Monday, May 16, 2011

Hit and Miss Weekend for Shreveport Station.

Seems KTAL, Channel 6 in Shreveport had difficulty staying on the air over the weekend. A tipster says the stations on and off the air all weekend. The station posted an apology on its website and links to shows interrupted.

UPDATE: KTAL's General Manager posted this letter on the station's website:

A letter to our viewers from the General Manager of KTAL

On behalf of KTAL, I want to personally apologize to our loyal ArkLaTex viewers for the problem we had bringing you David Toms’ thrilling finish in the Player’s Championship. Like all of you, I was ready to enjoy NBC’s Sunday coverage and root for our home town hero.
Instead, some serious technical difficulties knocked us out of the tournament.

No one feels worse about what happened this weekend than those of us who work at KTAL. We take our commitment to serve you as responsible broadcasters seriously. A team of engineers have been working throughout the weekend to fix our problem. Here at the station we’ve been answering your phone calls and responding to your e-mails. We understand your frustration. We feel it ourselves.

Over the last few years, we have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in upgrading our television station. More major technical upgrades are scheduled for the coming months. We have come a long way. But today we were reminded we still have a ways to go.

Again, we apologize for our technical problem this weekend. We are working hard to get it fixed, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Mark Cummings

General Manager/KTAL

42 Comments:

At 5:10 PM, May 16, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

College station work better than channel 6.

 
At 6:51 PM, May 16, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so true. BPCC's station is much better then KTAL's.

 
At 8:10 PM, May 16, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what you get when your master control is in another state.

 
At 10:35 PM, May 16, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL is STILL off the air. Disgusting!

 
At 9:16 AM, May 17, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL's master control isn't in another state. Yet.

 
At 1:30 PM, May 17, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I have been told KTAL only has one engineer now. When I worked over there the station had four or five engineers. How can one person do the job of four or five? We do not have any of those problems over here.

 
At 6:29 PM, May 17, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I heard the same thing. I don't know if things have changed, but the control room use to be so "rigged" I was surprised they were on the air at all.

 
At 11:15 PM, May 17, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bet management missed not having the commercials air more than the program.

Ouch!

 
At 1:22 PM, May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stations that consolidate their operations poorly will have a greater frequency of foul-ups. KMSS & KSHV are lucky to be on-air too the way things have been cutback there. I remember a former engineer telling me that 33 & 45 could easily collapse with how things were run. KTAL is probably same deal.

 
At 1:31 PM, May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know it. I can just picture management foaming at the mouth about the money, and in sweeps too. Since this has gone on for so long I would guess they have easily lost in access of $150,000 in revenue.

I see they are messed up again today. Looks like all of these years of not upgrading equipment is really paying off for them.

 
At 3:31 PM, May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL is a f___ing joke. Why the FCC hasn't already pulled their license is beyond me.

 
At 9:59 PM, May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL really screwed up when it pulled completely out of Texarkana. The station needs an owner that will pump some money into it..instead of let it go at status quo.

 
At 11:45 PM, May 18, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya, know. You just don't see that NAB "Seal of Good Practice" aired any longer by any of the stations. Wonder why?

 
At 10:23 AM, May 19, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:59 KTAL didn't pull completely out of Texarkana. They dont anchor newscast from there anymore but they are still there. The station is still a dump.

 
At 3:55 PM, May 19, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like NBC 6 is back up and running at full power. All the problems are fixed. Hope they stay up.

 
At 4:55 PM, May 19, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They may be back at full power, but the signal is still going in and out right now.

 
At 5:21 PM, May 19, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:59 PM KTAL has not anchored a newscast from Texarkana in over 20 years. That hasn't Texarkana from watching. The majority of KTAL's viewers have always been, and still are, in the Texarkana area.

 
At 5:59 PM, May 19, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the problems are not fixed. They are off on DirecTV yet again. Thanks for sending me over to 3 and 12. They never seem to have all of these problems.

 
At 1:46 PM, May 20, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's going on over there? KTAL has been messed up for a full week as of today, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. After this amount of time it is obvious the equipment is worse then some of the previous comments have suggested.

