Monday, January 7, 2013

Why Chapuis Got the Boot at KTVU; ND Out at Channel 2

Why Ed Chapuis is OUT at KTVU--

(Although I broke the story first).

*Increasing concern with staff morale and its contribution to KTVU's lack of ratings success in the early evening news blocks, notably the 5 and 6 PM shows. KTVU' s dominant constant, the vaunted "10 O'Clock News" is and will always be the station's bread winner, but early evening counts too and when you're getting killed, on occasion, by the likes of KNTV, (NBC Bay Area), and KRON, (although KRON has improved its coverage immeasurably), bad things tend to happen. Management went straight at Chapuis who ultimately took the fall.

*Chapuis, known by some in the industry, sarcastically, as, "Special Ed", wasn't so special even to the most tenured people at the station, anchors, reporters, and editors and writers alike. On several occasions, according to a well-placed station source, he'd call a staffer into his office and offer harsh critiques. That's not particularly unique, but when the staffer is a thirty-year-plus anchor, people don't soon forget and word gets around.

*Chapuis is ultimately gone, however, due to the poor KTVU numbers in the evening. He didn't help himself with his prickly behavior, however; a more well-liked ND might have bought himself, (or herself), more time. A source, who worked with Chapuis, when told of his firing, offered back a stern "karma" text. No, he really wasn't liked.

Then again, with a solid resume and a nearly decade-long reign at one of the most celebrated and respected TV stations in the market, expect Chapuis to land on his feet. Somewhere.

*Follow me on Twitter


  1. KTVU was not just a local powerhouse, it was a one of the most respected newsrooms in the nation.

    There is an old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Ed, or "Special Ed" as he was mockingly known, arrived in 2003, but did not heed the aforementioned advice. Shows were reformatted, and seasoned veterans were sent packing. It was all about high "story counts" and shorter stories, with changes dictated from the home office in Atlanta, and the consultants that pulled his puppet strings. Sensationalism, over facts and compassion, became the norm.

    Mind you, when he arrived, the 10 O'Clock News was one of the most dominant local newscasts (and most profitable) in the nation. The morning news block was also number one by a staggering margin. It wasn't even close. The afternoon news was new territory, and a competitive challenge back then, as it is now.

    So, "Special Ed" had the distinction of "landing on third base, and believing he hit a triple!" And he had the arrogance of that attitude! Putting one's name on Emmy nominations, without having done any of the work is like the peanut vendor in Candlestick Park demanding a Super Bowl ring because he was there in the 49er's heyday. Give us a break!

    He contributed NOTHING, but caused a lot of needless consternation and heartache among the ranks over the years. The tirades and bullying you have written about, Rich, hit the bulls-eye. He was neither a good news director, nor a decent man. He was carpetbagger, living off the good reputations and achievements of others.

    He now has the distinction of being canned from two reputable newsrooms, KCRA and KTVU. If you truly have talent and are a quality person, you can have those jobs for life.

    I'm sure his friends at the consulting firm of Frank Magid and Associates will give him a job. Their offices are full of failed news directors and wannabe journalists.

    An old phase about another profession - applied to journalism - rings true: "Those who can, do; those who can't, become consultants!"

    Good riddance! And don't let the door hit you on the way out!

  2. I don't know much about this Chapuis guy; I'm usually sleepy-sleep when the 10 news comes on. But I am heartened that Julie Haener took my advice about flexing her buttcheeks for emphasis. Now I don't have to bobble my head up and down to get my news fix.

  3. Hopefully Dave Clark is next.

  4. I was watching the Channel 2 News at 10 today. There seemed to be smiles all around.

  5. @6.21 Had no idea Frank Magid & Associates were still around. I heard a story about them back in the 70s when they were consulting a San Diego TV station. A couple of their consultants were at the station and talking with the station's weather guy and news director. They were giving the weather guy a ration of grief about his on-air schtick. The weather guy looked at them and said "Oh maggots! They live at the bottom of the garbage can, don't they?" They then left in a huff and the weather guy looked at the news director and said, "Did I say the wrong thing?"

  6. Maybe Ed chapuis could go to be the ND at KCRA Channel 3 in Sacramento.

  7. Haters hate. It's what they do.

  8. What goes around, comes around! Sweet justice!

  9. Dear News Room:
    If you want me to watch - tell me the story. Once. Dont direct me to your website. Dont tell me to watch a later broadcast for more information. Tell me the story. Yes, its ok if the story takes more than 90 seconds. You can take up to four if thats what it takes. Just tell me whats happened and why, in one attempt.

  10. Agree with 8:47 pm. In this day and age of attention deficeit, so many news stories are way too tight and don't give you enough information on the nightly local TV news shows. That's why I rarely watch local news on TV anymore. I get more than enough info from the newspapers or the radio. TV is mostly just a bunch of short, slickly packaged stories that are less substance and more nonsense.

    There are some good reporters and anchors, but the things they end up having to cover: sordid daily crimes that have little significance to the community, and various other insignificant tales involving unfortunate circumstances are getting boring and repetitive. These TV stations are NOT serving the public, and I for one, refuse to waste even one minute watching their product.

  11. YAY! Special Ed is gone from Oaktown! Notice in future KTVU newscasts that the main weather segment will sound a lot more refreshing. The deep breathes you hear at Jack London Square after Special Ed was canned come from Bill Martin, who as Rich has pointed out many times, was clearly not a Special Ed fan. Plus, any other KTVU veterans who had more than enough fill are feeling great about their work. Chalk up another Vacar Victory for FOX 2!

  12. The only travesty here is that Special Ed got two weeks, while more talented qualified people had been led out of the building by a security guard and made to feel like a criminal in Cox Communications way of showing what happens if you get out of line.
    The other amazing thing is that it took 10 years for them to do this.

  13. It was the first of its kind to supply full daily news broadcasts. The company's 24-hour coverage became an immediate success and helped to launch their company from a mainly US-based platform to a world-wide sensation. It was also the first company in the US to firmly provide news coverage.Being one of the most popular sources for news in all of US history. has now gone online, and is one of the top news sites on the internet, available to subscribers world wide instantly through a web browser.
    While most of these organizations still report quality news, the internet has spawned a number of sites that comment more than report current news. Other sites have emerged to consolidate the top news. People should do some research before relying too much on a single service.

  14. This explains so much and helps we remember what became of this special news director.

    "Special Ed" worked in Las Vegas long before he worked at your station. Special Ed along with the consultants called "Magid" held a meeting one day with the entire news department. Ed informed the enthusiastic staff that KTNV-TV would no longer be covering news from the immediate Las Vegas strip. They stated nobody cares about news from the strip, and we need to cover the news ONLY form outlying areas. Some asked what about a fire on the strip, union unrest or some other big story on the strip? Special Ed stated we would take each story on a case-by-case basis.

    Just to let readers know, about 70% of Las Vegas residents work on the famous strip. Not in Henderson, Summerlin or Boulder City.

    Fast forward years later, long after special Ed had moved on, Channel 13 continues to flounder in the ratings. And guess what, were covering news on the strip again!

    The sad part of this story is not that special Ed and Magid came up with the insane idea. The sad part is that this special man will likely find another job that will allow sprinkle his special magic, on another station.