Saturday, December 8, 2012

Champagne poppers at KPIX; Dana King's Farewell on CBS5

After watching the final newscast involving Dana King on Friday night, I'm reminded as to why station execs are weary of allowing talent to bid viewers a farewell.

King of course is leaving KPIX to pursue a second career in art. Her move to embrace sculpture was accelerated by management who let King go with another year left on her high-dollar contract. She'd been at KPIX, (CBS5), since 1997.

Friday's 11 PM newscast was sprinkled with banter between King and co-anchor Ken Bastida and sports anchor, Dennis O'Donnell, who provided dual acts of unintended hilarity on an otherwise compelling bit of local TV news history. The newscast itself with King talking between stories about her passion for art, was fine and perfectly apt and suitable until O'Donnell's hijinks kidnapped an otherwise acceptable broadcast.

O'Donnell spoke about past stories involving King and himself. He recalled a bet with King involving the Raiders and him being subjected to a haircut performed by King. It was semi-poignant. Then out of nowhere, O'Donnell lost it. Fighting back tears, he implored the cameraman to cut immediately to commercials. Then toward the end of the broadcast, the sports anchor inexplicably popped a bottle of champagne toward the desk and suddenly, everything was kooky and out of place and over the top. Or, to put it more succinctly, this was hardly the kind of show befitting the departure of a beloved anchor. Dennis Richmond's last show on KTVU was far more classier, bereft of the histrionics that overwhelmed King at the end. It all worked out eventually but it had a bad aftertaste.

At the last moment before the end of the show, a video vignette involving KPIX anchors, reporters, and newsroom staff filled the screen with goodbyes to King. The video included Kate Kelley, Roberta Gonzales, Juliet Goodrich and Vern Glenn. Conspicuously missing in the video: News Director Dan Rosenheim and GM Bruno Cohen--both of whom were involved in King's dismissal a year ahead of schedule. Coincidence? Perhaps. You be the judge.

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26 comments:

  1. Who the heck gives a rip? I mean, really.

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  2. This post is Rich at his worst. Lot's of snide criticism and disapproval without any explanation of what there is to be critical except a prevailing disapproval of everything in the media world except for his own radio program.

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    1. Fair and Balanced: Get real, pal. Rich is a media critic. He gives us the whole story, warts and all, digging up the dirt using his reliable and informed inside sources, keeping us in the loop. When news happens, turn to Rich. His last words in this blog sum it up nicely: "You be the judge."

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    2. Rich at his worst? Whoever would say such thing is delusional. Rich simply reported what happened during DK's last CBS5 Newscast. Don't blame him if her send-off was over the top, which it clearly was.

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    3. @6:21 It wasn't "simply report[ing] what happened during DK's last CBS5 Newscast." It was Rich's bitch-a-thon about why he disapproved of a broadcast that most others found lovely and touching. See all subsequent comments. Furthermore it was loaded with his interpretation about the circumstances of her leaving. "You be the judge" doesn't neutralize the fact that he's forcing his version down our throats.

      And @4:14, I'd accept Rich's credibility as a "media critic" if he wasn't such a desperate media wannabe.

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    4. Did Rich actually write the phrase "far more classier"? Why yes, he did. And he wants to pick apart a TV broadcast? Please.

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  3. Sorry to have missed it. Does anyone have a video?

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  4. I thought I saw Rosenheim in a clip ... it wasn't at the end, in the middle where some of the producers and technical people had clips ...

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  5. Rich is still bitter because Dana King rebuked his version of her departure from KPIX.

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  6. I just watched:
    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/8045897-dana-king-at-cbs-5-a-look-back/

    I thought it was lovely. Rich--there are many ways to say goodbye, and if it got "kooky" so much the better!. Geez, if you want to cite Dennis Richmond's farewell broadcast as "classy," then look at yourself first.

    I thought it was very, very touching--and you tell how much her colleagues love her!

    Amazing lady! Thank you, Dana1

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  7. Hey Rich. I know much of this blog is driven by the news about the bay area media personalities, but would you check in sometime on your thoughts about who runs the media and how the number of companies that control our radio, TV and Newspapers is shrinking everyday?

    I know that you've touched on it from time to time, but this is a vitally important issue as a free press is a key part of our Democracy, and it's being strangled by the likes of the Cumuluses, the Murdochs, and the Clear Channels.

    Now, believe it or not, President Obama is quietly supporting the efforts of the Chairman of the FCC to deregulate the media even more, so that these mega-companies can swoop in and buy more media outlets per market.

    That means fewer jobs for qualified journalists, but more importantly, it means fewer voices being heard by the public which translates into an uninformed public. And an uninformed public sets a dangerous standard in our system, don't your agree?

    I remember going to press conferences 15 years ago and seeing five or six radio stations represented. Now we're lucky to see one or two and they're usually owned by the same company. And some of the people that are being hired today? I wonder if they have even taken a basic course in journalism.

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    1. Here is a link to Senator Bernie Sanders web site and a petition for which the senator is gathering signatures. The purpose of the petition is to protest the present move to make it even easier for large corporations like Clear Channel and Cumulus Media to further strengthen their grip on our nation's media outlets.

      We MUST reclaim our public airwaves and news media from this relative handful of corporations that have zero intention to use their acquired properties to provide anything fair and balanced! Reversing some portions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 would be a good starting point.

      http://www.sanders.senate.gov/petition/?uid=76f1a6c9-0caa-47ce-9171-6b62ccbbfd3a

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  8. I thought it was a nice send-off. Roberta's line about Dana's marriages was a bit caty, but seemed in good spirit.

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    1. @AnonymousDecember 8, 2012 4:18 PM What did she say?

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    2. @12:29 Roberta said ..Dana, you're career has lasted longer than your marriages. It was during the 6pm send-off.

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  9. I just watched too and I think it was the loveliest farewell ever for any television anchor. It was obviously well-deserved. Now that's a career!

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  10. I didn't get to see Dana's final sign-off, due to Comcast's lack of a signal in the Tracy area of the Bay Area...darn it! But Good Luck Dana, you will be missed

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  11. Watched the broadcast via Comcast on demand and thought it was a nice tribute.
    There was nothing negative on display as Dana showed class by saying she moving on to her next career.

    If every longtime personality exited in such a manner, studio execs wouldn't need to worry about allowing a well-deserved farewell.

    Good luck, Dana

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  12. The 11 P.M. show was genuine, subtext and all. It was nice. The pre-produced tribute package was the best possible send-off-- well-edited to highlight Dana's exemplary contributions through her personal and emotional involvement in stories. Ultimately, she used her status for the greater good.

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  13. Regardless of what you thought of Dana, it was a lovely farewell. She deserved the send-off, as did her viewers, and the tone was positive for all concerned. The pre-produced "greatest hits" reel was especially effective. It framed her in the best possible light. It was a classy way to go out, both for Dana and the station.

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  14. DANA in A Tight sweater the BEST. After sweater Good bye.

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  15. Robots should deliver the news.

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  16. Was hoping that when O'Donnel opened the champaign, the glasses would come out but they didn't.

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  17. Her second marriage wasn't helped by the step son from hell.

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    1. Kailuascott@hotmail.comDecember 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      That is an incredibly horrible thing for you to say. Who are you to put your nose into her personal life. Ok so you obviously are not a fan of hers, I accept that but to post something so vile....you are classless.

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