Wednesday, July 05, 2006

As If Channel 6 Didn't Look Stupid Enough

WOWT has resumed inflicting its series of "The More You Know" spots on viewers. They started seeping into view a month or two ago but have been in heavy rotation for the past several days. The offending pieces—a combination of public service announcements, feel-good circle jerks, and look-how-much-we-care promotional messages—feature most of the station's anchors yammering platitudes about reading to kids, talking to kids, and generally being in touch with the kids in the nerdy way that only clueless adults think is cool.

Whereas similar spots, produced five or six years ago, featured station personalities inexplicably sporting black leather jackets, the new batch finds only Jim Flowers and Dave Webber still clinging to the old wardrobe. In these latest installments we get, among other things, Brian Mastre in a bright red crew-neck sweater pulled over a white, long-sleeve dress shirt—looking as if he just stepped out of a 1982 toupée catalog.

If we didn't know better, we'd swear these were parodies of spots done by real stations. The attempt to be "arty" is so ham-handed (and poorly executed) that we find ourselves laughing out loud every time we see them.

Knowing how many of these people are totally inept at their jobs, how can any of us take them seriously? Think about it: how many of your acquaintances are clamoring for parenting tips from Dumb and Brummer or Jim Thiedlecki?

With all the problems that plague Channel 6 right now, they'd be a lot better off devoting their time and energy to putting together even one newscast that consistently looks worthy of this market. If we want parenting tips, we'll read "Julie's Diary."


Hosh said...

At noon today, Jimmy Sidlicky had a segment with a lady-doctor talking about the "birds and the bees talk." Yep, Jim, you're exactly the guy I want to hear about that from. Can you imagine him sitting down discussing this topic when/if he has kids?

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

Here's the thing:

The powers that be at Gray Television don't give a rat's ass whether or not Channel 6 looks stupid. The ONLY thing they care about is making money. Gray doesn't care that Channel 6 employs sub-par anchors, reporters, directors, producers, technicians, etc. As long as Channel 6 somehow draws in ratings, that station will never be a REAL news operation. The fact that so many Nebraskans and Iowans tune in to this pathetic excuse for a news station doesn't say much for the intelligence of the average viewer. In fact, most Channel 6 viewers can probably be compared with a garden variety mushroom: they like to be kept in the dark and fed a lot of sh*t.

To a lesser extent, I can say the same for Channel 7 and Hearst-Argyle. Although KETV is arguably the most professional news operation in Omaha (or should I say the LEAST mediocre?), they could be so much better if only their parent company would invest in their station, thus preventing the hiring of such debacles as Liggett and Fazal. In the days of responsible local television, those two would have been banished to markets like Hastings or Sioux City. Not today! With the cheap-assed approach to TV news that is the norm today, It is difficult enough to get up-and-coming talent to move to Omaha. As far as this city and television market has progressed over the past five years, the corporate mentality to spend as little as possible has caused a serious drain in the talent pool in the Big O. (This is true for all business--not just local news.)

Over at KMTV, their relatively new owner, Journal Broadcast Group, has begun to invest in that station's news operation. It was apparant that prior to JBG's takeover, Ennis' mismanagement ran Channel 3 so far into the ground that they were seeing molten rock. They're still deep in the soil, but at least there's evidence that KMTV is beginning to show on the radar screen again.

As for the poor blokes at 42/15...well, Pappas Telecasting makes Gray Television look like a caring, nurturing parent. Can you just imagine the daily demoralizing those poor guys and gals go through at KPTM/KXVO?

One has to just imagine how many of the directors, producers, technicians, graphic artists and other people behind the scene bust their asses to do the best they possibly can to create a newscast for which they can be proud. Let's face it: those guys and gals are fighting an uphill battle, day after day, only to see more failure than success. The rest of them just stick their heads in the ground like ostriches and collect their paychecks. After all, you can only build so much when you are given crap with which to work.

As there is no indication that the Corporate TV station owners will begin investing in their #75 market entities, we can be assured of two things: 1) that we shall continue to see a lot of mediocre, sub-par news product spew forth from our local news outlets; and 2) that this blog and others will have a lot of material on which to comment for years to come. And I can tell you that it will only get worse!

Oh, joy!

Ted Brockman said...


I especially enjoyed the way Thiedlecki used his hands to indicate air quotes each time he said "the talk." What a dumbass.

gerrishnut said...

I am no expert in how to produce, edit, script or shoot a television newscast, but even a laymen like myself could do a better job than the fools at all the channels in Omaha.

I will admit 3 has gotten a lot better but Channels Sux and 7 make watching their broadcasts almost impossible.

First and most noticible is the camera work. The crackhead camera people are not on the same scrpit as the "on-air talent". I cannot count the times that one person is suppose to be talking and the camera is on the clueless co-anchor.

Second: How many times does have we seen a story get killed due to the fact that the control booth is not in tune with the script?

Third: Thanking the Washington reporter when we all know they damn thing is taped and beamed to 100 other stations. "Thanks Tracy" and there is always an awkward pause from the time the tape rund out to the thanks.

It's one thing to have SNAFUS, it's another to just not care about the job you do. At the stations in Omaha, All 4 of them just don't seem to care at all.

operationseng said...

I have to say that I have switched to Action 3 and have found it very nice to have prettymuch all local news in the first segment. Action 3 you are on the right track; keep it going. Thank you Journal for bringing in a new approach to news.

Omababe said...

>I have to say that I have switched to
>Action 3 and have found it very nice
>to have prettymuch all local news in
>the first segment. Action 3 you are
>on the right track; keep it going.

The times I do watch 10:00pm news I've been watching 3 lately too. It seems the least inane of the three majors.

Now if they could only feed that Roberts guy a chill pill (Doggie Downers?) before they cue him! Jeez, he acts like a cheerleader on crank some of the time!

rickoxo2 said...

Has anyone else noticed on the KPTM anchor promos that they are all looking down or off-screen, then they look into the camera and smile? What in the hell is up with the look-away-look-camera shot? Is anyone going to quit giving KPTM bad advice, or are they just going to keep ramming into the wall again and again? If J.J. Davis isn't going to comb his hair, at least get him a helmet.

Matt_X said...

Channel 3 is the least inane? It's the biggest cartoon of a regular newscast in Omaha.

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