Thursday, August 22, 2013

Layoffs at ABC O and O's; KGO-TV Nervous Staffers; Thursday Quick Start

ABC is owned by Disney and the Mickey Mouse Club is cutting the workforce nationwide --almost 200 people, in fact, many who work at the O' and O's, (owned and operated stations).

Among those stations included in the purge is at 900 Front, at KGO-TV near the Battery Media gulch.

"Of course we're nervous, but what are you going to do about it," say a longtime staffer who told me it's been especially hard in the newsroom where the dreaded pink-slip affair has been rumored for weeks.

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  1. ABC news doesn't really need buildings full of news people any longer. They just read what ever federal, state, or local gov't official hands them to read on air(just like 2). Add a few to cover weather, sports scores, traffic, and some fear mongering crime and that's the broadcast.

    Newscasts used to be reality TV, not anymore. It's just another dopey show just from a news studio. They need actors not writers.

    Take 60 minutes for example. People used to run from interviews or hide behind locked doors. People wanted answers and accountability on topics that mattered. Now, it's soft sympathetic human interest stories.

    Lets quit pussy footing around and get it over with. Legalize pot so the public who can't afford xanax or oxy can join the tranquilized masses, then give the Gov't complete control of the news.

    End of rant.

    1. Good stuff.

      Is KTVU's Campbell up for a day time Emmy in the "best leading actress in a simulated news series" category?

    2. in the words of Homer Simpson,'That's info-tainment!'

    3. > They need actors not writers.

      What do you think the anchors are?

      I always laugh at that KTVU promo where they say they're "journalists" who "dig for details." I used to work there. Here's exactly how it's done:

      1) Reporter is dispatched to place that will make a good background visual for their standup. Often it's something like city hall or the side of a freeway where hours earlier there'd been an accident. Or maybe a closed fire station on a report about how there are more fire station closures. Obviously a reporter can't get information from a closed building, or an empty freeway.

      2) Reporter calls the desk and says find out x, y, and z so that I can put a story together.

      3) Desk says to writer assigned to cover said reporter, "Hey, reporter needs to know blah-blah-blah!"

      4) Writer checks his notes/press releases and if that fails, goes to the internet and googles.

      5) He "top messages" reporter (similar to Twitter) or calls reporter or talks to desk and reads back info.

      6) Reporter comes on air: "We've just learned...."

      Now, I worked at these places some years ago, and with the advent now of portable wifi devices they may not even need to call back anymore. They can check this stuff themselves. So there probably aren't even half the writers there that there were when I did the job.

      Anyway, that's "digging for details": checking the internet. If Google went down, every newsroom in America would collapse.

    4. > Lieberman just loves to report big dislocations in the business because
      > he's constantly pushing his apocalyptic predictions about where the industry
      > is headed.

      Is he saying it *is* headed there?? If he is he's behind the times. It's there already. Has been for at least five years, probably closer to ten. If you can't see the difference in news coverage in the U.S. at all levels--national and local, print and broadcast--you're exactly the type of tool the government loves--fat, dumb and happy. Or you're one of the station owners still eeking a 40-percent-before-taxes profit out of one of the infotainment conglomerates.

  2. Rich Lieberman can barely disguise his glee whenever there are big layoffs in the business.

    Why is that?

    1. "Glee"--where?

      Some of the people in that building that are about to get laid off are friends of mine.

      Read the post again before you make just goofy accusations.

    2. It's not a goofy accusation. Lieberman just loves to report big dislocations in the business because he's constantly pushing his apocalyptic predictions about where the industry is headed.

      This of course is based on Lieberman's misguided need to incessantly blame management for abandoning principles of those beloved "good old days."

    3. Hey 1133 am: were you dropped on your head when you were born?

      Think twice before you post something. Don't be an ignorant jackmonkey. You're about as bad as the idiot who made the decision to run with those pilot names.

    4. @2:10 Aside from lame insults and childish name-calling, what exactly are you attempting to say?

    5. 245: is English a second language to you? What don't you understand? Maybe you were the one who approved those pilot names. Learn how to read, then pop off.

    6. @9:27, do you think repeating your pilot joke makes it funnier?

      English is my primary language. I can read well enough to detect Lieberman's attitude about big layoffs and other perturbations in the industry. He can barely disguise his delight. He holds a grudge against management and revels in their problems.

    7. 1003: take off the blinders. The industry is going to hell in the proverbial hand basket. I don't think the host of this blog takes glee in seeing people head to the unemployment line. I don't think there's delight here. Maybe you're management at a media outlet and maybe you are taking glee in cutting valuable employees and seeing your budget look better while you suck up to the people who sign your paycheck.

    8. @9:43, blinders? That makes no sense.

      Why would I be management at a media outlet? That makes no sense.

      It isn't my fault that Lieberman is rooting against management. That's his shtick. Learn to read critically.

  3. They're facing what the CBS O & Os did several years ago and still are. There isn't the writer, producer, or even top talent that a station can't live without now. Comcast's NBC outlets, though, are not dealing with this -- yet.

    1. That's because GE's NBC outlets dealt with it years ago.

    2. No. NBC O&O's have NOT felt the pinch yet. They've yet to implement a full-scale VJ model. And, in the case of NBC 11 in San Jose, they are still spending big bucks. (The investigative unit is HUGE.) And, the top talent haven't seen the pay reductions that have hit KPIX, for example.

