TV Q&A: Jay Leno, 'The Doctors' and sports video quality on local newscasts

Friday, 31 January 2014 01:54 PM Written by 

Click here for a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Submit a question to TV Q&A by clicking here.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about Jay Leno, “The Doctors” and sports video on local newscastsAs always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Will there be a special night for the last show of Jay Leno? Will it be a surprise or maybe just a regular show? I do not want to miss the show.

Also, when is “20/20” going to show his interview?

- Sue, 70, Penn Hills

Rob: I’m not familiar with a “20/20” interview, but “60 Minutes” talked to Leno on Sunday and CNN airs a special tonight at 10.

We reported earlier this month that Leno’s last “Tonight Show” airs Thursday. His final guests will be Billy Crystal (his first guest on May 25, 1992) and Garth Brooks.


Q: Has “Longmire” been canceled and if not when does it start the 2014 season? Want to know so we can STOP watching anything on this channel!

- Nancy, Arkansas

Rob: “Longmire” was renewed for a third season but no air date has been announced. My guess is it will be in summer.

Q: I wondered what happened to Beau Brady on “Days of Our Lives.”

I’ll watch for your answer in theSundaypaper. I’m glad you got more space.

- Barb, 73, Roscoe

Rob: Actor Peter Reckell left “Days” in 2012 because he said his character no longer had much of a storyline.


Q: How come Dr. Lisa isn't on the TV show “The Doctors” anymore?

- Margaret, 62, Eagan, Minn.

Rob: According to the show’s publicist, “Dr. Lisa has appeared on ‘The Doctors’ this season, but she has left the show in order to focus on her thriving Southern California medical practice.”


Q: I have a question for you about the local news and their HD video quality. Can you tell me why or ask them why they "DUMMY DOWN" their video quality when showing sports video highlights and other news segments? 

When they show all the local sport teams the HD quality is

near-perfect but when they show highlights of other teams across the country they show it like you’re looking through a frosted window and it’s horrible. KDKA does this a lot and it’s very annoying! Like they’re cheap! I can see the same highlight on another city's local channels and they are in perfect HD. WPVI in Philly is probably the best I've seen! I'm pretty sure they get the true HD quality clips but refuse to broadcast it that way. I'm mean, come on it’s 2014 for god’s sake! WTAE has gotten better and WPXI is just horrible! They are truly a second-rate station when it comes to video quality and pretty much everything. Oh well, hopefully you can get an answer for me on this subject. I have asked myself but never gotten a reply.

-CJ, 44, Aliquippa

Rob: I think I know what CJ is referring to and my guess is sometimes the video stations get from the feed is not in as good condition. But I put the question to the news directors of all three local TV news outlets.

“We always try to maximize the quality of the video we run in every newscast,” said WPXI news director Mike Oliveira. “When it comes to sports, rights holders and delivery come into play. If a game is only available in 4x3 in Pittsburgh, that’s what we get and what we show. If a network only allows still photos or limits the video we can show, we have to work with that. When we get the chance to go full HD on our shows, we jump on it. “The Jerome Bettis Show” and “The Hines Ward Show” are HD. In the next few weeks, we’ll be producing an Olympics special, ‘Going for Gold,’ and a daily Olympics show, ‘The Ozone,’ which will both be HD.”

Justin Antoniotti, news director at WTAE, said the station has made improvements to its local equipment in recent months.

“Last Fall WTAE Channel 4 Action News switched our photojournalists’ cameras to shooting news and sports video in HD,” he said. “We also upgraded our editing and playback to HD. Previous to this switch all sports highlights, even those recorded in HD, had to be converted to SD in the editing process. Today we are shooting, editing and airing video all in HD. I am glad the viewer that asked the question has noticed the improvement on our air. The only time when we are airing sports video that is less than HD quality is when the video was recorded prior to the switchover or we are using a national feed of video that wasn’t shot in high-definition.”

Anne Linaberger from KDKA-TV did not respond.


Q: With your new format, where is the "Movie Highlights"? "Paint Your Wagon" starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg from 1969 hasn't been aired for a while.  Where can I submit a request to TCM, etc?

- Robert, 63, Franklin Park
You can always contact TCM directly. The address and phone number are carried in TV Week on Sunday and online.

As for changes to TV Week, those are out of my control. Here’s what Virginia Linn, Post-Gazette assistant managing editor/enterprise and features, explained: “As part of a down-sizing, the Post-Gazette has reduced TV Week by four pages. Because of the proliferation of channels over the last several years, the two pages of movie highlights included descriptions of only a small portion of the actual movies presented each week. We felt it was most important to preserve the 13 pages of TV channel listings so those have not been trimmed. We post TV listings online at that include descriptions of all movies shown each week.”


Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.