Friday, March 18, 2011

When more means less

With much fanfare KSBW TV in Salinas is rolling out its newest product line. In addition to their regular NBC programming on channel 8 (Comcast cable channel 6) they will soon be adding ABC programming on digital channel 8.2 beginning April 18th. Channel 8.2, which KSBW used until recently to provide round-the-clock weather reports, will move from cable channel 186 to channel 7.

Until now ABC programming has come to the Monterey Peninsula on cable channel 7 from KGO TV channel 7 in San Francisco. In addition to the ABC programs, we have been able to enjoy excellent San Francisco Bay Area news reporting and original content like 7 Live in the afternoons, things that KSBW is not equipped to provide. 

KSBW has been spinning this change as a great opportunity for Monterey County. For the first time since San Jose lost its ABC affiliate, ABC programs will now be available over the air locally. That's great for the relatively few people who still use rabbit ears. For most of us who use cable or satellite, it is a clear loss.

KSBW has nothing to compare with KGO's excellent bay area and state capitol news reporting, 7 On Your Side consumer advocacy, or the aforementioned 7 Live, which covers everything from the tech industry to entertainment to consumer news in a friendly afternoon talk-show format.

In place of 7 Live we get a game show. In place of KGO News we'll simply get a duplication of Dan and Erin on two channels instead of one. There's nothing wrong, mind you, with Dan and Erin. They're part of the best news team in Monterey County. But we don't need them cloned.

In an e-mail to me today, KSBW President and General Manager Joseph Heston spun my concerns thusly: "In each TV market, there's one network affilate for each network (LA, NYC, SF, Chicago, etc).  The local affiliate for ABC here will now be Central Coast ABC on channel 8.2 (channel 7 on Comcast and satellite).  The "plus" is that if you were watching Dancing with the Stars on KGO and a local fire, tsunami, or tornedo [sic](like today) happened down here, you'd never know; now you will, since KSBW Action News 8 will provide news for the new station.  Best regards and thanks for writing. Joe Heston, President."

Such spin may sound good to Joe, but his obvious lack of consideration for my point of view is disappointing to say the least. So in these next few weeks whenever you hear KSBW boasting that we're getting more, remember that by taking away a bay area news source they're really giving us less.

1 comment:

realitybytes said...

I have never liked that Joe Heston guy. His editorials are so sanctimonious they make me want to vomit.

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