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post #631 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

But hey, ignore the audience and they'll go away. Oh wait, that's what they've already done!

No they have'nt. In fact, local Nelsien data shows just the opposite.

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post #632 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

...
- Although Gannett has done well at KUSA (already #1 in the market before HD), doing news in HD has not helped WUSA in news ratings or news revenue (still 4th and 5th place most nights), especially enough to offset the 7-figure cost that transition incurred.
...

Interesting because I never used to watch WUSA news and ever since they switched to HD that's the only new station I watch. I know 4-5 friends who did the same thing. I don't know how they measured this but from my perspective WUSA's move to HD news had a significant increase in number of viewers.
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post #633 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

Sure, why bother giving viewers a reason to see your station as providing something a lot better than the others in the market. It's just plain easier/cheaper to rest on your laurels and wait for everyone else to make the first move, right? Meanwhile that viewers will jump ship to watch their programming off cable and satellite services instead. And once satisfied with that range of content the viewers won't bother coming back to OTA/locals.

The erosion to cable has nothing to do with HD. Content is king, not presentation.

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post #634 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Onazuka View Post

Interesting because I never used to watch WUSA news and ever since they switched to HD that's the only new station I watch. I know 4-5 friends who did the same thing. I don't know how they measured this but from my perspective WUSA's move to HD news had a significant increase in number of viewers.

It is pretty, or well it used to before they applied the talent-demanded softening filters). But it has NOT helped them the SLIGHEST bit over the past year the ONLY place where it counts...revenue and ratings. In the last ratings book, their news finished 4th and 5th in most time periods.

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post #635 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post


- Since we are going to have to redo our infrastructure at WJLA to do full HD (we are even thinking 1080i) in-house, it does not make since to add hardware now that may not work (or work well) early next year (wink wink).

- I'm not a low hanging fruit at the station and I talk to the owner of the company 3-4 times a week. In my opinion, and my opinion has not wavered in 3 years (besides the Dolby thing when I took over), it does not make since to transition today. There is a HUGE investment with NO increase in revenue or ratings in the near future. Every day we wait, we save money, the cost to do HD today is half of what it cost 2 years ago.

As I step off my soapbox and appeal to the RATIONAL side of the HIGH level of intelligence of you, I yield the floor...

Just curious, what is the thinking about moving to 1080I? How would that work with ABC's commitment to 720P?
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post #636 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by carltonrice View Post

Just curious, what is the thinking about moving to 1080I? How would that work with ABC's commitment to 720P?

NetVX can switch/handle both.

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post #637 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by carltonrice View Post

Just curious, what is the thinking about moving to 1080I? How would that work with ABC's commitment to 720P?

Actually, I was kind of wondering about this as well. I think it could go over well, the station in Dallas is an ABC affiliate doing 1080i, and ABC only has like a little note about it on their site, nothing really flaming the station. Plus, by this time next year, I guess there would be a way to do 1080i at a local level and then switch to 720p for network. I would actually prefer a newscast in 1080i anyway, as you usually don't have much fast-motion objects on-screen, and it would allow for greater detail.
As for the Wheel and Jeopardy thing, I would like to see them in HD, but, as he said, it makes no economic sense to go out and spend $20k on something that a) won't draw in significantly more viewers or MAKE the station any money and b) could be obsolete when they rebuild their infrastructure for HD.
Now, on the graphics side, that's where I feel WJLA needs to start making an investment. They look pretty dated, and there seems to be two sets of graphics going on over there, one for promos and one for the actual newscast. (And, if you guys are shopping for new graphics, go for Giant Octopus, it's what WUSA got and they look fantastic (until, of course, they ruined it by rebranding to 9 News Now))

One last thing I was wondering is if you're feeling any pressure to go HD from the network? With WCVB going HD soon, I think that would make WJLA the largest ABC affiliate without HD news.
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post #638 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

It is pretty, or well it used to before they applied the talent-demanded softening filters). But it has NOT helped them the SLIGHEST bit over the past year the ONLY place where it counts...revenue and ratings. In the last ratings book, their news finished 4th and 5th in most time periods.

Do the local Nielson ratings even take into account HD?

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post #639 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by SJKurtzke View Post

One last thing I was wondering is if you're feeling any pressure to go HD from the network? With WCVB going HD soon, I think that would make WJLA the largest ABC affiliate without HD news.

No, they understand the business pretty well. They need to focus on audience retention right now.

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post #640 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

No, they understand the business pretty well. They need to focus on audience retention right now.

Any by audience retention, you mean hiring all the personalities that WWRC fired a few weeks ago...

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post #641 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Onazuka View Post

Interesting because I never used to watch WUSA news and ever since they switched to HD that's the only new station I watch. I know 4-5 friends who did the same thing. I don't know how they measured this but from my perspective WUSA's move to HD news had a significant increase in number of viewers.

