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.

16 comments:

Razz said...

I sincerely hope that the staff will land on their feet and hopefully go and work for a station that actually cares about news.

BTW, how is the sales staff going to sell the fact that their newscast is being produced/simulcast 300+ miles away? That'll help revenue.

Smith said...

This is really too bad. There is at least one other local affiliate in Omaha that deserves this more than KPTM.

Although their set, sound quality, and cosmetics of their newscast were substandard, they usually had relatively in depth reporting.

Once you got past the under par packaging of the product, the content was usually head & shoulders above the drek being doled out by the other 3 affiliates with local newscasts.

Operation Seng said...

I hope this is all rumor. I've watched the KPTM newscast grow and have actually come to enjoy watching most of their personalities (with exception of a few). With less money and less equipment they have managed to put on a better newscast night after night than their competition at 35th and Farnam (of course that's not really saying that much). If true...they will be missed.

Dumb Anguish said...

This is a shame. You hate to see this happen to anybody. But KPTM seemed like good people. They put some effort into it, they worked with what they had…And yet at the same time they didn’t constantly tell viewers that they were the end-all, be-all of modern, professional television news. They deserve better.

And WTF? Davenport, Iowa? Does this mean we’re going to have Davenport, Iowa’s news? That’ll be useful.

Brian said...

http://omaha.com/article/20100708/LIVING/707089915#kptm-outsources-newscast-to-iowa

Omababe said...

I hope this is not true! :( I don't watch 42 news much (wrong time for me) but when I do I usually find them less annoying than the Big 3.

>And WTF? Davenport, Iowa?

Something here doesn't pass the smell test. Are you sure it's Davenport and not Sioux City?

I don't think that the semi-new owner (Titan or New World or whatever they go by this week) has anything over in the Quads, but they sure do up in SUX.

Oh well ...

Will said...

Not unheard of. When I lived in Minot, ND, the local ABC affiliate simulcast news from their owner's Bismark station. The coverage was more "regional" than "local" as I recall.

CLINT said...

I agree with everybody else here. I personally think that Taylor Wilson and Amanda Mueller are the best anchors in the local news market. They have tried to put a good newscast with the little support that they have recieved from KPTM owners.

KM3 Alum said...

Any bets on who is next? The competition between three and six for this (dubious) honor must be fierce!

PS: I would give three a slight edge. However, they may do something really stupid--like firing all the anchors except Sheila Brummer

Josh said...

Jesus, that ain't right.

I used to work for KPTM -- granted, very few people I worked with are still there -- and they are hardworking people who did their best to present the news in the best way possible despite having multiple strikes against them (lower quality equipment, less talent, and being way up on the dial as far as local TV is concerned).

It's not right that some company wants to sacrifice quality and the intimacy of retaining its news in its city just to save a few bucks.

Josh said...

That all said, could this Independent News Network possibly be any worse owners than the cheapskates at Pappas?

MaryBeth said...

After 10+ years of watching channel 3 news (partly out of habit, but mostly because i like the national news that comes on at 7), i switched to channel 7 today. can't believe the difference!!! far more professional and it felt like the target audience was eductated professionals. seems like channel three targets the lower rungs of society, using words like "cops", "busted", "wreck", etc. channel 3's staff seems to be unprofessional, with the off stage staff yelling "whoots" onto the set, on air talent talking about their personal lives (ct's contant goings on about biking) etc. now that i look back, it seems like channel 3 isnt projecting an image of journalism, but instead, they are filling time by reading the news and chitchatting. it feels like they have no one over there babysitting them.

omatvwatcher said...

So from what I hear, KPTM's ratings have actually been improving and have actually been higher than KMTV's for some time. So what is the justification of cutting back the staff that was successful? If the station hasn't been able to make money with these improvements despite all the limitations forced on the news department, wouldn't it make sense for a different department to be held accountable? Sounds pretty backwards and wrong to me. I wonder what local businesses think of the way this particular business is run.

Operation Seng said...

When you have the same "yahoo" running the show at 42 that brought us J-Pa and Jim Liars over at the big Sux; I would expect nothing less for 42. The man running the show at 42 does nothing BUT run good news into the ground all in the name of the almighty dollar. Professionalism means nothing to that man. You want to kill a station...bring that self serving sack of $**t on board. But I'm not bitter.

Cogitor said...

That's what happens every time you have accountants running something besides accounting firms. Every time. For some reason they have a hard time sifting through data to determine the true cause and effect pathway.

Any of you who are accountants and are offended? Tough beans. Unless you've been in the businesses you're running, you're most likely missing an important element of revenue that can't be tied directly to some account number.

gloriacomm said...

KPTM by far offers the best news programming in Omaha. Amanda Mueller and Taylor Wilson (like others have well noted) have brought KPTM from the depths of bordom and blah to very strong content. They are believable Omahans, sincere and work hard to assemble the most content per minute of airtime. Best of all, they are unassuming. They don't need strange names for their news center like "The Mega-Super-Dopler-News-Plex-at-Nine" garbage. They just deliver. They are refreshing. I've been watching news programming in the Omaha market since the 1990s and believe KPTM is the only station going in the right direction. Offering REAL news. Okay. Not always, but better than the rest. Less pomp and circumstance. They don't feel the need to resort to the lowest common denominator to get viewers (especially like KETV). It is a shame the KPTM owner is pulling the plug when the well is primed with a growing loyal following to dominate the local market. This seems to be a textbook case for poor station management happening right before our eyes. It will possibly be bigger spill of stupidity than the BP disaster and when KM3 let go its trusted Omaha anchors in exchange for a pair of mannequins. Neither KM3 or KPTM may ever recover after this.

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