Friday, April 20, 2018

Wayne Departure Leaves Dark Cloud Over KTVU News; Staffers Nervous; Fox Digs In; Uneasy Times at 2 Jack London Square

Related image YOU CAN READ Ken Wayne leaving KTVU (Fox) two ways; he was working without a contract and got tired of being given the run-around by the big boys (it's not known now where he's headed if anywhere) or Fox essentially saying to Wayne, go ahead and leave, make our day.

My own analysis is that KTVU is in full Fox-iteration mode; after four years running the Bay Area's #1 news station, the era of high salaries for the big shots (and not-so-big shots) are over.

Image result for ken wayne ktvu
Ken Wayne
Wayne was considered a valuable anchor but not to the tune of $300K a year-contract variety. He's solid but not a household name; not someone that would make KTVU suddenly slip off the radar. Under the old ownership, (Cox Media) Wayne would have probably received an extension and slight raise to boot. But Fox didn't regard Wayne as a prized asset worthy of a six-figure salary. And their probably right. Hence, Wayne worked without a contract for over a month.

More disturbing for the remaining on-air talent is that this strategy of paying less for average, even above average anchors and reporters is not going away. Mark Ibanez, the four-decade sports anchor recently signed an extension but nowhere near the money he expected to get and Ibanez is one of the most popular personalities at the station. Frank Somerville makes $615K a year but I'm betting his next contract will be for far less money even though he's the face of the station.

Fox is notorious for paying less-than-average compensation for reporters too. Notice the rapid amount of correspondents leaving the station for PR jobs that lack the limelight of TV News adrenaline but pay decent wages and are far more stabile. Add darn good benefits and you have the ultimate package. Or as one veteran reporter who left told me, "It sure as hell beats getting up at 4 AM to cover a refinery fire in Richmond."

Image result for KTVU reporters leaving Rich Lieberman
Frank Somerville and Julie Haener/KTVU
A station once known for its great legacy of TV News talent and "10 o'clock News" valor is fighting to keep its staff from suffering long-tern morale issues. The newsroom is teeming with malaise. The bright-eyed younger folks have suddenly discovered that the big suits at corporate prefer haunted houses over Disneyland. Even good ratings don't make the lasses happy. There's more a feeling of resignation and "it's just a damn job now." People who I've talked to that work there tell me it's the worst case of morale ever felt in Oakland.

Image result for KTVU reporters leaving Rich Lieberman
Rita Williams
KTVU was never going to be the "old KTVU" of Kevin O'Brien (ex-GM) days simply because Fox isn't Cox Media. Cox was family-owned and took pride in running their stations with TV News journalism as a major entity. Fox is more bottom line and less loyal even to those who have lengthy runs. Which is why there are so few long-termers left at KTVU. The anchor roster still has old timers but the reporter turnover is quite disturbing.

KTVU still makes a lot of money; the most revenue of any station in the Bay Area and feeds off its Fox Network shows and NFL football affiliation --which accounts for its massive emphasis on sports.

Its success in that department allows for its news commitment too; unfortunately its management isn't so warm and fuzzy with the boys and girls that have to do the heavy lifting.

On Fridays at the station there used to be a large couple of boxes of pastries and doughnuts for the morning staff; it's gone now.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Breaking: Ken Wayne Leaving KTVU; Veteran Anchor/Reporter

Image result for ken wayne ktvu SOURCE: WAYNE OUT at KTVU

I just got wind from a Channel 2 Fox source that Ken Wayne is leaving the station.

Wayne has been working without a contract (as I reported); he's been at KTVU since 1993 and in 2002 began to anchor weeknight/weekday news.

This is a stunner but given today's environment in TV News not especially shocking.

'I'll be investigating further.

*415 Media Exclusive

Those Were The Days My Freinds; San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area 1970's; 415 Media Remembers a Trip Down Memory Lane

Image result for San Francisco 1976 THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIENDS

When you'd wake up to Dr. Don Rose on KFRC and laugh your butt off in spite of extreme banality and corny audio. KFRC, AM radio --610 on the dial with "Marvelous Mark", Don St. John, Bill Lee, John Mack! Flanagan !

"Dr. Don, you son of a ..."

Wow, AM Radio in the 70's. Bill Graham. Days on the Green. Peter Frampton. The Doobie Brothers. The Hookers Ball. The "Streets of San Francisco" -"A Quinn Martin Production!"

And savior of the '75 Ford LTD police cruisers! Whoa baby.

I remember walking in Chinatown in the spring of 1976; god, time flies. I was listening to the Four Seasons' Oh What a Night, played, yes, of course on the magic 610, K-F-R-C!