Interesting, I am not saying this because of WJLA or anything, but I , too, am watching their news because it is in HD. I have to admit, their news staff is questionable and can definitely use an upgrade. But I usually watched FOX's news before WUSA9 went HD news. In all fairness, WJLA has Harris, who I think is good, but that is about it.
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post #642 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TVJunkyMonkey View Post

Interesting, I am not saying this because of WJLA or anything, but I , too, am watching their news because it is in HD. I have to admit, their news staff is questionable and can definitely use an upgrade. But I usually watched FOX's news before WUSA9 went HD news. In all fairness, WJLA has Harris, who I think is good, but that is about it.

Derrik McGinty is pretty good. The thing is, most of WUSA news casters are young and not established. They went younger a few years ago and have been reeling ever since. There is nothing wrong with that but people like their newscasters to have the grizzled veteran look, or people that work well together. I am happy with WUSA and watch their HD news almost all the time. I liked Channel 4 but I am tired of Pat Collins, who I LOATH, Barbara Harrison, who should have been let go and Wendy Reiger. I am also REALLY PO'd they let Susan Kidd go. She might not have been the most telegenic personality, but I liked her newscasting abilities.

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post #643 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 08:59 AM
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I kind of see what Robert is saying...

Of course, from a viewer's stand-point it stinks. This is interesting and kind of on the same topic because in SE VA, there's one group that truely believes in HD Radio and there's another group that has the complete opposite thinking.

I don't think every station "thinks" like WJLA...

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post #644 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:14 AM
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I don't think every station "thinks" like WJLA...

Very true. We are a small, family-owned television group. We don't have the same demands and 'financial appearances' that a publically traded company has to project. If you compare Allbritton to other television groups our size, you'll find we lead the way from a technology point of view.

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post #645 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeInNVa View Post

Derrik McGinty is pretty good.

You are right, I do like McGinty and I like his segment where he responds to viewer's emails at the end. Now I didn't know who McGinty was or about his segment until I started watching their HD News, that is all I am saying.
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post #646 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:27 AM
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JC Hayward's pretty good at newscasting as well, she seems to give a very personable feel to anchoring. That being said, of all the people who could use a filter...
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post #647 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:28 AM
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Very true. We are a small, family-owned television group. We don't have the same demands and 'financial appearances' that a publically traded company has to project. If you compare Allbritton to other television groups our size, you'll find we lead the way from a technology point of view.

And you want to tell me that family that owns WJLA is a poor one? That they don't make millions off us the viewers watching their station? that They live in a house that cost less than 500k, they eat the same food we do? I am not asking you to reveal their financial position.

I don't get it, you are trying to make us feel bad for wanting more HD content. How dare us, the viewers, ask for more HD content? Because that would mean that the POOR family would need to invest in its business, god forbid if that happens.

Also, what is this comparisons with other stations, why should we care? I mean if you compare yourself to a TV station in Europe you guys are doing great as far as HD goes; and if you compare yourself to a TV station in Africa, MAN OH MAN, you guys are off the charts.
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post #648 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:39 AM
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I watch WUSA news specifically because they broadcast in HD. After 5.5 years of watching and recording HD I rarely watch SD now. 95% of what I watch is HD. That said, the reason Robert gave makes perfect sense and it is a business and the whole purpose is to make a profit. They are broadcasting Primetime in HD which is what I'm mainly concerned about. I don't watch WOF or Jeopardy but when it is finally broadcast here in HD I will start to watch it occasionally. I will look forward to next year or whenever WJLA starts broadcasting their news and other things in HD. I will definitely tune in.

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post #649 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:55 AM
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Hey Monkey! I realize that you are new around here, but we don't beat up on each other. So cut it out.

You don't have an entitlement to get the JLA folks to spend money on what you want. And even if they have deep pockets, that is no excuse to throw a fit. The smart money knows that the cost of HD is going down year by year. No need to rush in, especially when you are spending your own money.

Robert is a long time contributor and a welcomed friend here, your rants won't change our opinion of him, but it will establish an opinion of you.

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post #650 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 09:58 AM
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As another data point:

after watching WJLA news daily since I moved here in January of 1987, I started watching WUSA news the day they went HD and stopped watching WJLA news completely two weeks later. I miss "the family" but the "pretty picture" is what HD is all about ...
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post #651 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 10:06 AM
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As another data point:

after watching WJLA news daily since I moved here in January of 1987, I started watching WUSA news the day they went HD and stopped watching WJLA news completely two weeks later. I miss "the family" but the "pretty picture" is what HD is all about ...


It was pretty on day one...now it looks like its shot through pantyhose.

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post #652 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 10:19 AM
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Robert is a long time contributor and a welcomed friend here, your rants won't change our opinion of him, but it will establish an opinion of you.

