TV Q&A: 'Kate + Date,' CNN, WTAE and KDKA

Thursday, 11 July 2019 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: I have been watching the TLC show “Kate + Date” because when I have been a little bit bad I punish myself and watching this show is good for that.

I noticed that I was able to watch future episodes on demand that were not going to be aired for a week. I could watch on demand without commercials, and I am wondering if that was a mistake on the part of TLC or Comcast to allow this or is this some sort of new trend?


Rob: Don’t get used to it. Per Comcast, a TLC promotion made two episodes available early on 6/24 and 7/1.

Also, I love Katie’s justification for watching trash TV.



Q: I watch CNN throughout the day, mainly mornings.

A year or so ago, viewers were subjected to CNN "moving pieces around" the time slots to get the right combos. One of those "pieces" was a pretty, intelligent redhead Aussie; Poppy Montgomery. Then, after a spell, she wasn't. Now, surprise, surprise she appears as the lead in a new crime thriller, “Reef Break.”

Isn't it unusual for one to do both kinds of "roles"?


Rob: That would be unusual but I suspect Steven is conflating the actress Poppy Montgomery (“Reef Break”) and newsreader Poppy Harlow (CNN).



Q: I see WTAE weather has come up has come up with a new chic word: "Impact." Announcers say, "Today and tomorrow are going to be impact days." When did they introduce that word and why? Aren't the words rain or thundershowers good enough?


Rob: Ugh, that sounds like something a TV news consultant suggested.

Here’s how WTAE news director Jim Parsons explains it:

Understanding that our viewers lead very busy lives and sometimes are not sitting down in front of the TV while the news is on and listening to every word that is spoken, Pittsburgh's Action News 4 wanted to do something to draw attention to days in the forecast to which they might want to pay special attention. 
“Think of an ‘impact day’ as a ‘nuisance day.’ 
“This usually means some type of steady precipitation is expected - weather that could impact your decision about what to wear, whether or not the kids' ballgame will be canceled, etc. 

“An ‘alert day’ means severe weather is in the forecast for that day - weather that could cause damage or injuries. I’m glad John has noticed the change.”



Q: Meteorologist Ray Petelin has been pretty much full time at KDKA since Jeff Verszyla was fired. Does this affect his status as "freelance" at all?


Rob: Petelin is no longer freelance and is now a KDKA-TV staff member and has been since at least June

His permanent position is weekday evenings, traditionally the spot for a chief meteorologist, although KDKA has not given him that title. So maybe consider him the chief in all but name.


Q: When is KDKA going to correct their promos about their on-air personalities to news “readers? The promos refer to them as news “Leaders” which I think is a stretch for someone who mostly reads what others write. 

Rob: I’m pretty sure "Pittsburgh's news leader" refers to KDKA-TV as in the lead in certain ratings measurements, not the anchors as leaders of the community.



Q: Have the local stations changed their weekend morning news lineup?  This past Sunday, KDKA-TV ran a Sunday morning newscast (a first for Sunday) and WPXI-TV ran NBC filler shows instead of their normal Sunday morning newscast.


Rob: Turns out KDKA has added a weekend newscast without much fanfare.

Here at KDKA, it has been our goal to expand our weekend morning news reach on Sunday mornings for some time,” said KDKA news director Kathy Hostetter. “Viewers expect us to be there for them every morning.  We just launched Sunday morning news this past weekend, and our plan is to be on each Sunday from 7-9 a.m., leading into CBS Sunday Morning.” 

As for WPXI, news director Scott Trabandt said it was a temporary change.

“Our weekend morning newscasts are, at times, impacted by sports and other network obligations,” he explained. “We try to be as consistent as we can, while also providing up-to-the-minute content on our digital and social platforms.”



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