More Messages: 7 Hell

May is "sweeps" month, when ratings help determine advertising rates for TV stations -- and according to a knowledgeable insider, Channel 7's newscast numbers, particularly at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., aren't pretty. Granted, disaster can be averted if the rate of viewership increases over the next two weeks or so. But a couple of glitches during news shows yesterday, May 16, don't bode well.

Specifics? When I tuned in the 11 a.m. cast, I discovered a picture so distorted by digital signal issues that it looked like a Cubist still life -- and this technical difficulty remained in plain sight each time I clicked back over the course of an hour. A less showy but arguably more amusing problem afflicted the crawling ticker visible onscreen amid one of the late afternoon productions. One item claimed that onetime Survivor winner Richard Hatch had been sentenced to four years in the federal pokey for "tax invasion."

"Tax invasion"? Call out the National Guard. -- Michael Roberts

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