Well, sometimes things can and do go horribly wrong. Where shall we begin?

Presently sixty percent of Ohio's population is at a very high risk from COVID-19. That also places sixty percent of the state's population being concentrated in just nineteen of its eighty-eight counties. Of course, that was merely last week. This week on Meet The Press Governor Mike DeWine happened to tell Chuck Todd the following from NBC's transcript:

You're going to — Chuck, you're going to see more orders from us this week. But I, again, want to emphasize it's not all about orders.

Frankly I am stumped as where exactly the governor intends to go with things. We technically have a mask mandate already based upon the Ohio Public Health Advisory System that has statewide effect insofar that if your county is in red or purple you have a mask mandate. If you're not in red or purple it is still strongly advised but not mandated with penalties attached. The whole state is not in red or purple so counties like Ashtabula which are in yellow only have strong advice and local mandates in play. Then again, that could all change at any press conference the governor may choose to hold.

There are consequences to rule by decree. The General Assembly is asleep on the job as they mostly feel the crisis has passed as they sent the governor a bill to decriminalize mask mandate violations and were working on a bill to strip state officials of the ability to impose lockdowns. When we have the Columbus Dispatch noting that folks like State Representative Nino Vitale have frankly gone crazy and out of state media outlets have started picking up on him being crazy then perhaps the problem has grown too large. A state constitutional convention to make our state legislature part-time like they are out west might help things along since term limits aren't enough it seems.

Last week I started taking preparatory actions for these uncertain times. Since I have no clue what is coming from the governor I have had to be proactive. After all there was a very earnest op-ed piece Sunday morning urging the closure of Ohio's economy once again. After all, that writer was working off what the governor said on July 15th in his evening address.

In light of the continuing COVID-19 crisis it feels necessary to propound a solution for presenting content in the second half of the year. We are likely not going to be having much of a functioning current media. New shows are not likely going to be coming down the pipeline and there is only so much news you can watch with newscasters coming to you live from their kitchens and living rooms.

Hollywood is not functioning properly at this time which will lead to television ceasing to air new programming by autumn. Media production is barely resuming in Vancouver as production there remains at partial operational capacity. Production in Georgia is limited with thirteen projects under way now. The Greater Cleveland Film Commission still only has a coronavirus resource guide up as well as an ultimate streaming guide. There are only so many reruns and imported shows that can be handled yet it seems like we will have many as the CW is already showing on its schedule.

Turning aside from Hollywood having production problems you get to distribution. What about radio and television stations let alone our newspapers?

The majority of Ashtabula County's radio stations either have satellite-fed programming or are voice-tracked remotely. There is barely anybody in a studio locally covering matters routinely. Things went to increased automation during lockdown with increased systems failures observed such as at WMIH and WWOW. There is currently no effort locally at radio-based news reporting.

There are no local stations in Ashtabula County. Residents either receive television out of Cleveland or Erie. Television out of those distant markets does not necessarily reflect local issues. That has consequences.

The Star Beacon now publishes less than daily with no print editions on Tuesday or Sunday. Publications from Gazette Newspapers remain weekly. These are the only outlets for primary coverage of local news in Ashtabula County. Gossip groups on Facebook are not acceptable suitables.

Keeping all this in mind we end up with a conundrum.

Legally we cannot start a new television station in Ashtabula County. The rules of the Federal Communications Commission do not allow that. No television station license can be relocated here either as we are within an exclusion zone around Cleveland plus have coordination concerns with Industry Canada. Even if there was a license to buy on the market it would be impossible to bring here.

There is no room on the radio dial to start a new radio station locally. None of the local players are amenable to a buy out either. Church groups own over half the local stations while a shadowy trust owns the majority of the other half. That's not a very diverse market.

There is a need for content creation and dissemination especially as to new content. Falling back to the old paradigm of video podcasting such as carried out by the TWiT people. They noted back in 2015 that downloads via RSS feeds only accounted for sixteen percent of accesses of their audiovisual content then. Leo notes that while they are unique in producing video versions of their content at TWiT it still only amounts to twenty percent of their downloads. In light of the recent disaster at Cloudflare that took down much of the Internet frankly I am ready to shy away from the streaming paradigm. The pandemic has shown that while the Internet itself will stay up it has many more fragile points than anybody would really prefer. Broadband may be broadly available but it does not mean it is necessarily good service.

Content can be distributed via a service such as libsyn. People can watch such video via the podcast player on Apple TV devices. Roku boxes would be trickier but there would be ways to do that as I believe there was some work already done in a repository on Github owned by Martin Wimpress.

Can this be accomplished? I am not sure. Readiness is not complete. Doing audio is one thing. Video is definitely harder. As the world around me continues to slowly fall apart again it may be worth it.

Am I up for making my own spin on Ghoulardi, though? Or will it be Big Chuck and Little John that gets spoofed? Time will tell it seems. There is enough crap on The Internet Archive that is public domain that there certainly are possibilities to make homages.