Friday, January 28, 2011

WKYC Launches New Weather App for IPhone and Android Users

New WKYC Weather App
You've been asking for it and now you got it.

The new WKYC Weather app for IPhone and Android users is now available for FREE.

You can get the latest hour by hour forecast, our exclusive HD Interactive radar, weather video forecast and more anywhere you are.

Did we mention it's FREE?

WKYC Meteorologist Betsy Kling explains how it all works and where you can get it so you can stay connected to Channel 3 Weather anywhere you go, day or night.

And stay tuned, Channel 3 has some really exciting projects coming your way this year for when you are on the go.

25 Years Later: Channel 3's Coverage Of The "Challenger" Disaster

By Frank Macek

The crisp morning of January 28, 1986, was one that none of us will ever forget. The Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off on its doomed mission that ended just 73 seconds into flight. The white clouds of smoke looked remarkable and almost beautiful until we realized what we had just witnessed - the death of seven American heroes.

Being the 25th flight, we had come to view shuttle liftoffs as routine. We never had an accident with the shuttle program, although we always knew in the back of our minds it could happen. On January 28, 1986, the unthinkable occurred and shook our nation to its core.

It's a moment in history we will never forget about what we were doing or how helpless we felt watching tiny fragments of shuttle debris falling from the sky, remarkably peaceful it seemed as they each floated to the ocean surface. Your blogger was still at James A. Garfield High School in Garrettsville, Ohio, and felt so helpless and vulnerable. For my generation, it was really the first major event that opened our eyes and scared us. Many of my peers and I cried.

WKYC Producer Dan Stadler put together a nice collecction of some of the footage we aired during our newscasts on that solemn night featuring the late Dale Solly and reporter Paul Rae.

It's a look back at one day that changed America.

Comcast To Take Over NBC Universal At Midnight Friday

Special to the Director's Cut
By Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES - The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., was set to take control of NBC Universal on Friday after the government shackled its behavior in the coming years to protect online video services such as Netflix and Hulu.

The deal's closing was to occur shortly before midnight EST Friday, Comcast spokesman John Demming said.

The takeover gives the cable-hookup company 51 percent control of NBC Universal, which owns the nation's fourth-ranked broadcaster, NBC; the Universal Pictures movie studio and related theme parks; and a bevy of cable channels including Bravo, E! and USA.

The combination had raised fears that Comcast might abuse its control of NBC Universal to favor its most valuable customers: the 23 million who rely on it for cable TV service and the 17 million who pay for Internet connections.

But the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission imposed conditions that prevent Comcast from keeping to itself NBC Universal's popular shows such as "The Office" and movies including "Despicable Me" for the next several years.

NBC's "30 Rock" on Thursday night spoofed Comcast's impending takeover from General Electric Co. As a clock bell sounded, a neon "GE" atop an office building fizzled out and was replaced by a "K" inside a swoosh resembling Comcast's logo.

"Wow, out with GE, in with Kabletown," said Tina Fey's character, Liz Lemon. "Seems like one of us should sing 'The Circle Game' right now."

Conditions imposed on Comcast were serious, though.

Regulators forced Comcast to make the full suite of NBC Universal content available as a single package to online competitors on terms comparable to those reached with more established rivals such as Dish Network Corp. and DirecTV.

NBC Universal is also expected to match new deals for smaller chunks of programming between other media firms and online video providers if it has comparable programming on hand. As an example, NBC Universal might have to make the Bravo channel's "The Real Housewives of New York City" available to Netflix Inc. if Viacom Inc. cuts a similar deal for "Jersey Shore."

The company also had to give up the decision-making power associated with its 32 percent share of Hulu, the online video service it co-owns with Disney, News Corp. and Providence Equity Partners. Hulu is one of the services that makes viewing "30 Rock" possible online.

The rules highlight the new battleground for entertainment in the home between traditional power players such as Comcast, which has lost subscribers in the economic downturn, and companies such as Netflix, which added them with its cheap service and compatibility with a range of devices. Netflix ended the year with 20 million customers after adding 3.1 million during the fourth quarter, by far the most during any three-month period since its service launched in 1999.

