Saturday, October 21, 2017

Andy's Angles: Breakfast

There are some areas in which I am unashamedly old school.  I still believe the airwaves belong to the public.  Radio and television stations need to earn their keep.

One of the ways WNEP does that is through the Feed a Friend program.  You donate food and cash.  It all stays in our area to help families in need just before Thanksgiving.  Feed a Friend is now 33 years old.  It works.

There was a kick off breakfast Thursday morning.  We borrowed the Coaches 'Corner studio for donuts, bagels, muffins, etc.  It was a nice chance to meet the people in the organizations that distribute the food, and the businesses that help collect it.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Passing and a Vacation

Passion.  The great ones have it.  Dr. Tony Mussari was a man of passion, and it's a long list-- a passion for government and politics, for news and information, for education and learning., for justice. Hundreds, maybe thousands of college students have better and more rewarding lives because Dr. Tony Mussari was one of their professors, their teachers, and their friend.

Dr. Tony Mussari died this week.  He was 75.

My sympathy goes out to his family, friends, and former King's College students.

By the way, Dr. Mussari was married to Kitch Loftus, a woman who showed me the ropes when I was a WARM 590 newbie.  She was a great help on a news series I worked on.  It won a Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters award, and it was my first award ever.  I still have the trophy.  Her kindness and professionalism were a big part of my early days, and I will be forever grateful.

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It's sleeping Homer's last appearance of 2017, and that means I'm burning off my last vacation week of the year.

You've heard it before-- no plans other than gym visits, bike rides, maybe some photography and a lot of sleep.  I visited KMart on my last vacation, and there's no need to stop by again-- unless I learn of a big sale.

It's funny.  Technically, my vacation began at noon Monday, and I've already been back to the office twice this week.  No worries.  It was for important stuff, and you'll read about one tomorrow.

I still have a few scattered days off before we ring in 2018, but this really is the last "block" of time I have to use.

It will be a full agenda when I return, including election day and several holiday related stories.  I know everyone says it, and it really is true.  The year has flown by.

The weekend morning broadcasts, once again, will be in the very capable hands of Stacy Lange.

I hope to see you soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Unfinished Thursday


David Letterman's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Tuesday night was an absolute delight.  It was a reminder of Letterman's quick wit and story telling ability.  Plus, it was nice to see Letterman and Paul Shaffer together again.  I was afraid the interview would be twenty minutes of politics and bashing the usual suspects.  There was one quick Trump reference, and that was it.  Good television!  I especially liked Letterman's entrance, and hearing the old  Late Show theme again.

I've noted here that even though, through the internet, I can listen to just about any radio station in the country, I still enjoy driving early in the morning, playing with the car radio, and picking up distant stations.  WBBM 780, an all news blow torch in Chicago is among my favorites.  Excellent product.  There are areas in and around Scranton where WBBM booms in like the tower is next door.  Anyway, WBBM is in the process of moving its transmitter.  The new tower is higher than the old, so there will be a drop from the 50,000 watts WBBM currently puts out.  The owner, currently CBS, says there should be no drop in signal strength.  I hope they are right.  That shot of news is always appreciated overnight, especially so on the drive to work.

I was web surfing and shopping for a new clock radio.  I saw a model I liked from a well known manufacturer.  I read the description.  FM, but no AM radio.  Pass.  Those in the radio business should be worried.  Clock radios go now. Are cars next?

According to its Facebook page, the SGT Jan Argonish Memorial Motorcycle Ride had planned on fading out after ten years.  Organizers now say they plan to keep it going.  Money raised goes to veterans' charities.  Great people doing great things.  I'm happy.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Equal Time

A woman called Talkback 16 to complain "the weekend guy" is no longer giving out the Cash 5 payout, and she was going to discontinue watching unless the Cash 5 payout announcement was restored.

I'm assuming I'm "the weekend guy".  The name is Andy.

I am genuinely sorry I have a dissatisfied customer.  I really am.  We're not in the business to upset viewers.

Here's the story.  I dropped the Cash 5 payout announcement when the Pennsylvania Lottery turned Match 6 into a "seven days a week" game.  The lottery segment of the weekend morning broadcasts became too long, and it was too many numbers coming at you too fast.  I didn't think it was good television.  You still get the lottery numbers, including the biggest payouts of the bunch--MegaMillions and PowerBall.  The payouts for all the games, including Cash 5, scroll by on the "ticker" several times during the broadcast.

There is a reason for everything.  Angry woman, please give "the weekend guy" another chance.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Scrapple

NBC's Al Michaels made a stupid joke during Sunday night's game.  He apologized.  Drop it.  Look at the body of the man's work.  Everyone should be allowed to make a mistake once in a while.

I get way too much joy out of refilling my pepper mill.

Whatever happened to vanilla flavored toothpaste?

I work with several dog lovers, and many of their pets came from shelters.  That makes me happy.

Fellow blogger David DeCosmo pointed out that yesterday was "Department Store Day."  I'm glad I grew up in an era when these places existed.  It's only a matter of time before the remaining few disappear.

