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August 06, 2007

KCTS 9: Same great shows, at better times

At KCTS 9, we’re making over the program schedule. In June, we started by keeping our best-loved shows in the schedule during pledge drives— Masterpiece Theatre/Mystery! on Sunday nights and Antiques Roadshow on Mondays. Now we’re trying new things. The first and biggest is moving Charlie Rose to 5 pm, replacing Zoboomafoo and the Nightly Business Report (NBR), based on many calls we’ve received over the years asking for Charlie Rose at an earlier hour. Zoboomafoo has reached the end of its run and NBR is moving to 11:30 pm. The thinking behind this is the information reported by NBR is covered extensively by the plethora of business news available online and elsewhere on TV. In a world where content is king, KCTS 9 is focusing on the content we do best, and what was once “the only place to get business news” is no longer. We’ll still have the show, just at a later time. For those with Comcast Video On Demand, each program is also available for two business days after broadcast “on demand.”

On the other hand, Frontline is moving earlier, from the 10 pm Tuesday time period to 9 pm—a great show at a better time. New episodes of Frontline are coming this October; visit the Frontline web site to check out the previews. Wide Angle, Frontline’s summer replacement, will follow the same schedule, moving up to 9 starting Tuesday, 8/14. Tuesday night’s shows are programmed for an encore play on Thursdays: NOVA at 9 pm and Frontline (or Wide Angle) at 10. This will allow greater access to these important programs—no more setting the VCR or DVR for that 4 a.m. showing weeks later on the episode you missed or really wanted to share.

Change always invades our comfort zone. We’re used to something and therefore we tend to like it… especially when faced with something different. Have you ever had the experience of going to church and found someone sitting “in my place?” As we make changes at KCTS 9, we will invade your comfort zone and ask you to figuratively try a new seat and see if it’s better—or not. Bear with us, explore the newness and give us feedback. We have many ways to “hear from you.” We have market research which we use to program the station’s channels. We have a viewer services department who field your phone calls and respond to your e-mails… and now we have this blog where you can post your feelings about the station.

All television stations and cable channels face challenges as technology continues to place control of video content in the hands of the consumer. KCTS 9 is evolving to meet these demands.

The new schedule begins August 13. I look forward to hearing from you, and I hope you like the changes.

Dick Warsinske
Dick Warsinske
V.P. and General Manager, KCTS 9
Serving Western and Central Washington and British Columbia


P.S. Read our first post about The War by project manager Erin Whitcomb. The War, Ken Burns’ 7-part film about WWII, premieres Sunday, September 23 at 8 pm And look for The War: Stories from the Northwest: WWII, four 30-minute specials airing Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. starting September 11 featuring stories about people in our region who lived through the war on the front lines and on the home front.

Comments

I went to watch Mystery! Sunday at 9pm, and, as I also realize every Saturday afternoon, you have changed the show in that time slot. I looked at your schedule for the next several weeks and you have one Mystery! show scheduled on a Thursday at 2:30am, and then nothing after that. I never know what you are going to show or pull on any given day and it makes for a huge disappointment when I sit down to watch my favorite PBS shows. This is coming from a long time PBS supporter from a city (not Seattle) where the programming was excellent, consistent and still cutting-edge. Please consider stabilizing your programming for your supporter viewing audience. We support PBS because of the programming, so changing it randomly is inconsiderate and disregards your community support base.

The solution is a very sim[ple one. Put Charlie (Usless)Rose in the 4:30 slot and NBR back into the 5:30 one, where it has been for many years.

Your program director must have a very low opinion of the viewing public. To think that Charley Rose is a news program and an appropriate lead in to the Nightly News is unbelieveable. Put it back earlier for the soap opera audience and give us the Business Report together with the News.

why is it that you interupt the regular programing so much and so often for your fund rasing. One just really gets into a program then it is interupted for what seems weeks art a time many times a year so you can raise funds. I know alot of people may disagree with me but to me it is irratateing. I dont mind the occasional special, etc . but you go over the limit I feel. I thought you were only doing it once 4 times a year but you do it way more than that. and you expect p[eople to give money to a station that people can not count on to keep a regular line up going and are asking for money every time they turn on your station? to me that is a big turn off.

Thank you soooo much for moving NBR to an earlier time slot. The absence of this program during the markets' gut-wrenching volatility has been especially difficult. Other business programing just does not provide the objectivity that I find crucial to making sound investment decisions. Thank you again, especially for being responsive to viewer needs.

