Monday, October 31, 2005

But Paul Probably Is the Walrus

Tipped off by an alert reader, we went to the KM3 website to see it for ourselves:



Some might attribute the misspelling to error. We suspect otherwise. "Libby is not the leek"—could easily be read as, "Libby is not the onion," which sounds a lot like a secret coded message being sent by a KMTV staffer. Perhaps it's a signal to begin the long-awaited dismantling of "For What It's Worth."

KETV Fires the First Salvo of Sweeps Idiocy

On Thursday, Channel 7's answer to "Inspector Gadget," Carol Kloss, "investigates" steroids. Apparently, they're bad for athletes. Who knew?

You Can Overcome Not Hiring the Right Person; You May Never Recover from Hiring the Wrong One: The Sheila Brummer Story

Watching Sheila Brummer fill in for Tracy Madden on Friday night’s “Ten at 10” provided us with all the support we need for our contention that the station should have left her on the list of unemployed Des Moines residents.

After John Knicely wrapped up a story on soaring oil company profits by noting that one company made “nearly 10 billion in one quarter alone,” Brummer followed up by exclaiming, “And it’s not bad tonight!” An awkward pause followed. This, it turns out, was Brummer’s attempt to segue into Jim Flowers’ “No-Wait Forecast.”

Moments like these must leave new viewers wondering if this is her first day or two on television.

Other eyebrow-raisers:

• Brummer rarely starts a sentence with a word other than “now” or “and.”

• She has trouble with pronunciation. Example: The word Hurricane, in her mouth, becomes “HEAR-uh-cane.”

• She has trouble with phrasing. After giving out the “Six Online” phone number, she urged viewers to “leave some voicemail messages.”

• Then there are the strange facial expressions (beyond the fact that she appears to be cross-eyed most of the time). There’s the ill-timed grin at the camera while her co-anchor speaks. Another favorite is one where her face appears to go numb at the end of a sentence, with her eyelids dropping to half-staff and eyes appearing to glaze over. Creepy.

It’s bad enough that Channel 6 management passed over Courtny Gerrish for the 4 p.m. anchor position. But giving it to a half-baked camera-unfriendly dipstick like Brummer is ridiculous.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

They're BAAAAAAAAACK: Sweeps Start Next Week

We approach each sweeps period as one might a train derailment: with a mix of dread and excitement: dread at the horrors we expect to witness and excitement from the adrenaline rush that accompanies moments of tremendous stress.

What might we get from consultants' local puppets this time around? More giant vegetables? Carol Kloss interviewing yet another senior citizen who has been conned into giving his life savings away?

Here's hoping that Channel 3 continues to remain above the stunts, as they have in the past. In addition to emphasizing their severe weather coverage, they should hype the hell out of the fact that they avoid the bullshit stories to which other stations seem to be addicted.

Hallelujah! FWIW to Be Flushed

According to those in a position to know, KMTV has decided to restore sports to its newscast and to axe "For What It's Worth" commentary by Travis Justice. We're not sure when the change will take place, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Angela Martin Looking for a Change. Why Not Omaha?


Former KM3 Anchor/Reporter Angela Martin, now in Savannah, Georgia, is listed in MediaLine among those seeking new positions. If her demo tape is to be believed, Martin, who was in Omaha from 2002 until 2004, has improved considerably during her time down south.

Any Omaha station would be wise to lure her back here, especially given the scarcity of on-air diversity in the market. Channel 6, which appears to have the whitest roster in town, would seem the most logical bidder for her services; she could easily take over for Sheila Brummer at 4 p.m. on weekdays or bump empty-headed Andrea McMaster from the weekend morning shift. Moreover, 6 appears to have the budget to offer a salary sweet enough deal to land her.

Channel 7, pushing hard to pull ahead of 6, might also be capable of luring her, given its reputation as the market's most talent-friendly newsroom and a simlilarly-sized budget. It's not hard to imagine Martin next to John Oakey on weekday mornings (goodbye, Omarosa) or taking over some of Julie Cornell's anchoring chores.

