Friday, September 21, 2018

Please Give me the Check Please; KQED Foodie Show Too Cute for its Own Good

Image result for KQED Check PleaseCheck Please, hurry up too because I'm feeling kind of nauseated.

KQED's dip into the local restaurant scene could be a nice and cool Bay Area-based nugget but it takes itself far too seriously and its cutesy format with way too cutesy people borders on extreme ego largess.

"Check Please" has people sitting around a dinner table talking about and rating their chosen restaurant and their experience. It's like a review and the participants go far into detail highlighting the spaghetti at the restaurant was divine or the burger at my cafe was way too soggy. Words like that. It's a decent premise and there's a whole lot to like on paper until you watch the show.

Leslie Sbrocco is the show's host; she sits with the dinner reviewers and plays along with their reviews and talks individually about each specific restaurants. There's mostly innocent, cutesy, cuddly, chit-chat with her guests as they sip wine around the dinner table and do their best to annoy you and express the love for amazing Mexican food or a rather superb leg of lamb. If the show stopped there, it would be just fine. "Check Please" is too gooey for it's own good and that's where the problems arise.


Leslie Sbrocco
Sbrocco is cheeky and has quite a bit of assets, both literally and figuratively. It's not bad that she's an attractive woman who knows wine well; we know this from the beginning. It's her eternal plastic smile that gets in the way of the show and that's sort of lousy because with more restraint, Check Please could be a valuable program and make for some decent local programming from KQED, which despite its millions, has very little to offer on that front.

And the format of people sitting around a dinner table rating the food is fine only most shows the three participants take themselves way too seriously and act like pompous jerks to boot. Maybe it was required KQED snobbism for the show's fate, I don't know but it really sounds and looks bad.

And it's chock full of demo PCitus: almost every show there's a white woman, gay man, middle-aged guy of color --nothing against all those folks but what would be wrong with three women? Or three white guys with a beard? If you're down for this type of entertainment you'll love Check Please.

Waiter.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Major Decisions Loom at Bay Area TV News Stations; Bastida Future Murky at KPIX; Ashley Extension KGO Front Burner; Goodrich MVP Invites Intriguing Speculation; Pam Moore is Looking Around (Sort of) at KRON; KTVU Doom and Gloom; Holmes and Haener: Would Anyone Care or Notice If they Left? Overrated Nothing Yenta, Kate Scott; Cover For Bay Area Sports Horny Male Media Pugs; Thursday Rundown

Image result for Big Decisions BIG DECISIONS LOOM for some Bay Area TV News stations; among them...

* At KPIX, there are a myriad of issues on the plate; the uncertainty; the chaos; the lack of viewing numbers in the morning; those are just trivial in comparison to the future of longtime, Bay Area native and evening anchor, Ken Bastida.

Bastida's status at PIX remains murky at best. He has been at 855 Battery for almost three decades but time has not been gracious to the veteran news reader. Bastida is just average on most nights and when he's not average he can be painful to watch; ad-libbing was never his biggest strongpoint and now, he's almost embarrassingly inadequate. Moreover, CBS isn't in the mood for paying going rate for mid-to-high market money for a guy late in his prime and whose "it" factor long ago left the news screen. In other words, Bastida doesn't generate the buzz he used to albeit in an industry that doesn't possess the status it once held either. That said, local TV News, here and beyond, still garners significant revenue even with declining viewership.

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Ken Bastida: future murky at KPIX
Bastida makes in the mid $500K range, a significant number even today and is under contract until the end of the year. Word is that he might be tempted to take a company buyout and retire. I don't think CBS would extend him such kind of money and even if they did he'd most likely have to take a significant pay cut.

We should know sooner rather then later.