 
At 4:08 PM, May 20, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL in Shreveport is collapsing under its own weight it seems

 
At 9:58 PM, May 20, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Break out the champagne !! KTAL is back on in full HD !! That only took seven days !!

 
At 10:41 AM, May 21, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not so fast Mr. pre-mature cork popper. KTAL is still messed up. They kept going in and out, mostly out, all night last night. They are still out this morning. So is this KTAL's new normal? Is this what we have to look forward to from them for now on?

 
At 12:43 PM, May 21, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see KTAL on Suddenlink but they're not HD and the audio keeps going out-of-sync. Come guys... with all the high-tech capabilities available...you shouldn't have this much trouble. It's not like a tower collapsed. You come off as a bunch of amateurs... Nexstar Management...this means you!! Get with it!

 
At 1:29 PM, May 21, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Nexstar's Management is the problem.

 
At 4:35 PM, May 24, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt Nexstar's higher-up management earning big bucks reads this blog.

 
At 5:26 PM, May 24, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if Nexstar management in Irving is still reading this blog or not, but they did read it in the past. If you'll remember, they referred to several things that were posted on here during that mandatory station wide meeting we all attended when Scott Thomas was fired and Mark Cummings was brought in as the new GM. That was back in 2008 when I still worked there. If you look back at the archives July 2008 to October 2008, you can see why they brought up this blog. There is a lot of inside information that was being posted on here.

I am so glad I got out of there when I did. I do not miss working there one bit.

 
At 6:38 PM, May 24, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nexstar's corporate philosophy is that if it works in Terre Haute, it will work in Texarkana. Their in-house corporate news consultancy plays paint-by-numbers in their approach, forgetting that each local market has their own peculiarities and sensibilities. They manage strictly by balance sheet and they are only concerned after too many legal affairs issues happen (i.e. Thomas/Walker) and/or ratings get so bad to affect income & ROI. They would ditch local news and run infomercials if it meant more money; that's how committed they are to serving their broadcast communities.

 
At 6:40 PM, May 24, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes late summer of 2008. I can remember the "Screamin' Scotty" posts. Those were classic.
Why they let that go on as long as they did is a mystery.

 
At 12:48 PM, May 25, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about any of that. I have lived all over the country and KTAL is the worst station I have ever seen. You guys are a joke.

 
At 3:43 PM, May 26, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Amen! Nexstar's Management is the problem."

Management in 99.9% of all stations is the problem. Usually no production experience, no engineering experience and no news gathering experience. Just sales. They have no idea what a station needs except to sell spots.

 
At 6:37 PM, May 26, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is sop true. When was the last time you heard of a News Director, or a Chief Engineer being promoted to a General Managers position? NEVER!

 
At 2:55 PM, May 27, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the corporate culture of Nexstar. All the top yo-yo's were Ad Salespeople before they got there and so their management style trickles to their locals. The focus is on ratings & ad sales and everything else gets the leftovers and is run by default. No one argues that ad sales is what the biz is about however local newscasts can be cash cows if local news management gets the empowerment to do their jobs well and they need engineering support to do that too.

 
At 8:33 AM, May 29, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right. Nexstar has the worst reputation in broadcasting. Everyone I have talked to in the business have nothing good to say about Nexstar. I have even talked to several of Nexstar's vendors and even they hate them. It also depends in small part on the individual station management as well.

My time at KTAL started out great, but things fell apart quickly. It became so bad I had thought about getting out of the business. I now work at a none Nexstar owned station and the difference is like night and day. I am actually happy to go to work now. Plus making $10,000 a year more for doing 1/3 of the work I did at KTAL makes it that much sweeter.

 
At 7:38 PM, May 29, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texarkana is treated like a second-class citizen by the Shreveport TV market. It is on the fringe of Little Rock and Tyler and is forced to try to watch all the Shreveport channels. The over-the-air signal from all the networks is inconsistent. Depending on the time of day, weather, wind, and whatever else, a good digital signal is always anybody's guess. Pitiful that Texarkana, the size it is doesn't have it's own affiliates.

