Monday, March 06, 2006

Behind the Scenes at Channel 6

Sunday was Courtny Gerrish's last night on Channel 6. She's departing for the bright lights of Milwaukee, where she'll anchor the late afternoon news. To understand why she's leaving, we think it'd be fun to imagine the conversation that must have taken place nearly a year ago, when Gerrish was hoping to fill the anchor vacancy on the Big Six's 4 p.m. newscast. If WOWT GM Frank Jonas and News Director John Clark sat down to discuss the situation, it must've gone something like this...

FJ: Well, John, how are things progressing on the opening at 4 p.m.?
JC: I think I've got it narrowed down to two options.
FJ: Oh yeah?
JC: Yeah. Courtny would like to move into the slot. And there's this woman from Des Moines who's interested.
FJ: So what are you thinking?
JC: I don't know. Courtny's been with us for what, eight or nine years? She's bright, attractive, able to do just about anything we ask of her and do it with poise. I can't recall ever hearing her screw up or sound stupid. She's probably as good as any female anchor in town.
FJ: Yeah, she pretty much carried the morning show for a lotta years.
JC: Yeah, there is that.
FJ: But what about the one from Des Moines?
JC: Her name's umm...Brummer. Sheila Brummer.
FJ: Is that the one whose tape you had me look at?
JC: Yeah, what'd you think?
FJ: Well, she's not exactly charismatic. Seems like a stumbler and doesn't come across as all that bright. And she's got a creepy smile she gives the camera every now and then.
JC: Uh-huh. Her eyes kinda glaze over. Weird, isn't it?
FJ: To say the least. What station is she with?
JC: Well, here's the deal: she's not exactly with any station right now. She was anchoring mornings at KCCI, but they let her go. Nobody's saying why.
FJ: Oh, I think that's the one I was reading about. It was an interview with the news director or GM or somebody, and he refused to comment on why they weren't renewing her contract.
JC: Other than that, I don't know much.
FJ: So let's review the facts. On one hand, we have a proven, long-time anchor/reporter who's bright, articulate, and perfect for the job. Probably could anchor at any station in town.
JC: Right.
FJ: While on the other hand, we have a marginally-talented, kinda dull, often scary-looking woman from Des Moines who is suddenly and mysteriously unemployed.
JC: Yep. And kinda cross-eyed.
FJ: Well, the choice seems pretty obvious to me. How 'bout you?
JC: It's not even close, in my mind.
FJ: We're in agreement, then?
JC: Absolutely, Chief. Want me to offer her the job?
FJ: Yeah, sure.
JC: I'm on it.
FJ: And John?
JC: Yeah, Frank?
FJ: Try to break it to Courtny gently, okay? I mean, she's probably thrilled to be working with geniuses like us—don't get me wrong—but she might be a little disappointed. Once she sees who we've hired, I think she'll understand.
JC: Sure, Frank. I'm sure she'll be fine with it. We're such a great station, Courtny'll probably be here another twenty years.


omatvwatcher said...

Ted you're such an idealist...
That conversation went more like this:

FJ: All right, Courtny's on board. She's asking for $XX,XXX per year salary.

JC: Oh, that's to close to exceeding our budget...How about this Brummer chick? She's unemployed, we can easily get her for $YY,YYY per year. That way we can stay well below our budget and keep our year end bonuses intact.

FJ: Sounds like a plan!

So I embellished a little. The bottom line in this business these days is just that...the bottom line. How can these companies make the most amount of money by spending the least amount of money. Like the creator of 60 Minutes, Don Hewitt once said.. "When we started getting high ratings for the show, I knew we had killed the integrity of the news business". I'm paraphrasing, but the general idea rings true.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said... was like this:

FJ: So, now that we got Queen Persaud's high-and-mighty ass outta here, and Madden has scooted over to the 5, 6, and 10 with the boys, who will take the 4pm chair with Banal Brian?

JC: Oh, I don't know, Frank--that one will be hard to fill. After all, it isn't a real newscast and, lets face it: with Oprah on 3, who watches us at 4:00, anyway.

FJ: Yeah, I see your point. I WAS going to suggest Courtny, whose more than qualified and should really have been Knicely's co-anchor; but could you just imagine? I mean, we'd have to actually produce a real newscast. She wouldn't settle for the mindless drivel we feed to our Channel Sucks mindless automaton audience.

JC: I agree. And if we did that, we'd have to just go ahead and replace Mastre because Courtny would eclipse his lame-ass on every show.

FJ: Ok, John, let's go ahead and hire someone to compliment BM's void-of-talent persona and lack-of-personality presence. Here...Sheila Brummmer. This is a tape of her at, I believe it is a high school cafeteria interview with her high school nutritionist. Seems harmless and insignificant enough.

JC: Whatever you say, Frank. And she's available Market 150 price. As for Courtny, we'll treat her like a mushroom. She can do weekends with that other cheap, talentless, squinty guy we got...hell, what's his name? Doesn't matter. No way we could pay Courtny what she's worth. We're strapped for cash right now--having to pay Persaud's retirement and Jim's daily flower stipend. But we have saved a butt-load by not changing our set since Clinton was in office. Who cares if our background features fake monitors and a cityscape without the First National or UP buildings. No one notices, anyway.

FJ: High Five, er, I mean--HIGH 6! Let's go get in a round of golf. We don't have to worry about this--we're NUMBER ONE! The hell with quality.

JC: Right on!

King Vernon said...

That is too funny.

Obbop said...

Heckarooni, them folks upstairs are funny!!!!!

Pert' near peed my pants giggling in glee.

Funniest thing I been around for plumb-near last summer when I told the neighbor I had solved the terrible mole problem with those critters making our lawns look like the Himalayan Mountains what with all the mini-mountains and valleys......

Told the lad I had bought a bag full of rattle snakes and shoved 'em down them holes and that we wouldn't have to worry 'bout no moles fer' quite a spell.

Sure enjoyed the look on the guy's face and before he could get a sputtering word out I ran back into the shanty and watched sumpthin' even more ridiculous.... any local newscast.

notaround said...

I stumbled onto this blog and I think this type of bashing is outrageous. Because of you (mr. or ms. blogger) I think congress ought to pass laws to get you prosecuted. These people that you write about, their rights need to be protected. Theres no law against lying, but you lie to defame someone falsely, in which case it's slander or libel. But this doesn't curtail a right to free speech. This is criminal speech. This type of speech denies someone else of their right. A right to a fair trial is denied through perjury. A right to law and order is denied through incitement to riot. A right to your good name is denied with slander or libel.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

Who is this Notaround? Why should they care what is written in a blog?
Allow me to speculate:

Notaround is either a member of the local news media, or they personally know someone in the business. My bet is on the former because their grammar is questionable, and they obviously don't know the difference between slander and libel. Notaround should realize that the content in this (or any other) blog is not subject and should not be subject to such fascist suggestions as has been spewed forth.

There is also no doubt that Notaround is either affiliated with or is a fanatic supporter of the Bush/Cheney regime. Or maybe a Bill O'Reilly groupie. Nothing else would explain why this person would want to suggest such legislation. So, to you and anyone else who argues against such expression of opinion, I say: PISS OFF! Move to North Korea or just about any country in the Middle East if you don't like such expressions of opinion.

Obbop said...

In my never humble opinion Notaround is a blithering idiot who would be extremely amusing except the thought of such a blitherer loose within society is a skeery though and even more skeerier to this ol' boy is thinking of such a blitherer of blather entering a voting booth and influencing the outcome of an election!!!


Sigh..... seeing such horrendous "thought processing" I am convinced more then ever it is imperitive we divorce government from the educational system.


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