Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dad's surgery Update

Just an update about my father's surgery this afternoon at Covenant in Waterloo.

Dad went into the recovery room and will likely be there until about 4p today and will then head to an Intensive Care Room. That is standard procedure following this surgery.

The doctor said it went well, even showing mom the hunk they took out, which to what Mom called, "scary" for its size. She said it was about 1.5 inch long and fairly wide, the doctor said he's not sure how blood was still going through the opening.

He will be in ICU for the overnight and will likely be there until mid-morning, or depending on how his recovery is doing. He'll then go to a regular room and again his recovery pace will determine how soon he'll be discharged.

Right now the artery is thin, but will strengthen up in 24 hours. There was one other spot they were looking at and concerned about, but will only prescribe a baby aspirin to help take care of that blockage and gathering at that spot.

The doctor, who was called the best in the hospital, said the blockage gathers at the carotid because of the Y shape of the artery and vein right there and its common for stuff to gather there.

There was a concern about his lungs. Dad came back from his fishing trip with a bit of a cough and initially the staff thought Dad would be fine during the surgery. The doctors changed course and had him do a nebulizer this morning to clear up as much as possible so dad wouldn't cough during the surgery.

He went in surgery around 1:15p and Mom was called back to a room around 2:35p.

Mom said all is good for now on this procedure.

He can take visitors later, but not sure how many. He'll probably be home in two days. So, he'll be ready for the 4th. Alane is headed up right now and will likely greet him in his room around 4p. Kris will likely be there Thursday night and we plan to be there Friday and Saturday.

Thank you so much for your prayers and concerns over Kent. He can be difficult at times and if he only knew how much support he has, he'd likely be embarrassed. But this is why social media is important, a short work on my end can tell a lot of people quickly. I can give detailed info that you get and understand and you can be informed.

Thanks again for your support.

5p Update---
Alane made it to Waterloo. Kent was awake and knew who everybody was. He did take 3 tries to get Alane's name right... Hey, Julie, I mean Kris, I guess you're Alane...

He was a little uncomfortable, but that's what happens when you have a catheter in. Its now out and he's feeling better. I expect he'll see some visitors Wednesday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dad goes to the hospital

I better explain a few more details about my father's condition.

He's got glaucoma and was in for a regular check up. The doctor noticed something and passed on the info to another doctor who noticed the blockage. That's a sharp eyed eye doctor who was on the ball. There was really no indication of anything wrong. But dad did say one night he had a moment of numbness in his side and his speech slurred for a moment. I'm still not sure when this happened, but it was done in an instant.

His surgery will be on the carotid arteries. The test was done last week and the surgery will happen Tuesday at Covenant Hospital in Waterloo. He'll likely be there 2 days, maybe two overnights, but we'll see. He's not big on hospitals, but this will have to do.

The procedure will try to free up the 80% blockage in his carotid. The doctors will cut along his neck and try to free that blockage. It should take about 90 to 120 minutes.

Dad's cholesterol, blood pressure, eye pressure levels are all normal. He's a really healthy guy for someone who smoked for more than 40 years, but has since stopped.

I appreciate the prayers and thoughts for Kent.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Summer Sunset

There's something about a good sunset that's inspiring.

Some like a quick snapshot of reds, yellows and golds with some blue and purples, if you're lucky. Some like the tranquilness of the sunset to pause for reflection at the end of the day.

As a photographer, I don't know a sunset I didn't like. Some are better than others, but its usually hard to screw them up with your lens. But taking a picture of a sunset is one of those few things that you should just do with your mind's eye and not with your camera eye. Just bank it in your photo memory bank and not your online photo storage.

I am writing this from my back deck's patio, on a recliner chair watching a fire pit slowly die. The breeze is tickling me and is finally a cooling one. The day's wind is all but gone as a stillness settles in over my neighborhood. Its Sunday night. The festivities are all but done, people are starting to look at the week ahead. The trees stand stall and dark against the fading sky that's now more blue than red, and soon will be purple.

The farm where I grew up would provide some good sunsets. But our view to the west horizon was blocked by a barn and grove of trees. Those evergreens provided a windbreak against the northwest wind of winter, but did also block out the sun's dip below the horizon. I was on many a tractors at night when the sun went down as we were still working. The fall's sky fades quickly as the sun is hurrying to the southern hemisphere for summer. For these summer nights, the sun takes forever to settle. Its like a child trying to calm down after a big day of amusement park rides, trips to the pool and playing baseball in the backyard.