*KGO-TV management hasn't officially begun negotiations with ace veteran news anchor and star reader, Dan Ashley, in spite of his impending contract closure next year. By all indications, a deal will get done simply because KGO needs Ashley more then Ashley needs KGO. That doesn't mean a deal is front and center on the plate of the big suits at ABC7 but it should be. KGO can't afford another Carolyn Johnson embarrassment and lose one of its most valuable anchors. The Johnson loss still haunts KGO today and losing Ashley, who has offers on the table from back east outlets, could make for another departure and leave the ABC O and O in dark waters.

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Dan Ashley: new contract looming at KGO



This much is certain: Ashley, according to sources at 900 Front wants to remain in the Bay Area. He has family here and is comfortable. On some days, he works an astounding 5 shows a night (4,5,6, 9, and 11 PM) He is an extremely hard worker and the face of ABC7. He is mostly well-liked and admired by his peers. He is the highest-paid anchor in the Bay Area and deservedly so. And deservedly so, he would like to be paid in accordance with that status. Disney is not known for lavishing big bucks to even its most prized talent even someone in a larger market but Ashley might be the exception. I've heard a three-year extension somewhere north or south of $2M is destined to be offered to Ashley, probably with a few option years. That sounds just about right.


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Pam Moore
*Mass confusion at KRON: what else is new? Plus, rumors are very strong about Pam Moore leaving and looking for suitors. Moore, my contacts tell me, is still quite comfortable at the lowly albatross in spite of significant departures by key personnel including EPs and anchors like Gary Radnich and Stanley Roberts. Those are not earthshaking developments and the station is not going to hemorrhage but whatever star appeal KRON possessed, it has lost two of its most popular air talents (although with Radnich, it was KRON MGT that gave Raddy an ultimatum he rejected and was summarily dismissed)

Moore could be a valuable asset for someone like a KNTV (maybe) or more prominently, KTVU, which ironically allowed Ken Wayne to trudge to KRON. Moore has a strong Bay Area identity especially with women and women of color at that. She makes in the neighborhood of $300K a-year. She's not actively working the negotiation trail with others but she's made it know through friends that she would definitely listen to offers. Stay tuned.

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Juliette Goodrich: MVP of Bay Area TV News
*MVP on the loose and could be had for the right money: PIX's underrated Juliette Goodrich is quite comfortable reading news on the anchor desk during the weekend and reporting in the field during the week. That said, she is too valuable a commodity in her current role. KPIX seems to take her for granted and I wouldn't be surprised if someone out of the blue swooped in and offered Goodrich a primetime anchor weekday shift. Goodrich is not just a pretty face; she's a damned good news reader and commands the screen. She could easily be a #1 anchor in LA or NY but she has kids here and doesn't want to leave the Bay Area. That said, a Goodrich departure from PIX would not surprise me because she's simply too good to be wasted on the weekend. Watch this closely.

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Holmes (l) and Haener
*KTVU staff manning the daytime computers resenting 415 Media could be better spent laying out the various 4-5 thousand grievances on display (and not on display) at Fox-owned Channel 2 which seems to have a new controversy everyday. The station with revolving anchors and out-of-place reporters somehow, to their credit, carry on in an environment that at best could be called troublesome. There is no mojo at KTVU; there is quite a bit of uncertainty and weary staffers afraid of a management that rules by intimidation and force. (Just the other day, an intern was read the riot act and screamed at in the newsroom because the person was a minute late on getting info from an email to the assignment desk) YOU WANT TO SEE GLOOM? Take a look at KTVU anchors especially at night. Frank Somerville is sullen because he has a bevy of issues off the scenes and is trying his best to squelch rumors; Bill Martin can't wait to leave the station at night and become a kid at Disneyland when he's in his car leaving. Watch him forecast, you'll see. Mark Ibanez just recently signed a three-year extension in March but is sick to death when he enters the studio and reads the sports copy. Julie Haener has now been exposed for the lightweight she is as serving as Somerville's gossip-filled caddy who couldn't ad-lib if her life depended on it. Heather Holmes continues to advance the miniskirt doctrine and shout "hey, I know I'm big here and although I'm sort of out of place, find me a home. Somewhere! Anywhere!"

