Tuesday, April 9, 2013

KTVU is still Bay Area TV News Gold Standard but Star is Fading; Change Inevitable at 2 Jack London Square


Has KTVU News lost its luster? It certainly seems that way.

Much of what KTVU does best it still does best but due to circumstances, some of which is beyond their control, the Oakland news powerhouse simply isn't the same.

Let's start with simple personnel. Channel 2 has lost a lot of its star power: the retirements of Dennis Richmond and most recently, ace reporter, Rita Williams. Add Lloyd LaCuesta and Randy Shandobil to that list. And don't forget Ross McGowan too.

And while KTVU still commands heavy-duty respect within the local and national news biz; and makes a ton of money for its corporate owner, Cox Communications, its cachet has taken a hit and has been intensified with a great deal of consternation and angst in the newsroom. Many veterans complain of too many short-story counts, an inordinate intensity of the quick ten-sec snippets that lack zip and reek of simple filler. There's also major grumbling with the "Thanks for trusting us" garbage line uttered by the less-than-thrilled anchor team who cringe. They try to hide it but you can see the what the hell are we sayin?-look on their face.

Most evident at KTVU is the number of new faces. Again, part of that has to do with simple attrition and nobody has control there. People come and go, it's only natural, but KTVU was once the epitome of stability. They still have the familiar faces and anchors. But there's more newbies and out-of-towners than ever before. Nothing wrong with that only these newbies don't possess the kind of Channel 2 brand the station has established over the years. Perhaps the new News Director may give his workforce a needed jolt. They certainly need it.

Channel 2 makes its bread and butter at night with the still-regal "10 O'clock News", but there's no competition there and significantly less viewers. Its newscasts at 5 and 6 PM need major overhauls as it is routinely beaten on several nights even by KRON; (which has suddenly become a major player on the local scene with its beefed-up newscasts); KTVU is also getting killed by both KPIX and KGO-TV in the early evening which has become a thorny issue and cost the past ND his job.

KTVU is most certainly not in the abyss. They still do very good work. Their morning show franchise, "Mornings on 2" has a respectable following and decent numbers. But they need to refine and re-brand their product. They also need to shore up some of their core assets like weekend anchor, Ken Wayne, whose contract status remains up in the air. And they need to make clarity with the likes of stalwart reporters like consumer editor, Tom Vacar, and science reporter, John Fowler. Both Fowler and Vacar are excellent reporters and continue to bring forward solid stories only their status at the station is muddled with uncertainty. Which, according to a few insiders is now the biggest problem with the rank and file. Nobody knows what direction the station is going. Does it do a simple tweak? Is it time to re-shuffle the anchor desk in the early evening? Nobody has a clue other than there needs to be change and change is coming. Bank on that.

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168 comments:

  1. Note to Ch. 2:

    1) Schmitt-can that whole "thank you for trusting...' tag line. It is an industry embarrasement. Yes, thank us for watching and tell us when the next newscast is, but c'mon, please...

    2) Please don't run a story and then tell me to watch in 15 minutes for a related story -- run it right after the first story.

    3) I like Frank. Good news guy and anchor. But not at 5, 6, AND 10. Too much. And each anchor pairing should be mixed up (Frank and Julie only at 10, etc...)

    4) More Gasia. I don't care what newscast or what time... just, more Gasia!

    Thank you for trusting Rich Lieberman's news blog -- he'll RSS you the next time the news breaks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rich: What say you? The people posting comments here have more insight (or at least are sharing it) than you do about what ails KTVU News.

      Delete
    2. I'm not a paid consultant for KTVU. I gave my two cents. You have far, far, far more "insight" so why don't you get a blog and help them. Maybe we'd all have a better life with your vast insight.

      Delete
    3. Rich: Seems like you're hyper-sensitive to any criticism of your opinions no matter how constructive and well-intentioned it might be. You sure know how to dish it out. It's your blog. It's your party. We get it. But still, can you lighten up a little?

      Delete
  2. I used to listen to KTVU news regularly. Now very rarely. I don't understand how they decided on Frank Somerville as Richmond's replacement. He may be a nice guy or something, but I find it very difficult to listen to him. It always sounds like he has something in his mouth when he speaks because his voice comes across as sort of mealy and mushy. Plus his delivery isn't smooth -- too many errors. Julie Haener may be a professional and pretty to look at and all, but she is so serious and distant-seeming that she too is hard to relate to. I used to like more of the hometown feel of KTVU news -- anchors that seemed more human than robotic. As I said, I haven't listened regularly for a long time, but this is what strikes me when I watch now -- very impersonal.

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    1. 9:52: You raise an excellent question and make a point that Rich obviously overlooked, or didn't want to bring up because he's had Somerville as a guest on his "Lieberman Live" show and was fawning all over him.

      I'm not surprised Rich failed to mention, let alone critique Dennis Richmond's replacement, Frank Somerville, even though as KTVU's news anchor at 5, 6 and 10 pm -- he plays a critical role in projecting the station's image and in carrying the ball. As for Haener, she's eye candy for Rich and gets a pass.

      What do you have to say for yourself, Rich?

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    2. Whatever happened to Dennis Richmond's former co-anchor Leslie Griffith at KTVU?

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    3. Castaneda makes me turn off Mornings on 2. blah!

      And that's not to mention the overall pompousness of KTVU's news. Would it kill them to have a little fun with it? You have to go to KNTV to see people actually enjoying themselves

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    4. Let's get more specific and really spell out what's wrong with KTVU News. Rich skirted it at best with his Larry King-like softballs.

      Claudine Wong talks through gritted teeth; impossible to understand. She needs to go. She just needs to be behind the scene for sure.

      She and Dave Clark, king of valley inflections, might be the absolute worst newscasters on TV.

