Monday, March 18, 2013

Pew Study: Local TV News lacks Girth; KPIX5 and Gonzales Blunder; More KCBS Repetition; Ronnnn's Cruise; Monday Media

This much is clear: while local TV news here and beyond have increased revenue, (for the most part), audience traction has declined. And stagnation has become a significant element into the dynamics. How so?

Because local TV news looks the same. No one has dare tried to do something different. Notice how they all look like everyone else? God forbid, screw a split-screen close-up interview at the top of the newscast--we must have that multiple story count volume continue.

It's the same formulaic news product day after day, night after night. Nobody has the foresight nor the push to make the product unique. And those few souls that try fail miserably. Consequently, the content is largely vanilla and less people watch the result and continue to migrate to the Internet to get their news. It's just that simple.

*I don't know, absolutely, first hand who and what were responsible for demoting Roberta Gonzales from the weeknight to the weekend, but I do know it's been a colossal blunder. Gonzales has a personality, is a large TV presence, commands real "star power" for KPIX. Her wonder bread replacement, Paul Deanno, might be a nice guy, (by all accounts), but is severely lacking in the charm dept. Not his fault, but PIX, whoever was behind this bonehead move needs to reevaluate it. Yeah, I know money was involved--it always is. Tell that to the viewers.

*Don't tell me about "formats" and such and such....KCBS' repetitious central taking place is plain old lousy programming. Lazy too. Monday morning, between the traffic, weather, commercials, etc saw multiple repeats of bike at Bart stories and Mike Sugerman's 10x-repeated "report" on the parking-meter quagmire near AT&T Park. It was insufferable, it was ridiculous, and it was a bore. C'mon people.

*Expect soon, because it's that time of the year and the weather gods have made it possible: an endless series of stories involving the "drought." We've been down this road many times quite simply for the fact that they, (Bay Area news people), have very little else to talk about and can't think creatively.

*Ronnnnn's cruise promos on KGO fail to disclose that he's cruising, (in June), comped, courtesy of the sponsor. Hopefully the toilets will work and power doesn't fail.

*Speaking of the gadget man, whatever happened, Ronnnnnnn, to the "Up to 30-bit?" Did SweetJack cut back?

*Follow me on Twitter

62 comments:

  1. All I know is the KGO TV girl crew is looking old.

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    1. KGO or KRON?

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    2. i think caroline johnson is smokin'. - DW

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    3. I can't watch Cheryl Jennings any longer. It's too painful looking at her face. So sad..

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  2. Meteorologists don't need to be over the top, but some sort of personality is helpful so that I notice when they start talking.
    Paul Deano fades into the background.

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    1. Don't listen to her, Paul, you 'da man!

      Plus you learned to pronounce our city names BEFORE your first broadcast (Concord, Yountville and Guerneville come to mind), unlike the girls from SoCal.

      Keep up the pleasant and less-strident approach, it's a nice change. It will serve you - and us - well.

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  3. Rich, it's time to rename your blog to be more inclusive.
    there's a lot more to the Bay Area than the 415.

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    1. "Because local TV news looks the same. No one has dare tried to do something different."

      This is why I enjoy watching KRON so much. They're not cookie cutter.

      I believe KCBS is the way it is for a reason. They cycle the same news stories over and over because it is aimed at people in cars for the most part. People are in and out of their cars. I don't believe it's in any way programmed for long term listening. Get in, get out, get ahead.

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    2. The inclusive generation, I'll be glad when expectations get back to normal.

      Look at it like a hot dog, filled with many things, but we call them hot dogs for practical purposes.

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    3. "Yeah, I'll get right on it." Sincerely, the 408.

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    4. If KCBS is aimed at people in their cars, it's just as bad because most people are in their cars for more than 10 minutes at a time. In fact when you're in the car, radio may be your only companion/distraction, so it would be so refreshing to have something interesting and stimulating to listen to. Hearing the same stories over and over, and even very little traffic information every 10 minutes, makes it not worth listening at all.

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    5. Good point. Perhaps what most generally do is turn on KCBS...hear the cycle of news...then off to talk radio or music or KNBR for sports. I'm sure they do it the way they do it for a reason. Studies?

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    6. @Rich Liberman...LMAO! Dang those 408ers always want to be the "Top Dog" in the Bay Area...LOL!

