Archive for March, 2010

This might be taking “take your kid to work day” a bit too far

I’m not a big fan of air travel. I’m not what you would call a “nervous flyer” but I’m not really at ease on aeroplanes either. I just don’t like the idea of having that much distance between myself and the ground, and the air pressure changes annoy me along with the bits of turbulence…flying through cloud bothers me because it removes my ability to check that we’re still a reasonable distance off the ground, and then, well this will sound nuts, but there are no signposts at 40,000 feet, and so the lack of noticeable direction bothers me.

Anyway, with that in mind, you can probably understand how something like this disturbs me in more ways than I dare to count.

An investigation is underway after a child was heard giving instructions to a pilot from the air-traffic control tower at one of America’s busiest airports.

In a recording that has been confirmed as genuine by the Federal Aviation Administration, the child makes five transmissions from John F Kennedy International Airport — with the pilots in each case all responding enthusiastically to him.

The child is clearly under supervision and being fed lines, but even so, should not be in that position. Whilst the fact that a child was in a position to give orders to pilots is a concern unto itself, the fact that the child speaks, like most children, in a not-entirely-clear voice, is a bigger concern to me due to the increased likelihood of a misunderstanding.

This disturbs me too much to think about, so I’ll turn my attention to something more palatable: the TV news set in the video.

Set of FOX25 News Boston

Admittedly at this size it doesn’t come up all that brilliantly, but it’s an interesting set due to the way that it’s designed to have many different angles which all look vastly different, unlike many news sets which are designed to look like you’re stuck in one corner of a room.

Set of FOX25 News Boston

I’ve highlighted the important bits here. The Red box shows the female anchor who is presenting to the camera in front of her. The view has changed changed from the camera in front of her to this overview camera, and in a moment it will zoom in on the green box where a reporter is standing in front of another camera and is about to present to it. In the yellow box, a male anchor is standing by for his next appearance.

Given the shape of the set, it wouldn’t surprise me if off-screen there is another part of the set which is used as a backdrop for some other locally-produced program. It’s not uncommon for sets to be used for multiple shows, but it is fascinating to see a single set used for the one program but with a completely different “look” depending on the angle, and especially fascinating to see the overview of the set.

Or maybe I’m just easily distracted in an effort to not be disturbed by the news story.


March 4th, 2010 at 02:29am

So, where have I been?

Well, considering that my last post before disappearing for quite a while was one about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, I could claim that I was kidnapped by the UN and somehow managed to survive their attempts to brainwash me in to believing that:
1) There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
2) Global warming will doom us all
3) The IPCC is not one of the most flawed organisations ever to grace the planet
4) Wasting Spending all that money on UN paychecks programs is really worthwhile.

Thankfully such torture was not used on me…although if it had been, I might be able to explain this sudden urge to support Ban Ki-moon’s campaign to become the first President of his namesake satellite.

So where have I actually been, well for the most part I’ve been working. Work, sleep, eat and procrastinate pretty much sums up the last few weeks, although I did have a day off for Lord Monckton’s Canberra lecture (I didn’t fact-check the CT article did I? Another one for the pile of stuff I really should get around to doing I suppose) in the middle of one of the weeks where I was working more hours than usual.

I’ve also discovered that, since the concussion from my robbery and assault last year, I have needed more sleep than I used to require. It used to be the case that I could still be mostly functional on almost no sleep in a four day period…alas those days appear to be gone and I now struggle if I’m awake for a 24 hour block. The upshot of this is that I am awake less by necessity, and something on my list of commitments therefore had to fall by the wayside. That something, especially when I was working more hours for a few weeks, was this blog.

I’m not satisfied with that though and thoroughly intend on continuing this blog, just probably not as actively as I used to.

As for that announcement which I was going to make…well it ties in with this really. I’m leaving 1WAY FM and this coming Sunday night will be my final shift. I have a few reasons, but the most important one is the fact that I just can’t continue to work on Sunday night, struggle to get to sleep when I get home, and then work again in my “day job” on Monday morning. It does help a bit that my “day job” shifts have been altered so that I no longer work a full day on Mondays, but it doesn’t solve the problem of me working on auto-pilot zombie trance mode and needing to go back to bed after work.

I’ve enjoyed volunteering at 1WAY FM, but I just can’t continue with it…not when it is eventually going to result in me falling asleep at my desk and spilling coffee on equipment. This decision was not easy, as I quite enjoy what I do at 1WAY FM, but it is the right decision.

Where I’ll next pop up in radio land I have absolutely no idea and, at this very moment, I’m not really looking. I do need a bit of a break, although as usual I have some ideas (rarely do I ever run out of ideas) and it will be interesting to see which ones make their way in to reality.


2 comments March 2nd, 2010 at 06:12am

Welcome to commercial reality SBS

SBS are crying poor, and blaming Channel Nine for their woes.

