TV Q&A: 'Unforgettable,' on-air corrections in TV news and black bars when watching WPXI

Friday, 15 August 2014 09:09 AM Written by 


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This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Unforgettable,” on-air corrections in TV news and black bars when watching WPXI. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Did CBS not run “Unforgettable” at all Sundaynight? I know the golf tournament ran two hours late, but the news ran at the usual time,11 p.m.I just figured that the episode was held one week.

- Dale, 55, Conway, Beaver County

Rob: Correct, the episodes of “Unforgettable” and “Reckless” that did not air this past Sunday will now air this coming Sunday.


Q: This question may be out of the ordinary but I would like to know the reasoning some networks and TV stations, WPXI being the latest, have to alter the screen size format. I and many other folks have bought big screen TVs to enjoy and now they are reducing the screen size. We now have two inches of BLACK at the top and bottom of the screen. Sometimes you can adjust the size, but then you might cut off the top of some person’s head or lose the info crawl line at the bottom.
- Ralph, 79, Penn Hills

Rob: Turns out this is intentional.

“WPXI-TV is the first television station in Pittsburgh to bring our viewers the full screen of video for our Standard Definition (SD) viewers,” explained WPXI general manager Ray Carter. “Since the conversion to High Definition (HD) in June of 2009, our HD viewers have been able to see a larger picture. Now with the conversion to a “letterbox” format for our SD viewers, they too are now able to see this expanded view. This allows us to use the whole screen for our video without having our SD viewers miss a thing. Many other stations who broadcast in HD have likewise upgraded their SD signals to display the full screen like WPXI-TV. We realize that it may take a little adjusting to get used to the new format, but we hope they appreciate the additional material that they are now able to see when watching on an SD channel.”


Q: Last week your column contained a good comment from "Donna" regarding on-air speakers (news).  I too find the speech of some local news people completely annoying -- so much so that I've given up watching certain stations. “Shrip Dishric,” “shrong shorms,” “shreet.” Where are they learning to speak like this? And does no one at the stations where they work notice and perhaps offer help to teach them enunciation?

- Sylvia, Conway, Pa.

Rob: Can’t say this is something I’ve ever noticed. There was once a Pittsburgh meteorologist who referred to “tunderstorms” but that seemed like a speech impediment rather than an affectation.

I sent Sylvia’s question to the three news directors in town; none responded.


Q: I heard two errors on yesterday’s KDKA-TV noon news. If I called and told them, would they have corrected them on-air like the Post-Gazette does in print? Kimberly Gill made mention of the fact that there have been many murders in the City of Pittsburgh lately, but the story she reported was about the ambush murder in Duquesne. Later in the newscast, Ralph Iannotti reported that an injured police officer was from Baldwin Township instead of Baldwin Borough.

- Robert, 64, Whitehall
TV stations will report big errors, especially when threatened with legal action, but this is pretty picayune stuff. (Yes, newspapers correct a lot more but TV is a different medium that follows different best practices guidelines.)

When we get complaints like this we make sure that our producers and reporters are aware and make the proper changes to their copy when writing the story for future newscasts,” explained KDKA-TV news director Anne Linaberger. “We certainly welcome viewers to call or email us when they notice errors.”


Q: Would you know if ME-TV (Pgh. area Comcast Ch. 190) goes "off air" or shuts down at certain times? Being a Corvette owner (who watched Route 66 "back in the day"/originally) I've been taping on my VCR (I know - I'm a "Dinosaur") every show at 3:00a.m. Monday. TWICE - in the last two months - I've come up with "blank video" after I re-wound/played back the tape. I doubt if it's my GO-VIDEO VCR, as everything else replays with no problem.

NO Big Deal...just wondered if you had access to the answer;  when I googled "me-tv", I gave up after 20 minutes trying to find the answer.

-Ron, Pittsburgh

Rob: I haven’t heard this complaint from anyone else and WPXI checked and found no issues.

“We aren't aware of any issues with the Route 66 program recently,” said WPXI general manager Ray Carter. “We reviewed the last 8 weeks of Monday @ 3 am shows and all of the shows were there. We haven't received any other complaints specific to that show or time period.”

I wondered if it could be a Comcast issue but Comcast spokesman Bob Grove said, “Our engineers report no technical issues with that programming in any of our systems.”


read more blogQ: I always see "This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below)" in your columns.
But, I never see anything that says "read more" nor a "jump," whatever that means. 
I took a screen cap from my browser of today's column, so you can see what I mean.

Can you explain?

- Jeffrey, 50, Uniontown

Rob: Finally, a technical question I CAN answer!

When you get to the TV Q&A or the daily blog post from the PG home page or the Tuned In Journal sig on the TV page, it jumps you right to the full post of whatever that day’s headline is.

But on the Tuned In Journal index page, you will see only a headline, a few paragraphs and then a “Read more” link (pictured above). Clicking on that link or the headline takes you to the full post.

Here’s the Tuned In Journal index page for easy bookmarking:



We had a question a few weeks ago about the SEC Network and Comcast. Now we have more information: The network launches locally today on Channels 269 (SD) and 842 (HD) for customers with digital preferred service and above.


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