Monday, April 18, 2016

Fear and Paranoia at KTVU (Fox 2); An Environment of Intimidation and Fear; 'Pins and Needles' in Jack London Square; Star Reporters Leave; Close to Hundred Employees Gone From Graphics, Sales, On-Air Talent; 415 Media Exclusive

 IF you've ever dreaded FEAR and PARANOIA it's a good thing you don't work at KTVU --a FOX-owned station where EVERY employee --from the front desk attendant to the news interns and sales staff; reporters, editors, anchors, photographers; work in an environment of intimidation and fear. Or, as a reliable station source puts it, "pins and needles" since these guys arrived (October, 2014)

The source:

"There's no loyalty here; The parking lot is empty; Close to 100 employees gone from graphics, sales; and 'you (415 Media) have been keeping up with all the talent that is gone. Multiple photographers gone! People are scared; mortgages to pay. 'So either you kiss ass or look for other employment. Ass kissing will only buy you a small amount of time. Our newsroom is dark, dreary and just not competitive as we (KTVU) used to be."

And that's just the beginning ...we've talked here about the new talk-heavy (happy talk) frenzy that management has placed forth at Channel 2; it appears that's just a tactic, not an ounce of sincerity --said the source:

"The chit/chat purposely cuts the story count leaving less work for everyone that includes writers, editors, photographers and reporters. It's all part of their (FOX) strategy --there's no news intent, it's all BS."

Indeed, it's not a pretty picture at the station where tension and anxiety rule the day; reporters come and go. Even the most talented and renowned staffers are goners. Bottom-line decisions are commonplace in corporate TV broadcasting but not to the extent that Fox practices, particularly from a heritage station like that of KTVU, pre-October, 2014 when Fox took over from sacred Cox Communications.

A good amount of KTVU staffers, including reporters and some anchors, have always talked to me--both on and off the record; most of those people now don't communicate --even OTR.  Now I know why.

"Computers, phones are constantly looked at. There's a 'witch hunt to find who is talking to you (415 Media) Fox is king at spying. They will do anything to protect their brand."

The source went further and said the toxic environment at KTVU was having a direct affect on news reporting and that the product was beginning to erode.

"The viewers need to know better about this watered-down product. It's NOT NEWS! Gregg Kelly (GM) is a 'bully-- plays nice out front but he's the hammer head for FOX/NY. He's here to do the dirty deed along with Dana Hahn {News Director}

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34 comments:

  1. BEGINNING to erode? My wife and I recently watched both "The Four" and "The Nine" and found them both so nauseating we turned them off after 20 mins. "The Zero" might best describe both of them.

    No more KTVU in this house.

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  2. Just three more years of Baby Boomers left in the bread and butter P25-54 demo (the youngest Baby Boomer is now 52 years-old). What are NDs (and GMs) doing to attract the Gen Xers (who are between 37 and 51 years-old), let alone the Millennials (who are a larger group population-wise than the Gen Xers), who are starting to fill in the younger part of P25-54 (the oldest in this latter group is already turning 36 years-old this year)?

    The newspapers saw the problem with declining readership back in the 1980s and there was no stemming that tide no matter how hard publishers tried to attract younger readers. Were they too late with their efforts or was it just a hopeless case? Will the same happen to the local newscast? I don’t think I can take anymore kitty cats being rescued stories.

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    1. Radio careers and newspaper careers are now ranked lowest in this evaluation:

      http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/newspaper-reporter-listed-the-worst-job-again-says-report-1396462

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    2. Just a bit curious: are the years for the age regions as follows- Baby Boomers January 1 1946 to December 31 1964; Generation X January 1 1965 to December 31 1979; here I'm not sure what is next, Jan 1 1980 to Dec 31 1989? -Tweeners? Then is it Millennials Jan 1 1990 through to ? Can someone help with these dates?

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    3. The only dates I know about are the Boomers, and what you've indicated are the ones I've heard.

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  3. Fox has totally corrupted Sal Casteneda. Now that he's making more money he has developed a license to constantly screw up on the air. He used to be a real professional. It's embarrassing for the viewer. I guess Fox really likes him.

