Windows update brings down TV newscast

Production system crashes just ahead of show

Windows Vista teaser

A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania television station was forced to broadcast its noon newscast from its parking lot on Wednesday because this month's Windows update wasn't installed in time. The "major meltdown" occurred during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate Channel 11's new facility, attended by executives from Cox Broadcasting, the station's parent company.

The glitch, discovered 30 minutes before the show was due to air, forced an impromptu appearance by an on-air reporter, who stood in front of a chain-link fence and read the news from a script, rather than a Teleprompter. The station's meteorologist gave a forecast devoid of maps and graphics. There were no additional video or live reports, according to this story from the Post-Gazette.

The station's general manager said the cause of the crash was a Windows update that was not installed in time. The glitch was something that could affect any Windows-based system, including the one that drives WPXI's new automated production system. Station administrators fixed the problem in time for the 5 p.m. newscast.

The article didn't explain how the failure to install the patches forced the production system to crash. ®

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