Eddie Rabbit said it first, and I agree.  I love a rainy night.

Why aren't more people taking about the Lackawanna County reassessment ballot question?  Is there resignation to its failure?

David Letterman is on Jimmy Kimmel's show tonight.  I expect it to get political, and I expect to hit the "off" button.  Can we simply have fun for just one night?

Twitter hasn't put me on its 280 character list.  No worries.  I rarely Tweet.

I like municipal election years.  Taxes remain steady.  Streets get paved.

Why are gasoline prices still so high?

Too warm to too cold too fast.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Houston Astros in the World Series, but I'm also happy the American League Championship Series won't be a sweep.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sorry I Couldn't Stay

the 4th annual BlogCon was held Saturday at the Penn State campus in Dunmore.  It was a day long conference about for for bloggers.

The above shot was taken in a mingle area, before the thing really got rolling, in another room.

When you work all night and sleep all day, something has to give, so my stay at BlogCon was a very short one.  I had a bagel, shook a few hands, exchanged pleasantries with a few people.

The parking lot was filling up as I was leaving, and id made me happy to see so many people who care about the craft.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Andy's Angles: The Old Days

Whether those old days were good or bad is up to you.

Some rail cars that were once part of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus now call Scranton home.  I caught them in the space between the Steamtown National Historic Site and the Electric City Trolley Museum a few weeks ago.

A Newswatch 16 story reported the cars were acquired by the Lackawanna Dining Car Preservation Society.  It grabbed two sleeping cars and an animal car.  They will preserved so future generations can get a taste of circus life.
When you look at the cars, you can't help but think about all the people and animals that traveled from city to city, entertaining millions.  The circus was a big part of American life.

One thought dominated my thinking.  Even if the animals were well cared for, boxing them up and sticking them on a train was really no way to live.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Andy's Angles: Progress

September 2017
October 2016

A recent photographic expedition took me to Archbald.    Love it or hate it, a new power plant is going up, just off the Casey Highway.  It's an impressive sight in the day, and even more so at night.  It's all lit up, with aircraft warning beacons dotting the cranes.

These two photos were taken roughly one year apart.  You can see how far the project has moved along.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Follow Up Friday

Call Ripley!

As I said yesterday, I needed a new driver's license photo.  I pulled in to a nearly full parking lot at 9:45 in the morning, and I feared the worst.  A receptionist handed me a number print out, like you get at the supermarket deli counter.  My number was called before I had a chance to sit down, and I was out the door in six minutes.  I don't know what all those other people were doing there.  I suspect it was some sort of test day.

Some people at New York University did a study and predicted the death of traditional AM/FM radio.  The reason:  radio isn't connecting with those born after 1995.  I get that.

This lesson was taught to be my one of my favorite TV news directors, but it also applies to radio:  The stations that survive and prosper are the ones that do the best job of reflecting their communities.  So many radio stations these days are the broadcast equivalent of an MP3 player.  Still others take syndicated talk shows off the satellite, and offer amazingly little local content.  There is no audience engagement. 

A radio station in Philadelphia is offering a free webinar on how to produce better radio commercials.  There is a catch.  You have to spend some advertising dollars with the station.

Bad radio commercials are really nothing new.  On top of that, when I hear a radio station say "commercial free," it drives me insane.  You're teaching the audience that commercials are bad.

I'm a broadcaster and a believer.  Good things can happen, but they don't come easy.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday Scrapple

It's nice to see the New England Patriots are mortal, and the Pittsburgh Steelers seem out of control.

I'd rather spend my day with the radio, Drew Carey, Night Court, Barney Miller, and Scrubs reruns rather than most new things on TV.

Burger King is introducing spicy chicken nuggets because Wendy's dropped its spicy chicken nuggets.  I'll probably try them, even though to most fast food chains, "spicy" translates into "salt."

A fall chill has its charm, but it will be here soon enough.  Enjoy the warmth.

I need to get my driver's license picture taken, and I dread it-- even though my last couple of visits have been quick ones.

Hurricanes, fires...  I will forever be in awe of nature.

Part of my work Monday was dedicated to getting election preview stories ready.  Where has the year gone?  It seems like the primary was yesterday.

I'll be meeting with my accountant to do income tax returns before you know it.

Keeping a schedule in my phone isn't my thing.  I find Post Its and Sharpies more effective.  Both are marvelous inventions.

Fall foliage colors don't quite seem right this year.

Still at 140 characters on Twitters, and I'm still okay with that.

I know a lot of roads need to be paved, but do we have to do them all at once?

The U.S. soccer team won't participate in the World Cup this year.  Sorry.  I just can't get interested in soccer.

Perhaps I'd be watching the MLB playoffs if I could find them on TV.

The Yankees' story is proving to be, by far, the most interesting of the post season.

Say it isn't so!  Dunkin' Donuts is considering reducing the variety of donuts it offers.

You don't appreciate how important they are until you grab a jacket without a tech pocket.