Thursday, July 30, 2015

Anger And Resentment At KGO-TV Over Aqui/Zouves 'Hottest' Hires; Staff Pissed Off At GM Burton; Potential Rift With ND Watkowski Over Moves

 There is a great degree of concern and anger inside the KGO-TV (ABC7) newsroom regarding the recent hires of Natasha Zouves, and now, from Portland, Reggie Aqui.


KGO's President and GM, Bill Burton, I've told you here, appears to be on a missive to bring forward younger anchors who are extremely adept in social media functions --how much so? To the point, according to a KGO informant, that "the 'social media element is almost more important than their actual job.'"


Really now? I asked the source to embellish: "Burton seems to have got a directive (from Disney, which owns KGO) to hire more "LA-type" of talent--that 'KTLA type of look and style." Double really? "He thinks social media and those (young) anchors that embrace it are important for Channel 7."


I don't know for sure whether Burton is working on orders from Disney but I do know that whomever is pushing this new emphasis it most certainly does not involve News Director, Tracey Watkowski, who had little if any say in the Zouves and Aqui transactions. That extra caveat might be a potential problem for Burton who might be usurping Watkowski's power. Watkowski isn't the most popular manager in the building but Burton's actions have many staffers angry, disappointed, and disillusioned.


Reggie Aqui


Zouves, who will start her weekend anchoring here Sept. 8, was named "San Diego's 'hottest TV News 'girl in 2014." And Aqui, a Portland anchor and former CNN news reader, has the distinction of being one of "People Magazine's 'hottest TV anchors." This is not earth-shattering news that a GM in a big market would want to bring a couple of perceived lightweight anchors to the city but it's not a typical Burton move and is interpreted by staff as an affront to the relative peace and tranquility at 900 Front.


Natasha Zouves
"Look, the people here (at KGO) are pissed off," said the station source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he's not allowed to discuss station personnel issues.


Burton's moves come at a time when KGO is at or near the top of the SF TV ratings --Circle7 dominates the numbers at 11 PM and is neck and neck #1 in the early evening news. Furthermore, KGO is tops during the weekend ratings which can only add further mystery to the Zouves/Aqui hires. If it ain't broke don't fix it, right?


One thing is certain: Disney is known for being cheap. I'm told KGO practically had to beg to hire for the position Zouves ultimately accepted. Several suitors turned it down because of the lack of money. I don't know what Aqui, who will anchor and report in the field, gets but I'd bet it's much more than Zouves.


Meanwhile, in Portland at least, Aqui's exit has a lot of people bummed. Not so much in San Francisco.


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49 comments:

  1. You should have seen the parade of pretty they had audition for that weekend anchor job. Anyway, Bill's shine began to wear off the second he over-played his hand and screwed over Carolyn Johnson.

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  2. I'm pissed beyond belief! To think those two beaners got hired over myself & a few others? Fuck You, Burton!!

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    1. Jonathan "Jon" "Stewart" LeibowitzJuly 30, 2015 at 10:34 AM

      C+. I think you need another semester at the Larry Storch School of Acting and Comedy.

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    2. Shes not a "beaner"...Im sure you did not go to college..Shes obviously not married as a recent grad (3yrs ago) from USC. Her last name is Zouves..hummm..Trust me your gona love her..Shes not just a pretty face..Both hires are younger but accomplished anchors..Live w/it or just die w/a heartattack mulling over it..@RealDealD..R

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  3. What the fuck is this shit? KGO has a great product but some dumbass who thinks his shit doesn't stink wants to make his mark and send this thing down the toilet.

    Ever hear the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it?" People who've come into a situation that didn't need fixing and decided to take matters into their own hands usually wind up fucking everyone through the drive-thru.

    That fading scream you hear is Bay Area television news falling into the abyss.

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    1. KGO's suits saw how Fox's suits stepped into a well-oiled machine and sent ratings south.

      They said, "Hey, what a great idea!" and proceeded to do the same.

      Reminds me of that scene in Wall Street where Gordon Gekko has just sold off Charlie Sheen's father's company. Sheen yells, "Why did you wreck it?" and Michael Douglas replies, "Because it was wreckable!"

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  4. Lieberman again relying on unidentified sources to report essentially nothing. Is there a single verifiable fact in this piece? NO

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    1. Maybe you should get your head out of your ass unless of course you're an intern because my story is quite right; back to your chores, boy.

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    2. Hmph, you tell 'em, Rich!! Put those Tards in their place!!

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  5. Soon-to-be Ex-KGOerJuly 30, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    Burton, you're burning a lot of bridges with some of your decisions...stand by.

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  6. Natasha Zouves comes your way from KGTV San Diego, an ABC affiliate whose local news ratings are hardly stellar. If KGO is simply trying to grab a younger audience with younger news readers they are taking a huge risk.

