Thursday, July 6, 2017

Secret CBS Meeting on 'Under-Performing' KPIX; Details Revealed; Bastida, Martin, De La Cruz under Scrutiny; ND Rosenheim Too; Meanwhile, KPIX Still Has Crummy Ratings; 415 Media Exclusive

Image result for KPIX-TV Building SF LAST MONTH I TOLD YOU a secret, high-level staff from CBS held a very private meeting in the city --so secret even many Pixers didn't know about it--that took a look at KPIX and wonder why its Bay Area O and O was "underperforming."

The group of higher-up execs from Black Rock haven't made an official report to CBS but they did come back with a mission.

According to sources close to the situation, the execs were given orders from NY to take account of "all the money people there (KPIX) and make some notes."

Translation: CBS wants to see the people "making over 250 Grand" what they do and if they're worth it. Keep in mind KPIX makes a lot of money for its corporate ownerbut that's not the issue.

As I reported back in June, the eye network views PIX as an entity that should be performing better and returning even more profit then it already is. This is not such an uncommon occurrence only the network seems to be saying it is anything but pleased with its Bay Area station.

Image result for veronica de la cruz
Veronica De La Cruz
Well, we could go on and on all day. The "big-money" earners (or at least what's considered big in 2017) should pause and consider. They aren't necessarily going to be given the heave-ho but they also should know that Black Rock is taking a long and hard look.

KPIX is disaster central in the morning --even KRON beats them quite a lot (good lord) --the problem is the morning isn't the only time slot (KTVU kills everyone in the AM); PIX is getting murdered in the early evening and at night too. Oh, Noon is bad too but nobody really watches noon newscasts anymore other than bored housewives in Marin.

Let's take a look at some of the breadwinners at PIX and their position:

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Ken Bastida
Ken Bastida, from several station observers, is "mailing it in"--Bastida makes anywhere from $300 to $500G and is a two-decade veteran. I doubt even if he was considered to be moveable he'd be screwed with; like many others, Bastida has a contract and seems to be safe. But contracts can be bought out --even lucrative ones like Bastida possesses. Furthermore, Bastida's critics (from the station) think he's "stealing money" and that he's nothing more than a "lightweight"--their words, not mine.

Allen Martin? Oh dear god is he still there?

Veronica De La Cruz came to town to create some much-needed buzz but VDLC hasn't moved any needle and her presence on any given newscast hasn't translated to better ratings. After three years here, she's quite frankly a major dud. Her $350G salary could buy a lot of furniture in NY.

Elizabeth CookElizabeth Cook has gradually improved as an anchor; she doesn't flub her lines as much and works well with Alan Martin even though he detests her which is funny since Martin isn't exactly Billy Sunshine and makes north of $300G. In addition, unlike Cook, Martin doesn't have an influential father working in the TV Broadcast biz.

Here's another news figure that NY is taking a look at. News Director Dan Rosenheim makes a ton  of money (about $300G, estimated) --he's a veteran at PIX (over 15 years) but his hires have brought some curious reactions at both the station and the network. He seems to have an Hawaiian fetish too.

Changes haven't worked. Caused static? Yep.

Rosenheim has been dogged lately by his penchant to manage the TV operation like as if he was back in the newspaper business. That doesn't work well in today's simpleton environment.

Image result for Allen Martin KPIXDano would seem to me to be on a hit list --again, PIX's numbers are bleak and that's pretty much on him but he does have seniority so he could be salvaged for another year unless PIX gets to Titanic numbers and they could.

The problem(s) with KPIX are too numerous to tell. They have issues all over the map and they seem oblivious to the task at hand.

The idea that they are perceived as "under-performing" by the network is no major shock to me because I've written as much; it's pretty evident.

KPIX needs an IDENTITY --they don't have one. They don't even have a face of the station and Bastida's aloofness doesn't help and his goofy facial gestures at 11 PM are downright embarrassing. Maybe his time has passed. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see those diminishing returns.

Martin is clueless and makes a lot of money; almost as much as Bastida but at least Bastida smiles every now and then.

You know it's a hopeless cause when the weatherman is the star of the show.

Here's my prediction: I think at least one or two "major" anchors are goners. Not right away but that meeting that sent a group of people out to 855 Battery wasn't intended for dinners at Bix and sourdough bread samples at the Old Ship.

Remember, even mass profitable CBS wants blood every now and then and KPIX is both a convenient and reasonable target. Watch and listen, everyone.



  1. > Bastida's critics (from the station) think he's "stealing money"
    > and that he's nothing more than a "lightweight"--their words, not mine.

    They're right.

