Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Condolences to the Poindexter Family...

Former KYW-TV reporter, Malcom Poindexter, died today at the age of 84. Poindexter was one of the first reporters hired for KYW newsradio's launch in 1965. He went on to the TV side two years later in 1967. Read more HERE...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Adam Joseph Misses a YouTube Moment

Saturday night's "Action News at 11" came close to being a youtube moment for weatherguy Adam Joseph.
Rob Jennings introduced Adam for his weather segment, saying he's never gotten the hiccups during a television news broadcast but that Adam was fighting them moments earlier. Joseph, who laughed and had a plastic cup of water sitting on the news desk, confessed that his hiccups are "very loud", "very frequent" and "you don't want to hear them", breaking Jennings into laughter -- saying "we'll be listening very closely Adam".
Joseph then replied "hopefully the next three minutes are smooth sailing or this may be a youtube moment if they come back".
Fortunately for Joseph, they did NOT come back and the forecast went on without missing a beat.

MORE "Good Day"...

If five hours of FOX 29's "Good Day" isn't enough for you, Sue Serio announced on tonight's FOX 29's News at Ten that beginning Monday March 29th, "Good Day" debuts a new start time of 4:30 a.m.
"Good Day" debuted April 1, 1996 as "Good Day Philadelphia", a two hour morning news/infotainment show with hosts Tracey Matisak and Don Tollefson with the "FOX Early Morning News" preceding it at 6 a.m. which was later combined into a three hours block of the "Good Day" brand. The show then expanded to a 5 a.m. start and in September 2009, expanded to five hours from 5 to 10 a.m.
Serio is the only original remaining since the show began.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Condolences To the Dennenberg Family...

Long-time consumer reporter/advocate, Herb Dennenberg, passed away March 18th at his home in Wayne/Delaware county, of an apparent heart attack. Dennenberg was 80 years old.
Dennenberg was WCAU TV's consumer reporter for more than 20 years and continued his consumer advocacy after leaving Channel 10 in 1998 by writing columns for various newspapers, including the most recent version of THE BULLETIN.
His obituary can be found HERE.

Monday, March 15, 2010

So Long to Another FOX 29'er...

Six year reporter, Robin Taylor, has been shown the door at FOX 29, unfortunately. Taylor, who was freelancing at the station since September, was recently told to pack her things and hit the door when management discovered she had irons in the fire in Pittsburgh.
For those who don't know the biz lingo, "freelancing" means you're working without a contract on an as-needed basis. Taylor had been at the station more than six years when her contract expired in September and was not renewed. They did, however, keep her services in a freelancing capacity. In need of a permanent position, Taylor pursued other opportunities and landed a Consumer Reporter position at Pittsburgh's WPXI beginning next month. Her intention was to continue freelancing until then to make a smooth transition from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. That was not meant to be, apparently.
FOX29 has done it again - - terminating another talented, competent employee. Sure does make one wonder where the head is of the powers-that-be at FOX.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Larry Mendte Article...an Interesting Read...

A friend tipped me off to an article in this month's "Philadelphia Magazine" written by former CBS 3 anchor, Larry Mendte. For any of you who have tired of local news OR just plain don't watch anymore, Larry brings to light some interesting reasons why. He also provides some changes that could be made by station managers in bringing the local newscast BACK to being -- LOCAL.
How many times have we seen a newscast lead with a story not related to Philadelphia. I'm not speaking of a big national story like earthquakes or disasters but, for example, the Kate/John Gosselin saga. FOX 29 led a newscast one night with the Gosselin saga. Why? Because it was an easy celebrity driven story that the stations think brings viewers. As Mendte points out, local newscasts have forgotten that they can position themselves as being the authority on what happens HERE, in OUR town. The national news outlets have done a good job in providing national stories and the business news outlets handle covering the business scene well on a national level. Why can't local newscasts come out of the 80's (the pre internet, IPOD era) and realize that in order to bring back the viewer you have to give a reason to tune in? It's too easy, as Mendte pointed out, to air the L.A. car chase video clip doing a voiceover that we've seen on every national newscast already. It takes talent, drive and money to concentrate on focused reporting like what is happening at City Hall, or, a construction project in Montgomery county as Mendte explains.
The entire article is HERE and is definitely a must-read if you're like me in that you no longer watch local news on a consistent basis OR are tiring of the flashy graphics, the weather leads, the cheap and irrelevant "special report" stories...Definitely some very good and valid points made by Mendte. Unfortunately, I see nothing changing because local newscasts are all about "how to do it the cheapest for the biggest rating".

Friday, March 5, 2010

FOX 29's Chit Chat

FOX 29 is tweaking its 10 p.m. show by adding lots of chit chat, including a segment called, "Hot Topics", ala "The View" on ABC daytime.
Tonights "Hot Topics" segment kicked in at 10:16 p.m. with guest, Dom Giordano, of WPHT's "Big Talker" at 1210 on the AM radio dial. Giordano gave his thoughts and opinions on the military trials process of the 9/11 terrorist suspects, the webcam lawsuit of Lower Merion School District, a story that broke the week before last, as well as the national unemployment rate of 9.7%.
By 10:24 p.m., just four minutes later, a similiar "Hot Topics" segment, this one called "a reality check" as FOX 29 called it. Yet, ANOTHER on-set talking head with opinions and conjecture by Buzz Bissinger, "a long-time Philadelphia journalist/author" as FOX introduced him. Kerri Lee Halkett and Thomas Drayton exchanged some irrelevant/uninteresting personal viewpoint then went to a break.
By 10:31 p.m., yet some more discussion with my least favorite weekly segment, "Mob Talk", by reporter Dave Shratwieser...a five minute and thirty second segment! And, by 10:39 p.m., we shouldn't forget the lame "Top 5 Bad Days"...a stupid segment the newscast has done for quite some time that provides video clips of stupidity across the nation. The segment ended with more personal thoughts/banter by Halkett and Drayton.
Throw in two stories and yep, MORE BANTER, this time between John Bolaris, Halkett and Drayton about the new airport body scanners "coming to an airport near you".
This is what FOX 29 calls a newscast. I vote for throwing this newscast to the test signal of days gone by. Considering FOX's competition is "NBC 10 News at Ten on PHL-17" and "Eyewitness News at 10 on the CW" one can see why they win their timeslot. Certainly, not much competition in my opinion.
FOX-29's leadership has managed to slowly dig a deep grave for its newscasts compared to the news from ten years ago led by Rich Noonan and Jill Chernekoff. We've seen many faces come and go since those days, like Carl Cherkin, Frank Cariello, Donya Archer, Traci Matisak, Don Tollefson, David Aldrich, Rob Guarino, Bill Vargus, Nefertiti Jaquez, Dawn Stensland, George Mallet, Tom Burlington and the list goes on.