In the deal, Comcast was to pay General Electric about $6.5 billion in cash and contribute its pay TV channels such as E! Entertainment Television and The Golf Channel, worth $7.25 billion, to NBC Universal.

GE's stake in NBC Universal was to have dropped to 49 percent from 80 percent, but GE plans to diminish that to zero by being paid out from the venture over about seven years. Earlier this week, GE bought out the 20 percent stake held by France's Vivendi SA for $5.8 billion in order to complete the deal.

As part of Comcast's takeover, NBC Universal changed its corporate logo to NBCUniversal - without the space, the peacock or the globe silhouette. Officially, the company's name is still NBC Universal, but the space-less design is meant to represent the unity of its two main divisions.

Ahead of a town hall meeting with their its new corporate bosses on Thursday, some 25,000 NBC Universal employees each received a certificate for 25 Comcast shares, worth $22.84 each on Friday; a family pass to one of the Universal theme parks; and other materials, including a "Big Idea Book" in which they were to record their own.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WKYC To Air 20 Regular Season Indians Games in 2011

The Cleveland Indians and WKYC have announced their 2011 schedule for games to be broadcast on free, over the air television.

For the complete 2011 Indians Schedule, click on the following link (pdf):  2011 Schedule

The following games will be seen in high defintion on WKYC-TV 3.

Friday, April 1st @ 3:05 pm (vs. Chicago White Sox) - home opener
Sunday, April 3rd @ 1:05 pm (vs. Chicago White Sox)
Sunday, April 17th @ 1:05 pm (vs. Baltimore Orioles)
Sunday, April 24th @2:10 pm (at Minnesota Twins)
Sunday, May 1st @ 1:05 pm (vs. Detroit Tigers)
Friday, June 10 @ 7:05 pm (at New York Yankees)
Sunday, June 12 @ 1:05 pm (at New York Yankees)
Wednesday, July 6th @ 7:05 pm (vs. New York Yankees)
Saturday, July 9th @ 7:05 pm (vs. Toronto Blue Jays)
Sunday, July 17th @ 1:35 pm (at Baltimore Orioles)
Sunday, July 24th @ 1:05 pm (vs. Chicago White Sox)
Tuesday, July 26th @ 7:05 pm (vs. Los Angeles Angels)
Saturday, July 30th @ 7:05 pm (vs. Kansas City Royals)
Wednesday, August 3rd @ 7:10 pm (at Boston Red Sox)
Sunday, August 14th @ 1:05 pm (vs. Minnesota Twins)
Sunday, August 21st @ 1:05 pm (at Detroit Tigers)
Sunday, August 28th @ 1:05 pm (vs. Kansas City Royals)
Sunday, September 11st @ 2:10 pm (at Chicago White Sox)
Sunday, September 18th @ 2:10 pm (at Minnesota Twins)
Saturday, September 24th @ 7:05 pm (vs. Minnesota Twins)

Hosts Matt Underwood, Rick Manning and Al Pawlowski will once again be teamed up for all pregame, game and post game shows.

All of the games (including those on WKYC) will be broadcast on SportsTime Ohio and are subject to change.

Notes From the Newsroom: 1/26/11

By Frank Macek

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

The "Director's Cut Blog" is officially 4 years old this week. We kicked off our first articles in January 2007 and have been cranking out updates as frequently as time permits - which somedays - is tough. We are still amazed at who reads our blog and we get emails from those coast to coast.

You may have seen a brand new toy we are using on the air called "Mobile 3." It's one more tool in our newsgathering arsenal that now allows us to go to places where live shot trucks can't. With high speed wireless networks, we can literally take a camera attached to a backpack and transmit in real time back to the station and in high definition for use on the air.

This system has been used recently to bring you live traffic updates during snowstorms from inside moving cars. Also we recently were able to get right into the heart of the Fairport gas explosions this week where vehicles (and other stations) weren't allowed. This gave our viewers a unique perspective of news events through the eyes of those directly affected.

