Beacon Journal staff writer
Local TV viewers will get more chances to see Tuesday's gubernatorial debate. Two different technical problems interfered with live local telecasts.
Accidental damage to Time Warner Cable fiber-optic lines in the Cleveland area kept the service from carrying the cable channel Ohio News Network, the flagship telecaster of the debate.
ONN is a corporate sibling of the Columbus Dispatch newspaper; the Ohio Newspaper Organization, whose members include the Dispatch and the Akron Beacon Journal, sponsored the debate.
At the same time, an incompatibility problem in the signal of the program kept Cleveland station WVIZ (Channel 25), as well as its radio companion WCPN (90.3-FM), from carrying a live feed from ONN.
It was not known how many other stations were affected by that problem.
''We offered the feed, free of charge, to any television station that wanted to take it,'' said Barb Geller, communications manager for Columbus-based ONN. ''They were not required to report to us what stations recorded the debate or aired it live, so we have no way of tracking that.''
WVIZ will televise the debate at 9:30 p.m. Friday, pre-empting Need to Know. It will also be on WCPN at 8 p.m. Thursday.
In addition, WVIZ will have three telecasts on its Ohio Channel, one of the additional digital channels available to WVIZ's over-the-air viewers. Time Warner Cable also has the Ohio Channel on digital Channel 990 in the Akron-Canton area. The debate replays will be at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday.
ONN had already scheduled a debate replay for 8 p.m. Friday. The debate has also been available online at the network's Web site, http://www.onntv.com.
Time Warner, meanwhile, will put the debate on its Local on Demand channel (digital 411). The cable company hoped to have it available Wednesday night, and definitely some time Thursday.
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and in the HeldenFiles Online blog at http://heldenfels.ohio.com and on Facebook and on Twitter. He also does a weekly video chat for Ohio.com. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or email@example.com.
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