TV Glitch

From AZCentral today:

TV glitch pre-empts part of Scottsdale council meeting

by Edward Gately – Jun. 7, 2012 12:55 PM
The Republic |

A technical glitch during Channel 11’s live broadcast of Tuesday’s Scottsdale City Council meeting partially pre-empted the presentation of a petition calling for an independent review of the Police Department.

Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life, presented the petition signed by him, his wife, Debbie Crawford, and 15 other Scottsdale residents. It seeks an audit of the Police Department’s budget, allocation of resources, policies and procedures regarding law enforcement in the downtown area.

Crawford also is running for a seat on the council.

While Crawford was presenting the petition, the broadcast switched to automated programming, showing “Recreation Leaders.” The automated programming continued through a portion of his presentation, then switched back to live broadcast.

“It interfered with a public meeting and my protected right of free speech,” Crawford said.

Crawford believes the city isn’t providing the Police Department with enough funding and resources for adequate law enforcement in the downtown entertainment district.

Councilman Bob Littlefield moved for the council to add Crawford’s petition to the agenda, but the motion died because no other council member supported it.

On Wednesday, Crawford filed a complaint with City Clerk Carolyn Jagger over the television pre-emption. John Washington, a mayoral candidate, joined Crawford in his complaint. A portion of Washington’s comments to the council was pre-empted during its May 22 meeting.

Brent Stockwell, strategic initiatives director in City Manager David Richert’s office, said the pre-emption was caused by operator error.

“When a live broadcast starts, the staff member covering the meeting has to log in to a computer in the broadcast booth and remotely turn off the automated computer program in the production studio,” he said. “If this is not done, the automated program will continue to run, and as soon as the next regularly scheduled program is set to begin, the next program …automatically turns on.”

To avoid future pre-emptions, a “preflight” checklist is being prepared to ensure that each staff member covering each live meeting takes care of this and other important items , Stockwell said.

The rebroadcast of the June 5 meeting will be correct and complete by 5 p.m., today, he said. In addition, the corrected streaming video version was expected to be available by Thursday afternoon, he said.

Crawford wants his presentation, as well as any other pre-empted speeches, to be rebroadcast during an upcoming council meeting. He also wants to reread his petition at the next meeting.

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