    3. Comcast actually had to add some staffers back, because GE had cut so much. Don't look at the investigative unit as your benchmark for the rest of the station operations.

    4. We Investigate is a joke. Iceberg bound and so are many responsible j-asses. Vultures now circling Kevin, "I'm the football coach" Keeshan, the KGO/Disney castoff who helped convince NBC/Universal to spend stupid amounts of cash. We Investigate has less market impact that Dan his lonesome. Hey Captain K, you may have been promoted...but do you hear steps? NBC takes far fewer prisoners than Mickey. Your pending departure now makes a better press release:

      NBC Cleans House
      NBC Ombudsman Out the Door
      Investigative Unit Dismantled

      Bet on it.

    5. > NBC O&O's have NOT felt the pinch yet. They've yet to implement a full-scale
      > VJ model. And, in the case of NBC 11 in San Jose, they are still spending
      > big bucks. (The investigative unit is HUGE.)

      If that's true then they don't get their money's worth. Theirs is the chintziest newsroom in the Bay Area. Looks like Fresno. They rarely break a story. Their whole presentation is as bland as day-old bread. Their morning show would have to work and struggle to become pathetic. Only KRON is lower--and not by much.

  4. Unrelated...

    Ch2 has had a bad summer and it's gotten worse. Their web site has childhood pic's of the talent.


    Frank, despite being a fierce competitor, was referred to by his buddies as "lamb chop".

    Gasia is wearing her dads size 12's. So cute.

    Ibanez is delighted that his mom didn't wash his zig zags.

    1. @1:30 Interesting. Wonder what you looked like as a child.

    2. Wow! How could anyone with any sense find fault in those snapshots? What a tool.

  5. I watched ABC7 today at 11am. There were 5 'breaking news' stories, 2 'developing news' stories, and 2 more 'happening NOW!' stories in the FIRST BLOCK.
    Staff cuts coming? Clearly, they can't even exercise sound news judgment with the full staff they've got!
    Seriously, though. 5 breaking news stories? Whoever produces the 11am, I welcome your reasoning on labeling 5 stories as 'breaking.'

  6. I couldn't agree more with Rich's apocalyptic assessment of where the broadcast industry is headed. I have worked in broadcasting for 38 years and had a blast, but I know that unfortunately, 'the good old days,' (the years before the mid 1990s when the industry was leveled by deregulation), will never return.

    Broadcasting is now the domain of bean counters and 'genius program consultants,' who have no clue how radio operates. The first group is only interested in money and profit for the shareholders and CEOs, and the second group pretends, but doesn't know anything about how to program stations, because by and large these consultants are former PDs who helped to ruin formerly good stations.

    One of the biggest problems today is the historical ignorance and disinterest of today's 'young demographic' on broadcasting, or any other topic. Anyone under the age of about 35, really doesn't have much of a concept of what radio and the broadcast media in general used to be like, and how much better they were in terms on on-air quality and programming back then, than they are now. Nor are those young people interested in even learning, because like so many people of all ages, they could care less about history. If they weren't around or weren't conscious of what was going on 'back in the day,' (is that a hackneyed expression or what?), it's totally irrelevant to them. Never mind that much of the information they're getting today is coming from sources that are no longer credible, reliable or professional.

    And sadly, as has been mentioned before, those who don't learn about the mistakes of history are almost certainly bound to repeat them!

    1. and get off my lawn! next time i kepp your ball!

  7. Tracey "Trixie" Watkowski has no F-in idea how to stop the ratings bleed. Problem is...KGO ND predecessors and O&O ND cohorts at other Disney properties do. That's why several ABC O&O's are thriving ( except SF) Here's what the Wicked Bitch of the West will do:

    *Try to improve breaking news coverage ( lazy idea, splashy promos, tried at Pix...many times never works )
    *Replace any staff member who can replace her
    *Blame older reporters ( especially the females )
    *Sorry Cheryl J... all that Botox won't save you from Tracy W trying desperately to save herself, your toast by X-mas
    *Hang on by a thread until next Summer
    *She'll get transferred to "internet coverage," ala Ms. Toy from KTVU

    Sad days when the Captain ( not Kangaroo this time) puts themselves in the front of the lifeboat. ABC 7 in SF will rise again when Trixie is gone, and the staff will retort...Bang, Bang, the Witch is dead. They already do in the break room!

    1. Can we have a poll? The Tracey fan club is right up there with the Lee Rosenthal fan club. Not sure which one is more, um, shall we say, passionate about their cause.

    2. > She'll get transferred to "internet coverage," ala Ms. Toy from KTVU

      Trixie won't permit that to happen to herself. She'll burn the building down with everyone locked inside it first. Seriously, the woman is short a couple screws.

    3. Saw the Butler last night, the Nixon scene raving with a Martini reminded me of Trixie!

  8. Check your sources at ktvu. Tori Campbell strikes again. This time
    telling viewers during last Friday's Noon News to tune in at 5pm for the latest on the closing arguments in the Ron Naso trial instead of Joseph Naso. Ron is a bay area veteran television and radio reporter who runs the ktvu early morning assignment desk. They are trying to keep this one very quiet.

  9. Tori sounds like another one of those air heads who get on TV because they know how to smooze with the broadcast big wigs, and can pull off looking good in front of the camera. One of the many reasons why I NEVER watch local TV news For the most part, it sucks!