Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adrouny KGO Departure--Part KNTV Wooing, Part Watkowski Fatigue; Keeshan NBC Influence; Best Solo Bay Area TV Newscast on KGO's Sister TV20 Anchored By Ashley; Dream Team of SF Anchors; Wednesday Drill And Items


Stephanie Adrouny was wooed heavily by NBC Bay Area, (KNTV), for the position of Assistant News Director --the same gig she had for the past 14+ years at KGO.

Some of my Insiders at 900 Front speculate that Adrouny, who was widely respected and beloved by several staffers, was tired of working under ND, Tracey Watkowski.

"Trixie", as she's known derisively inside the Channel 7 studios, is an autocratic leader and looks over everyone's shoulder. "She's a royal pain in the ass", one of the producers told me. "She also  rules by intimidation and that doesn't work here." So I asked if that's the case, why is she, (Watkowski), still working there.

"She has friends in high places at the network that still have faith in her."

Adrouny's sudden departure caught a lot of people off guard but the combination of tension inside the building combined with a chance to get away from Watkowski and earn a nice wage at KNTV was too good to turn down. Furthermore, Adrouny is a disciple of Kevin Keeshan, the former KGO ND, (before Watkowski), and who still possesses major influence at KNTV, an O and O NBC station. Keeshan has a hightop position at NBC News in NY and was instrumental in Adrouny's SJ courting. It also helped that she spent time there in 2000 working as a producer for the 5 PM News.


*Another thing about KGO: their solo news show on sister station, TV20 at 9 PM anchored by Dan Ashley, is the BEST singular newscast in the Bay Area. Yes, The BEST. Ashley is consistent; a very businesslike, straightforward, no-nonsense and yes, engaging and entertaining news program that zips by fast and furious, is nicely paced and unlike PIX's abysmal circus act, is far more smarter and focused. And it even has pretty decent ratings, what a bargain.

*Here's a DREAM TEAM of ANCHORS, 2014: KGO's Ashley, KRON's Pam Moore, KTVU's Ken Wayne and KPIX's Juliette Goodrich.

*At KTVU, two lameduck managers--soon to be departing for Boston: Tom Raponi and ND, Lee Rosenthal. No wonder there's a lot of people with high pressure in Jack London Square. Combine that with the fact that Mark Ibanez's being courted by KGO--Ibanez' contract is up in March and seems less set with his dream of finishing his career at Channel 2. In other words, Ibanez will listen intently to what, (possibly), KGO has to offer. We continue to hear that Larry Beil would love to go back to his native Hawaii and "be a big fish in a little pond." The money would be a lot less but he loves Hawaii--who doesn't.

KTVU Add: With Fred Inglis' retirement set for August, already the station and Ibanez himself have been bombarded with tapes from interested tonsils. One local guy, (a radio sports fill-in), wrote to Ibanez, according to my mole,--this is no big news, but THIS is: the radio guy used to mock Ibanez' work when he did part-time gigging at a local sports station. I don't think the radio guy is on the short list.

*KGO RADIO UPDATE: The changes are a-comin' in September and they will be fast and furious--in the meantime, OPPS Mgr, Kevin Metheny is scoping the station and getting ready to implement the talk/news hybrid. KSFO too, where the morning zoo father/daughter mishmash struggles forward.

*Spencer Hughes, (aka: Sven Silva), the buffoon from 9-Noon at KSFO: hope you're still renting.

*At Comcast SportsNet Bay Area: the youthful worker bees in the newsroom are FED UP with the EGO-Prickster known as Chris Olivere. Says a staffer to me who asked to be anonymous, "He acts as if he's President of the US --what an asshole." Actually, assholes have more taste than Olivere.

*Hashtag #Likewesototallysuck at 10 PM's KPIX's MTV experiment on KBCW. Maybe they should go all-world and change the name from "NighBeat" to "MY Space News." Ba-Dumb-Bump!

