Originally Posted by sebenste
But, like I said, quipment does fail. At some point, they have two choices: buy all new, or stop doing news altogether. FOX and ABC in Rockford do news together. There was talk of ABC dropping it altogether...and it still remains a possibility.
The college with which the QC PBS station was with had to sell it. Now it's an indie PBS, and it's struggling. It can barely afford to stay on the air. It doesn't help that there's two Iowa PBS stations that come in quite clearly in the QC, o the point of a translator in the Quad Cities.
WTVP was this/close to going bankrupt, and they are barely hanging on. Rockford market has no PBS...it's fibered in from Chicago or Madison. It was licensed to DeKalb, a city I'm in, 30 miles southeast of Rockford, but NIU, who had the license, could not afford to put one on the air. So again, you are doing better than Rockford.
So there is some money available from corporate level, yes. But soon, decisions will have to be made about local news. Upgrade to HD...or shut it down? For you guys, I hope it's the former. I totally agree with the lack of accountability with no news reporting from local entities.
I've been busy with other things for a while, but last week, I did some more research and I did find out that Gray Television has been especially aggressive at converting all of it's stations's newscasts to HD.
Also, brief research into Coronet/Citadel Communications, shows that it looks like all of their stations were upgraded to full HD near the same time. Since they let ALL their stations fall into disrepair many years ago, I wonder how they even got the $$$ to revamp each one of them. If course, I say brief research because I only looked up 2 more of their stations. I believe they own 7 total, but through the years, it seems like every Citadel station is a clone of the other. So after looking up 2 additional stations, It can be assumed they're all in full HD now. I'll have to finish following each station soon.
I also saw that not only did Wausau Wisconsin, a town the size of Pekin, have one station recently complete full hd upgrades, but another Wausau station is also on it's way to full HD. So there's a place the size of Pekin that is soon to have 2 full HD stations. I also see that it has a few people in Green Bay angry as they're still waiting on one. Of course, it will happen for them before it plays here in Peoria. They're putting their hopes in Nexstar who recent bought a station there. I didn't have the time to sign into that forum to tell them not to hold their breath, or at least be prepared to hold it for a mighty long time. LOL
But at least Nexstar is doing it in certain markets, such as the UP of Michigan & Utica NY. I'd like to know what advertisers exist in Wausau, Utica & & the upper UP that Peoria, and I suppose Rockford, are lacking.
From the research I've been doing, it looks like such upgrades have almost nothing to do with the local market and almost everything to do with the station's parent companies.
Had Gray kept WHOI instead of selling them to Barrington, I genuinely believe they would have been our best station today.
And as for Granite, they're at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to finishing the HD conversion. They're the only company I know of with just one, San Fran's KOFY, and I believe that's only because they inherited it from Young Broadcasting that way. I've never known of another entity who touts their stations's newscasts as "digital widescreen". Nor do I know any other station that broadcast in digital widescreen without going straight to HD. Granite is also monopolizing the Ft. Wayne market, jacking up re-transmission fees (because they own most of the affiliates in that market), and have recently hence a lawsuit from Nexstar due to their practices in that market.
Granite & Young both had to file for bankruptcy due to very poor decisions they made in places like San Fran & Detroit. Yet Young seems to be running their stations a lot better than Granite right now. Of course, Silver Point capitol is the main problem right now. But since Granite got themselves into this mess with their poor decisions in the first place, I'd say let Granite fail and perhaps a good media owner like Gray would take them over. I'm sure Peoria would see improvements in every corner of WEEK if that were to happen.
As things are right now, mark my words, WMBD, with the lukewarm leadership of Nexstar, will be the first in Peoria to finish converting. Nexstar isn't that interested in doing it either, but at least they've done it before. Granite still hasn't, not even in Fresno, and I don't think Granite every will. Digital Widescreen was just a bonus made possible by improvements at the hub. WEEK's own location is turning into a shell, almost as Barron as WHOI.
And any kind of struggles that any station in the biggest markets are having is due to corporate greed. Television may be shrinking, but it still profitable (especially in the largest markets). They just need to lower their profit margins and expectations a notch.
I was appalled when I learned that Nexstar started talking about selling themselves out when they were doing better than almost everybody else. If they ever do such a thing, than that's an automatic debt somebody has to pay off. But hey, it's a way for their management to make a quick buck and a way for them to appease the stockholders. So there you have it, the Nexstar-Granite stronghold in Peoria and evidence that it's more about the media owner than it is about the market.