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  4. At KTVU, they wonder about the source of their decline. A few years ago, then Cox-TV President Andy Fisher insisted that KTVU go to a higher story count, meaning more stories, but a lot shorter. Lots of :10 and :15 voice overs; quick blurbs, then gone. The standard KTVU reporter story went from 2:30 to 1:15, or maybe 1:30. Out went the depth and quality; in went the hyperbolic pace of the shows. Ratings - at least from 5:00 to 6:30 have plummeted. Fisher was later "retired" after and ugly S&M scandal: http://gawker.com/5033893/cox-tv-president-in-sm-divorce-trial. But old "Special Ed" forged ahead with the losing format. The special-one has since been "retried" by Cox as well. As Paul Harvey might shout from his grave, "now you know the rest of the story!"

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  5. KPIX tried to step out of the box a few years ago with MTV style newscasts in the newsroom. As you mentioned, it failed horribly, but it was interesting to watch.

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  6. Talking about weather readers...Paul Deano seems to have potential and is getting better every day. Where is Brian Hackney? Does he still work at PIX, or in the bay area?

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    1. Since 'Eye on the Bay' was cancelled, I have seen Brian doing fill-in work for anchors on vacation, etc. mostly on KPIX.

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    2. I saw Brian Hackney on KPIX about a week ago, and I was shocked, as it had been so long since I saw him that I thought he had gone somewhere else too. Good question, as to what is going on with him. I don't particularly like him, as he gives the impression that when he goes to the bathroom, that it doesn't stink. But, I have to admit that he does a really good job with the weather, and obviously knows what he is talking about. Of course, that is his problem, in that he KNOWS he knows what he is talking about. To me, I just don't think they even needed to bring in Paul Deanno anyway, I mean, don't they have enough weather people anyway? And isn't it insulting to the other PIX weather people, to make Paul the SENIOR meteorologist at PIX? I honestly think that Lawrence Karnow is the best weather person they have. What also annoys the hell out of me,is on the morning show, when for some reason, none of the regular weather people are available, they move Elizabeth Wenger over to be the weather person. I mean, all of the other weather people are certified meteorologists, and so, to stick her in there to do weather when she has no meteorological training, is an insult to them and their credentials.

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    3. You're right about Karnow 1:35, the rest are distant 2nds.

      I do find morning weather and traffic to be a waste of time for the most part. Left up to me, I'd condense the two and cut the time in half. Forget about yesterdays weather, the predicted highs and lows of 25 cities, the good commutes...a few highlights and a few maps. Granted, it would be one less personality to join in the "we're all best friends away from work" banter(can I get an amen?).

      The free time could be used for an in studio interview session...like Ross McGowan except with balls. Have a guy like Mattier make someone squirm about a relevant local issue that needs to be sorted out. No patty cake.

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    4. I love looking at this Elizabeth. What a chipper sweetie she is.

      Besides, what kind of degree or experience is required to read the weather? Let's go with a chipper sweetie.

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    5. True, honestly speaking, they really do not need a certified meteorologist to do the weather, since they have a weather producer who does all the work anyway. I love KBSWorld channel [26.3 locally] when they do the news. They have an old fashioned weathergirl, and from what I understand, it is an acknowledged fact that when she does the weather, that their ratings go up 33%. I have seen a couple of their weathergirls, and they are like totally HOT! Elizabeth Wenger on local KPIX has several things wrong with her, most notably, why is it that she is always leaning towards her right? There always seems to be something wrong with her hip because she cannot stand up straight. And she seems to be losing too much weight. Also, her face makeup is caked on so much that we would probably be shocked to see her without it, as she would be unrecognizable. Finally, her voice is so irritating, probably because clearly, she went to the Sarah Palin school of voice... ;-)

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    6. Steer clear of anyone who tells you that they are "honestly speaking".

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  7. Rich,

    Are you really taking shots at Ronn over SweetJack spots and bits he may/not be doing? Do you not think regardless of his success that he's beholden to the wishes of a PD/GM?

    I will agree that SweetJack is really weak. I visited the website to see what it was all about, and then was told it's an arm of Cumulus. There's nothing more lame than that, except the actual site itself.

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  8. Richard: What you say is so true. What you say is so real. But why isn't anyone doing something about the banality? The zombies want us to follow them. That's why TV news is the way it is. My retort: read the newspaper -- that's where they're getting their content anyway.

    As for KCBS, they use the most common denominator of people listen for a short period of time, so that's why they're on auto-pilot.

    Actually, the media just plain sucks in this market. I've stopped watching TV news years ago because of the malaise. And now that media owners are looking to save money, it's just going to get worse.

    Those in denial are: employed by the outlets; brainwashed, too damn stupid or just don't care.

    Wake up people... Wake up!

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    1. > My retort: read the newspaper -- that's where they're
      > getting their content anyway.