*Ronn Owens on Israel and Gaza policy: We agree.

*That fat slob of a food geek, Grace Ann Walden, is an anti-Semite food geek at that--the fat food yenta referred to me as a "Zionist" in an ad-homonym attack on a Facebook thread. (I won't refer directly to the context but it was pretty gruesome).  Another reason I don't do Facebook threads--stick to the casserole pictures instead.

By the way, Gracie, yes, I am a "Zionist" and proud of it--not a self-hating Jew like 99% of the Bay Area Jewish population.

*Jon Carroll of the Chronicle wrote his 798th column on cats--I think he really likes pussy.

*If KQED is looking for a fight with its rank and file union engineering department, then I think they're going to get one.

*Test-Pattern radio: 'Talk910' AM --The cryonics exhibit at the public library is more interesting. PS: When no one's listening it really doesn't matter if they don't take calls.

*KSFO new contest! Count the number of times the gravel-voiced chick says, "Thanks Brian"--Win a trip to Pleasant Hill!!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

KPIX/KBCW 10 PM 'NightBeat' Is Pretty Crappy; The Full 30-Minute Review; Tuesday Opener

The FIRST TIME I watched KPIX' CW 10 PM newser, 'NightBeat' I was so put off, I began laughing and turned if off after a few minutes.

After careful consideration I decided to watch an ENTIRE 30 minutes. Without interruption. My thought was that it would be unfair to cast a reliable opinion so soon after its debut. You don't review a new restaurant after two days, so I waited a week.

'Nightbeat' is McDrek. Yuck.

Sure, awesome dude, that Nightbeat on purpose tries to dumb down its limited youthful audience it is trying to endear itself to but for one time, I hope they're on Facebook and Twitter completely safe from the abyss known as being On The NightBeat.

If this is PIX's attempt at trying something new then either we're all screwed or local TV News is incapable of putting out a marginal newscast that has some residue of believability and quality. NightBeat has neither. NightBeat is farcical. NightBeat is chock full of gimmicks and insincere and vast nothingness; a bloated 30 minutes of contrived, forced and insipid attempts at being fresh and new. Gag me, Newness

Perhaps the biggest negative of this lousy show is that it not only makes KPIX look bad, but worse, makes newcomer, Veronica De La Cruz, look even worser. Why? Because De La Cruz is forced into doing and saying things that look and sound, well, forced. The false banter between sports and weather guys is putrid. It's not so much awful for its intent; we get it, again, they're trying to be different and that's OK, but this back and forth has all the warmth of a IHOP opening. It DOES NOT WORK.

The beginning of NightBeat amounts to jamming 10-15 quick stories down our throat with snippets of MOS interviews about dating trends; fast headlines, updates and urban minutiae --the concept is fine but the execution is horrid. It looks like it was put together in a hallway outside the PIX cafeteria in five minutes. The visual clich├ęs are too much to stomach. It reeks of a false premise that fast is good. If only FAST was good and in THIS instance it's terrible. There's no there there.

Furthermore, unintentionally, it belittles the product, and more to the point, the circus leader, De La Cruz. I like VDLC and think she's trying hard but her ad-libs and attempt at on-the-spot don't work, more ominously and for the show's future, (if there is any), her "ba-bump-bump" quips reek shallow and hollow. Why she utters them at all, assuming this IS ad-libbed and she's not being prepped by the show's producers, is mind-boggling. Even the best anchors need time to get to know the market before injecting out-of-place, out-of-mind comedic snips into the show--this is perhaps the WORST element of NightBeat. That and the requisite moron MOS interviews with some yuppies in Pleasanton about their dating life or the other zippy terrible fast-paced gimmicks PIX has placed on our screen to be new and innovative. Oh my God. Are millennials that dumb and numb?

Monday Night was fraught with awfulness. Dennis O'Donnell, tie-less, (we're trying to be hip, dude), looked positively dorky gazing into the camera trying his best to form visual en fuego with De La Cruz but his visual mugging looked more like a Bakersfield audition for Last Comic Standing.

