Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wichita Station Flirts With Sanity

In a move that should be emulated by every local station on the planet, Wichita station KSN has stopped using consultants for its newscasts.

That's what it says in this Wichita Eagle story.

Our two favorite lines:

• The new GM is quoted as saying, "'We're not going to do the same old stuff. We're just not going to do it.'"

• "He's told his consultants that their services are no longer needed."

Can you imagine anyone in the WOWT chain-of-command having the balls to say either of those things?

14 comments:

joeygrisgris said...

Almost makes me want to move to Wichita....oh wait...thats in Kansas. Never mind.

operationseng said...

Excellent! As a person who knew television before the taint of consultants I have to say my hat is off to them! I hope it works well and that many others will soon follow suit. What we have for news in this city is downright ridiculous and frankly...it sometimes insults my intelligence. Thank God there is an "off" button. If only a few more people would take advantage of it and stop watching these clowns. But then, where would we get our endless form of entertainment at the mediocrity of modern mainstream morons.

The Dude said...

Well the difference between KSN and WOWT is KSN has been pretty much last in ratings for the Wichita market for years and a change was probably needed. According to you folks WOWT still rules the top o'rankings in Omaha.

Obbop said...

WOWT numero uno.

Well.... look at the demographics for the viewers.

Crotchety old farts and fartesses whose mind-set is more akin to the 1950s Commie witch hunts than to an enlightened educated self-aware entity who can envisage something greater than a Big Red touchdown pass.

Stay-at-home mommies for the 4 pm news with a pack of squawking mini-humans drooling on the floor. Why don't they teach those kidlets how to spit so as to stop that messy drooling? Anyway, the mommies eagerly await the latest warm fuzzy "news" story and the latest synopsis of some medical this or that that affects a female or a kid.... never an adult male. Additionally, the 30-second snippet conveys a minute amount of data about a medical topic that would assuredly require MUCH more time to adequately educate or enlighten the viewer.

Warm fuzzy. Feel good.

But, take the time to inform the electorate?

Bwa hah hah hah hah hah hah!!!!!!!

Pablum for the masses.

Drivel.

Broadcast output aimed at the oft-mentioned lowest common denominator.

Blithering idiots, provincial in thought and action, worshipping at the temple of Big Red, unaware of that outside their minute universe, simpletons with nary an original thought slurping up the drek spewed by the teleprompter corporate droids babbling akin to their viewers.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

Well, Dude, you are correct: KSN has been last in ratings for the past few years. They have former owners Ennis to thank for that. Once upon a time, they were arguably one of the highest quality local news operations IN THE COUNTRY. Thanks to years of neglect, loss of talent--MANY to network positions--their quality has slipped to the level of WOWT. Unfortunately, the savvy viewers in Kansas realized they sucked and everyone switched to once-bottom-dwelling KWCH. If you would have seen KSN back in the 1980's and into the 1990's, you would have been amazed that such a high caliber newscast could come from a town of (at that time) less than 300,000.

As we all know, what has happened in the past 15 to 20 years (thanks to Reaganomics and corporate greed) is that a quality local news operation has become less important than maximizing profit. What really made things worse is that the ultra- conservative Omaha market, rather than being collectively hypocritical, decided to become mindless followers of the crap that WOWT--and other stations--shovels out several times a day. WOWT is simply the best at it--and they have more mediocre talent (in numbers) than any other station in Omaha, combined!

As long has we have the mediocre members of local media (Knicely, Mastre, Flowers, New, Johnson, Siedlecki, Pierce, Bartholomy at WOWT; and Cornell, Randby, Fazal, Liggett, Hammond at KETV) around, we will stay in the proverbial dark with those mushrooms, eating shit!

What Wichita's KSN, Omaha's KMTV, WOI in Des Moines and other last-place stations have ahead of them is a steep incline. Talent is hard to come by these days in medium-sized markets. Everyone wants a bigger audience, more exposure, and a once-intelligent public now either settles for the dreck that is hurled at them, or they have given up on local tv news altogether and goes online for the information they need. Some day, the old, mindless followers will die off. Then, (hopefully) we, as viewers, will evolve into cravers of intelligent dissimenation of information.

Let's just hope for a quick evolution...and the end of consultants in TV--and radio. High hopes, indeed.

kingofthestupidpeople said...

If the days of consultants are over, you know as well as I do that the big sux would go out and hire some schmucks off the street and call them consultants. That way management wouldn't have to make, let alone start making intelligent decisions

rickoxo2 said...

First of all, I'm not sure what Reaganomics has to do with the news production quality in this market. I would pin the problem somewhat on corporate greed, but mostly incompetence.

Second, I don't know how Omyhaw can be called a hyper-conservative town. The news paper here is left-leaning, we have a democrat mayor who was re-elected, and Brenda Council was considered a serious candidate. I think the conservative angle would be a tough sell.

