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Layoffs and automation to blame for historic gaffe-filled News 9 broadcast…

5:52 AM EST on November 16, 2022

On Monday morning, I wrote a little piece about News 9’s historic gaffe-filled 10pm news broadcast that aired from its shiny new studios in downtown Oklahoma City. 

You know, the one that showed Dean Blevins going full King Charles on News 9 producers before creepily turning into the camera and frowning into viewers' eyes for a long minute like they were his mirror on a bad hair day. 

After the post went live, multiple Ogle Moles reached out to explain why things went so far off the rails. They blamed two things – Kelly Ogle and Whiskey. 

Okay, just kidding. They said it’s actually the result of layoffs and automation.

According to the Ogle Mole Network, News 9 switched to an automated/robotic production system to coincide with the move into its new studios. This allowed “Oklahoma’s Own” news channel to part ways with a variety of hardworking Oklahoma employees, including long-time cameramen, audio technicians, master control operators, etc. 

Here’s a paraphrased synopsis of how one current News 9 employee described the switch:

Everything was done in one go with the move into the new building, so they could build everything around the new systems. It was mainly Production (your floor crew and cam operators) and Master Control that was affected…

The switch to automation uses robots for cameras, hence eliminating the need for a floor crew… Press a button, cam moves and sets itself (when it's not too busy running into other cameras). It also encompasses other systems, such as Viz RT (on-air graphics) and audio. Basically, everything in the control room that runs the news will be done by robots... 

In theory, any humans remaining are doing either maintenance or putting the shows together for the robots to run when we hit the air.

According to our Moles, most news channels already use an automated setup, and whenever a news outlet does make the switch to robots, they generally do it in phases to avoid the things that happened on Sunday night.

Channel 9 apparently did it all in one go to save money, which led to the Sunday night shit show. 

As another Ogle Mole put it…

Anybody that moves to automation has “growing pains.” And, no doubt, Channel 9 will figure it out and get better. But their massive fucking up on Sunday night was more than just a new ornery system. It smacked of woeful under-preparation and practice.

As one who lives a woefully under-prepared existence, I have a bit of sympathy for News 9 here. Our recent switch to a new publishing platform has had its fair share of hick-ups, and I’m still having difficulty with the new robot I secretly built to replace me and Louis Fowler, so I understand what they’re going through.

That being said, I’m just one dude running a tiny little news website. I’m not a big fancy TV news channel that’s backed by the OKC Ruling Class and the recipient of TIF funding to move to downtown OKC. 

Anyway, I guess we’ll continue to follow this story and provide any updates. I also look forward to covering Dean Blevins's fight with a robotic cameraman someday.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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