Friday, December 31, 2010

1000 Words


Our new favorite alert reader calls himself Joey and his screen captures of some of SuxNews's most representative moments make us laugh every time we see them.

Check 'em out here on photobucket, and do yourself a favor by subscribing to the RSS feed. Don't forget to read Joey's captions, which make the pics even better.

Happy New Year!

Counting

Congratulations to SuxNews's lithpy morning yeller Jimmy Siedlecki for ending the year with another factual error delivered in his trademark know-it-all voice.

While sharing his astute observations about Thursday night's Husker loss in the Holiday Bowl, Thiedlecki noted that the outcome left the Big 12 with an 0-4 bowl record so far this year.

But if Jimmy were even half the expert he imagines himself to be, he would have known that the conference is actually 1-4, with only Oklahoma State winning and Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas State, and Baylor losing. But that's a mighty big (and unrealistic) if.

We have no doubt that Jethro will keep up the thuper work in 2011.

• • •

Speaking of the Husker bowl game, what was the deal with the sound on KETV sports director Blandy Kendeigh's pre-game reports from San Diego? The segments aired at 5 and 6 p.m. on Thursday contained a pronounced buzz, as if Kendeigh had recorded them beneath a bank of malfunctioning flourescent lights.

Honestly, did no one notice this before airing the spots? That sort of lapse is inexcusable and it's a prime example of the laziness that has become all too common in this market.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Turnovers

Our predictions for 2011 :

At Channel Sux . . .

• The station's morning team will (mercifully) fall apart, starting with simple-minded anchorette Maltard Maddox's decision to become a simple-minded stay-at-home mom. Doing what it does best, Channel Sux will make a bad situation worse by naming bland reporter Ann McIntire to replace Maltard.

J-Pa Knicely will announce his "retirement" in the sort of thinly-disguised shove-out-the-door accorded Knicely's equally vapid (and expensive) former partner, Pat Persaud, several years ago. 

Brian Mastre will assume J-Pa's throne, and Jimmy Thiedlecki will move his cornpone act into the Mastrebator's 4 p.m. anchor slot. 

• Weekend anchor Jamie McCutcheon will leave the station, reducing the number of competent on-air staff by one-third.

• SuxNews will spend most of the year orienting a dozen or so new on-air staff hired off whatever turnip trucks or clown cars happen to pass through town.

At KETV . . .

Brandi Petersen's maternity leave will give the station a chance to try out Melissa Fry as weeknight co-achnor. The result may prompt Petersen to stay home on a permanent basis.

• Meteorologist Bill Randby will leave Omaha for Florida, opening the way for Channel Sux's eminently capable Caitlin Roth to become KETV's chief weatherguesser. 

• Channel 7 viewers will continue to suffer from the station's 2010 decision to hire sleep-inducing Andy Kendeigh as its sports director.

• Like their colleagues up Farnam Street, staffers at 7 will continue the chore of orienting the latest influx of new reporters.

At KMTV . . .

• Channel 3rd will continue to languish, which might prompt competent management to consider hiring anchors that viewers might notice or remember. Fortunately for the incumbent anchor team, Channel 3rd is not burdened with competent management.

Monday, December 27, 2010

John Knicely's Ron Burgundy Pronunciation of the Day

Introducing Maltard Maddox's canned "consumer" story on frozen pizza brands, J-Pa called DiGiorno "DEE-ghee-ORN-yoh."

Geez. Even Maltard got the pronumciation right on this one (although she did manage to twist Kashi into "KAW-shee").

Maybe J-Pa should sign up next time former anchor-hag Pat Persaud advertises a trip to Italy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Freefall

The economy may be turning around, but the plunge in effort and quality continues unabated at Channel Sux.

Wednesday night found the dumbest of dumb blonds, Maltard Maddox, enlightening viewers about gift cards and whether folks enjoy getting them for Christmas.

Dumb story, you say, but how is that different from any other content-free story Maltard and SuxNews seem to specialize in?

Here's how:

Apparently, Maltard is now too brain-dead and lazy to even move her bloated, pregnant ass out onto the sidewalk in front of the station. Instead, her entire story consisted of her getting opinions from her co-workers.

That's right. Instead of coming up with an interesting story idea and then exerting even the slightest effort to make it interesting, Maltard thinks of an item and then stays within a radius of maybe 25 feet of her desk to get opinions from people in her office.

And so again, just when we think WOWT can't possibly get any worse, Maltard and her incompetent co-workers step up to prove us wrong.

Here's a gift idea: hand a pink slip to this moronic, sorry excuse for a journalist and everyone else like her that assigns or delivers crap like this.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Flashback

Seeing TLC "reality" fixture Kate Gosselin visit Sarah Palin's "reality" show reminds us of the time the Beverly Hillbillies visited Petticoat Junction, or when Mayberry's Sheriff Andy Taylor visited Gomer Pyle, USMC.

Sad to think how much more sophisticated those cross-promotions seem when compared to this current pairing of cable luminaries.

On the local level, perhaps SuxNews will follow suit, with Jethro Siedlecki and Ellie May Maddox doing a surprise walk-on to see J-Pa, Giggly Jim, and Ross the Chipmunk during the 6 or 10 p.m. news.

The visit could revolve around a mystery, like why video shot from a reporter's cell phone as he drives down the street makes it onto the air at their station. Or maybe the gang could figure who's dumb enough to pay good money to go on vacation with washed-up former anchor Pat Persaud.

