Another embarrassing graphics gaffe at ABC 7

The flub is the third in three years – happened during Saturday morning newscast

Yet again, another on-air graphics mix-up occurred at Chicago’s top-rated news operation.

This time, it was a graphic slide put up during ABC 7’s Saturday morning newscast while anchor Mark Rivera was reporting on a story about the unification of North and South Korea’s Olympic teams during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, being held in PyeongChang, South Korea. But instead of the name of the city where the games were being held, this was put up instead:

Instead of PyeongChang, the graphic read “P. F. Chang 2018” with a fake Olympic logo. P.F. Chang’s – note the apostrophe “s”,  is a chain of Asian-cuisine restaurants with 210 locations in the United States, including a few in the Chicago area.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the P.F. Chang graphic was supposed to be used for a satirical piece put together by sports anchor Mark Giangreco as viewers were supposed to send in their own ideas for Winter Olympic sports. As everyone knows, non NBC-stations cannot use official Olympic logos or show highlights of the Winter Games. A WLS-TV spokesperson explained to the Trib:

Jayme Nicholas, a spokesperson for the ABC affiliate in Chicago, told Inc. that the goof was the result of a mix-up. The graphic was created for a different “satirical piece” put together on Friday by sports anchor Mark Giangreco in which viewers were encouraged to invent their own Olympic sports, but it was mistakenly also used for the serious news story read on Saturday by weekend anchor Mark Rivera, Nicholas said.

But sports media website Awful Announcing called the explanation “unsatisfying”, noting it doesn’t explain how the wrong graphic image got on the air.

From February 2016, another ABC 7 graphics flub.

This is not the first time ABC 7 has been a victim of a graphics mix-up. While reporting on the LaQuan McDonald case in 2016, a McDonald’s restaurant logo was shown. Another graphic error happened in 2015 when Dionne Miller reported on a Chicago Blackhawks victory over the Los Angeles Kings with the caption reading “Blacks Win” instead of “Blackhawks Win”.

But the all-time worst graphics mix-up came the same year at Tribune’s WGN-TV when reporting on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, a slide offensive to the Jewish community popped up on screen. The station was condemned worldwide for the gaffe and WGN officials apologized.

More and more of these gaffes – such as logo mix-ups and misspelling of common everyday words – are happening around the country, from local stations to the cable news networks. The most common example is Los Angeles local stations mistaking the Los Angeles Kings logo for the Sacramento one, an NBA team. As yours truly pointed out in 2015: “This comes as staffs at local TV stations are being cut and tasks are being stretched thinner and thinner among personnel as stations are adding more local newscasts. With all the money coming in from political advertising and retransmission fees, you’d think they would spring for a proofreader.”

But they’re not. In 2018, these on-air graphic gaffs are becoming more and more frequent. I predicted three years ago you’ll see more of this in the future and unfortunately, the prediction has become all but true.


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