The news race at 4:30 a.m. continues to grow between WKYC, WEWS and WJW now all offering earlier morning news. Although the audience is growing, it remains to be seen if huge numbers of viewers will embrace the earlier start time for any of the stations - or if our competitors feel the need to jumpstart to 4 a.m. in the coming months.

Channel 3 welcomes Jason Nguyen to the WKYC news team as a multimedia content producer. Jason worked previously for WINK-TV in Fort Meyers, Florida, where he shot, wrote, edited and produced content on multiple platforms. However, Jason is originally from Cleveland and is thrilled to be back home (even if the weather was better in Fort Meyers).

We have finally finished up our newsroom construction that included new areas for our web content producers at, and MomsLikeMe. The newsroom is as large as ever as we continue to transition to being an "information center" versus a traditional television station. This will become even more important as we move toward our mobile offerings this year. We have also recently completed an upgrade to our mobile site: where you can get the latest news, weather and sports. Look for more changes to be announced soon.

Also, the newsroom has a new mirror set of television monitors that make up part of the background set. See if you notice them behind the anchors in the newsroom off to the right hand side where a "fake" monitor wall used to live.

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.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Greenblatt Set To Craft NBC Prime-Time Strategy

NBC, the peacock network, should get a full-scale preening at the hands of its new entertainment chief once the Comcast Corp. takeover is complete. Comcast has said that it's appointing Bob Greenblatt, the programming executive who transformed Showtime into a pay TV powerhouse, to head NBC Entertainment.

Bob Greenblatt
Comcast on Tuesday gained approval for the $13.8 billion acquisition of NBC's parent company, NBC Universal, from the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department. Exactly what Greenblatt will do is unclear, but he's a widely respected programmer in Hollywood, known for taking risks that pay off.

At Showtime, he shepherded onto TV hit shows such as "The Tudors," "Dexter" and "Weeds," all of which have gone on for multiple seasons. NBC, the fourth-ranked broadcaster, has only recently lived through the debacle in which it put host Jay Leno's talk show on at 10 p.m. on weeknights, and replaced five hours a week of other programming in order to save money.

Local stations and viewers revolted and after a period of upheaval, Leno went back to hosting "The Tonight Show" at 11:35 p.m. Replacement Conan O'Brien left with a big severance check to host his own show on TBS, and things are somewhat back to normal.

NBC, last among the big broadcasters, has also been a drag on earnings of NBC Universal, although the money-losing Winter Olympics in Vancouver last year did more to hurt profits than its lackluster prime-time line-up. Still, Greenblatt's appointment to replace Jeff Gaspin was the most high-profile executive change in the shake-up that incoming NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke outlined in November.

The most recent changes at the network have been the mid-season additions of shows such as "The Cape" and "Harry's Law," and the reshaping of Thursday night into an all-comedy line-up.

NBC got its start in 1926 as the nation's first radio network. Its parent company, the Radio Corporation of America, figured people would buy radios if they had interesting things to listen to. The network began TV broadcasts in 1939 and produced TV's first star in Milton Berle in 1948. Though it faced fierce competition over the decades, NBC was formidable in the 1990s, with Thursdays declared a "must-see" night of television.

In agreeing to sell a controlling stake to Comcast, General Electric Co. is unraveling part of the legacy of former Chairman Jack Welch. In 1986 he bought RCA and NBC to help his industrial conglomerate get a reliable source of cash while overseas manufacturing competition loomed.

GE obtained the Universal Pictures movie studio and theme parks from Vivendi SA in 2004 in a deal that gave Vivendi a 20 percent stake in the combined venture, NBC Universal. Vivendi sold its stake to GE, which will keep a 49 percent stake in the venture for at least 3 ½ years before winding it down, with Philadelphia-based Comcast in line to take greater control.
Source: The Associated Press

Director's Cut Alert: Comcast Wins Government Approval To Take Over NBC

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Joelle Tessler, AP Technology Writer

WASHINGTON - The federal government on Tuesday gave Comcast Corp., the country's largest cable company, the green light to take over NBC Universal, home of the NBC television network.