      Oh yes, and there is Frank Somerville whose delivery is woefully lacking and his partner with the pink blouse. Looks like very very small town USA. Where are the producers?

      Dave Clark has toned down his pimp-like suits, ties and hankies but he still is just bad. But, no worse than Claudine for sure.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, Mr. "9: 52", the same Rich Lieberman who has written numerous times about Frank perhaps being over-exposed at 5 and 6? Get a grip.

      And Haener? I've never ever uttered "eye candy"--maybe you should go back and update your archives list with me.

      Btw, I chided KGO's Dan Ashley for his frequent hair-design alterations, kiddingly, and he's been on my show many times. You need some mind-cleansing.

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    6. Rich never said Julie Haener was "eye candy."

      He just identified her as one of "The Bay Area's Hottest Women TV News Anchors" in his May 30, 2012 blog.

      http://richliebermanreport.blogspot.com/2012/05/bay-areas-hottest-women-tv-news-anchors.html

      Delete
  3. johnny bom bonneyApril 9, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Two things about 2; one on-going and one recent:
    1) When will they stop with the :30 self-congratulatory spots where they detail what EVERY other station in the country does, every newscast, and make it sound as though it's unique to them? e.g. Julie Haener, or Somerville, or before them Richmond, looking to someone off camera and saying things like "we go out and talk to people, and we...find news...next, we write the stories and finally...we broadcast them..."
    2) What is the story with this kid Brian Flores? Does his uncle run the department? Virtually every story he does goes something like this: Dave or Tori headline it using a particular phrase or wording and when they toss it to Brian, he REPEATS the same thing!; he uses the same verbiage in consecutive sentences, can't ad lib to save his life, generally looks awkward...his best tease was a week or so ago before a break; it was about finding a "possible dead body". 'Possible'? Jeez, Brian, talk to it, poke it with a stick, do something!

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  4. I never watch KTVU so I don't even know what you are talking about here. But, I can tell you that I have [GASP!] switched to watching KRON in the mornings, as of this week. I came across the like totally HOT Erica Kato, and then, they had this also like totally hot anchor named Annie Hong on there, so well, there is no comparison for the morning news anymore. You haven't seen the morning weather unless you have watched Erica Kato bounce and jiggle her way around in front of the weather map, with her low-cut blouses, all the while telling about the weather utilizing perfect enunciative qualities. I never thought I would watch KRON again, but man, they have improved!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erica is a pleasure to watch! And she's smart and sweet. Looks like the cleavage police may have cracked down on her wardrobe of late though which too bad. She's young and has a modern fashion sense. Why not let her show it off? Especially after they already cracked down on Darya some time ago.

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  5. I'll add my name to the list of those who cringe upon hearing "thanks for trusting us." Who said I trust you?? My wife is getting tired of my yelling back at the TV when the newscast ends.

    Frankly, I still miss Elaine Corral. She could relate like a real human being, without coming across at petty or trite.

    In the mornings I like Dave Clark. He grows on you; his somewhat unusual emphasis and speaking style is jarring at first, but he's very good. Whoever that guy was that filled in for him last week, not so much; was glad to see him back this week.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rich: This is a soft piece, full of generalizations, and not the kind of incisive and hard-hitting insightful analysis your blog readers have come to expect and on which you have built your credibility as a Bay Area media blogger.

    You call KTVU the "gold standard" of local news, but say it's losing its luster, which fine. Yet, you don't even mention anchors Frank Somerville (who succeeded Dennis Richmond) and Julie Haener and whether or not you believe they are part of the problem, as you see it. Why this obvious oversight?

    Reading this post is like digesting empty calories. It was just a lot of filler. Where's the beef?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, you just want me to dig for "dig's sake." Somerville wasn't mentioned b/c I don't think he's the problem. Haener's pretty solid too. I think it's more their structure there that needs to be re-tooled. I don't think Frank or Julie is the problem there, at least for now.

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    2. "I think it's more their structure that needs to be re-tooled."

      Rich: What do you mean by that opaque statement? Maybe 10:55 has a point. Care to elaborate?

      Delete
    3. Pretty self-evident: They need to re-tool, tweak, their shows. If that's not clear enough, sorry.

      Delete
    4. Rich: I don't have a dog in this fight, so let me ask you: What specific recommendations would you make to effectively "re-tool, tweak, their [KTVU News] shows?" Have you thought it through that far yet? Just asking so don't jump all over me. I like your blog. I really do.

      Delete
  7. Overall, the reporters in the field are good, professional reporters who know their gig.

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  8. For starters KTVU needs to ditch the supercilious patronizing Dave 'Mr Sincerity' Clark. He can barely read an autocue and his persistently lame attempts at chummy ad-libs have his co-anchors visibly cringing on a daily basis. That schtick might work in LA, but I want my newscasts from someone who treats me like an intelligent adult, not a 1st-grader!

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  9. When I turn to Channel 2 (Mornings on 2) I see a whole team of people who dress professionally and look great. AND they look awake, happy, and appear to really enjoy their job. And, they're so likeable! They are true professionals.

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  10. Most local news shows suck, and the Bay Area has some doozies, but I actually used to like KTVU. It was mainly because of Dennis Richmond. There was just something special about how he read his lines. You could always tell he was reading, and in one sense it was embarrassing because the guy had been a newscaster for decades, but you also knew he knew exactly what he was talking about and that he had probably gone over the lines with the writers or stringers or whatever they're called, because you knew he was a perfectionist.

    So a perfectionist who hadn't yet mastered the art of reading his lines? You betcha. He always seemed to care about what he was reading too, even if you knew he didn't.

    I don't know; maybe I'm just a sucker for all those commercials they did that paid tribute to him. But I liked Dennis Richmond, and I miss him.

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  11. Sol the traffic guy is KTVU's best asset by far. As for the others, I'm with Rich, and I hate how they all bicker at each other on the morning news - it is awful!!!

