Wednesday, November 5, 2008

KEET is sorry for switching away before Obama's speech

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Obama giving historic Election Night speech

Obama giving historic Election Night speech

While watching Obama's big moment last night at home with friends and family, I was getting irritated by the scrolling tickertape of state-by-state results and other business at the bottom of the screen on CNN, so I changed the channel to 13, hoping for something cleaner from PBS. To my surprise, the speech wasn't on. My wife was screaming to get back to O, so I didn't linger long enough to see what was on, but I wondered who'd made the decision not to show this historic moment. Apparently I was not the only one who wondered this. KEET-TV just sent us this explanation:



KEET-TV apologizes for the interruption of election coverage on November 4, 2008.  The local PBS station broadcast live election coverage from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m, but the coverage was cut off before President-elect Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech shortly after 9:00 p.m. PST.  PBS stations across the country were offered a satellite feed of election coverage from the Newshour With Jim Lehrer from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. EST (6:00 to 9:00 p.m. PST).  The satellite feed was scheduled for broadcast on KEET-TV from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on November 4, and the station was switched over to its usual after-hours automation system at 6:00 p.m. The station was not notified that the Newshour coverage may extend beyond 9:00 p.m., until 8:32 p.m. PST.  Unfortunately, there are no staff members at the station after 6:00 p.m.  Therefore, the automation system switched from the Newshour election coverage to scheduled programming.  KEET management admits to an error in judgment regarding the possibility that election coverage may be available after 9:00 p.m.

KEET-TV Program Director Karen Barnes states, "We truly regret this failure to anticipate the extension of election coverage availability, especially at such an historic moment in our nation’s history.  We are aware that many television viewers rely on KEET-TV for information and we do take that responsibility very seriously. However, we understand that for many last night, we did not fulfill that responsibility and we are deeply sorry."  In response to this issue, Barnes has instated a new station policy that all live broadcasts be monitored by a master control operator or other station staff.
By the way, in case you missed it, here's a link to the speech.

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Bob Doran

Bob Doran

Freelance photographer and writer, Arts and Entertainment editor from 1997 to 2013.

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