Comcast is buying a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets. The Justice Department said it reached a settlement with Comcast and NBC Universal that allows the companies to proceed with the deal, subject to some conditions.

The five-member Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to approve the deal. Michael Copps, one of the commission's three Democrats and an opponent of media consolidation, voted against the deal.

With the transaction certain to transform the entertainment industry landscape, both the FCC and Justice Department are attaching conditions to prevent Comcast from trampling competitors once it takes control of NBC's vast media empire.

Among other things, they're requiring Comcast to make NBC programming available to competitors including rival cable companies, satellite operators and new Internet video services that could pose a threat to Comcast's core cable business. Regulators want to ensure that emerging online video platforms being developed by companies such as Netflix Inc., Inc. and Apple Inc. can get the movies and TV shows they need to grow - and potentially offer a cheaper alternative to monthly cable subscriptions.

Philadelphia-based Comcast has about 23 million cable TV subscribers and nearly 17 million Internet subscribers. It also owns a handful of cable channels, including E! Entertainment and the Golf Channel, and has a controlling interest in the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers sports teams. Comcast's SportsNet Philadelphia channel carries Flyers, Phillies and 76ers games.

Taking over NBC will transform the company into a media powerhouse. NBC Universal owns the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks; 26 local TV stations; popular cable channels including CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen; the Universal Pictures movie studio and theme parks; and a roughly 30 stake in, which distributes NBC and other broadcast programming online.

The regulatory approvals establish an arbitration process to resolve disputes between Comcast and competitors who want to buy programming. They prohibits Comcast from withholding programming during negotiations - a practice that broadcasters have been using recently to extract higher fees from cable companies.

A handful of other conditions are designed to ensure that Comcast cannot stifle the growth of the fledgling Internet video market by starving the new industry for content. One requires the company to offer its programming to legitimate Internet video providers on the same terms and conditions that it offers other pay-TV providers. Another requires the company to make comparable
programming available at comparable prices to an Internet video provider that has reached an agreement to buy programming from another media company.

Yet another condition requires Comcast to continue offering an affordable, standalone broadband option for customers who want Internet access but not TV service. This condition, too, is intended help drive the growth of online video by allowing consumers to cancel their cable subscriptions without losing their Internet connections.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

WKYC's Robinson Selected for 2011 YWCA Women of Achievement Award

WKYC's Romona Robinson
Congratulations to WKYC/TV 3  6 & 11 PM anchor Romona Robinson who has been selected as one of the five 2011 Women of Achievement Award recipients presented by the YWCA Greater Cleveland.

This year marks the 35th year the organization has recognized exceptional female leaders in our community by presenting them with the Women of Achievement Award.

Romona Robinson tells the Director's Cut blog, "The YWCA Women of Achievement award is one of the highest honors one can receive in Greater Cleveland."

"I've spent 20 years in Northeast Ohio trying to be a voice for those who aren’t heard, working  to help bridge the racial divide and  to inspire and encourage young women and children to reach their potential," Robinson added.

The criteria for those given the award include a demonstration of outstanding leadership qualities, as well as excellence in accomplishments and commitment to their career and community.

Women chosen to receive this award are role models and mentors who have played a significant part in helping other women achieve their goals, thus furthering the YWCA mission to empower women and eliminate racisim.

This year's luncheon will be held on Monday, May 16th, at the Renaissance Cleveland's Grand Ballroom from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Congratulations Romona!

Friday, January 07, 2011

CES: Gadgets For Free TV Arrive, But Will Buyers Bite?

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer

LAS VEGAS - Being able to watch live TV on the go sounds like an appealing idea. Indeed, Audiovox Corp. says its RCA-branded portable, battery-powered televisions sell well. But there's a problem: people return them at extremely high rates. Why?

"If you move, you lose the signal completely," said Audiovox Electronics president Tom Malone. That's because digital TV signals are designed to be received by stationary antennas. If the antenna starts moving, the signals become gibberish.

