As Kate shows us, Channel 7 had a nice opening gambit with a screen showing 12 reporters and weather people in little boxes. Will we see a station break Channel 25's record of 17 heads on a screen, set in the January nor'easter? Or will Channel 25 round up some kids at a local sledding hill to maintain their dominance?
Local TV stations covered our first snowstorm of the season just like you'd expect: Reporters stood by the side of highways (I-93 in Andover seemed especially popular today for some reason), made snowballs, cleared off cars, climbed snow mounds and stuck rulers in the snow.
And then there was Steve Cooper on Channel 7. Not only was he next to I-93 in Andover, he reported while wearing snow shoes and goggles and holding ski poles - except for the moment captured by KMV, when he swapped out the snow poles for boxes of Devil Dogs and other pastries.
WGBH won $218.7 million and WHDH $162.1 million, in a federal auction in which they agreed to move or shut down their on-air frequencies so that wireless providers can get more bandwidth.
WGBH's money comes from its decision to move both WGBH and WGBY in Springfield to different frequencies. WHDH owner Ed Ansin will take his money for just shutting down Channel 56's current frequency - although WLVI will live on in a "channel share" arrangement with WHDH. Read more.
As we've been breathlessly reporting all day, some local TV stations have waged a relentless battle today to see who could get the most on-air personnel on a screen at one time. Channel 7 threw down the opening gauntlet with an "8-box" (i.e., 8 reporters in little boxes at once), Channel 25 briefly got in the action with a 9-box, but then Channel 7 knocked them out with an 11-box - before Channel 5 topped them with a 12-box. Channel 7 caught up, but now it really looks like WCVB is determined to end this thing once and for all: Around 5 p.m., Channel 5 Executive Producer Scott Isaacs posted this screen capture of a screen-dominating 16-box display.
No, we probably won't break any snowfall amounts, but could we break the record for the most number of TV reporters crammed onto a single screen?
John Zaremba captured this "8-box" on WHDH this morning. Who can top that? And will any of our local stations approach the 24-box an Atlanta station managed in 2014? Good luck, we're all counting on you.
UPDATE: Channel 7 ramps it up to 11, but channel 5 goes "in your face!" and cranks it up to 12. Channel 7 then responds! See down in the comments.
WBZ's Bill Shields was standing at Plymouth Rock around 12:30 p.m., after he had been forced to put on goggles because of the high winds. He began shuffling to show us something. "Jesus!" he exclaimed, as the wind almost knocked him over.
Meanwhile, down in Sandwich, WBZ's Beth Germano and NBC Boston's Susan Tran both struggled not to be swept out into the angry sea. Tran brought a large yellow scarf with her to hold aloft to prove that it was, in fact, windy. Dan Hausle, also on a beach in Sandwich, picked up some flotsam, or possibly jetsam.
WCVB's David Bienick was standing by at the Charlton rest stop on the turnpike, where he scooped out some snow with his hand before running after some guy getting in his car to ask him, in so many words, what kind of idiot he was. WCVB later showed us a viewer photo of a ruler stuck in the snow, followed by another viewer photo of a patio table covered by snow.
The Herald reports WHDH is saying enough with this NBC nonsense and will start airing 87 hours of news a week in January - when it loses its NBC affiliation.
News-weary Channel 7 viewers will get a break between 8 and 9 p.m., when the station will air "Family Feud."
The two settled their differences a few hours ago, so now local DirecTV customers can watch the rest of NBC's Olympic coverage.
WBZ reports Sunbeam Television, which owns WHDH, has sued Comcast over the company's's plans to strip it of its NBC affiliation and start up its own NBC station in the Bostonish area, using a transmitter actually located in New Hampshire - Sunbeam says that's an anti-trust violation and deceptive. Read more.
New England One reports WHDH is joining WCVB in adding a 7 p.m. newscast, so you can catch up on all the news you missed at 4:30 , 5, 5:30 and 6.
Steve Safran analyzes the NBC decision to smack WHDH upside the head and create its own station in Boston, using an antenna in Manchester, NH (a city that has so little going for it it has to keep pretending it's near Boston):
What we have in NBC Boston now is a cable and web-first product, a true 21st century operation that is no longer concerned primarily with what the antenna-only crowd is doing. It’s not longer about the WXXX or KXXX branding. It’s the network and the city. Smart. The changeover won’t happen until 2017, and Ansin is vowing to sue. But this kind of structuring will happen more as networks start to operate more like cable channels.
UPDATE: Say hello to Channel 60, soon with Harry Connick Jr.'s new daytime show. And Pete Bouchard.
News One reports NBC could announce its Channel 7 killer, NBC Boston, today and that Channel 7 owner Ed Ansin will be in town to meet with his local staff and possibly announce a lawsuit to block NBC. NBC wants to own a channel in Boston; Ansin, who runs WHDH as an NBC affiliate, doesn't want to sell.
Channels 7 and 25 began exclusive reporting from a MassDOT salt pile in Weston yesterday evening, more than 30 hours before the anticipated arrival of what Channel 25 tells us "won't be a winter wallop."
Exhausted evening reporters who reassured us the state had plenty of salt were replaced this morning by fresh reporters, who reassured us the salt pile had not disappeared overnight and was ready to be put to use in the first winter storm of the season. Read more.
New England One reports that WHDH's Janet Wu has left the station, leaving WCVB's Janet Wu our only on-air Janet Wu. Channel 7's Wu will continue teaching at Emerson, but has started doing some reporting for a New York station.
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