Friday, December 6, 2013

The Lost Art of Ad-Libbing on Bay Area TV News; Friday Media Starter

 Ad-libbing from a live shot has become a commodity, particularly in the Bay Area. There's exceptions of course, but the vast majority of our beloved correspondents couldn't ad-lib their way out of a paper bag. They mysteriously become incompetent and clueless. All the more irritating is given the fact that without notes and prompters, they look and sound like rank amateurs.
It's not just field reporters but anchors too. That's what I loved about Pete Wilson. He was borderline genius on breaking news. He asked good, concise questions and was terrific on virtually any event, incident, natural disaster, like the earthquake in '89. Same too with Evan White and Bob Jimenez. For all his anchor acumen, Dennis Richmond was a terrible ad-libber. Don't know why but Richmond seemed more apt in a controlled environment. Frank Somerville is very adept at the art of ad-libbing and that was never more apparent during the Asiana Air crash. Ken Bastida knows how to ad-lib--ditto Allen Martin but Liz Cook is a train wreck, I'm sorry. I give props to Janelle Wang at KNTV who has shown marked improvement from earlier days when doing an unscripted show was not one of her high points. The worst of the bunch is Darya Folsom. Darya is a gusher. Breathless and golly gee at that too, she sounds as if she's at the circus. Her partner, Mark Danon, is fairly adept and that was the case during the BART train incident Wednesday. Hey, KTVU, give credit to Sal Castanada who also excelled on the BART story on unexpected notice.
**I heard about the big radio brouhaha regarding Rush and Hannity and didn't write it because, frankly, the station locally is worthless. Beige wallpaper really, an outlet most people can't hear and radio talent so devoid of anything meaning and worthwhile to listen too. Just my opinion.
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  1. > For all his anchor acumen, Dennis Richmond was a terrible ad-libber.
    > Don't know why but Richmond seemed more apt in a controlled environment.

    I know why. Dennis Richmond was a myth. He didn't really understand a lot of the news he was reading--he just read everything with a dour expression and everyone thought he was super-intelligent and hard-nosed. Meanwhile he was thinking, if anything, about how to line up that shot on the 14th hole. As a certain famous ex-KTVU news director once said, "DR wouldn't know a story if it bit him on the ass." And that guy made Dennis what he was.

    1. From my own experience, Dennis Richmond was a terrible flirt!
      There was a big Cancer Benefit held in the EastBay, years ago, which I happened to attend. This guy surely did have an eye for the girls, obviously he was without his wife...and was seriously looking for a hook-up that night!

    2. Did he flirt with you? Did you give him the big story? A live shot? Some good NATS? Do tell! ;-)

    3. Of course, how else would I know he was flirting?

      What's "a big story...a live shot & NATS"?
      Nothing to tell, I was flattered...this occurred nearly twenty years ago, perhaps he was between wives.

      Nothing wrong with flirting...
      Unfortunately, most men today don't know how to flirt with panache & verve like Dennis Richmond!

  2. Rich please do explain about Sean and Rush? I saw on the internet that 960 will be labeled "Right Radio", as in right wing. This is very upsetting, there are so few liberal talk shows available these days and we can't afford to loose any. Frankly I think 960 is better than 910 Gil is liberal, but with the show he conducts who cares? Same with Frosty, although from the little I have listened to him, he is more in the middle, or liberal in some issues, others not so much. So for those of us who still care about listening to host who are not touting the right wing talking points, we are interested in what the new line up will be. I enjoy Dave Ramsey (although conservative, a passionate conservative, unlike Rush who is a mean conservative) Rush is a man who makes $40 million a year, and get on the radio and rails against racing the minimum wages? How disgusting. I enjoy Randy to a certain extend, and especially Bill Press, it is just that he is on in the middle of the night. Please do inform us. You right a lot about sports, which I don't care about, but know many of your readers do. So please indulge whose of us who are still interested in liberal talk radio, even if we don't have the best of hosts. (i.e. John Rothmann).

