Wednesday, December 2, 2015

'Happy Talk' Not So Happy at KTVU; Fox Plays Hard Ball With Unions; Reporters on Edge; 'Nobody is Safe'; Number One No Longer Priority; 415 Media Exclusive

 Despite all the happy talk --on and off the air--KTVU and its staff are embroiled in a standoff between new owner, FOX, and a working rank and file that are threatened by management's increasingly hostile tactics, according to my KTVU sources.

"All reporters are at risk now", said one source close to the situation in Jack London Square.

And that situation has never been more tense--why?

"The SAG-AFTRA contract has expired. Fox took over and immediately granted a year contract, why? They didn't want to mess with the talent, the pulse and amp; faces of KTVU--now, all bets are off, "said the source.

It's apparent FOX wants to destroy the unions at Channel 2.

"They cut the photographers by $10,000 and cut overtime. How do you live in the Bay Area with that type of cut? One photographer is about to lose his home and others are looking for a second job."

The current siege taking place with photographers is ongoing and now has shifted over to talent. Most notable, the senior reporters are all on high anxiety because FOX wants to cut salary and benefits --and nobody is safe, nobody. This siege mentality, mind you, is coming from the most watched, most successful TV News station in the Bay Area.

From another source:

"David Stevenson, John Fowler, Ken Pritchett, Eric Rasmussen, and Melanie Woodrow have left KTVU. Only Melanie was a technical cut by Fox. All others could not come to their cookie cutter terms and conditions. Melanie was ousted because Fox had an option in her contract to release her after a year. Why'd they cut her? Money. She was being paid too much money that was promised to her by {Lee} Rosenthal." {Former News Director}

In the case of Rasmussen and Pritchett, FOX simply low-balled contract offers. Both reporters told management to essentially go stuff it and left. As I've reported before, the reporters are not the only air talent walking on egg shells.

So, the bottom line at KTVU is the relative unease inside the building. Don't be fooled by the sappy chit-chat and the un-genuine, {mostly} back and forth between anchor and reporter--it's all business at Jack London Square and even past goals are now on the back burner.

Fox does not care about being number one in the ratings. They want to make a profit. Cheap, cheap, cheap is what they want. They don't care about the news; it's chit-chat-central with an emphasis on entertainment and sports. News be damned. And who cares about morale.

A source: "If they can get a photo from the outside circle off of Facebook or Twitter then they don't have to pay cameramen to do it--it's that simple."

Next on the agenda with SAG-AFTRA, Fox wants MMJs, {multi-media journalists who report, film their stories} This practice is becoming more common place around town (and nationally too)--will veterans like Vacar and Roth do it? Will the unions cave? Stay tuned.

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17 comments:

  1. Today's morning newscast on KGO was great. Kristen Sze was joined by Natasha Zouves and it was like seeing the movie All About Eve played out, with Sze in the Betty Davis role and Zouves in the Anne Baxter ingenue role. It was fun watching them both duke it out for center stage and out quip each other transitioning to Mike Nicco and the weather. High drama.

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  2. Good for you KTVU! That's the right attitude to take if you want to be successful.

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    1. Right, cuz it's working soooooo well.

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  3. Fuck this business. Credibility is out the door. The real losers aren't the on-air staff, but the viewers.

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  4. KTVU news crews are already being robbed and mugged with two people. Who's going to want to go out on their own?
    What Fox should do is send the news crews to security guard school so they can pack heat..
    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/News-crews-robbed-in-S-F-camera-operator-6362833.php

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  5. But the ratings are up...and the viewers have not noticed a thing since the COX/FOX trade.

    Change is bliss.

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    1. > But the ratings are up

      Cite?

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  6. "They don't care about the news" Of course they don't. Have you seen their "news network"?

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  7. Hire more Foxy ladies. More legs please!

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    1. The babes are coming! just watch their two LA stations and you will know what I mean.

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    2. More legs??? I want more cleavage!!! Much more lower cut blouses. More revealing!!!! Push it to the limit!!!

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  8. "Fox does not care about being number one in the ratings. They want to make a profit. Cheap, cheap, cheap is what they want"

    The same thing is going on with Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the Zuckerburg types with H1B visas and the American workers they replace. Sad.

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  9. AFTRA destroyed itself years ago.

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  10. No surprise,that's Ruper Murdoch's NewsCorp's ruthless mantra and they tell you on their Fake News Network.

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  11. boycott commercial sponsors. This ain't Hot lanta.

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  12. Rasmussen got hired by His old boss here in Fox Boston so he wasn't out of work very long.

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  13. The other thing I don't like about KTVU news is they always seem to take the side of the thugs (that is unless one shoots a cop) other than that being a thug assures a positive twist to the story for the thug side...

    Also their 9AM MO2 looks so cheap they are using TV trays for a set? Who cares if the traffic guy comments on a news story? Sal Concertina as I call him should stick to the metering lights...

    I'm wondering if Tore left as she saw this coming (but little was said about it) Me thinks she saw the shit hitting the fan and took a preemptive egress... I think more long time anchors will be leaving too including one who left a few years ago and was bought back with concessions. I don't think FOX appreciates her capricious schedule which is far better than any other's there?

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