Friday, August 9, 2013

KTVU Gag Order? Gag Me; Is The ND Under Scrutiny; Newsroom Angst; Still Talk of Town in Industry; Friday Dish



  KTVU Bullet Points and some Bay Area Media Notes...


** KTVU's ridiculous gag order on all its personnel is only further eroding its credibility on the Asiana Namegate affair. That doesn't mean going out and yapping all over the place. I get it. Especially now that one of the four people that were fired has hired a lawyer. Management has an excuse now. The idea that they've clamped down on people talking indicates their still in CYA mode. That's not exactly the best strategy when your a well-noted local TV news station. Want further fodder? Read this gem from Sam Louie that says it best.

**If I'm Frank Somerville I'd be damn sure that the bosses at KTVU and Cox Media gave me assurances that my loyalty act was met with some extended contract action. It was Somerville that went on-air to offer the station's apology, not once, but three times! It was genuine and well done and remember, Somerville had ZERO to do with the whole zany thing. The people who asked Somerville to read the apology were nowhere to be seen. Gees, what a coincidence.

**The feeling inside the KTVU newsroom from someone up the broadcast food chain: How can anybody trust News Director, Lee Rosenthal? Rosenthal wasn't directly responsible for what happened on July 12, but it under his watch, and it was HIS writing on that infamous PR release that sort of KARMAed its way through this  whole ordeal. If Rosenthal survives all of this then he's luckier than Kate Upton's future husband.

**Quick advice to KTVU: Very simple and no charge.  The way you should have handled this: Somerville doesn't read the apology. At the end of the newscast at 5, Rosenthal talks to the Bay Area and offers deep regret, apology and explains, innocuously, but sincerely, that "we're sorry, we're humbled, and we're going to get to the bottom of this." Boom, done, end of story. Would it have ended the affair? No. Would it have defused the embarrassment and scorn and ridicule? Hardly, but it would have been the first step in the transparency tour--and most people, if not in the biz, the viewers at least would have moved on.

**The, If you Care Dept: whether or not you want to hear this, the various lemmings in the biz, locally and beyond, but especially in the newsroom, are still talking about this. I've even heard talk  about a movie or book deal. I'm not kidding, which is both good and bad, maybe.

**Those of you who think Roland De Wolk is looking for a whole lot of $$ from his dismissal may be way off base. Sure, De Wolk isn't stupid and his lawyer will do the best to take care of his interests, but I wouldn't be surprised if this matter were to go to the courtroom. Just a hunch.

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32 comments:

  1. I find it interesting that so many news outlets have found ways to keep this story in the news, just as an excuse repeat the four names...going for the laughs, no doubt, while tsk-tsking the whole time.

    Unlike Rich, they are not really trying to add to the knowledge of the story, just using it as an excuse to repeat the racist, but amusing to some, names. It's stupid, silly and an unprofessional embarrassment for all concerned.

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    1. They are not journalists.

      As producers and reporters, the industry wants to know what happened.

      There are gaps to this story. Who called the NTSB and got confirmation and how was that confirmation obtained. (through email or over the phone and who did it?)

      Where was the news director at the time? Who told Tori to say there was a mistake and correct it on air? Was Michelle Toy acting as managing editor or did she feel that she wasn't in that position because of her new social media role?

      This is a lesson in any newsroom. Who demonstrated the hierarchy? If Toy was given the social media role, then was she a fill in for the managing editor until that position was filled?

      Hmmmm...I wonder who is responsible for dictating who is in charge when the number two is a vacant position and the number one...wait, the news director...

      Where the hell was that clown? was he called and told, listen we got this list and then what happened?

      KTVU is terrified to turn off the 30% Asian population and if you read the online Asian journalists group, they don't seem satisfied.

      We can handle the truth, can upper management?

      Delete
    2. "I find it interesting that so many news outlets have found ways to keep this story in the news, just as an excuse repeat the four names...going for the laughs, no doubt, while tsk-tsking the whole time."

      Rich has done so at least 5 times since the incident, even repeating the Colbert bit.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, Mi No Like.

      Delete
  2. I'll tell you why you don't put the News Director in front of the camera with the apology - because he isn't the face of the station, Somerville is. You put the ND out there, you end up undermining the "gravitas" of the lead anchor. Somerville has more "authority" than the ND does in the viewers eyes. Why make him look like an underling by having his "dad" come in to explain what happened?

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    1. @1:47
      There is another bald-faced reason you don't put him out there. As for the news director, he needs his dad. what is a guy in his young 30s with one news director job under his belt doing in this position?

