Monday, May 7, 2018

Chaos at Bay Area Media Outlets; TV Station Dysfunction; KTVU and KGO Lead The Pack; 'PIX Too; NBC Bay Area Relative Calm, Raj Mathai Cool; Aguirre Class, But Wang Scares Me

Related image THERE IS CHAOS AT BAY AREA MEDIA OUTLETS; TV, the primary player; the guys in the captain's seat will tell you everything is warm and fuzzy; the truth is a combination of inept direction (or lack thereof) and questionable personnel moves has created mass disillusionment at some once-serene outposts.

Related imageKGO-TV: the Mike Shumann firing is the latest setback to hit the ABC station in town with a number of newsroom veteran staffers; production people; editors; producers; even a few anchor people annoyed and angered at the Warriors' organization and players who wanted Shumann's head after the sports anchor was seen taking a jacket from a team security employee; the staffers (from Circle7 sources) don't condone Shumann's action but were angered that the 20plus-year veteran wasn't given the benefit of the doubt and was hastily shown the door.

The Shumann affair is but many issues that confront the KGO newsroom at 900 Front. There's still ongoing friction between ND, Tracey Watkowski-Silva and a staff still loathing her confrontational tactics. The new GM is respected but is just finding his way around the newsroom. Many longtime employees can't wait for retirement. Senior anchors like Eric Thomas are longing for a buyout proposal from management. There's a rumor that Carolyn Tyler will split in a couple months and vacate the premises. Dan Ashley has an upcoming contract renewal that most industry people say will happen because KGO needs Ashley to stick around and hold the place together. Here's a tip to the new GM: start the negotiations immediately.

Image result for KTVU Fox 2 Oakland*KTVU: Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

The Fox O and O has heady numbers; Sweeps were particular decent this early May but the morale couldn't be any more bad than it is at Jack London Square. The mood is dire and dreadful. People that should be happy hate coming to work. Anchors are splitting in droves; case in point, Ken Wayne. Wayne's exit was accelerated by his working without a contract for over a month; an action that Fox indicated he would not be missed and they would not pay him the 300Grand he was making in his old deal. Wayne was so desperate to leave he took a gig at KRON. Wayne's departure won't be the last. A number of anchors have contracts that are up soon. KTVU has reporter issues too. There also seems to be upheaval over the 54 cameras in and around the station. Plus, a prominent anchor's alleged infidelity has caused uneasiness and fostered gossip in the break room. The Firm is beset with drama.

Image result for kpix 5 news anchors
Ken Bastida (left) Veronica De La Cruz and Paul Deanno
KPIX: Anchor roulette, a new reporter seemingly every day; what's going on at 855 Battery? Chaos. A controlled chaos because they still make money for CBS but PIX has issues galore. A Morning Show that has ZERO direction. An anchor diva, Michelle Griego, who seems to want to become the femme fatale and stab everyone in the back. She has the backing of management, for now, but her rule of force has made the morning crew weary of her behavior. Griego seems intent on becoming the defacto Mistress of the AM; "stay away and get off my set!" has become her ruling mantra.

In the evening, it's no better. Constant anchor tinkering. Nobody is set. And now a rumor that Ken Bastida is all but gone come the end of the year. Bastida used to be the face of the station but his glamor boy image has been sullied and he's ripe for leaving. Plus, CBS isn't inclined to pay an ageing veteran over $500K a year to poorly ad-lib. One has to wonder: how does ND, Dan Rosenheim keep his gig? I've been wondering that for years. I'll say this for Rosenheim: his Guinness taste I'll second. We agree on something. Cheers for that, Dano.

Image result for kron 4 news san franciscoKRON: You might think Wayne's arrival (he starts tonight) would put some life into hopeless KRON and you'd be wrong...because KRON still has lousy sound; still has horrible mismanagement and is still ruled by a ruthless dictator, Aaron Pero. Until Pero leaves, KRON has ho hope. They still look like shit; still have amateurish product display; still have massive personnel issues; MORE CHAOS. Wayne took the KRON gig because he wanted to remain in the Bay Area and was willing to take a 50% pay cut. He was making $300G at KTVU--he's getting about $150G at KRON. So he may have to put off that plan on buying a small airplane on sale at Costco.

Image result for nbc bay area anchorsKNTV (NBC Bay Area) Generally speaking, no chaos here but the honeymoon period is over for the ND diva who has a penchant for high heels and Giants' games. Her reign of maintaining control over the San Jose NBC O and O seems to be keeping the status quo. Raj Mathai is cool, calm and collected. Jess Aguirre is freaking out because she's got a short term lease; I would say KEEP JESS and put a kaboom on Janelle Wang; she suddenly scares me.

I have reasons why coming soon to readers near and distant.

28 comments:

  1. The Schuman story just shows how much of an enabler some people can be....hint,hint.

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  2. Tough shit about Shumann. He is a grown-ass man in his 60s. He should have known better than to have taken that jacket. And if he wanted a jacket, why didn't he approach someone in the W's front office and ask for one And let's cut to the chase- the real reason the W's players complained about him is because he is an arrogant jerk very few people like (or respect). And the W's players aren't the only Bay Area professional athletes who do not like Shumann. Over the years he has rubbed a few Giants, A's, Sharks, Niners and Raiders players the wrong way as well.

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    1. Oh, my heavens. One mustn't ever rub professional athletes (manchildren) the wrong way. Egad! My stars!
      *clutches pearls*

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    2. @ 2:11 PM: 'Oh, heavens to Betsy, SPORTS discussion! EW, how droll...'

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    3. Let's not forget your idols went to school on a sports scholarships.

