SOON AFTER FOX AQUIRED KTVU I was asked by the San Jose Merc if there would be any big change of the venerable Oakland station.
I was wrong.
My feelings were based on two different entities --the editorial leanings of conservative Fox News Channel versus the straight business model of News Corporation, which owns and runs the Fox Media empire.
I told Chuck Barney:
"People should realize that Fox, the network, has nothing to do with the Fox News Channel, which is just one of the many tentacles in Rupert Murdoch's (News Corp.) company," "Initially, at least, I don't think viewers will notice any difference at all. The newscasts will look the same as they did yesterday and the day before."
A KTVU employee agreed with me:
"The reality is that we've been a Fox station for many years and yet the Fox News division has not been an intrusion on our news programming in any shape or form."
In fact, an almost entire transformation has taken place before our very eyes and ears. Not so much editorially speaking, but a definitive look and format has been instituted --some of it works, some of it doesn't.
KTVU, as I've said here many times has become FOXifed. What was once a TV News journalistic giant has quickly turned into a broadcast fortress that is nothing like its predecessor; a slight variation of "Happy Talk"; more stories; flashier graphics; a huge variation away from local news with more of an emphasis on flair and glare; Many new reporters and anchors, like this one.
Frankly, I'm still amazed how much Fox has changed KTVU and in such a short time. While the ratings are still generally good (as they were when Fox took over in October, 2014) KTVU itself is a different breed altogether --so many new reporters; so many new looks and themes; some of which hardly resembles that of a TV News operation.
Yes, they've slaughtered the brand. They (Fox) can point to the great numbers in the morning and at 10 O'clock --and they're right. But they won't tell you about a significant decrease in viewership. They will not tell you about how the product seems to have marginalized, on all platforms.
*A few days ago I told you about imminent anchor changes; it's taking place. I like some of the new additions on the anchor desk but I'm still skeptical about other off-the-air issues. It has changed the entire culture at KTVU and made for a building filled with unease and massive angst.
*BIG RUMOR: Could one of KTVU's BIGGEST star anchors be on the outs? It's someone you would never even think was touchable but think again...then again, this person's ouster would have to overcome several roadblocks. You should know more soon.
*MOVING ON TO OTHER FRONTS--
*You would think that Gary Radnich, the Sports Director of KRON (at least in theory); would attend the afternoon Steph Curry MVP Press Conference in Oakland, but as usual, Radnich was AWOL probably riding the Bentley in West Portal. Radnich has too much overhead, (he says) to care about such mundane things like Steph Curry.
*Veteran Bay Area FM personality, Jack Kulp (late of KOIT) has a new gig; he's co-hosting the new Morning Show on the new 98.1 "The Breeze." Great for Kulp, a seasoned professional and good guy too.
*So, Kenny Choi was brought in from Hawaii to take over for Frank Mallicoat who was brought in to take over for John Kessler; seems KPIX has no idea what its doing in the morning.
Haven't we been here before?
And pretty soon, Choi will be packing his bags too and they'll bring in some guy from Cleveland.
Is that any way to run a news operation? I guess the answer is yes because the knuckleheads that are responsible for this are still employed.
*So I guess if you talk about your penis every other day and blurt out bathroom humor; giggle like a little girl, you'll get hired by KNBR. Way to maintain the company morale, Justin. Keep that intuitive hiring strategy going and you'll be the next Mike McVay.
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