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    Replies
    1. If screw ups were a crime, Sal would be doing life.

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  4. Ya can't have your cake and eat it to,there was a reason the kids liked romper room. There's nothing wrong with attempting to attract younger viewers but at the risk of content?? Perhaps all the giggles and hair flipping is just a way to not hurt feelings and soft stories as we all know have no sharp edges. As for myself...im still looking down every rabbit hole for that illusive investigative reporting that was the staple of yester year. Wish me luck.

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  5. What a shame. KTVU sucks. So does KRON, KPIX and NBC-11.

    KGO should also be on the list, but their 9 pm newscast is probably the best of the lot. It's just the news, no goofy grins, pirate talk or other self-serving bullshit.

    If I want news, I'll look at nytimes.com and whatever local dreck the Chronicle has -- only because I live in the Bay Area and need to know the local stuff.

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  6. KTVU... a TV station in total disarray.

    So I was channel surfing this morning and happened upon that disaster of a KTVU show at 9am...at just the right time.

    They started to read viewer tweets from their smartphones and Alex Savidge began first, rattling off a comment. Up next it's Gasia reading something. And then you would think Sal would be able to read his tweet (he was ready for it) and he began with "I gotta..." when all of a sudden Gasia cuts him off. At the end of her sentence or phrase when there was just a little break, Sal tried to interject again with "I got...", and low and behold Gasia once again neglected and ignored Sal and began promoting either Twitter or something else (I can't totally remember because I was totally shocked and stunned by what I was watching!) When the the camera was able to come back and show Sal's face he looked sort of frustrated and a bit annoyed...and I could tell.

    Anyway, Gasia comes across as a camera hog and totally tries to dominate the show. I call this program "Brain Dead at 9 Starring the Three Stooges". Absolutely horrible show, terrible production standards -- and the background on the set features the dazzling (not) Oakland Estuary...LOL!!! Certainly there's got to be a much better visual background venue in the scenic Bay Area.

    I've seen much better shows produced at local cable TV public access channels... at least they put their hearts and souls into a product they feel passionate about.

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    Replies
    1. KTVU, formerly the station of serious journalists, has become the place of prima donna women (Haener, Holmes, McAelien), and Father Teresa Somerville.

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  7. "Computers, phones are constantly looked at. There's a 'witch hunt to find who is talking to you (415 Media) Fox is king at spying. They will do anything to protect their brand."

    This always cracks me up. Here's a thought - trying using your personal devices away from the office on your own time. Pretty simple.

    Of course, we're talking about people who saw the writing on the wall and chose to stay, both at KTVU in particular and broadcast journalism in general, so maybe I'm expecting too much in terms of them actually considering other alternatives.

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    1. "we're talking about people who saw the writing on the wall and chose to stay, both at KTVU in particular and broadcast journalism in general,"

      Indeed. I don't mean to kick someone who may be down, but blacksmiths, watch repairmen, gas station attendants, and linotype setters had plenty of warning, and the fragmenting of the TV audience has been going on for years. It isn't what it used to be and it's likely to get worse.

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    2. To be fair, you could have said the same thing about radio personnel in the 1950s when TV came into existence, yet we know the medium lasted and became very successful for decades.

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    3. Radio played to a more mobile and personal audience than TV ever could in those days. It wasn't really the same kind of comparison. Now with youtube and online TV, the playing field is more level and that, combined with tons of other competition, radio is really heading south fast.

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  8. All you sophisticated bay area types should have a protest, or a boycott, or do a petition at change.org.

    I bet that stuff would really scare FOX.
    Get busy!

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    Replies
    1. Liberals do a lot of talking but no action.

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  9. I'm spending more time tuning in to the Spanish language News outlets. I can't understand Spanish but I can usually figure out what is going on by just watching the video display.

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    Replies
    1. The KTSF 7P-8P and 10P-11P newscasts are the most well-rounded in DMA. Local, National, Global, Finance, Weather, Sports--all delivered in straightforward fashion. Cantonese at 7P and Mandarin at 10P. Like you said, you can figure out what's going on by the video if you don't know Chinese.

