Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas from Journal Broadcasting. Oh, By the Way: You're Fired

It must be fun working for a company that would kick you out in the cold four days before Christmas.

That's what Journal Broadcasting did on Thursday, when it announced that it wouldn't be renewing the contracts of KMTV anchors Deb Ward and Greg Peterson.

While the station has been lagging in the ratings, much of that can be attributed to years of financial neglect by its previous owners. Emmis, which sold the station to Journal, even went so far as to remove the 6 p.m. newscast from the schedule.

But apparently, Journal either expected its switch to the "Action 3 News" format to miraculously turn things around, or it blamed Ward and Peterson for the station's low performance. Who knows?

It's unfortunate that these two were chosen to take the fall. While Ward has never been our favorite anchor, she has been a steady presence at the station for over two decades and deserved better.

Peterson's departure is even more lamentable. Both he and KETV's Rob McCartney put WOWT's straw-headed straw man John Knicely to shame. Peterson is a class act who will land on his feet, but if the suits at Channel 6 had a clue (and they clearly don't), they'd hire Peterson, wait out any non-compete clause, and put him in Knicely's place at the earliest possible moment.

The most idiotic aspect of this entire exercise at Channel 3rd, however, is the fact that GM Steve Wexler is still nursing his company's hard-on for bloated, nasal-voiced, viewer-repelling sports director Travis Justice.

Wexler is quoted in Sean Weide's Reader Media Notes as saying that there is no plan to change sports anchors.

If one were looking to fix problems at the station, Justice's would seem to be the first head to be placed on the chopping block. Why Journal is choosing to keep that tool on the air is just plain baffling.

Finally, and just as baffling, is why anyone in management would do this to people the Friday before Christmas. Would it have killed 'em to wait a week or two? Or would it have cost a few extra bucks? It was a tacky move by a station that doesn't need any help looking tacky.

Good luck, Greg and Deb. Merry Christmas.


Omababe said...

Since they already announced a replacement, it looks like she got Shradered. :(

jmsqabq said...

The replacement hires (both non anchors who think Omaha is a beach in Normandy, if they think at all) are vintage consultant picks.
They no doubt 'popped' on the tape that was bicycled around the country ... and they can build on air chemistry while viewers watch (if they do at all.) It will be like watching a bad lab experiment.
I want to make sure I word this right ... two ethnic hires??!! At once??!! In Omaha, Nebraska??!! The possibilities will keep this blog moving forward for months.

Jess said...

I just wanted to say good luck to Deb and Greg too !

husker80 said...

This reminds me of a TV station in Minneapolis about 20 years ago - the new owner came in and fired everyone who was good at their job EXCEPT the huge buffoon on the air who truly embarassed the station.

Oh wait - that was a sitcom! Well, maybe it's that Channel 3 is the big joke on the air now.

Amen - 6 SHOULD hire Peterson. But because mediocrity is a virtue on Farnam St., expect Greg to leave town once more and for good. Too bad for us.

Mel Gibson said...

Take it from somebody who really knows, these firings took place because of the poor Hanukkah bonuses the managers got! They wouldn't know good talent even if sugartits bit 'em on the arse.

dotbowels said...

Don't mind seeing bloated Deb go, Greg was okay though

Scott said...

I can't believe how on the mark you are about this group of morons. If it wasn't for Mallory and that blond on channel 3, I wouldn't watch at all. Farrah Fizzil ? Fazal ??? has got to be the poster child for why Muslim women wear burkas.

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