KPIX had a crummy February book--I told you that on Friday. The specific numbers aren't out yet but PIX had an across-the-board ratings tumble. How bad? Enough for News Director, Dan Rosenheim to reassign the evening EP to the morning and the morning EP to night. He also hinted there would be more changes coming.
One of the problems at CBS-SF is the constant shifting of a "team"--a solid team. PIX has no identity, certainly no anchor identity. Their best on-air anchor is Ken Bastida--he should be the face of the station but the way he's used he's largely confined to 2nd-tier status. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to suggest that a Bastida/Veronica De La Cruz pairing should headline the 5, 6, and 11 PM newscast. Period. I have been underwhelmed with De La Cruz for the most part since her summer arrival but in terms of star power and anchor coordination, she and Bastida should be front and center. They're PIX's most popular personalities. Which would spell bad news for Liz Cook and Allen Martin.
I like Martin and he's a solid newsman but his wooden appearance and stiff-look style doesn't exactly provide viewer warmth. In other words, Martin comes across as sullen. It's especially evident now; sometimes I think Martin gives the impression he's having root canal performed while reading the teleprompter. Every once and awhile Martin smiles and laughs, but not too often. He needs to reinvent himself and maybe a new time slot would help. Harsh? Sure, but needed. Along with certain other issues.
Cook is the subject of major derision at KPIX among Martin, notably, and to a lesser extent, weatherman, Paul Deannu. Cook's thanks-daddy way of getting the gig irritated the hell out of many but I've sort of warmed to her lately. She's much better at ad-libbing and does a decent job of reading the news. (We forget that they read copy on TV--that's what they do) Furthermore, and this might surprise you, Cook has a personality--she should use it. Her demeanor and dainty looks are not her fault; it's time for the jealous set to take a sabbatical and leave her alone. She's not as bad as projected. But she's also not nirvana--disadvantage, PIX.
Style and cohesion is not something that comes naturally. You have to work at it. In the old days, Dave McElhatton and Wendy Tokuda weren't exactly Donny and Marie but they eventually built up good, convincing chemistry to the point where they both helped each other. It worked. Better yet, Mac helped Wendy at a time when she wasn't exactly lighting up the screen. Her frequent on-air flubs were neutralized by Mac being Mac. Stars. Add in Wayne Walker and you had quite a trifecta.
Not the case today at 855 Battery.
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