    1. FWIW, I'm conservative and pro-raising the minimum wage, and I just heard Michael Savage talk about that he was FOR raising the minimum wage as well. And Rich loves Savage. I'm also pro-union, pro-choice & pro-green.

    2. You remind me of people who are vegan or PETA members or whatever, and I point out that they're wearing leather boots. Usually pisses them off.

    3. Wow, @12:54,
      You're a clear thinking conservative.
      We come across so few of them these days.
      And most Americans are in agreement with you!

      "Congressional Republicans have vowed to block any bill raising the minimum wage, but a new Gallup poll shows that 76% of Americans and 58% of Republicans supporting increasing the minimum wage".
      Totally Fifty Six Percent of Republicans oppose making the minimum wage inflation proof"!

      When will our Republican Congressional Leadership cut the obstruction and allow America to bloom?

  3. Is he talking about 560 where Hannity has been or 910 where Rush has been? To call either station beige wallpaper and mock the talent is somewhat amusing considering the liberal idiots that now fill in on KGO.

  4. I'm in shock! 960-Knew Going Conservative!

    We're losing Randy Rhodes...tune her in 12 Noon to 3pm weekday, you'll see, she's brilliant! And Norm Goldman, a nice guy and attorney who informs us daily about important legal issues. (How Citizen's United & ALEC are taking over our country). Now, we less conservative Bay Area listeners will have nothing but RightWing insanity forced down our throats!
    Do the powers that be...seriously believe this new programming will make the Bay Area vote for RightWing Nuts come 2014 & 16?

  5. With Michael Savage taking over Sean Hannity's time slot and Mike Huckabee's show being cancelled, what I'm wondering is who will be on KSFO from 9-noon and 6-9PM?

  6. The tone of Rich's response to the line up change at KNEW is pure envy.
    The Limbaugh and Hannity shows will blow Michael Wiener out of the water.

    1. Did anyone catch Weiner-Savage Friday night?

      Unbelievable! He spent so much precious air-time reading minutia from his latest book. Does Weiner seriously believe today's frenetic-fast-paced radio listening public really wants to hear someone reading a freaking bedtime story over the air?

      Weiner believes he's so clever and his voice so melodic. The man's absolutely in awe of himself!

      Don't miss:
      Photo Young MWSavage Selling Snakeoil:

      "Michael Savage Is, Was, And Always Will Be A Weiner"

  7. What is the result of the new Limbaugh, Hannity and Glenn Beck lineup at 960? One less liberal outlet here in the Bay Area.
    And we are just pleased as punch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. "The worst of the bunch is Darya Folsom. Darya is a gusher. Breathless and golly gee...Her partner, Mark Dannon, is fairly adept..."

    Dannon makes KRON a.m. worthwhile viewing. Darya, on the other hand, grates like nails on a chalkboard.

  9. To 12:54 I don't care for Savage and his yelling and rants, but am willing to give credit where credit is due. He thinks for himself, rather and touting the right wing talking points. I have heard him before being for raising the minimum wage, so I believe he is sincere. Raising the national minimum wage from $7.00 something to $9.00 should not cause MacDonald to become to expensive for most people. In Denmark (my home country) and other Scandinavian countries the minimum wage is around $15.00 an hour, and we have several MacDonald and Burger Kings and have had for years, so I assume they make money. Which I'm all for, in fact I'm for EVERYONE making money, the owner, manager and workers. Certainly the owners, who invested money (I use to be a franchise owner) and took a risk, should make very, very good money, the manager who has responsibilities should make decent money that provides a good living, but is would be nice if the rest of workers could make enough so they don't have to apply for food stamps,

  10. The climate in the Bay Area is so gentle compared to most of the country that forecasts could be done, with rare exceptions, in about one minute. That said, I could watch and listen to Erica Kato on KRON talk about the weather all day long.