness remains until near showtime.

ENPS also allows us to interface to any of our stations and news services with a cool search function that can search any story and video worked on in the building or at any Gannett sister station. Through a simple drop and drag, we can share virtually anything with our colleagues.

For the first time in the station's news history, we can now go with a paperless workflow. Rundowns are no longer printed for much of the technical staff, except where computers have yet to be installed. Instead, monitors are being used to display dynamic and changing rundowns throughout the building. If a change is made, everyone can see it instantly and adjust accordingly from camera operators to audio technicians and floor directors.

One of our goals is to save our fair share of trees!

Edius Editing Software

Our new editing system is called Edius and was designed by the Japanese based Canopus Corporation that was sold to Grass Valley in 2005. This new system lets us ingest video in virtually any format currently in use. The easy to use software is installed on every computer in the newsroom and every laptop used in the field. This new workflow allows everyone to edit no matter where they are covering the news.

Reporters and Videographers now edit material anywhere they are assigned and send it back to the station through an internet connection. With today's wireless capability, the possibilities are endless.

Once the video is edited, an editor attachs it directly to the appropriate story in the ENPS rundown or exports it in as many formats as can be ingested. The new system will allow us to send video out on the multiple platforms of this electronic age including on-air, on-line and mobile.


The heart of the video system is from Bitcentral. The company is a recognized innovator of news content production, distribution and aggregation solutions. From building America's first IP-based satellite distribution network to deploying the country's most popular news production system in scores of newsrooms, Bitcentral has been trusted with engagements at major content-creation companies like Gannett, CNN, CBS, NBC, Fox, Raycom Media, Belo, Media General and many more.

The Bitcentral system has two parts: Precis and Oasis.

Precis playback screen

Precis is the video controller that replaced our oddly named "Pluto" control room system in the old WKYC workflow. With a controller in each of our control rooms, the system is used to get the video to air. With 3 main video channels and 2 additional channels of assignable video playout, we can handle more video than ever before.

One of the nice features of Precis is the control room Director/TD can loop video for breaking news situations and other uses including monitor fills.

Plus, the system is native HD which means we are able to pass HD video edited through Edius directly to air in better resolution than ever before. Our old system used an anamorphic 16x9 process that really made our video fuzzy and sometimes more like those old VCR tapes of yesteryear.

Oasis management workflow

The Oasis part of the system handles archiving of video for both short term use and long term storage. In the past, video was stored on a central server for anyone to access. The new system is more of a "point to point" setup where the metadata for each story/video is stored on the central server and the video is located on the individuals computers where they were ingested and edited.

It's a very complex process that Bitcentral has perfected with their system.

In summary, the new newsroom systems will position WKYC well for the future. Gannett believes strongly in the ability of all our stations, and eventually newspapers, to share content across the chain. This in turn will provide news and video to our customers, the viewer or mobile user, faster than ever before.

Television continues to evolve and this certainly is the next step in the technical and newsgathering process.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Senate Votes To Turn Down Volume On TV Commercials

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.

The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt.

The House has passed similar legislation. Before it can become law, minor differences between the two versions have to be worked out when Congress returns to Washington after the Nov. 2 election.

Ever since television caught on in the 1950s, the Federal Communication Commission has been getting complaints about blaring commercials. But the FCC concluded in 1984 there was no fair way to write regulations controlling the "apparent loudness" of commercials. So it hasn't been regulating them.

Correcting sound levels is more complicated than using the remote control. The television shows and ads come from a variety of sources, from local businesses to syndicators.

Managing the transition between programs and ads without spoiling the artistic intent of the producers poses technical challenges and may require TV broadcasters to purchase new equipment. To address the issue, an industry organization recently produced guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., requires the FCC to adopt those recommendations as regulations within a year and begin enforcing them a year later. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is the driving force behind the bill in the House.

Its title is the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor, said it's time to stop the use of loud commercials to startle viewers into paying attention. "TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial," he said.

Notes From the Newsroom for 10/5/10

By Frank Macek

Time for another behind the scenes look at what's happening inside the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

The entire staff of Channel 3 just wrapped up a truly "September to Remember" as our whole world of daily news gathering and production changed dramatically with our switch from Avid I-News to the AP's ENPS and Bit Central's Precis and Oasis systems. We spent nearly 3 weeks in training and rehearsals to launch the new system which will allow us to share content across multi platforms from all our 23 Gannett stations. We'll cover this transition in a separate article later this week. But, all the training and planning paid off as we launched with just a couple of minor glitches. This is why your blogger has been so lax on posting lately.

September was another strong month of ratings for WKYC which continues to dominate local stations in the all important adult demographics. Channel 3 News at 6 & 11 PM and Channel 3 Weekend Today continued number one with Channel 3 News Today and Channel 3 News at 7 in second place. We are in the planning stages for the upcoming November sweeps period which, like May, help determine advertising ratings for the local market. We are looking forward to an interesting November.

We told you a while ago that "Flash Mob" was coming to Channel 3. The date has finally been set with the show airing this Sunday morning (October 10th) at 1 a.m. right after "Saturday Night Live". "Flash Mob" is a cool new show from Channel 3 that looks at some of today's new technology and trends and is hosted by two of our super cool producers, Jon Adkins and Carrie Young. The show will air on several of our sister Gannett stations and will likely become a regular show as we expand our local production opportunities. Set those DVR's for "Flash Mob" if you can't stay up that late and let us know what you think. You can connect to our new show on Facebook and Twitter

Another new show is being added to our weekend lineup and is hosted by relationship coach, Kathy Dawson - a regular guest on "Golden Opportunities," and "Good Company Today." Her new show is called "Can You Relate?" and airs Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. Each week, the show which launched this weekend, will feature several different kinds of relationships: you and your mate, you and your kids, you and your doctor, you and your coworker. You name it – Kathy will talk about it!  Your blogger was in the booth for the first broadcast taping and was impressed by the show. ”Can You Relate?” is fast becoming the go-to show for what you need to know to have the best relationships possible! Check out their new website: "Can You Relate?"

As you have probably seen, NBC will be undergoing several management changes when Comcast takes control of the network later this year. President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Zucker will be out as Comcast Chief Operating Office Steve Burke will take the reigns and try to rebuild the struggling network. We feel the Comcast/NBC merger will be a good one for the future of our NBC affiliation, as clearly, a new way of thinking was needed at the top. Comcast and NBC's commitment to sports programming will be unparalleled.

We are also hearing strong rumblings that CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric may be returning to NBC's "Today Show" to replace Meredith Vieira who is expected to depart the number one morning show soon. Couric previously hosted the show from 1991 to 2006 and has been unable to help CBS move their evening news program out of 3rd place.

Finally later this month, Channel 3 will again be connecting to the community be helping northeast Ohioans help members of their community who are in need of food and monetary assistance as the economy continues to make it rough for many of our neighbors and friends. We'll have the specific details and locations of this year's food drive in the next week or so.

As always, please don't forget to become a friend of Channel 3 News and Channel 3 Weather. We have special on-line content just for our Facebook friends including your chance to be our "Facebook Friend of the Day," daily behind the scenes promos, sneak peeks at NBC shows, a daily programming guide of what's on Channel 3 and much more.