"Why keep going back and kicking that dead horse?"
Because, really, I feel that Granite should have put themselves up for sale to a more competent company rather than to stumble on to totally kill their stations. Stupid decisions, including the KRON fiasco, is what led to their bankruptcy in the first place. I'm reminded of the Dark Crystal when the Skeksis used the crystal to drain various being of their living essence. KRON also led to Young Broadcasting's bankruptcy, yet you don't see their stations managed nearly as bad as Granite. Young does very well for a dead horse. Granite is $470 million in debt they are confident they will repay in 20 years, what's $495 billion after adding $25 million to finish converting their newscasts to HD? Also, I have reason to believe Granite will eventually farm most of WEEK's news operation to their Ft. Wayne hub. From what I understand, their ablity to broadcast syndicated programming in HD is mainly due to upgrades made at the hub, rather than any upgrade being made at WEEK, which is becoming a shell in itself. Again, why sit and watch this happen when they could have sold themselves out to a better company like Citadel or Gray?
Originally Posted by sebenste
LOL! Nothing personal. You make a good point that caused me to think about this a little more. Frequently (but far from always), when one station in the
market goes HD, the others try to get there ASAP. In Rockford, WIFR went HD first, but actually, they had HD in-studio, but SD widescreen for live remotes
and news story playback. To their credit, great credit, they used "digital widescreen" until their news cameras and their live truck went HD.
I have no doubt money is an issue, but they really need to get on the ball, as you said. It's 2013, going on 2014. Heck, I would submit to you that 720p/1080i is becoming "standard definition". Either way, when your iPhone is 1080p and you are 480i...
You're right. But there's obviously a standoff here in Peoria. It just proves the common theory theory that Peoria is seriously lacking in compeition. If only Gray would have kept WHOI instead of putting them back up for sale, than they would have been totally overhauled by now and their newscasts would have been in HD by 2010, just like all their Gray-operated stations. And this would have put pressure on Nexstar & possibly Granite to follow suit. And unfortunately, stations don't broadcast in 1080p "Full HD" as of yet. But 480i 4:3 is just tacky this late in the game. WEEK claims to be in 480p widescreen, but all I can see is 480i. Or it would look as good as a progressive scan DVD player.
Originally Posted by mbclev
I think you are right in this regard, because when Citadel Communications, WHBF's owner, bought WLNE-TV in Providence, RI, they set about upgrading that station in many ways. You can read about that station's mostly not-so-good past at: http://menujoy.com/wtev/
Yes, Citadel has really made major and unprecedented investments in all 6 of their stations over such a short period of time. If only they could have came along and bought WHOI. Instead, here in Peoria, our station owners, contrary to investing, like to take the easy way out. Barrington, who never should have been allowed to form in the first place since they were comprised of some of the very same people who ran Benedek into Bankruptcy just one year earlier, decided it was cheaper just to hand WHOI's entire operations over to Granite, hence virtually eliminating perfect competition in the Peoria Market. With 2 operators gobbling up all the sales, you'd think Peoria news stations would be on Par with Quincy's 2 news operations, but they're not.
What saddens me is it appears the Peoria stations play a smaller role in their DMA than what is normal. One has to wonder if they'd be taken more seriously if they were fresher. The Springfield and QC stations still seem to be taken rather seriously. So perhaps a lot of Peorians know they're getting a subpar product. It's obvious if they see a newscast in another market. Only the ones who never leave Peoria can be fooled into thinking the crap they're watching is normal. And it is these People that they like to keep ignorant hence the reason WMBD delete one of my critical comments posted on their public Facebook page, and why Mark DeSantis will totally deny the obvious in an attempt to make me look bad in front of anybody else who may read my posts.
If you believe Mark, than you will believe that WEEK was one of the very last stations to broadcast a 24/7 weather channel. When in fact, many, including KWQC & WAND, still do. The reason why WEEK's wx channel failed was because it was ran so poorly. Plagued with audio problems and other glitches. Also, Mark will also have you to believe that VERY FEW stations are upgrading their newscasts to HD.