We're getting excited just imagining the possibilities.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Stuffing

If we were narcissistic, we might think that SuxNews is just f-ing with us. Some of what they're airing lately is material that KPTM wouldn't have run even in its darkest days. That anyone can intro this stuff with a straight face (or any shred of self-respect) is truly remarkable.

Case in point: On Thursday's Live at Five, J-Pa "How Much Is That Hairpiece in the Window?" Knicely told viewers that every Thursday, the station is running a segment called "i-"something, which consists of sending out a team of its most worthless reporters to capture 30 seconds of shaky, cell-phone-quality video while talking about what they're shooting. 

On this installment, we were treated to sniveling dolt Gary Smollen mumbling about winter approaching as he recorded a man painting the railing on the Bob Kerry pedestrian bridge. As if that weren't enough, in-over-her-head warbler Ann McIntire panned up and down Howard Street while she told us that, in two days, the street would be closed for some event or another. 

For a full-blown story, "backpack journalist" Jeff Sabin broke a story about the existence of calorie counting apps for cell phones.

It's absolutely staggering to see what a pathetic shell of a news station WOWT has become. Not only is it staffed almost completely with third- and fourth-rate on-air talent, whoever is steering the ship is operating at an even lower level. 

How much worse can it get? We thought they'd hit bottom a couple of years ago, so we're probably not the ones to ask.


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Smudgectomy

An alert reader notifies us of a delightful development at SuxNews:
Nadia Singh is leaving Channel Sux...its been plastered all over her facebook...she's headed back to somewhere on the east coast. Tragic, laughing @ her clown makeup is usually a great way to start my day.
Getting rid of this chubby little rascal with her bad haircut, one-size-too-small leather jacket, and monotone delivery can only help. Or so one might think, until the Suxers reveal what they scrape from the bottom of the barrel to replace her.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Fingered

It'd be hard to prove based on this site, but we really do restrain ourselves from pointing out every Channel Sux malfunction, miscue, and moronic comment. There are two reasons for this. 


First, a certain number of slip-ups are to be expected when you're doing live TV. 


Second, there are only 24 hours in a day.


We were going to overlook this next item, but since several alert readers called it to our attention, we decided to run with it. WARNING: It's gross. And we're not just talking about the station.


So, here's part of the email from our alert reader:

Did you catch the booger-eating incident Wednesday night? (Sorry it's gross). Of course, it was the lead story by Ann McIntire about a lady who shopped all night Thanksgiving and into Friday morning. She then had her packages stolen. As they interviewed the lady on her couch, her daughter in the background was picking her nose (sorry again) and eating the bounty. She did it twice!! I came off the couch laughing (the girl was not that young). It was in full view of the camera - I was so distracted I didn't even listen to what the woman was saying. I watched the replay at 10:30 but it looked like they fixed the cropping of the shot somewhat to cut off the incident in the background. I just couldn't believe they taped the interview that way, then aired it without noticing. 
Frankly, we're not surprised they aired it. What does surprise us is that McIntire wasn't the one eating the booger.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Overinflated

Channel Sux's self-styled New York "expert" and morning albatross anchor Jimmy Thiedlecki tried to impress viewers Thursday morning with references to the giant balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade traveling down Fifth Avenue, which would be swell but for the fact that, as shown on the map below, the parade route does not include any part of Fifth Avenue. Nice try, Gomer!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Sh*t

Breaking news: along with national news networks, all three locally-operated TV news stations are reporting today that many, many people are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. Almost all have confirmed this story by sending reporters to the airport.

On a related note, these same outlets have learned that some of those flying today are uncomfortable with the controversial body-scan technology being used by the TSA. Others are okay with it because they think it's worth the hassle if it keeps them safe.

All outlets seem poised to keep viewers abreast of any new developments in this situation for the next several days. Or until something else happens, like volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinner to the underprivileged. But what are the odds of both things occurring on the same weekend?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Big

According to Mr. Knice-rug, Planters tonight introduces "Mr. Penis"!


video

That guy is the incompetent gift that just keeps on giving.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Letter

We found the following letter on our way to work this morning. Unfortunately, the bottom half was torn off, but it seems worth reprinting here.
Dear Brian Williams,
This morning I was watching my local NBC affiliate's morning "news" program and the two people who sit at the anchor desk were discussing Keith Olberman, that guy your company suspended for making campaign contributions.
Anyway, Jimmy, the male anchor (who has a really annoying lisp, by the way) was telling the stupid blond cheerleader (who has trouble pronouncing words properly) that if you were ever to do something as dastardly as what Mr. Olberman did, Jimmy would throw his scripts in the air and walk out, meaning (I think) that he'd quit being on TV. This gave me a really good idea for improving our local station, and I'm hoping you can help.
And that's where it cut off. What do you suppose the "good idea" was?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Crawling

Maybe this is a sign we've had the TV on too much, but it seems like this must be Have a Dolt Run the Chyron Day at local TV stations. The bungled attempt below, from KETV, ran during a story about the governor announcing he won't seek Ben Nelson's U.S. Senate seat in two years. Are TV keyboards harder to use than regular keyboards?

