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C Block

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Posts posted by C Block

  1. Looks great. You can also see they now do weather on another big video wall in the studio, and there's also a sitting area. Nice to see something different as the 2003, 2008, and 2013 sets all had the same basic layout and designer.


    Some good pictures of the teardown and build:




    It looks like they really used every square inch of what is otherwise a very small and outdated studio. The desk looks clunky, but I said the same about the KCAL set. The lighting looks good, the monitors are new, there are a few different presentation areas - what's not to like?

  2. On 6/6/2024 at 9:16 AM, tyrannical bastard said:

    Fox is pretty well-known for their old and decaying buildings they run their stations out of.  WNYW had issues several years back and even had carbon monoxide issues in their live trucks. 


    Not to mention WHBQ in Memphis, which was so terrible that when Cox got the station, they basically overhauled it from the inside out.


    I can only imagine if Fox still had WJW, if they would still be on their 2007 set.  Although, it seems that the prior set and current one were parting gifts before ownership change.   Local TV took over shortly after the 2007 set and Nexstar took over shortly after Tribune put in the 2019 set....

    And those are just the ones you know about! 🤫

  3. 25 minutes ago, MisterBill said:


    That seems crazy to me. They're salaried employees. It's not like they're paid by the hour. Do you think they get compensatory time off when there's a major news event and they need to be on the air for extra hours or anchor on the weekend after a big event? Wouldn't only freelance reporters by paid hourly? Certainly not their main anchors.


    I can't speak for Maurice and Christine, but I can tell you that reporters like Jenna DeAngelis and Lisa Rozner post on IG and always seem to be thrilled when they do the hourly CBS Newsbreak segments on the weekend. I doubt it's because they get a day off during the week for doing it (if they do at all) or get paid extra for working overtime. Seems like they like the exposure.


    I don't get what's crazy about that. Comp days for working additional days as a salaried employee is pretty standard. I'm salaried. If I work an additional day, I get a comp day to use either in that pay period or in the future. My paycheck doesn't change. Working late or long hours because of breaking news or elections is one thing – everybody more or less expects that. But I can tell you that people are not coming in on their days off to do extra work for whatever reason without getting compensated for it at all.


    There are all kinds of work agreements out there. It's hard to know the exact details of anyone's agreement if you don't at least work for the same company. I do know of full-time on-air staff in big markets who are paid hourly. I don't think I've ever heard of an anchor in a big market who isn't salaried, but it's possible that there may be some out there. 


    The point is that people like Maurice and Kristine aren't coming in on their days off to do network news just for the exposure and without anything in return. They are, at minimum, getting paid like it's any other day of work for them. I would imagine they have smart agents who ensure their contracts state that they might get paid a little bonus for doing network anchoring, but I can't be sure of that.

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  4. Unpaid work is illegal in this country. They have to be compensated in some way or another for working an extra day. I would guess that they're probably salaried workers and get a comp day to take off at another time. If they're paid hourly (which some on-air people are!), then they get paid overtime. They might also get paid a little extra for anchoring a national broadcast if it's written into their contract.

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  5. Funny to see that everyone on here almost universally pans KABC's switch to WABC music. I agree, but I can't help but wonder whether we might all have thought differently had they made these changes 10-15 years ago when CBS was similarly standardizing around the WCBS look. 


    The WABC cut of Eyewitness News has become so recognizable with WABC for us that it feels wrong to hear it in Southern California. But, it's probably one of those things that doesn't matter a whole lot at this point. Most viewers are only watching for 5-10 minutes at a time at most, so who cares what the open music sounds like these days.

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  6. It's kind of a silly term that doesn't mean anything, and I don't know whether viewers really care or notice. I usually don't write it in reporter tosses and will instead just write "reporter XXX has the story from XXX" as that's just simpler to say anyway.


    Stations have all kinds of different types of arrangements with other stations. The most seamless type is under the same owner, at least operationally. Stations under the same station group can share content really easily. Depending on how their IT is set up, they can view and download video directly from each others' servers, view assignment grids, Slack channels, and even entire show rundowns of other stations. Of course, where an owner owns stations can be somewhat arbitrary geographically – it's not like a station in Philadelphia has a reason to pull content regularly from their 'sister station' in Phoenix.


    Then there are all sorts of less formal arrangements between stations that don't have the same owner, but are located in adjacent markets. These ones might be less noticeable to the viewer. Usually, they're at least the same network affiliation, but not always. Under these arrangements, stations are probably sharing content more often because their content is more pertinent to one another, but the process of sharing content is more manual. These arrangements rely on assignment desks to email out their assignment plans of the day, phone calls to coordinate what content they're interested in and when they need it, and FTP/fileshare downloads to send it. (Of course, back in the day, there was a lot more sharing via microwave, satellite, or fiber.) Are these arrangements 'sister stations?' They obviously have share more interest in content, but operationally they are distinct, and corporate owners will have different policies and practices that will drive newsgathering and editorial tone differently.


