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Saturday, January 23, 2016

KHOU 11 has video server crash; replaces morning news with CBS

KHOU 11 learns old Beta SP tapes were more reliable

During a blizzard, you'd expect the TV stations in the affected areas to have technical trouble, but Saturday morning, it was a Houston station that got attacked by gremlins.

KHOU 11's Saturday morning news was taken down by the old computerized newsroom thing. Anchor Sherry Williams took to Facebook to explain the problem.

"All dressed up with no place to go," Williams wrote. "Our video player system crashed at #KHOU this morning. We couldn't do our newscast. So sorry peeps! We are fixing the problem and we will see you on air later today!"

Ahhh, technology...

Viewer reports say the CBS national feed took the local news slot.

This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened over at channel 11. In September 2014, I wrote how CBS Evening News took the place of KHOU's 6pm news.

All dressed up with no place to go! Our video player system crashed at #KHOU this morning. We couldn't do our newscast. So sorry peeps! We are fixing the problem and we will see you on air later today!
Posted by Sherry Williams KHOU on Saturday, January 23, 2016

(Thanks Kelly)


  1. Been there, done that.
    In the new age of automation, there's rarely a backup plan in place for a catastrophic failure like this and cutting to the network feed (or some ancient syndicated show) is your only option.

    As far as I know, Newsf*x still records a backup of their "live" show ahead of time so it can be used in case something goes wrong when it comes time to air it for real.

  2. What kind of system do they use?

    1. KHOU uses Sony ELC for its newscast automation. I think that is standard across the TEGNA stations.

      I imagine there are more than a few ex-TV people out there that are getting a smile out of this. When automation crashes there is no backup because there is no longer any human staff available to manually run things.

  3. KHOU news production quality has suffered signficantly since the Gannett takeover. The automation is a joke. Anchors are often cut-off in mid sentence. I wish Gannett (or Tegna as its now known) would sell.

  4. There's no excuse for this. Period. If you truly care about customer service versus lip service and taking for granted your audience, in this case you're a station that is viewer centric, you prepare for the unexpected as best you can. This is "best practices"? Hardly. And for a network affiliate in a major market. I don't care whether its CBS, ABC or XYZ; not acceptable in this day and age. Put up the money or move over for an owner that will. This is as bad as when CBS cut from the Super Bowl to air 60 Minutes! Ahh are we talking about THAT anniversary??? Mike you've got to get a copy of that video feed and post it!!


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