Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The KTVU Conundrum; Even if Bay Area Media Ignores the Asiana Airline 'Namegate', I Will Not; UPDATE: Chronicle/SF Gate Runs 415 Media Exclu



There are those that get it and those that don't.

I have been dogged on the KTVU story since its inception and will continue to pursue its course even if the majority of the Bay Area press, (and some of you), insist that I back off and offer up relentless there's no there there's --we'll really, that's not so.

First off, we all make mistakes. It's an everyday occurrence. In all walks of life and professions, even local TV News stations.

This was NOT one of your run-of-the-mill mistakes. It was, yes, epic. It involved people in the business, as many as 6-7 initially, and many more later, who escalated the mistake and only added fuel to the fire. To this day, we still have No Idea how it all went down, although I'm beginning to get some information on the missing pieces and hope soon, one day, that we know all the details.

This was not my doing. A local anchor-friend joked with me yesterday that "this Channel 2 'thing was handed to you on a silver platter." Sure, just what I ordered. Fact is, just when you think the whole thing can't get even more bizarre, it gets more bizarre and confounding. Now we're hearing more of what actually took place in the KTVU newsroom that fateful Friday afternoon.

Frankly, I'm getting tired of the complaining from people who tell me I'm beating a dead horse. I don't think that's the case. I don't believe a TV station with the reputation of a KTVU is above reproach. If it was a simple mistake, it would have been buried a day after it happened, but it didn't disappear . The sheer zaniness of what actually took place right on the screen before all of us hasn't evaporated. And in spite of people who insist this go away; many of whom work for KTVU, and a few sorted trolls who will always bitch no matter what, the story is still fluid: WHO, ultimately, was behind all of this incompetence? How could 4-5 people with a plethora of experience and TV journalistic savvy, working for a Legacy station, allow this to happen? Furthermore, how can people in upper management--people who should know better, handle this as poorly as the folks at Channel 2 have? It still, after almost the month, boggles the mind. Conundrum personified.

If the Bay Area media chooses to ignore this, so be it. The trades have NOT. The TV people and the media folks want more coverage. They too are interested in what went down and who and what  might be going down in the future. They want to know. And in case you haven't read my latest post, there's a helluva lot more back stories to this than you could imagine. Believe me.

There's a way to handle this and a way not. The GM, whom I'm told is a "good guy", refuses to talk about this; it's been that way since day 1. The News Director, who has more fingerprints on all of this than an Newark, NJ crime lab, has said nothing. In fact, KTVU has still placed a complete gag order on all its personnel, from the phone operator to the interns in the newsroom. Are they that paranoid? Do they lack the basic functions of how to handle a crisis and not look like a bunch of rank amateurs?

There is more coming. Inevitably, I'm told, the dismissals are not final. There likely will be more. That's not on me, that's KTVU and Cox Media. Evidently, Cox and Channel 2 think this is still alive because the internal investigation is ongoing.

And I will be here to continue my pursuit of the truth until the very end. Even if the Bay Area media has moved on, I have Not.

UPDATE: Well, the SF Chronicle has picked up the story, (again): http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2013/08/07/pilot-consultant-source-of-ktvus-fake-pilot-list-report-says/

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28 comments:

  1. If there are more firings to come, I wonder why they're dragging it out. It seems to me like it wouldn't take that long to investigate. The people involved should have already given their account of what happened. I don't want to see people lose their jobs, but if your going to bring the axe down, just get it over with.

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  2. Those who protest the loudest are the ones trying to provide cover for themselves.
    Rich, here and on your show--stop devoting time to justifying your actions (and in-actions).

    You come off weak.

    -FJP

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  3. If more people are going to be let go it is going to take time to unravel. I would say the GM and News Director would be the most likely. The GM hired the News Director so they are essentially tied to one another. All it takes is a ratings slump, another slip up or something that ownership doesn't like. I would guess the owners are trying to cool things off after the firings blew up and generated a lot of backlash. There's also the lawsuit out there from one of the people who was fired.(Who knows if the others will follow) If it gets ugly and less than flattering information gets out or the company and station take a big financial hit someone will pay with their job.