Never-ending

As an alert reader pointed out in a recent comment, we all know Channel Sux is riddled with incompetence, but it's still fun to watch, just to see how—and how often—they'll prove it each day. Here's one from just a few minutes ago, which we'll put in the file marked "Speling."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fall Back

• If you happened to be up at 4:43 on Monday morning, as Mrs. Brockman was, you already knew what KETV started mentioning in its promos later in the day. Its morning program now starts at 4:30 a.m., meaning John Oakey and Nichole Berlie get to tack 30 minutes onto what is far and away the best option for early risers seeking local news.

• Speaking of same, the program's regular weatherguesser, Chuck McWilliams, is leaving the station at the end of the month to join the Army Corps of Engineers. Replacing him will be KPTM refugee Tyson Pearsall, who spent time at the station prior to becoming chief (only?) guesser at Fox42. McWilliams will be missed, and Pearsall will be an adequate replacement, but it would've been nice for the station to have rescued the pleasant, capable Caitlin Roth from the WOWT excrement factory.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Math

If, like us, you've come to despise Mike Kelly's worthless column in the local paper, then you probably really hated Saturday's installment, which highlighted one of his more inane fetishes—what he calls "cool numbers."

Apparently, he found some guy who "was born on 10/10/55 and turned 55 on 10/10/10." Isn't it amazing?!

Let's add Kelly to the list of tired local hacks who need to go away— a list that already includes John Knicely, Jim Flowers, Dave Webber, Anne Boyle, and both Lee Terrys.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Glazed

On Thursday's 5 p.m. train wreck, WOWT featured one of its usual canned Consumer Reports features, voiced over by nasally know-nothing Maltard Maddox. This installment compared caloric content in breakfast items offered by several fast-food chains.The chains featured were McDonald's, Starbucks, and Dunkin' Donuts.

Aside from the usual annoyances created by Maltard's grating voice, bizarre pronunciations, and lack of inflection, the story itself wasn't terrible. What we wonder is whether Maltard didn't realize the nearest Dunkin' Donuts is 135 miles away,  or if she knew and was just too lazy to edit out references to a chain that has no presence in this market.

Just as troubling is the  question of what will happen when Maltard—who's at least five months pregnant—goes on maternity leave. Will Lithpy Jimmy Thiedlecki fly tholo, or will the SuxNews braintrust plant mousy monotone Ann McIntire or droning dimwit Nadia Singh at the desk? McIntire always sounds as if she's delivering a report for her middle school social studies class, and Singh has shown herself to be a disaster as the morning show's field reporter.

However the situation is handled, we're confident that the station will be able to make the worst of it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bottomless

An alert reader sends us this alleged SuxNews tweet from a few days ago . . .



@WOWTweather: A cold front is just to our west. As it crosses the winds will shit to the northwest. We warm to near 76º today.






Monday, October 18, 2010

Nonsense

As ridiculous as this news story is, those who have watched SuxNews with any regularity know that the "intellectually disabled" (how's that for a euphemism?) have been graduating from colleges for years.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Embarrassment

Remember how, when he was first trying to get himself elected to Congress, Lee Terry promised to term-limit himself and only serve eight years? Why don't we hear more about that as he runs for his eighth term?

Anyway, here's what we see every time we look at one of his TV ads:















Eerie, isn't it? Hearing him speak causes roughly the same reaction.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

10

Ten Reasons to Prefer KETV news programs over those of Channels Sux and 3rd:

1.  Little to no giggling among anchors.
2. Ability to develop talent.
3. FirstNews morning program.
4. Rob McCartney
5. They don't ask viewers to buy weather forecasts from them.
6. Melissa Fry
7. Nicole Berlie
8. Sports guys can pronounce names of players.
9. They don't call their webpage a "channel."
10. John Oakey.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bits

• At Action3rd, longtime reporter Dave Roberts has been given a weekend anchor job. He will be paired with new hire Kandiss Crone, who comes to Omaha after allegedly being bounced from a station in Jackson, Mississippi. 


Among other hard-hitting stories Crone did while in Jackson was an "undercover" piece revealing that an adult video store owner was selling (gasp) sex toys (Mississippi is one of four states banning sale of such items). According to this amusing account, not even the police were interested in following up on this "exposé." 


Imagine what she could've uncovered if Devon Patton had stayed around.


• A wave of alert reader email has come in regarding KPTM's transition to generic 9 p.m. news being piped in from the Quad Cities. Anchors Taylor Wilson and Amanda Mueller were dismissed so 42 could run a "pretend" local newscast starring some boob named Mike Mickel


Mickel's bio is located on the KPTM website and makes it sound as if he's actually living in Omaha. Asks one alert viewer: "Does Mike Mickel know he's not actually moving to Omaha, or is KPTM blatantly misleading its own viewers?" Um, we're gonna go with the latter.


Since Omaha's local paper hasn't yet discovered television as a medium worth covering with any regularity, Lincoln Journal-Star writer Jeff Korbelik has a more detailed account of this scam.


• As sad as we are to report it, SuxNews weekend evening anchor Jaime McCutcheon seems to be falling into the gears of the Channel Sux quality grinder. Her college football banter the past few weeks has been so forced that it's embarrassing. Then came Saturday night's reference to an incident at 16th and Lothrop (pronounced LOW-thrup for you out-of-towners). McCutcheon's rendition? "Sixteenth and luh-THROPE."


Hand us Le Kleenex. One of the only capable on-air employees at WOWT is being mentally asphyxiated before our eyes.


• And then what's up with the idiots yankin' the cranks inside the SuxNews "Sports Machine"? Last week, chirpy sports director Ross Jernstrom was squealing gleefully about a high school football game and referred to Westside player Tiras Bolton as "Tiras Bowen" at least three times.