The solution is a new type of TV signal known as Mobile DTV that TV broadcasters are starting to roll out. Many cities already have a couple of stations live. Audiovox said this week that it will build receivers for those signals into its 7-inch and 9-inch portable TV sets this year, joining several other manufacturers in trotting out Mobile DTV gadgets at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

That means that this year, consumers will for the first time have an array of Mobile DTV gadgets to choose from. The technology's future is far from certain, and this year's sales figures might well be crucial.

Most of the Mobile TV gadgets at the show add a receiver to a device that already does something else. For instance, Valups, a Korean company, is making an antenna that plugs into the iPad's connection port, turning it into a 9.7" inch portable TV, no Internet connection necessary. It expects to sell it in June for $99.

One wrinkle: the Tivizen, as it's called, has a battery of its own and needs to be charged to provide two to three hours of viewing.

iMovee Corp. of San Diego was at the show with the Mobeo, a gadget the size of a smart phone that grabs a Mobile DTV signal and rebroadcasts it over Wi-Fi so that it can be picked up by iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It gets three hours on a charge and is expected to cost $149 when it launches in June.

Cydle, another Korean company, has a Mobile DTV receiver that doubles as an external battery for an iPhone, providing both a TV signal and extra power. It also showed a car navigation unit that doubles as a TV set, presumably not for use while driving (taxi drivers watching TV while driving is a common sight in some countries, including Taiwan).

Other manufacturers showed antennas that plug into laptop USB ports. Unlike the iPad antenna, they don't contain batteries and don't need charging.

Apart from Audiovox, the only big-name manufacturer betting on Mobile DTV is LG Electronics Inc., which launched the first Mobile DTV gadget in the U.S. late last year, a portable DVD player that did double duty as a TV set.

At the show, LG displayed Android smart phones with extendable antennas. They're able to receive Mobile DTV without any add-on gadgets. However, no U.S. wireless carrier has signed up to sell the phones, pointing to a big problem for the adoption of Mobile DTV. The carriers are focused on selling wireless broadband, which can also be used to watch video, and they don't have much interest in providing customers with a way to tune into free signals.

Some carriers have experimented with paid mobile TV. AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless teamed up with Qualcomm Inc. to sell a subscription-based service, FLO TV. It's been available on a few phones and on portable TV units. But the companies never found enough people willing to pay $10 to $15 per month for the dozen channels that were available, and Qualcomm is shutting down FLO TV
this year.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, which represents broadcasters and equipment makers, points out that Mobile DTV is different because it's free and it has local channels, including valuable news, traffic and weather reports. Participating broadcasters retransmit their main signals as Mobile DTV, so the programming is the same as on regular TV. For broadcasters, it's reasonably cheap to add a mobile signal to their towers.

In a trial with about 350 users in Washington, D.C., last summer, it found people watched Mobile DTV a lot in a surprising place: the home. Users found it convenient to have a small portable screen for casual viewing in the kitchen and other places away from the living room TV.

If Mobile DTV is going to catch on, it had better do so fast. Because few people watch broadcast TV compared to cable or satellite, the Federal Communications Commission has started to look at ways to encourage or pay broadcasters to shut down their TV towers and turn their space on the airwaves over for mobile broadband use. Wireless broadband is an incontrovertible success, and carriers will eventually want more spectrum.

Behind the Scenes: Wellington High School's Production Class Visit Channel 3

Check out our tour group from Wellington High School who stopped by the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center on Friday to see how television is done in a real life, real time environment.

These kids are studing production and you are bound to see them on TV or behind the scenes in the near future at a television station near you - maybe even Channel 3.

If your high school have a production class and would like to visit Channel 3, just let us know. You can contact our blogger Frank Macek anytime:

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Behind the Scenes: Good Company Today's Holiday Party Photos

We think our "Good Company Today" staff and talent had a little too much time on their hands over the holidays as we found some fun shots of hosts Andrea Vecchio, Michael Cardamone, Fred Griffith and Joe Cronauer.