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  12. 'Gold standard:' Yes!!!

    You got that right because:

    1. Sal Castaneda is always on top of the traffic.
    2. Frank Sommerville is the best local news anchor by far.
    3. The news team has personality & aren't always so serious.

    I wake up every weekday morning and turn to KTVU Channel 2 News so that I can watch and listen to the latest on weather, traffic and major headlines. Then I watch the evening news at 5, 6 and 10. I swear I can never go wrong with this newscast.

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  13. Get Claudine Wong indoors and at the anchor desk where she belongs! She's covered her share of whale beachings, and Blue Canyon reports. Please let her hang up the Gore-Tex jacket and come in where it's warm!

    ReplyDelete
  14. All I have to say about KTVU Channel 2 is that I miss Dennis Richmond. I rarely watch the 10 O'Clock News since he left. Well, the news program is OK, but that's as good as it gets now.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'll be blunt and honest about KTVU 2 where Rich's piece missed it with his oblique cream puffs.

    2 has now become totally irrelevant to me. Never watch the mornings, afternoons, evenings or nights. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    Too bad, I used to really like it. But their slide is not all their fault. Every local station is getting killed now by cable, satellite and the internet. Network news of all kinds has become almost worthless with 24 hour access to the day's events. I know what is going on almost instantly now because I work on the net and am almost always on it during the day, going from AP to Drudge to CNN to MSNBC.

    Most local stations are little more than glorified infomercials, like KRON 4. Unfortunately, not only is TV getting bad but the radio is also practically unlistenable. I flip the dial at home and in my car and just go back and forth, back and forth, totally frustrated with what is playing. Lots of Spanish stations and talk shows where I used to have the stations bookmarked. The only thing to do is get my car satellite radio rehooked up. OOPS! They got bought out.

    Back to my CD's, netflix and TIVO'd movies I guess.

    Appears like 2 stalwarts Dennis Richmond and Leslie Griffith got out while the gettin' was good.

    ReplyDelete
  16. One very good "product" they put out is the Channel 36/6 half-hour news at 7pm. I like the succinct delivery and fast pace, along with the side scroll telling you what items are coming up (so you can stay tuned or move on, depending on your interest). Sans the scrolls, this was basically the formula of local TV news 40 years ago (everything you need in 30 minutes), and is the formula that at one time made CNN Headline News worth tuning into (before it got totally nancygracified and re-branded as "HLN", a la "KFC").

    Agree with first poster about the endless teasers throughout the show (including now having to wait until 10:45 to get the full weather report---screw it, I'll just pull up the weather on my phone or iPad).

    Finally, in case you haven't see it...Sal Castaneda works blue!

    http://www.munidiaries.com/2012/02/13/sal-castanedas-bad-ass-muni-moment/

    ReplyDelete
  17. I LOVE Mornings on 2; it's the only news I'll watch.

    I think their morning crew is much better than any of the other local news shows. I love how they all get along with each other and are always joking with one another. I personally think Steve the weather guy & Sal the traffic dude have a thing for each other. Hahaha

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    Replies
    1. @11:40am...This is the 2nd compliment that I have read so far about Mornings On 2...And for some reason they all sound "canned & pre-scripted."

      Mornings on 2 IMHO, is solid, but in all honesty Dave Clark is hard to digest that early in the mornings. Nothing personal against Dave, he seems like a very nice person, but his style is more "LA, than Bay Area."

      Delete
    2. Definitely agree with 11:40 and 3:00 that "Mornings on 2" is "solid."

      Channel 2 rocks my world!

      Delete
  18. Frank Somerville always has the WORST suits and ties on ... I love it!

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  19. KTVU spends way too much time "teasing" what they will tell you, right after the next ads.

    I miss good ole Ross McGowan ... Bring him back! Sad to say, he's been relegated to making a living doing TV commercials for jacuzzi bathtubs for fragile senior citizens. Such a shame his talent is going to waste.

    Steve Paulson: he is awesome and super helpful.

    As for traffic boy, Sal Castaneda: I used to like him. His shtick gets old fast.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Gasia Mikaelian is super hot! Watch her weeknights hosting "Bay Area News @7" produced by KTVU News and aired on KICU-36.

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  21. Sal... Sal... You used to be so handsome... in a nerdy way.

    Now, it looks like your shirt is eating your neck. Let's hit the gym together!

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  22. 2's morning anchor Dave Clark is awful.

    His sing-song, inflected delivery is completely inappropriate and annoying. Just read the news.

    I've had to switch the channel to KRON-4 when he reads his segments.

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  23. RICH:

    Nobody does it better than you! You nailed it with your post about KTVU News.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Watch enough television news and you will be able to quickly assess the production value and separate the wanna-be pretenders from the seasoned pros.

    KTVU keeps me on my toes and they keep me watching because they produce and air the Bay Area's best newscast.

    Frank, Julie, Mark and Sol are the gold standard - as you observed. They occasionally beat print and bloggers to the stories. Plus, they are an hour long.

    KTVU is a throwback in a news era where it's 5 second video clips. They provide context and are the professionals that other stations aspire to become.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Every morning after my exercise and breakfast return, I turn on Channel 2 News.

    The simplicity and local feel to it reminds me of news stations back home in Ohio. I absolutely love watching the awkward humor of Sal Castaneda, and the repertoire between him and Steve the weatherman is hilarious. Frank Sommerville brings it home at night.

    This station is heartfelt and classic. KTVU is the best station in the Bay area.

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  26. My fiance thinks I have a "lady crush" on Julie Haener. I don't know if I'd go that far, but she is my favorite newscaster followed by Janelle Wang. She's definitely cute and seems like she'd be nice off camera. Yay Julie Haener!

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  27. I love the mornings on 2.

