STATE OF PIX
In the immediate aftermath of the firing of GM, Ron Longinotti, an air of part-bewilderment and shock has given way to the readiness and anticipation of the new boss at KPIX, (CBS5).
Sources close to the station tell me that the main reason Longinotti was shown the door had to do with dollars. (Surprise.)
Longinotti was blown out because the station wasn't bringing in money. Cutting the news staff, going MMJ, (multi-media journalist--reporters shooting/editing work), and putting news photographers on the air as reporters killed KPIX's credibility and consequently the interest of viewers and advertisers. MMJ was Longinotti's idea for saving money; KPIX is the only O&O in the country to turn to this cheap system of news gathering. (Note: KGO, another owned-and-operated outlet employs MMJ).
Bruno Cohen, the new GM, a veteran TV exec begins his tenure on Wednesday-- (he'll also program the CBS station in Seattle)--I asked the insider about Cohen.
Bruno was part of the team that hired Kate Kelly and all of that talent at KPIX in the early 90's. He hired Matt Lauer (from an interviewer at WWOR) as a 5p anchor at WNBC. He has an eye for talent and he knows the Bay Area. He has solid credentials.
A potential shocker--something I have heard, but at this point doubt: The possibility of star anchor, Dana King, leaving:
Dana told me and one other person: "I'm trying to get out." She may have been blowing smoke and that may change with the new GM. I do know she was fed up with the changes at KPIX over the past 4-years.
Another fact to note on King. She is one of the highest-paid anchors, (reportedly $800K) at PIX, (and in the Bay Area for that matter) and also the union rep at the station. If she were to leave, that would surprise many.
On the status of ND, Dan Rosenheim, again, the key day, according to a source is Wednesday:
I think he needs to go, but I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed. Former co-workers noted that when KCBS/KCAL in LA changed GM's...a new News Director was introduced on the GM's 1st day. Rosenheim is a good newsman-- I doubt he was happy with the changes over the past 4-plus years, but he was being a good soldier.
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