I think the reason why channel sux is still first place, with all its glorious mediocrity, is because the blue-hairs in this town are used to turning this on and seeing Johnny Carson. I think there is a nostalgia attached to Sux that cannot be broken. Let's not forget that all Sux has to do is hire on Carol Schrader, and they will have the channel 7 news team from the 1980-90's. Maybe there's a reason these people were replaced at KETV? I'm too young to know the ins and outs of that deal, but I think there that nostalgia to channel Sux, and I think the hyper-conservative argument is weak.

IRule & USUCK said...

For starters, a great many of you need to get a life. We, the "masses", expect to turn on the news and be entertained with stories of police chases deliverd to us by some "hottie" or over aged frat boy. We like our weatherman goofy and our sports guys should deliver us "BIG RED" all of the time. For those of you who don't want to see/hear of the Huskers, then turn to ESPN and watch Sports Center. Something else you should know. Every city has some team that they are crazy about. Trust me, I know. I grew up in Denver, went to college in Lincoln, moved to Omaha and now live in Indy. Denver news/sports was all Broncos all the time and Indy can't say enough about Peyton Manning and Danica Patrick. There are things much worse than Omaha news. Have any of you watched KLKN out of Lincoln. Now that is painful. You can call me ignorant all you want, but most of you are nitpicking about shit that no one cares about. The bottom-line is this, you are all a bunch of "ivory-tower" whiners that are still steaming about the fact that you never got invited to a party in high-school.

Obbop said...

Okay.

Blame the liberals!!!!!!

I still view the "Heartland values" droids as provincial and incredibly brainwashed via acculturation in this cultural backwater.

Surely some PhD candidate somewhere has studied and written about the HUGE number of very strange inhabitants of this northern outpost of the Bible Belt and carrying the kow-tow-to-authority mind-set has seen in those originating from the Teutonic European homeland.... passed along by the large number of Germanic immigrants to this area back in the "old days."

I suppose on has had to live away from the cultural backwater for an extended period to view the locals in a manner that those who have not left are incapable of doing.

kingofthestupidpeople said...

irule & usuck, just so you are aware, I hosted almost all of the parties in high school, I just didn't invite anyone else.

rickoxo2 said...

You know, I wrote an editorial a few years ago and received a lot of hate mail for it. The hate mail I received was all about how the Bible lies, and how the article was holier than thou. The only problem was, the hate mail hate nothing to do with anything in the editorial. I never once mentioned God, religion, morality, or the Bible.

How does one know if I am a liberal or not? I'm not saying "blame the liberals" at all. Some must have a guilty conscience if that is what was read. I was blaming incompetence at the management level of channel Sux and their parent company, Gray Television, for the on-air mediocrity.

Instead of launching into cookie-cutter diatribes about how Omaha is a cultural backwater, why not try an original contribution, or even addressing the incompetence and greed that has been mentioned in these posts? Or at the very least show how Reaganomics has truly affected the product? I think the 'incompetent management' argument is much stronger, as all one has to do is turn on channel Sux at 4, 5, 6, or 10PM.

Omababe said...

>I think the 'incompetent management'
>argument is much stronger, as all one
>has to do is turn on channel Sux at
>4, 5, 6, or 10PM.

Au contraire! I think management knows exactly what they are doing. Spend as little effort and money as possible in producing the "product" and charge as much as possible for the airtime. That drives more bux toward the bottom line.

The viewers in Omaha will watch ANYTHING that passes for news and not complain, and the advertisers will pay for the airtime no matter how bad the newscasts are, so why should they bother with a quality prodution.

Oh well, I guess I should shut up.

AvidOmahaNewsViewer said...

Rickoxo2,

Regarding the "Reaganomics" statement: I miswrote--my bad! I should have said "Reagan Administration Policy that allowed the deregulation of the ownership of stations, which has enabled the big boys to gobble up the small stations and regional networks. It was at that point that overall quality of local news--NOT JUST WOWT's product--began to decline. I used WOWT as the prime example in our market because they're the biggest station in terms of viewership and number of staff members.

Regarding the statement about Omaha being ultra conservative: I was commenting on others' perception of Omaha compared to other medium or large markets. Of course Omaha is less conservative than the smaller towns out west. And I agree that the Omaha World-Herald may seem to be left-leaning...except that they seem to like Pete Ricketts! Oh wait--he's not a politician.

Finally, I agree that, more than anything, it is INCOMPETENCE that is to blame. And the fact that the big boys don't invest the money needed to attract real talent in markets like ours. Too bad most of the public doesn't seem to be aware or concerned about the decline in the quality of news reporting.

rickoxo2 said...

To avidomahanews...

Fair enough!

To omababe

touche! (that's too-shay)

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