    I, too, miss Dennis Richmond and Jan Yanehiro, Leslie Griffith and Ross McGowan, but people -- let it go!! People move on, retire, die and have other things in life to go do.

    I grew up on channel 2 news and continue to watch it as an adult.

    Mainstream media is all evil - I know that, but I also want to just chill and watch the news at the end of the day, or wake up and find out how long the wait for BART will be.

    Thanks KTVU!

    ReplyDelete
  28. The only Bay Area news worth watching.

    All they need to solidify their position as #1 is to recruit the hot and extremely talented Christine Kim from KSNV-3 in Las Vegas.

    http://www.mynews3.com/content/contact/team/reporters/story/Christine-Kim/lL4S83xBNEKmmxapQimXNw.cspx

    ReplyDelete
  29. My favorite news channel, great stories and are very professional, love watching mostly everyone there. The hottest women in news! Gasia, Julie, and Claudine are the sexiest women in Bay Area news. Too bad they're all married.

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  30. Having come to the Bay Area from So Cal a few years ago, I'd say KTVU news is head and shoulders above the newscasts from channels 11, 4, 5 and 7, which look they were produced in a small market like Fresno or Bakersfield.

    ReplyDelete
  31. If you want to know what time it is, tune into KTVU-2, where Dave Clark announces it 1-2 times every minute.

    The news director should be hung out to dry for treating the viewers like little children who cannot tell the time by themselves.

    And I'm sure there are lots of viewers who would rather not know what time it is because they don't have to be at work in the morning. The constant time reminders create a lot of stress that's unnecessary.

    Please let KTVU know how you feel and switch channels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a morning news show. People who work, like me, turn it on and then take a shower, make coffee, get the family up, etc etc. We pretty much are not looking at the TV, except when a story "grabs" us. Frequent time reminders are VERY helpful, as are frequent traffic updates, as we run around the house getting ready for the day.

      If your mornings are slower, you have plenty more choices for entertainment.

      p.s. I am not sure why time reminders would "stress" you--they stress ME when I start running late!

      Delete
  32. Criticizing Ch2 is like shooting fish in a barrel...so easy it isn't even fun.

    Let's play match game with opinions with personalities:
    Capable
    Saccharine smile/phony
    The best around
    Very good
    Beyond horrible...way beyond
    neutral opinion
    Excellent
    Another excellent
    Unwatchable

    I gave up on Ch2.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yeah, I still miss Elaine Corall, Leslie Griffith, Ross McGowan, Rita Williams and Dennis Richmond.

    But Frank Somerville is awesome. Gasia Mikaelian is an onomatopoeia. Julie is a doll, Sal on traffic, Mark Ibanez's teeth are all stars and they all feel like true hometown news folk. We need that.

    Can you tell we watch the news on 2 much?

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  34. During the week I usually tune into KTVU for news early in the morning after I wake up, and again for a full hour of news at 10 before I go to bed at night.

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  35. Can't stand listening to Dave Clark and his yo-yo voice. UP and down. UP and down. Is everything so exciting that it has to be overly dramatized? Puh-leeze STOPPPPPP!!! For God's sake, cut the drama and bring on the news!

    Torrie is so cool (cold?) and automated, I often wondered if someone's pulling a string behind her back. Maybe not. She's not sitting on anyone's knee that I can note. Also...green almost every day Torrie?

    These two have no animation, no personalities, no chemistry, and totally unremarkable skills.

    I've fled to ABC 7 and the lovely and vivacious Kristen Sze to soothe my offended sensibilities, get good news, and not be forced to listen to the dramatic, #$!%!! yo-yo voice.

    Replace Dave and Torrie with Craig Debro and Claudine Wong. Nicely modulated voices, professional, and soothing to my frazzled nerve endings. Plus, they have a sense of humor.

    It would be SO nice to HAVE Channel 2 in the mornings be a PLEASANT experience! Egad. Now I'm starting to sound just like Dave.

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  36. You missed KTVU's biggest drawback and reason for its decline in stature from its coveted spot at the top of the heap.

    Leftest leaning and liberal, and too much so!

    They should stick to the news and knock off the attempts at social engineering.

    Goebbels would have been proud!

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  37. Rich, you missed a lot in your analysis of KTVU's decline, and understandably so given that you're busy with caring for your injured mother and resuming your "Lieberman Live" show on Watsonville's KOMY 1340. So, I'll add the critically important details, point by point, the substance of which you missed.

    1. Frank Somerville (YOU didn't even mention him. YOU gave him a pass. Wow! Gross oversight!) is a total joke. The guy holds a pen in his hand all the time as if he's going to write something. He holds the paper in his hands like he's reading anything in it. When he's trying to get the point across, he starts counting with his fingers, yet there is only one item, there is no number two or three. What the heck.

    2. They keep mentioning the time every 10 seconds.

    3. They keep telling you reporting live from somewhere yet when they show you the background of that place, it very well could be their backyard.

    4. The weather man, Bill Martin, always wants to report the weather like the world will end tomorrow.

    5. Steve Paulson is so freakin' lame. I never get his jokes. He pretends to be funny. I never know what he's doing with his hands, pretending he's golfing, or what?

    6. They keep telling us what's coming up in the news so we keep watching. When the actual report comes up, it is the same exact thing they already told us, so in reality, there is nothing to repot.

    7. Since there is nothing to report, they keep wanting us to go for the full report on their website as if we're going to see what's on it. There is just selling more banners on their site and that's it.

    8. They keep advertising Gasia Mikaelian as if she is the best thing in the world. What the hell is the big deal with Gasia? She is less exciting than the rest of the boring team they have.