 
At 9:42 PM, May 29, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you about the constant signal problems, and the lack of coverage in the Texarkana area form KTBS, KTAL, and KSLA. All three stations do a horrible job with coverage.

Point of fact, Texarkana does have it's own affiliate. KTAL started out in Texarkana, but moved the studio from Texarkana to Shreveport in 1962. KTAL has always been licensed out of Texarkana Texas so it has officially remained a Texarkana station to this day.

Another point of fact is about 70% of KTAL's viewers have all ways been, and still are, in the Texarkana area, and the rural areas outside of the Shreveport and Bossier City metro area.

 
At 5:24 PM, June 06, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well of all the stations in the Texarkana-Shreveport ADI, KTAL could stand the most to gain by really going after diary holders in Shreveport-Bossier. It's been a 2-horse race in Shreveport between 3 & 12 for too long. I think if KTAL would stop cost-managing from Dallas and empower the new ND to grow some share pts. with new reporters, gear, etc.; they couldn't help but improve on ratings.

 
At 7:07 PM, June 06, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nexstar will never allow that to happen. We did make some inroads a few years ago, but Scott fired that ND and the ratings went back down again. If we really were interested in improving our ratings we would not have have 5 ND's in 6 years.

 
At 10:27 PM, June 07, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Must be talking about Pontz. Yeah he was a good guy and knew what he was doing. Well of all the stations, KTAL has the most opportunity to really grow if they would just try.

 
At 6:07 AM, June 08, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I was talking about Andy Pontz. He had things going in the right direction. Troubleshooter was doing great and we were getting some recognition during that time. Then Scott fired Andy and killed Troubleshooter, and everything has been down hill ever since.

If Chris can get Mark and corporate to cooperate things could improve. They are just now looking to replace Rick Boone as co-anchor. It has only taken two years and two ND's to try to fill that open vacancy. With a few more reporters, and the Texarkana link fixed, we could actually look like a professional station.

 
At 12:33 PM, June 08, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never could understand why KTAL didn't have better position in the market. Seemed at one time to have all the ingredients (top NBC programming, market dynamics in major population areas Texarkana & Shreveport). Guess the corporate malaise from previous ownership kept it from really growing. I know Nexstar had to spend a bundle when they bought the place as the operations were pathetic. Someone told me finding rats fighting snakes in the studio weren't uncommon. Hope things improve there.

 
At 6:51 PM, June 08, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are several reasons why KTAL has never been in a stronger position.

Reason one is that people in Shreveport and Bossier City have always considered KTAL a Texarkana station. Since KTAL has always been licensed out of Texarkana Texas it officially still is a Texarkana station. Years ago they would split the newscast. Half of the newscast was from Shreveport and half of the newscast from Texarkana. They stopped doing that sometime in the 1980's or early 1990's.

Reason two is for years people in parts of Shreveport and Bossier City could not get their signal. Who is going to watch when you can not get the signal. The transmitter is in Vivian where KSLA and KTBS have their transmitters in Oil City.

Reason three is a 40 year history of bad news, and bad signal problems before Nexstar ever bought the station. That is one of the biggest hurdles for them to over come. Even getting well known local tv personalities like Patrick Dennis, Eddie D, and Michelle White have not helped. Even with all of the good programming NBC had over the years KTAL has never been able to take advantage of it. Even when NBC was the #1 network KTAL was always third in the ratings.

What you heard about the condition of the station when Nexstar took over is correct. Equipment was being held together with duck tape, and wire. Some of the equipment has been updated over the years, but not as much as it should. Hence all the signal problems over the past month. There was a snake in control room a year or two ago, but the snakes and rats are gone for the most part. Now the roach's and the water bugs are still there.

 
At 11:30 AM, September 28, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a child KTAL had a bad signal over the years they have came a long way I think H Lee Bryant is the best GM the station ever had when christmas came he gave money he did not give a ham like they give now. when nexstar took over every thing went down hill.

I remeber they lade off the on air talent the station did better before nexstar took over

 

Post a Comment

<< Home