Friday, April 10, 2009

A few parting words...

Hope I didn't get your hopes up with my return last week to comment on the elimination of local news on WYOU. I never planned my return to be permanent, mainly because I no longer live or work in NEPA. That makes it hard to keep up on local news happenings, even with the occasional tip that wound up in my inbox. The blog will stay up for your reading pleasure, and I'll still moderate comments, but unless another local TV news operation goes belly up (and let's hope that never happens) or something big happens, it's back to obscurity for yours truly.

But before I go, there's one thing that's been on the back of my mind since WYOU News was axed, and that's the film archive lurking in the bowels of 62 South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre. I've written about the archive before, and the importance of preserving it for the sake of local history, since WBRE and WNEP no longer have film archives. This collection dates back to the 1950s, and was preserved due to the efforts of longtime WDAU photographer Jack Scannella. A lot of important events were recorded on that film, as were everyday events.

You may not care that WYOU is no longer doing local news, but would you care if important pieces of local history wound up in the trash? Think how you would feel if someone threw away your treasured and irreplacable family photos or videos. The WYOU film archive could meet that same fate, unless someone steps forward to preserve it. NEPA is home to many libraries and universities that would accept the film and perhaps even preserve it in a digitized form for all to see.

And if you're a Nexstar/Mission Broadcasting executive, think of the good publicity you'd get from donating the film archive! Sure, you may have killed a local news outlet, but in a way, you would be saving local news by donating the film. Better yet, I'm sure you could get a tax write-off, and save even more than the $900,000 estimated savings. Besides, it's not like you're going to need that film archive for any WYOU newscasts, right?

If you feel the same way I do, won't you please contact WBRE/WYOU and politely ask general manager Lou Abitabilo to preserve WYOU's film archive? You can either call him at (570) 823-2828, send him an e-mail to, or use this Web form to contact him. Your efforts may help convince WBRE/WYOU to preserve important pieces of local history, before it's too late.

As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beale, it's sad that you won't be sticking around. Maybe you could entertain us with writings about the new area you are living in and letting us know if things are just as bad there.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the next time we all will hear from Beale again is when WBRE ceases their newscasts.

Maybe six to twelve months.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard, I want to thank you for all you've done to keep true blogging alive and well. If you don't stay active, we'll all be at a loss as to how to deal with all the frustrations in our lives related to local NEPA TV.

So far, no one has stepped up and filled the void you left when you stopped blogging about NEPA media.

How else can anyone learn about what is going on unless someone who is diligent enough to care blogs about it?

Please stay! We DO need your commentary here in NEPA - I'm a former viewer too, but I have roots in PA, even though I am a native New Yorker and live in NY State (Albany region) now.)

I lived most of my life in PA (down by Philly) - some of my life in Texas, and some in NEPA.

NEPA is a wonderful area and we need caring people to keep in touch with the area - both to report on the media and to report on goings-on in the area.

Even if you don't report solely about the media, PLEASE keep your blog alive - if for nothing else, but to provide news about NEPA.

The other blogs are stagnant and dry.

Your forum was always alive - sometimes people didn't want to hear the criticisms of others - but that is too bad from my perspective.

Sometimes the truth hurts - but, if it IS the truth, it needs to be shouted from the rooftops, not shut out from the public's view.

I would have no trouble reading/commenting on politics, local or otherwise, etc...

You DO have a lot of talent, and a lot of concern for viewers. It DOES show...

So, how 'bout it?

You've let us comment for years on the state of NEPA and its media...

Why not allow us to comment further on say, a national level, etc...?

I do know it may be a lot of work to moderate comments, but you've done a heck of a job thus far.

It would be crying shame to lose what I think is a dying breed of blog - one where people can truly state their views and let others comment on them.

Again, thanks for all you've done, and PLEASE, PLEASE - at least consider staying on!

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone out there actually started this dialogue with Nextstar to save that footage? I know the local film office would like to save it. Howard, sorry to see you go especially since you are obviously passionate about our little area. But we'll make sure your edict is carried out. Thanks for the prod.....

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the anonymous comment from before about WBRE ceasing their newscasts.. after watching both products lately I would much rather see WNEP go goodbye. Their news doesn't compare to WBRE and their product is lousy. I think it would've been better to keep WYOU and kill WNEP and their annoying cut of music they've been playing for the last 50 years..

12:42 PM  
Anonymous TK said...

I hope you return soon dude, I love your blog and would hate to see the whole WYOU dropping their news be your last entry, keep going. Hopefully someday you'll make a post about the return of WYOU News

12:48 AM  

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