In previewing college matchups the same weekend, Jernstrom's sidekick Greg "The Eyebrows" Ortiz rattled off several with phrases like "It'll be number one verse unranked blah blah blah, and number seven Nebraska verse unranked Washington." Does someone really need to tell a college graduate sports anchor that it's "versus," not "verse"?


This is the same Ortiz who Saturday night referred to Nebraska running back Roy Helu as "Ron" Helu.


Good gravy!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Back

Summer's over. Time to get back to work. Where to start?

There've been quite a few departures and arrivals in the past several weeks. We see the exits of weekend anchor Devon Patton and Kerri Stowell as positives for the Channel 3rd. Then again, lord knows what they'll hire. So far Dave Roberts doing weekends has worked. Maybe they should stick with that.

At Channel 7, longtime morning field reporter Mike'l Severe is out the door, and it's been a while since we've seen Eddie Munster doppleganger Ryan Luby on the air. Severe's departure is a big loss for the station, since he is perhaps the hardest-working man in Omaha TV right now. There have been several new hires at 7, but, for the life of us, we can't recall a single one of their names.

Of course, even the greenest of KETV's new hires would top just about anything working at SuxNews. No one there seems to be going anywhere. (Who'd offer them jobs?) Mumbly, videotape-thanking weekend morning anchor Bryan Latham is gone; no loss there. And Dave Weber, who supposedly retired a year ago, keeps resurfacing alongside amply-eyebrowed Greg Ortiz, who was hired some months ago to replace Merlin Klaus. Although Weber is still more palatable than his successor, Ross Jernstrom, his post-retirement loitering is second only to Rainbow Rowell's return to the local paper in the "Pathetic Retreads" department.

Speaking of Ross and the Suxers, one alert reader asks,

Is Ross as dumb as he acts?  He always has completely idiotic teases for upcoming stories, but today is probably one of the worst.  Back in 1970 he could get away with a lot more but now in 2010 don't tease "Coming up at 6, we will show you where the huskers are in the ESPN 25 college football poll".  We have this thing called the internet, most people that care, already know, and the rest can go to this crazy new invention called the "internet" and check it out sometime in the next hour.  How you come up with an original story and tease that, oh wait, don't try that, I don't want to see what you would come up with. 
Better yet just say "and the huskers ended up 10th in the ESPN poll and now back to you Nice-rug and Maltard"!

Lest you wonder if local victims viewers are the only ones astounded by the ineptitude at SuxNews, one alert reader writes,
I used to live in Omaha for 10 years. I moved away 2 years ago to Dallas, but travel back here from time to time. I like to keep up with your blog, but tonight drove me crazy......The lead off story tonight is about sharing too much info online through Facebook & Twitter??? and "reporting live by Justin Joseph"??? That followed up by a missing woman? I would hate to be that woman's family. You got beat out by a live report people post too much info on Facebook!
I know I have become spoiled by a very professional (and corporate owned) TV station, but WOWT has become ridiculous!!
I was up here for the CWS and noticed that JPa messed up reading a slide that was on the screen he was reading word for word what was shown on the screen but became lost. This was followed up by ~30 secs of stuttering and stammering and dead air. I talked to a friend "in the biz" who started laughing about his incompetence> I though that was bad but tonight was worse.

The J-Pa thing is getting worse. We have to wonder if the guy isn't suffering mini-strokes or something when that stuff happens. Combined with the fact that he frequently drops syllables and stumbles over things that even he should be able to pronounce, his performance might lead the untrained eye to conclude that there's something besides his usual incompetence at work.

Yet another reader advised us to check out Channel Sux reporter Justin Joseph's blog. While we were hesitant to wade into such excrement-infested waters, it proved to be worth the trip. Not only does the guy take himself waaaaay too seriously, he writes as if he's composing a script for a 1968 episode of Dragnet.  Check it out here.

Turning to the topic of KPTM's ongoing liquidation, one reader reports that

that place is ready to implode.  The news announcement, in addition to the departure and imminent departure of key personnel, have left that station in very bad shape.  There are a few people left that actually do good work, but the remainder of the staff are clueless and/or bean counters who are looking at short-term solutions for improving the bottom line.  Problem is, that bottom line will only be good for a few months until the draconian cuts have their inevitable effect of lowering ratings - at which point the people who made those cuts will blame the few who are good employees and keep cutting.  Death spiral.
That ship is sinking (again).

That's it for the moment. Discuss.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Out

Just back from a couple of weeks of travel. Turned on the end of the SuxNews 10 p.m. Sunday news just in time to see J-Pa Knicely drag out the nightly gigglefest so long that he was cut off in mid-sentence.

That was followed by about 20 minutes of dead air. Actually, it was 3 minutes of black screen, 15 seconds showing only a photocopier, and the remaining time filled with silence and the station logo.

It's great to be back!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cost

Since KPTM is apparently willing to do anything to save a buck, perhaps instead of paying meteorologists, they can hire that octopus who predicted the World Cup winners. It'd probably be more accurate than Giggly Jim Flowers and his little sidekick, Seabiscuit, and considerably more watchable.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Chopped

Several alert readers are reporting a bloodbath at KPTM, where the station's new owners have allegedly decided to fire most, if not all, local news personnel and fill existing news slots with simulcasts from Davenport, Iowa. The changes are said to be scheduled for September.