Separated at Birth? Flintstones Edition

Compare helmet-haired, reading-impaired weekend anchor Suzanne Deyo with Fred Flintstone's invisible-to-everyone-but-Fred space buddy, The Great Gazoo.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Why Won't They Make Him Stop?

We've just voted Travis "The Tool" Justice's "For What It's Worth" commentary the worst concept in Omaha TV news since Channel 3 had radio disc jockey "Hot Scott" reviewing movies for them back in the '80s. It's worse, even, than that embarrassingly bad locally produced game show aired by WOWT on Saturday evenings somewhere during the 1987-89 timeframe.

It's more clear than ever that this guy has nothing to say. Evidence? Consider these highlights from Tuesday night's splattering of oral dirarrhea:

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, I THINK YOU CAN LEARN A LOT BY JUST LISTENING.

I GOT AN EAR FULL THE OTHER NIGHT LISTENING TO MY WIFE AND A GROUP OF HER FRIENDS.

SINCE I THINK MOST GUYS ARE OBLIVIOUS TO WHAT GOES ON AROUND THE HOUSE, I THOUGHT I WOULD PAY CLOSE ATTENTION.

THIS GROUP OF WOMEN WAS COMPLAINING ABOUT FINDING GOOD HELP THESE DAYS.
THE FOCUS OF THE JOB WAS ON BABY SITTING. USUALLY I WOULD PUSH THE MUTE BUTTON IN MY HEAD, BUT THE MORE I LISTENED, THE MORE I REALIZED THIS COULD BE A PRETTY GOOD COMMENTARY.


Okay, right there you have enough reason to tell him to clean out his desk. "I think you can learn a lot just by listening"? WTF? He's getting paid for this? Why doesn't management just flush his salary down the toilet and spare us the trauma of looking at and listening to him?

And what does he mean when he says "The focus of the job was on baby sitting"? Is this guy mentally retarded? Doesn't anyone look at this crap before he goes on the air? (An even more disturbing prospect is that someone does and that this represents an improved version of his initial draft.)

The only part that we can even halfway appreciate is his reference to the mute button in his head. Is there any way that button can be wired to mute his Urkelesque voice?

Finally, realizing that something could be a good commentary doesn't mean that it will be. Lord knows he has several years of tape to prove it. But let's return to The Tool's Peabody-worthy script:

SO AFTER TAKING IN A BUNCH OF INFORMATION. I DECIDED TO GO INTO REPORTER MODE AND ASK SOME QUESTIONS.


"Reporter mode." Right. Good one.

THEY ALL AGREE BABY SITTING AND THE QUALITY OF IT ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE WHEN THEY WORKED FOR A BUCK AN HOUR. TODAY, KIDS GET PAID A LOT MORE AND DO A LOT LESS.


What is this? A knockoff of Dana Carvey's Grumpy Old Man character? ("We worked for a buck an hour...and WE LIKED IT!") Can you say "Tool Time"?

THERE'S A LOT MORE TO BABY SITTING THAN JUST WATCHING THE KIDS.


Hence our desire to rename this segment "Travis Justice States the Obvious."

IF A SITTER IS GOING TO PLAY GAMES WITH THE KIDS, THEY SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO PICK UP WHEN THE GAMES ARE OVER. NOT LEAVE THINGS ALL OVER THE HOUSE LIKE A TORNADO JUST HIT THE PLACE.

IF THEY ARE GOING TO FEED THE KIDS, BABY SITTERS SHOULD CLEAN UP, NOT LEAVE DIRTY DISHES ON THE TABLE OR PIZZA BOXES ON THE FLOOR.

BABY SITTING DOES NOT MEAN SITTING ON THE COUCH AND WATCHING TV WHILE YOU WAIT FOR A KID TO SCREAM TO SEE IF SOMETHING IS WRONG.
IT'S ABOUT BEING A ROLE MODEL, LEADING, TEACHING, PLAYING.


Babysitters are "role models," now? Give us a break.

