July 26, 2005

Morning Teevee

::sigh:: More than a week now without Wendy.

One of our regular visitors around here, Lauren R., aka Kenny Smith's Lady FriendTM, wrote in last week to see how I was doing, and if my withdrawal symptoms were manageable.

Well, I guess they are, but it's a pain trying to find something else to watch in the mornings. I did decide I would watch the new, revamped anchor team just to say I wasn't being overly prejudiced, and I have to say the show is...well, pretty much the same, except with different people. Which makes the decision to make the changeover that much more inscrutable from a viewer's perspective. I mean, if you're trying to draw folks away from the competition over at the FOX station (where Lauren, aka KS'sLF, works), it seems odd to think that a huge number of people had been just itching to switch away to NBC, except for those two awful former anchors they had.

As I told Lauren, it seems no one at the NBC station has recognized that one of the reasons the morning show on Channel 6 might be doing better is the fact that the station's audio signal can be heard on the FM dial--87.7--way down on the extreme left end. It's mono, and sometimes weak, and some cars' radios only go down to 87.9, but in the end, it's basically a free way to get people to tune into the television. If you can hear it, you might just leave it there so you can listen to the news on the way to or from work in the car, then be able to pick right up on it when you come in the house. I know I do that a lot in the evenings.

Anyway, that one little extra bit of viewership, and that one little extra way to make the decision to watch one station over another, and the way in which people begin to make convenience something of a rote experience, might be the thing that keeps Channel 13 running behind their morning competition. Obviously, the bosses have to show some effort to make it look like they're doing all they can to boost the ratings--especially when the parent company keeps touting the Today show as having been #1 for 500 weeks in a row. But it seems like it might be better to put a bit more thought into it and the reasons why the competition keeps winning.

ANYWAY, since I no longer have any personal reason to keep watching the show, I figured I might branch out and see what else is on the airwaves in the morning.

This whole task would be much simpler if I had cable--we'd pretty much stay on the History Channel or AMC all the time. But, being that I--Ned Ludd's Favorite Son--make due with signals pulled from the ether down through a set of rabbit ears, I am forced to make do with the local broadcast stations.

Channel 6, the FOX affiliate--as I've mentioned ad infinitum, their morning show has the pacing of frozen molasses. I like Janice Rogers and Rick Journey a whole bunch--they're good kids--but it's also necessary to put up with Bill Bolen and Sarah Verser. Also two very nice people, but who seem to have no small difficulty with English.

Channel 10, the PBS station--in the wee earlies, all they have on are those shows that come on for adult education classes. "Today, we're going to show you how to respond to situations in the workplace that might require you to read..." No news, and no hot babes.

Channel 13, NBC--well, I USED to watch the morning newser, but now there's no reason.

Channel 21, WB. I have never checked on the Dubba-Dubba station in the mornings (since I didn't have a reason), and now I know I'll NEVER be back. The very early shows are the paid promos for worthless junk, then at 6:00 is when the Viewpoint show with Dick and Les Scrushy comes on, a paid promo for Dick and Les Scrushy. This morning I flipped by and Tricky Dick was slathering great and unctuous praise upon that incredible man of "God," Benny Hinn. Well, two peas in a pod, I suppose. Not going to watch that, even for the high entertainment value.

Channel 33/40, the ABC affiliate, has it's own little brother knock-off to its network's perennial ratings loser Good Morning, America, with the local version (called, oddly enough, Good Morning, Alabama) hosted by former Channel 13 anchor Pam Huff, and the really cute Maggie Poteau. Well, I suppose there IS an alternative to Channel 6 and 13, but I have to say the whole thing looks more or less like something done in a college television studio. Huff has a lot of experience in this market (the uproar when she left NBC 13 was tremendous), but the program needs some work to look like a credible effort. And, as I mentioned, Maggie's cute. Oh, and it has some Doppler-besotted weather guy, too. Best of all, I was able to get the antennas in the EXACT right position to see the screen--this is a big problem with any of the UHF stations--none of them come in worth a hoot.

NEXT in the Great UHF Cavalcade of Faded Craptacularity, Channel 42, the CBS affiliate in town. A station with a long, tattered history. Morning programs consist of marvelous paid promos for worthless junk.

Finally, there's WABM68, the UPN affiliate. Weak signal, which is fine if you want to see what a television show would look like if filmed in a blizzard. Early morning shows include a fine variety of paid promos for worthless junk.

Not much in the way of choices, is there? I think it's time to dust off my idea for PossumblogTV, and get a station worth watching in town.

Oh, by the way, Ms. Garner says she's doing fine, and is enjoying not having to get up at 3:00 a.m.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 26, 2005 09:30 AM

No cable? Good grief. I've been switching between the Commie News Network and ESPN in the mornings. You tried to be nice, but basically NBC-13 messed up big time. They gave the viewers that they had a reason to look into switching, without giving anyone else a reason to switch to them. BRRRRRIILLIANT! (I said that in my John Lovitz "ACTING!" voice - how'd I do?)

Posted by: skillzy at July 26, 2005 10:14 AM

Is CountryBoy Eddie still alive? If so does he want to be part of the great morning adventure?

Posted by: jim at July 26, 2005 10:19 AM


Jim, yes, Country Boy Eddie IS still alive, but I figured I would get Larry Anderson so he could practice his guitar some more.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 26, 2005 10:39 AM

Country Boy Larry? It would take some getting used to.

Posted by: jim at July 26, 2005 10:51 AM

Then again, so would PossumblogTV. That should be our station's tagline--"Takes some getting used to!"

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 26, 2005 11:01 AM