SYRACUSE -- The three local TV stations operating under the "CNYCentral" banner added something different to their newscasts today. They're now airing obituaries, in an effort to capitalize on the local newspaper's recent decision to reduce home delivery from daily to just three days a week.
CNYCentral consists of Barrington Broadcasting-owned stations NBC3 (WSTM) and CW6 (WSTQ-LP), along with CBS5 (WTVH), which is owned by Granite Broadcasting, but operated by Barrington through a shared services agreement.
In an announcement on CNYCentral.com this afternoon, the stations explained they are "partnering with several area funeral homes to help fill the void left by The Post-Standard’s decision to cut home delivery of the newspaper" earlier this month.
Although the newspaper continues to publish seven days a week, it is only delivered to subscribers on three days. The other four days, the paper is only available for sale at retail locations, and only within Onondaga County. The change, which took effect earlier this month, was announced last summer. Syracuse Media Group, owner of the newspaper and its partner site syracuse.com, said it made the changes to reflect the way more and more people are getting their news online.
The CNYCentral.com story explained, "by airing the obituaries on the different CNY Central stations, we hope to help those who do not have daily access to a newspaper or internet."
CNYTVNews.com was rolling on CBS5 at 6:00, when tonight's group of obituaries aired. As you can see in the YouTube video below, the obituaries consist of names, photos and the name of the funeral homes handling arrangements, while "Amazing Grace" plays in the background. Some of the text is obscured by the CBS 5 logo/time/temperature bug.
Look closely at the bottom of the video (click the "full screen" icon if you like), and you can see a mouse pointer clicking on hyperlinked numbers to cycle through four "stills" of obituaries.
Right before the end of the segment, someone slides the mouse up to the top of the screen, briefly revealing the Windows Internet Explorer address bar, giving away the fact the obituaries are not part of the regular news graphics system. Rather, they appear to be airing from the video output of a PC, with the obituary pages coming from an internal web server. (This also seems to explain the brief flicker between pages, rather than a smooth dissolve or an instant cut.)
CNYCentral says obituaries will air on the following newscasts each day:
Announcements are also posted on CNY Central's website.
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