This is a shame, both for the individuals being terminated and for local viewers. After years of mismanagement, things at Channel 42 finally seemed to be turning around. This ill-advised move is a disservice to the station's news staff and to the market as a whole.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Challenged

• SuxNews morning twit Malorie Maddox revealed her geographical ignorance on Wednesday, repeatedly referring to South Padre Island and thereabouts as "southeast Texas." For someone as impressed with her book-learnin' as Maltard appears to be, you think she'd know that that part of the state is known as "south Texas," whereas "southeast Texas" refers to the corner of the state between Houston and the Louisiana border.

• Would someone please clarify the ratings picture in this market? Channel Sux is running promos declaring its 10 p.m. newscast the "most-watched," while Channel Seven does likewise. We've got a guess as to who's stretching the truth, but real numbers would be nice to have. Can't the local paper put someone on this story?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Poor

Saturday night's Suxcast found weatherhorse Andrea Rich warning of rain on Sunday and urging those going to the College World Series to take an umbrella to the game.

Only problem with this advice? Umbrellas aren't allowed in the stadium.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shazam!

You can take the girl out of Joplin, but you can never quite flush Joplin out of the girl.

Channel Sux's farm-report-caliber morning anchorette Malorie Maddox, filling in on the midday news for Jimmy Thiedlecki on Tuesday, referred to Michigan Senator Carl Levin (sounds like "eleven" without the first e) as Carl "luh-VEEN."

Anyone following national news for more than a few months would recognize the man's name; he's been in the Senate for 32 years. That, of course, explains why Maltard had no clue.

Remember, they're the news you trust.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Snicker

Exhibiting its talent for 24/7 bumbling, Channel Sux went dark Saturday night from approximately 11:00 to 11:15.

They're quick to boast that they're available on the internet and on your phone. Now all they need to work out is how to stay on television.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Flickering

The bad news: ThuckthNewthe Anchor Jimmy Thielecki returned from vacation Friday morning.

The good news: Channel Sux has been off the air intermittently all day, so those staying with the station saw more dead air than they saw of lithpy Jimmy and his annoying little sidekick, Maltard Maddox.

The station promos promise that viewers can count on SuxNews, but they omit the rest of the sentence, which should add "to overhype ourselves to the point of ridiculousness and then stumble and bumble our way through even the simplest tasks."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Backwards

We can remember a simpler, gentler time: an era when there were only three or four stations to choose from, when professionally-produced national newscasts were delivered by trained, serious journalists. In those days, national news was a once-a-day treat, and most of the really stupid stuff we saw on TV was produced by rubes at local stations—stations that were on the air maybe twenty hours a day.

Unfortunately, those days are gone.

Local TV still has a remarkable capacity for airing worthless programming, most of it thrown together by nitwits and bimbos who couldn't have gotten even an interview with their current stations 25 years ago, much less an anchor job. Despite all the technical improvements and 21st century gadgetry, local news is more vapid and useless than ever.

One example of this trend involves having news anchors encourage viewers to post comments online regarding a given topic. That, one might think, would be pointless enough. But rather than stopping there, said anchors go on to give the resulting posts a cold, on-air reading.

The reading usually sounds something like, "Umm, Noreen writes, 'This is what we get for fluoridating the water!'And, uh, Delmer says, 'I think the feminists are trying to steal my socks,'" when the topic is the College World Series. It's the sort of moronic drivel that, in the old days, would have been reserved for the KFAB Comment Line.

Locally, this mental novocaine first appeared where most local idiotic features originate: SuxNews. Unfortunately, before long, KETV was making its anchors read viewer posts to the station's Facebook page.

Even more disturbing is that the ineptitude and vacuousness of local stations seems to be seeping upward into national outlets, in the same way that excrement climbs  into a house when there's no backflow preventer on the sewer pipe. Seeing this inanity on outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and even an occasional network news program is especially troubling.

Here's what news directors (and the clueless consultants who pull their strings) don't seem to get: We tune in to news programs because we want to hear from people who know more than we do and who have actually located facts in an attempt to make sense of what's going on in the world. We want to articulate, educated, clear-thinking grownups to keep us up to speed on current events.

If we want half-baked theories, mundane observations, and irrelevant gripes, we can go down the street and visit our dumbass neighbor—the one with the unpainted house, who's in his eleventh year of building a retaining wall in his backyard and whose driveway features a rusting pontoon boat, half a decaying swingset, a faded Tilt-a-Whirl sign, and a maroon conversion van sporting Oregon license plates. Or we can go to a Tea Party gathering.

In other words, we want these dolts to take the time they waste reading online postings and, instead, give us meaningful info in a coherent manner.

Is that asking too much?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

#@&$! Where You Live

SuxNews seldom fails to delight with its coverage of storms. While KETV gives us live video of trees being tossed about, Channel Sux airs Jimmy Thiedlecki's photos of a privacy fence that fell over or Maltard Maddox's breathless account of her patio furniture blowing around.

But Tuesday's highlight was anchor Tracy Madden blurting out an expletive while waiting for J-Tard Knicely, a climatically aroused Jim Flowers, or the station's technical crew to do their jobs. Enjoy it over and over again here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bordering

Former KETVNewswatchSeven reporter Farah "FUBAR" Fazal has landed just north of the Rio Grande with a job at KRGV—the ABC affiliate in Weslaco, Texas.

The Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen market is #87, with just over 350,000 households. Omaha is #76, with about 410,000.