    So please people tell me, does anyone really care for the pathetic and lame newscasts on KTVU, Channel 2? Why does Rich call KTVU the "gold standard" of local news? Is that some kind of cruel inside joke or does he really take himself seriously? Whoa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why don't you run for President? I think you'd be great. You know everything and can save the world, I'm serious.

      Delete
    2. I'd vote for 12:46pm because he/she is dead on. KTVU is no gold standard, and neither is any other local news.

      Delete
  38. KTVU is the most professionalized news station in the Bay. Gotta love Sal and Steve in the mornings.

    That said, improvement is needed. The news theme, desks and imagery as well as the opening is a bit run-of-the-mill, a 21st century adaptation of the 1960's.

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  39. KTVU Channel 2 has a lot of talent,past and present. Claudine Wong seems to be pretty on top of it. She's poised, calm and collected. She seems to be pretty real, a bay area native who is very intelligent and articulate.

    Bill Martin, the head meteorologist, is very good. Relaxed and a funny guy whom you can watch night after night. Also a great guy to surf and hang with. He's the real deal.

    What more can you ask for? The news is the news!

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  40. This is my TV favorite station, which I grew up with in the Bay, even before they became a Fox affiliate. You can never forget Miss Nancy and Romper Room, Charley & Humphrey w/Pat McCormick, The 10 o'clock News with Dennis Richmond and Elaine Corral. Dennis will definitely be missed by the way.

    When I think of the news, I think of Frank Sommerville and Gasha Mikkayala and the news reports. I'm glad KTVU is still a prominent station in the Bay Area. You can still count on them for good programming and up to the minute news. It's also good to know they're up to date in HD!

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  41. I totally disagree with KTVU as the "gold standard".
    If every newscast was on at 10pm, KTVU would be competing for viewers, as every other station is at 11.
    For this viewer, ABC7 is the gold standard. The only reason KTVU has strong viewership is because their news is on an hour earlier at 10p. Their weekday 5&6pm news are suffering in ratings, always have. There is nothing special about KTVU other than the TIME it's on.
    Oh, and spare us the "waa, waa, so-and-so dinosaur anchor/reporter is no longer on the station" rants. People retire. People get laid off. People move on. Let it go, Rich!

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    Replies
    1. 1:06 is entitled to his opinion, of course, but Rich, the media blogging expert has rightly identified KTVU 2 News as the "gold standard" to which all other bay area news productions are compared. I'm going with Rich on this one. He knows what he's talking about.

      Delete
  42. Everyone on here misses Dennis Richmond. I don't miss him though. Dave delivers the news just fine. KTVU's morning and evening newscasts are way better than those on 4, 5, 7 and 11.

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  43. HILARIOUS! I wonder where they all go for bloody mary's after they are done with "Mornings on 2" - I want to buy them all a round!!!

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  44. This is my favorite news station hands down. I either wake up to Mornings on 2 to hear Sal's traffic update and Steve's weather report or I watch the 10'O'clock news before I go to sleep.

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  45. I like the morning news format. It's very regular and predictable - if I miss something like the weather I know it will be on shortly. Fortunately, I don't need the traffic report any more. If Sal was ever not the traffic guy, I'd faint. What happened to HIS career - still, I enjoy knowing Sal is with us most every morning.

    Evening news - love the 10 o'clock time slot. HOWEVER, the weather reporting drives my girlfriend NUTS! They start teasing about 1015 and again at 1030 for the 1045 weather report - and my g/f always curses they guy - just give us the weather already or shut up! It really is quite annoying.

    Sports - Mark Ibanez is maybe the worst ever - too much grinning and snide remarks and not enough serious insight.

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  46. Like others have said, I too have grown up on KTVU for bay area local news. I remember watching Dennis Richmond and Elaine Corral in the 80s and I was still a young kid in elementary school and I remember them.

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  47. The evening news is well produced, but the anchors - especially Somerville - make the show look like it's from Redding, El Centro, Eureka, or some other "podunk" town. Used to be an honest great news show without the lousy teasers and with real journalists.

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  48. Best bay news around. People stop hate'n steve and sal are bosses. dave clark is a beast and frank is dope. This news is the only news show i will watch best around thats all there is to it. you dont like it? watch the garbage cbs news nd change the channel nd stop hate'n. long live ktvu.

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    1. Talk english muchly?

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  49. I like KTVU. I think they are the best local station in the bay area, but I don't watch the news and TV in general that much unless if it's sports related.

    I listen to your "Lieberman Live" talk show religiously.

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  50. I like to watch the morning news. They are better then the rest of the stations.

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  51. I'm going to get a "2" logo tattooed on my forehead. Enough said!

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  52. I only watch channel 2 because of Claudine Wong and Sol Castenada.

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    1. Really? If you really watch Sol, then you would know his name is Sal.

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  53. As to Frank Sommerville, he's just plain terrible and it makes me wonder how he got hired by KTVU. Unless he's reading the news, he adds absolutely nothing.

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  54. Can KTVU even bother to focus on the news?

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  55. Everyone at Channel 2 is so warm, friendly, and helpful.

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  56. Frank is, and always has been, the most sensationalistic deliverer of news on tv. His single slanted brow, his glare, his tone, etc. It was so much more on show so more often when Bush was in office. Hmmmm.

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  57. Props to all the good folks on "Mornings on 2" and to Frank Sommerville and Julie Haener at night.

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  58. Duh. Frank Sommerville is the best.

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  59. KTVU has the look and the feel of a TV station in Bakersfield or Fargo.

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  60. If I ever end up moving back to the Bay, my remote will be on KTVU ONLY since they have the only real big-city, competent news team on the air (and they can't really compete with KTLA, KABC, KCAL, KCBS in LA).

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  61. THANK YOU FRANK SUMMERVILLE !!!!!

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    1. You doof! It's "Somerville"

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  62. ABC's Juju Chang: You are the BEST! You are an angel!

