Friday, September 29, 2006

Made You Look

Nothing makes you look as dumb as when you trust an untrustworthy "alert reader."

KETV's John Oakey is not, as reported here Thursday evening, leaving the station.

We apologize for our stupidity.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good News

The good news is that perpetually befuddled KETV reporter Laura Liggett has figured out that she may not be cut out for TV. She's taking a job with a local nonprofit agency, according to Sean Weide's Media Notes blog.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Mighty Wind: Blowin' You and Me

Saturday evening's severe weather outbreak, which featured a tornado touching down at 180th and Harrison, gave Omaha's three serious TV stations the opportunity to put all their personnel and gadgetry to work, and what a show it was.

KETV found itself in the unenviable position of having to alert viewers to the storm dangers while simultaneously broadcasting the Nebraska-USC football game. Except for one brief spell, Channel 7 split its screen, giving roughly half to the game and the other half (and the audio) to meteorologist John Campbell, who was later joined by Chief Weatherguesser Bill Randby. While many insane Husker fans probably resented the intrusion into the game, KETV would have been negligent to ignore a tornado warning; on the whole, they did the best they could.

Over at Channel 3, chief meteorologist Ryan McPike was in the studio with trusty sidekick Charles "C.T." Thongklin. Unfettered by rabid Husker devotees, McPike and Company were able to use the whole screen and their extensive collection of tech tools to keep viewers apprised of the latest developments.

WOWT, too, had the full screen at its disposal with Jeff Jensen and Michael Born providing coverage from the studio, while chief Jim Flowers raced around in his car and reported via cell phone. Flowers offered little that couldn't be picked up on radar or spotted on the "city cam" mounted atop the First National Bank building downtown.

So while the chief meteorologists on two stations covered developments from the studio, where they could access the tools they claim are so vital to their work, Hysterical Jim was out tearing around in an SUV, relegated to describing "a pouch" dipping out of the clouds—one that was clearly visible on the aforementioned "city cam."

So, to recap: what does Precision-Doppler-6000-Weather-Where-You-Live-to-the-Power-of-6 offer that you can't get elsewhere? Hysteria and hype.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Slow Week

An assortment of observation at the end of an otherwise uneventful week...

• What the hell is Tracy Madden trying to do with her hair? During Friday's "Live at Five," it looked like a mullet as envisioned by KMTV's former stylist. Memo to Tracy: Ignore whoever is currently giving you hair advice.

• KETV's weekday morning "First News" traffic reports were noticeably better this week in the absence of in-studio dolts Jana Murrell and Veronica Todd. Someone named Brooke Williams delivered reports over the phone and was about 20 times more articulate and informative than either Murrell or Todd can ever hope to be.

• And speaking of KETV, Thursday's 10 p.m. newscast featured a rare glimpse of anchor Rob McCartney delivering an embarrasingly overdone package on the wind ripping an enormous American flag from the side of the Woodmen Tower. McCartney's voiceover was overstuffed with overstuffed phrases like "star-spangled banner yet waving," included idiotic soundbites from some yokel who, McCartney said, "rushed into action" to pick up the flag when it hit the ground at 18th and Douglas, and generally looked like something one might submit to Action 3 News to audition for Devon Patton's job. We hope this isn't a sign of things to come.

• On the network front, this question: Are we the only ones who think the Today show's new set makes it look as if Matt Lauer and the gang are doing the show from an Apple Store?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shaniqua and the Pronouns

When WOWT's bumbling management, in their zeal to double the number of non-caucasian reporters at the Big Six, hired under-qualified reporter Maniko Barthalemy, they must have known this kind of sentence was coming. Teasing one of her several inconsequential live reports on Saturday morning, Shaniqua said, "If a student can't see in class, it can make it harder for he or she to focus."

Maybe hiring she wasn't such a good idea.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Monster Mash

This picture even made our eyes cross.

WOWT's talent-free anchor Sheila Brummer got hitched last Saturday. Read the engagement announcement here. (Sheila's the one on the right.)

And don't stare at the photo too long. It'll burn your retinas.

While We Were Sleeping

Thanks to our many alert readers for pointing out what we had somehow missed: that empty-headed KETV traffic tracker Jana Murrell is off to Washington for a physical therapy internship. (Believe it or not, Murrell is working on a doctoral degree in P.T. It must be easier to get one of those than we had thought.)

Meanwhile, back at the Newsplex, moronic Murrell's moronic fill-in, Veronica Todd rambles on. Despite claims by several alert readers that Todd is a vast improvement over Murrell, we must respectfully disagree.

When she's not looking disoriented by the green-screen, Todd spends an inordinate amount of time telling us about how she prepares the reports, instead of about what's happening on the roads.

"I couldn't find a little icon for fire," she confided to viewers Friday morning, before mentioning that firetrucks were blocking some obscure street or another.

She also seems to be astounded by traffic on the North Freeway every morning around 6:30. It has apparently escaped her notice that there's a major construction project going on in the area just west of Creighton University Hospital.

No, Todd is no improvement over Murrell. She merely offers a slightly different strain of stupidity.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This 'n' That

• KETV is making its weekend morning newscasts Husker-centric. Starting this week, promos tell viewers, Channel 7's "Big Red Zone" is taking over weekend mornings. Let's all hope that no one decides it'd be a good idea to dispatch Fubar Fazal to cover the Cowhuskers, or whatever the hell she'd probably call them.

• It sure is nice tuning in to WOWT's "Live at Daybreak" this week and not being yelled at by Jim Thiedlecki. Apparently Big Jim is on vacation. Malorie Maddox, as we've noted before, comes across as exponentially more poised and intelligent when she's not splitting time with and being interrupted by her overbearing, buffoonish co-anchor.

• Speaking of absences, where the hell is regular KETV traffic bimbo Jana Murrell? This is, by our count, the fourth week that her equally inept substitute, Veronica Todd has been bouncing idiotically through her duties on the weekday morning "First News." Wednesday's performance was particularly comical. At one point, Todd was tranfixed by the off-screen monitor, causing her to appear to be looking off to her left at nothing in particular. This followed her fumbling with her remote clicker while saying of an accident at 15th and Locust, "I can't show it to you, but I can tell you about it!" Umm, yeah...

By the way: we're not complaining about Murrell's absence. Just curious.
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