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  3. The thick KGO apologists seem to have trouble accepting that it was one of THEIRS who caused the upheaval, not the Warriors organization. Being “annoyed” and “angered” makes the apologists look as stupid as the one who took off with the guard's jacket.

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  4. Watched both Channel 2 and Channel 5 news at the gym..Channel 5 started out with the strike at UCSF; Channel 2 started out with a car that had driven into a house in Fremont; then moved to an ambulance accident in San Lorenzo, then UCSF strike. Not sure what this means but it was interesting.

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    1. It means the news director at KPIX is a clueless moron.

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    2. If they bandage people who bleed, they lead.

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  5. Rich, you buried the lead! A prominent KTVU anchor's alleged infidelity! Who is it? Was it with another staffer? Or was it with an intern? Is this a Matt Lauer/Charlie Rose sort of thing? Tell us more!

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  6. Schumann and the "Jacket" sounds like a Seinfeld episode.

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  7. - KGO: If the new GM wants to re-up Ashley, Trixie MUST GO! Especially if Iger and other Disney/ABC NY-LA execs want her gone, regardless of costs, not to mention if prominent Circle7 voices like Finney feel the same way. As for Shumann, the KGO staff may want to dig deeper both into the Warriors' feelings, and whether he has a dark side off camera. Plus, I haven't seen any 49er alumni respond on social media - might the silence speak volumes about how ex-teammates feel the same way current athletes do?
    - KTVU: Sad that the East Bay's only major TV station can't match morale with their successful ratings. As long as FOX continues to act like The Firm, Gregg Kelly stays, and East Bay viewers don't step up and confront the FOX network about tearing the station and to an extent, community apart, this station will eventually see its ratings slip and uproar all over Oakland get louder. The infidelity rumors don't help.
    - KPIX: If CBS HQ want Rosenheim gone regardless of contractual issues, what is stopping them? It would improve the station greatly. As long as the big network continues to show great prime time entertainment like Big Bang Theory, the NCISes, Five-O, and its reality shows, PIX's ratings will never slip too low. That said, if CBS HQ wants vast improvement within the PIX newsroom, they must make all the necessary changes it takes to raise the station to its highest level, starting with removing Rosenheim, then any staff members who deliberately stir up dissension. If fellow readers of Rich's blog can confirm what Griego really is doing, then that is a shame, because one would think most journalists would know better than to be so divisive. Common sense still doesn't exist at TV stations as far as working together goes.
    - KRON: As long as station management has no clue, Pero is still there, and the Bentley continues to enable anything he wants, even Ken Wayne can't save this station.
    - KNTV: Please don't say that all TV NDs have reached high ego levels. There needs to be some changes, and no community, even San Jose's Little Saigon, should interfere with improving the station. (Hint: Thinking about the reporter who embarrassed herself, the station, and a well-respected high school with her poor journalism act.) If reporters are substandard, get them out of there!
    - RL: If you have big bucks, and you want Rich's blog to continue, please help! Low budget readers appreciate it, too!

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  8. What's up with Janelle Wang? She scares you? Janelle with the 50,000 watt smile and the Asian good looks? I happen to like her. She reads just fine, has nice interaction with Raj and Jeff and for those of us who don't mind a little eye candy with our news, Janelle fits the bill.

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  9. Listen, I am no Shumann fan but I find the Warriors players' reaction more disturbing than the actual incident.

    These idiot players turn around and make it a race issue. WTF? If these players had any class they would just STFU instead of asking for the guy's head and effectively ending his 25 year career over a relatively minor incident.

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    1. I agree. Very childish reaction, but what else would you expect?

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    2. @1:59
      "...but what else would you expect?"

      They--and others--would "expect" theft not to be condoned. Painting Shu as a victim is as laughable as 6:05's post. Shu effectively ended his own career and has no one to blame but himself.

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  10. 6:05pm: Sorry I guess they just aren’t going to “shut up and dribble”. In any case, it appears Mr. Schumann must have burned one too many bridges with a wide variety of people, since you and Rich seem to be the only ones coming to his defense.

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    1. I am not defending Shumann. I am saying that if the guy has a history, the players should just come out and say it. Dont beat around the bush. Dont make it a race issue. Ridiculous.Spill the dirt on him.They know him. He has been in the locker room for 20 years.

      If all we officially have is this one incident it needs to be weighed against his 25 year otherwise spotless career.

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    2. Blacks make EVERYTHING a race issue. It's the only card they can play.

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    3. @9:13
      Stop your whimpering. And try reading this string from the beginning. You'll then realize it's obviously about more than the jacket. As someone here alluded, the silence among others in the industry speaks volumes.

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  11. Great reporting today Rich. Your blog post was awesome. Please don't forget to comment on local redio too. Keep up the good work.

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  12. 5:07: The references to the "community" (East Bay and San Jose) are quaint. KTVU and KNTV don't worry about where their buildings sit...it's about getting as big a piece of the 7 million people who live throughout the Bay Area as possible.

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  13. There's also KAOS at Bay Area stations. They need CONTROL.

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    1. They've got 99 problems, but a volcano ain't one?

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  14. They missed it by THAT much!

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  15. Really disappointed to find that the Warriors are dictating personnel matters at a local media outlet. Certainly doesn't say much for the objectivity of KGO news gathering.

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    1. Wouldn't say "dictating" but there's politics in EVERYTHING. And there *is* no objectivity (or integrity) in news gathering anywhere. If you worked in the business for ten minutes that'd be the first thing you learned.

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  16. I worked at KGO when Adrouney was there and don't remember the heels, and I definitely would. I do remember a crude, somewhat unrefined, calculating careerist who loved her BMW and would throw coworkers under the bus to get ahead, and it worked, obviously. But heels? Hmph, when did that start, I wonder.

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