PBS Newshour got hacked(?) tonight (Sat.)

ok hacked maybe isn’t the right word, but at the 30 minute mark, there suddenly appeared - in the middle of an interview - a ten second clip of Mac Davis(?) singing something hokey and wretched and awful. It looked it was from a 70’s variety show (really pukey looking set), and in the bottom right corner were the call letters KSPS. Then it went right back to the i-view. The intrusion looked so hilariously dreary, so crappy, that I can’t help but wonder if the broadcast was somehow sabotaged.

I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen such an intrusion before, like, at all.

Anyone saw tonight’s newscast, or seen sudden, weird intrusions in the middle of any tv programming?

Don’t know about that one, but the famous one, at least around here, is the bizarre Max Headroom incident, which occurred on the local PBS affiliate.

We’re you watching an over-the-air broadcast? If so, I’d wager that it was just an error in your local station’s master control room. Or some other routing or distribution glitch. Almost certainly not an intentional attempt to disrupt the show.

Unconvincing case for corporal punishment, though.

Yeah it crossed my mind it could be a local station glitch - probably the case. I see PSBS is the PBS affiliate in Spokane. The intrusion it appeared on was a KCTS (Seattle) airing, seen by yours truly on Vancouver Island.

I look forward to more weird random shit like this again.

In my market, at least, the Saturday version of PBS News Hour is only 30 minutes long. So there may have been some confusion on your local channel about when the show was supposed to end or something. I was watching it but I wasn’t very engaged so I’m not sure if I watched it all the way to the end; I definitely did not see Mac Davis.

I don’t think the switching is done manually anymore, although there would be a manual override… The computers in the control room are pre-set to start and stop feeds and cutins according to a digital timer.

Weekends are often goofy, as that is when interns handle a lot of the hands-on tasks, or else there is no experienced supervisor on duty to oversee problems or trouble-shoot unusual events…

My locall station’s “Jeopardy” messed up a couple of times today, losing the audio returning from a break.

I’ve seen things like that a few times. What you probably saw was a few seconds of the oldies tunes that station was playing, in order to sell nostalgia CDs and DVDs as a fundraiser for the station, and it was somehow broadcasted on your station.

PBS stations, even in the same time zone, are not necessarily broadcasting the same programs at the same time. If fact, they usually aren’t. There are a number network feeds coming into the local station on different transponders, and the station chooses the one they they have scheduled for play at that time. Somebody setting up something, maybe for taping for later use, inadvertently switched the transponder that was on the air live, and realizing his mistake, switched it back again after a few seconds.

I once accidentally broadcast about 15 seconds of a Pink Floyd video into an old movie on a PBS station. No hacks involved, just a bored and butterfingered Master Control operator.

I had zero interest in the movie so I was watching music videos off our satellite feed, displayed on the pre-set monitor. Then the top of the hour came and I had to display our station ID so I went back to the movie, overlaid the ID and faded it in. Ten seconds later, I was fading it out and switched the pre-set back to the music video – oops, too soon. The music video faded in and replaced the movie. Switched it back again… and no one cared because the movie was terrible and it was a small viewer area and probably no one noticed. Or, if they did, they found the respite amusing.

Anyway, just one tale on how something random could happen. These days I’m sure computers are handling most of it but don’t underestimate the human ability to mess stuff up.

I came here to mention this. This was hacking before hacking was hacking!

Here’s what’s probably the best writeup on it, amid scads of YT repeats and web samizdat.

I had actually forgotten that there was an earlier hack (though not quite as entertaining) a few hours earlier on channel 9 (WGN). Interesting read.