      Are you KIDDING me. Read the bland, lockstep paper? As an antidote? That's like saying Beyonce is an antidote to Britney Spears.

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  9. Boy, the extra "N's in Ronn's name really must give you great happiness. Haven't seen such glee since my son was in kindergarten. Do you only post about him to get readers?

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    1. And he makes it easy. But thanks for checking in, Jared.

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    2. I thought my ATT parking story was pretty good. I've done WAAAAY worse.

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    3. So did I, Mike, but 10x? That's a lot even for the commuters. "Brevity is the soul of wit", remember that?

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    4. Mike, lose the stubble.

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    5. @4:44pm, I think stubble is sexy.

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  10. Why don't they start the syndicated shows at 5pm ie Judy Judy, jeopardy, and run the news ticker? Do a 11pm for all the late nigters.

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  11. The cruise ship company buying a boatload of spots and comping some star power is an old formula that's been around for decades; Ronn's ticket is part of that standard operating procedure. They're just trying to buy themselves an audience. It's neither new nor unusual, so why you would expect that Ronn would cough up for a ticket himself in order to participate is the only thing that's odd here. Basically, if they're featuring someone on or something as an attraction on an advertisement, you should assume that it's paid for (or at least comped). I cannot think of any such ad that has a "disclosure" to disclose to the audience overtly that the star power is (gasp!) being paid.

    Nothing to do with Ronn, Cumulus, whatever cruise company; just standard operating procedure. Yawn. See this site for more examples of this formula in action:
    http://www.holytaco.com/25-celebrities-with-whom-you-can-go-on-a-cruise/

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    1. I know about this...Usually, the host acknowledges that "I'm cruising courtesy of...", etc. It's called a disclosure that it's freebie.

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    2. > Nothing to do with Ronn, Cumulus, whatever cruise
      > company; just standard operating procedure.

      Acknowledging it on air is standard operating procedure.

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    3. Only a lunkhead wouldn't understand that Ronn is getting a free trip out of the deal.
      Why else would he go on a cruise with a dozens of KGO listeners?

      Makes no sense unless he is given totally free everything.
      He has been doing it for years.

      My only problem with Ronn is that 90% of his experience and understanding of the world has come from cruise boat travels, which have to be the worst possible way to see the real world.

      You spend 90% of your time on board and when they do turn you lose for a day, everyone in town knows the cruise line is in port.

      I've lived all over the world in many ports and everything is unreal when the cruise pulls up.
      Everything in town goes crazy as everyone tries to figure out how to get some of the dollars.

      Seeing the world from a cruise ship is like experiencing Egypt by going to Luxor Las Vegas


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  12. Regarding KCBS's recycle of the same news stories = JUNK!

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  13. Why isn't Ronn more forthright about his free cruise ship voyages?

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  14. johnny bom bonneyMarch 18, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    O' Donnell and Glenn have to be upset cause Deanno puts people to sleep

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  15. I just can't stand Roberta Gonzalez with her heavy makeup and awful voice. I am not looking for personality in the weather report. I want the weather. Dano is bland but he does the job and does it well.

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    1. Rich has an obsession with Gonzales. Here's how to evaluate if it's a "blunder": Was there a decrease in viewers because they demoted RG? Doubtful, and if there was, was it greater in terms of lost revenue from advertisers than the money they saved? The answer to that is obvious: no. Then it wasn't a "blunder." Rich can get his Roberta fix somewhere else. Maybe she should open a pay site.

      I wish Hackney, a *really* talented meteorologist/anchor, had nice tits. Rich would be campaigning for him.

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    2. You so clever! ..Actually Rich just likes engaging, funny, articulate and yes, capable and attractive weather forecasters who have a pulse and project a personality, that's all.

      Sincerely, Rich.

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    3. Tony tells 4:40 to get his own gimmick.

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  16. I personally believe the local news outlets are bland, and homogenized because they don't want us, the viewing public, to get interested or involved! They like us vegged out, on the net, FB, or talking on our iPhones.

    Just look at the difference from the news back in the 1960's & 1970's...People marched for their rights, and got involved for causes, due to the fact that the Local & National news told it like it was! Now if I watch the National News on CBS, NBC, or ABC, its all the same rehash, just a different cast of characters! They all act like they are associated with the same choir, by not speaking truth to power. In other words, "Ask the Tough Questions, Media!"

    And our local News Outlets are "Pure BS" no investigative reporting to get to the root of issues, or answers, just cheerleading from the masses. Plus if you view the local news at 5:00 pm, you will see an instant replay of the same old crap at 6:00 pm. The viewing public deserves better, in my opinion!

