Tag Archives: WFXP

FCC sets incentives for Erie TV spectrum

According to Broadcasting & Cable, the Federal Communications Commission Friday released the opening bid prices for the March 2016 auction that local Erie TV stations could choose to participate in and receive tens of millions of dollars in compensation for relinquishing or downgrading their broadcast spectrum.

On a pure spectrum basis, the FCC deems WJET-TV the most valuable station in the Erie DMA (#150), with a possible opening bid of $155,740,500 to push it off the air, or as low as $62,296,200 to move to a high VHF channel. The next highest spectrum opening bid is for WFXP, with $130,693,500 potentially being offered for a move off the air, with WSEE-TV and WQLN close behind. WICU-TV‘s current placement on a high VHF makes it the least desirable station in the market spectrum-wise, however its channel still worth $60,002,100 if it chose to leave the business.

Along with the opening bid information, the Commission issued detailed application procedures and data for each TV station owner to consider if they wish to participate in the incentive reverse auction, with a deadline to apply in mid-December. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced, “Stations that miss the December 18th deadline will not be able to participate in this historic auction. Commission staff stand ready to educate and assist applicants as they prepare.”

B&C has the nationwide complete list of opening bids on their website; Erie DMA information can be found on page 41.

Signing off

The Byrds through songwriter Pete Seeger quoted the ancient writings of King Solomon when they sang in 1965, “To every thing there is a season.”

The season for Press and Tower is changing.

Although there is plenty of local media news out there, I just don’t have the capacity to cover it. My work load has increased by about one-third in the past six months sapping my energy for extra stuff. Add it some projects that are coming up that could put me in an bit of a weird place and I think it’s time to reconfigure this project.

Thomas to leave Nexstar

Kim Thomas

Kim Thomas

WJET/WFXP News Director Lou Baxter tells P&T that he’s on the lookout for a new primary anchor to partner with Sean Lafferty. Kim Thomas will leave at the end of the month to join the office of State Senator-elect Sean Wiley.

Lou continues:

Kim has done a great job for us the past 6 years ago, having spent the last two of them on the anchor desk with Sean Lafferty. We wish her the best of luck. We have launched a nationwide search for her replacement. In the interim, Sean will solo.

Tapes and resumes to lbaxter@wjettv.com.

Erie news goes HD

Lilly Broadcasting has broken the High Definition barrier for daily local news in Erie.

WICU 12News Open Graphic

WICU and WSEE are producing and broadcasting their news products in HD. In addition, on Monday WICU debuted their new 16:9 aspect ratio designed news set, complete with both a news desk and interview station. A brand new HD graphics package accompanied the transition, which looks big market.

Watching over a couple days you can really get the sense of what a huge undertaking this is. A month ago we began to see the beginnings of local HD origination with some syndicated programming broadcast in HD. All of the field cameras and editing equipment, studio cameras, new switchers, production suite, weather computers, and all the minutia has now been converted to the new system.

West Coast pipeline continues for JET/FOX with addition of Truong

The TV business casts a wide net, and in the past several years Erie’s TV newsrooms have been inhabited by journalists and meteorologists from across the country. It’s not a universal trend, since there are many Erie and western PA natives on-the-air. But WJET/WFXP has a new addition to their weather team, and she booked some major air miles to get here. News Director Lou Baxter explains in an e-mail to P&T:

Linh Truong

Meteorologist Jason Berry left us last month, and is now working for Weather Central, our weather graphics provider, in Madison, WI.   He is training TV station meteorologists around the country in the use of their weather graphic systems. His replacement will be Meteorologist Linh Truong.  She joins us off the air this week, and will likely make her debut on the air in a few weeks.

Linh is originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but is coming to us from Sacramento, California.  She has two degrees from San Francisco State University; BA in Radio & TV, and a BS degree in Meteorology.  She has also completed all of the work necessary for her CBM designation. Linh previously worked as a meteorologist at a TV station in Redding, CA (KRCR~Ed.). She is a member of the AMS and the Asian American Journalists Association. We are excited to have her join our team. And we knew she’d be a great fit for Erie when she told us her favorite thing to do when not working….bowling!

Meanwhile, meteorologist Tom Atkins is currently away on company business, so meteorologist Amanda Gabeler is filling in for us. Amanda is from Rochester, NY and was formerly chief meteorologist at a station in Utica, NY. She will be with us until Tom returns.

Thanks to Lou for clearing up some of the confusion about the personnel changes on upper Peach.

9/11: media remembrances moving

All this week, media channels in Erie and around the globe have been filled with stories and special programming marking the 10 years since the devastating events of September 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington, DC and Shanksville, PA.

MSNBC: Men secure a flag over a World Trade Center beam prior to transportation to Erie, Pa., for construction of a memorial to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

For me it is very easy to jump back a decade to that profound sense of horror, pain, and loss; not only in the immediate wake of the attack, but of the accumulated loss over ten years of wars, decimated economy, and internal national strife.

Those of us who were media producers on 9/11/01 instantly recall our efforts of getting the news out to the community, the hours on end radio and television news broadcasts, the extra edition of the Times-News, back-office staff filling roles where needed so that the organizations would meet the challenges of that horrible day.

Perhaps the most rewarding culmination of those extra efforts was United We Stand, the historical combined remote of all the Erie radio and television stations, well covered by the newspaper to raise funds for the American Red Cross and the victims of the attacks on September 20, 2001 at the Millcreek Mall. That sense of unity of purpose was unfortunately soon lost, and so our sense of loss in remembering is multiplied.

There has been some excellent reporting this week, with specials still planned on Sunday. Don’t miss this local content:

Poll: your online news video usage

In our poll last week about the media navel-gazing over their Hurricane Irene coverage, the majority of readers of P&T participating in our poll thought that the level of coverage was appropriate. Of course, that whole conversation died down when people saw the video of the real inland flooding damage in places like Middlebury, VT and Patterson, NJ.

Here’s a quote I recently read on my Facebook news feed:

I can’t believe that in the 21st Century I can’t watch the news (I) choose.

Well, actually, you can; kinda. Both WJET/WFXP and WICU/WSEE offer online video versions of certain stories. WICU/WSEE will also produce an online news headlines cast a couple times a day. GoErie will offer Web Extra video packages with big newspaper stories. Right now, no one locally is live streaming their news casts, nor offers an online archive of their casts.

How do you use local news video online (you can choose up to three answers)?

What is your online news video usage?

View Results

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