NOW THESE WOMEN ARE NOT EXPECTING A MAID SERVICE WITH THEIR BABYSITTERS. THEY JUST WANT TO COME HOME TO A HOUSE THE WAY THEY LEFT IT, WORKING AN HOUR OR TWO TO CLEAN UP WHAT YOU JUST PAID SOMEBODY TO TAKE CARE OF IS JUST NOT WORTH IT.


What should be the final sentence—if Travis knew how to punctuate—could just as easily be applied to the half-assed job he does on this segment every night.

Someone needs to tell Trav that his "commentaries" are, to quote Rip Torn's Dodgeball character, "about as useless as a poopy-flavored lollipop."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why Does KETV Tease Us This Way?

We know it's just wishful thinking, but every morning that we tune in to KETV without being greeted by the ghastly specter of Elictia Hammond is one more morning that gets us believing that Channel 7 management has finally come to its senses and (1) fired Omafrickinrosa and (2) replaced her with the much better Brandi Petersen.

And while we're on the topic of that particular morning show, would someone tell traffic robot Jana Murrell that winning a beauty pageant doesn't excuse you from having to do something with your hair? It was downright scary Tuesday morning.

Monday, October 24, 2005

No Wonder They're the Heartland News Leader

Talk about your slow news day. Channel 6's 10 p.m. Saturday newscast led with two hard-hitting features.

The first was a stupid non-story about pumpkins, in which reporter Brian "My Voice Is Still Changing" New seemed be wondering how many times he could work the word pumpkin into one story. We still don't know what the point of the piece was.

The second was a story the station had been beating to death since that day's morning show. The focus was on LaVista's effort to recruit more volunteer firefighters by going door-to-door. Some residents were interested, some weren't. Big fuckin' surprise. What a yawner.

All this came, of course, after the usual Husker football highlights/teaser.

On another Channel 6-related note, Rebecca Kleeman anchored both Saturday and Sunday morning's shows. While she needs a little voice work, she's a noticeable improvement over Andrea McMaster and certainly no worse than afternoon hack Sheila Brummer.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

An Open Letter to Sarah Walters (Whose Last Day is Friday):


PLEASE DON'T GO!


(But if you must, good luck in Phoenix.)

Trav Talks About OMA News

Travis "The Tool" Justice was missing from Thursday night's 10 p.m. newscast, sparing us at least one dose of "For What It's Worth." For that we are thankful.

But according to a reader who calls himself Luke, Trav was talking about us with Todd 'n' Tyler on Z-92 Thursday morning. But rather than re-tell what Luke said, we'll let you read the email, which contains some other non-Tool-related remarks:

Ted(s),

Don't know if you're a listener to Tard 'n Tyler on Z92, but the blog was mentioned today (specifically about the Jim Rose entry) early in the morning. Evidently, one Mr. Justice does, in fact, read OmaNews and is upset by the fact that you're a "critic in anonymity," and thus, gives you no merit.

What everyone misses is the fact that anonymity gives us the ability to be truthful in the light of possible retribution. That's not to say anyone in the new biz has that kind of political clout, but this *is* such a small town.

I say "rock on." Whether you're connected to the industry or not, jilted or not, anonymous or not, I could care less. It's damn fine stuff you produce.

Besides, I like my blogs like I like my women and morning coffee: Bitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Former KETV Anchor Joins Scott in KC


Former KETV anchor/reporter Brad Stephens joined KCTV5 in Kansas City on Monday as the station's 4 p.m. anchor. Stephens was lead anchor at WOFL in Orlando until August.

He joins another KETV alum, Michael Scott, who is the lead anchor at KCTV. Stephens was at Channel 7 from 1995 to 1999, ending up as 5 p.m. anchor and "Nightside" reporter. He spent the five years before that at KMTV, another of Scott's stops.

Viewer Mail

Here's an email we just can't do justice to without publishing it word-for-word. It's from a reader who identifies himself/herself as "Heartland Values." Enjoy.

