DirecTV ups service; oldies station gets new boss
plans to enhance service to Hawaii by September and may offer 100 national high-definition television channels by the end of the year, following a satellite launch Friday.
Whether DirecTV will meet its HD goal and whether Hawaii subscribers will have access to them-thar channels is not cast in concrete.
"We'll be launching expanded Hawaii local broadcast stations including some HD offerings in the fall," said Robert Mercer, DirecTV public relations director. "We'll have more details about the composition of the local channel lineup closer to launch," he said.
The seven local channels now carried by DirecTV are: Fox affiliate KHON-TV, ABC affiliate KITV; My Network TV affiliate KFVE-TV; NBC affiliate KHNL-TV; CBS affiliate KGMB-TV; PBS affiliate KHET-TV and independent KIKU-TV, all in standard definition. None has all-HD programming.
DirecTV service packages start at about $30 a month for 40-plus channels and increase in price depending on channel quantity and the addition of HD channels or digital video recorder service.
The new satellite, launched from Kazakhstan, will undergo about two months of testing before moving to its operating position and beginning additional HD channel delivery, according to a company statement.
Another satellite launch early next year will further increase DirecTV's capacity.
Oceanic Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, recently expanded its capacity and offers 19 HD channels including HD programming from the major U.S. networks, with the exception of CBS.
"HD is an important part of our future going forward and we're busy grooming our plan," said Nate Smith, Oceanic president.
Many of Oceanic's HD channels are there via Time Warner deals, but carriage of CBS' HD programming via KGMB is a matter for local negotiations, which have yet to get the station into the lineup.
SALEM RADIO SHUFFLE
Longtime KGMZ-FM 107.9 Program Director John Matthews is about to leave the building. The rock, even.
He married recently and will move back to the mainland where his wife will attend law school, said General Manager Steve Miller.
"He gave me his notice about a month ago," said Miller, who has hired Ed Kanoi to fill Matthews' shoes as program director for the oldies station and sister-station KHUI-FM 99.5, which airs syndicated, adult standards programming.
Kanoi began learning the ropes from Matthews yesterday and on Monday will slide into the KGMZ morning show alongside co-host Paul "The Kap'n" Stewart.
Miller was happy to land Kanoi who has, "PD chops (and) could handle mornings as well."
Radio veteran Kanoi was formerly operations manager and program director for KUMU-AM 1500/FM 94.7 and KPOI-FM 105.9, where he also hosted the morning show until April.
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