Related imageWe ate dim sum and waited to see the Freedom Train. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. You could see the Transamerica Pyramid without any other buildings obscuring its distinctive look. Parking was difficult but not impossible. The streets were clean. A walk down Market Street was not an adventure --finding a seat at the counter at Woolworth's was; the fried chicken was worth the wait for this bright-eyed 14 year-old. "Can I get a corn dog to go, miss?" Thank You. Don't forget the mustard.

"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away."

Image result for San Francisco in 1976 WoolworthsMy favorite year, 1976: sure, we had issues. We always do, it's called life but somehow we seemed to work it out and even if we couldn't, we'd find a way to offer compromise. What an age-old relic, compromise. BART was so cool that a trip through the underwater tube was like a Disneyland ride. On time and straight to the Embarcadero station. We had a destination to the old, old KGO studios down in the Tenderloin off Golden Gate Ave, 277 to be exact near St. Anthony's and Fox Plaza. Up a couple blocks and you were there: Jim Dunbar, Ronn Owens, Van Amburg, Monte Stickles, et al. Don't forget the "Studio Cafe" across the street. I didn't. Monte bought me breakfast there. The best greasy eggs ever.

KGO, TV and Radio. The top of the heap, 415 style. Highest-rated radio and TV. Tenderloin: birthplace of "News Scene" and Happy Talk advent. Peter Giddings and his "letter from home" and corny but sweet, "Little People Fishing Program."

Image result for KGO Radio 277 Golden Gate Ave San FranciscoQuick Industry joke: Pete on the boat with the little ones; goes to a kid and tells him to behave otherwise, "you'll never fish in this town again!" Timeless. Memo to Pete: hey, you were a weather icon so please, hold the angry e-mail. I could go very low and bring up the 12,000 times you showed us your skiing highlights down Heavenly Valley. But hey, I watched. Van did too.

Related image*San Francisco Bay Area in the 70's: Alcatraz became the favorite high-school field trip. Journey was just getting ready and about to become the coolest of cool. There was a vibe. Steve Perry was high-tuning the voice while the Great American Music Hall was preparing a George Benson show. Oh what a night!

We were all pretty mellow; the kids were alright even if our parents weren't and the country as a whole was steady if not a bit solemn. Remember, we were just coming off Watergate and Vietnam; Jimmy Carter, a fine man but a lousy president was beckoning. There was no such things as AIDS and crack was considered a part of your anatomy.

Image result for Gerald Ford SF assassination attempt in San FranciscoJerry Ford brought the country together; even in San Francisco; although he almost got waxed here by some crazy lady named Sarah Jane Moore. He wasn't hit --but it was close.

Ford; good man too just lousy tactics and a pardon that cost him the election. We could use a Jerry Ford today but that's another story.

San Francisco in the 70's: a burger at Clown Alley; I thought Bill's Place was way overrated, sorry Herb Caen, and besides, Clown Alley was faster and tastier and why have to go all the way out to the avenues when you could just grab one across from the Pyramid.

Mayor George Moscone. Best SF mayor ever. I lived in Oakland as a kid but Moscone was old school and got things done.

Related imageBig stories:

International Hotel eviction. Ouch. Scary. Richard Hongisto's worst nightmare. We had a lot of those weird incidents. Patty Hearst was old news having already been discovered alive and breathing with Bill and Emily Harris in a house on Morse Street. The end, unofficially, of the SLA and the beginning of a winnable trial but unfortunately for Patty, she picked a lousy attorney, F. Lee Bailey, who did a lot better with O.J.

*I'm just getting started.

Halloween, 1975: the Hookers Ball at the Cow Palace. I heard all about it across the bay as I played my Spinners songs on the turntable.

Not your normal crazy SF event but everyone went hog wild over news that Police Chief, Charlie Gain was there --apparently not just to monitor the goings-on. It made for fine SF tabloid fodder. Herb Caen had a week's worth of columns and the Examiner (remember those guys?) was positively giddy. In hindsight, considering the mish-a-goss of today, it was rather funny and poignant. Just another rather wacky and wonderful ess-eff story but Gain was a good cop even if his officers didn't think so. Gain was a libby and to get back at him the officers on motorcycles began putting American flags on their antennas --yeah, that'll rile him. (No)

Image result for San Francisco Giants Bobby MurcerWe laughed a lot and cried. The latter, during Giants games at Candlestick Park which was not that hated as it was later. Bobby Murcer was more onerous than the stadium. Yeah, they (the Giants) sucked but they had a guy named Lon Simmons in the broadcast booth that made up for it.

Across the bay, the Swingin' A's were just coming off 3 straight World Series victories and the Warriors were groovin' after beating the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals of '75. A series played in the Cow Palace because the Coliseum arena was booked for an ice show. Who would have thunk!

