Tag Archives: WJET

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.

The Times-News is all a-Twitter

In a simpler time, a reporter used his God-given inquiry skills, patience and shoe leather, to get the story and get it written and published. On a breaking story, they might call the bulletin into the copy desk, like Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night” and scores of other newspaper movies.

Fast forward to the early 21st century, and waiting to get the story up on the paper’s website is now not soon enough. We can get the gist of the reporter’s beat in 140 characters through Twitter.

Recently, the Erie Times-News encouraged it’s rank and file reporters to begin using Twitter to build another connection to readers and get the story out faster. On Sunday, Managing Editor Pat Howard pointed out how Twitter was changing the routine for the paper’s news hounds:

It’s hard to grasp how Twitter flows until you’ve immersed yourself in it, but under the right circumstances words and images can spread far and fast. Erie Times-News reporter Erica Erwin and photographer Greg Wohlford got a taste of that at the end of the week when Erwin linked to their story about Samantha, the aged, lonely gorilla at the Erie Zoo whose new buddy is a bunny rabbit.

Last I heard (from Erwin on Twitter), it had reached an audience in at least 10 countries as people amused or touched by it passed it along. Last I saw the story, it came back to me on Twitter from Slate Magazine, which passed along a Washington Post item that carried an Associated Press version that cited and included a link to the original Erie Times-News/GoErie.com report.

Got it? That gorilla gets around.

Fall ARB: Erie radio market tightens


WJET-AM up in the Fall 2011 ratings

Fall 2011 radio ratings released Tuesday show a diversification of listeners among Erie stations, with all but one of the subscribing Connoisseur Media stations losing shares.

Arbitron, the media measurement company, made only Connoisseur’s 12+ shares public today, as the other local stations do not subscribe to the service.

What we do know is that FM standard bearers WRTS (Star 104), WXBB (Bob FM), and WRKT (Rocket 101) all experienced their lowest shares in four books, with only WJET-AM recovering from a spring ratings dip. The final station in the cluster WFNN did not show once again.

Although it’s difficult to analyze trends when you are looking at less than half of the listening, it is easy to gather that beyond the trend to listen to sources off the dial, there are now more choices on the dial that are competing for time spent listening. Add to it the nearly non-existent promotional and advertising budgets, and your product will lose market share.

As we get more information on the lay of the land in radio, we will share in an appropriate manner.

You can see the rankers at AllAccess.com (registration required).