The 69 News/WFMZ Thread

Discussion in 'Philadelphia News' started by Mrknowitall526, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    I don't think there is a thread for WFMZ yet, but I want to discuss them, so here it is.

    A few weeks ago Rob Vaughan posted on Facebook that people at the station told him more people in the Lehigh Valley watch 69 News at 5 pm than "any other channel on TV" - I commented asking for the actual rating/share, and he said he would ask those in the know if they wanted that info public. Apparently they didn't since he never responded.

    They appear to have a new reporter/anchor - someone I never saw before anchored the 6 pm news tonight. It's not uncommon - their talent comes and goes pretty frequently - but they don't usually make it to the anchor chair right away. She had sort of a "big market" vibe about her - at least more so than being on WFMZ. She's obviously not local since she butchered common place names like Schylkill and Nesquehoning.

    Also - more interestingly - 69 News at 5 tomorrow night is broadcasting from their new street side studio at 7th & Hamilton Streets in downtown Allentown. Allentown is on the verge of reinventing itself, and a $200 million minor league hockey arena is nearing completion with the first event being held this Friday. Downtown Allentown has been on a downhill climb since Hess's closed and without this arena it would have continued getting worse. There's been all kinds of other buildings constructed and they are hoping to attract lots of offices. Several large companies have already moved their headquarters to the new "City Center" buildings as they're being called.

    What I'm not sure of is if WFMZ hopes to moves it studio permanently to the new arena (the studio is actually contained within the building), or just use it for reports on hockey games and occasional newscasts. It seems odd to me to build an entire street side studio - complete with full pane windows - just to anchor the occasional newscast. But, I'm not sure what other purpose it may have, because their current studios are a good 10 miles and 20-25 minute drive from the downtown site.
     
  2. Sam Horn

    Sam Horn Managing Editor

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    As I understand it, they're moving all news operations to the arena, including the primary newsroom.
     
  3. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    Sweet! How do you know this?
     
  4. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    I saw a billboard ad today that WFMZ is starting a 4pm newscast with Jim Vaughn and Melanie Falcon (who do the Saturday morning news). Coming "this fall". I'm not sure what "this fall" means, because they currently air the talk show The Doctors at 4pm everyday. Perhaps they will move it. They air Dr. Phil at 8 pm and Steve Harvey at 9 pm daily.
     
  5. TVNewsLover

    TVNewsLover AM Anchor

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    I think they air four episodes of Judge Judy a day. Perhaps they'll cut back to two a day and reshuffle the rest of the line-up?

    Hopefully, with Jim & Melanie on at 4pm, they will utilize them as fill-ins on the 5,6,&10, instead of solos when one anchor is off.

    Where'd you see the billboard?
     
  6. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    I always thought having them go solo was weird.

    Saw it on 22 West between Airport Rd and the Lehigh River bridge. One of the big digital signs.

    I also wonder if any of the 4pm parts will be the Berks Edition. It would be interesting to seem them do an actual 1-hour show. The 5 & 5:30 and 10 & 10:30 shows are separate in that they re-start at the half hour and name it Berks Edition.
     
  7. TVNewsLover

    TVNewsLover AM Anchor

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    Googled it and came across this: https://m.facebook.com/69WFMZ/photos/a.10151341241565557.828681.37677635556/10154642932295557/?type=1&source=44&refid=17

    Seems it'll be same setup as 5&10, with part of it LV and the other part Berks.
     
  8. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    Wonder if this will coincide with their move to the downtown arena studio?
     
  9. NewsJersey1

    NewsJersey1 Assignment Editor

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    I am eager to see their 4pm news hour. This is a big step for a great station. The anchors are very good. Jim Vaughn and Melanie Falcon have amazing chemistry and are true professionals. The magic they have on Saturday mornings is great. They are almost as good as Rick and Monica. I think channel 69 news at 4pm is going to chip off some audience from 6abc and NBC10 at 4pm. It is also amazing the job this station has done on the search for Eric Frein. Hopefully they keep up this same energy at 4pm. Any idea what the show is going to look like? I think it debuts on Wednesday. The have promos and billboards everywhere for the show. Who is taking over the Saturday morning news?
     
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  10. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    I'm not sure who is taking over the Saturday morning show ... unless they keep doing that as well?

    I've seen commercials and they keep mentioning it will be "interactive," and the Facebook pictures they have uploaded show the two of them sitting at a high table with 2 chairs and coffee mugs. So I don't know if that means they will host the show from there, or what.

    The only thing I wonder is, if there's really enough news happening in the area to sustain 2.5 hours of news in the evening. Oftentimes I feel like not enough happens around here to even fill up a 1/2 hour show. Hence the focus on Eric Frein. Maybe people vacation/weekend in the Poconos so naturally it's on everyone's mind. They've done some neat pieces on the effects the search has had on businesses and tourism.

    I'm still surprised that people want to watch news at 4 pm. Especially for the stay-at-home mom/dad types who probably also watch the noon show. I work at a school and when I get home between 3 and 4 I want to watch something mindless right away, not the news. And usually settle on Friends on TBS.
     