Dear Ted,

You really are the fictional Ted Brockman brought to life. My goodness. About 3 hours after one of your readers asked you who your Dream Team would be you had it. 3 hours to assemble a dream team. 3 hours? Travis spends more time than that to come up with his gut reaction ramblings.

I expect more thoughtful consideration from the Great Ted Brockman. You need to explain your rationale. You need to post why you overlooked quality reporters while including light weights who would have trouble getting hired in North Platte.

You copped out not looking at past talent. Of course, then you would have had to spend 4 hours on your thesis. Today's talent doesn't come close to Omaha's past talent in the days before the business mentality of news took over, cut salaries and turned Omaha into an entry level market.

Your Dream Team segment also reads more like a syrupy Good News television piece. I don't read Ted Brockman for nicey nice comments. I read you with great anticipation for the vitriolic proclamations and biting sarcasm. Come on, Ted. Take your nasty pill and get on with the Ted Blog we know and love.

Sincerely,

H.L. Values

Dream Team

A comment asked what we'd consider a "Dream Team" in local news. It's a question that we hadn't considered much, but if we could assemble a team using only talent currently in the market, here's what we'd come up with. Cast your own votes and reactions via the Comments section.

Mornings

Male Anchor: John Oakey (KETV)
Female Anchor: Amanda Mueller (KPTM)

5/6 p.m

Male Anchor: Rob McCartney (KETV)
Female Anchor: Sarah Simmons (KMTV)

10 p.m.

Male Anchor: Greg Peterson (KMTV)
Female Anchor: Tracy Madden (WOWT)

Weather: Sarah Walters (KMTV) [sadly, her last day is this week, so we're exercising the "currently in the market" clause while we still can]
Sports: Dave Webber

Reporters

Live/Field: Brandi Petersen and Mike'l Severe (KETV)
Feature: Mike Sigmond (KETV)
Investigative: Gary Johnson (WOWT)
Political: Joe Jordan (KMTV)
General: Mary Nelson (KMTV) and Rebecca Kleeman (WOWT)

OMA News Unveils New Feature

Instead of "For What It's Worth," KMTV should call Travis "The Tool" Justice's nightly waste of time "Travis Justice Grasps the Obvious." Until the folks at Channel 3 make that move, we will, from time to time, highlight some of the more idiotic pontifications by the guy better suited to serve as poster boy for the Setliff Clinic.

In today's edition, we present Trav's teaser for his Tuesday night segment. Quoth The Tool: "It's not just comedians who get a laugh when elected officials screw up."

Thanks, Trav. And thank you, Channel 3, for providing the community with this valuable service. What splendid use you're making of your license.

If it weren't indelicate to use the word retard to describe this guy, that's the one we'd choose.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jim Rose: Hideous Freak?

Here's a question we've been pondering for over a year now: Why, during the weekly "Coach Callahan Show," do we never see host Jim Rose up close?

We see plenty of tight shots of Callahan, but whenever Rose is on camera, it's nothing but wideshot, wideshot, wideshot.

Is Rose grotesquely disfigured, or are the producers of the show too cheap or lazy to employ more than two camera angles?

McMaster Delivers

Capping a pregnancy that seemed to last forever, WOWT anchor/reporter Andrea McMaster delivered a baby girl this past Saturday. Mother and baby are said to be home and doing fine.

Monday, October 17, 2005

WOWT Gas Leak?

Is someone pumping nitrous oxide into the WOWT studio every night around 10:30, or is everyone in the room smoking weed during breaks?

We're asking because it would explain the imbecillic giggling that breaks out every night at the end of WOWT's 10 o'clock newscast. The slightest twitch, look, or remark sends the entire anchor team into a fit of hysterical laughter. To a lesser degree the same thing seems to happen on the weekends to Gerrish, Baltes, Chapman, and whatever weatherdork is on duty. (It was worse when The Skeletal Remains of Kara Rovere occupied the weekend anchor chair.)