    If they're trying to emulate KTLA that's a huge risk as well. There are several factors why the KTLA formula works, and I'll share just one of them. Most of their anchors/reporters have been with the station for years, even decades. They are a well-oiled machine, highly seasoned in the art of delivering the news, both seriously and casually (a lot of "happy talk" sure) but they know how to do it because they've had years of practice -- feeling very comfortable with each other with minimal turnover in staff. And most of them are over the age of 35. TV stations in practically all markets today are changing out heir anchor teams and reporters like we change our underwear. There's hardly any name recognition with an anchor/reporter anymore -- why would I be compelled to tune in the same station night after night when the staff changes so much.

    The only station here in San Diego with stability is KFMB (CBS8). Very little turnover, most anchors/reporters are over the age of late 30s, and all of them have social media skills -- but their main job is not social media but to concentrate on delivering the best TELEVISION newscast day after day, night after night. Not surprisingly they are the ratings leader.

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    1. The reaction inside KGTV was priceless. Just about every female on-air staffer felt the were more qualified to get the KGO gig. Even those that did NOT apply felt slighted. The current weekend morning anchor called the whole thing "disgusting"...and she can't read a cereal box.

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  7. Can we talk about how f'ed up it is that KRON is the only channel not carrying the Hayward officer's funeral? God forbid you make Darya work overtime. That is disgusting. The Bay Area should not support a station that gives no shits about a FALLEN HERO.

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    1. And yet they were the only station live for hours when they had a break in the Santa Cruz missing girl case (the one raped and murdered by the Mexican kid). God forbid you make the interrupt the Simpsons on FOX or "You think you can dance?" on NBC or Seacrest knocking on peoples doors.

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    2. They were the only station covering live the discovery of that little girls body in Santa Cruz...the one killed by Mr. Gonzalez...when others weren't. I'm sorry they aren't carrying the funeral of the officer killed by Mr. Estrada. They did however have in depth coverage when the woman was killed on the pier by Mr. Sanchez. So many "dreamers", so little time. Viva la Raza huh?

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    3. @10:38 and 10:46
      The Santa Cruz kid isn't Mexican. Do try to keep up.

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  8. Hey everybody they'd make a cute couple and maybe we can get a sex tape out of the deal.

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    1. Title: "Making an Anchor Baby"

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    2. 4:17, post of the week!

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  9. A note of caution here..from the legal perspective. When you insist that any defendant is absolutely guilty, before any due process has occurred, you are giving defense counsel a perfect gift. The test for prospective jurors is not whether or not they've heard about a specific case, but rather if they've been tainted by all the community certainty about guilt, before any allegations are proven..Think change of venue, at huge expense to the taxpayer, and to the advantage of the defendant. An allegation is not a fact, until proven.

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    1. Yeah, when was the last time you tried a case before a jury Perry Mason?

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    2. Terence HallinanJuly 30, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      Christine, you handle workmen's comp cases; at least you used to. How does that give you gravitas towards this? You watch Law & Order too much, my dear.

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    3. Or even a criminal case!

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    4. Dear "Terence". There is no such thing as "workmen's comp". See if you can figure it out. All lawyers, whether civil or criminal know what "change of venue" means. I was also a reporter who covered many murder trials in many cities. Do you read? You mean you've never heard of defense attorneys filing motions to move a criminal case to a different jurisdiction? because of pervasive negative publicity?
      I'm not a criminal lawyer, though I've handled some criminal matters involving domestic violence for clients. I do estate and trust law, at the moment. You see, the great thing about having a profession is that you can use your skills in a variety of ways, at your own discretion. Have you thought about going back to school?

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    5. Christine, totally tone deaf as usual. I will translate her original message into plain English.

      I am Christine Craft. and I come here to remind everyone here (yet again) that I'm a lawyer and so very smart. Here's my gratuitous comment which is totally unnecessary but I can't figure that out because I've never been able to interact normally with other people.

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    6. It's a good thing that no one having anything close to a "legal perspective" is present.

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    7. You've proven my point again, Christine. As usual, you think you're high & mighty and above the rest, as usual.

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    8. 'Ken".....do you mean to say that you and your peeps have never heard of a trial being moved because of pervasive publicity? Do you follow the news,at all?Despite your double "as usuals", there's nothing either 'high" or "mighty " about noting the probability in this case,that there will be a very strong, and well-supported motion for a change of venue.( The prosecutor, seeing the inevitable, is already leading off interviews with the claim that Santa Cruz jurors "can be fair".).A change of venue will mean that the taxpayers will pay for moving the trial to a different county, a very expensive proposition. The defense lawyers will easily be able to collect all the tv and radio and print voices, which are now stating as fact that the individual is guilty. If a prospective juror lives in a community which has already decided on guilt, that juror is less likely to be able to examine the evidence without the taint of bias. Thus, the defendant can't get a fair trial in Santa Cruz. I'm guessing here, but you probably like the lowest common denominator sort of broadcasting, where the audience gets dumber and dumber, don't you? '
      '

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    9. Another irrelevant lecture from Christine Craft.