The summer sunset is a chance to sit on the porch, reflect on the day and get ready for the new one.

This past week, I did go on a road trip for the Iowa Journal. I was in Burlington and Davenport hanging out at the old ballpark. Each night around 9, I was waiting for the sun to go down and provide me with a great closing shot for my story, the sun giving off its palate of colors in the background as my favorite game played on in the foreground.

I didn't need a beer or cigar, just the gifts of sight and sound to take in the beauty ahead of me.

Now about that week that's ahead of me.

What's your favorite sunset moment?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Trying to understand

The murder of Aplington-Parkersburg head football coach Ed Thomas troubles me on so many fronts.

I just can't understand what goes through someone's mind in that situation. I've studied the mentally ill and wondered what is the cause of crimes like these, mental illness, drugs, a bio-chemical imbalance, what not.

This story is confusing because of the past relationship. I can understand holding a grudge against a coach for not letting you play, or screwing you over (in your own mind, when in reality, you probably didn't deserve to play) and out of playing time and holding that grudge for most of your life. But this is a place where they win. It wasn't a coach who was bad. They were good, year in, year out.

Now, he's gone.

What became center stage after one tragedy, is again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

I don't know the exact situation. One of my big sources of AP info is out of the state right now, so I'll wait, and be a consumer of the story that troubles me to no end.

Again, I learned many breaking details on Twitter. There were sources there resending someone else's info, but the story was out there.

A personal side note. My dad was at Covenant this AM for a test. His appointment was at 830. He told my mom later he heard the helicopter arrive from his exam room. Mom was in the waiting room and could see commotion and heard enough details and picked up signals that something was going on. The Trauma 1 call, 4 minutes ETA were both tips.

Its sad because so many kids thought the world of Ed Thomas and the role football played in their lives.

Football helped heal the community after the tornado of 2008, now they're going to have to heal again, and this wound seems mighty deep and the healer before is gone.

--- Update ---
ESPN featured the community in an E:60 story called the Sacred Acre.
Todd Bailey did work for the Des Moines Register in several pieces following the first game after the tornado. Also, this video is well done.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Parked Inn a hotel and on the side of the road

What started as a simple trip, ended with storm chasing.

Phil Blobaum and I set out for Mason City on Tuesday morning for a look inside the historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City. Its one of 6 hotels in the world designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Its also the only one still standing.

The city has gone back and forth on whether to save the hotel and attached bank building, but finally it looks like a full fledged renovation is going to happen. When I left Mason City for Davenport back in 2000, work started on the roof and a few exterior projects. Over the years, the hotel has seen some steady work on getting ready for the future, but not like what's planned.

We got a tour inside both buildings and it promises to be a big deal when complete. We'll follow that on Iowa Public Television's Iowa Journal program. IPTV also is showing a documentary called The Last Wright, in August. The doc was done by Lucille Carra and Garry McGee out of New York.

After getting a view from my old apartment building, City Center, Phil and I set out for lunch at The Other Place. Phil now knows what us Knights, Panthers, Lions, Mohawks and Overland Parkers have known for years, the pizza rocks.

When we got out of the OP, we noticed the skies were turning blue. We looked at the radar and started heading home, directly into the storm. I sent a text to KGLO/KRIB+many other stations, news director Bob Fisher to let him know we were headed into the storm and available for anything he needed. I ended up doing a live phone interview with Bob to tell my tale of the storm.

I started snapping pictures with my iPhone and posted them on twitpic through my Twitter account. I saw great shots of blue clouds, puffy skies and eventually wind, rain but no hail. We pulled off I-35 at the Burchinal exit to let the wind pass. The storm ended and we headed home.

Until we got to the Highway 20 exit and noticed the skies were getting blue, again. So we kept driving into another storm around Ankeny, to Johnston and then back to Ankeny.

Do you know how many times chasing storms I never caught them? Let alone twice in one day?

What are you favorite storm chasing stories?

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Ironman of TV - Ron Steele

There's really only one ironman in my book.

His name is Ron Steele.

Many of you know him for his on-air work at KWWL-TV in Waterloo, Iowa. He's been working at Channel 7 for longer than most of his co-workers have been alive.

