Let’s go to the Chop Shop and Watch World “News” Tonight!

I’ve posted some remarks of WNT on my Instagram in the form of cute dear-diary like quality.

One I posted “I feel bad for every ABC affiliate (or even an O&O) that is top rated to do the painful handoff of local news to World News Tonight at 6:30 or 5:30″ (or if you live in the Bay Area), Disney’s KGO-TV is currently running the East Coast feed at 3:30 PM Pacific Time perhaps to fill up programming that may discontinue that live show in a month or so.

Friday night was like watching “local news” in say Lubbock, Texas, if only I knew what that kinda journalism is. I think the quality is shown below.

If I offended you those Texans, my apologies in advance.

What this picture shows is an apparent full screen graphic of a weather map, and it’s whited out. Thankfully the iPhone saw what I saw too.  Too white for a graphics of this type. Whether it’s over exposed by a technical mishap or extra layers- it’s really a CBA situation. It shouldn’t never went to air, and if the West Coast feed got this as well, it would show the low standards of what a “network newscast” should be.

Since the Diane Sawyer era, WNT has been criticized for being “small market” news. I’ll be blunt in my own judgement, if George Orwell had envisioned a TV newscast based on the Telescreeens in 1984, World News would be it. About 60% of the video content is from security cameras or cell phones and not from $30,000 if not more TV cameras. Don’t get me started with the high res JPEGs that is used for filler pictures.

WNT like the other 2 network newscasts get carried around the world to the respective country’s network. So what they project is how others will perceive our “national news”.

All it would take is a seasoned technical director to tell some tech “Hey something’s wrong with Weather Graphics 2.” It’s akin to “Hey! Your fly is down”. No need to go further, someone with brains would’ve fixed it in their infamous “rehearsals”. If you were a C-Band dish brat, you’d know that the “live” shows at 6:30 are well aired in advanced, where national anchors screw up like the rest of us, so a lot of the stuff is “live to tape” near the time the newscast goes to air.


I liked David Muir. He’s a Boston boy, and to this day he has his friends Needham because a lot of the Noreaster stories that aired on World News from winter often from WCVB feeds. One night, there was three instances in one package that came from 3 of his homies. I means srsly, David still has some of his roots. But the “Chet and Nat” is not in his DNA for sure now. He lacks the serious news standards that Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson lead for Boston’s Channel 5. He left to go to the network I believe in 2003 when Peter Jennings, and Charlie Gibson and others still stood for news at ABC News.

I say liked because for whatever reason, he has ether sold him self out to Mickey and Minnie, or he just forgot the standards he left at the local level. I don’t know him, and I am not him ether, I’ll leave it at that; however I am becoming more vocal about the quality of network level news.

All broadcast news have become more flashy and some markets more trashier. And the trashiest stations have stooped even into lower levels. It’s becoming irritating to watch. The far left tilt and the subconscious prejudice is just one of many issues I have with TV news.

It’s really sad because Disney still has a damn good local TV arm, where ABC O&Os, mostly with the Eyewitness News or some with Action News brands still are top rated and money is funneling into Burbank at the Mouse House, I mean the Corporate HQ like it’s their ATM. Those 10 stations don’t get the same amount of money because Goofy, Donald Duck and the Mouse clan keep going to the corporate ATM. Layoffs and cutbacks have been stories on the media gossip blogs for over a year for those 10 Disney stations. At least 20 staffers at each of their stations are jobless over the last year or so. Regardless, they actually produce better news than the network, but they brand many of their stations ABC 7, as if the network in the local branding matters anymore. Channel 7 is a stronger brand because it enforces the location of quality content.

As one simple example the New York Yankees got into the ALDS last fall and WABC-TV had broke the story at 11:03 PM after one or two local stories and if it was a Boston station with the Sox, it would be the lead for weeks going to the next round and hog the entire newscasts.

Not to say the Sox or Pats going into playoffs can be a story, I just don’t want to hear stories upon stories about fan’s interest to be the lead and be every story for weeks. The parades and the handoffs to the away games as a 6:05 story or two is just fine for me.

Technology makes it easier to produce news, but having a headcount that is almost at level to a local news station in major market is not how quality network news is produced. There is so many stories, you need people, and if you are chasing same day stories, well, there goes the path to the Chop Shop.

I won’t be disappointed if you disagree with me, only because you are probably younger than I and you just didn’t know anything different.

*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *