Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WKYC News & Notes: 1/29/13

By Frank Macek

It's time for another "behind the scenes" look at what's happening inside the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.
    Channel 3 News New Look
  • By now you probably noticed that WKYC launched a brand new graphics look last Tuesday, January 22th that is being rolled out by our parent company, Gannett, on all broadcast stations. The new look is a much simpler, cleaner look that uses a main information bar, the rundown of upcoming stories and the time and temperature. Also, stories are color coded by category based on the USA Today theme including news (blue), weather (yellow), sports (red), life (purple), tech (orange), money (green), travel (aqua) and opinion (gray).

  • We also have begun using the entire 16x9 screen for our broadcasts. As a result, 4x3 viewers on cable and satellite will notice we are letterboxed. The technology called AFD or (Active Format Description) allows us to trigger your television set to see the correct sizing of standard definition programming and commercials in the high definition format.

    We spoke with to our good friend Joanne Bandlow at Time Warner Cable to explain how this works, "Active Format Description is a means for the broadcaster to signal the receiver on how to format the screen (letterbox, center-cut, etc). This gives the broadcaster more control over the viewer's experience, particularly on 4:3 SD screens. Currently it's common for an SD feed of a broadcaster's signal to be "nailed up" as either letterboxed or center-cut on cable and satellite systems; this can cause some of the screen content to be missed. The presence of the AFD signal corrects this situation by allowing the originator to change the display format on-the-fly as the content change. The AFD signal itself is just a few bits of data tucked away within the video portion of the broadcaster's MPEG stream. This allows for about a dozen different format 'descriptions' to be chosen for screen formatting (pillarbox, letterbox, full frame, etc).

    For more information about changing your television settings if you have previously stretched your picture size, please read our earlier article @ http://bit.ly/WNzXc7

  • Dick Russ
  • Veteran WKYC journalist Dick Russ has announced his departure from Channel 3 News as of February 8th. WKYC News Director Brennan Donnellan praised Russ for his work, "For 14 years at WKYC and throughout his career as a journalist, Dick Russ has set the example of leadership for all of us. His accomplishments are well-known and his work is highly regarded by our viewers and his peers. Dick has accepted a position as Vice President of North Coast Community Homes, a non-profit corporation which provides housing for people who have disabilities. This is a field in which Dick has been involved for more than 30 years. NCCH is in fact an organization which the Gannett Foundation and WKYC have supported in the past."

  • You may have seen a new face on Channel 3 News over the weekend. Will Ujek has made the segue from his sports reporting duties on SportsTime Ohio to weekend reporting duties on Channel 3 News.Will is no stranger to television news having reported for WTRF in Wheeling, West Virgina.

    Will Ujek

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How To Adjust Your TV For Channel 3's New Graphics

Can't see all the type on your TV set? Here's how to see the full on-screen graphics.

This week, WKYC launched a brand new on-air look for Channel 3 News. One of the exciting new features of this new graphics package is that we are now utilizing the full 16:9 widescreen space available to give viewers more information about the stories they are watching.

For some viewers, this new design may look like their TV set is cutting off some of the words on the screen. On our old graphics, much of the content was protected for viewers who were still center-cutting their picture. For example, they may have not seen the rundown at all. 

While we have been broadcasting in Letter-boxed (widescreen 16:9) for some time, there may be viewers who have their TVs set to the wrong aspect ratio. With the new graphics package, having their TV in the wrong aspect will be much more obvious on the new graphics as large amounts of text and information will be cut off. In the vast majority of cases this is simply a matter of switching their TV to the correct format.

If you are experiencing this problem, please refer to the picture included with this story.  It showcases many common remotes and the button you would need to push to make sure your TV is properly formatted for our new look.

There is also a possibility that your cable or satellite provider is not providing you our signal in a 16:9 letterbox format, which is how we are distributing it to them.

If this is the case or you are having problems with your remote, please email us with the information listed below and we will get back to you as soon as possible to help you find a solution.

-City and Area
-Service Provider (IE: Over the air antenna, Comcast Cable, etc)?
-Make and (if possible) Model of TV?
-New HDTV or older 4:3 Tube TV?
-SD or HD?
-If possible, a picture of what you are seeing on their TV.
-Contact info if the wish to give it out.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Danielle Fink, Channel Three employee, killed in car accident

WKYC Assignment Editor Danielle Fink
Danielle Fink, Channel Three News assignment editor, was killed in a car accident in North Olmsted late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

Her car struck a tree and she was found just after 8:30 Sunday morning.

Danielle was a beloved friend and colleague at WKYC and respected by journalists, law enforcement and community leaders throughout Northeast Ohio.

She loved Cleveland and Northeast Ohio passionately. She was a loyal fan of the Indians, Cavaliers and Browns. Dani celebrated all that made her hometown special.

The family is making arrangements and will release more information as soon as possible. We offer our sincere condolences to her family and share in their grief.

Monday, January 07, 2013

NBC Plans For Brighter Future

Special To The Director's Cut
Gary Levin, USA TODAY

Last year I came here right off the top and said we had a bad fall," NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said at a TV critics' conference Sunday. "I'm not saying that this year."

In an unusual development — NBC has been the No. 4-ranked network for the better part of the past decade — it's now operating from a position of strength. NBC's audience has grown 19% this season, the only major network to show an increase, and ranks second behind CBS and first among the young-adult audience it sells to advertisers.

Most of fall's gains stemmed from the decision to add a fall run of The Voice, the singing competition that handily beat Fox's rival The X Factor. That, in turn, helped launch two companion series — the J.J. Abrams drama Revolution on Mondays and the Matthew Perry sitcom Go On on Tuesdays: They're the No. 1 new drama and comedy among the young-adult audience.

Now, it faces a daunting stretch with the football season over and The Voice and Revolution off the air until March 25.

Greenblatt says he has known since October that ratings are likely to drop sharply as a result, but he's hopeful that a new hit will emerge to at least partly offset the decline. The delay "is a safer play for us to make sure Revolution stays strong (by) not trying to stretch 10 episodes through a four-month schedule." Both that show and The Voice will extend until late June, providing a bridge to summer programming.

Instead, coming up are White House family comedy 1600 Penn, arriving Thursday (9:30 ET/PT) after last month's preview episode; Deception, due Monday (10 ET/PT), a soapy murder mystery; Do No Harm, a Jekyll-and-Hyde drama about a neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale); and the return next month of Smash, now on Tuesdays where it will no longer have The Voice as a lead-in. Two more series — Save Me, a comedy with Anne Heche, and Hannibal, inspired by the Silence of the Lambs character — will await the failure of another series to find their opening, and might wait until summer or even next season.

And for next fall, NBC already has given the go-ahead to a full season of a new comedy starring Michael J. Fox that includes autobiographical elements. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, plays a newscaster grappling with a disease who stepped down from his job, says NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke, and "as is true with Michael's life, there is a new medication he is taking that allows him to function with the disease. He approaches his life and work with a lot of irreverence, he laughs at himself" even as "people deified him and put him on a pedestal" because of it.

Look for that show to become a new anchor on Thursdays, part of its bid to broaden the night's comedy audience after NBC says so long to 30 Rock andThe Office.

On the unscripted side, the network this season will add dating series Ready for Love, executive-produced by Eva Longoria. And it will bring back The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Apprentice, whose star, Donald Trump, has ruffled feathers with a string of anti-Obama statements and a verbal attack on NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

Does NBC hope to muzzle him at the risk of harming the show?

"We live in a country where you can say anything you want as long as you're not harming people," Greenblatt says. "We talk to him all the time, but we really don't think what he's doing in his personal life is going to corrupt what he's doing on the show. If he's hurtful and does things that cross the line, then we'd talk about it." The statements "come with the Donald Trump territory. We talked him out of running for president; wasn't that good enough?"

Looking ahead, NBC announced plans Sunday for Camp, a light drama set at a summer getaway, to premiere in July from the team behind Deception. It joins America's Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and a new adventure series with Bear Grylls on the summer lineup.

Greenblatt also addressed today's technological changes. He notes that networks increasingly look at cumulative audiences on TV and online to gauge the success of shows, regardless of whether all of those avenues are profitable.

"We're given the audience all these tools; it's our fault," he says. "We can't stick our head in the sand and say … it's terrible because the business model has robbed us of our potency." The challenge is, "How do we get people to come to the network at the time we've scheduled our show?" and though that's true of Sunday Night Football and The Voice, "I hope we can do that with more of our scripted shows."