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  63. Of all Bay Area TV stations, KTVU Fox 2 is the best.....the news team and anchors, and "Mornings on 2" ...

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  64. Great tv channel, I always watch it when I work out at the gym.

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  65. I can't stand ABC 7's Dan Ashley---so redundant and mentions unnecessary details which are not relevant to the news. I love Frank Sommerville, KTVU's news anchor.

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  66. I have read a lot of complaints here regarding the newscasts on Channel 2.

    Albeit, some may be a bit dismayed about that ... Channel 2 is still the best station in the bay area.

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  67. Yes, Sommerville is a top drawer news anchor. But one anchor person does not a news station make.

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  68. Like most Bay Area stations, channel 2 is bad. But it will always hold a special place in my heart because my friend and former roommate Kristin was obsessed with Frank Sommerville.

    OK, she wasn't really obsessed with him, but she loved his name, and when we would watch the news together and he would come on and introduce himself, she would say, "Hello, Frank Sommerville. How are you, Frank Sommerville? Look, it's Frank Sommerville!"

    I really miss Kristin and her Frank Sommerville comments.

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  69. Geez! What's happening to the KTVU morning show?

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  70. This station has gone from bad to worse. I refused to watch it any more after Rita Williams departed. It's gone from informative and cheery to bland, colorless, and nondescript. No wonder the ratings are horrible. If you're employed there, better watch your back.

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  71. I feel sorry for KTVU - you will not be around much longer with decisions you have made as of late... I know I will NOT be watching any longer and from the looks of it alot of people won't...... POOR DECISIONS.....

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  72. You ought to rip into KPIX 5. Their news sucks big time. In the toilet.

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  73. I like the local programming KTVU has like "Mornings on 2," but I hate how their news programs--especially the evening news--tries to scare you with the teasers. Seems like they're always saying something like, "what's in your cupboard that could cause cancer??" I don't need to hear things like that, especially when we usually learn later that there's no cause for alarm.

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  74. This "news" station is a joke. It's gone downhill ever since Dennis Richmond retired or was kicked out.

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  75. KTVU is sort of the young fun station in the Bay Area, it's not uncommon to see the anchors, sportscasters and weathercasters to goof off every once in a while. I think they generally have good newscasts in the morning and the evening.

    I'm not a huge fan of their early newscasts, because they shoot for a different style which might seem unprofessional to some. Such as showing you their studio and newsroom, the green screen, cameras, and showing you other "behind-the-scenes" stuff. Some people dig this, others don't. I think they want to outreach a little too much.

    Frank Summerville and the team have a lot of chemistry and they can be very entertaining.

    In my opinion, sometimes they choose the wrong lead stories (usually on slow news days). And sometimes their exclusive stuff is kind of annoying and unimportant. I'll occasionally switch to KGO (ABC) if I don't like the stories they're covering first.

    Overall, Channel 5 is my usual choice for the 11 PM news. It's also offered at 10 PM on the CW, which is cool if you're tired. Good Question is sweet!

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  76. In my opinion, sometimes they choose the wrong lead stories (usually on slow news days). And sometimes their exclusive stuff is kind of annoying and unimportant. I'll occasionally switch to KGO (ABC) if I don't like the stories they're covering first.

    Overall, Channel 2 is my usual choice for the 10 PM news.

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  77. Sorry, I have put forth a major effort but just can't do it. So you know, KPIX, I have switched to KTVU Channel 2 for my morning news.

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  78. I was COMPLETELY SHOCKED AND SADDENED when Leslie Griffith would no longer be on KTVU, and I've never watched another newscast on channel 2 ever since.

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  79. KTVU is awful without Dennis Richmond. I don't watch, Frank is a stuffed shirt & co anchors are terrible. NO CHEMISTRY!!!

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  80. KTVU news can be summed up as a lot of sound bites and slush.

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  81. Monday Morning I was watching Mornings on 2 give reports about the wind damage caused by the wind storm that the whole Bay Area experiencing. The Reporter located at 24th streets & Portero reporting on a downed tree, also reported on another downed tree...On 48th Ave. & Point Lobo, in the "Outer Mission"!?!?

    KTVU is hands down the best in the Bay Area, no doubt about it, but reporters "should know" all of the Cities that they report on.

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  82. I prefer to watch MORNINGS ON 2 because I need to ease into my day with a bit of levity in the midst of bad news. The morning show is fresh and innovative. I have no gripes about Frank Sommerville.

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  83. How about a return to TV news for our own Christine Craft?

    I'd love to see her on KTVU's newcasts, morning or evening.

    Same goes for Barbara Simpson. Bring her back!

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  84. I am SO THANKFUL for this station.

    I appreciate the diversity of the KTVU news team. It's like what you'd see in the Bay Area.

    I am a news hound. I watch news on all the stations and all too often the exact same stories are repeated on all the stations. Instead of repeating the same stories every 1/4 hour, I'd like to see some attention to some stories that the nationals WON'T cover.

    Impress me. I'm watching!

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  85. For the most part, i watch KTVU in the mornings before i leave for my semi crappy job. I enjoy trying to figure out which newscaster had a hard weekend.

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  86. Okay, this is the Bay Area and people come from all over the world to our area. So when visiting business people turn on the television at their hotel in the morning to get the local news, this station's news anchors are an embarrassment. They should all look, sound, and act like professionals.

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  87. When I turn to Channel 2 (Mornings on 2) I see a whole team of people who dress professionally and look great. AND they look awake, happy, and appear to really enjoy their job. And, they're so likeable! Even their hairstyles are professional.

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  88. Like the news. But... Frank Sommerville ... meh! Not so much.

    Who would I like to see in his place: Gil Gross (who was nominated by another poster).

