Monday, July 15, 2013

We Phucked Up; KTVU 'NameGate' Takes Internal Twist; Big Staff Meeting; Steve McPartlin on Radio Show Monday



Namegate was the center of topic at KTVU Monday morning although staffers managed to trudge through the viral brouhaha that has brought shame and humiliation to the Oakland Fox affiliate.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

*Curiously, News Director, Lee Rosenthal has not publicly commented on the matter. On the other hand, GM, Tom Raponi, offered a standard mea culpa. (Draw your own conclusion).

*Tori Campbell, who read the punked-up script, offered this apology; there was rampant speculation she would take Monday off but doing so might have upped the ante and worsened the situation.

*The so-called "summer intern" at the NTSB that supposedly verified the Asiana pilot's names is no longer the figure being fingered for the prank. In fact, the NTSB says the "names originated at the media outlet."

*A major staff meeting at KTVU will be held today at the station. No doubt the entire meeting will be centering on Namegate.

*An internal investigation at the station will commence immediately as to who might have been the prankster. Several people are under the microscope, according to my insider.

***Program Note: Steve McPartlin, who worked at KTVU and was one of its major air talents will guest on my KSCO/KOMY radio show today, from 1-2 PM to discuss this matter.

29 comments:

  1. It is looking like someone deliberately set the whole ball in motion at KTVU to see what would result. The NTSB denies they gave the names to the station, someone from the station called with the names to confirm from them. And stupidly, a summer intern confirmed them.

    So that leaves really only two options. Either the people that handled it were foolish in never checking it out or negligent. This could hurt some people that are otherwise smart like Tori Campbell, who ought to have read it before saying on the air.

    As for the airline suing, good luck. They are hoping to deflect away the sure criticism that is to come from the NTSB and hopefully get KTVU's insurers to pay them for the money they will pay out to the U.S. residents who will sue for damages

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    1. > This could hurt some people that are otherwise smart like Tori
      > Campbell, who ought to have read it before saying on the air.

      There is this mythos among people who have never worked in TV news that the anchors check and recheck everything, and the stations want you to believe this too. They don't, particularly if it comes in, as this did, while they were on the air.

      Think about it: when is Tori going to stop and check the copy? Ever see an anchor stop in the middle of a show and say, I'll be back after I read something someone just handed me? Sometimes if you have a commercial in between an anchor can quickly check, but when you're live you count on everyone else doing their homework before it's handed to you. And when you're reading, you're on autopilot, worrying you're pronouncing everything correctly, especially when they're "foreign" names, rather than sounding them out and putting 2 and 2 (or Tu and Tu in this case) together.

      That's how it works in live TV and how it's always worked. That's why, as I've stated before and no one has absorbed, so long as they keep cutting the "lines of defense" (laying off desk people and writers, hiring greener and greener people because they're cheaper) the more this sort of thing will happen. Maybe this will be a warning to the suits, like the Titanic was a warning that you can never be too safe, no matter how terrific you think your new state-of-the-art ship is. Then again, if the suits are typical suits, they'll blame all this on little people without every looking in the mirror. Remember the "Penis Puppets" fiasco at KRON? (I was there for that.) Bigshots made the decision, the lower-level production people were uncomfortable, exactly what they feared went wrong, and the big shots laid off and suspended the little people. Same with a scandal at KGO-TV involving a producer using courtesy footage and faxed copy instead of having our the station do its work. (I was there for that too.) This was demanded by the bigwigs as a cost-cutting measure, they got caught by the Wall St Journal, and they responded by firing the low-level producer. The suits rarely reflect on how their actions got them in the position they're currently in. They just fire the defenseless to show they "took appropriate action."

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    2. Speaker at 11.28 recalls the "Penis Puppet Fiasco at KRON" what??? I've got some serious googling to do.

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    3. Breaking news aside, the anchors I have worked with do read the copy ahead of time. They don't want to be caught off-guard by a tongue-twister sentence or a name they don't know how to pronounce.

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    4. @11:28 I happen to know that none of the people involved in this situation are "green." Most of them have all been working at KTVU for 10+ years. I also happen to know that Tori does check her scripts. The only time she doesn't check them is when they are written last minute.

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  2. Hi Rich,

    what I sent to Rosenthal and posted to the KTVU website:

    Hi Mr Rosenthal,

    I think KTVU did a good job minimizing the damage from the racist punking that caught your news team.

    However, the choice of words in the apology leaves questions. KTVU says the intern "confirmed" the names.

    But where did the names originate? Another source? Within KTVU?

    Would be really helpful to clarify.

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  3. My big question is why they have to put people "under a microscope" to see who wrote the offending copy. Everyone logs on and you know who wrote or made changes to everything. Unless some fool forgot to log off and someone else noticed this and did it on their account after they left the building (or someone hacked in). Otherwise the computer software tracks the keystrokes of everyone who types on a page throughout its history, from the time the slug is created up to broadcast. That's probably why something like this has never happened till now. It's pretty hard to pull it off--at least, if you want to work anywhere in the industry the next day.

    If they do nail someone I'd posit that KTVU would have grounds for suing that individual. A station's reputation in the community is literally currency, and whoever pulled the prank, it could be argued, did the equivalent of stealing cash from the til. I'd definitely sue, is all I can say, if I were reasonably certain I knew who the perp was, and in this age where everything is electronically monitored I think it could be figured out.