  11. cool245

    cool245 Assignment Editor

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    Per Jim & Melanie's Facebooks, Karin Mallett & Bo Koltnow.
     
  12. NewsJersey1

    NewsJersey1 Assignment Editor

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    Karen Mallett and Bo Koltnow are a good choice for the weekend morning news.

    From what I know of the area, there is plenty of news. Hopefully they will not have trouble filling two and a half hours on content. They seem to have a big staff for a smaller station. Some of their new hires are very good. Megan Packer and Jamie Stover are their new A game.
     
  13. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    Interesting choices for the Saturday morning - I wonder if it will be expanding to Sunday mornings also? The Saturday show only started less than 2 years ago. I wonder if any of them will be used more for fill-ins when someone is off. I've already seen Eve or Jaciel do the entire 4 hour morning show by themselves.

    I don't really care for that new Chandi person. I miss John Derr doing the weekend news.

    They do have a large staff but really seem to have difficulty holding on to people. When new people start, they never even get introduced, like other stations (channel 6, anyway). And then they tend to leave with the same amount of acknowledgement.

    I wish they would actually focus more on other places besides just Reading and Allentown. They could really cover a lot of more the surrounding boroughs and townships better than they currently do, maybe just one a day.

    The reason I worry about filling the whole newscast is because most of the stories that air at Sunrise are the same stories from the 10 pm. Sometimes even the same recordings. It gets repetitive when you watch both, so I tend to stick with 6ABC in the mornings.
     
  14. NewsJersey1

    NewsJersey1 Assignment Editor

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    Despite the large staff, you are correct... they do repeat the same stories over and over. They lost an excellent executive producer to New York a couple of years ago. Since then, their product really has not been the same. The talent and graphics are great. Their style of news seems stuck in the past. That is why I am excited to see their 4pm news. Hopefully it is not a channel 6 clone.
     
  15. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    Since the only other local competition is effectively the Service Electric TV 2 news (does RCN have a local news?), it really doesn't matter much for them.

    But yes, it'll be interesting to see the 4pm show.

    I'd really like to see them step up their style of news. When you watch one of the half hour shows, it's predictable...in that most of the news occurs in the first 10 minutes. Then it's weather and sports and some random clips of silly things that happened. At least in Philly, there are still substantial news stories that take place after the breaks, in between the weather and sports.

    They have such ubiquitous marketing and advertising all over the Valley, and while they really have stepped up the game in the past year or so since their new graphics package, I really think there is a lot more they could be doing. Just saying... that being said. When there's a snow storm coming it's the place to turn to for school/business/library/church closings and delays, and that list really gets quite extensive.
     
  16. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    Watching the 4pm show ... They appear to now have a Big Board, and Meghan Packer is the one using it. I like her reporting, but her presence in this situation is great, too.

    They started off with a "Top 4 at 4:00" news stories that they went through at a surprisingly fast pace for WFMZ. Then, at 4:30, they revisited each of the Top 4 and had more detailed reports on each one, and went straight through from 4:30 to 4:42 before a commercial break.

    It was a nice show - felt like it breathed "new life" into 69 News. Wonder if that will continue through to the rest of the newscasts.
     
  17. Spectrum27

    Spectrum27 News Director

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    Oddly, the Comcast Port Murray guide doesn't seem to know about the 4PM news yet; it still thinks they're showing "The Doctors" at 4PM. Hopefully the Rovi guys or whoever will update it. Also, what will they do with the empty studios and newsroom on South Mountain when they relocate to PPL Center? Will they lease them out? WPVI could easily expand their relationship with the station and set up an alternate studio and full-fledged Lehigh Valley newsroom in there. Hopefully they'll also replace the grey shingles on the outside; I saw it on their website's virtual tour, and it looks pretty aged, although the large glass atrium looks nice. Also on that tour, they mention something called the "FMZ Heritage Network" that's apparently broadcast on Service Electric's "Cable FM" service; anybody know anything about that?
     
  18. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    They just built the current building in 2005, so it's a shame if they won't use it for something. The studio itself is huge, but I think the set is getting a bit tiring.
     
  19. NewsJersey1

    NewsJersey1 Assignment Editor

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    The 4pm news got off to a great start. Melanie and Jim were dynamic. Meghan Packer was solid at the touch screen monitor. It looks like they will have two different weather people depending on the day of the week. Nice show. I did not care for their plea for Facebook and Twitter comments. That seemed forced.

    I think their set is still solid. They have done some nice refreshes, including the graphics.

    They really need to work on more content. The 4p had one reporter. And, the 6p and 10p are identical again.
     
  20. Mrknowitall526

    Mrknowitall526 Managing Editor

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    Ah, that makes sense about the weather. I was wondering why Amanda was shown in the Facebook picture and then not on the show. She does weekend nights, so that makes sense.

    I didn't watch at 5 or 6 but I did at 10. There were actually 3 live reports, which is more than usual. It just depends on the news of the day.

    Yes, more content would be nice. They need to get people to regularly attend municipal meetings and report on super local issues.
     

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