    Also, the whole Nexstar blockade of not sharing any content with any other non-Nexstar station regardless of affiliation for 24 hours has changed things a lot. That whole practice needs to stop, and I don't know why the network feed services (Newsedge, News Channel, NNS, et al) are putting up with that.

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    14 hours ago, Rusty Muck said:

    Unsurprisingly, Hank Price decided to humiliate himself in this op-ed claiming it will be a "body blow" to the megachains and depress salaries for talent, and openly pled for "an appropriate court" (translation: a right-wing court dominated by Republican appointees) to overturn it.


    It's easily the most depraved, tone-deaf and out-of-step reaction by a man who runs a website—TVNewsCheck—now wholly subsidized by rich old white males Perry Sook, Hilton Howell, Adam Symson and David Smith.


    He's writing this as if the industry isn't already a revolving door of talent. Has he watched the news at all in the last decade? Even in big markets, it's pretty astounding how much attrition there is on and off screen. I don't think I could name more than a handful of reporters on competing stations. When I turn on Denver TV, there's barely anybody recognizable to me on there.


    This is nothing but great news for the media industry workforce, and employees can now more freely vote with their feet and escape bad employers who don't pay enough. Not that we have much choice anyway with at most a dozen station groups now.


    Of course, noncompetes have been watered down quite a bit already. Most stories I hear these days of people breaking their contract involve the station group threatening to sue them, then the employee gets a lawyer to point out all the ridiculous claims. Then, the station group is too cheap to go through with the lawsuit anyway and they back down immediately. There are so many other new laws at play too. Noncompete clauses are already unenforceable in California, but a new law that went into effect in January makes all contracts with noncompetes void *altogether.*

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  8. Branding is important in every industry, but there is such a thing as overthinking it. Of what viewers we still have, I think all they really care about other than the news content is that the branding isn't distracting. I think all that most viewers care about is that the news content is of quality, that the anchors and reporters look decent, that the lighting in the studio is crisp, and that the newscast isn't riddled with production errors.


    Viewers no longer care or have any attachment to anachronistic branding devices. I'll never forget a conversation I had with two acquaintances in Los Angeles a few years ago. They were musicians and did not watch television and thought that "KTLA," "Eyewitness News," and "Good Day LA" were all the same station, and they assumed that local TV news was still stuck in those 70s-era trappings.

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  9. 15 minutes ago, badabing said:

    WCBS debuted an entirely new 6pm newscast tonight, anchored solely by Kristine Johnson. Kristine stood throughout the studio, with an entirely new intro, skyline backdrop, color scheme, and format. Tonight’s broadcast did not include sports. 

    Additionally, Maurice went without a tie and open collar for 5pm today, which was… different. 

    Sounds quite a bit like the format that KPIX has been doing for the last 18 months or so.

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  10. Video is moving pictures. I don’t think it’s too strange to call them photographers.


    Every station can also have their quirks and have slightly different terms for the same role or function. I know KUSA is pretty adamant about calling them ‘photojournalists,’ while I know some stations also use the term “camera technician” or “ENG operator.” I also know that some stations used to have union contracts that were so strong that the ‘photographers’ were strictly there to worry about the camera and were forbidden from conducting interviews (that was the role of the reporter) or driving or operating the live truck (a role for the ‘live truck operator.’)

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  11. That's not the new set – that's a temporary setup in their second 'studio.' That's their newsdesk and looks like one of the walls of the soon-to-be-replaced set with a new wrap on it.


    I would expect they'll get something pretty similar to the KCAL set.

  12. Thanks to Colorado's pay transparency law, I am shocked at how poor the pay is in the Denver market. KDVR/KWGN also seems to be at the bottom of the pack, at least from what I've seen of producer pay. I don't think Denver is really a destination market anymore for most people in this industry.

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  13. I feel fortunate that I've only ever worked for bygone-era small station groups that no longer exist and O&Os. I think the likes of Scripps, Tegna, Nexstar, Gray et al are in for a perilous financial future as they have far fewer alternate revenue streams. The O&Os at least will be able to rely on live sports in major markets and the backing of the network to stay relevant to some degree.


    For a rural market ~120 station with no major national or college sports team, what is the roadmap? Advertising is way down everywhere. Retrans fees will likely go away. The networks don't really need partnerships with affiliates much longer now that they have their own streaming platforms (not that those are making any money either.) Syndicated programming is going away, and these kinds of stations can't really replace it with more news as it's near-impossible to find more 22-year-olds willing to endure the grueling quality of life of working in small market TV.


