Friday, August 05, 2005

Channeling My Thoughts

I keep resisting the notion that the impending network affiliation switch between WICS Ch. 20 and WAND Ch. 17 is any big deal. I mean, the community isn't losing anything. The same network TV shows will be available and the respective news organizations will remain unchanged. Still, when I read the news, I too felt a bit of, well, shock.

Maybe it's because something very familiar is changing. Imagine if the city suddenly switched the names of MacArthur Blvd. and Stevenson Drive, one for the other. They would be the same streets going the same directions. No buildings, homes or business would move. Yet it would be somewhat disorienting. A bit of everyday reality would have just flipped; the earth would have slipped slightly on is axis. So that's where I think the interest/concern comes from.

I grew up here at a time when there were only three channels available and, of course, no cable or satellite TV. As a kid, TV was a pretty important piece of my world. In early grade school I could tell you the entire primetime lineup for all three stations for each day of the week. I was not allowed to watch that much TV but I sure as hell knew what was on for the times I could watch. I distinctly remember thinking it odd that grown-ups often didn't know what was on at any given time.

In that sense, something very basic to me is touched by this. Ch. 20 has always been an NBC affiliate! While the world changes in small ways daily, certain things seem immune to change, and when they do change feeling unsettled is a reflex. Intellectually, I really don't care that much about the network realignment but it's still bothersome at a basic level. Maybe its just one more thing to make me feel older.

By the way, Jim Leach has started discussion over at Look Back Springfield on Springfield broadcasting memories. Head over and join in.


Aakash said...

I have commented at other weblogs that I don't like change. This is true for many things.

I had heard about this change on the radio today (if you're looking for 'Law and Order,' you "might get Lost"... clever...) - but it wasn't until I just read this entry of yours that it struck me what this would be like.

Even when they changed the channels some time ago, NBC and ABC stayed the same.

NBC and TV 20 news have always been on Channel 2, while ABC has been Channel 13. That is the way it is supposed to be.

It is going to be traumatic witnessing this change... I hope that there is some way that it can be avoided.

Otherwise, I may need therapy to cope.

(Perhaps we could start a support group?)

Marie said...

On Channel 20 tonight, all the ads for this fall's new TV shows ended with, "this fall on ABC." These were ABC show ads airing on an NBC show. Even though I know what to expect, these ads caught me off guard. I'm sure some program director somewhere is laughing his fool head off at the confusion this is already causing.