Originally Posted by Jokinjer1
The next person who wants to criticize me or call me an armchair manager (as "peoria555" did last July) better first look into what is happening at virtually every other tv market, and provide me with some real answers, instead of just copping-out that there's no money in Peoria. Peoria is not the poorest market in the nation. If Eerie PA can do it TWICE, than so can Peoria. Some Terra Haute & South Bend IN, Youngstown OH, Carbodale IL stations have already converted a few years ago as well. BTW, "Peoria 555" never did answer me back on why almost every other market is there. Perhaps "peoria555", or any of the others who have criticized me over the years, could also tell me why Peoria is now the biggest market without an hd newscast. He mentioned he worked at WEEK & WMBD. But i guess it is possible to work at those 2 stations and only those 2 stations, which would therefore make somebody oblivious of the national trend.
I hear you, Jeremy. It's 2015, and not one Peoria station is in HD. I keep looking at your situation, and I wanted to say this.
While the 4 stations (not 3) are all in HD now up in the Rockford market, it's known that all the Rockford stations are up for sale to someone who will buy them. As one Chicago media person in the know once told me 3 or 4 years ago: it may not be terribly long before those stations become satellites of the Madison stations. I fully agree. The owners of the ABC/FOX affiliate up here are in bankruptcy, and even the roof of WTVO, our ABC affiliate, was in such poor shape that employees wondered if it was going to collapse. Seriously! Last winter, their tower was so unstable that they had to go off the air for a few days because it was in danger of collapsing into their studios and transmitter!
So, things aren't as rosy as you think they are up here. Furthermore, turnover is very high. After several years, a very good meteorologist was let go...simply because of salary, I am sure. Their news department has been cut beyond to the bone. And, we don't even have a PBS station up here!
I could see WMBD, WEEK, etc become satellites of the Champaign/Springfield market stations, and your market getting absorbed into that one, creating a huge central Illinois TV market, much like Birmingham, AL. While that wouldn't be fun, you'd finally get HD. BTW, Birmingham's ABC affiliate shut down 2 of their three full power transmitters last year to save money. Some people can't get them now except via satellite or cable.
The only thing that I can say is that market revenue is so bad, they cannot upgrade. Furthermore, they can't keep high-paid talent as a result. Finally, going HD would be too expensive for a small or cheap owner. Their return on investment would be too small, otherwise, they would certainly be in HD. And, more than likely, the company has told local management, to put it bluntly, to shut up or hand wave as best they can when the HD question is asked. If they lie, that is wrong, but if they are silent, the answer is "no, and we cannot tell you when...because we don't know either". I'm sure they all wish they were in HD. I'm 100% positive on that. Who doesn't want to look like a Mickey Mouse operation operating with 1990s equipment? But their company bosses higher up have said "no", and I'm sure they are pushing to have it done.
So, I say: don't pummel them hard. It stinks, I know. They likely have NO say in when they will be upgraded, though I am sure they have voiced their concerns, repeatedly. Instead, encourage them, when they get good talent, to pay to keep them. Having idiots in HD who couldn't write or tell a news story is infinitely worse than someone who can in 4:3 and 1990s cameras, switchers and editing equipment.