Tag Archives: YourErie.com

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.

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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The new JET 24 Action News

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After furious months of design, demolition, construction which included weeks of producing hours of news products literally out of a hallway, the new set and graphics for WJET/WFXP debuted on Thursday.

This is not just a tweak, but a complete overhaul of the multiple newscasts morning, noon and night at the Erie ABC and FOX affiliates. The new music package that accompanies this change is only the second time the music has changed since the launch of Action News over thirty years ago. The graphics for both news and weather are instantly noticeable and a huge improvement for the market. And with the help of a lighting designer that has worked at the network level, the set and its inhabitants are extremely well lit with new Brightline fixtures.

Action News 24 begins rollout of new look today

For the past month, the news products from WJET/WFXP have been produced from temporary studios as the main news set received a total reconstruction.

However the renovations are not limited to physical props. The station logos and graphics for news and weather are also changing for this second decade of the 21st century. Station management said that the new logos and weather graphics will rollout today, with the set and news package coming sometime next week.

We plan to give you a behind the scenes look at the new digs when they are ready.

New WICU/WSEE website huge improvement


Screen grab of erietvnews.com - June 15, 2011

The new website for Lilly’s Broadcasting’s news products at WICU and WSEE is a huge improvement over what they had to date.

The design is clean, media-rich, and should be profitable. What’s interesting is that the on-air promos continue to push the individual domains for the TV stations, wsee.tv and wicu12.com, which then forward to erietvnews.com. I think that’s a good idea, since they have over a decade and a half of branding invested in those domains and rolling out a whole new brand is unnecessary and expensive. And it shows that in spite of much discussion in these parts, Lilly-Erie seems to be committed to keeping the individual news brands separate.

Features of the site are headlines up front, news articles with full-size video complete with ability to link and even embed video onto your own site, as well as share on Facebook or Twitter. There’s also satellite weather and only one ad “above the fold” so that your not wading through so many pop-ups to get to the top news. I like the bio page, with nice new pictures of the news staff and some witty personal stories, as well as the comprehensive directory of the entire company, complete with phone extensions and email links…I appreciate the willingness to be available to the viewers.

They’ve also included a mobile version of the site, which now joins YourErie.com in having separate mobile strategy for a mainstream Erie news outlet. We’ve yet to see any kind of mobile app to come out of GoErie.com/Erie Times-News.

There is still some cleanup to do at erietvnews.com, some design issues including random white space and lines that fall off, along with broken links. However, we are grateful for the investment made in this technology that really enhances viewer’s lives.