Tuesday, July 29, 2014

KPIX/KBCW 10 PM 'NightBeat' Is Pretty Crappy; The Full 30-Minute Review; Tuesday Opener

The FIRST TIME I watched KPIX' CW 10 PM newser, 'NightBeat' I was so put off, I began laughing and turned if off after a few minutes.


After careful consideration I decided to watch an ENTIRE 30 minutes. Without interruption. My thought was that it would be unfair to cast a reliable opinion so soon after its debut. You don't review a new restaurant after two days, so I waited a week.


'Nightbeat' is McDrek. Yuck.


Sure, awesome dude, that Nightbeat on purpose tries to dumb down its limited youthful audience it is trying to endear itself to but for one time, I hope they're on Facebook and Twitter completely safe from the abyss known as being On The NightBeat.


If this is PIX's attempt at trying something new then either we're all screwed or local TV News is incapable of putting out a marginal newscast that has some residue of believability and quality. NightBeat has neither. NightBeat is farcical. NightBeat is chock full of gimmicks and insincere and vast nothingness; a bloated 30 minutes of contrived, forced and insipid attempts at being fresh and new. Gag me, Newness


Perhaps the biggest negative of this lousy show is that it not only makes KPIX look bad, but worse, makes newcomer, Veronica De La Cruz, look even worser. Why? Because De La Cruz is forced into doing and saying things that look and sound, well, forced. The false banter between sports and weather guys is putrid. It's not so much awful for its intent; we get it, again, they're trying to be different and that's OK, but this back and forth has all the warmth of a IHOP opening. It DOES NOT WORK.


The beginning of NightBeat amounts to jamming 10-15 quick stories down our throat with snippets of MOS interviews about dating trends; fast headlines, updates and urban minutiae --the concept is fine but the execution is horrid. It looks like it was put together in a hallway outside the PIX cafeteria in five minutes. The visual clich├ęs are too much to stomach. It reeks of a false premise that fast is good. If only FAST was good and in THIS instance it's terrible. There's no there there.


Furthermore, unintentionally, it belittles the product, and more to the point, the circus leader, De La Cruz. I like VDLC and think she's trying hard but her ad-libs and attempt at on-the-spot don't work, more ominously and for the show's future, (if there is any), her "ba-bump-bump" quips reek shallow and hollow. Why she utters them at all, assuming this IS ad-libbed and she's not being prepped by the show's producers, is mind-boggling. Even the best anchors need time to get to know the market before injecting out-of-place, out-of-mind comedic snips into the show--this is perhaps the WORST element of NightBeat. That and the requisite moron MOS interviews with some yuppies in Pleasanton about their dating life or the other zippy terrible fast-paced gimmicks PIX has placed on our screen to be new and innovative. Oh my God. Are millennials that dumb and numb?


Monday Night was fraught with awfulness. Dennis O'Donnell, tie-less, (we're trying to be hip, dude), looked positively dorky gazing into the camera trying his best to form visual en fuego with De La Cruz but his visual mugging looked more like a Bakersfield audition for Last Comic Standing.


Paul Deannu is a pretty damn good weatherman--just enough of a personality to have gained acceptance here, but his wimpy weather contest with Veronica at the end was so bad it was almost comical. My gut tells me it was not his idea but the staff and it really does him nor the fragile image of NightBeat no good; it's OK, by this time of the evening, the NightBeat had already sunk, I was waiting for the orchestra to play Titanic tunes.


Nobody begrudges CBS-SF for its work, its attempt to create creativity. It's all fine and dandy but if THIS is the best you got, girls and boys, then you all need some serious creative therapy. A junior high journalism class would laugh at this. Get real. Stop the forced visual gulag and get back to the basics. The current painting is a colossal clusterfuck of mega-proportions.


I'm sticking to playing video games and cruising the Internet.


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*Rich Lieberman and 415 Media are not responsible for comments or opinions made by others on this website.


TIPS/E-Mail: Rich.Lieberman@Gmail.com 



24 comments:

  1. Rich Lieberman hates something new.

    Wow, that's a shock.

