Friday, October 2, 2015

SF Market Frailty; Rundown; KTVU Fox2 Lament: 'These Are Trying Times'; 'World Concern Day' At KGO Radio; More Kate Scott Stupidity; KRON Still Albatross And KPIX Hasn't A Clue; Friday Rundown

 TOXIC TIMES at Bay Area media outlets. Never seen it this bad at some of the local TV/Radio outposts --and I'm being kind.

KTVU has been fully FOXified--there's a big time feeling of despair at Jack London Square with union problems, worker morale, cutbacks and the introduction of Happy Talk to a news force that hasn't been able to adapt --KTVU News still dominates Bay Area TV but Fox's questionable tactics has staff on edge.

Said a longtime newsroom employee: "These are trying times for all of is."

*KPIX is also in a state of semi-chaos --no one seems to know what the direction of the station is being considered. Assuming, of course, there is a direction. KPIX has been promoting (along with CBS) its Super Bowl 50 designation --only one problem: what happens after the big game? Back to normal. Which can't be too good because ratings have tanked; a virtual identity crisis engulfs 855 Battery with rotating/misplaced anchors and people in the wrong places. The situation isn't helped by a GM who, still, mysteriously, hasn't made a major move (for a station that clearly needs one) and a News Director who very openly plays favorites even if his chosen ones really suck at the job.

*KRON: This Just In: For the 14th straight year, KRON is once again, simply irrelevant. How many times can we say it? One would think someone higher up or at corporate would take responsibility but mediocrity and melodrama rule the day at the perennial albatross --oh, by the way, your cameras are still too damn close but keep on look crappy, KRON, stay consistent. You have NO leadership. You have no one pulling the bull by the horn. You have a dictator ND that no one respects and everyone fears (until corporate comes to SF and lowers the boom) And you have this new GM with a funky name who still hasn't done anything. Did the ride in the Bentley from the sports schlub further dilute your interest? And will you continue to allow a certain digital boy who is infatuated with a certain media blogger to continue his torment? I'd suggest you take him to lunch and educate him. Maybe the sports schlub will lend you the Bentley.

*Yes, that KTVU weather guy who should know better was suspended for a day after some subtle jab at the female anchor on the news desk. He's a pro so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

*The other day at KGO Radio was "World Concern Day"--says a local broadcaster: "And they wonder why the ratings suck."

*The more the alleged, comical Kate Scott talks and opens her mouth the more foolish she sounds. Which is horrible at best. She's been less featured on KNBR shows and it's pretty evident she's been told to shut up--even so, when she does opine it's, frankly, some of the most un-intentionally hilarious "talk" on the air, how frickin' un-awesome!

Scott is on the air because she sounds radio sexy voice thereby making horny guys hornier and allowing Ronnie Lott and Andy Dolich to froth at their sexual fantasies. It's good business even if the talent is a fraud.

*Speaking of KNBR, the "Peacon" redneck is back from vacation. Fire up the caffeine and make your Tea Party donation.

*Fox Directive KTVU Mantra: Gone are the days of paying decent money for star reporters. Gone are the days of singling out good work and rewarding superior performance. Let's fuck with cameraman and their pensions. Let's cut their pension. Let's make life miserable for 4th-tier newsroom workers and ask them to account for the water cooler. Yeah, that'll fire up morale. 

*First Rasmussen and Pritchett and looming, Vacar, Roth and Sasaki. Only with Vacar they might have a fight--he's a loyah.

*The most popular personality at KTVU is Sal Castaneda --who is also the sixth highest-paid guy at the station. Me thinks Sal's agent has some work to do.

*Do you notice all those new by-lines at the Chronicle? They're younger, cheaper and don't require all those benefits --something the union has noted at the Chron which is in for a future fight with the rank and file. Hearst will counter right off the start that they're losing a million bucks a week.

All of this comes amid high-profile star reporters, Henry Lee and Carla Marinucci leaving 5th and Mission to go to greener and more secure pastures. Lee to KTVU and Marinucci to deep pockets  I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

*Ann Killion: thinks she's the sports Evita. Tell that to Damon Bruce.

*John Evans and Martin Lenz: civility on the overnight at KCBS.

*Prediction: there will be a significant change in KGO-TV's management (i.e., News Director) sometime sooner rather than later. ABC is tired of lawyers and settlements. (Clue)

*Like I said recently, I would not be shocked at all if Mike Krukow were to announce his retirement from Giants duties due to his ongoing medical condition.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

KPIX And KRON Fail To Carry Obama Press Conference on Oregon College Massacre

 NOTED: Only KPIX and KRON did not carry President Obama's remarks about the college shooting in Oregon.

