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Media Life: New TV channel in town boasts classic films

Placer High hall of famer now has park named after him; Skeet Reese title shares attention with new look
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The move to digital TV is giving Auburn-area viewers a new movie channel to tune into. Sacramento’s KCQA My58’s digital Channel 58.2 went on the air Monday, offering a 24-hour-a-day lineup of mostly movies, with a few classic TV shows thrown into the mix for good measure. If the first few days are any indication, the roster of film titles is a good one as far as variety goes. My58 execs are billing what is being called “This TV Sacramento” as Northern California’s free movie channel, and that’s true to a point. The station will be tapping into the massive MGM movie vault. At 4,100 titles and counting from United Artists, Orion, Polygram, Epic and Goldwyn studios as well as MGM, it’s the largest collection of modern films in the world. Mondays through Saturdays, films run from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Mornings between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. are the time to tune in classic television shows like “Mr. Ed,” “The Patty Duke Show” and “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” There’s also a block of children’s programming from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. The movies are run in blocks over a week based on themes. “This is The West” features westerns like John Wayne’s “Red River” or “Support Your Local Gunfighter,” with James Garner. “This is War” showcases a list of war movies that includes “Run Silent, Run Deep,” “Attack" and “Battle of Britain.” The “Classic” lineup will include “12 Angry Men,” “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs” and “Midnight Cowboy.” The new second channel for My58 is the latest sign of the network TV station migration toward multiple channels. News10 and KCRA 3 already have weather channels going. Fox40 has moved to Spanish-language programs on its second channel after The Cube failed to make a dent in viewership. And PBS KVIE Channel 6 is up to three channels. PICTURE HO-HUM On the downside, this is network TV, so the My58 films are interspersed with plenty of intrusive and sometimes laughable commercials. And that also means what was originally a two-hour-plus film has been chopped – sometimes badly if some initial viewings are any indication. A lot of plot is left on the cutting room floor in many of these films as they try to squish the product between the ad space to fit it into arbitrary time limits. As for quality of the picture, the digital signal can be boosted to an eye-popping 1080p – which is the current high-definition TV gold standard. Instead, Channel 58.2 is broadcasting in the lowest possible resolution for digital at 480i. That level is basically about the same as the picture telecast on analog equipment. A statement issued by My 58 to launch Channel 58.2 says there are three ways viewers can tune into “This TV Sacramento.” Over-the-air viewers can tune to 58.2 with their remote controls. Some TV sets and converter boxes may require viewers to rescan their DTV tuner to lock in the signal. Cable subscribers should check their local listings on their cable systems throughout the Sacramento area. And if satellite subscribers use a local antenna and are in range of the 58.2 signal, they can find “This TV Sacramento” by tuning to “Channel 58.2” on their remote control. Program listings can be found at my58.com. PARK NAMING HONOR Placer High School Hall of Fame member George Goto, 83, is set to have a Roseville park named after him. Goto, who grew up in Penryn, was a sophomore “on the hill” in 1942 but spent his junior and senior years at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center as a Japanese-American internee. After World War II ended, he became a teacher and successful coach at Roseville High School and then Sierra College. Sports were an important part of Goto’s life early on. He played basketball at Placer High School and recalled in an interview two years ago that he would shovel snow off the outdoor court to play during the winter at Tule Lake. Goto, who retired as Sierra College athletic director in 1986, will be at the 11 a.m. park dedication Saturday. The park is located at 1851 Oak Crest Drive. CLOSE CALL Maybe it was the “do.” Auburn’s star pro bass angler Skeet Reese just pulled off the win of his career last week when he took the Bassmaster Classic title. But it was hard to recognize Reese in those victory photos. Gone were the longish, blond locks of old. Instead, Reese – who has made a secondary career out of adjusting his look over the years – had gone for a close-cropped chop on top and sides. He was also sporting some heavy stubble on his chin – sort of like a Brad Miller look, without the ink or the white headband. Reese told ESPN.com after his win that the hair is part of a “leaner, meaner” Skeet that stemmed from a tougher off-season training program. For Reese, who was the tour’s angler of the year two seasons ago, it’s a clear signal that he means business and the Bassmaster Classic win – plus its $500,000 prize – is the initial evidence. Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.