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    1. Hardly new. Like adding rock beats to classical music to "attract younger audiences," they've been trying this sort of thing for 30 years. Back in the late 70s-early 80s, the then-NBC affiliate in Philadelphia did the same exact trick, except the editing wasn't quite as slick because that was harder to do back in the pre-nonlinear days. Lasted a year or two and their already pathetic ratings went further south. The local paper called it the "Disco News." Embarrassing to watch today, just as this is.

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    2. Rich and his haters complain about the way things are, complain about changing the way things are, and then complain about everything else except "the good old days."

      I've got news for you, the good old days weren't that good and even if they were, they're not coming back.

      Wake up, grow up, and stop deluding yourself about the good old days that never were.

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  2. I'm thinking if they really want to be different they could eliminate the anchors and have an announcer do v/o for any intros, weather, sports. I'm very serious about this--lots of visuals, smart graphics, trending stuff--this is what would appeal to the younger demo they're seeking.
    BarryOB/Oakland

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    1. Or, drop the traditional anchors, hire some millenial anchors( I know, more cost) but quit trying to stuff the regular anchors into a square peg.

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  3. > It looks like it was put together in a hallway outside the PIX cafeteria in five minutes.

    Word!

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  4. And if it gets people to tune in it is all worth it, no?

    "Even the best anchors need time to get to know the market"

    Perhaps that is what they are attempting, creating a new market.

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  5. If you think the old model of news is good, watch the old model. There are still plenty of newscasts following that formula. I don't think newsbeat is trying to be a hard-news newscast, I think it's going for a "Right This Minute" vibe (the show on ch. 2)

    If you're looking for this to be a hard-news show, then yes, it's laughable. But if you are able to watch it for what it is, a more entertainment based show, than it's not too bad.

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  6. I've only seen a couple of shows, but it seems the problem with this new show is it's of and by old people trying to be hip. It's like "cool parent syndrome." The mom or dad who decides they know what's cool in order to relate to their 22 year old, and all they end up doing is embarassing themselves.

    Millennials don't want someone who likely qualifies as a cougar in their book trying to tell them about a social media trend that's likely hours old by the time it hits air. They already know what's up. And the 2 minutes of news up top... talk about dumbing things down. The 18-34 set isn't entirely ADD stupid. They can handle more than 15 seconds of information. Figure out what stories matter to them (try asking them?), and get an anchor they can relate to. Preferably someone of their generation who actually understands social media trends and what's really important to the target audience. If you're producing a show aimed at the under 30 set and you have someone, anyone involved in the decision making, production and execution who's over 28, you're doing it wrong. Look at what "The Youth" look and dress like these days. Tattoos. Piercings. Unconventional style senses. Facial hair. The anchors look too conservative and pretty to be relatable to the audience they're after.

    And the guy doing the opening narration. It's like John Facenda or my grandpa telling me I'm about to watch something hip and cool and exciting. Nothing says edgy like an old man intoning "This.... is Night Beat" or whatever. Get a younger voice.

    The 18-34 set is greatly into, in no particular order, money, music, mobility (socially and physically) and multimedia (esp. new technology). Lifestyle. If you can't speak to what they're into or what they care about, why should they pay attention to you?

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    1. This is it exactly "cool parent Syndrome". If they even want news give them the news that they may care about not cut down versions of what is on the PIX news at 11. I don't think VLDC and the reporters are the problems. The stupid Close ups, forced banter, and O'Donnell and Deanno with their ties off does not make it hip and cool.

      New audience, new model, can't recycle stories from the Walnut Creek fountain.

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    2. Deja Vu all over again. Sounds like Ross McGowan and Ann Fraser. Not exactly appealing to Baby Boomers on Acid. Appointment TV for WW1 widows with blue hair.

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  7. #UmLikeiTotallyHaven'tWatchedThisYet.

    #LikeWouldYouSayIshouldLikeWatchit?

    #OrLikeDoYouLikeThinkitsJustgoingTobeLikeCancelledinAcoupleWeeks?

