Letters to the Editor: March 2003 Issue

A Crisis Of Opinion

"Editorial Chops,"
February 2003, page 6
I just finished reading your column in the latest issue of DigitalTV-Television Broadcast.
I, too, remember the commentaries on TV from my childhood and teen years. In the years that followed, when I was a broadcast engineer at WLS, in Chicago, I watched the editorials became more anodyne and then finally disappear. I suppose even the ego appeal of being in front of the camera faded for the GM. The most popular anchor did commentaries for a while but they were so syrupy that it was a chore to listen.

Now I work for Northwestern University. A couple of years ago I volunteered to do a weekly column in the student newspaper. I wrote up a storm and raised what I thought were some controversial issues, yet in the ten weeks or so that I did the column I received maybe five responses from readers. Interestingly, the student editor wanted me back because he said I was saying things "that students ought to hear."

I’ve decided when things are relatively comfy, as they are in this country, people consider thinking about issues unnecessary work. Why bother? In the case of GMs, why risk offending a viewer when there is nothing to gain? Also, I think people associate controversy with the kind of bottom-of-the-barrel acrimony that goes on in talk radio and don’t want to be part of it. Last but not least, the art of persuasive writing and public speaking is almost dead. People stood and listened to Lincoln and Douglas for hours. I had trouble as a kid listening to TV commentators for five minutes, and that was 40 years ago.

Clif Brown
School of Communication
Northwestern University

Adelphia Hell

"Get That Man An Antenna!,"
February 2003, page 14
Being an ex-Adelphia customer and since going OTA-only last year, I enjoyed the article very much. I don’t miss Adelphia’s incompetence one bit and I love the many free hours of digital and HDTV offered by broadcasters in our Washington, DC market. Adelphia’s HD-phobic issues and game playing have been going on for a while.

I would also tell Bill Johnson not to rule out using an OTA antenna. With the right design, he may find himself well within the broadcast contour.

It seems to me that Bill’s first order of business is to determine if OTA works at his location. I’d recommend setting up an appointment with a reputable antenna installer to do a site survey with a spectrum analyzer.

This website shows what can be accomplished by the truly determined. Antenna height and dual stacking were the keys to success in this instance: www.coyotecreek ranch.com/DTV/.

Sasha Jevtich
CTS, Senior Systems Designer
AVWashington, Sterling, VA

Geographically Challenged

"News You Can Lose: Why Great Newscasts Fail,"
January 2003, page 14
Regarding your article, "News You Can Lose": When did Denver move? By your graphic, KMGH is in Iowa or the Dakotas.

They didn’t even send a change of address!

Bob Conover
General Manager
Conover Production Services
Milford, CT (Hint: It’s northeast of New York City)

Yes, we know. It was an art department error. What’s worse is that only three people wrote us about this mistake. —Michael

Final Thought

"Death To The Calendar,"
January 2003, page 34
Regarding Mark Schubin’s "Death To The Calendar," I thought that he presented a very well-researched parallel. An important message that was most certainly made clear is that anyone who purports to set timetables for future events would do well to be very aware of what the timetables have been for similar events in the past.

John A. Rupkalvis
Stereoscopic Imaging Consultant
StereoScope International

b>Good Work

"2003 Economic Forecast: It Could Be Worse...,"
December 2002, page 18
What a great article. I thoroughly enjoyed it and want to say thanks for bringing reality back into focus. Keep up the great work.

Dawn Danaher
President and Senior Marketing Consultant, Aries MarketMasters
Fountain Valley, CA

"Live From Lincoln Center,"
December 2002, page 58
As a producer of large live television programs, I truly enjoyed your piece on John Goberman.

Phil Olsman
Executive Producer
Los Angeles Marathon, NBC4
Burbank, CA

From The Web

"HD And The Heartland" and "Oklahoma Not (HD) OK,"
November 2002, pages 8 and 49, respectively
I just read the stories about Oklahoma; it’s worse in Idaho, where I live. It’s a digital wasteland. We have one channel in Idaho Falls that’s broadcasting a digital signal and with no HD! So what’s the deal? I spent a lot of money on my equipment and cannot use it. Is there anything that a consumer can do to speed up this process?

Randy Kay
Idaho Falls, ID

A large number of consumers are drawn to our website—www.televisionbroadcast.com/oldcontentimages/digitaltelevision—because of the name and the number one placement in a variety of search engines when looking for digital television information. The best thing you can do is call the stations and tell them how you feel. —Michael

The Right Stuff

Hats off to you and your staff—I think the magazine is really interesting, timely, and well put together!

Sally Lewis
President, Sally Lewis Media Inc.
Boca Raton, FL