Sunday, August 30, 2015
KTVU's '10 O'Clock News' Is Still King In The Bay Area But Needs Fine Tuning
It's not entirely fair to state that the "10 O'clock News" is officially off the "must watch" TV News list in the Bay Area. After all, time has passed and the characters are all radically different. Then again, KTVU; its entire makeup and brand dissolved by owner, Fox, has fractured one of the best news programs in the country. It's not a disaster, thankfully, but it needs revision.
Frank Somerville is still anchoring, as is Julie Haener, and the show is still the best newscast, by far, in the Bay Area, but several startling and noticeable changes have taken place (mostly, Fox-driven)
The biggest change is the talk-back between anchor and reporter. It's not that radical and in fact, it is welcome for a legitimate breaking news event. But when it comes at a simple news story it seems mostly contrived and forced, awkward at best.
Then there's the teases. A whole bunch of teases. Too many teases in my book, particularly the weather teases. First of all, it makes Bill Martin look bad. One night I counted a whopping five, (5!) weather teases. Worse, there was no significant weather event to justify five teases. It's insulting to the viewer and only interrupts the pace of the newscast. Seems sort of common sense to me.
Then there's the new graphics --courtesy of Fox. Some graphics look fresh and crisp. Others not so much. The "AUTHORITY" graphic comes off as gimmicky and goofy. Better yet, I still don't understand the premise. Authority what? If it's there just for enhancement it doesn't work. It looks ridiculous.
Furthermore, it gives the impression that that the subject matter deserves your (the viewer) utmost attention. Really? No, not traffic nor weather unless there's a big accident or a massive flood, for instance. Otherwise, AUTHORITY needs to be 86ed.
Another thing. There way, way too many stories on the 10' O'clock News. I'd rather see more emphasis on a big story rather than a slew of stories, some of which don't merit airing. I don't particularly care about a new supermarket in Novato--maybe marketing does but not the average Bay Area viewer.
I'm also mystified by the dramatic extra weather reports--why? It's especially annoying when there's no weather to report to begin with. If anything, Martin should be sent on assignment to report on, say, all the talk about the upcoming El Nino winter which the experts predict could be a deluge from Fall to Spring. That's weather.
Overall, KTVU, (Fox2) still puts out a pretty decent 10 PM newscast. They own 10. And when you consider the dud at KPIX opposite it, 10 PM on 2 is still a significantly superior program. It just needs to work out the kinks and tweak some of the elements.
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