Cyclone, if you thought I was trying to change your opinion about Robert through what I said, then you have yourself to blame, that was never my intent. I keep repeating it over and over again, I have nothing against Robert or any employee of WJLA. Robert on the other hand is the one that keeps defending WJLA and all I am doing is respond.

Robert, I apologize if you were offended by any of my comments but believe me when I say I got nothing against you.

I personally will drop the subject since I know none of the talks here will affect anything.
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post #653 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

[on WUSA] But it has NOT helped them the SLIGHEST bit over the past year the ONLY place where it counts...revenue and ratings. In the last ratings book, their news finished 4th and 5th in most time periods.

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I never used to watch WUSA news and ever since they switched to HD that's the only new station I watch. I know 4-5 friends who did the same thing. I don't know how they measured this but from my perspective WUSA's move to HD news had a significant increase in number of viewers.

The mass majority of TV viewers, and probably Nielson viewers, either a) don't have an HDTV, or b) don't care if the news isn't in HD. Over time, both situations will probably change, but for now, it is what it is. With that in mind, what's the point to having WJLA-HD news right now? I watched WJLA's news on occasion while the SD refeed was on 7-3, and it was very sharp for 480i.

Some people with HDTVs have switched to WUSA, as well as their friends, but they have HDTVs. Other people/groups of friends don't have HDTVs, and in their world, the quality of the journalism is what sets one station apart from another. WJLA has arguably the greatest pool of talent in the DC area, from Gordon Peterson, to Maureen Bunyan, to Doug Hill, to Allison Starling, and more. The only mediocre person at that station (that I can think of right now) is Leon Harris, and I seem to be one of about six people who believe that.
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- NETVX (with 2 HD cards and 1 SD card - wink wink) will allow us to better manage the whole 19mb more efficiantly, making really perty pictures during prime time.

Can two HD modules on the NetVX perform encoding for one HD channel? Can one SD module perform encoding for two SD channels? If two HD cards would be needed to make one HD channel look good, what are the chances of an SD channel looking good at under 2 mbps each on one SD card? Point is, you may need 2 HD + 2 SD cards if you're correct about the two HD cards for one HD channel issue.

Also, here's something else to think about: saving money. At least investigate the Harmonic system like you have the NetVX system, and check the prices between the two companies for an optimal setup, even if two HD encoders would be purchased on either end. (Hint: If you're going to buy two Harmonic HD encoders to encode one HD channel, buy two MV450s over two MV500s.) If the Harris system is cheaper, go with them. Is Harmonic is cheaper, and it can do a similar, if not a better job, than Harris, why not make your bosses at least a little happy by saving a little money on a new encoder system?
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Just curious, what is the thinking about moving to 1080I? How would that work with ABC's commitment to 720P?

NetVX can switch/handle both.

WJLA might as well broadcast news in 720p, as that will reduce, or even eliminate, the "need" for the pantyhose effect.
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post #654 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by robertforsyth View Post

Very true. We are a small, family-owned television group. We don't have the same demands and 'financial appearances' that a publically traded company has to project. If you compare Allbritton to other television groups our size, you'll find we lead the way from a technology point of view.

I don't mean to be combative, but what does that buy me, the consumer? I really don't care about your bottom line or financial viability. I don't care about your ratings or your revenue either.


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post #655 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TVJunkyMonkey View Post

Robert, I apologize if you were offended by any of my comments but believe me when I say I got nothing against you.

I personally will drop the subject since I know none of the talks here will affect anything.

No apology needed, I heard worse. As for dropping the conversation...I think the stations have listened to the boards somewhat ( I know I use it as a test bed), and we are constantly tweaking and adjusting DTV to make everyone happy.

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post #656 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 12:36 PM
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I, too, exclusively watch WUSA news because it is in HD.
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post #657 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 12:59 PM
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The Cavs-Heat game is in SD on WMAR, even though the previous game was HD. A rare mistake or technical problem. It's in HD on WJLA.

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post #658 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 01:04 PM
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Now in HD on WMAR. (Are they reading this thread right now?).

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post #659 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 02:49 PM
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WJLA needs to flip the switch again. SD for several minutes now. HD on WRIC in Richmond.
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post #660 of 13856 Old 02-25-2007, 02:53 PM
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I am sure I'm not the average Joe, but I've almost totally stopped watching the news on television and see very little journalistic differences between all of the choices in the market here. I prefer to read my news (especially local news) online in the Washington Post or Baltimore Sun. TV for me is for entertainment purposes mainly.

So, if the picture is HD and looks great, I'm more apt to watch. The content counts as well... but there are some shows, that I watch in HD that I wouldn't dream of wasting time on in SD. On a couple of occasions, there've been instance where I've DVR'd a show only to find that it was in SD instead of HD. When that happens, I usually just delete the show rather than waste the time watching it. There are some shows that because I like their content, I'll watch in SD. But the number of shows I'll watch in SD is shrinking by the week as my time becomes constrained.
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