Tuesday, September 1, 2020

News8 seeking to destroy its audience share?

 Well, well well. Here we go again.

    WGAL-TV, which likes to advertise itself as News8, has broken in again with a Pa. Health Dept. update news conference, knocking out its regularly scheduled broadcast of "Days of Our Lives."

    Before breaking in to the soap opera, one should ask "is the news conference presenting anything that will immediately affect our quality of life...such as a tornado or impending attack?" Obviously the answer is "no." 

    Does it really qualify to break out over a program that has an ongoing storyline and isn't repeated? The answer is "no."

    To rub salt into the viewer's wounds, the feed being broadcast by WGAL-TV had its audio and video out of sync ... so much so it was downright annoying.

    WGAL-TV officers do make some decisions on new conferences ... at times. It has on several occasions cut off news conferences being held by President Donald J. Trump, and moving it to its side channel 8.2.

    Obviously, News8 personnel feel Pa. health department officials are much more important than President Trump.

    This news conference contained nothing other than some good sound clips to include in its regular news programs, where stories are repeated at least four times throughout a 24-hour period.

    We could get the information that Pa. Dept of Health feels is so important through the repeated clips on the news programs, which News8 will do even though they carried this trivial news conference.

    It is obvious News8 is trying to play on the fears of coronavirus among the population ... maybe trying to promote the fears.

    Let me note that no other local television broadcast station carried the news conference as an immediate breaking news event, which I feel was the right decision.

    It sure doesn't know how to weigh the importance of stories and events properly to present news as news and breaking news as immediate life-threatening events.

    They should do the right thing. If they feel that this event needed immediate airing, put it on the side channel like they do some other news events and run a crawler message on the main channel. They should quit trying to destroy their audience share for ongoing programming to their sponsors' dismay.

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