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  89. Welcome to the future of journalism! A seamless blend of news, entertainment and advertising that sucks at all three. That pretty well sums up the news on 2, 4, 5, 7 and 11. The only newscast worth watching is the "PBS News Hour" on 9, 22 and 54.

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  90. Bring back Ross McGowan and I'll start watching 2 again. Otherwise, forget it!

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  91. The only good thing about KTVU-2/KICU-36 news is Gasia standing sideways.

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  92. My favorite local news station! Featuring both unintentional and intended humor, the light and lively newscasters are what makes this channel so special.

    I love Frank Sommerville's off-beat humour and hard-ass attitude.

    How could you not love the guy?!

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  93. Uhh, why do some of the, Uhh, Morning reporters, and, Uhh, the Morning anchors at KPIX, Uhh, incessantly overuse, Uhh, the sound Uhh while talking on camera?!?!

    (Same question for Barack Hussein Obama - but that's a different matter).

    My communications professor would carry a counter clicker to record how many times an undergrad student would utter this annoyingly distracting and meaningless sound during a speech!

    According to The Urban Dictionary:

    Uhh - The sound one makes when in a state of total confusion and/or while taking a pause mid-sentence.

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  94. We are so lucky to have Mark Ibanez in our bay area world of sports. He's knowledgeable, down to earth, humble, funny and sooo, sooo charming.

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  95. I recently decided to ditch cable and am generally pleased with the overall good reception. The main exception is the abysmal signal from KTVU. It's especially weird because I live about three miles from Sutro Tower and can actually see the tramsmitter tower when I look out my living room window.

    When you combine their poor signal quality, lackluster programming, and rinky dink news operation that makes amateur hour look professional it's no loss.

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  96. Although I don't like the fact that it's affiliated with the biased far right Fox network, KTVU is nevertheless the Bay Area's best TV station. Hands down. There's no contest.

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  97. Watching KTVU-2's newscast is painful. You almost feel bad for these people.

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  98. I avoid their news programs.

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  99. Ah, KTVU-2 in the morning. Where do we begin?

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  100. I feel incomplete if I don't get to watch/listen to the morning news each workday morning, but I avoid KTVU.

    KRON 4 has by far the best traffic maps - I hate that the OTHER station has little red and green car shapes that move in 3D - LAME. KRON has simple and easy-on-the-eye red, green and yellow dotted lines.

    Not only that but the weathermen are all very good and spot on! And all are names Mark - props on that!

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  101. I love that there is so little news in SF. What I mean is, on the KTVU 2 morning news they repeat everything in 10 minute increments. Including weather & traffic like every 2 minutes - but that is what you should expect with local morning news! So if I need to make an egg or blow dry my hair I know I won't miss anything bc it will be on again in 8 minutes! If do catch everything that is when I flip back and forth with Today and GMA.

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  102. I work from home and this is what's on in the morning so I have no choice....

    Where do they get these anchor people? Leftover non--hires from a McDonald's job fair? It's nearly painful to hear them talk. The one main anchor girl talks and acts like she's methed out or something.

    I think they found someone from Redding to run a camcorder and go out to where there's breaking news, like a car crash or a PG&E fire or something, where she blathers on and on in ebonics about what she sees.

    The saving grace is Claudine Wong.

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  103. Here's my morning:

    Get out of bed.

    Turn on heat.

    Start coffee.

    Turn on KTVU.

    Traffic. Weather. More traffic. More weather. Sol talking about traffic crawling here and a "sig alert" there. The anchors read the news. More traffic. More weather.

    Prepare a pot of coffee with freshly ground beans: my favorite blend of beans from Colombia, Costa Rica and New Guinea.

    I sit down and continue watching "Mornings on 2."

    KTVU: I couldn't start the day without you.

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. 3:22 p.m so far you have the best blog. Good for you. I have watched Dennis since I was a kid. Yes I miss him a lot and others of that era. But they can't keep going for ever. We have to move with the times. Things are not like they used to be that's for sure. But you think back and think how nice it was. Well now things are not so nice. But if you think positive it's a lot better then negative. To all people who complain you have a remote use it. If you don't like something don't watch. End of your problem.

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  104. Oh KTVU news. It is ridiculous, but oh so entertaining.

    Thanks for the laughs.

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  105. While the rest of America has their Ken and Barbie anchors reciting the world's tragedies like robots on Valium, the KTVU news team is dishing out the goods like your best friend would.

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  106. KTVU can handle the hard-hitting news like the best of 'em, but what I love about this team is that they aren't afraid to be real and make a mistake. There always seems to be an inside joke going on among the staff.

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  107. Frank Sommerville kicks butt!

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  108. Saturday mornings I somehow seem to turn it on and cannot get to the TV to turn it off fast enough.

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  109. The news in the morning goes longer than other stations, and isn't some awful morning show or talk show. Ugh. So thanks for that, real news, and interesting topics. It still has a high school production level. I actually end up watching it in the morning after channel 7 turns into GMA: that grating, insanely annoying talk show.

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  110. whew. I'm exhausted. Some amusing comments in here. Keep 'em coming, folks! You've left quite a lump of 'research' for the new ND to consider. Even the PR dept.-generated posts are nicely understated.

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    1. Bingo 335, ironic how the news team that promotes being the team you can trust is the one that loads a blog with shill remarks when their abilities are questioned.

      Gross and greasy like a planted yelp review by the business owner.

      If I actually watched 2, I'd see how their afternoon activities are impacting the news program this evening.

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  111. KTVU has the highest-rated TV newscast at 10. They also have the only newscast at 10, which means they have no competition. When they go head-to-head with KGO, KRON, KPIX and KNTV at 5 and 6, they come out at the bottom in the ratings. KTVU is the "gold standard?" Maybe... in some parallel universe.

