What is about Dan Ashley that I like? Well, for one, consistency. Ashley is just that and then some --one of the reasons why he's been at KGO-TV (ABC7) for almost three decades.
That says a lot.
Ashley comes across as the proverbial anchor's anchor--let me explain: he's almost robotically too good but it's that very reason (among others) that I like watching him deliver the news.
He's got a knack for being the best when the story deserves seriousness and not looking and sounding impish and sappy just for the sake of such. He knows how to move it up a notch without coming across as insincere and he can tone it down and add the proper levity when the situation merits.
After the recent Lake County fires, a reporter filed the usual MOS interview with a woman who lost her house and was obviously distraught and in anguish. When the report ended Ashley paused several seconds--several, in TV time--and shook his head and was obviously touched. It wasn't at all disingenuous --you could see and feel Ashley's emotions and that doesn't happen a lot in TV News, let alone local TV News.
Ashley is also steady and calm, about as cool and collected as can be. Frequently, we look to our news anchors to set the tone and align the proper context for the story on the screen. That's why we take them into our evening routine and make them a part of our family. We do want to trust them.
Ashley can work the rope quickly and suddenly without having to go all technical-gizmo and stick to the basics. The San Bruno pipeline disaster was in full graphic overload when Ashley quizzed a PG&E official about what had happened. We all didn't know the specifics at the time but Ashely refused to take a blank answer and wanted more specifics. It was good, reliable TV journalism and it struck a chord with this observer.
Ashley is the best TV News anchor in the Bay Area. Hands down.
*John Rothmann's political tour de force has been featured on KGO Radio (7-10 PM) this week with a return to entertaining and provocative radio on 810 AM. Great insight, great callers, (for a change), excellent guests and analysis. What a treat. And kudos to the KGO suits for getting him on during this crazy election.
*This might surprise you but at KPIX I've grown on weatherman, Paul Deanno who is smart as a whip and delivers no-nonsense forecasts devoid of sappiness --it's a fresh, compact style that is appreciated and respected.
Deanno isn't spectacular and he doesn't have to be--his style of breaking down the weather trends and so called, "Bay Area micro-climates", is good enough for me.
*The hands-down winner for obnoxious radio ads --they never stop and are harmful to hear: the ubiquitous and awful, "DINOVITE" ads. Even the dogs and cats can't stand these pathetic sounders.
*Jack Swanson and I have had disagreement over the choice for some of the new KCBS reporters but Swanson is to be congratulated for keeping the all-news 24/7 station at its core: 24/7 news and information --consistent sports and traffic reports and the best option for breaking news when listeners need it the most.
*Normally, I'm not to keen on reporters who come off as overly warm and fuzzy--they reek of insincerity but ABC 7's Amy Hollyfield is the exception. Watch her reports: Hollyfield is as tough as nails in the field and her live packages are some of the most informative I've seen in this market.
*Then again there's KTVU's Jana Katsuyama: for some reason the Foxies think she's the star to present the opening segment on "10 O'clock News." I can't watch, never have warmed to Katsuyama but I guess it's all personal taster.
*Ben Fong-Torres thinks it's 1978 again and that Rolling Stone has influence.
Someone had to say it.
*A diamond in the rough: KRON edgy street reporter, Charles Clifford.
*KTVU has 4 sports anchors. 4! Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal but when you take into account Fox's on-going intention to be more lean and mean (read: cuts) it puzzles you.
By the way, some reporters at KTVU are making far less than you might imagine. The good old days are gonno.
*Overexposed, not-funny, and about as inquisitive as a worn-out 1976 Highlites book in the dentist's office: KGO's oatmeal-infested, uber-bore, Chip Franklin.
Franklin is about as entertaining as used boat shoes.
*The painful thing about KNBR and its all-Giants content becomes all the more embarrassing when they have to play "Giants Replay" when the team has one of its more galling losses.
This all, courtesy of Larry Baer, the president of the Lee Hammer Society, who really runs KNBR .
I want to live a little longer so I'm not going to go into Baer on a 1000-word essay but let's just say it would be sort of interesting if you know what I mean and I think you do.
It would be nice if the Chronicle, say, did an investigative piece on Mr. Baer and some of his peccadillos but that would require good, solid reporting --you know, like a real newspaper?
*If KQED continues to morph into routinely blowing off in-house tech personnel pissed off at all the gross incompetence with mangers then don't be surprised if there's a strike.
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