Holmes and Haener could just as soon be senior saleswomen at the Macys cosmetics counter where they would be more valuable. Shocking? Harsh? You want the truth and you got it. Feel otherwise? Ask yourself this question: if BOTH Holmes and Haener were to vacate KTVU would anyone notice? Would anyone care? I rest my case.

*That angry KCBS sports anchor at night went berserk when he failed to get his copy ready for the 8: 15 sports update. Good news: less of him means peace in the neighborhood hell he SCREAMS every time he reports.

Karma is a bitch: if the guy stopped talking behind people's back (including yours truly) these things may not take place.

*KGO Radio: talk about uncertainty. There is no formal plan evident yet. Same old tired format --basically, they've punted any concrete new idea and haven't a clue as to what they wanna do which is par for the course.

Still trying to find out the ID of the lame brain ditz that turned down a Bob Woodward phone interview.

*Someone at night at KNBR supposedly got the heave-ho which is good news for Uber --more drivers. Maybe had he cut the "what-up" shit he'd be getting his $15 an hour.

*Kristen Sze: so much potential; so much looming large; a mini, bigger-than-market woman; KGO royalty. Sad now because so much is lost. Practice what you preach. Don't offer the world and produce Melba toast. Without any butter no less.

*"I'm Julie Chen-Moonves." Yeah, I'm sure money has not an iota to do with that.

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The GAAS! (l) and Alyana Gomez
*Alyana Gomez and GAASian Mikaelian: birds of a feather...

*There's a rumor at KTVU that Gasia would host the new morning quiz show, "Chirping for dollars." I'm kidding of course but these days, why the hell not?

*Tough night on the street for Amber Lee who actually did her report without looking at notes. Praise the Lord!

*Melanie Woodrow Update: she hasn't stalked any man as of this writing.

*Dennis O'Donnell: Akron is waiting.

*A famous PR woman (she requested anonymity via email) went to KTVU to drop off a packet to one of the station's more higher profile female reporters: PR woman tells me she was flabbergasted when said woman blurted out, "you don't know my name?" Take a wild guess who. Think ex-KGO temptress. Bingo.

*Roberta Gonzales: hey, I'm not the one who posted a picture of myself on social media! And besides, there was nothing wrong with that photo, just all your ass' warped sense of humor so don't give me shit, take a cold shower too.

*Randy Hahn: priceless.

*Duane Kuiper: massively overrated.

*Ray Fosse: too much homer stuff beginning to sound like Monte Moore's ghost. More Dallas Braden, less 'Foss.

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Randy Hahn
*Chris Townsend: lucky to have family money as a back-up.

*Brent Musburger: horndog with a microphone; perfect for Vegas. Just keep him away from the cheerleaders.

*Ted Robinson: I like and appreciate steady over fake theatrics.

*Larry Krueger: the guy is such a poser plus talks out of both sides of his mouth.

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Kate Scott: just why?
*Kate Scott: a nothing-burger with mayo and butter on the seedless bun. What a complete waste of time; she gets points though for exploiting the horny sports guys who she gives cover to: "Gees, she's hot!, she's blond!, she's even gay!" Let's kiss her ass because, well, we have to.

Scott would be better served being the day waitress at a Ruth's Chris, I'll say it again: she adds NOTHING to a broadcast. She is vanilla pudding. She is Wonder Bread with a capital W and she exudes about as much interest as week-old toe fungus.

She's lucky to have enablers like Bruce Jenkins wax poetically about her "greatness", whatever the hell that is and is proof positive of a PC world run amok.

She'd be barely passable in Bakersfield. Wait a minute!

You want the truth, you got the truth.

Image result for Happy faceNow put on a happy face.





Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday Needling; KNBR Sports Woman: Zero Depth; KGO's Zouves December Return before LA Trip; Patel and Argen: Weather Combo Magic; Heather Holmes Wants Haener's Gig; Chronicle's Ostler, Jenkins, Killion $ Payout; Raj Mathai The Next Lester Holt? Friday Firsty

Image result for San Francisco streets NEEDLING PEOPLE, LIKE...