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  4. I'm a huge Rich supporter but I somewhat agree with the top 2 comments. This story is dead in the water. It's finished. Stick a fork in it, it's done.

    The majority of radio, print, and tv barely even mention it. It's not as big an outrage as some might make it out to be. The "PC" police have really taken over America...I believe that is why it had legs for as long as it had.

    On the other hand I have to commend Rich for being this passionate about a subject. I wish more reporters and media would follow his lead and stay this passionate when it came to reporting and keeping after what the Democratic party has done to this country (lie, manipulate, pander). Perhaps more would wake up if the real story was covered as long and as hard as Rich covers this story.

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    1. The people in the business are STILL talking about this bit even if they weren't, I'd continue on because the genesis of the story--who was responsible, what did it get past ALL the people it got by, etc. is still to be reported on...Thanks for the comments though.

      Delete
    2. Maybe THIS too: http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2013/08/07/pilot-consultant-source-of-ktvus-fake-pilot-list-report-says/

      Delete
  5. Come on Rich have the interns not told you KTVU is an institution? We all know the Ass kissers just think KTVU and KGO are all that and a bag of Doritos. News Flash they are not. Do what you want with 415 You can beat whatever you want to death it is your site. If a Media minion hates it you are doing your job. I had some joker e-mail me. He wanted to tell me I should take down a certain page on my site. as he put it, it was not a credit to journalism.

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  6. I read, or rather look at this blog every day, although Rich often post blogs I don't have any interested in. The blogging on name gate at KTVU seem excessive, but then I lost interest in the this particular subject after a few days. However, it does not mean Rich does no have valid points. This site often has blocks about sports or sports announcer's or sports talk, I never ever read even one line, since I have no interest in sports. Rich cover many aspects of the media, I mainly go to this blog (which I found after the KGO firings) for news on talk radio. At this point I do with would do an Frosty, I can't imagine that those 2 hosts have improved ratings. Their advertisement tout local talk all afternoon, but who cares, when they don't take calls?

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    Replies
    1. Replying to my own blog, should have proofread it before I posted. Last paragraph should have read: Wish Rich would do an update on 910 AM afternoon programming with Frosty and Gil, can't imagine they have any ratings, so boring, 910 advertise local talk all afternoon, but who cares when they don't take calls. Both talk to experts, but they are often from another area, besides the cover topics that often has been covered in the news or on the internet, this programming makes no sense to me.

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  7. Rich -- I am happy you are still on this story. If nothing else, this gaffe screams for a suspension of Tori Campbell at the very least. Her Pinocchio-like wood-headedness cost people their jobs! I don't care how many sets of Geppetto hands this copy passed through. The buck stops with her and yet she has never offered an apology. BTW,a retraction is NOT an apology.

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    Replies
    1. johnny bom bonneyAugust 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      11:57, wish I'd said this; well stated, thanks

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    2. 80% of the people who are sniping at Tori Campbell for not instantly noticing the fake names on the teleprompter wouldn't have noticed them either.

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    3. Just the opposite -- 80% WOULD have noticed them!

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  8. Rich,
    The way KTVU has handled this is what fuels this cluster F! Trying to rid all the YouTube video is just a joke! The hush hush from the PD, ND is outrageous! I think you not only shoveling but using a tractor to find out what really happen and exposing the in's and out's is important to everyone! Keep digging Rich, you're getting closer!

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  9. Presumably "Exclusive" stories have value because people are interested in them. Who is interested in this stale tale.

    Rich could post an "Exclusive" story that he just got his mail, but that doesn't make it newsworthy or even interesting for that matter.

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  10. Wait a minute!

