Friday, November 02, 2007

A Change That Is Not So Truly Pronounced

Back in July of this year I wrote about the visit of the dreaded “talent coaches” to our local ABC-TV affiliate, KEYT channel 3. The talent coaches are consultants who advise station management as to ways they might pump up the ratings of their local newscasts.

Perhaps we are seeing the results of the consultants’ work with the musical chairs that started this week with KEYT’s on-air talent.

Gone from anchoring the station’s weekend newscasts is Tracy Lehr who had been a fixture in that position for a number of years. Tracy is still with the station but is now working a strict Monday through Friday schedule as the Ventura County based field reporter. The reason stated is to give the station more of a presence in Ventura.

Taking Lehr’s place as the weekend anchor is Rosemary Orozco who formerly co-anchored the early morning news with Beth Farnsworth and did the weather on that broadcast as well.

I’ve finally figured out what the dispute was all about that kept KEYT’s high definition TV signal off of the Cox Cable system from late April to early September.

You might recall that owners of high-end flat screen TV’s in Santa Barbara were out of luck when it came to viewing ABC’s programming in high def because KEYT refused to let Cox carry its digital signal.

KEYT was claiming that it only wanted to be treated the same with regard to its digital signal as the other local network affiliates were being treated. Cox responded that if that’s all KEYT was asking for there would have been no problem giving KEYT what it wanted.

It turns out that what KEYT was seeking, and ultimately got, in exchange for the right to carry its digital signal was more real estate on the Cox Cable system.

Since last Monday KEYT has been simulcasting some of its news programs on Channel 13. That’s right, you can now watch KEYT's newscasts on either Channel 3 or Channel 13 which means twice as many opportunities to catch Kulevich mangling our local place names.

Cox Cable Channel 13 had previously carried the programming of KCOP out of Los Angeles. KCOP is an affiliate of “MyNetwork TV.”

KEYT has used some of its digital bandwidth to become the “MyNetwork” TV affiliate for this area.

And yes, that is similar to the treatment that KSBY 6 (NBC) and KCOY 12 (CBS) have been getting from Cox. Both of those stations have other channels on the Cox system where they carry the programming of other networks.

KCOY has an interest in KKFX, which carries FOX programming on channel 11, and KSBY is using part of its digital bandwidth to carry programming from The CW network on channel 5.

* * *

As I reported yesterday, Joe Howell's profile as a News-Press Lifetime Achivement award honoree was mysteriously taken down from the News-Press' website the same day it was posted. As of 11:30 pm Thursday, it was still missing. What happened to it?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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