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.

18 comments:

Will said...

i was kind of surprised to see Kleeman anchoring the weekend news. She used to sub every now and them, and the few times that I've seen her anchor, she came across as likeable, albeit stiff and lacking in charisma.

I saw her in operation a couple of years ago when she was covering a story in which I was one of the participants and she seemed to be a nice, friendly young woman. Too bad she can't get rid of the self-consciousness when she's on air.

omatvwatcher said...

I remember when Brian New filled in for the midday show when he first got here. That was hands down the funniest shit I've ever seen. Half of what he said was completely incoherent.

joeygrisgris said...

While I have not personally met ms. Kleeman, I have known a couple of people that have been interviewed by her and have had nothing but good things to say about her. Perhaps what compensates for a perceived lack of on air charisma, is that she comes off as, and actually is, just one of the people and not a talking head.

bandit75 said...

The first time Brian hosted Midday, he signed off by saying, 'Thanks for joining.....me?' What a knob.

weatherwoman said...

Well at least they can spell there - chnl 42 just had a graphic up which spelled "wreckless driving" .

Mickey said...

Gee, i wish the news 'folk' would call me when they`re having a slow day. I could give observations of my daily commute. Always interesting and always illegal.

Damon Scott Hynes said...

Re: Kleeman. Think Cheryl Lemke on TWC. Becky is cute in person and has a thoughtful expression when she's not called upon to do a newscast or a remote. But her carriage and enunciation seem too prim-n-proper, she has one facial expression.

the_s_man said...

bend over channel 6 so teddy can kiss more of your butt

Cogitor said...

I guess I don't get s_man's Ted-hate. First, it's his blog where he voices his own opinions. If you don't like them, why not get your own blog and voice yours, rather than ride him for his all the time?

Second, Channel 6 puts out a horrible product, despite some people I happen to think are pretty good at their jobs, like Tracy Madden (you have to use both names if you're John "Smug" Knicely - who's really a pretty decent guy), Becky Kleeman, Courtny Gerrish, Mallory Maddox, etc. I also kind of like Mastre and Seidlecki, even though Ted would disagree. Sorry if I misspelled anyone's name. The problem with 6 is their behind-the-scenes people. Their news director picks some real winners to report on (Brian New’s pumpkins, Becky Kleeman’s monster veggie story last year, Smollen’s gripping Halloween story, and a host of others every week). Their production crew is getting worse as we speak. Did you see Sunday night's show? Talk about chaos in the control room. Good God! Do they just open up the booth to viewers who win a contest? Unexplained camera movements during a shot, incorrect queuing of the anchors, microphones off when they should’ve been on, squeals that went through earphones and out on the air that even Gerrish had to comment on at the end of the cast. It’s ridiculous for a station on the air as long as Channel 6 (and in a market that is not East Toadstool, West Virginia) to put out that kind of work.

Third, he calls 3, 7, and 42 on the carpet when they deserve it as well, although I don’t fully understand his love of KM3 (minus Trav). It’s just that 6 is so bad they’re kind of taking the cake…but 7 is trying to catch up.

Ted Brockman said...

Amen to just about everything cogitor said. However, I don't know that I have a "love" for Channel 3, so much as a respect. They are clearly working with a budget that is substantially lower than those at 6 and 7, yet they generally turn out stories that are no worse than those at 6 and which, in many cases, are actually better.

Their photographers are first-rate and McPike and Thongklin, while not great weathercasters, are as good as any others in this market and better anything 6 has. Greg Peterson beats the hell out of Knicely and Deb Ward is better than Julie Cornell, so their anchor talent is as good as 6 & 7. Sarah Simmons is capable of filling any lead anchor chair in town, especially if she'd stop showing up at work with that chronic case of bed-head.

So talent isn't the problem. What's killing them is budget. They have too few people trying to pump out the same product as anyone else. And their set sucks. Aside from the weather lab, it's one of the darkest sets I've ever seen. Get some frickin' light in there!

Budget is probably also one of the reasons that they've had considerable behind-the-scenes turnover, with several producers departing in the past six months or so. McKernan needs to realize that you get what you pay for and loosen up the purse strings.

joeygrisgris said...

The problem is that as soon as McKernan (or any other gm) tells managment they need more money they will start by eliminating his salary...and him.

DiggerDog said...

This has been a great week for all of us here in Omaha as Courtny Gerrish is filling in for Madden.

I will ask again, why wasn't she given the prime time anchor spot? Think about it, with or without sound, she is what a lead anchor is all about.

Besides, and this is a great thing, she doesn't wear a suit coat every night.

Ted Brockman said...

I'll take a jacket any day over the slinky soccer mom attire that Pat Persaud used to show up in. But I agree that Gerrish needs a regular weekday anchor spot somewhere.

Why didn't she get the 4 p.m. slot? Who knows? She is known to have wanted it, but Big Six management, again demonstrating its penchant for bad judgement, went and hired the charisma-challenged castoff from Des Moines, Sheila Brummer. Gag.

weatherwoman said...

Shelia is fine, but I think Gerrish is fantastic. I bet Shelia will only improve here. I like her personality on air and the fact that she doesn't have blonde hair. Trite, yes.

DarthSchrader said...

I am patiently waiting for a story on Thanksgiving turkeys. You know...the story where the reporter gets in the pen with the turkeys and cracks wise using dumb lines like, "These turkeys are drumming up a feast for you this Thanskgiving."

I also love it when around Thanksgiving, they have a live shot at a homeless shelter. The reporter is dressed to the nines, standing in front of the homeless, and says something like;

"These are the forgotten faces of Omaha. These are the beggars, the hobos and bums that you fortunate people put a boot in the eye of on a daily basis. These people that you spit on are human beings, and you sick fucks need to appreciate what you have. You could be homeless one day..BLAH BLAH BLAH..."

Then, the camera guy focuses on a homeless guy stuffing turkey in his semi-toothless maw, plus a few shots of some kids with gravy on their faces.

How about a different approach this year? How about some statistics that stress the importance of donations, rather than putting a camera on someone while they are eating, and talking about how they are sad.

Homelessness is horrible, but disturbing a homeless person by thrusting a camera in their face while they eat is bad as well.

Ted Brockman said...

Darth,

Nice item for the wish list; hope there's a Santa Claus or Hannukkah Harry to deliver it.

But get real: even if all the other stations in town were to avoid the Thanksgiving cliché stories, do you think the creative genius(es) assigning stories at WOWT could resist sending some schmuck like Smollen, New, or Brummer out to serve up several bucketfulls of this turkey shit?

MrT said...

Don't forget the obliga-story about people out and about on the day after Thanksgiving. "Oh, people are really looking for bargains this holiday seasons." *puke* Does this mean that, outside of the Christmas season, people are willing to be bent-over to get what they want? Talk about a worthless story...

Sidebar Sam said...

I don't know what everyone expects when you have the likes of Amy Adams assigning stories. Sher was a pretty decent reporter, but old AA wouldn't know a good story if it bit her in her .... well, ya'll know where.

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