Ron has been in the main anchor chair since the 1980's and before that, he was in the sports chair. I grew up watching him deliver the news. My parents still watch him deliver the news.

I had many tours through KWWL and each time I learned a lot from the man of Steele. I also got to learn a lot more about him from his former co-workers and boss, Liz Mathis and Grant Price. Liz would tell the story of how Ron reads down the middle of the tele-prompter. Not all the words around it, just down the middle, often re-writing his copy on-air after re-writing the copy 3 times before he went on-air.

Grant thought the world of Ron and the feeling was mutual.

But the stories that stuck with me were ones of dedication to the product. He would tell the newscast producer to have his suit coat and scripts along with his earpiece on his chair, on the set.

He was usually saying this as he was running out the door to go shoot some fire or robbery or hostage situation in Waterloo. Did I mention it was often after 9:30 PM, just 30 minutes before he was to say, "Good evening, I'm Ron Steele?"

Ron often will shoot his own stories. He'll take a camera and go on some trip in the viewing area and shoot his own video. He's the main anchor at the TV station that has reporters to do that. But, he still does it.

He did it again this weekend.

Storms were rolling to and through the viewing area. It was a Sunday night and Ron was ready to go. Twitter was a blaze about storms firing up and how @ronsteele7 was on the case.

Then there's this video. It is Ron, in the field, doing a live report, from the scene of storm damage. Eric Hanson is a former co-worker of Ron's and said Ron probably set that live shot up with the lights, camera and live truck all by himself, and then taught some neighbor to pan the camera during his live shot.

I don't doubt that's far from the truth.

He's not an anchor who's afraid to get his hair wet, hands dirty and chase a few storms now and then.

We all can learn more from the man of Steele.

What are your favorite Ron Steele stories?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iowa Press makes news again

Each Friday, some of Iowa's most important people come to my workplace.

Not to see me, but face the gauntlet called "Iowa Press."

The show is big horse in the stable of Iowa Public Television's local productions.

Any given week, a governor, a United States senator or legislative leader comes in and sits down for 27 minutes.

I don't actively participate in the production of the show, but I do follow closely what is done on the program and who is coming and going. I sit on the other side of the wall to Mike Newell, the producer of the program. I hear Mike make many calls a week looking for the big hitters each and every week for the show.

This week, Sioux City republican Rep. Chris Rants was in the building for his turn.

As expected, the first question was about Rep. Rants' plans to run for governor.

Rants said, he's forming an exploratory committee.

So, once again, news was made at 6450 Corporate Drive.

During most tapings, reporters from around the state will gather in our Maytag lobby to listen to the show. Then, most guests will emerge from the studio for a post-game wrap up or further follow up of their appearance. They can also get a soundbite or comment on another subject with our guest for their stories.

Today was no different as Radio Iowa, Iowa Public Radio, WHO Radio, the Des Moines Register all had representatives to hear Rep. Rants.

Many Friday's I can watch the program being taped while sitting at my desk. Its a great chance to see the show and then if need be, tweet the live action. Its fun to be a part of the news and hear extended interviews and comments from newsmakers.

You can see Iowa Press Friday's at 7:30p and Sunday at 11:30a.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Iowa Journal hits the road

I've asked for show ideas or topics in the past, so I thought I would update you on my progress.

Here's a look at some of the stories that are on my radar and are in the works for the next couple of weeks.

Park Inn Hotel (Mason City)

Next Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll go to Mason City for a look inside the Park Inn Hotel, the last Frank Lloyd Wright designed and standing hotel in the world. The Park Inn Hotel also is the source of documentary called The Last Wright. I think we may be airing it in August. I think this is relevant in a couple of ways for an icon of design (both Wright and the PIH) and the community is finally going to be taken out of disrepair and maybe into production (planned) as a hotel.

I will be getting a tour inside the hotel before they start the full reconstruction process in August. So, they are about to shut this thing down. Good to get inside and can follow a bit of the construction if we like. Also, if we do the Vision Iowa ten years later story (which would be in 2010), this can give us new video on a recent Vision Iowa project.

Midwest League Baseball
June 25 - 27
Trip to Burlington and Quad Cities for a look at their minor league baseball operation. Getting interviews and video of night games. What does a minor league team mean to its region, what is life like for the ballplayers, what is their chances of making it to the show. The same goes for the staff who have major league aspirations as well.