      Two months, the biggest on-air mistake of the station's life considering a huge Asian American population.

      Cox, please finish your investigation.

      Delete
    2. Why is this news director still there????? I just don't get it.

      Delete
  3. Hi Rich,

    I'm on your side re: the significant impact on KTVU's reputation because of the "Namegate" cluster f*@k (and its interest to other members of the profession), and I'm checking in daily to read your latest posts about it.

    But how 'bout reporting on some other stories as well? Surely, the Bay Area media scene must have something other than "Namegate" going on that would interest your readers.

    Just a friendly suggestion.....

    - Greg from SF

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    Replies
    1. There was another KTVU namegate incident tonight. They said in a story at 10:00 that Michelangelo painted the Mona Lisa.

      Delete
  4. Rosenthal will NEVER be as lucky as me.

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    Replies
    1. "as lucky as I." corrected

      Delete
    2. I, me, what's the difference? I'll be banging Kate Upton.

      Delete
    3. You were right the first time. I love it when people think they're high-falutin' by always saying "I." They're wrong, literally, 50 percent of the time. Obama always does this to sound classy.

      Delete
    4. no, actually you were right the first time.

      Delete
    5. Obama doesn't do this at all. He knows that the object of a preposition cannot be "I". Listen more closely. Someone who was editor of the Harvard Law Review doesn't have to try to "sound classy".

      Delete
  5. To call us lemmings probably isn't the smartest thing to do. We're the ones clicking.

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  6. A book or a movie about THIS? Gawd, 'interested parties' are stretching this story out farther than a chewed up piece of Turkish Taffy!
    A little thin on substance wouldn't you say? I would. If a 'movie' was done, it would probably focus 85% on the aftermath, the mystery, the fury, the cleaning house firings, the sweetheart deals not to fire some people, perhaps even promoting some in a Peter Principle Fashion, while minor players become the Pinatas Du Jour, administratively drawn and quartered. It would cover the coming waves of litigation, or threats thereof as well. A movie might end up showing the real villain, shocking everyone, as he/she works behind the scenes, diabolic and manipulating as can be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll be called Coxnado.

      Delete
    2. The imdb already last it listed. Search under "The Day The Station Went Down."

      Roland De Wolk is being played by George Clooney. Jennifer Lawrence is Cristina Gastelu. Danny Glover is Elvin Sledge and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Brad Belstock.

      Margaret Cho makes a cameo as Michelle Toy.

      It's being produced by Ho Lee Fuk Productions.

      Delete
    3. Margaret Cho is too chubby and grumpy to play a believable Ms. Toy.

      Delete
    4. Not a movie, but probably a subplot on The Newsroom.

      Delete
  7. Saw Rosenthal's wife at the Emmy Awards...he IS lucky...hataz gonna hate...betcha Cox doesn't give a shit about his press release.

    Humility's nice but it ain't gonna fix Jack London Square. Silly rabbits-- news directors don't belong on the air. That rhymes.

    Somerville did a nice job.

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  8. What comes next after beating a dead horse?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A movie and book deal. Yeah, right.

      Delete
  9. A guess from the sidelines. I think when they called the NTSB, they asked if the pilots' names had been released The NTSB intern confirmed that the names had been (which was true, the correct names had been made public). BUT, neither party ever checked which names they were referring to. So the KTVU person was thinking "Wi Tu Low", the NTSB intern thought they were referring to the previously released correct names. Just a guess but I have witnessed many such mis-understandings.

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    1. You may be right. This is first explanation I've heard that makes sense.

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  10. Yawn!!!!! the solution= stop watching unprofessional people at KTVU. I did.

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  11. "The people who asked Somerville to read the apology were nowhere to be seen."

    Nor was anyone else that night. And through this entire ordeal, it's been Somerville who has courageously appeared front and center while everyone else remains hidden in the background.

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  12. Regardless, as an Asia American who had served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, when I see De Wok or Rosenthal on the street in my San Francisco, De Wok is going to be explaining with his fists, not his mouth. He will have to put up his fists when I see him and I hope they can fight as well as they talk. YOU HEAR ME?

    Lt. Li
    2nd Marine Expeditionary

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    Replies
    1. You speak like a soldier

      Delete
  13. I'm a Marine, Army personnel are called "soldiers." Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Gotta love that a guy who deletes comments he doesn't like is bagging on KTVU about a gag order.

    ReplyDelete