    I think what's happening at Scripps, particularly in the small markets, is a telltale sign of just how rocky the industry will become in the next 5-10 years at the lower end. I'm not sure if the other station groups will go to the same extreme lengths that Scripps is currently taking, but I think we will see more small market stations shut down news departments and farm out their news to regional and national divisions within their station groups.


    I don't think these problems are confined to OTA television either. I think the economics of the entire entertainment industry are fundamentally broken. The only thing that still makes money is advertising on conventional distribution platforms, but that audience has been shrinking for decades. Nobody other than Netflix has been able to figure out how to monetize online media in a meaningful way. Streaming has become so saturated that I'm not fully convinced it'll work out for any of the media conglomerates.

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  14. The more I read Rich Lieberman, the more I'm convinced that he no longer has any sources. He is the equivalent of an elderly fanfic blogger but for local TV.


    Lieberman doesn't see the ratings; I do. For the first two weeks of this month, KPIX was virtually tied with KGO for #2 at 6pm. I think their format and anchor changes have had a lot more of an impact than the branding change. I think adding news at 7pm, moving national news to 6:30, and putting Juliette Goodrich on the 6 and 7pm were all good ideas that made KPIX at least somewhat more competitive again. I'm not always sold on their unconventional leads and enterprise story ideas, but I suppose they're at least trying something different.


    The most underperforming network O&O in that market though for sure is KNTV – literally hashmarks for their 11pm some nights. KTVU's Like It Or Not, a mindless show that costs no money to produce, regularly gets higher ratings at 11:30 than KNTV does for their 11pm news or the Tonight Show.

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  15. 15 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

    FTVLive is talking about a Scripps station in Florida that is no longer doing a live late newscast...could this be WTXL in Tallahassee?


    If that's the case, the news vacuum continues in a place where Sinclair gave up 20 years ago as well, in a state capitol controlled by a wannabe dictator governor who's only in it for his own ego and political career.


    This is happening in pretty much every small market station that Scripps owns. I know KERO and KSBY are pre-taping their late news as well. KSBY is getting some more latitude than KERO because they're #1 in the market, but it's still pretty bad.


    The whole thing doesn't make much sense. Staff at these stations are pre-taping "modules" of stories after the early evening news to run at 10 and 11pm. They don't really get done with everything until about 8:30 or 9pm anyway. And then an anchor and director still sit around after in case they need to update anything or insert it into the rundown.

  16. 1 hour ago, johnothy said:

    Denver has had it that way for years. First with KMGH, then the shows moved to KDVR.  I think KMGH moved Jeopardy! to another time for awhile and started a 6pm newscast, but a few years later, they went to KDVR.


    KMGH moved Jeopardy from 6:00 to 3:30 in the late 90s sometime after the switch to ABC. It went back to 6:00 in 2006 when Oprah moved to KCNC, though they kept the Jeopardy reruns at 3:30. KMGH got rid of Jeopardy and Wheel shortly after Scripps bought the station and when Scripps was in a big push to get rid of as much syndicated programming as possible.

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  17. 2 hours ago, Georgie56 said:

    As long as the syndication market is in the current state it’s in, you’re gonna see more newscasts added, IMO.


    That might still be true to a degree in the afternoon and prime access. But at 4am? That's not really the case except for maybe Fox affiliates. I think we'll see more big three affiliates drop news before 5am and run more national news.

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  18. I think the overall trend of stations expanding and adding more newscasts at all times of the day may be coming to an end. It was certainly true in the last decade or so that more news was the most cost-effective programming most stations could produce. A lot of stations also kept expanding in the early morning as a trick to boost ratings for later hours. Now that advertising revenue is way down all across the board, plus with the producer shortage, it may not be worth it to even bother with things like news at 4am anymore. A newscast is only worthwhile if people are watching and if you can sell the ad slots.


    The pandemic definitely changed things too. People aren't commuting as much, and I don't think there's as big of an audience at 4am anymore. (There never really was a big one to begin with.) Some cities have been hit harder by remote work than others, but in San Francisco, nearly all stations permanently canceled their 4am news during the pandemic. KTVU is now the only one on the air before 5am. I'm surprised this hasn't happened in more markets yet.


    As for holidays, it really all depends on the station group, the holiday, what day of the week the holiday falls on, and the whim of management. Holidays actually have higher ratings than you'd think because so many people are sitting at home with nothing else to do. Most places where I've worked, I think they've tried to strike the right balance of offering some kind of news product while keeping expectations in check. I also know some stations where the managers are so hard-wired that they demand running their full schedules even with a skeleton staff, holidays be damned. 

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  19. 31 minutes ago, RaleighTVBOI1 said:

    I don't know why he left? I don't understand why native NY journalists hate national news and weather channels despite the good pay and the luxuries, local news can go so far with budgets to make millions it takes time and longevity, national news is great pay. Matt Lauer and Al Roker have shown it can be done.

    Who is making millions in local TV these days, even in market #1?

    • Like 1
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