KTVU, KNTV, and KGO-TV all carried Obama's press conference live.

*Interesting that KRON bills itself as the "Bay Area's News Station."

Really now?

And KPIX--CBS' Owned and Operated TV station in the Bay Area? Curious decision to say the least.

415 Media Flash: Veteran Reporters Pritchett And Rasmussen OUT At KTVU Fox 2; Contract Extensions Turned Down

415 Media Exclu

Ken Pritchett and Eric Rasmussen are OUT at KTVU-- Fox 2, according to two independent broadcast sources.

Word on the street: FOX offered both reporters contract extensions and they were rejected by both.

The bullies at Fox are now going after the talent. Cutting pay and treating employees like crap. Fox is beginning to become the Walmart of TV. 

Ken Pritchett

Eric Rasmussen


Honestly Speaking, Welcome To The Raw 415 Media Thursday Darts; Nobody's Safe; Keeping It Real

 IF YOU THINK I'm harsh on Cheryl Jennings you should talk to her ex-husband.

*The KTVU Gestapo has instructed the working stiffs (including all anchors and reporters) to cease talking to me only the problem there is I talk to folks way above that pay grade. So Greg and Dana, time to reinvent your playbook.

*Oh, Bill Burton at KGO: If Trixie suddenly has renewed interest in Fresno? Let her walk. Staff already has reservations for six tables at Grumpy's. The tequila will be flowing.

*KPIX: Yo, Veronica: New York in January? What the hell. At least the bars are better than Ess Eff--GAME ON!!

*Young women who read teleprompters on a Thursday Night at the St. Regis? I'm there. Especially, you, the one who blatantly tried to cozy up to me and tell her boss that I, uh, well, you know. Sounds good on paper --too bad it never happened.

*Speaking of women, if any of you current KRONvicts have been hit on against your wishes, contact me, let's talk.

*Once again (and again and again and again) the lowel-level sports guys at KTVU are waging war against senior anchor, Mark Ibanez because Ibanez gets all the perks. He's entitled to it but that Fonzi and Reiss guy insist otherwise. Applebaum? They barely know you. Matter of fact, they really don't care.

*Somebody said they had some guys on an alleged KRON sports show Sunday night and it was some of the most unintentional laughter since Henry's garden show.

*Vicki Liviakis is not available, sorry boys, I've even tried.

*Cheryl, it's not the ultra plastic and botox it's the 'tude! Get a grip. The ego has run amok. Might be worthy of a Sunday topic. Plus, you can go real in-depth.

*The last woman on TV News that had any sort of gumption here was Kate Kelly. The magic word is: presence. Sure, it helps to be beautiful but you have to learn presence. Trust me.

*If Justine Waldman wants a gig at MSNBC they'd love to talk.

*The KRON digital guy got a promotion: he gets to wash Darya's car too.

*THIS JUST IN: Brian Copeland and Ronn Owens will have duel manicures on Union Street and broadcast live on KGO, brought to you by the DeeeBEEEGeeeBeeWeebieGeebie company.

*Gary Radnich actually said the Giants had an OK season. What the hell does he think he is, a sports guy?

*More sports talk, in fact, jarring news: The Game's (95.7 FM) John Lund failed to talk about his penis now for the eighth straight day.

*Happy Talk is fine when the talk is sincere and people really have faith in the anchors talking. It's a sort of sincerity thingie.

*Alan Martin is really, really, smiling a lot lately. Has he begun executing the Claudine Wong playbook? AAAAARRR!!!

*KTVU/Fox2 on Halloween --should be quite a party on Channel 2. Can't wait.

*In response to 2's "Talk Like a Pirate" Day, rumor has it KRON mulling "Talk Like an Eskimo."

*Natasha Zouves: Perky is fine, honey, really, but when talking about Syria and Russia, might be wise to can the phony smile and disposition --it really makes you look like a ditz. Everything else is OK, though.

*I think KCBS, KGO Radio, and KTVU could use another woman reporter.

*Great line by someone I forgot: You know why Donald Trump doesn't read the bible? He's not in it.

*Gil Gross: oatmeal radio.

*Cumulus rally cry: "At least we're not Enron!"

*KFOG: Does anyone really listen to you guys anymore? I mean, real people who would admit it. Not counting Marin housewife with beehive hairdo club who digs listening to John Mellancamp.

*Frank Somerville: You are still the king but quit trying to be KTVU's Jim Nantz

*Dear Sarah and Vinnie: One of your sidekicks has a certifiable knack for e-mailing me sweet somethings. Might be time for a staff meeting.

