As we count down to the transition to Digital TV on February 17, 2009, I thought we should look at what Cincinnati stations are doing to prepare viewers.
Which is to say, not much.
All I have seen on Cincinnati TV is the federally mandated public service announcements, although Fox19 (WXIX-TV/DT) HAS put its own talent in one of them. And they also give little factoids about the big switch during their 10pm newscasts. I have also seen features about the transition on that newscast.
But 19 seems to be going it alone in this market.
Nothing more than the PSA's has been seen on channels 5 (WLWT-TV/DT), 9(WCPO-TV/DT), OR 12(WKRC-TV/DT). Or heck, even though they don't have a news department, on WSTR-TV/DT 64. Or at least, Your Tri-State Media Watcher hasn't seen it.
These stations need to do a LOT more. Here's some ideas for the 5 stations in our market.
1) Hold open houses in the area! Two stations in the Cleveland/Youngstown TV market already are doing it. (Hat Tip: OMW)
2) Conduct some kind of testing. Tell the viewers what will happen, but also show them. Don't do it during prime time, but do something!
3) BLITZ, BLITZ, BLITZ! We aren't talking about the kind of blitz the Cincinnati Bengals have trouble with. No, we mean a MAJOR public information campaign. Don't stop at the minimum! Do stories every week on your newscasts! WXIX is already doing it on a semi-regular basis. Why can't 5, 9, or 12?
4) Maybe you should also consider putting together a program, and simulcast it on all the stations at 7 on a week night. That's one program I would likely watch.
Right now, 19 is going it alone. I believe 5, 9, and 12 all need to step in and help. Not everyone in town watches Fox19. If we did, yes it'd be easier. But come on...your viewers need to know!
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