While she was in Omaha, Fazal's station bio boasted that she was fluent in Spanish. Perhaps her new job gives her the opportunity to bungle stories in two languages.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Resumé

More details on Action 3rd's new sports director, Travis Morgan can be found here.

He's coming to Omaha from Sioux Falls City, and he looks like it. (What is it with Channel 3rd and balding sports directors?)

They passed over Matt Seigel so they could get this guy?

Infinite cluelessness must be a prerequisite for running a TV station in this town.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tipped

According to a heretofore reliable source . . .

Matt Seigel has submitted his resignation at Channel 3rd after being passed over for the sports director position there. Word is that 3rd has filled the SD spot with another guy named Travis.

• KETVNewswatchSeven Sports Director John Schuetz has turned in his resignation, too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Enough

KETVNewswatchSeven is running the latest really annoying scare-the-viewer promo, this one an "I-Team" "investigation" entitled "When Bullying Goes Viral."

Really? This is the best they can do? How lazy do you have to be to think this is air-worthy? Or is this some consultant's brilliant idea? (In that case, how lazy does the consultant have to be?)

We've been subjected to variations on the "cyber-bullying" story for years now; it's been flogged to death by every local, network, and cable outlet in the lower 48.

And it's not even a story: kids are predictably stupid and mean. That's been true at least since Jesus invented the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunchbox.

Local newstools (put the hyphen where you like) need to give these idiotic reports a rest. That might free up some time for them to actually get to work and find some real news.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vote

It's been a quiet primary election season, at least when it comes to TV ads from candidates, and for that we can all be glad.

But driving around this morning, we encountered the inexpensive ugly cousin of the slick TV spot: a gaggle of otherwise normal-looking folks standing at a busy intersection, clutching signs for their candidate, sporting vacant smiles, and waving.

Is this effective? Have studies somewhere shown that drivers pass one of these streetcorner human billboards and say, "Gosh. That candidate's sign-holding people waved at me. I'm voting for him"? It just doesn't seem likely.

The other question that comes to mind is whether this is something that goes on elsewhere or a trend that local nitwits have come up with.

Discuss.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ditz

From an alert reader...

How about that Malorie Maddox and her unwavering, hardscrabble sense for journalism? She’s done a story on the internet fashion police, complete with scenes from Sex and the City.  
Click here to view.
If this doesn’t finally get her that long-deserved Emmy, then she’s truly laboring in vain.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spooky

We normally can't tolerate the Channel 3rd morning program for more than about ten seconds, but today we were able to endure two minutes or so. What we saw reminded us why watching smarmy dimwit Sheila Brummer and tiny weatherman C.T. Thongklin is even worse than tuning in to watch the hayseed duo that squeezes out Channel Sux's morning dump.


Granted, we should've changed the channel when Thongklin showed the station's "ThreatTracker" rising to "Calamity" on Thursday (it might rain) and assured us that such an event meant that he and the other weatherguessers at 3rd would be "on guard" against severe weather.


But were stupid. We stuck around for Brummer's account of pellet gun shootings in several neighborhoods on Tuesday. After reading the account left over from the previous night's 10 o'clock crew, Brummer began rambling about how she and her husband walked around "that neighborhood" on Tuesday evening and found everything calm. How that was relevant, one can only guess. 


Perhaps she was doing some of her amateur sleuthing/evidence tampering—the kind that got her hauled into court while she was a Suxer.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Awake

Monday marks the debut of Channel 3rd's run at a morning/midday local talk show.


Hosted by former KM3rd reporter Mary Martin (formerly Nelson) and Mike DiGiacomo, a recovering reporter from KETV, Morning Blend appears to be a "pay to play" offering that will focus on businesses who have purchased time from Channel 3rd's owner, Journal Broadcasting.


The last local talk program we can recall being produced at 3rd was Good Morning Day, an early-80s groaner hosted by longtime KMTV personality Joni Ballion and station-hopping radio morning host Dave Wingert. While the show was almost painful to watch back then (it lasted only a few months), it might look like Meet the Press if held up against what passes for early morning programming on Channels 3rd and Sux these days.


We're anxious to see what the folks at 3rd can slap together as they attempt to fill huge chunks of airtime with what are likely to be little more than unrehearsed infomercials. While we liked both DiGiacomo's and Martin's work as local reporters, it's hard to see this having a good outcome for either of them, unless it helps them get better gigs somewhere else.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Filly

SuxNews is milking the hell out of the fact that Ejacuweather meteorologist Andrea Rich ran in Monday's Boston Marathon.


[Insert your own thoroughbred joke here.]

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Adrift

How does the local paper run this story, about former Husker Eric Crouch promoting a constitutional amendment permitting non-profits to issue bonds for playground projects without mentioning that Crouch makes his living selling playground equipment?


Journalism much?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Merit

We go through this every so often, but it's been a while.


From time to time, what typically happens is that we make comments about someone's on-air work or goofy affectation and we're deluged with emails saying things like, "But he's a really nice guy," or "She looks great."


Therefore, we'll say it again. The perspective we offer here is that of the viewer, and our comments are based on the product that stations present on-air. It doesn't matter what the TV person is like behind the scenes. That doesn't improve the viewing experience one bit if the anchor or reporter can't pronounce Hernandez or slaps on a ridiculous and distracting amount of eyeshadow.


