Here's a paraphrased example of a phone call from a viewer we can count on at girls (and boys) state tourney time: "I just watched your so-called newscast, and I noticed you don't think Iowa City is in the state of Iowa. You sure found time for Waukee, Dowling, and Roosevelt, but not time for every team. And you call yourself a complete broadcast... (click)" (Teams subject to change from year-to-year, but you get the idea.)
These calls, understandably, ring in because people who have relocated to Central Iowa want to see the old Alma mater or hometown. Unfortunately, on days when a lot is going on (take Wednesday for example: Girls State, Kansas at ISU, Iowa at Penn State, ISU women at Missouri, Indiana State at UNI, Bucs sold, IRL merger, boys basketball substates...), we have to make choices, and towns or schools in the channel 13 viewing area come first. Nobody watches us in Iowa City, unless they have a really BIG antenna (or they're on whotv.com).
Having said that, I'm often amazed how far our signal goes. I'm always happy to hear, and sometimes surprised, who's able to watch. I appreciate the feedback too because we need to know. We're trying to do the best we can. I've added scores or highlights in future sportscasts many times because I learned we're on in a place I wouldn't have guessed.
I wish I could say we'll cover Ft. Dodge as much as Des Moines, but the reality is proximity matters when it comes to coverage logistics. I'm sorry we can't be everywhere. It would make my inbox and voice mail a much more pleasant experience this time of year. I only ignore the people with no manners...
Big props to Shawn Terrell. Tuesday night he and Andy Fales covered the Drake game at Missouri State. Shawn drove back half the night, woke up Wednesday morning, reported live from Girls State at 5 & 6, then zipped up to Ames where he reported on Iowa State's loss to Kansas. He even found time to feed Jayhawk interviews to the NBC in Kansas City. Shawn, take a bow. And a nap.
I'm finally going Hi-Def. I think I was one of the final holdouts in the newsroom, but I decided I want to see the glorious grass of baseball fields in HDTV. I'm told it doesn't disappoint. I don't want to start a cable vs. dish war, but we stuck with Mediacom, and so far, I love it. The digital recorder improves on TiVo, the signal, compared to basic cable, is sharper even on non-HD channels, and with Mediacom phone and Internet, I was surprised at the bundled up price. Less than I expected (though I still need the Big Ten Network, and wish I had NFL Sunday Ticket.). I already have that, "why didn't I do this years ago" feeling. Then I remember the answer: cost of the 4o" Sony HDTV I wanted. Two years ago, it was $2500+. Last week I found it for $1300 locally, and $999 online with no tax or shipping. The picture is glorious. Can't wait to see the Cubs blow it in high definition.
Spiderwick Chronicles at the Science Center of Iowa's Imax screen is awesome. The kids will love it, parents will like it, and you'll make up for the additional box office charge at the concession stand. SCI's prices are reasonable, especially when compared to the ridiculous $4 Coke and $7 bag of popcorn at the chains.
Even with the win over Butler, Drake looks vulnerable. Adam Emmenecker is everything you want in a student-athlete, and deserving of all the praise, but his one flaw, the inability to shoot the 3, has defenses starting to sag off him. We'll see if it matters in St. Louis and beyond.
Do you think we've over-covered Drake? Under-covered? Just right? Vote at whotv.com on the sports page.
Have a great weekend! I can't wait to see Semi-Pro. Andy makes fun of me, but what can I say, Will Ferrell makes me laugh.