Paul Deannu is a pretty damn good weatherman--just enough of a personality to have gained acceptance here, but his wimpy weather contest with Veronica at the end was so bad it was almost comical. My gut tells me it was not his idea but the staff and it really does him nor the fragile image of NightBeat no good; it's OK, by this time of the evening, the NightBeat had already sunk, I was waiting for the orchestra to play Titanic tunes.

Nobody begrudges CBS-SF for its work, its attempt to create creativity. It's all fine and dandy but if THIS is the best you got, girls and boys, then you all need some serious creative therapy. A junior high journalism class would laugh at this. Get real. Stop the forced visual gulag and get back to the basics. The current painting is a colossal clusterfuck of mega-proportions.

I'm sticking to playing video games and cruising the Internet.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Flash: Assistant ND at KGO-TV Adrouny Splits Down The Way To San Jose at NBC Bay Area

Stephanie Adrouny KGO-TV Assistant News Director, Stephanie Adrouny, is headed down south to NBC Bay Area, (KNTV), in San Jose to take over the same position. She will succeed Matt Goldberg, who left for KNBC in LA.

The news was confirmed to the Channel 7/KGO newsroom by ND, Tracey Watkowski late Monday night in an e-mail.

This will be a coming home for Adrouny who spent time at KNTV in 2002.

In the early analysis, don't read too much into this transaction although like everything else there could be a valid reason Adrouny is splitting: the coming Disney axe at KGO. She very well may have been on that list.

We'll explore.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Terry McSweeney, Marty Gonzalez And Peggy Bunker: Bay Area TV Anchor Weekend Warriors

TK Terry McSweeney has settled into a nice gig down in San Jose at NBC Bay Area anchoring the weekend news at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. and reports during the week.

 Marty Gonzalez, a two-decade weekend anchor/reporter for KRON: steady, reliable, all-business delivery and quality news delivery, network material. Like Heenan, we take him for granted.

McSweeney is solid, commands the screen and is one fine ad-libber. He also seems to have established some good chemistry with newcomer, Peggy Bunker.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

About Right For Today

{The Lovin' Spoonful}

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Saturday News and Notes; KPIX And Its CW Newscast Youthful Endeavor; Israel-Gaza on KSCO Radio 'Saturday Special'

 Some of you take the position of congratulating KPIX for trying something new with regard to their 10 PM "Night Beat" newscast on the CW channel, (KBCW).

Well, that's a reasonable position but just what is it that's new or bold or different?

We're to be enthralled that KPIX is marginalizing a newscast to attract a younger demo? That's supposed to be innovative? Please.

Think about it.

A thirty-minute newscast littered with silly-sallies --complete with Twitter and Facebook trends and other absurdities. How about 30 minutes of a simple, straight-forward, splashy, non-artificial program with sharper and quicker stories. No false bravado, no two-minute drills, just an attempt at a nifty newscast--how great that would be.

But no, in an attempt to cater to the lowest common denominator; the youthful Neanderthals most of whom are not even watching TV, let alone a local TV newscast, PIX has spent wads of cash on going after an impossible audience. For this, we're supposed to congratulate them?

Concentrate on bettering the product. Write better. Do some split-screen interviews. They don't have to be PBS-coated nor complex. Even the general public is bored with that and most of them also are not local TV news viewers. PIX has, in effect, trivialized its own product, its news service to the general SF public: Hey you, smart-phone kids, watch us!! Listen, we have something for you! As if to say their other shows are for the boring old masses. I'm generalizing but you get my drift.

Classy, PIX.

*From 10 AM to Noon, today, Saturday, on KSCO, we'll talk about the Gaza--Israeli conflict. Should be a doozy. Hope you tune in live but if you can't, it'll be repeated tonight at 10 PM and later, on a podcast.

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