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.