Friday, May 06, 2005

Just Goin' Where the Action Is

We continue to receive emails and comments suggesting that we're spending too much time writing about Channel 6. In some ways, we agree. But the fact is that right now, 6 is where the stories are. It has been the big fish in a small pond for a long time, and the recent unpheavals—in terms of both ratings and turnover—are causing lots of buzz among viewers and insiders alike.

While KETV deserves some credit for turning up the heat on WOWT, at least half of the latter station's problems are of its own making. Complacency and an unwillingness to move beyond a format adopted a decade or so ago have rendered the whole operation sluggish. The ongoing mismanagement of talent—hiring and keeping too many of the wrong people—has only compounded the problem.

If Channel 6 continues its downward spiral, and KM3 can upgrade the look of its product (see "Three for 3"), it could make serious inroads by drawing away viewers disaffected by 6's calcification. If not, Channel 7 may find itself holding an astronomical share of the market. Among the last things any of us needs is for Julie Cornell to get the impression that she's Omaha's news queen.

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