Broadsheet BEE: Issue number two; the adventure continues
It has been quite an adventure for us to reassemble THE BEE that you're used to into its new size and configuration, and so far the comments we've received informally are positive.
Now that we're a full-size "broadsheet" newspaper, after many decades as a "tabloid", the new BEE offers a bit more color – albeit in different places – and, it's worth noting, on sturdier pages of paper. We're bigger: We used to have 16 inches of vertical space available on each page; now it's 21.5 inches.
Practically every aspect of how we develop page content technically has changed in the very recent past, and our challenge has been to adapt to the new size while still giving you the same experience in reading it – and continuing to meet and exceed the expectations you have for THE BEE, as a reader. So far, we think we are succeeding. If you disagree, let us know, and tell us how we might better serve you.
It's worth mentioning that driving this change, and making it work, is a major renovation of the Pamplin Media press facility, which is located in Gresham. The press has been upgraded to produce all of our Oregon newspapers, some of which were previously printed in Salem. So, while other newspapers may be selling their presses, we have invested in upgrading ours.
And, of course, while other newspapers are shrinking, we are growing. Not just THE BEE, but all of the newspapers in the Community Newspapers and Pamplin Media group.
By the way, there has been an upgrade at the new BEE website as well – but you may find any bookmarks you may have set to it no longer work. If so, rest assured the site is still there; delete any old inoperative bookmarks for it, and then type the address into the address bar of your browser: www.TheBeeNews.com – and, when the site appears, set a new bookmark for THAT.
The upgrade, other than the slight change in the address, is that stories are pushed to that website all month – not only short-term Southeast Portland stories that will not appear in our newspaper, but also from other newspapers in our group, putting stories there from time to time during the month that are not specific to Southeast Portland, but that they think you might want to see.Some readers tell us that want they really want to see is our published Inner Southeast stories, and these new stories will displace most of those pretty quickly on our new website shortly after we publish the newspaper.
But, we do have a way you can review all of our current newspaper's content online all month long: It's our original website, which was the first one established in our 24-newspaper group of Oregon newspapers some 18 years ago, still is updated monthly, and carries mostly just the stories you see in the paper until the next issue is published – and you can refer to those without difficulty all month long at: www.ReadTheBee.com – so you might want to bookmark that site too.
Thanks for your continuing support!
Free local television options continue to grow
When the "digital transition" ended a decade ago, and local television stations began using a digital transmission platform that delivered perfect pictures and sound to local viewers for free just from the use of an antenna, most local viewing was done through a paid provider – cable TV and satellite systems primarily, although today significant viewing is done through fiber-optic systems and via streaming services.
Only 15% of viewing of local TV stations then was done through an antenna, directly, for free.
That has changed. The new digital signals gave an instant reason to go back to the antenna, since the pictures were then even better than a paid provider could offer, and the slide in direct viewing ended, and viewers began hooking up antennas to their new flat-screen digital TVs.
But what has really propelled that growth is the capability of digital signals to be split to provide more channels! When we came to Portland in 1975, there were only five local TV stations. Today, counting those multiple channels per station, the TV signals you can receive with an antenna, particularly with a properly-installed and aimed outdoor antenna, approach 50, and counting. It's no wonder direct local viewing, free, from an antenna, is becoming more and more popular.
But the "daily" newspaper in Portland, whose TV coverage used to concentrate on local broadcasting, today seems intent on ignoring it completely. So from time to time we step in to inform you of what is available to you – for free – right off an antenna, in Inner Southeast Portland.
Local stations have refined the transmission process, and several stations now are providing at least two high-definition signals in the space once assigned for one; notably, Oregon Public Broadcasting's channel now offers both the main OPB service and its new OPB-plus service in high definition, while also transmitting PBS Kids 24 hours a day in standard definition, and a complex audio signal which brings you most of their associated radio signals switchable from a single channel with your remote control.
Also notable are two new digital subchannels in the local mix that respond to two reasons some people maintain a subscription to a paid television service: Sports, and programs of the sort distributed by the Discovery cable networks."Stadium" is the name of the new 24-hour all-sports channel broadcast on Channel 2-4, a subchannel of KATU, which also has upgraded the leading nostalgia network, MeTV, to high definition (when high definition films of old TV shows are available) on Channel 2-2.
"Quest" is the name of a new 24-hour channel that seeks to give the same sort of viewer experience as programs on the various Discovery networks, as well as National Geographic Channel. It's on KGW-TV's Channel 8-4. Its thrust, and type of programming, makes sense, given that the former President of the National Geographic Channel is running it.
Meantime, if you're missing the old TV shows you loved in the past, you'll find them on MeTV on Channel 2-2, Antenna TV on Channel 32-2, and Cozi TV on Channel 12-2. Some old TV shows run in weekend marathons on Decades (Channel 6-3), which otherwise has many excellent documentaries, drawn from CBS News archives. Laff is a comedy channel with both old TV comedies and moves – on Channel 12-3. Men's action movies are on Grit (Channel 49-4) and Women's movies are on Escape (Channel 49-2).
Looking for kids' shows? Channel 22-2 and Channel 10-3. Science Fiction? Channel 2-3. Movies? Channel 6-2 and Channel 32-3, and occasionally on lots of other channels. Programming directed to the Black community? Channel 49-3. There are several Spanish language channels, a number of religious channels, and – not to be overlooked – of course the primary network channels for the ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox, Ion, and CW networks, all of which transmit in high definition fulltime. The range of choices you have now are similar to what you'd find on cable and satellite TV, and it's all free.Since you aren't likely to learn about any of this from the "daily" newspaper, THE BEE tries to keep you informed about the free information and entertainment available to you on TV – right off an antenna, in Portland.