Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Grading Channel 6's Latest Hires

Who's doing the hiring at WOWT? Are on-air jobs now an entry-level, minimum-wage phenomenon at Channel Sucks? Looking at the characters they've been hiring lately, one has to wonder.

Here's a brief report card on the latest batch of newbies at 35th and Farnam:

Jaime McCutcheon is far-and-away the best addition to the station since MalorieMaddox came on board in the fall of 2004. While McCutcheon leaned on her "I'll-have-to-get-used-to-this-since-I'm-from the South" schtick a little too long (she went to school in Georgia and came to Omaha from Florida), she is a calm, reasonably knowledgeable presence at the weekend evening anchor desk, who, like her predecessor, Courtny Gerrish does a good job of carrying the breathtakingly bland Paul Baltes through each broadcast. We're convinced that even if Baltes were to rob a bank, unmasked, in broad daylight before a hundred witnesses, not a single one would be able to recall anything about him. Our grade: B+

Rachel Pierce, on the other hand, looks like the sort of talent heretofore consigned to KPTM. Thanks to the Gray Television Group's low-budget management, folks like Pierce now have more options. It's hard to identify just one thing that annoys us about this woman; there's so much to choose from. The ignorance is a good candidate. One recent morning, she reported that Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie's baby was born in "Nambia." But there's also the crooked mouth, barely-concealed lisp, fake fingernails, cheap wardrobe, and ratty-looking hair. Our grade: F

Mike Cronemeyer. John Knicely is dumb (and no one who witnessed his pathetic attempt to ad-lib/anchor coverage of President Bush's Omaha visit would argue with that), but in Cronemeyer, the big-shots at the Big Six have somehow managed to find an anchor who looks and sounds even dumber. We'd try to describe what a disaster this guy is, but the only way to really get a sense of it is to turn on the TV some weekend morning and watch him for about two minutes. A more clueless man on TV you'd be hard-pressed to find. He seems like the kind of guy who was probably considered a bit of a retard even in frat party circles. Our grade: F

Maniko Barthalemy should get a failure analysis all to herself. Whoever hired this woman must've done so as the result of a lost bet or an affirmative action mandate. Characterizing her reports without sounding racially insensitive is next to impossible. Suffice it to say that she sounds shockingly like the "Queen Shaniqua" character played years ago by Saturday Night Live regular Ellen Cleghorne. Watching her deliver a live shot on weekend mornings is painful to the point of feeling embarrassed for her. What's worse is that anytime there's a story to be covered in North Omaha, Barthalemy seems to get the call. Apparently John Chapman is busy getting his weight up and can't be bothered. Our grade: F

Add this group to the hopeless Gary Smollen, Brian New, and beady-eyed Brian Mastre (on Tuesday, Mastre used his "Burglaries and Break-Ins" segment to blow the lid off a big story on stolen Tupperware) and you have a pretty pathetic lineup. By our count, the only decent quality news personnel at WOWT are Tracy Madden, Malorie Maddox, Mike McKnight, Gary Johnson, Rebecca Kleeman and McCutcheon.

Either the station needs to offer more money to lure better applicants, or its hiring process needs a severe overhaul. One decent hire every 17 or 18 months isn't gonna cut it, especially when you're bleeding staff the way Channel 6 has been. They can have Sheila Brummer shoot the camera sideways glances and drape her hair over the right half of her face all they like, but it doesn't erase the fact that they hired a lazy-eyed dimwit. Similar cases can be made regarding Gomer Pyle lookalike Jim "Loud-Talker/Last-Word/Nanny McPhee" Siedlecki and this latest crop of refugees from the Island of Misfit Toys. Until they get this situation under control, things will only get worse for what was once—years ago—a pretty impressive operation.

14 comments:

Hosh said...

Instead of trying to be #1 in ratings, I do agree that 6 seems to be trying to be the quickest to the bottom. They are lucky to have KPTM/KXVO to cushion the landing.

bandit75 said...

Welcome back Ted!

