The in-between week --many of your favorites are off the air deciding to begin anew in 2017--we thank them for their participation and welcome them back in unity next week. As one media wonk told me, "they pulled an Anderson Cooper."
*Speaking of which, Stan Bunger: how many days off do you get? Now that's seniority!
*The biggest story of 2016 was, of course, the Oakland Ghostship Warehouse calamity --it was also that tragedy that brought forth some of the very best reporting in the local TV/Radio ranks. Much of that reporting was ad-lib direct from the scene. High scores to KTVU and in particular, Christien Kafton and Leigh Martinez. Kafton was first on the scene for 2 and elicited strong comments from the Oakland Fire chief on just how bad the fire was and that there would be, tragically, more fatalities to report. More amazing, Kafton stayed a good four hours at the scene even as the situation became more dire and drastic.
Martinez deserves an Emmy for her outstanding, unrelenting, live reporting from the Alameda County Sheriff's outpost where many of the victim's families waited and had to endure hours of waiting on the status of their loved ones. Martinez was able to set the scene; describe the horror; the futility of waiting for good news that didn't happen; all the while, Martinez used some common sense and didn't force her way, with camera, into the faces of the families.
But it was Martinez's on-air breakdown--she was doing another live shot and the tragedy of the day had taken its toll--that brought forth some riveting local TV News emotion, and provided a much-needed respite from the day's awfulness. The fire and its aftermath brought back memories of the death of Martinez's brother, a PTSD victim and Iraq veteran.
*I have ripped KTVU News quite a bit here but their reporting from the scene in Oakland; virtually cutting off ALL outside network programming and utilizing KTVU Plus demonstrated a total commitment to what was taking place in Oakland; the devastation, the totality of it all; its sheer destruction and catastrophic images from the burnt-out warehouse where 36 people lost their life.
KTVU News and its management and staff are to be commended for their coverage; both during and the aftermath of one of the worst fires in US history and the Bay Area alone.
*KCBS' Doug Sovern wondered aloud why the Chronicle's respected food critic, Michael Bauer, would highlight some SF restaurants as top notch; even restaurants that had a direct financial connection to Bauer's partner.
Sovern interviewed the NY Times food critic, Pete Wells, who said the Times wouldn't stand for that.
Sovern said both Bauer and his editor refused to comment for the story. I wonder why.
Bauer is a credible writer and fine food critic for the most part. There are some city restaurant owners that hate his guts for obvious reasons.
This story only gives the naysayers plenty of ammo that Bauer is unethical.
*PLEASE KEEP 415 MEDIA SUSTAINABLE: Please make a donation to the Bay Area's #1 read and only independent, 24/7 Media site--Click on the Pay Pal Icon on the right and make your contribution now. All contributions are 100% confidential and you don't have to have a Pay Pal account to contribute. I will personally call and/or e-mail you thanking you for your donation.