    In other News today, it has been noted that Silicon Valley Tech Companies are dominated in employment by Asian, & White Men...Well Duh, this isn't news to any of us who live in the Bay Area!

    And KPIX...Roberta deserved better from you!

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    1. Agreed. Go to facebook. The morons are all taking about either the ohio rape or the crazy gal who slashed her ex boyfriend. Dumbing down at all levels. Even Gilbert Grossman from 910am is taking part in the idiocy. Just go check his facebook. What a sap.

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    2. @4:37, the real reason the ratings were so high for news programs in the 1960's and 70's is because that was the only thing on TV. If people back then had other options, the ratings would have likely been low.. like they are today.

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    3. @10:13am...I "never" once mentioned "ratings," and my statement was not about ratings. It was about the blandness of the local News Outlets, & non-involvement of the viewing public in civic issues, imho.

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    4. @12:29, Yes, I'm aware that you "never" mentioned "ratings," I read your comment, and understood it clearly. My comment was just a thought. Many people offen reference the good ole' days of tv news without acknowledging the changing media landscape, and how that has impacted viewing habits. Sure, more people were excited about the news back then, but it's not necessarily because the content was any better than it is today. Just my opinion.

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  17. Rich, KGO shot down your story and the Chron backpedaled. What happened?

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    1. Nothing...as i said, part-time, (reporters) are either gone, (or will be gone), hence the reason why fulltime staffers work load has been enlarged; the contributors and extra gimmicks, like "Karel's ludicrous, "The Most" have been 86ed...I don't enjoy nor have any glee over people losing their job. The "Chron" didn't back down, just got one of the KGO tools to spin.

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    2. Rich, sounds like you are contradicting yourself about full-time staff cuts at KGO. You said there were going to be full-time staff cuts. Are you backing away from that now?

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    3. No. And when they go back to a mostly out-of-market tape-delayed "talk", I won't fret either.

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    4. Karel's show is garbage. There's nothing interesting about his show. Does anyone have numbers? He can't have ratings. Not a Craft fan either but she's better than that idiot. And what's more incredible about Karel's show is it's on twice! Brian Copeland is on once, and that guy is on twice? What a joke.

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  18. Stellar news writers at KRON. Tonight in the 11pm edition: "At the Orlando, Florida campus of the University of Central California". Feel so sorry for Catherine who had to stumble through that.

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    1. Still remember the embarrassing mis count-down on the New Year's Eve by Catherine and Gary? 'Stellar' KRON and its 'anchors'.

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  19. Its Catherine's responsibility (all anchors) to approve all scripts before airing...

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    1. I know for a fact Catherine rewrites most of her material. That one might have gotten by her but keep in mind other people often change things up to the last minute. It could have been added while she was in makeup. There used to be multiple eyes who checked stuff like that, especially the late-adds, but they've all been let go. Ever see live shots from their newsroom? Tumbleweeds blowing by... All those empty desks used to have employees in them.

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  20. Another take on the same Pew study.

    http://tiny.tw/39iQ

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    1. It really cherry-picked its facts and examples, thus becoming an example of the very thing it denies.

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  21. yeah rich call your new blog
    408ers, the Bay Area seen, Santa Cruz hippies,510ers,707ers,925ers, Eastbay South Bay Peninsula, Golden Gate Bay Bridge dumb Barton San Mateo Bridge,/ new Bay Bridge or just SF Oh use that big fat head of yours and think of something better!

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  22. KCBS has gotten extremely lazy and I blame management but they're not concerned. Do it as cheap as possible while still generating revenue...typical!

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  23. The thing with KPIX was they had a great foursome with Bastida, King, Gonzales, and O'Donnell even if Roberta and Dennis kinda couldn't stand each other. But instead, King "retires" and Roberta gets demoted for a guy who is blander than a saltine.

    KPIX isn't the same anymore. The chemistry with Deanno just stinks. Dennis' ego seems bigger without Roberta taming him down.

    I'm in my 30's now but I grew up with McElhatton, Amburg, Richmond and later, Wilson all having different styles and forever respected. Nowadays, it's all cookie cutter. Joel Bartlett had some personality to him but didn't come off annoying like Giddings.

    So Roberta had her "flair" and it was unique, sometimes over the top, but it's better than Deanno pretty much reading his forecast. If Roberta was going to be removed from weeknights, why didn't Lawrence Karnow get the job? The poor guy has been bounced around and deserves to be a weeknight guy.

    Interesting that Roberta never took the "chief" title as well, perhaps she considered the weather team, a team? Roberta and Lawrence deserve better than what they got at KPIX now.

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