Bad night in the tape room.

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Tonight, WPBA aired three parts of the American Masters series completely out of order. Baffled viewers saw part two of Edward R. Murrow, part 1 of Murrow, and then one on Walter Cronkite, which was supposed to air first.

Maybe it was just baffled viewer, singular. Maybe I was the only one watching.

I called master control. (They seemed surprised an ordinary viewer could get through their phone tree.) “Tape problem,” they said. “We had to do it.”

I was about to launch into a diatribe that would begin “how could a modern station let this happen,” but then I remembered WPBA is barely a station at all, held together with duct tape, and misspent school board money, and anyway, uh, there was that time in the early eighties where WTCG master control (that would be me and two others) aired the reels (yes, film reels) of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” out of order.

So, instead, I said, “Good luck, and good night.”