    KTVU is currently looking for a Managing Editor. Toy has not been let go. Another commenter said that Toy is now a Social Media Director or something. Well, today KTVU sends out the BOGUS Captain Kangaroo tweet.

    Does that mean that Toy, not only has her fingerprints all over the Asiana fuck up, but she could be directly involved with the inaccurate tweet that was #BREAKING?

    With the station already under a microscope, tell me: How THE FUCK is Toy still employed?

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    Replies
    1. You're not allowed to terminate minority workers in the Republic of Kalifornia under any circumstances. Didn't you see the memo?

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    2. @3:17 Two of the four people let go over this gaffe are minorities.

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    3. It's beyond the Bay Area now-New York Daily News (story, what story?)

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/4-5-ktvu-staffers-prank-pilot-names-broadcast-report-article-1.1420574

      Delete
  11. Yeah, inaccuracy in the media IS a bitch, and it SHOULD be thoroughly reviewed. Ronn Owens used to talk about that before he was bought out last year.

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  12. Deadspin also picked up the story from Rich...

    http://deadspin.com/how-those-fake-pilot-names-made-it-on-tv-1056863397

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  13. I have inside information and I'd like to contact Cox attorneys. Of course, Rich, I will keep you informed.

    Can anyone give me the name of the attorney who is conducting the internal investigation for Cox?

    I will find it on my own, but if anyone has a shortcut, throw me a bone!

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  14. Things we need to know (screw you if you hate this story)

    1. Who called the NTSB and told the managing editor, we got these names confirmed?

    It wasn't clear whether it was Michelle Toy or not. According to Leiberman sources, I believe it read, "When Toy was told that the NTSB confirmed the names, she went with it."

    2. Who called the NTSB within the newsroom? Who told Toy, I have these names confirmed and how did that conversation go down?


    Could the call have gone like this, hey we just got the pilots names through email? Did you send this out? (moments ticking before noon)

    Intern: We sent it out. (meaning days ago? The person who called the NTSB needs to explain how that call went down.

    And then Boom...get it on first first first first first...

    Cue to Oh Shit!

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  15. As a TV news producer in a market very near SF/Oakland/San Jose, I am certainly STILL interested in this story as are my co-workers in the newsroom!

    So thank you for your continued investigation == knowing what goes on behind the scenes in such a stressful environment, we're all thinking 'this could be me!' even if we are also mocking those involved: "How in the world did they NOT notice that!".

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  16. How ironic that the media demands accountability from politicos, people who run companies, athletes and those who've f***ed up. However, KTVU, the "legacy" news outfit, tries to duck and cower, hide under a cloak of secrecy and pretend it never happened.

    KTVU could've come clean, provided the details of their big boner, apologized, described future steps they would take to prevent such stupidity in the future and it would've been done. However, because the GM tries to run and hide, the news director clams up and the rank and file can't say a thing, the story has taken a life of its own.

    This story ain't dead. We still don't know all of the details. Until then, Mr. Lieberman should pursue this thing. And if you don't like it, don't read his blog or gloss over this story. This is a story. It's also a sign of what's going on in America: lack of accountability. Everyone wants to blame someone else or pretend nothing's happening. No wonder America is hated around the world.

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    1. This is an EXCELLENT post 5:57 PM. Admit your mistake, apologize, move on, and the story
      goes away. If Mark McGwire did this, he would be in the Hall of Fame!!! In so many arenas
      today, there is no accountability and no ownage of responsibility, both of which are red flags
      for lack of character.

      Delete
  17. Bay Area Media is not covering it because the industry is relatively small and somewhat close-knit. The other stations may be competitors, but a lot of the people that staff the newsrooms come from those competitors. This goes for both on-air staff and those who write/produce the newscasts. They may be laughing at KTVU as a station, especially after the bragging promos. However, they have friends there that they are all hoping are not part of it and probably thinking how easily it could have been them, at their station.

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  18. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/4-5-ktvu-staffers-prank-pilot-names-broadcast-report-article-1.1420574

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