I'll be getting some video around those towns as well.

A third trip will be to Clinton July 6 and 7. I'll be trying to get some of the vineyard story shot as well when I'm out that far. This may be in Maquoketa or Jackson County, depending on what happens and schedules work out together.

That's my plan for now. Hope to see you on the road.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What would you pay?

You're reading this blog for free. Hopefully not against your will, but you never know.

Would you be willing to pay to read this? I'm not asking $47 a month, but what about a nickel or dime?
Would you be willing to pay to read a real bloggers thoughts?
Would you be willing to pay to read websites and their original news content?

Most of the time, the answer has been no. Most of the content on the web is free. Is that good?

There are still hard working people in the business of media. They should get paid for original work. Just like they do now by their companies, but when the New York Times turns a Ralph Blumenthal story onto the web, does he get paid extra for it?

Apple figured out that 99 cents wasn't so much to ask for a song. I don't mind paying that. It doesn't seem like a lot of money for a song I'll listen to 34 times.

If the content is good, original and insightful, why not pay for info? If its linked 12 times from the original source, it must be good, but who gets money for all that linking?

How about older material? If we've got archives of old video at IPTV, would you be willing to pay to see a clip from 1974? How about 2004? We like our content to be seen, but we also are trying to not be a huge sucker of tax payer money and at least get some money for our content.

The horse is out of the barn. Its hard to get the toothpaste back into the tube. So, getting money for what is now 'free' on the internet is hard to do.

What are your thoughts on paying for content?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cape meets war and presidential candidate veteran

Just a follow up on Dan Wardell hitting the road and coming to your city.
Monday Dan was in Denison and Glidden. Tuesday you can see the cape in Guthrie Center and Bayard. Then he continues to northwest Iowa for Orange City, LeMars, Sioux City and points beyond. His Dantastic Blog is here.

Here's also a follow up on the meeting between Dan Wardell and Sen. John McCain during their photo op during the Iowa State Fair in 2006.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

DTV is finally here

Its finally here.

The digital TV conversion will finally become reality on June 12, 2009. 

Billions have been spent in making the transition from analog to digital TV signals for stations across the country.

Iowa Public Television is a part of this as well. We've hosted town hall meetings across the state, answered phone calls and done several call-in programs about the DTV conversion. 

The facts are out there at several websites that are all linked at www.iptv.org.

IPTV is shutting off their analog signal at 12:01 AM Friday. That's the earliest you can do that. This gives us a chance to help you during business hours on Friday. We'll have people answering your questions on phone banks on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 

Other TV stations will be staggering their analog signal shutoff all Friday. KCCI  and WOI will be shutting off their analog signals at the last possible minute at 11:59 PM Friday. 

If you watch on satellite or cable, you are fine. Or if you've already got a digital TV, you're fine. But if you use an antennae to bring in analog TV, you'll need to get a converter box. Even if you've got sat or cable, I would still recommend a converter box just in case your cable signal goes out. That way, you can still get information in what's likely an emergency event.

On a follow up to yesterday's post about Dan Wardell.

Two years ago at the Iowa State Fair, Dan Wardell and Sen. John McCain were in the Varied Industries building at the same time. Dan made his way to the mob of people that was a part of the McCain train. Dan approached McCain who was visible taken aback by a grown man in a yellow cape and a camera with him. I think Dan got a picture with McCain, but you can tell McCain was wondering if this would make the Daily Show or the nightly news. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dan Wardell is a machine

I don't think I fully appreciated Dan Wardell until I started to work with him. 

Sure, I heard he still had a radio show. But, he's been a doing a radio show with his friends for years. That goes back to their time traveling to Waverly to do a radio show on KWAR. They were there every Saturday morning doing their wackiness. 

Dan started working at IPTV years ago and found a way to the on-air side of things. He was doing some kids club events, some pledging fun and other tidbits like health minutes.

When I got to IPTV in 2007, he was the man here. He hits the road the entire summer on a grueling schedule reading to kids in nearly every library in the state. He puts in long days, but loves what he does.

My son loves Dan. He doesn't really know that Dan and I go all the way back to Wartburg, but he knows his dad and Dan are friends. Dan and I are members of the Wartburg College class of 1998 and both communication arts majors.