*Jessica Aguirre: If you ever break up with hubby, you have my number.

*BREAKING NEWS! on Today's Gil Gross show, Gill does a 5-minute phoner with a guy in South Dakota who says he made love to a chimpanzee!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Natasha Zouves Draws Massive Ire From The Circle 7 Natives; Staff Feeling: 'She Hasn't Paid Her Dues'; Probable Jennings Replacement Feels The Heat

 "A lot of the staff is really hot because most of them think she's got ahead without paying her dues."

That from a senior KGO-TV employee who tells me newbie anchor, Natasha Zouves, is drawing massive resentment from the natives inside the KGO newsroom. The Bay Area native and former San Diego "hottest" TV anchor is barely into her second month and already is being castigated by fellow ABC7 staffers.

We've reported as much.

There's already a strong feeling that Zouves will replace Cheryl Jennings early weeknights and carry on her weekend anchor duties simultaneously.

For my two cents I've watched Zouves and while she can certainly read a teleprompter, her always-smiley face comes off as insincere and phony. The happy face syndrome --way too much for my taste--is not a pleasant sight particularly when she's reading a serious story. It looks sort of forced and contrived.

I'll give Zouves the benefit of the doubt and allow her more time. Apparently, some of her colleagues aren't so patient.

Cheryl Jennings BS And Chronicle/Leah Garchik Capitulation; KGO-TV Anchor Gets Disney Boot From Anchor Chair; News Director Wants Staff To Pay For Producer's Party; Stink Time At 900 Front; Inside Story

 You probably know by now that KGO-TV (ABC7) veteran news reader, Cheryl Jennings, is leaving the anchor desk. She says she wants to pursue "more of my long-term, in-depth stories."

And if you believe that, I have some nice oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you.

The gullible Chronicle and Leah Garchick bought it.

The real story? Jennings has been on cruise control the past few years. She's only stayed at KGO because she's been there since cavemen were existent.

Jennings has seniority and she's a woman. So she wasn't thrown out of 900 Front. She was merely told by ABC that she wasn't going to be anchoring anymore but if she wanted to stay (for a lot less money) she was welcome to stick around in her twilight years and do her Sunday work and occasional "in-depth" reports.

Apparently, Jennings chose the ABC directive. She's lucky: I actually thought she was history a long time ago but her bosses had a change of heart. It wouldn't look good to throw a late 60's woman out the door.

Bottom line is Jennings got the heave-ho. That's the story in a nutshell --Jennings can spin it all she wants and has Leah Garchik to spread the falsities --but Disney (which owns KGO) is quite known for lowering the boom on high-paid air talent who've reached the end.

*MEANWHILE --Jennings' fate wasn't the biggest news at KGO Tuesday---apparently the mood inside the building wasn't too peachy--why?

Veteran 6 PM producer, Bill Green, is retiring and management wanted to throw a party for him.

Sounds reasonable only the staff was caught off-guard by the News Director.

From my KGO-TV spy (and backed up by a local station source) we have this item: According to the spy, ND, Tracey Watkowski,  is strong-arming the staff into paying for a going away party for the respected producer who is leaving.

The producer of the dominant 6 o'clock News is retiring after decades with the company and Trixie is 'suggesting' newsroom employees 'give' a set amount.  The staff knows that means pay up or else.

Furthermore, what is really ticking off the staff? Seems Watkowski just returned from an out of town get away and it is widely believed she took her newsroom union Boy Toy and billed the station for her out of state soirĂ©e!

*Don't expect any immediate changes at Cumulus-owned stations in the city. Or, more to the point, any noticeable changes you can hear on the air. The new boss will take inventory and that takes time. She's got a lot on her plate.

Locally, there are impending issues like KGO Radio's imminent switch to a less news--more talk hybrid format. Looks more and more likely that the Afternoon News will be discarded in place of talk.

Then there's Ronn Owens. I'm already hearing that Owens is done at the end of the year--he'll turn 70 later this fall and come November will have spent 40 years at KGO. Owens finally has his Radio Hall of Fame trophy and seems destined for retirement --we'll talk more about that later in the coming weeks.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flash! The Dickey Brothers Are OUT At Cumulus


*Marcus gives the heave-ho.

*"You're Fired!"

*Uncertainty rules the Cumulus SF Cluster.

*KGO staff "overwhelmed." --Never saw it coming.

*Former Cumulus employee: "Karma is a bitch then it bites you in the ass!"

*Ronn Owens future up in air.

*Developing Story...