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  8. Still watch the 10 o'clock news on The CW on the weekends, and liked the "old" version on the weekdays. Not a fan of NightBeat.

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    1. If the millennials are out partying on Friday night why is this not a Sunday-Thursday show

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  9. This is off-subject, but heard Dan Dibley doing the overnight traffic reports (on the 8s) on KCBS, Saturday morning. Trying to keep his hand in until the next big thing?

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    1. The man found something he has a talent for as well as the perfect audience. Who the hell listens to news radio on a Saturday morning? Probably the same people who watch TV news on Saturday morning -- no one.

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  10. The anonymous poster at 10:37 makes some points, the most useful of which is the description of "cool parent syndrome." I don't fault KPIX for trying and I agree with Rich in that it would not have been fair to judge the show after one or two nights, but now that version 1.0 is established, it's clear to me that members of the target audience will immediately recognize the heavy-handed pandering and will be insulted by what the newscast's ADHD-infused superficiality says about what the station thinks of its presumed viewers.

    WNEW-FM, when it was the leading progressive rock radio station in the country, was greatly successful simulcasting the well-written and strictly mainstream newscasts from its middle-of-the-road adult AM sister station, WNEW. Likewise, Kurt Loder, in the early years of MTV, was a strong audience draw with his straight-ahead, no-nonsense delivery of rock entertainment news.

    The rule about doing a hip newscast is that you can't try to sound hip while doing it.

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    1. Tony, I was in college in NYC back in those days (and remember you from your stints on the air back then), and you're correct that WNEW simulcast many of the AM newscasts on FM, which was pitched to (what today would be) an 18-34 demographic. We paid attention to the news back then. Perhaps it was because there was a draft, and we knew our necks were on the line, or the necks of people we directly knew from school or the neighborhood.

      While I don't think today's equivalent "kids" are stupid, they've grown up without that Sword of Damocles hanging over them, thus they have the luxury to be information dilettantes. I doubt the men and women who served our country in a volunteer military since 9-11 aren't nearly as dismissive of their responsibility to be informed citizens, and would be insulted to see how little the suits at CBS/SF think of them.

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  11. Veronica.. serious as Cronkite until the first commercial, then banter with tie less guys who desperately want to be somewhere else. Maybe something different would be Veronica and Liz recapping the events in the city.

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  12. 10:37 is pretty spot on...plus kpix is applying erroneous logic by assuming that because someone is young, they are dumb. Nothing says condescending and out of touch more than offering an old format dressed up with pandering trimmings.

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  13. The first few minutes of "news" is like when you were a kid and you had to eat your veggies. It seems like KPIX knows that you don't want it and they are trying through this as quickly and painlessly as possible. Then they can get to the stories that the young hip crowd cares about. What was it last night? Oh yes, the new Kardashian App - where they basically just played the Colber Repor segment without adding anything witty or original. Is it just me or is VDLC a little difficult to look at? She seems plastic almost a caricature - she looks like the "ladies" that perform at Asia SF. They could have put any anchor in that slot to do the job and saved a lot of money. Something tells me that everybody who was offered this job turned it down as they saw it was a sinking ship.

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  14. In case you missed tonights train wreck the hot tech topic was...drumroll please...selfies!! Not just any selfies...Kim Kardasian's selfies. O'Donnell really showed what he thought of the broadcast when he asked "what's the name of my segment?" Dennis also scored points in my book and revealed the generation gap when he referenced "the Catch" and asked VDLC if she remembered it. Of course she nodded and responded in the affirmative - she was one and a half at the time and still Veronica Schertz. Other breaking news in case you didn't know bacon cheese burgers and fries are NOT a healthy meal option. I've noticed that the "newscast" usually ends between 10:26 or 10:28, actually it's earlier as the only thing that happens after the last two minutes of commercials is our favorite fembot wishes you goodnight - it seems that viewers are not the only ones in a hurry to get away from...what's it called again?

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    1. Not to mention there was an unintentional black hole of video in that report.

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  15. I like to count how many times she glances off camera. Creepy.

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