Oakland was king of sports. I didn't even mention the R.A.I.D.U.H.S. 

Bill King, Superbowl 11, Pasadena, 1977: "Old man Willie, Touchdown Raiders!"

Image result for doggie diner oaklandWhat a day it was. Finally, the Raiders won the "big one." And Herb Caen, the kid from Sacamenna had to scribble a positive Oakland item. Which was weird since Herb was buddy-buddy with Al Davis, who was merely eccentric back then. He also knew football.

Oakland; great sports, a lake and the Quik Way near the Grand Lake Theatre. If the line was too long you could head to Telegraph and Broadway and get some Doggie Diner. The very best and tasty bad hamburgers but fine eating cuisine for the student bodies of Oakland High, Skyline, Tech and Mack, we thank you for such awesome 39 cent cheeseburgers with the sauce fit for a king.

Image result for Oakland 1976What a time. What a cool time. Even if at times, terrifying and befuddling. The Black Panthers were renegade but they were considered cool. The Hells Angels too if not a bit more crankier. My late brother, Michael, had met Sonny Barger, the Angels' chief leader; his house was near the Oakland Zoo (appropriately) and one day the cops found a shitload of money in the backyard. Wonder where that came from? Next.

Oakland was second fiddle to "The City" and was saddled with "the mysterious East Bay" -ism, thanks again, Herb Caen, but we owned the sports world and had Lake Merritt. We were proud of being sidekick to SF even though Bill Fisset wasn't Caen but the Tribune Tower was far superior to the dreck at 5th and Mission, take that! Art Hoppe.

Yeah, Oakland: Ken Stabler. John Madden. Silver and Black. Del Courtney and the band. The Oakland Coliseum; Curt Gowdy of NBC named it "The House of Thrills"; sea of hand catch; The great George Blanda. Dinner at the Grotto in Jack London Square later. ( A quieter Fisherman's Wharf)

Image result for Oakland 1976When we went to Spenger's in Berkley for dinner it was maximum pleasure. We could eat and eat cheap. I wasn't old enough, yet, to drive a car but my mom and dad loved Spengers not just for the food but there was a giant parking lot across the street, FREE parking. Huzzah!

Spengers was great but there was always a long wait; I mean LONG, like if you were lucky, an hour was considered a bargain.

Related imageMy brother would have nothing to do with that program; he managed to get all of us a table in "The Teak Room" within 5 minutes. Later on, I sort of knew what he was doing. Whatever, we rocked. Grab an extra loaf of sour dough French bread and extra butter. Huzzah. "I'll have the 'Captain's Plate, mom." $8.95 --a bargain even in those days.

And those Days on the Green? It was artful, colorful. Grateful Dead. Frampton. Boston. The Rolling Stones. I once saw Bill Graham in his '68 silver Mercedes go bonkers at a couple trying to climb a fence and crash the Beach Boys and Dolly Parton DOG the summer of '76. It was a little spooky but vintage Graham who was straight businessman --no time for freebies, the guys and gals in blue tops would see to that. Graham had a kind heart but that too is another story.

He built up the Oakland venues and promoted the East Bay like it was his own and we appreciated it. The Coliseum stadium and arena was his stomping ground; the Paramount Theatre his Carnegie Hall; the old Oakland Auditorium (Kaiser Arena) he and BGP helped restore and get back to life.

Oh, what a time it was. Friends and family. Good food. Bonding with all even though dad wasn't all that supportive but he was there on time when you needed him. Mom was just in her prime. Oh mom, I  miss you.

Mom worked for the phone company on New Montgomery and had an office facing the back entrance of the Palace Hotel; in 1976, Gerry Ford, the POTUS was there making a speech (six months after nearly being assassinated in the same city) invited me and my buddy from junior high, Chet Gohd, to come over to the city and see Ford get into his limo. Chad struck pay dirt with a great picture and I hugged mom for the invite. Never forget it.

Image result for bill grahamYES WE HAD A BLAST.

No selfies. No smartass phones. The Bay Area was unique. San Francisco-Oakland, there was a genuine symmetry even if it involved turf wars but there were always gonna be. We just made it more civil.

Ah, KYA! KDIA, "Lucky 13." Art Finley, Owen Spann, Jim Eason, Joe Starkey, Sonny Buxton, John L. Wasserman, Mickey Luckoff, Jack Swanson, KRON on 1001 Van Ness, Tommy's Joynt, the Marina Green; Ronn and Mill Valley Don and some kid from Oakland reciting "Rock Trivia" tidbits.

Crazy and happy times. Frivolity and Bizarro, sure, but established chaos. We could actually make a phone call to and not be frowned upon like today. Those were the days my friends I thought they'd never end.