I couldn't agree more about the Channel Sux "C Teamers" Rachel and Mike. They are so bad, they make Brian McFayden look like Tom Brokaw. However, you shouldn't be so hard on Maniko. She was a big fan of "the robot" and carried that over into her reporting style.

These peoples employement in this field are proof that Six doesn't give a shit. Vodka and Interviews don't mix!

Speaking of Brian McFayden, I really must thank him for coming back to Omaha to do the "news". Until he started, I had never heard a news cast get beeped by censors. Proud day for you and your family Brian. I especially loved the "Drink, Drive, and Vote" story a few weeks ago.

Joe Swank said...

Jamie McCutcheon(sp) bothers me with all her head bobs and nods at every story. She just cant seem to sit there when the mummy is talking, she has to nod.

juslqqking said...

What you are seeing at Channel 6 is the spiraling downward that comes with a lack of solid leadership. Where will it end? Look at Channel 10/11 in Lincoln for that answer. That is where the GM came from and that is what he knows how to do best. Cheaply paid talent that looks good in the corporate books with a solid bottom line. The only problem is he could get away with it in Lincoln where there was no competition. Omaha is a different story. Eventually, he will fall from grace with the corporate office and some other poor smuck will be stuck with trying to right the ship.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

Ted, you were too generous with Mike's F grade. I would have given him an F minus...or an incomplete. He's mind-numbingly boring, as animate as a dead snail, and prehistoric in appearance. But don't you think he and Farrah Fazal look like brother and sister? I will say for Farrah, however, that at least she shows more signs of life.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

Maniko is an example EEO at its worst.

TedK said...

So that's how Cronemeyer ended up at 6. We had to put up with him on weekends on 10/11. Not only is the guy dumb, but he didn't attempt to disguise his right-wing leanings (sneering at reports that didn't agree with his politics).

gerrishnut said...

MAH "NEEK" OH is horrid. There is no excuse for any media outlet to have this fraud on their payroll.

Channel Sux sends her to every North Omaha public interest story.

As for Pierce and that guy on weekend mornings, just watching them makes getting drunk and passing out on Friday worth passing out for. Neither has any screen presence and both have no businees on TV.

I have a new nickname for Paul Baltes, It's "Upstairs John" from NYPD Blue.

I miss Courtny Gerrish

JohnnyBobcat said...

But have you noticed when someone else is talking Jaime McCutcheon's head just keeps going up-and-down like a "bobble head doll?" Drives me crazy!

navin_johnson said...

Jaime McCutcheon a B+ ?? I am not with ya here Ted. She is reporter not anchor quality. Have you seen those black shiny painted eyebrows- that alone is distracting. I just watch to see if the studio lights are gonna melt em'off.

lookinlikelincoln said...

Say what you want about Mike and Rachel but they smashed 7 in the ratings, even raised them.

sillygirl said...

I worked with Mike in Lincoln and I don't know why you're attacking his intelligence. I'll note he went to a J-school most would only dream of getting into. Face it, he's a proven ratings grabber. He was wildly popular in Lincoln and he's doing just as well here. People love watching him because he's good looking, nice and doesn't scream at the viewer. You idiots should appreciate the fact he actually paid some dues to get to this market. It just shows this blog has become nothing but name calling.

Obbop said...

With my BIG protruding bulbous belly...so dern' BIG it meets folks before I do;

And those missing front teeth....

And my pasty white skin, well, at least where the sun doesn't hit the exposed areas not covered by my belly-stretched t-shirt...

And my years, nay!!! decades as one of America's working poor.... a blue-collar laborer doing them thar jobs GW Bush proclaims Americans won't do....

And a whole lotta' udder thangs....

Makes me the best Bubba for the job of covering all the news in the trailer parks!!!!!!

Y'all think one of them new-fangled TV station things would hire me for the "Redneck Beat"?

Seeing all the lameness appearing on TV now I could only be an improvement.

burp

goinstraight said...

Forget about brains, have you seen that guys body? He's hot. Mike's got the whole baseball thing going on.

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