Last summer Dan came to the Kirkendall Library in Ankeny and Noah was there as well. Noah not only got called out of this massive crowd, but got to go on stage with Dan and answer some questions in front of the entire group. Good times for Noah. I've got the picture still on my desk top from the Des Moines Register. 

Dan makes memories like that all summer wherever he goes. Today its Fort Dodge and Algona. 

You can follow his travels and see all the pictures he uploads right here

He'll be in Clear Lake and Hampton on Thursday. There's a great story about the people of Hampton wanting Dan to come to their library. Dan opens applications or requests for his visit on January 1. Dan got emails from Hampton at 12:01 A.M. on January 1st, 2009 requesting that Dan come visit them in Hampton. He'll be there Thursday.

Happy reading and road tripping with Dan Wardell. 

If you miss him in your town, try seeing him at the State Fair in the Varied Industries Building. Just look for the crowd that's stopping up the aisles and hallways and look for a guy in a yellow cape.

Have you got pictures with Dan and your kids? Post them, I'd love to see them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Daily Show does it again

The Daily Show is an incredible show.

Comedy Central's lead program brings the network incredible ratings and legitimacy with its nightly program about the news. Its a faux newscast that does a good job of educating the young americans who watch it instead of the real news. 

Its a show that says we as journalists are not doing our job. Each and every night Jon Stewart skewers networks and reporters and anchors for thoughtless things they do and say. 

Stewart also does a great job of pointing out the spin the networks seem to provide.

Take Monday's show for instance. Stewart pointed out, actually showed the Fox Network news team, going after President Obama. Stewart then shows MSNBC and many on the team going after Rush Limbaugh. Then there's CNN and how they only seem to be talking about Twitter. 

I don't remember journalism training being to biased. Its sad that each network can only be broken down to the apparent political leaning. But that's the times we live in now.

There's been several stories about the Daily Show and how they sort out the days news and pull all those clips and flips and flops by candidates and government officials. This New York Times blog story has a good synopsis of the show's routine. 

The Washington Post did a story about Adam Chodikoff last year that shows how much knowledge is in this guys brain and how he remembers dates and who said what and when. Each newsroom needs a guy like this and each network should have 17 of these guys around to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. 

The Daily Show uses comedy to point out inaccuracies, but its something the press tries to do each day, but can't quite pull it off. Usually when a media outlet points out something inaccurate, they get accused of being slanted or biased and then you get lost in the actual story whether it was wrong or right. 

I haven't even begun to talk about the Jim Cramer interview. 

Take a look at Monday, June 8th's Daily Show. You'll see why Stewart continues to be must see TV.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Preventing another great flood

This week marks the anniversary of the great flood of 2008. Cities from Mason City to Burlington along every river inbetween, remembers the water all too well.

Now, it is time to look back and see how people are doing a year later.

I helped a good friend move last week in Iowa City. I had not been in town in the daylight in quite some time. I was amazed at how many buildings along the Iowa River are still vacant and likely won’t be coming back in their current state. Several businesses on the Coralville strip are back, but its been a slow climb back to being above water. But several shops are still closed a year later.

I’ve been to Cedar Rapids a few times in the last year and there’s still work to be done there. House after house in an area south and west of downtown still has debris in the streets and homes are abandoned. Some still have part of a foundation left, but likely, not for long.

I still don’t think many people outside the flood zones have any idea how bad it really is in several parts of our state. I know many people saw the pictures during this week of June, 2008, but haven’t given it much thought since. That’s a shame. People are still hurting and are not back in their homes.

Our last Iowa Journal of the 2008-09 season aired last week. Producer Nancy Crowfoot looked at the flood issue from several angles. The official description is this:

“From climate change to agricultural practices to urban sprawl, there is plenty of blame to go around for the cause of the 2008 floods. The Iowa Journal explores the "blame" and what can be done to help mitigate future floods.”

We hit several areas of the state from Waukon to Waverly, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Wapello and Louisa County.

You can view the Iowa Journal online here.

Here’s one review of our program.

"Thank you for a very good program. It was balanced, it was based on reality and science, and it focused on people who know what they are talking about. And it dared to raise the overdue question of mandatory land-use regulations and the uncomfortable but has-to-be-faced fact that Iowa is behind the times in regard to watershed thinking. It should be required viewing for every state legislator. Thanks again!!"

So take a little time this week to see what you and I can do to make a difference. It is not going to be easy and this is something we all need to take stock in for ourselves.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Radio is the theater of the mind, what's that make internet radio?

