What's Bugging New Orleans, and the rest of the US


In an article in the TV focus section of the local paper ,titled

" Station ID Bugs 'Futurama ' Fan"

The viewer is commenting on the graphic "BUG" that most networks and local stations now put in the lower right corner of the screen. When these things first came on the scene some time ago I took a fence, what the broadcasters were trading me for watching there commercials was a clean quality program. The yuppies in charge decided the viewers were to stupid to know what and who they were watching. The true test of these "BUGS" happened when they were new, the pay service SHOWTIME tried putting a SHO "bug" on the programs people were paying for. This went over like a led balloon. A huge portion of showtimes subscribers canceled there service. This instant FEED BACK caused the yuppies at showtime to pull the BUG and it never returned. Many years ago and just recently I took an informal poll of local viewers to see what were the worst and least objectionable BUGS. The following was the result from most objectionable to least,

WVUE -to much to big and in full color, most program bugging

WWL-to big because they gang the CBS eye and a local WWL together

WDSU -to busy (peacock and NBC) but transparent

WUPL Way to big but transparent

WNOL -just to big but transparent

WLAE To big and not needed

WGNO least objectionable of all bugs used, small ABC transparent circle.

WYES was rank best unmolested video on local over the air TV, they do not BUG! The last of the old time clean program broadcasters. I hope they do not change, it is a pleasure to watch a flick with out a continuous AD.

In the article a WVUE spin doctor claimed this was an FCC requirement. This is not true. And I am amazed the reporter did not catch them on this poor attempt at spin. The Promotions person was trying to pass off a promotions tool as a legal ID required by the FCC. Not so, These bugs do not fill the requirement for a legal station ID and a legal ID is only required once an hour and has to contain vary specific information , the rules even allow for window of time so the station does not have to abuse program content, like they use to do. Even with BUGS todays ,human master control operators try to select the least objectionable BUG mandated by the GM's. This is not the case with the M5 central crapping, the computer is given instructions on bug timing to avoid putting them over paid spots. Humans do not have the chance to be artistic with this system. Like the American Auto makers did in the 70's ,the broadcasters are pushing the viewers away with both hands and then complaining about lower numbers watching them. Unlike the auto makers lets hope the yuppies realize the error of this screen abuse and once again cater to the viewer- the viewer pays the freight for TV. I have wanted to vent on this one for a decade, I feel better.

The following is the FCC rule on the subject of "station ID" and was available from the FCC web site at WWW.FCC.GOV

[Code of Federal Regulations]

[Title 47, Volume 4]

[Revised as of October 1,2001]

From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

[CITE: 47CFR73.1201]

SERVICES--Table of Contents Subpart H--Rules Applicable to All Broadcast
Stations Sec. 73.1201 Station identification. (a) When regularly required.
Broadcast station identification announcements shall be made: (1) At the
beginning and ending of each time of operation, and (2) Hourly, as close to
the hour as feasible, at a natural break in program offerings. Television
and Class A television broadcast stations may make these announcements
visually or aurally. (b) Content. (1) Official station identification shall
consist of the station's call letters immediately followed by the community
or communities specified in its license as the station's location: Provided,
That the name of the licensee or the station's frequency or channel number,
or both, as stated on the station's license may be inserted between the call
letters and station location. No other insertion is permissible. (2) A
station may include in its official station identification the name of any
additional community or communities, but the community to which the station
is licensed must be named first. (c) Channel--(1) General. Except as
otherwise provided in this paragraph, in making the identification
announcement the call letters shall be given only on the channel identified
thereby. (2) Simultaneous AM (535-1605 kHz) and AM (1605-1705 kHz
broadcasts. If the same licensee operates an AM broadcast station in the
535-1605 kHz band and an AM broadcast station in the 1605-1705 kHz band with
both stations licensed to the same community and simultaneously broadcasts
the same programs over the facilities of both such stations, station
identification announcements may be made jointly for both stations for
periods of such simultaneous operations. (3) Satellite operation. When
programming of a broadcast station is rebroadcast simultaneously over the
facilities of a satellite station, the originating station may make
identification announcements for the satellite station for periods of such
simultaneous operation. (i) In the case of a television broadcast station,
such announcements, in addition to the information required by paragraph
(b)(1) of this section, shall include the number of the channel on which
each station is operating. (ii) In the case of aural broadcast stations,
such announcements, in addition to the information required by paragraph
(b)(1) of this section, shall include the frequency on which each station is
operating. (d) Subscription television stations (STV). The requirements for
official station identification applicable to TV stations will apply to
Subscription TV stations except, during STV-encoded programming such station
identification is not required. However, a station identification
announcement will be made immediately prior to and following the encoded
Subscription TV program period. [34 FR 19762, Dec. 17, 1969, as amended at
37 FR 23726, Nov. 8, 1972; 39 FR 6707, Feb. 22, 1974; 39 FR 9442, Mar. 11,
1974; 41 FR 29394, July 16, 1976; 47 FR 3791, Jan. 27, 1982; 48 FR 51308,
Nov. 8, 1983; 56 FR 64872, Dec. 12, 1991; 65 FR 30003, May 10, 2000]

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