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  112. Since it is a Fox affiliate, why doesn't KTVU News become like a local Fox News with stories and commentary from a conservative angle. They could even start by rehiring conservative Barbara Simpson to anchor the news. Brian Sussman could do weather. Melanie Morgan could be a field reporter. Michael Savage could have a commentary segment. I think that would be awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Not a conservative by any means, but I think this comment has legs

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    2. Because KTVU wants to remain number one overall it runs like hell from its FOX affiliation. It's the Fox station of American Idol, not of Fox cable. When I worked there the station was very cautious in using any of the political reporting sent to us by FOX. We saw absolutely no value in destroying our local Bay Area brand with inaccurate, far right propaganda.

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  113. Many years ago, KTVU channel 2 used to be one of the better news stations to watch in the San Francisco Bay Area. It still is.

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  114. KTVU is fine, but "gold standard" they are not. That's quite a stretch, in my view. They're outclassed by the likes of KPIX-CBS-5, KGO-ABC-7, and NBC Bay Area's KNTV 11 from San Jose.

    Let's talk about the worst news programming in the bay area. Yeah, I'm talking about KRON 4, which has no network affiliation and has suffered greatly since KNTV 11, San Jose, became the Bay Area's NBC affiliate.

    The quality of KRON news has absolutely suffered over the years, and it wouldn't surprise me if their station goes defunct sometime down the road.

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    1. Agree...The Young Bros screwed up in not retaining the "NBC Affiliate" in the Bay Area. Reminds me of what they did in LA, when they took control of KCAL9. They got rid of Elvira's Local TV Show, and of course, we all know the rest of the story with Elvira. KRON4 is just number 2...twice.

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  115. Is KTVU heading to rock bottom with respect to the quality of its newscasts? NO, not as long as KRON remains on the air. KTVU will be spared the humiliation of being the worst.

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  116. Whoa! We have some of the worse newscasters around. Why can't more intelligent reporters be put on TV instead of personality-types?

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  117. "There's only one two."

    KTVU is where it's at in Bay Area over-the-air television.

    The thing that keeps me coming back to KTVU isn't the Fox network programming (which sucks) but the local newscasts.

    As others have shared, I start my mornings with "Mornings on 2."

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  118. I pine for the days when we had Van Amburg and Jerry Jensen on Channel 7's "Newscene" with the intro music from "Cool Hand Luke" and Dennis Richmond and Elaine Corral on KTVU channel 2. Today's newscasts don't begin to compare.

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  119. Would you say that KTVU anchor Frank Sommerville is charismatic? We were talking about this at the office water cooler just last week. Opinion was divided.

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  120. I love KTVU because I weep for KTVU.

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  121. I don't know why there are so many harsh reviews here and why some are especially critical of our beloved blogger Rich, but I just can't imagine starting the morning without KTVU's morning news, traffic and weather.

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  122. As a journalism graduate, let me say that weather is not news. If the weather is going to be the same as yesterday, then just say that and don't spend so much time on it. I don't need to go through the map and see all the temperatures. Just say, "Same as yesterday everywhere."

    I don't care what the weather is in the rest of America: there is the Weather Channel for that.

    KTVU2 needs to concentrate more on breaking news. There are a lot of fires and police drama going on, and I would rather hear about that. A lot of times I am somewhere that drama is going down and it never makes the news.

    Industrial accidents, fires, police in riot gear, and no word of it on KTVU 2.

    HOWEVER, people get what people want. And people want crap so they get it. So I can't blame KTVU 2 for letting their news become "infotainment."

    I do love SF and I love any sort of TV show related to SF so I do enjoy KTVU 2. But sometimes I get upset because they don't do a good enough job reporting the real news.

    If traffic is fine everywhere just say so, I don't need to see 8 different camera views. I trust you, you don't have to show me the camera views after you told me that traffic is rolling smoothly.

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  123. Mostly very repetitive news that doesn't go into ANY depth at all.

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    1. @4:22: That's an unsupported sweeping generalization. You don't have your facts right.

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  124. Probably the best (but not the only) reason you'd watch KTVU/KICU news these days is to stare at Gasia Mikaelian.

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  125. The anchors chit-chat way too much. Just sayin'.

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    1. It's all on over the place with news.

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    2. 4:44: True. You got that right!

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  126. Forget about KTVU!

    KRON 4 is the best cheesy local news station the Bay Area has to offer. I don't know what it is, but I love low-budget news. It's not always my first choice, but sometimes I need a break from the preppy mainstream anchors and KRON 4 calls me back to it's poor screen graphics bosom.

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  127. They honestly do have damn good local coverage -- sometimes.

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    1. 4:31: You talkin' about 2 or 4?

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  128. Not a bad newscast. Not a great newscast. Somewhere in between. It really doesn't move the needle for me. Your mileage may vary.

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  129. What's with the paid infomercials hosted by Vicki Liviakis on KRON that they try to pass off as news segments?

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  130. Frank is smart and dapper. Anyone take exception to this?

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  131. Weak news personalities but a decent job of covering the news.

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  132. The only TV station in Oakland. When it comes to local news, KTVU's is my telecast of choice. Has been for 40 years. I'm not a big fan of the morning show, but it's still light years better than what's on 4, 5, 7 and 11.

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  133. LOLing at whoever it is in this thread who keeps referring to Sal Castaneda as Sol Castanada. "Sol's" ego's gotta love that.

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  134. "NEWS" powerhouse? If all you want is a rundown of the police blotter.

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  135. KTVU is the gold standard of news, not only in the Bay Area but in the country. When was the last time a different station in this market won a national Murrow Award? KTVU has won best newscast in the nation twice in 7 years. But I guess RTNDA doesn't know what they're talking about either.

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  136. I may watch KTVU entertainment, but I do not watch KTVU news, it's FOX. It certainly is locally produced, but it's affiliated to FOX and thus I will not watch. That's my two cents worth.

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