Media Notes: Digital TV Is (Not Quite) Here!

I Want My TV: 25 percent of old dusty analog signals went dark last night. And many people are confused! In Arkansas, KARK, KASN, KTEJ went digital-only, with KTHV and KATV running both signals until the new analog cutoff deadline (for reals!) on June 12.

Who Owns Your Snowball Fights? Facebook changes its TOS, says it can do anything it wants with your content, which it owns forever and ever. Yep, your privacy is an illusion.

Cooling Off: Local Web advertising — some of the fastest growth in Internet advertising in recent years — is expected to slow in 2009 as local business trim spending during tough times.

Tumblr Muzzlr: Julia Allison haters get booted from Tumblr, the hipster blogging platform. Some cry foul.

End of Days? A.H. Belo says no. The Dallas Morning News publisher might be laying off 500 people, but it’s certainly not considering stopping publishing or home delivery on certain days.

Niche Publishing: Newsweek is relaunching, aiming for a smaller audience, and some staffers ain’t happy. But at least they have jobs!

New Kid on the Block: Politico makes waves, headlines, muscling up to the front of the pack in this new world of post-print journalism.

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3 Responses

  1. RE: DTV Switchover

    One story, that has been completely overlooked in the DTV switch is the status of PBS in central Arkansas for over the air only viewers.

    Many people in this bad economy, (myself included) cannot afford satellite or cable tv, and rely upon over the air transmissions for news, information and entertainment.

    KATV Channel 7’s decision to continue broadcasting their analog frequency until June means that PBS, (PUBLIC Broadcasting System) is effectively being blocked in central Arkansas due to the fact that KETS is patiently waiting for permission to broadcast on the old Channel 7 frequency.

    I’m certain that if a poll were taken it would show that the vast majority of Arkansans couldn’t care less about this issue. But for lower income viewers, this is a very big deal.

    I know you don’t control what is reported on the news, but folks such as myself and many others I know would appreciate it very, very much if you could see what could be done to make the public aware of this issue.

    It just doesn’t seem right that a corporate entity can block public broadcasting. I’ve tried to contact the GM of KATV to no avail. Calling 7 on Your Side would be a moot, (though ironically funny) point as well.
    I appreciate the work you do, keep up the good work!

    • I’ve asked Arkansas Business’ media writer, Mark Hengel, about that situation. Maybe he can do some checking.

      I know that my parents, who live in central Arkansas and use DirecTV, can’t access the local AETN affiliate right now, either. And they subscribe to all local TV affiliates via DirecTV.

      But I haven’t heard the part of about KETS planning to broadcast from the old KATV analog signal. My understanding is that everyone — even public broadcasting — will be broadcasting on digital signals at some point soon. But maybe I missed something.

  2. Thanks for looking into it, I appreciate your effort.

    I can tell you that I’ve spoken with people at AETN about the situation this very week. While they cannot ‘ask for help’ per se, they did confirm that the reason KETS isn’t broadcasting an over the air digital signal is due to waiting on KATV to vacate the frequency that is currently being used to broadcast an analog signal.

    Initially, KETS was broadcasting their over the air digital signal on the channel 5 frequency. Since this is a low frequency it became apparent soon that there would be a lot of interference. Somehow, (the details are unknown to me) they made arrangements with KATV to use the channel 7 frequency at the switchover. KATV is currently broadcasting their digital signal on channel 22.

    From what I understand after looking into it a bit, any of the frequencies may be used for either analog or digital transmissions – but not simultaneously.

    This brings us to today, and the current scenario.

    Thanks again for looking into it!

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