*That new, female voice on KNBR morning, is about as exciting as a Fresno Opera in the park in August. Adds ZERO to zero.

*Natasha Zouves, won't be back on KGO-TV until December at the earliest --but by then, her LA campaign will be close to fruition if it isn't already.

*If Lisa Argen is willing to go to Atlanta, CNN will pay the freight and then some.

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*Sandhya Patel should be KGO's #1 weather meteorologist because she's smart, knows her stuff, and looks great.

*When Dan Ashley signs his new deal, as expected, it could be nine seven figures --and is deserved.

*KTVU anchor brand, circa 2018: maintain zombie-like persona; inject amateur questions to reporters on street; try to sound sincere even if you don't know what the hell you're asking; close out questions that are awkward and throw to sports.

*I thought Andre Senior was an OK 4th-tier anchor and decent; KTVU has placed him into the Ed Bradley zone. All that's missing is an earing. Senior is good, not close to great.

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Sandhya Patel
*The Chronicle Sports scribes pay: 1. Scott Ostler: $200G; Bruce Jenkins: $175G; Ann Killion: $150G

*At the conclusion of his long-term contract, Raj Mathai could very well end up back in NY serving as NBC's back-up to Lester Holt. Did I say that? No, but a top NBC News official did; said it to Willie Brown of all people.

*You think I'm rough on Gary Radnich, you should hear what Tony Bruno has to say about Bentley man.

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Heather Holmes
*See, the thing about Heather Holmes is this: she used to have considerable leverage before the Fox-takeover at Channel 2; she still does but not to the degree she thinks she does; at one point, management seemed to buy into the "Heather is golden" credo. No more. Holmes is there because she has some pedigree (I still don't see it) and KTVU still regards her as their "young Diane Sawyer." The problem is, she doesn't have an ounce of Sawyer's news acumen. She can't ad-lib worth a damn, and she still dresses like a Marina chick on her way to the bar at the Balboa. In the meantime, KTVU has to pay her and she still works at KTVU even though she's clearly not happy and wants Julie Haener's gig.

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The next Lester Holt? Raj Mathai of NBC Bay Area
*Alyana Gomez: rules to abide by: 1. Don't even think of kissing up to HH. 2. Watch your back when Mark Ibanez is in the room. 3. Be weary of so-called "allies" who have all the loyalty of a Vegas card shark. 4. Your friend from Jersey? Cold as a fish and took advantage of a depressed mongrel. Just a few. More to come.
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Alyana Gomez

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

KPIX Meltdown: Chaos in the Morning at CBS-SF; KTVU Sunday-Thursday Anchor Line-Up Ain't Such a Big Deal; Frank Somerville is Frank Somerville; Sloppy Seconds Mark Ibanez; Roberta Gonzales NOT Going Back to KPIX; Damon Bruce makes More Than Larry Krueger; Papa Don't Preach; Wednesday Noshes

Image result for San Francisco News Media SUPPOSEDLY, It's become so bad, so toxic, so worthless, at KPIX's "Morning Show" with rapidly fading morale; a slew of countless EPs that were supposedly hired to right the ship; but the truth is how can you right wayward ship when it's already sunk? How can you create some light when the deep, black hole has taken permanent form?

OFCOURSE KPIX in the morning is unwatchable too; a benign, no-personality, no stream of simple, original thought comprised mainly of an overrated diva who thinks she's a modern-day Evita; an ill-begotten Hawaiian anchor who rides bicycles to work and insists a camera crew filming him is worthy of a package; oh, and the traffic woman who makes coin secretly telling producers her boobs are great for the morning audience. What audience? All ten of 'em, that audience? Good grief.