I have to chime in and let you know that I am very disappointed in your move of NBR. I enjoyed coming home and tuning in. I felt I was taking away something of value that would help my family. Sure, Charlie Rose can be interesting "sometimes" but he's not appointment television the way NBR was. I really wish I didn't have to work early. I might just stay up to watch it.

The one day I can stay up and watch it (Friday) is a waste. You decided not to air it then. Friday is only the most important day for the show since it wraps up the week's action.

A very disappointed former viewer.

Hi!

We had really enjoyed watching the Nightly Business Report at 5:30
followed by the News Hour at 6:00. I have tried to stay up to watch the
NBR and I just can't make it. So my wife has been recording it and I
watch it the next morning. On the whole, this system does not work
well.

Is there any chance of moving it back to its old time slot? Or
another slot earlier in the evening?

Respectfully,

Raleigh Curtis

I am glad NBR is broadcast at 11:30, but I hope the friday show can be incorporated into the scheduling. I would like to see this show 5 nights per week. Thank you.

Yes, 11;30 is waaaay past my bed time too. (yawn)
I could record this on my VCR, but I prefer to tape Jay Leno. His comments are more inspiring.

We were faithful followers of KCTS up un til the time they started messing with programming. KCTS could VERY EASILY work in the Nightly Business Report to 5 pm if they MUST have Charley Rose at 5:30. I just refuse to suport KCTS anymore.

The transition from analog 4:3 aspect ration and digital 16:19 is a work in progress. The industry and the FCC has taken a slow as you go strategy up until now. The analog signals are scheduled to be shut off in February of 2009. This will speed up the shift from 4:30 to 16:19.

Specifically the reason why the "wide Screen" program is being played back in 4:3 is a video storage problem at PBS. When they broadcast it originally it is in 16:9. When they repeat the program (due to storage considerations) the playback is stored in analog 4:30.

At KCTS9 we are committed to moving this transition forward as quickly as possible. We are currently broadcasting an analog 4:30 as well as a separate digital 16:9 signal. This is done at a great deal of expense. The sooner we can shift to the all digital format the better.

We ask you to continue to be patient, and continue to watch KCTS 9 and KCTS 9HD

When you air a wide screen show on channel 9.1, why aren't you leaving it full screen for my widescreen TV? Currently I see shows with black bars on both top and bottom, and left and right sides. Go ahead and letterbox it for analog channel 9 where analog TV's are 4:3, but not digital 9.1 where new TV's are 16:9

When you air a wide screen show on channel 9.1, why aren't you leaving it full screen for my widescreen TV? Currently I see shows with black bars on both top and bottom, and left and right sides. Go ahead and letterbox it for analog channel 9 where analog TV's are 4:3, but not digital 9.1 where new TV's are 16:9

You're switching of the Nightly Business RFeporft to a late night show really sux. The c rowning blow was yhou did not even show the Friday nite show AT ALL! YHou could certainly have re-arranged your scheduling o show the NBR at a more reasonable hour, say 5 pm or 7:30pm (even 7:00pm) rather than shaft us by moving the show to an unreasonable hour. What are yhou trying to do, dump it altogether? If yhou are, just do it. You will never see another dime's support from me again!

Bruce,

Thanks for taking the time to provide us feedback on the decisons we make. We work to serve a broad audience and sometimes in an effort to do that we disrupt loyal viewes in the process.

Your opinions on Charlie Rose are duly noted. We will be evaluating the many methods we have to determine the success or failure of this new strategy.

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

Dick Warsinske
V.P. G.M. KCTS 9
Western Washington, Central Washington and British Columbia.

I am sad about the loss of the NBR. It covers a lot of the daily business news that is NOT covered by local TV. Being on at 11:30 is way past my bedtime. The loss of the McLaughlin on Friday evening is another low in intertainment value and we looked forward to the thoughts of these particular journalists. I have watched C. Rose twice and watching his interviews drone on for an hour is unbearable. NBR is pertinent to the daily business news and covers a lot of information in the half hour. We could hope that you bring it back to the original time slot??

My children were deeply affected while watching Dimming the Sun last night. Fear. Then, anger. "This really sucks and it's all the parents' fault," said my 11-year-old Kate. "None of us will want to have children because they will live tortured lives. You have to fix this because we can't vote for years and then it will be too late." Youth is the world's conscience. Thank you again for Nova.

Thanks Bob,
This year kcts.org will undergo a redesign, and as such, our plan is to include flash streaming. We are excited about it! Which of the features are you most fond?
Drew Ringo
Manager Interactive Group

I really enjoy all those short features that run between the PBS shows. All your local programming. Why isn't it all online in a format we all can handle, like flash or QuickTime instead of Real? Seems like you should have a Podcast.

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