Radio has always been fun to me. Its been a start to many things in my career.

Officially, I did start my media career as a picture printer at the Jesup Citizen Herald, but one of my first jobs at Wartburg College was working at KWAR radio. I did several radio shows on several topics and had fun at every turn of the record.

That was over the air, you could get the signal for 5 miles around campus and that was about it. There was no internet streaming to supplement your signal. KWAR was truly 10 watts of pure power.

What if you only had the internet signal? It wouldn't really be a signal, but rather a stream.

That's what is fun about the internet, everything is new and you can experiment and see what works.

Just like radio was when it started. It was new, people experimented and tried new things.

A Des Moines area business owner, J. Michael McCoy has done just about everything in media in this town. He's been on country, rock, talk and even christian radio stations. Now he's started up a web-only radio station. Its called Mac's World Live, a play on his old talk radio show.

The line up covers all sorts of topics and age groups. It really is community radio the way it once was. Even my friend Dave Price has a show.

The station is run out of his bar, Miss Kitty's in Clive. The studio is carved out of an old service area of the bar. The signal is only online but its also a webcast as well. There's 3 cams and the host of the radio show also is the director, switching shots as people talk on the radio in a room no bigger than my closet at home.

But that's what is so fun about radio and broadcasting. You hear it, you think big, grand thoughts. You think expansive studios with stuff happening all around it.

Radio has always been theater of the mind. Its a challenge to make it happen and be good. That's what is fun about it.

You can tell, I was excited to get a chance to do radio again.

Michael Libbie was one of our guests on our social media Iowa Journal. Libbie owns an ad agency called Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications. Michael is also an old radio guy who loves the theater of it as well. He hosts Insight on Business Monday - Friday from 1230 to 2p. He talks business, but wanted to talk more about IPTV and The Iowa Journal.

We did talk about social media, Sandi Lincoln, Twitter, Pat Dix, WHO-TV, gay marriage, Iowa, Wartburg, and eventually we did get to IPTV and the Iowa Journal.

Give us a listen if you like, the archived version is here.

Thanks again to Michael for the opportunity. Who knows, this may be the future of broadcasting.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Internet Radio

I'm going to see what this internet thing is all about tomorrow. 

Michael Libbie invited me to his show Insight on Business as part of Mac's World Live.  

I'll be on around 1245 central. So, log on and see what we talk about. I think we'll have some conversation about IPTV and the Iowa Journal.
We'll see if I know anything about my organization and show.

Give us a look and listen from 1245 for at least an hour. Michael is on until 2, not sure if I'll be there or not, so we'll see.

Also, on another personal note, a good friend of mine Mike VanGorkom is featured in Los Angeles Times. Mike was recently laid off from Yahoo. He has taken to his time off as fUnemployment. I've read part of the story and watched the video story on him. Great plug for Waverly's Wartburg College.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What to do on The Iowa Journal

Earlier this week the group of producers for The Iowa Journal got together to talk about The Iowa Journal. 

It doesn't sound newsworthy, but it is if you watch the show. 

We spent the majority of the two hours talking about ideas for the show. We are in a bit of a transition. Sid Sprecher has been at the reigns of the show since the beginning in October of 2007. He's retiring at the end of the month and we are now in hiatus after Thursday's flood show. We are done as a cost saving measure until the fall, maybe September, maybe October. 

So, we've got a little time to do some tweaking if we want. This may happen. 

What do you want to see? 

Here's some of the ideas being tossed around. 

We need to make sure the I in IPTV stands for Iowa. Its a lot to ask someone to travel from Decorah to Johnston for an interview that may last 14 minutes. Its another to travel there and do the interview by satellite. The cost is too great for one interview.

Have you used Skype? Oprah uses Skype for her show. Why can't we? We talked about how we could use it for guests in our news analysis section or a guest if we like. 

Its not HD quality, but from what I've seen Oprah do, the audio sounds good, but the pic is a little pixelated.  

What do you think of our interviews? Do they add to the information we provide on our topics. How about one guest or 4 guests each week? Do we do a show with just guests one week on a topic. We talked about spending a show with one topic in a taped piece. Then the next week we would look at the topic in a discussion. It seems like a lot of work, but would it be worth it?

Just thought I would clue you in what we're up to and talking about here on The Iowa Journal.