SBS’s director of television and online content Matt Campbell has painted a grim picture of the broadcaster’s operating situation, blasting the Nine Network’s deal to secure the popular Top Gear programme and saying that the coffers are near-empty.
A $4 million increase in funding from the Federal Government would be insufficient to cover the decline in advertising revenue, leaving the corporation “in the s**t”, he told the conference. Depicting the situation as “dire”, he said that “we have no money for online; we have no money for SBS TWO”.

Well SBS, welcome to commercial reality, welcome to the real world. Whose fault is it that you didn’t build any exclusivity in to your Top Gear contract? Yes, that’s right…yours.

Putting that to one side, you are a commercial operation, and your advertising revenue reflects your ratings. You are airing hour after hour after hour of programming which almost nobody wants to watch…we have a World Movies Channel on pay television which does pretty well for itself covering much of the same ground as you…the difference is that the people who want to see it, pay to see it.

So here’s a novel idea, rather than asking for more money from the government, why not do what PBS do (yes, PBS, the people from whom you buy the Jim Leher show) and ask for donations? This has a number of benefits, the biggest of which being that people will feel more involved in the station and will be more likely to provide you with feedback as to what they actually want to watch. You can then, in turn, use that information to sell more targeted advertising.

I, for one, would be willing to pay for a 112 Emergency marathon. I’m probably the only person in the country with an interest in that, but you would make money out of it…and best of all for us out here in taxpayer land, you wouldn’t be draining our taxes just so that you can show us stuff that we quite simply don’t want to see.

To the same extent, I’d like to see the ABC become commercial and sever ties with the government, although I suspect that with their higher ratings and a massive radio network which is actually broadcast in English, they might have a better chance than SBS of being commercially viable with their current programming.

SBS, in the real world, you have to adapt to changes. If people aren’t watching, and you’re having trouble attracting advertisers because of it, adding additional channels of the same junk won’t fix the problem…you need to adapt to suit what the people want to see. Or you could just hand in your broadcast licence so that we can sell if off to somebody who can actually broadcast something of interest…perhaps an Australian FOX News clone (Sky News, despite being run by similar people, does not count for a number of reasons which I’ll outline in a future post) to balance out the ABC’s impending 24/7 news channel?


March 1st, 2010 at 03:17pm

Rex Hunt and Sandy Roberts to head Crocmedia regional AFL radio coverage — 2CA relaying in Canberra

Update: I’m being told by somebody else now that 2CA are not covering the AFL. I can’t think of a good reason for either party to lie to me, so I’m more than a tad confused by the whole thing. I’ll update this again if and when more details come to hand. End Update

I can’t remember if I wrote anything about 3AW dropping Rex Hunt from their AFL commentary team. I remember writing that I would not be listening to 3AW if they went ahead with it, but I can’t find any proof that I ever wrote anything after they announced that they would actually be dropping Rex.

At the same time, 3AW and Triple M swapped commentators. Rex will be calling football for Triple M on Saturday afternoons, and Brian Taylor will be going to 3AW (eep, they can keep him). Taylor will be joined by Tim Lane, further cementing my decision to steer clear of 3AW this year.

Sandy Roberts and Rex Hunt. Image courtesy CrocmediaI was pleased to see Rex sign with Triple M…but I’m even more pleased to see him sign with Crocmedia who, along with 3AW, have the commercial radio relay rights for the AFL. Crocmedia, who will be basing their operation in the studios of 3BA Ballarat, have signed both Rex Hunt and Sandy Roberts.

One of things which disappointed me when Seven regained the TV rights was that they didn’t bring Sandy Roberts back to the commentary box despite Sandy being their prominent sport presenter on Seven News Melbourne and presenter of various highlights programs. This sense of frustration has been increased of late due to the fact that I have enjoyed Sandy’s commentary on the overnight AFL replays on 7Two.

Needless to say, I was therefore absolutely delighted when I found out that Sandy Roberts had signed with Crocmedia along with Rex Hunt. Sandy will call Friday night and Saturday afternoon matches, while Rex will lead the commentary on Sunday afternoons.

Alas, I’m informed that Crocmedia will not be able to stream their coverage online, however they do have a growing network of relay stations which will be taking their coverage. The great news for those of us here in Canberra is that 1053 2CA will be taking the Crocmedia coverage, although I’m not sure at this stage which matches they will be covering. I’m hopeful that they will cover it as much as they did back when they relayed 3AW a few years ago…Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. I’ll let you know when I find out more.

(A side note to Capital Radio management: this information was not obtained at the Ray Hadley OB on Friday, which can be confirmed by a quick look back through my Facebook status updates. You will see that I first learned of this mid-last week. I won’t reveal how I came by this information though.)

Image courtesy of Crocmedia


March 1st, 2010 at 03:00pm


Will you accept a note? No? OK then, so be it…

Yes I’ve been absent…I’ll explain later when I’m not so tired. I just have a couple things which I want to publish quickly before I have a nap, and then I’ll be able to spend a bit more time later explaining both my absence and that announcement that I was supposed to make a few weeks ago.

I hope you’re all well!


1 comment March 1st, 2010 at 02:41pm

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