I had always thought that WEEK was over-rated since the early-1990's. For one thing, stereo sound was a huge push by NBC, yet WEEK was the only NBC affiliate I know of that wasn't in stereo as of 1992, and it took them until 2001 before they made that upgrade, when it had to be done because their equipment was so antiquated.
WEEK's weather department has oftentimes consisted of fill-ins or people who know nothing about the weather, nor can most of them present it very well. Only in the last few years do you actually see long-term "meteorologists" on there.
Before automatic crawl systems, WMBD was always the fastest and most consistent and making sure wx bulletins were delivered. They were even consistent during the off times. WHOI used to be the worst. Sometimes displaying a wx bulletin near it's expiry. This would be a staff & knowledge staff issue.
When they all got auto crawl systems, WEEK, half of the time, seemed like they had zero staff who knew how to manually override theirs when it wasn't working right. Their first was called ***Instant Alert*** and was defective. It also lacked a map or "bug", probably to save money. During those days, I once saw 3 hours go by without WEEK viewers getting a single warning. They were the worst during the off times. WHOI surprised me by bringing the first auto crawl with a "county map" (First Warn) to the Peoria Market a few months later, though it looked very cheap ($30K) & was very glitchy. To their credit, WHOI did became VERY good at manually overriding this system because every WATCH, had to be entered manually due to a glitch. The WARNINGS worked reasonably well. Than just a few months later, WMBD did it right by spending $75K on a state-of-the-art crawl system (Stormtracker) that bested the competition. It just seems WMBD has been consistently superior over the last 2 decades, though WHOI did become rather aggressive after 2007 with a state-of-the-art WX graphics system from WSI. .
This reminds me, a break down of weather department firsts is a good area to see how far the Peoria DMA lags behind other stations:
Live Doppler: All surrounding markets except Quincy have at least one station equipped with one. WAND got theirs in 2003 & WQAD got theirs soon after. Even Rockford, a smaller DMA, has one. It is doubtful Peoria tv will ever have one.
Automatic WX crawl: I first saw this on WICS in 1993. And on WAND by 1994. WGEM, WQAD & KWQC already had theirs by spring of '95, maybe longer. Than by than by the end of 1995, WEEK was first, followed by WHOI & finally WMBD all within a year of each other. Again, the Peoria market was fairly late with this technology. I don't know when WHBF or WCIA got their first since I rarely got WCIA OTA. (These systems have become more reliable over the years so my above rant is less of an issue nowadays. In the rare event something fails, there's not much difference in performance between the 3 stations anymore when things need to be manually entered. Neither does a terrific job nor do they do a bad job.)
Street-level Mapping: around since the 90's, brought to Peoria in 2007 by WEEK courtesy of Accu WX Galileo. WHOI had the first decent version a few months later with their WSI system.
Lightening detection: Been on WAND since 2000 and in several smaller DMAs for years before first coming to Peoria in 2009 courtesy of WMBD's 3DLive. This also brought "slicing" to our market, which I haven't seen them use in a couple of years. And even though WEEK's Cinema Live HD system may look better in some ways, it is still inferior to WMBD's system. There is no comparison between the radar imagery of the 2 stations. WQAD had a Cinema Live HD they got rid of it very soon.
Oops, another diatribe! But this just proves my points of how far Peoria stations tend to lag behind and how overrated WEEK has been. I'm also trying to increase awareness of the Peoria TV shortcomings and I hope to eventually speed these upgrades up. If Rockford can have 3 independent news facilities fully-upgraded and healthy, than the slightly larger & similar $$$ Peoria DMA should be able to do the same as they only have to split their $$$ between 2 stations. That is, if it depends heavily on local sales. But like I said last week, I think it has more to do with the owner than the area.