Typically, following the last commercial break, Dave Webber will utter a word or two as Jim Flowers chirps to the end of his forecast recap. Then John Knicely scaffolds off Webber's remark and adds "Tracy Madden" to the end of the sentence, which causes the entire team to laugh so hard that they lose control of their bladders. It's really rather bizarre to watch, especially over the course of several nights.

Not that any of it is unprecedented. The nightly laugh riot has been a staple at Channel 6 going back to Knicely's early days as anchor with Pat Persaud, but it had seemed to decrease when Tracy Madden first moved to the big chair.

But those days are over. Their madcap sense of humor is back now, and boy is it a sight.

Smollen Breaks Halloween Story

WOWT Flatliner/Reporter Gary Smollen landed the lead story on Friday's 10 p.m. newscast with the revelation that "Halloween is becoming popular," and that it's "costing more."

We couldn't make shit like this up. This is what he really said.

Yeah, Gary. We can remember back in the early '70's when hardly anyone had even heard of Halloween. Back then it ranked behind Arbor Day on the list of holidays when it came to popularity.

People forget that, in those days, it was much more popular to wear your Arbor Day "Leaf Bonnet" or "Foliage Toupée" than it was to go Trick-or-Treating. Kids got a real thrill out of sporting hats made of twigs and pine cones. We're SO amazed at how Halloween has taken off in the last year or two.

But seriously, folks: just when you think the gang at Channel 6 have hit bottom when it comes to stupid stories, they pull one like this out of the fire. And they give it to a stiff like Smollen.

Box that one up and send it to folks who give out the Edward R. Murrow Awards. It's gold, Gary...Gold!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fund Established to Pay Late Meteorologist's Medical Bills

Friends have established a fund for the family of KHGI weatherman Bob Geiger, who died recently following a long illness. Apparently, he died without health insurance, leaving thousands in medical bills from his multiple heart surgeries and extended hospitalization.

What's unclear is how a beloved personality who was with the station for 22-years ends up without medical benefits. We've heard a couple of stories suggesting that he was dropped from the station's plan in the midst of his illness, but we're hoping that the station's owner—Pappas Telecasting (also the owner of KPTM/Fox 42)—makes the point moot by doing the right thing and relieving Geiger's family of this undeserved burden.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund should send their checks to
Bob Geiger Memorial Fund
Platte Valley State Bank
2216 1st Avenue
Kearney, NE 68847

Razor, Anyone?



Our recent post featuring WOWT meteorologist Jim Flowers spurred talk of what's come to be known as Flowers' "porn mustache." Inspired by that discussion, an alert reader and Photoshop hobbyist sent us this rendering of what Jim would look like, sans 'stache.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Is Hammond On Vacation or Just Giving Viewers One?

Early risers who tune in to Channel 7 are getting a well-deserved respite from the terrors of Elictia "Omarosa" Hammond, at least temporarily. Wednesday marked the beginning of what one KETV insider calls a brief "John and Brandi Era," with Brandi Petersen filling while Hammond is off (shudder) getting married.

For all we care, Hammond can stay off camera forever. As we've noted before, Petersen is much more palatable at that hour (or any other), and god knows Oakey and reporter Mike'l Severe could use the help, given the cast of idiots they're normally surrounded by.

Mumblerologist Andrea Bredow remains herself, while new traffic manequin Jana Murrell barely registers a pulse, let alone signs of improvement when it comes to her stiff mannerisms, flat affect, and monotone delivery. While Petersen is still developing as an anchor, she's a huge improvement over Hammond and these other dim bulbs.

Keeping Oakey and Petersen together in the morning could help propel Channel 7 out of the dead heat it's been in with Channel 6's "Live at Daybreak."

The Daybreak format, virtually unchanged since it was adopted a decade or so ago, has long since worn thin, and instead of improving the program, Jim Siedlecki has pulled co-anchor Malorie Maddox and the whole show down to his level. It's not that he's bad; it's just that he's only a Joplin, Missouri brand of good. In other words, he's not cut out to be an anchor in a market this size.