    I've never worked with him, but how anyone can't see what a featherbrain he is just by his on-air ad-libbing is beyond me. He doesn't get half the news he's reading, he can't work without a prompter, and in an era when white, male, balding, graying men are being laid off left and right in favor of Latina and Asian women half his age (at one-quarter his salary), I don't understand why he's still "safe."

  2. VDLC is obnoxious.

  3. Deputy Loberg in Santa RosaJuly 6, 2017 at 2:18 PM

    Lezz Cook needs to hang out with Michelle Meow, The Boy Wonder and put Gavin Cobblepot in Fucken Jail!!

  4. The big wake-up call for CBS (and KGO and NBC) was Fox 2's expansion of their 10 p.m. news to 11:30, which clobbered them at 11 p.m. in the May sweeps. For PIX, it illustrated just how weak their 11 p.m. show had become. PIX obviously needs an infusion of new talent and Bastida and Martin need to be shown the door. They're just not bringing any more eyeballs to Channel 5. Hackney could probably replace Bastida and they'd be OK. That wouldn't be my first move, but it shows you how weak they are.

  5. Phil Matier on Sunday morning is the only reason to watch Pix news ever.

  6. After watching Michelle Griego and Ann Makovec following the shooting at UPS, I hope they are the first two fired.

  7. KPIX still exists in call letters only. Nobody watches their news anymore and with good reason. Fire everyone!

  8. Pay whatever it takes and bring back Marla Tellez to the Bay Area.

    1. Wonder if she would want to go back to PIX?

    2. My contacts down in LA tell me is is loving life in SoCal/is "all in" on livin' the LA lifestyle...and is probably looking to get into the Hollywood/entertainment scene.

      She ain't coming back.

  9. It's too bad that the execs who are ultimately responsible for what happens at these stations never seem to be held accountable the way the 'talent' is.

  10. How is it that Bruno Cohen couldn't make it work when he was GM? He was part of the team that helped them dethrone our recently departed Van as king of the airwaves. He also kept KOVR humming along fairly well, and that station was a trainwreck for decades until it became an O&O.

    1. This is the question. Why did he change so little this time around?

      What KPIX did to KGO in the early 80s is incredible.

  11. Bastida is "mailing it in". He doesn't seem to care about the news and has appeared to be ready to retire for quite some time now. Agree he's not good at ad-libbing.

    I like Martin and Hackney but I can see where the latter may be offputting to many due to his erudite remarks.

    VLDC needs getting used to and I don't know what market would warm up to her. Cook has gotten better and will eventually leave, probably back to SoCal.

  12. As the "Agent" to all these idiots I would say this...

    If people don't watch, it's because KPIX wont spend money on proper news gathering... and PROPER PROMOTION.
    Don't blame the hacks (lemming love them) on the's the suits fault.
    Start with lazy Dan.

  13. Brian Hackney can go anytime. Then don't have to hear about Thanks giving with Mother? Good god.

    1. Or hear him say "stratus quo" again. That was cute once or twice, about 7 years ago.

  14. Dano should have been canned long ago for all the stupid decisions he's made in the last two years!

  15. This is one where they should look at management as well. TV stations love to have a million middle managers telling everyone else what to do. If KPIX is in this rough a shape, then you look at the department head and the people behind the scenes running the shows too. Poor on air hiring decisions are bad, but hiring the wrong people who put the shows together is nearly on the same level.

    I used to love channel 2 because you could tell how polished and superior the product was. They had great people in Dennis Richmond and Elaine Corrall delivering the news with reporters like Rita Williams and Lloyd LaCuesta telling the stories. The newscast was more than just about telling you what you should know, it went deeper than that gave you the reason. No one around here does it anymore. I am guessing it is because partly due to those in charge who have likely failed their way up the management ladder, and owners that do not want to pay for experience. Because hey, anyone can write a story and put it on TV, right?

  16. For Veronica high salary, she really needs that money to raise a child on her own. Google her story for more detail.

    1. VDLC has been considered a disappointment in this market. There are other, more suitable, anchors who also really need money to raise their children.

  17. Can't believe Bastida is 3 years from matching McElhatton's longevity on PIX (1977-2000 on the air). But if CBS & PIX agree that Rosenheim should have been removed ages ago, who knows if near-retirement Ken may not "mail it in", and instead actually raises his game some. I think the DR-KB combo is becoming combustible. Yes, VDLC is a dud. Don't know what they're going to do with Martin & Hackney. Or the weekday Morning team.

    1. If VLDC was making an impact she would have been back in New York by now. Liz is just biding her time until Daddy can get her an LA anchor chair. Griego and Martin exist because somebody has to sit there. Normally you would think blow the whole crew out and start over but how many Hawaii anchors can PIX get?