Image result for Ronn Owens 70's


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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

This or That

Image result for This and that THIS: One of the fired KGO hosts might be offered his gig back based on a listener-sponsored threat of boycott of the station's advertisers.

THAT: Supposedly the NAACP got involved too. Nowhere was it reported that the guy's kids still work at KNBR and KGO respectively.

THIS: KTVU, in spite of being the top dog in most time slots and ratings nirvana, has a workforce still mired in poor worker morale. Even some of the big shots that just got contract extensions have seen major pay cuts.

THAT: When you treat your staff like a loaf of stale wonder bread you will then get wonder bread results. So, yes, KTVU is still successful but so many people (reporters, producers) are leaving the bread is getting thinner and thinner.

THIS: KPIX' numerous problems is that its top anchor, (in terms of seniority) Ken Bastida is sort of letting it be known that he's probably near either retiring or leaving; he even made an on-air reference the other night...Nothing is official and Bastida might be utilizing a public "do you want me?" contract leverage at his boss.

THAT: Only Bastida has no leverage; his leaving (if it happens) doesn't make PIX suddenly unwatchable. But it does signify that everyone else is expendable too.

THIS: KRON still doesn't know what the hell its doing nor does it seem to care; have you watched its news lately? Nothing stands out. The ordinary newscast is horrible. The K-TEL format is a joke. One of its best reporters, Spencer Blake, just left to join the CBS station in Phoenix. Everyone uses KRON as a stepping stone to go somewhere else.

THAT: Notice all the weather ladies leaving in droves; notice anchors coming and going; notice the latest lemming, Steve Aveson is just hanging around because KRON can't find his replacement. KRON is the Cleveland Browns of local TV stations with no plan and rudderless. And it would be nice if someone bought them a decent sound system unlike the one they bought at Radio Shack.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

De la Vega Leaving KGO-TV to become PR Rep for Palo Alto PD; Spent 12 Years as Reporter at KTVU

Image result for janine de la vega KGO
Janine De la Vega leaving KGO to become PR rep at Palo Alto PD

Another TV News reporter has quit to become a PR person; the latest, Janine De la Vega, a KGO-TV reporter (and also former KTVU rep) has left 900 Front to become a public affairs spokesperson for the Palo Alto Police Dept.

De la Vega spent 12 years at KTVU; she's been at KGO for a year.

She's become one of many people in the media biz that have left to become PR people at various organizations, public and private sector.

Seems the pay is about even and less stress and more stability is a wonderful selling point.

Less anxiety, less wear and tear on the nerves. Sounds good to me too.

h/t: (Palo Alto Daily Post)

**We survive; actually I survive mostly on DONATIONS and SUBSCRIPTIONS and a very limited advertising budget; PLEASE HELP NOW.

*SUPPORT 415 MEDIA! -- Please click on my Donate button (located on the right side of the blog) and contribute to 415Media today.

You don't need to sign up for a PayPal account to make a secure and confidential donation. If you do, I'll be grateful and I'll be sure to say so by private email or call. 

New 415 Media Questions of The Day: KTVU's Frank Somerville and Heather Holmes

Image result for Heather Holmes KTVU
Heather Holmes and Frank Somerville

Somerville and Holmes --KTVU

1. Is Heather Holmes too close to Frank Somerville?

2. Is this reaction after both were informed of impending Fox pay cuts?

3. Which is more yellow--Heather's hair or Frank's tie?

4. Does Frank have more actual hair than Heather?

5. Where is Heather's left hand?

6. Find the camera in the office at Fox2.

7. Could this be a secret audition pic for "KTVU Celebrity Selfie?"

8. Could this be new, possible, star power anchor team for 2019 "KTVU Plus" 6 O'clock News?"

9. Did Frank see "Play Misty for Me?"

10. Is this reaction to twosome's sending this song to Gregg Kelly and Chris Nohr?

Catfight Looms (Again) at KRON Morning News; Hong and Winston Turf War; Personalities Clash


As they say, these two women don't like each other.

Anny Hong was back doing weather at KRON Monday morning replacing the departed Rebecca Strom --nearby, the illustrious and protective of turf, Robin Winston was perched on the traffic area; there were no fisticuffs but these two have a history.

It's more intense with Hong who can't stand Winston and Robin has no use for Hong. Simple theory. Both want to be stars. Both have Jupiter-sized egos. Both resent each other. There's a lot of female hormone on steroids here. I liken it to two boxers wanting to duke it out in the ring.

Winston sees Hong as a threat; an opportunistic femme fatale wanting immediate star status and fame and fortune; Hong views Winston as a bitchy, unentitled woman who uses her looks to advance (nothing wrong with that) In any event, they are enemies and sooner or later, they will battle.

It's not a matter of if, just when.
Annie Hong
Robin Winston