When TV Goes Bad

I felt terrible for friends at my former station. They did their newscast tonight with no audio going home. I wish I could say that will never happen at Fox CT. I think it’s a lot less likely.

Digital technology has created more single points of failure that can take down the system. It is extremely frustrating if you’re there when that happens. Everyone points fingers. Never good.

A little selling here. I appreciate those of you who’ve moved over to FoxCT. For some of you it’s more difficult to switch. I get it.

Here’s what I see. We have an incredible commitment to our product and that includes spending for things that make small improvements often at substantial cost.

There is a maintenance engineer in the control room every time we are on-the-air. He has no job during the newscast but to be there should something happen. Think ambulance on the sidelines at an NFL game.

My friends wish everyone had one.

35 Responses to “When TV Goes Bad”

  1. Kevbo says:

    Don’t belittle yourself by rubbing their faces in it.

    ***t happens.

    • DorisC says:

      I don’t think Geoff was belittling himself at all here. He mentioned in his blog about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New Haven, that many people did NOT know what had happened to him at channel 8, and that they also did not know he was on Fox…..in his kind a business…some self promotion is to be expected!!!

    • Patty Anderson says:

      Did we read the same blog? There was no rubbing it in their faces. Geoff is very supportive toward those he worked with on News 8.

  2. Susie says:

    Geoff, I know you felt their despair and embarrassment. They must’ve felt so helpless. It’s good to know that FoxCT has a back up plan. I’ve seen plenty of newscasts with spots of silence or the wrong video and even a blank screen but never for any length of time.

  3. Evi from Danbury says:

    I like the fact FOX CT keeps that back up engineer on just in case– it tells me that they care about their viewing public and don’t consider us “distractions”..

  4. Lisa says:

    They seem to have a lot of sound issues and other issues. I do watch all the stations and
    they are down to 3 weather people.

  5. Laura says:

    Now I get it. I had been watching something on the DVD with WTNH having been the last channel watched. When the show was over, I couldn’t understand why the screen was black or what I was doing wrong (until I changed the channel, of course). They always have had some unfortunate mistakes, we always laughed them off. Of course, that is when we watched their news. Honestly don’t watch much ABC anymore.

  6. Faith says:

    8 often goes to black for no reason. All other channels are working fine, just 8. I will often change to WABC in NYC for ABC programming. Unfortunately, my political leanings don’t allow me to be able to stomach Fox News, and it’s hard to determine exactly when the weather will be on. That being said, I’m really not impressed with the 8 weather people…

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Faith, we are Fox as in the Simpsons and American Idol, not O’Reilly or Hannity. We are not owned by the same company nor do we share management or philosophy with Fox News.

      • Victor says:

        Geoff. I didn’t know that your Fox station, (hmm,same name, do you own it?) is not the same as the Murdock empire “Fox”. So is Fox in CT an independent station, and if so, why call it “Fox”? I agree with Faith. I despise Hannity, and O’Reilly and Shepard Smith and the rest. News today is not the news of Chronkite, or Chet Huntley-David Brinkley, or Edward R. Murrow. I studied journalism in college and when I watch the ‘news’, I just can’t believe how low it has gotten. That said, I do like the Simpson’s. Funny, it almost seems like Homer is running Fox News! I do miss your weather reports, and was really disappointed with LIN for doing what they did to you. Glad to see you’re still around and doing one of the things you do best. Sorry to hear about Dr. Mel. He seemed like a sweet guy.

        • Geoff Fox says:

          We are owned by Tribune Company which also owns the Hartford Courant, LA Times, Chicago Tribune and a host of newspapers and TV stations.

          Journalism evolves over time. This is not the first time there have been loud partisans (like Fox News or MSNBC) in the news business.

          From Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first “media war.” During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain. Led by newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers–a style that became known as yellow journalism.

  7. Melanie says:

    Faith, Fox 61 is not the right-wing Fox news – it is non-ideological. The regular Fox programming on Fox 61 is things lkike American Idol, not the political talk.

  8. Jay says:

    News 8 has ALWAYS been a train wreck. Not one of their newscasts are ever smooth.
    The best thing they could have done last night would have been Sonia Baghdady whipping
    out her tatas.

  9. scott says:

    I often wonder if Geoff were to leave FOX would he comment on their faults. A wise man once said, if you have nothing good to say, its better to say nothing at all. Perhaps word to the wise?

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Scott, the amount of difference was amazing to me. It was totally unexpected. Every business has a plan to make it most profitable. Some cut expenses. Others are more interested in investing in the top line to grow the bottom line. I can’t tell you which works better as a business strategy, but I know which I’d rather work in and which has the best chance at serving viewers.

  10. Phil says:

    Hey Fox, it was me.One stray finger and a just-not-placed-right button did the damage.

  11. achernow says:

    We usually have someone, too, in house for system meltdowns. And if they’re not in house, they’re easily reachable by phone. (And too, some of the minor stuff can be fixed by them remotely.)

    Of course, we also have a solid backup plan and a redundant switcher and audio console.

  12. Joe says:

    Sonia Baghdady….Sigh….. Now a news show that would brin in viewers would be Sonia and Jennifer Bosworth as anchors along with Rachael doing the weather. Wooo Hooo talk about a dream team. LOL Oh yeah, Geoff would do the science reporting just to round out the programming.