KPIX has yet to figure you how to BUILD a cohesive, concise, intact morning platform that could potentially cut into a portion of KTVU's devalued, marginalized, but still #1-rated in the AM; 'PIX doesn't have to recreate Gone With the Wind; they don't have the patience nor the staying power to take down Channel 2 and their current iteration of leftover morsels.

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Kenny Choi and Michelle Griego
Creative, out front wisdom needs sustaining power and a business model of long-term growth and potential payback. It can't be achieved at PIX because they have CRAPPY anchors, EPs that have no vision and only possess below-average scope and are ego maniacs who take pleasure in making co-workers fear everyday working conditions. The talent still sucks because the temptation of hiring, (AGAIN) Hawaiian-bred anchors for the sole purpose of trying to cater to the Asian Bay Area community is a total farce. How pandering too. Kenny Choi is a disaster by the way so if you're going to go that route, at ;east have the presence of mind to hire somebody who is interesting to watch and has an iota of something more compelling that we watching him on a bicycle.

*OH BOY, Star Anchor team now broadcasts Sunday-Thursday, how creative and chock full of wisdom, next thing you know they'll (anchors) eventually write their own copy! OH BOY!!
Image result for KTVU Sommerville and Haener Sunday-Thursday
Somerville, Haener and Ibanez Sunday artists
Why are we being deluged that Frank Somerville and Julie Haener have Friday and Satuday off? Is it because its, wait now, FOOTBALL season! at FOX-owned KTVU and they want to have a bigger audience on Sunday night? I just told you what KTVU won't, and big deal, not a really huge issue but the fear mongers at Jack London Square rely on tension in the building.

*A LITTLE INSIDE BASEBALL on Frank Somerville: Frank is a good guy and generally a good newsman who wants to perform. The problem with Frank is when he's so much not the Frank off-air as he is on-air. He's become slightly-phony and his news cred (along with his personal cred) has taken a beating. He doesn't have to be the overly-schmaltzy guy he isn't; he should concentrate on being what he is: an overall nice man with a few too many off-company time vices that has placed him in the crosshairs of jealous newsroom gossipers --Frank, pay attention to the wife; resist sloppy seconds; don't let Mark Ibanez talk you into explaining why he's having very public lunches with women not his wife; just be your usual FRANK, which may not be so great but at least you're honest.

*Julie Haener: possibly the most cunning, dishonest figure there since Pam Cook --but at least Cook is honest.

*Hell no Roberta Gonzales will come back to that zoo at KPIX; for starters, she's making much more money in her new gig; second, she wants NO PART of KPIX. That should tell you something.

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Roberta Gonzales at A's Game
ONE-LINERS**

*Ronn Owens took Willie Brown to lunch the other day at Originals Joe's in North Beach: on a $60 tab, good old Ronnnnnnie left a 7 dollar tip. Yeah, I guess there's a recession in Sea Cliff.

*Damon Bruce of the FM Sports Station (95.7 FM, 'The Game) makes $300K a year and is vastly higher paid then Larry Krueger on KNBR who whispers constantly to media people "I'm the highest paid talk host in SF --second only to Gary Radnich."

*Greg Papa would be in that group but between the state, government and his second wife, good grief!

Papa is warming to the community now; he only talks over his woman co-host half the time.

Papa should take Mark Davis out for some drinks at the Emeryville Trader Vics; talk about the good old days when Al, Mark's late father, used to shut up Greg and tell him who was really the boss.

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Greg Papa: speaking of sloppy seconds
Papa has no tact. He quietly likes to cut people down both in front of the curtain and behind. He's had too many after-dinner drinks at the bar where the Raider cheerleaders hang out.

*I hear KNBR is back to using its $2 cell phones for radio interviews.

Thata Babe!

*By the way, I'm supposed to have an orgasm because The Sports Bleeder hired a new female voice its morning show?

Never heard of her; won't listen; would rather have my innards looked at by an enraged mountain lion.

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Damon Bruce
*Big News: Radnich hasn't step foot in the Tenderloin since the first Obama administration.