      Readers of this blog don't agree about many things but Christine Craft is the rare exception. Christine, you are obnoxious and insufferable.

      You cannot make a single constructive comment that isn't all about yourself.

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    10. dear gutless wonder .anonymous at 10:18...do you often have this odd fantasy that you speak for everyone? or that you know what is unknowable?(what "everyone" thinks)? Nothing in the post above about change of venue motions in controversial murder cases is about me, except in your twisted imagination. Good day.

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    11. I enjoyed Christine and her ample bossom (her words) filling in on KGO last night.

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    12. Christine,
      Are you so busy typing your endless responses that you've failed to notice how everyone reacts to your chronic logorrhea.

      No fantasies about speaking for everyone but I do have the ridiculous fantasy that Christine Craft could one day learn something, anything.

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    13. I think @10:18 speaks for most readers of this blog. You are a blogger's dream being able to take any topic and disassemble it into self-aggrandizement and convoluted logic. Those are rare qualities.

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    14. Will Rogers never met Christine Craft.

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  10. Maybe, in defense, some here enjoy the pretty girl and boy news at KGO. But there is more important news. A "fast track" sale of CBS Radio to Cumulus is on the front burner as we speak. Why isn't KGO Radio doing better? No need. If the scenario with the Dickeys and CBS come through, maybe by year's end nationwide, Cumulus will dump KGO 810 and 560 KSFO for KCBS, KFRC-FM, keeping KNBR and selling others in the need to upgrade some FM's, some which will not escape the chopper's block. Other markets, too. Can one imagine Cumulus ultimately buying and owning WABC, WCBS, WINS, WPLJ, Nash FM, and more in New York? WPHT, KYW in Philly, as well as WOGL-FM? Don't look past the though. Chicago's WBBM AM/FM to go with Cumulus WLS-AM/FM, WLUP and more? LA's KABC, KNX, KWWV, KRTH-101 FM? Keep ears open. It's already on the burners of Cumulus and CBS. Incidentally, Cumlus stock dropped to $1.52, down 6 cents today.

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  11. Did not they try this with Alan Wong already? Brought in as an ethnic face for the weekends now covering whatever comes along at 11PM

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  12. Waaaah! WHAAAAAHH!
    Listen to the ugly KGO crybabies flippin out because good-looking people are getting hired! WAAAAHHHH!

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    1. I think Katie Marzullo is hot and they dump her for what?

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  13. The sad truth of it is, all of those upset about the "hot" new hires, were probably "hot" new hires themselves at one point and didn't shed many tears for those they displaced.

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  14. Natasha Zouves is gorgeous. It's about time that the Bay Area gets a good-looking anchor. We've been saddled with too many ugly sows for much too long. Now I'll watch KGO every time she is on.

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    1. @1:26 Is that a statement via the Natasha Zouves fan club? A close friend? a relative?

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  15. 2:27, just someone who is tired of looking at ugly sows like Pam Moore and the rest of the Bay Area female lineup. You can't deny she is by far the best looking female anchor the Bay Area has ever had. There is nothing like a Hot Latina, of course they make the white and black girls angry since they fall so short in the beauty and sexual attraction department.

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  16. @4:06
    Gawd, are you that ignorant? Zouves isn't Latina.

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  17. Katie is attractive and more than competent. I'll bet that she will go the way of Cecilia Vega and Carolyn Johnson. Definitely our loss, no matter what.

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  18. Reading all these comments, it's just full of stupid people.

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  19. It's the first time I've seen her ! She's great ! Sure beats Cheryl Jennings !

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  20. You ignorant people have NO CLUE what you're getting with Reggie Aqui. Please, make it really, really difficult for him in SF -so WE CAN HAVE HIM BACK in the Portland market. Yup, he's good looking for sure, but more importantly, he brings personality and journalistic skills in a big package to your viewing area. He's been gone from Portland one day, and the void already hurts. We wish him well, but miss him like Hell.

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  21. Is Reggie Aqui even there? I've never seen him, that I can recall - not a fan of 'pretty' boys. I prefer men. Natasha - her voice is strangely hypnotic. So are her eyes, and her pertly cocked head.

    Maybe KGO should bring on Christina Loren. I miss her amazing boobs coming at me as she moves from one side of the map to the other.

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  22. Come back to Portland, Reggie. We love you and more than that, we appreciate you xx

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