The digital transition that was completed in June means that you can watch Channel 6's 9 p.m. newscast tonight even though Channel 6 -- or Channel 6.1 to be exact -- is carrying post-season baseball.
If you watch television over the air with an antenna, the Fox affiliate's 9 p.m. newscast will air on Channel 6.2, which usually carries the Retro TV lineup of old shows. The main channel, 6.1, will be running Fox's coverage of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, with the Yankees playing the Angels in Anaheim.
On cable, the Channel 6.2 signal is available on Channel 991 for subscribers to Time Warner's digital cable service, and on Charter Cable's Channel 967 for digital subscribers. But Channel 6's digital subchannel isn't available on satellite.
Yes, all those numbers can be mind-boggling. But they offer viewing choices that were previously unavailable.
"We knew when we started this channel that these were the kinds of things we were looking to do," says Chuck Steinmetz, general manager of the Fox affiliate. "It'll become a standard thing."
In the future, Channel 6.2 could also feature post-game sports programming or Packers programming.
"There are a lot of opportunities," says Steinmetz.
Meanwhile, work is coming to a conclusion on Channel 6's tower.
The station's new digital antenna was installed over the weekend and the next step is to "sweep" the antenna, Steinmetz explains. That's a final once-over to make sure that everything's working properly.
"By the end of the week, we should be done."
Not only will the new antenna increase the station's range, but it will give the signal "punch" so that it doesn't break up in low-lying areas.
And, Steinmetz says Channel 6 plans to launch high-definition newscasts before the end of the year.
Right now, Channel 4 is the only local TV news operation broadcasting news programs in high-definition.
ON TV: A federal court judge gave Illinois' disgraced former governor, Rod Blagojevich, the go-ahead to take part in next year's installment of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice." Ad Age reports he's already working on the NBC show, waiting on customers at New York's Burger Heaven.
- The Independent Film Channel has picked up reruns of all three seasons of picks up "Arrested Development," starting this weekend with two episodes airing back-to-back at 9 p.m. Sundays, and 8 p.m. Tuesdays.
- Michelle Obama joins Jay Leno for his "10 at 10" segment Friday night at 9 on Channel 4, answering 10 rapid-fire questions.
- TMZ is all over the balloon boy story, posting possible theme songs for the "reality" TV show balloon dad Richard Heene was floating.
- Speaking of theme songs, Vic Mizzy, the author of the classic theme songs to "Green Acres" and "The Addams Family," has died at 93.
TV IS FOREVER: Former Green Bay news anchor and Congressman Jay Johnson, who had also been director of the U.S. Mint, died over the weekend of an apparent heart attack.
But as of Monday, I was still seeing him popping up on TV in his last incarnation, as a pitchman for Goldline International.
Johnson's TV spot follows below.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.