Click on their Facebook page to view the entire photo album at the following Facebook link:

Be sure to catch "Good Company Today" weekdays at 10 a.m. on Channel 3 following the "Today Show."

Consumer Electronics Show Has Something For Everyone

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Jay Gray, NBC News

The center of the technology universe is in Las Vegas right now.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is underway, revealing a first look at the coolest, cutting edge TVs, gadgets and gizmos that we will all be drooling over in the next few months.

It is a first hand look at the future, technology that many believe will begin to reshape our lives. "Habits will change, families will change," says founder and Today Show technology editor Paul Hochman.

A big part of that change is the tablet computer, a slim touch-screen that some say will replace the laptop. 80 new tablets are being introduced at this year's consumer electronics show, along with every accessory and application you can imagine.

The way we watch TV is changing as well, and so is the set itself. 3-D has exploded and there is talk of soon being able to watch without glasses. Video conferencing has also taken a huge step forward. Creative has created an HD version it believes will change the game.

"We want to make this very affordable very accessible for people," says Creative vice president Phil O'Shaughnessey. "We want people to have an experience just like somebody else is in the room with them."

Another major shift: Accessing the web on your television. Dozens of boxes on display at CES will do that, starting at $90. "One of the things people don't realize yet is how much how much more of the world they're searching for will be at their fingertips," Hochman says.

Behind the Scenes: Channel 3 News In A Panoramic View

A panoramic view of the Channel 3 Newsroom thanks to a cool Android app called "Photaf" taken by multi-media journalists Barry Wolf and Matt Babb.

Cool stuff! Your blogger is even spotted in the bottom picture! Click on either picture for a larger view.

Click for full image

Click for full image

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Video: Channel 3 Classic Promos from the 1980s & Early 90s

This is a group of classic Channel 3 Promos from the 1980s and early 1990s thanks to Dan Klintworth, a former WKYC colleague, who is currently Marketing Director at WBTW-TV in South Carolina.

This latest batch includes cameos from Jim Donovan, Steve Browne & Terry Burhans, Paul Orlousky and our "3 Believes Campaign."

Feel free to post your own comments and share your memories. Just click on the videos to watch. If you can't view them on this page, CLICK HERE

"Flash Mob" To Air After "Saturday Night Live" January 16th on WKYC

Hosts Carrie Young and Jonathan Adkins
WKYC's hot new social media show "Flash Mob" will air its second episode following "Saturday Night Live" on Sunday morning, January 16th, at 1 a.m.

The show features hosts Carrie Young and Jonathan Adkins along wtih several behind the scenes staff at Channel 3 looking at trends in social media and viral video as WKYC continues to be Cleveland's social media leader on Facebook, Twitter and

On this new episode of  “Flash Mob”, we’ll have a look at the technology behind the colored lights on the Terminal Tower, we’ll take a trip to a Twitter bakery, you’ll meet another WKYC Facebook “Friend of the Day” and we’ll teach those who don’t know about it, a little about FourSquare. We’ll also have a wrap up from the from the Consumer Electronics Show, and we’ll look at a cool new gadget that makes transferring photos from your digital camera a breeze.

The first airing of the show in October was the most watched show in its time slot.

Make sure you visit the show's Facebook page to learn more about the show and to watch the first episode in case you missed it back in October @

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Double Dose Of Football Gives NBC A Ratings Win

NEW YORK - NBC can thank bad weather for its ratings win last week.

The most-watched show was last Tuesday's special edition of "NBC Sunday Night Football," which had been postponed two days by the blizzard. It was seen by 23.7 million viewers.

Then NBC scored again five days later with another, regularly scheduled "Sunday Night Football" broadcast. Ranking second for the week, that game was seen by 19.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Co. figures released Tuesday.

It was enough to give NBC an overall win in prime time.

But CBS could claim 11 of the week's top 20 broadcasts. CBS took the runner-up spot in prime time, followed by ABC and Fox.

Among evening newscasts, NBC's "Nightly News" was on top, as usual, followed by "World News" and the "CBS Evening News."