Then again, not being cut out for a market this size hasn't seemed to stop Doug Walker or Gary Smollen, to say nothing of roly-poly Brian Mastre. So who knows how far he'll go?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

KM3 Soon-to-Be-Former Sibling Bringing Back Sports

An alert reader notes that Wichita TV station KSNW, formerly owned by Emmis Communications and, hence, a sister station of KMTV in Omaha, is bringing back sports under its new ownership. The Wichita Business Journal reports that sports will return to KNSW on October 26, ostensibly with the approval of it soon-to-be-new-owner, SJL Group.

Like Channel 3, KSNW dropped sports from its newscasts several years ago, citing research that only about a third of the audience cares about having it covered. Cynics suggested that the move was more about saving money than about giving the audience what it wanted.

Will KMTV follow suit? And, as several people have already asked, could this be the end of Travis Justice? There's no reason to think so, at least not based on the news out of Wichita. The Omaha station is also in the process of being sold, but to a different buyer: Journal Broadcast Group, which has shown a disturbing fondness for Trav, for what it's worth.

KSN to Revive Sports Oct. 26 [Wichita Business Journal]

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nature's Viagra

Why is this man smiling?



After a quick check of the WOWT website Thursday evening, we've got a hunch:



Will you be ready?

More Red Flags on KETV's New Traffic Babe

Oh my. Tipped off by an alert reader, we took a look at the bio for new traffic reporter/Miss Nebraska Jana Murrell, and found that somebody can't write and/or doesn't know what she's talking about.

The only question is whether it's Murrell herself or webmaster Shiloh Woolman.

The bio includes a few items worth comment. To wit,

"She graduated from North High School and played volleyball, basketball and track."

She "played" track?

She attends Creighton University where she is working on her doctorate of physical therapy and a bachelors of science.

There are so many things wrong with this sentence that it's hard to know where to start. Let's just say that the imprecise phrasing regarding these supposed degrees raises questions about the veracity of the claims.

Jana likes any kind of outdoor activity.

ANY kind of outdoor activity? Like pooping in the woods? Walking barefoot in the snow? What does that mean?

She enjoys working with children and one day hopes to learn Spanish.

Now there are two unrelated ideas crammed into one sentence. She might want to consider one day learning English.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Oakey Spotted in New Circle of Hell

Question of the Day: What did John Oakey do to piss off KETV management to the point that they're hell-bent on ruining his morning show?

First, they made him morning anchor—a good move, especially following the disatrous tenure of Suzanne Deyo. But they paired him with meteorologist Andrea Bredow, who may be a lovely human being in person, but whose schedule will never be cluttered with meetings of the Mensa Society. [In other words, don't send us any more emails about how nice she is; we're concerned with how she comes across on-air, not whether she plays well with her neighbors.]

The Oakey and Bredow team was good; Oakey carried the load and Bredow didn't ordinarily ruin the program.

Then, last year, someone decided that what the show really needed was a female co-anchor. But instead of getting someone who might make people want to tune in, they hired the dreadful Elictia Hammond, whose appearance is rumored to have frightened several area children.

Now, Channel 7 has apparently chosen to conduct a little experiment to determine what happens when you put someone with no television training on television from 5 to 7 every morning and ask her to report repeatedly on, um, nothing.

Miss Nebraska Jenna Murrell is providing the answer every morning now, having started Monday as the station's in-studio traffic reporter.

Where do we start? It's hard to blame her too much for this, because, according to her bio, she majored in physical therapy in college. But watching as she stands in front of a green screen, reading from an index card gesturing awkwardly at nothing in partcular is truly something to behold.

Her delivery is sing-songy; she begins each report by purring, "Thaaank you, Johhhhn" (or Andrea or Omarosa Elictia). It's hard to convey how odd it sounds; if you've seen the Simpsons episode in which Apu says, "I learned to speak English from porn movies," you'll have a pretty good idea.

And about the only positive things we can say about her are that she looks nice and appears to smell good.