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  4. Please, let him get a word in. We all know what you have to say about this already.

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  5. The question is not as simple as checking the log to see who typed it, but rather who gave the directive and how it passed through what should have been several checks. Including that anchors can't read ahead of time if there are last minute changes.

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    1. Good points all, except many anchors--from my experience, MOST anchors--don't read ahead of time. Some, like that new doe-eyed guy they put next to Vicky Liviakis on KRON weekends, can't seem to read at all.

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  6. Admittedly they screwed up. They publicly apologized. Move on. Let's all move on.

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  7. The KNBR 9-noon 3 Stooges appeared to be spending time hammering a blogger this morning.

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  8. Off Topic; Is Melanie Morgan really like, GONE-gone from ksfo? Just wondering because as recently as last night, that station was running a couple of commercials touting her name along with Sussman, as though the last ten days never even happened. Does she get paid each time the station uses her name? Oh well, good for her, pocket that gold, Ms. Morgan.

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    1. Maybe they're just clueless in the promo department. When I watch Ch 36 I routinely see ads for sales that have ended, promos for television shows that have already aired (tonight's Big Bang...long after tonight's Big Bang has finished), stuff like that. The people who work in this business ain't the brightest.

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    2. Part of a "personal services" contract. She sticks with the "endorsement" sponsor until the sponsor pulls or ends the ad flight. If the client doesn't want to update the ad and Cumulus doesn't want to end the money stream ... the ad stays. However, it's just an in-house station promo running, that's just laziness on Cumulus' part. They don't earn income, personal endorsement spots do.

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  9. I'm confused as to why there isn't more discussion and focus on HOW and WHO first entered these name's into KTVU's system. That should be relatively easy to track. Or did it come in from a phone tip or an email? Not sure why this hasn't been discussed.

    As to the NTSB confirmation: the NTSB had confirmed the pilots names more than 24 hours earlier. Is it possible someone from KTVU called and simply asked "Can you confirm if the pilots names you've realeased are accurate?" NTSB intern replied, "Yes, we released those names" without ever hearing the actual names that KTVU was talking about, but assuming they were the names the NTSB had, indeed, released.

    You can give the anchor a pass, if you'd like, for being on 'autopilot' as one poster suggested. But everyone I know was incredulous within 1 second of seeing those names and assuming the viral video was fake, not real. Not sure how she could have read all 4 names...slowwwwly...without realizing it was a scam.

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  10. *The so-called "summer intern" at the NTSB that supposedly verified the Asiana pilot's names is no longer the figure being fingered for the prank. In fact, the NTSB says the "names originated at the media outlet."


    ewwwwww...


    still fishy. But, the NTSB has clearly put the ball back in KTVU's court to address where the names originated.


    http://www.ntsb.gov/news/2013/130712.html



    From this apology, I can see how the scenario could have happened as they say. A 'summer intern' answers a phone and not really paying attention innocently or hurriedly confirms the names.


    Or, he/she serendipitously wanted to be in on the prank.


    Or, they too are part of this gummed up prank from the get go and the NTSB is REALLY messing around with the one news station that was on top of the crash like no other news station anywhere.

    this is all presuming what the NTSB said today is on the up and up, which should be suspect at this point.

    whatever it is, the originator of the fake names and the person who was the impetus to start this ball rolling is vital to a lot of things I've seen about this crash overall, quite frankly.






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  11. "The Soup" has posted another unfortunate KTVU captioning blunder... The comments are full of snarkiness-

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151746693695874&set=a.10150143094305874.332544.12637555873&type=1&theater

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  12. Rich, PHUCK YU!

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  13. Chill.... Breaking News: "Al Qaeda" has taken responsibility for 'NameGate'..

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    1. HAHAH!!!!!!!

      That was the best! I am so SICK of people tagging 'gate' st the end of words where controversy is involved!

      Watergate was merely the name of the hotel in the Nixon mess.

      Stop tagging gate after everything!

      Just imagine if there was a controversy with the schools' G.A.T.E. Program.... "GATEgate".

      :-/

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  14. > The so-called "summer intern" at the NTSB that supposedly verified the Asiana
    > pilot's names is no longer the figure being fingered for the prank. In fact, the
    > NTSB says the "names originated at the media outlet."

    Rich, Frank said as much in his apology Friday night at 10:00. The name originated outside the NTSB; the intern merely confirmed it. The intern was not being "fingered" as of Friday night.

    Okay, now tell me to soak my head in a toilet...

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  15. Tim Montemeyer had the audacity to call-out KTVU on the third hour of his Sunday radio program for this kerfuffle.

    Tim doesn't quite get the irony.

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    1. Is this the same Monte de Manure who on the day of the crash was SCREAMING into the mic about the involvement of a SECOND AIRPLANE!?

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    2. Indeed, the very same derp.

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  16. Things apparently don't get better for Channel 2. My wife says they just broadcast that protesters are on "Interstate 800" in Oakland. Who works there these days, the Three Stooges?

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    1. Typos happen all the time on all the stations. No station is immune. KTVU just has, fairly or unfairly, extra scrutiny right now.

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  17. Was hoping for some new poop today, Rich. I'm jonsing to know what the latest is at The Bay Area's News Station.

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