  13. Mary Jane W. says:

    I don’t think Geoff was knocking the News8 staff last night! So what if he threw in a little promotion for FoxCT, he works there now and they certainly treat him better there for sure. Don’t blame the WTNH news team for last night’s technical blunder, blame the station owners (LIN media)for being too cheap to have better equipment. It’s LIN media who disrespected one of CT’s premier meteorologists(Geoff) not the workers! I am sure he still has many friends still at WTNH. It’s LIN media that does not care about the public, in my opinion as they are just after the almighty buck! They recently almost took their ABC stations off of my cable company’s lineup during contract negotiations because of greed in my opinion! So regardless of what TV network you watch for news or weather, I think that all journalists and weather scientists should be respected! These people are all hardworking professionals out there busting their butts trying to do a job and are the ones that care about the public!

  14. Lisa says:

    Mary Anne who are the four Steve v left and
    They have Steve M, Gil and Erica. I have not seen a new person
    yet .

  15. Lisa says:

    I ment Mary Anne.

  16. Lisa says:

    Ok I looked at the web page they have a guy
    Sam listed never seen him on air and you can tell they are short staffed in the
    dept Gil is on vacation and the other two are working a lot.

    • Geoff Fox says:

      I have removed a sentence from Lisa’s comment. No personal attacks or dissing, please. We’d be better off without discussing staffing at other stations either. OK?

      My goal is not to denigrate Channel 8 — after all if I hadn’t been dismissed I’d still be working there. All I want to show is how good FoxCT is. It was my most pleasant surprise. I just think the more people understand what we do and how we do it the more will watch.

  17. Jay says:

    I think Jen Bosworth is wayyyy Hotter than Sonia. Baghdady is getting old. Bosworth is so smokin hott!

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Jay – I know both women and both are quite beautiful and exceptionally attractive. Attractive takes in a lot of ground beyond beauty and over time is a lot more important.

  18. vinnya518 says:

    what would everyone being saying if things worked out and geoff was still on wtnh

  19. Tom says:

    Wow, the comments.

    Hey Geoff,

    Are you going to go fishing with that can of worms you opened?

    Tom

  20. Hank Norman Orne says:

    Hi, I totally agree with Geoff here. Bottom line is LIN/WTNH/Higgins dumped him in favor of cheaper/younger male, and in some cases, cheaper younger female weather personalities. Just about anyone can read a teleprompter. It’s unfortunately the way the industry is going. Radio was ruined years ago by behemoths like Clear Channel, Cumulus and Cox (to name a few) where the replaced mostly talented local radio personalities with canned (voice-tracked) talent from other cities for a nickel. But, now, radio is paying for that dumb move. Killing the localism of radio at the same time as the emergence of IPODS and satellite radio, was the WORST move ever. All terrestrial radio had in terms of advantages was that it was LOCAL. Now that’s out the window. Terrestrial radio will be history within several years or so.

    What Tribune has done at WTIC-TV Fox CT (61) is phenomenal. Tribune (even in bankruptcy) has gone the extra distance to ADD local newscasts to WTIC/FOX CT to the point they have more local news than any of the other CT stations. And they aren’t stopping there. Rumors of a 5PM and 6PM cast on FOX CT, as well as the rumored addition of another “old friend” (Al Terzi) will only help jettison FOX CT ahead of the competition. What Comcast/NBC has done to NY news veteran Sue Simmons in not renewing her contract is the same treatment Geoff Fox received from Vin Sadusky at LIN TV (using Higgins as the hatchet man). Did Geoff Fox make too much at WTNH? That’s only an opinion. That’s like liberals getting upset that millionaires and billionaires make too much. Bottom line is Geoff Fox worked hard for years and may have made a lot of money at WTNH, but one could argue that having Geoff was part of what success WTNH had. Higgins (if allowed by LIN CEO Vin Sadusky) could have gone to Geoff Fox and tried to reduce his salary, but they didn’t even try. LIN is a cold-hearted company. Thankfully there are still people like Colleen Marren, WTIC-TV management and Tribune who still try to “do the right thing.” It’s time for people like Higgins to stop treating viewers like “Joe Six-Pack” dummies. That treatment is why I won’t watch WTNH. Sure, those new carpets at 8 Elm may have helped spiff up the building, but it means ZERO to ratings. There are some good people at WTNH, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about all of the WTNH management. People may not agree with me, but I call it like it is. I am not a “Joe Six-Pack” dummy.

    Hank Norman Orne

  21. vinnya518 says:

    never know but someday there may be a new management team at wtic or any other station and may be saying the same thing about them hope it doesn’t go that way but never know who may leave for something better or personal reasons

  22. Jay says:

    Geoff you are a classy guy. I agree with just about everything you write.

  23. Edward Bowers (N1HSH) says:

    Geoff sadly I would love to watch fox 61, but cablevision thinks that fox 5 is all we need in southern ct. Even tho its NYC and not CT news.

    Glad for the web cast of the news, so we still can get our weather and news from fox 61 but still would like to watch it via the TX instead of my laptop.

  24. jane says:

    What channel is Fox61 on Comcast in Wolcott area?

  25. Lisa says:

    Too Funny, that Geoff Fox is still watching the news on WTNH

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