What they'll come up with next to torture Omaha's best morning anchor is anyone's guess. We hope he's getting combat pay for this.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Channel 3 Still Employs Reporters

It's not often you turn on the TV in Omaha and find that a TV reporter has actually done a real investigation. (We're not counting the "Welfare-Abusing, Chain-Smoking Extra-Ginormous Legumes" stories we get during sweeps as "real.")

But that's what Channel 3 viewers saw on Monday at 5 p.m. when Kathy Sarantos-Niver delved into the topic of battered men. If the veteran reporter is to be believed, during her routine checks of police blotters, she recently began noticing a high number of domestic violence cases in which men were victims. Over a relatively brief period, she tallied over 100 such cases, leading to her report, which included an interview with a man who had seen his friends being abused.

We've often complained about Sarantos-Niver's delivery, and we recently lodged a rare gripe about a Joe Jordan piece on Omaha officials' plans for evacuating the city. But these two reporters—both of whom have been with the station since the 1970s—along with WOWT's Gary Johnson are something of a vanishing breed. That is, they're reporters who (a) know something beyond haircare and wardrobe tips, and (b) dig for news, rather than waiting for it to come out in the form of a press release or a house fire.

Let's hope that these grizzled vets inspire some of their younger co-workers to carry on this important form of journalism, and that some of those younger types recognize its value.

Press Photogs Say KMTV Video Clear, Accurate, to the Point.

We've made no secret of the fact that we appreciate KMTV's effort. Operating with less staff and fewer resources than WOWT and KETV, the folks at Channel 3 still put together a newscast as good as any in this market, if not better.

Making the feat all the more amazing is that these folks continue to crank out high-quality work despite the demoralizing and certainly embarrassing presence of Travis Justice's "For What It's Worth" commentaries. Plopping Justice's blabbering into the midst of their work is a bit like placing a bowl of rabbit shit in the midst of a steak dinner.

But we digress.

At this past weekend's Nebraska Press Photographers Association awards, KMTV's crew lapped the competition, collecting 14 of 26 awards, including a second straight Photographer of the Year honor for Harry Flansburg.

What's shameful is that no other Omaha station came close to KM3's numbers, despite the bigger budgets available to two of them. Moral of the story? If the two larger stations in town would spend their money on doing high-quality work instead of on consultants, Omaha viewers would have much more to choose from when it came time to watch the news.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Monkeys at the Helm Again Saturday

The technical flubs were so numerous on Channel 6's Saturday morning news program that we even felt sorry for anchor Andrea McMaster. Yeah, it was that bad.

From an over-the-shoulder graphic that mentioned "warrents" being issued to audio that cut in and out at random, the program was the sort of thing professors should show as an example of how not to do things. We'd expect this level of quality if we were in a market the size of, say, Scottsbluff, but this is Omaha, for cryin' out loud, not to mention supposedly the highest-rated station therein.

Our sympathy for McMaster, now in her 13th month of pregnancy, evaporated on Sunday morning, however, when she announced that Cornhusker fans were "sighing a breath of relief."

All you kids out there, don't let anyone tell you that eating paint chips doesn't cause long-term brain damage. McMoron seems to have consumed handfuls during her formative years, and look at the results.

Friday Night Frights

Gee whillikers. There was no safe haven on Friday at 10 p.m. if you wanted to watch local news.

Of course at 3, everything was fine until they decided to soil the screen with the sound and image of Mr. Travis Justice, but the station's regular viewers have likely become numb to this nightly assault on the senses.

On Channel 7, Todd Andrews, looking way too much like Phil Hartman's "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer," was anchoring in place of Rob McCartney. The guy sounds great, but the 70s part-down-the-middle hairstyle combined with an overly prominent brow make him a hard anchor to watch.

And over at Channel 6, it was sub night, with Paul "The Human Yawn" Baltes and Sheila "Scary Eyes" Brummer sitting in the seats normally occupied by John Knicely and Tracy Madden. Brummer had trouble figuring out what she was reading, which camera to look at, and then she stepped all over Baltes by reading her weather intro too early. She reminds us a lot more of Pat Persaud than we'd like. That means she'll probably be here forever. Heaven help us.
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