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    2. I have been spending more of my time watching the NHK channel. They have quality stories and documentaries, many of which are British produced. The channel is 1221 on Uverse. Try it, you'll like it.

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    3. Willie "Port Wine" BolleroApril 19, 2016 at 5:15 PM

      5:43, my TV only goes up to 13. I don't see a 1221 on my channel knob. How can I get that shit? I gotta see it.

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  10. I wanted to catch up on the news so I turned on KTVU at noon. When I saw Gasia and Kebra together I just turned the set off. Gasia for me went from a charming attractive gal to a media shrew almost overnight. Even if I try to watch KTVU News I have to turn the sound off and just look at the captioner.

    Like so many of you I have more or less given up on KTVU as a news source...

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    Replies
    1. News at Noon? Switch over to Channel 5, CBS (KPIX)

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  11. I was wondering, whose eyeball is that? I hate to take tests. Verify this, verify that! I didn't mind the verify test where I was directed to pick out the trucks, I like trucks!

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  12. On another topic, the Pulitzer Prizes for 2016 were announced today and, once again, none went to the Chronicle or Mercury News. It's remarkable how these papers, among the largest in the country, never do work that rises to the level of the Tampa Bay Times, Sarasota Herald-Tribune or Sacramento Bee, all winners this year. Neither Bay Area paper even made the list of finalists.

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  13. so that's the secret of ''happy talk''. to ''save'' on newswork , like now maybe you know why so much filler on KNBR ,to save money maybe? beat writer will be on in ''one hour'' ,but in the meantime , we Tolbert talk about your choice of underwear at the coach of the year fete.

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  14. I find myself going to the BBC for news, especially world news whenever I can, such as on Channel 9. I think it is interesting to see how other countries see us. I guess I should note that the UK seems to still have newspapers, too.

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  15. I crack up whenever I read/hear people write or say "I watch the BBC...NHK...NPR, etc. for my news." These newscasts are B-O-R-I-N-G.

    Sorry--but I don't really give a damn what's going on in Kenya, Uganda or some other African nation. I don't care about their Civil Wars or their plunging economies (which is what the BBC dedicated most of its show a few days ago). This--coupled with the follow-up ten-minute talking head segments--all without any B-roll; just straight-up talking heads) makes the BBC newscasts unwatchable.

    Same thing w/the NHK; I don't care about corruption in some obscure Japanese prefecture, or about Greenpeace protesting in some obscure fishing village.

    Our local newscasts may be garbage...but it's OUR garbage...and at least it involves things going on in our area.

    For national/network news, I just go online to the LA Times, NY Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

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  16. @ 7:46, well there you go: now we know who Fox2 is programming for: self-absorbed narcissists like "phuc" here, who will tell you flat out that they aren't tuning in to these "newscasts" for hard news. They're looking for something else, and If it doesn't reflect grandly on "us," or "me," who gives a flying "phuc" ? Don't tell me what's going on in the world and why it matters, just titillate me! Perhaps Fox knows its' "phuc"ing audience better than we thought.

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  17. 8:47
    Actually, I rarely watch local TV news, either.
    I'm sorry that I've offended you; I guess I am not as worldly as you. Perhaps I should watch Downton Abbey or NPR...so that I can become as smart and intellectual as you.

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    Replies
    1. Sadly the dumbification on this country is due to your types.

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    2. The people who claim they watch BBC or listen to NPR are liars. They come here, and the two events are mutually exclusive.

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  18. I'm shocked Mark Ibanez has kept his job or so long. He must have uncompromising photos. He's one of the laziest people in that newsroom and I should know because I used to work there before the purges started. He'll be one of the last to leave no doubt, but he'll get fired in the end. Fox has totally screwed up a once-proud TV station and the folks who are still at KTVU are walking on egg-shells, as they know more cuts are coming!

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  19. @7:46
    Interesting juxtaposition of the word "garbage" followed by publications you supposedly puruse.

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