So while it's sweet that many who know him find J-Pa Knicely to be a pleasant fellow, the fact of the matter is that he is a joke as a news anchor. No one in this market seems more uncomfortable with transitions or unscripted conversation.


And while Maltard Maddox may be physically attractive, she typically has all the gravitas of a high school cheerleader and vocal delivery to match. If she spent as much time learning to pronounce gang and look as she spends on her thrice-a-year curling iron attacks, she might be someone we could take seriously.

Monday, March 29, 2010

News

Breaking stories on this morning's SuxNews Daybreak program:


Maltard Maddox's hair is back to normal and, according to Maltard, she doesn't want to "spind twinny becks" to see Hawt Teb Time Machine.


Meanwhile, Jimmy Thiedlecki reports hearing that Hot Tub is about as funny as The Hangover.


No wonder folks in the Heartland turn to SuxNews.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Farrah?

It's bad enough that morning blabberer Maltard Maddox is filling in at 10 p.m. this week in Tracy Madden's absence.

But then she decided to, like, play dress-up with her girlfriends and they, like, curled each other's hair and stuff, and talked about boys, and it was, like, SO much fun! It was just like getting ready for, like, prom or something!!! And then she, like, went on the air and we're like, OMG! Look how grown-up she looks, and like, wow! It's, like, we can't even believe she's, like on TV! Can you even believe it?!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Squeeze

SuxNews's Nadia Singh is subbing this week for regular morning blabberer Maltard Maddox, who is subbing for evening anchor Tracy Madden, who is on vacation. 


There are plenty of things wrong with that picture, although we're not sure the morning arrangement is any worse than Maltard's usual festival of nasally, twisted pronunciations. 


But someone might want to tell Singh to stop waving her arms as if she's trying to signal passing aircraft. Her gesticulations, which sent her hands as high as her chin Thursday morning, are even more pronounced than those of evening anchordolt J-Pa Knicely, whose mitts habitually dart in and out of his headshots.


Our second suggestion would be that, if it's truly essential for Singh to be wearing a leather jacket at the anchor desk, someone should get her one that fits, rather than trying to pack her like a parachute into the one she wore this morning. Given management's desire to run newscasts with minimal off-camera personnel, that should free up at least a couple of staffers.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Exit

For those of you who've been wondering what became of KETV reporter and weekend morning anchor Marla Rabe, sources tell us that she has not only left the building, she has left the biz. There's something about more money and better hours that attracts people. 


No word on the nature of her new career.


Rabe's departure is a loss for the station, which has done a good job in recent years of hiring and cultivating talent. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spread

Suxism, our new term for the worst habits of local TV news stations both here and across the country, is slithering into print journalism more and more often. 


Cartoonist/blogger Neal Obermeyer of Lincoln points out an AP story about Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning's claims that the health care reform measure passed on Sunday is unconstitutional.


In a post entitled, "Your Liberal Media at Work," Obermeyer names those quoted in the story—four Republicans (or their spokespersons), all of whom oppose reform—and then adds, "You know who wasn’t interviewed for a story on the constitutionality of the healthcare bill? An expert on constitutional law."


Such is life in the "Heartland."


You can find Obermeyer's blog here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Judgment

Do you suppose anyone at SuxNews thought it might not be a good idea to have your personnel grinning beneath this headline on one of the station's Facebook pages?























Apparently not.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leadership

An oft-run promo on WOWT gushes that the station is the first in the area offering full HD.


After Wednesday's day-long debacle—"technical difficulties" that shut down the "Daybreak" program and severely handicapped newscasts for the remainder of the day—the SuxNews braintrust might want to craft a new message celebrating the "Heartland's" first full HD meltdown.


This seems to be a case of chickens coming home to roost. A December story on Broadcast Engineering's website features Jim Ocon, Gray TV's VP for technology, bragging that “in Omaha, we are running newscasts with as few as two people. . . . Compare that to other similarly sized stations that require 10 people to put a comparable show on-air.” 


Who could've predicted that cutting corners so dramatically could result in problems?


Given the cluelessness of the suits at Gray, the cluelessness of its on-air team makes perfect sense.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Down

It's hard to remember better 6-7 a.m. SuxNews programming than what aired today.


We'll let an alert reader describe this unexpected treat:
This morning I woke up and instead of the Daybreak news they had the live feed of the Today Show with a message saying they were experiencing technical difficulty but not to worry, you could see the latest news on WOWT.com. 
So I hit the rewind on the DVR to see what was going on and it was just plain bizarre. They were doing their "normal" morning news when suddenly Ms Maddox announced they were experiencing technical issues and to stick with them. 
Then you had several minutes of a WOWT logo before weather guy Rusty Lord appeared on the screen, sitting down, talking to the camera for a couple minutes...But with no sound whatsoever. Very weird.
Several more minutes of the WOWT logo before Maddox and Siedlecki appeared on the screen, talking to the camera...Again with no sound.
That was when they finally switched over to the Today Show.
Needless to say, they really outdid themselves this morning. And the sad part is that every single one of them will still be on the job tomorrow morning.
As far as we're concerned, they can air the first hour of "Today" twice a day, every day. If we're to be subjected to the same program two hours in a row, we'd much rather watch a professional operation than the self-absorbed, lithping, diction-challenged nitwits from the local outfit.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fake

An alert reader sends us this link to a cracked.com piece entitled "5 Things the Media Loves Pretending Are News."


