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Local News State of the News

John Boel Talks About TV News in New Book

For most of 2010 (and the two decades before) John Boel was one of Louisville’s most recognized reporters, anchoring WLKY newscasts and producing investigative reports. He was also one of the city’s most honored—70 Emmy awards, 9 Murrows and 39 first place finishes in Associated Press competitions.

That changed at the end of the year. Boel was arrested for a DUI, his second. He was fired. After a series of stories about his arrest (including several on WLKY), Boel dissapeared from local media. He entered rehab and served time on house arrest.

Now Boel is back. He’s thinner and healthier and no longer attempting to compete in Iron Man triathlons the day after drinking a case of beer. He also has a new book, On the News…In the News.

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Local News

Haygood Confident WLKY Will Remain On DirectTV

It’s down to the last two weeks for the contract that keeps WLKY-TV available to DirectTV customers in Louisville.

WLKY’s parent company Hearst is currently in talks with DirectTV over how much the service provider should pay the station to rebroadcast local content. WLKY general manager Glenn Haygood says the procedure is fairly routine, and he’s confident an agreement will be reached soon.

“No one wants any consumer to lose any services or any programming that they know and they like, so it’s in everybody’s best interest to make sure WLKY is still provided to everyone on every delivery platform that’s out there,” he says.

The contract expires at the end of the year. Haygood says agreements between networks and service providers generally last three years, but he can’t reveal details about DirectTV’s agreement.

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Local News

DTV Transition Complete, WLKY Still Broadcasting Analog

The digital television transition was Friday morning but some analog signals are still on the air in Louisville.

Starting Saturday, WLKY-TV will participate in an FCC program to help stragglers make the transition to DTV. General Manager Glenn Haygood says the station will broadcast transition information for the next 30 days.

“We’ll insert instead a 15 minute loop that is a DTV education message,” he says. “Half of it is in English and the other half of it is in Spanish.”

A Nielsen report estimated that 2.5 percent of households in Louisville were not ready for today’s (Friday’s) transition, but Haygood says calls to his station have been mostly from people have prepared for the switch, but are having trouble with their converter boxes.

“That’s the good news,” he says. “Everybody is aware of it—it’s really just an issue of technically helping people right now.”

The station’s analog signal will also serve as an emergency channel in the case of storms or other urgent situations.

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Local News

WLKY Head Opposes DTV Delay

A proposal to delay the national digital television switchover could cost local television stations tens of thousands of dollars if it’s enacted.

Nearly all Louisville area TV stations are currently broadcasting both digital and analog signals. WLKY General Manager Glenn Haygood says altogether, Louisville’s stations are spending about $50,000 a month to keep the analog signals going.

And he says stations have been advertising the February 17th switchover for months.

“If all of a sudden a couple of weeks before the transition date actually gets here, we reverse course on that and start giving people a different now, I’m very concerned that it’s going to cause a tremendous amount of confusion on the part of viewers as to exactly what’s going on,” he says.

President-Elect Barack Obama and several other politicians are pushing to delay the DTV switchover. They say not enough people know about the transition and there’s not enough money to fund vouchers for converter boxes before February 17th.