Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WPMT (Fox 43) has technical blunder

It was time today (Tues., Nov. 25) for the 4 p.m. newscast ... a station proud of getting the news to you an hour ahead of the other guys.  

Unfortunately, they couldn't do it. Instead, people trying to get the news got a bunch of "The Simpsons."  With a crawler at the bottom of the screen apologizing that technical difficulties interrupted the audio from their news studio.


ANY broadcast engineering staff worth its salt has patch panels set up so at any moment they can use patch cords and bypass and/or reroute their audio and video to eliminate any failure, simply by patching in to equipment that is working.  

The keyword here though is "redundancy." A broadcast station, whether radio or TV, has an obligation to serve its public and be prepared to handling equipment malfunctions and outright failures.  That means backup sound boards, video switchers, synch equipment and the like.

In one quick snafu, the station takes its reputation back to the days when it was considered an amateurish wannabe, a UHF vs. VHF giant.

I must admit, the Fox 43 news staff has been doing a good job of presenting more aggressive and visually exciting presentations of local news events than its Lancaster-based VHF giant competitor.

C'mon guys, quit blowing it.