Several are similar to the sorts of crap we rail about here, including "Let's Ask the Idiots about Science, "Now for the Weather," and "Passing Advertisements off as News."


There are many wonderful and amazing things about living in the 21st century. Shitty news reporting—especially the local stuff—isn't among them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Controversy

Tribune Company executive Randy Michaels is under fire from TV news types after a news director in Chicago passed along Michaels' list of phrases he no longer wants to hear on Tribune-owned stations.


The list (below) was disseminated by WGN's Charlie Meyerson to his Chicago underlings, and the blowback on assorted media blogs has been colorful, to say the least.


Critics are right to suggest that the head of a company in bankruptcy ought to have other things to do than micromanage news copy. And his additional request—that employees keep a log of co-workers' trangressions—borders on madness. 


But we'd welcome a little more corporate involvement locally, where we've watched the quality of several once-respectable local stations evaporate in recent years.


That kind of increased scrutiny might (one would think) lead to (A) the firing of all but about three on-air staff members at SuxNews and probably a third of those at the other stations, or (B) a significant improvement in local news.


What's not to like in that?


Here's the list. Suggestions we consider idiotic or unnecessary are red. Those with particular applicability are blue. Our comments are in green.

“Flee” meaning “run away”
“Good” or “bad” news
“Laud” meaning “praise”
“Seek” meaning “look for”
“Some” meaning “about”
“Two to one margin” . . . “Two to one” is a ratio, not a margin. A margin is measured in points. It’s not a ratio.
“Yesterday” in a lead sentence
“Youth” meaning “child”
5 a.m. in the morning
After the break
After these commercial messages
Aftermath
All of you
Allegations
Alleged
Area residents
As expected
At risk
At this point in time
Authorities
Auto accident
Bare naked
Behind bars
Behind closed doors
Behind the podium (you mean lecturn) [sic]
Best kept secret
Campaign trail
Clash with police
Close proximity
Complete surprise
Completely destroyed, completely abolished, completely finished or any other completely redundant use
Death toll
Definitely possible
Diva
Down in (location)
Down there
Dubbaya when you mean double you [This means you, SuxNews.]
Everybody (when referring to the audience) 
Eye Rack or Eye Ran
False pretenses
Famed
Fatal death
Fled on foot
Folks
Giving 110%
Going forward
Gunman, especially lone gunman
Guys
Hunnert when you mean hundred [Pay attention, Maltard!]
Icon
In a surprise move
In harm’s way
In other news
In the wake of (unless it’s a boating story)
Incarcerated
Informed sources say . . .
Killing spree
Legendary
Lend a helping hand
Literally
Lucky to be alive
Manhunt
Marred
Medical hospital
Mother of all (anything)
Motorist
Mute point. (It’s moot point, but don’t say that either)
Near miss
No brainer
Officials
Our top story tonight
Out in (location)
Out there
Over in
Pedestrian
Perfect storm
Perished
Perpetrator
Plagued
Really
Reeling
Reportedly
Seek
Senseless murder
Shots rang out
Shower activity
Sketchy details
Some (meaning about)
Some of you
Sources say . . .
Speaking out
Stay tuned
The fact of the matter
Those of you
Thus
Time for a break
To be fair
Torrential rain
Touch base
Under fire
Under siege
Underwent surgery
Undisclosed
Undocumented alien
Unrest
Untimely death
Up in (location)
Up there
Utilize (you mean use)
Vehicle
We’ll be right back
Welcome back
Welcome back everybody
We’ll be back
Went terribly wrong
We’re back
White stuff
World class
You folks

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tin-Eared

If the Peabody Awards committee ever bestows a prize for incompetence, Channel Sux should submit a tape of Wednesday's "Daybreak" program. 


Among the highlights of just one half-hour:
  • Rusty Lord warning that showers Wednesday night "could be a little more heavier";
  • Use of the term "Weathermaker" to describe what is essentially a forecast map;
  • Nadia Singh, standing at 120th and L Streets for no apparent reason, saying Nebraska could join "19 other states, including the District of Columbia" in adopting a law against texting while driving;
  • Maltard Maddox, referring to a Tuesday night "gain fight" (that's gang fight in regular-people talk); and
  • When Maltard finished a story about "bedge-itt ketts" eliminating jobs at UNL's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Jimmy Thiedlecki's jumped in with this nonsequitir: "That was a really big business card to begin with!" [Good one, Captain Cornpone! You're like a hillbilly Oscar Wilde. And people losing their jobs is always an early morning knee-thlapper.]
It was during this same 30-minute span that we were able to catch the latest Channel Sux promo, which urges viewers on Facebook to "become a fan of the Channel Six page!"


Really? A fan of a station's page? Or a fan of a station? Do the people who write this crap even know what Facebook is?


Oh how we hope there's an especially miserable corner of Hell reserved for every nitwit who helps churn this sludge out day after day.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Horror

KETV took its turn on the stupidmobile during Sunday night's post-Oscar broadcast.


"What's on your makeup brush?" was the tease leading up to the piece, reported by the station's consumer reporter, Kristi Andersen.


It was hard for us to figure out why anyone thought this was a news story, until well into the report, which featured appearances by a dermatologist who advertises on the station and the founder of an Omaha company that sells a $59 brush designed to mitigate whatever supposed catastrophes lie waiting in regular brushes.


Apparently conjuring up crises designed to boost clients' fortunes is what it takes to cram five minutes of real news into a sixty-minute time slot. 
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