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Dec 30, 2002  •  Post A Comment

When Belo-owned WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C.’s NBC affiliate, lost both its regular and backup power during an ice storm that left 1 million homes in the state dark in early December, the station devised an innovative solution to get back on the air. One of the station’s engineers suggested powering the newscast from the satellite truck with cables running from the truck into the building, said Keith Connors, executive news director for the station. “We pulled up to the side of the building and were able to get enough power to run master control, some lights in the newsroom, cameras and the production switchers,” he said. This jerry-rigged solution enabled the station to get on the air with its morning newscast just a few minutes late-shortly after 5 a.m. The station offered 14 hours of live coverage and switched back to its generator backup in the mid-morning.
WKJG: furnished by eBay
The second-largest market in Indiana will soon have a set from the second-largest market in the country. “How cool is that?” said John Dawson, general manager of NBC affiliate WKJG-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the winning bidder in the eBay auction of the Viacom-owned KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV news sets. He offered the winning bid of $26,500 at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning Dec. 14. New WKJG owner New Vision Group takes over the station on Jan. 10 from the Corporation for General Trade. New Vision Group is making investments in the station, including a new analog antenna, a digital TV signal and the new sets, Mr. Dawson said. He estimates the three sets are worth anywhere from $500,000 to $750,000. WKJG will use one of the three sets starting in the first quarter of 2003 and will likely find buyers for the other two. Money raised from the eBay auction will be donated to the scholarship fund for the children of Larry Greene, the KCBS photographer who was killed in a helicopter crash in the Persian Gulf in September.
Perfect storm for KTVU
The Bay area’s mid-December storms produced torrential ratings for Fox’s KTVU-TV, owned by Cox Broadcasting, when heavy rain, winds, power outages and flooded roads plagued the area. The station’s 10 p.m. news Dec. 15 rose 97 percent above its recent November sweeps average with a 13.2 rating/23 share. Chief meteorologist Bill Martin prepped the staff with bulletins in the days leading up to the storms. On Dec. 15, the weather team worked with the assignment desk to use all the live coverage teams and provided updates throughout the day.
Grover leaving KCBS
KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, “Special Assignment” unit reporter Joel Grover will be leaving the CBS O&O at the end of the month to “pursue other opportunities,” which include taking time off and traveling abroad. He spent six years with KCBS.