Tuesday, April 15, 2014

KARK Celebrates 60 Years of Broadcasting

KARK/Channel 4/Little Rock is celebrating 60 years of broadcasting.  The station first went on the air at 6:00PM on Thursday, April 15, 1954.  Of course many changes have occurred in broadcasting since then.  KARK has set a special anniversary section on its website with memories throughout the years.

Viewers Pissed at NWA Station Over Weather Coverage..Or Lack Thereof...

Seems KFSM/Channel 5/Fort Smith is catching some heat from viewers over the lack of severe weather coverage Sunday night.  Chief Meteorologist Garrett Lewis' facebook page is filled with upset viewers on how severe weather wasn't broadcast Sunday evening.  In one post Lewis explained it this way:

It's difficult to understand but sometimes Tornado Warnings are issued for QLCS pockets of rotation. (Rotation that lasts 1 scan on a line of storms and then disappears; although the warning continues for as much as an hour).

If there's an actual tornado risk... We're on the air: Period. If it's mid-level rotation that is not capable of a tornado... we'll be on KXNW or running crawls.

Hopefully NOAA/NWS will come up with a way to handle storms which show small rotation on 1 scan and then disappear.

In my opinion the increase in the false-alarm-rate is not helpful to anyone.

No tornado occurred tonight and there never was a significant risk of one occurring.

BUT a tornado did touch down in Peter Pender in Franklin County.  Every station has to deal with this sort of thing.  Viewers in the place where the bad weather isn't moving through get mad because they wanna see their programs..then where the weather is moving through those viewers want to see the weather.  Us viewers in the Little Rock and Shreveport markets have to deal with the same thing.  But you know what the first priority of a tv station isn't to provide entertainment, it is to keep viewers informed of potential life and death situations like severe storms.  Just part of having an fcc license.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Clean Sweep for KATV

KATV/Channel 7/Little Rock swept the February Nielsen's book.  Arkansas Business.com reports KATV was the clear leader in each newscast hour.  KATV General Manager Mark Rose told AB.com "That it was “remarkable” that KATV continued to pull ahead in that time slot with a 9.9 rating, despite competing with the Olympics. Since the February ratings period, however, KATV has lost one of its 6 and 10 p.m. anchors, Christina Munoz, to a public relations job at the University of Central Arkansas."

You will find all the numbers HERE.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Former Sheveport Reporter Keeping the Dust Stirred Up

One of Shreveport's premiere publications is reporting former KTBS/Channel 3/Shreveport reporter Chris Redford is sueing the station.  If you remember Redford was fired in November 2012 for making comments on social media sites in reponse to viewers comments about KTBS and/or its employees.  One has to wonder how long the nonsense of this will go on. 

ArkLaTex Stations Take to the Web for Wall-to-Wall Weather Coverage

With bad weather moving through the ArkLaTex last night, tv viewers had no choice but to tune to online coverage.  Two of the 3 major TV stations in the ArkLaTex offered online viewing as part of the coverage.  

KTAL/Channel 6/Shreveport broadcasted weather coverage continuous until all storms moved out of the area.  Chief Met Todd Warren was on the stations online streaming channel.  His coverage consisted of showing the area radar along with answering questions from folks around the area in the chat room. 

Over on KSLA.com Chief Met Steve Parr and...can't remember the other met's name offered up the severe weather blog.  What I can't understand about their online coverage was instead of making the radar the star of the screen the cameras were focused on the two mets just chatting with viewers..and at one point taking a phone call from a viewer asking a question about why another station was saying something different from them.  I found this coverage a little odd.

As for KTBS/Channel 3/Shreveport all I could find for them on the net was depending heavily on social media for getting out the warnings. 

So I guess a lot of stations have turned to the web to broadcast wall-to-wall coverage of severe weather instead of taking the chance of making viewers mad that aren't interested in it.  This is ok as long as everybody as an internet connection. 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

KARK Show Host From the Early Days Passes Away

Source: KARK A show host who did both radio and television in KARK's early days has passed away.

Mack L. Carger, known on the air as “Smilin’ Mack,” died Friday, March 29. He was 94 and had just celebrated his 77th wedding anniversary the day before.

Carger, of Cabot, was also a professional entertainer on stage.

After spending time in the military in World War Two, Carger hosted the Barnyard Frolics music show on KARK radio before the station ventured into television.

Former KARK Reporter Passes Away

Source: KARK  The KARK family is mourning the loss of a reporter who graced our screen in the 70's and 80's.
Gene worked for KARK twice. He first joined the station in 1971 as a reporter and Night Editor/Producer. In 1977, Gene left the station to join the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office as Public Information Officer and Patrol Sergeant. During that time, Gene also flew on the traffic watch for Little Rock radio station KAAY.

Gene returned to KARK as the station's police reporter in 1981, where he remained until 1988. 

It was during this time that Gene started Gene Stewart Video. The business was a TV news clipping, media tracking and video production service in Little Rock providing copies of local newscasts, which Gene was still running at the time of his death. He was also working on plans for an internet radio station.

When contacted a few years ago about working at the station, Gene told us that KARK was "still in his heart and soul" and that it was a great place to work. Gene also recalled staffers saying "showtime" when it was time for a newscast to begin, and he said seeing KARK videos from that time period always brought back that excitement.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

An ArkLaTex Legend Passes Away

Source: KSLA KSLA News 12 has confirmed that legendary KSLA-TV weatherman and announcer Al Bolton has passed away. 

Bolton joined KSLA just one month after the station went on the air in 1954. "I just had a great desire to get into broadcasting, particularly television." He stayed for more than 36 years.  "I asked to do the weather, and they say, ‘You can have it," Bolton recalled during an interview marking KSLA's 50th anniversary in 2004.

Bolton may have had low-tech tools, but his forecasts were highly respected.  Besides being the station meteorologist for many years, Bolton also hosted Al's Corral, a western-themed children's show.

After his time at KSLA, Bolton went on to do weather for local radio station KRMD, wrote for a local seniors publication and served as emcee for the Shreveport Metropolitan Band for many years more. 

Son Ryan Bolton confirms his father took a fall recently and never quite recovered. He died Wednesday morning.

Visitation and funeral arrangements are pending. He was 88.

ALSO Bolton later hosted a weekly segment, "The ArkLaTex Gardener" for Shreveport station KTBS.

KATV Hires New MMJ

Hiring a new MMJ didn't take long...KATV/Channel 7/Little Rock has hired Jordan Bontke.  Bontke comes to Little Rock from KCEN, the NBC affiliate serving theWaco, Temple, Killeen, and Bryan, Texas area.  Bontke will first appear on air on KATV April 7th.