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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/04/2020 in all areas

  1. 20 points
    Was working on a twitter thread about this, but it got derailed due to some household drama, so I'll type everything here. Ed Ansin, in my mind, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Al Primo, Roone Arledge, and Ted Turner. His stations were that revolutionary and influential, and a lot of people don't know it. In my opinion, local news has three "mother formats". The first is Primo's Eyewitness News (specifically the version perfected at WABC New York). The second is the WPVI Action News format. The third was Ansin's "News Station" format pioneered in Miami then Boston. EVERY local television station incorporates elements of these three newscast formats. You can probably see parts of WSVN's DNA in the newscast that airs in your market, even the most conservative one. People forget how risky WSVN's format actually was. Sure, it joined Fox, but "joining Fox" meant something a hell of a lot different in 1989 than it did even in 1994 when New World shocked the industry. Fox didn't have the NFL. "The Simpsons" wasn't even a half-hour show yet. Fox was five hours of primetime on weekends, that was it. Even if you were a Fox affiliate at that point, for all intents and purposes you were an independent station. In fact, WSVN didn't mince words - in its promotion and reporting for its post-switch plans, it referred to its new status as becoming an "independent station". And if you were an independent station, you were what I would call a "Great Entertainer". Your programming day would consist of cartoons, sitcom repeats, a movie in primetime, sports if you were lucky to have a contract with a team. Maybe, maybe, maybe you had a half hour or an hour of news at 10pm. Even ideas like a local morning show from 7am-9am were novel: Good Day New York had been on the air for only a few months at the time of WSVN's switch. You did not do seven hours of news each weekday. Even if you were a network affiliate this was madness. Doing it without a net(work) - that was suicide. This idea was ridiculed in the press. Ansin might not have had much of a choice here, admittedly - CBS had announced its plans to move to WCIX at the beginning of August. Four months is not a lot of time to get the inventory you needed to be a conventional independent. WSVN likely became "South Florida's News Station" out of necessity. Still doesn't negate how ballsy the plan was. The tone of the newscasts was also wildly different from anything the market - perhaps the nation - had yet seen. His new news director, Joel Cheatwood, moved the newscasts out of the traditional studio and into the newsroom and control room. The presentation was also something different - bold graphics filled the screen. Discordant music opened the newscast and penetrated the proceedings. Even the station announcer, Scott Chapin, was menacing! It's here that I am going to say it: Ansin's stations were not paragons of journalism. Tabloid TV was the order of the day. "If it bleeds, it leads" was the motto. One WSVN newscast I have footage of proudly beamed about featuring "THREE BLOODY CRIME SCENES" as the top story. This was not Peter Jennings soberly reporting on the latest goings on in the Soviet Union. That wasn't the point. The point wasn't to just inform, but entertain as well - thus the flashy graphics, the catchy headlines. This was, I would argue, the first News Product on a TV station - something not as just public service but calling card. It's not wrong to call WSVN the first true "Fox affiliate". It ran cartoons - Fox Kids was there for a few years - and out of necessity movies were programmed on nights Fox had not yet colonized. You certainly could not mistake it for a Big Three affiliate. But the look and feel was not that of an independent/Fox station up to that point. I don't think anyone saw that station lasting more than maybe two years with the News Station format. Certainly nobody saw the station not only surviving the switch, but thriving - rising to the top spot among English language stations in that market. The competitors noticed. In 1988-89 WTVJ had a handsome art deco look lavished on it by its new owners at NBC. By 1992 that was replaced by cold banks of monitors and theme music straight out of Miami Vice. So did other stations. Scott Chapin started picking up station after station starting in the early 90s. One of my early news memories is of him blaring out "NEIGHBORS FROM HELLLLLLL" in a sweeps promo for WCAU, which he was voicing by the mid-90s. Other tricks took longer to get to my market - 1997 saw the arrival of "Breaking News" stings and Larry Mendte to WCAU. In a market where the leading station used magnet boards for weather and a blue background set, the added flash stood out. Mendte got notice because he would stand up on set for some stories - if you read the local papers you'd think some massive scandal was taking place. In contrast, I'm usually not sure if Jim Gardner wears pants most nights. Even nationally, the idea of a flashier newscast gained traction. Before it embraced its conservative bent, you could well argue that Fox News Channel was the WSVN formula applied to cable news. Even the network newscasts changed. Brokaw started doing more tabloidy feature stories. Jennings' newscast open went from a simple text overlay to a flashy animation. 1993 saw Ansin spread his wings and add WHDH in Boston. By this point his tactics were well-known. Boston didn't quite get the massive tone overhaul that WSVN got, but it did get the flashy graphics, discordant music, and menacing announcer. WHDH might not have exploded like Miami did but what was a perennial doormat became quite competitive. Moreso when WHDH lost CBS to WBZ and gained NBC's stronger programming. Ansin had to have been a pain in the ass to work with on the network side. He pre-empted quite a bit when WSVN was with NBC. The 1989 switch negotiations were so protracted with CBS that instead of that network agreeing to move to WSVN it instead chose to purchase an independent station with substantial signal issues as its new home. And let's not forget the Jay Leno at 10pm debacle of 2009-2010. Ansin made the announcement that he was pre-empting Leno and moving his CW 10pm newscast over to the main station. NBC threatened to revoke his affiliation and he relented - but when that late night arrangement collapsed in flames months later, it was obvious that his concerns were genuinely warranted. Again, I think it says something that NBC chose to build its own station essentially from scratch over continuing to deal with Ansin. The survival of WHDH post-NBC was his last great accomplishment. It was the WSVN playbook all over again - news, news, and more news. It seems to be working, four years into the experiment. Like I said, Ansin was a giant figure in the television business. Few single stations have been as influential as his were. He is as major a figure as Ted Turner and should be honored as such. May he rest in peace.
  2. 13 points
    Simple, Sinclair thought they could get away with it. Just like they thought they could get away with that must-run speech they had their anchors do about "fake news" that turned out to be such a joke it probably jeopardized their acquisition of Tribune because someone complied a video of Sinclair anchors all over the country reading that same script verbatim. Sinclair will never learn. They really are a company run by arrogant people.
  3. 12 points
    I'm going to temper my anger here, and simply say I hope Sinclair is dismantled from the ground up and sold to the lowest bidder. Disgusting.
  4. 11 points
    More than that, actually. See, Rupert made his mark in the UK and his native Australia with gloriously sensational tabloids. Even when he took over the New York Post, he put his stamp on that paper in a hurry ("Headless Body in Topless Bar") and was poised to do the same in Chicago and Boston. Which brings us to the Metromedia Five: WNYW, WTTG, KRIV, KTTV and even WFLD. Outside of shared logo stylings and the "network + channel number" brandings, not much had changed at that core group since the sale beyond a stateside import of A Current Affair with WTTG's Maury Povich. (WFLD had no news department until 1987 but at launch was set up very much like the other Metromedia stations had been.) None of them ran news in the early evening hours, and (as mentioned earlier) WNYW launched Good Day NY, which was not dissimilar to WEWS's Morning Exchange and WCVB's Good Day! was in creating GMA... a traditional morning show with news updates, light conversation and fluff. Some glitz crept in but Rupert ran them as traditional as you could get. No one thought of doing a rolling hard news block from 6am-9am. Pure folly. Ed Ansin, Bob Leider and Joel Cheatwood basically took the Rupert model of flash and splash in his UK tabloids and New York Post and transferred it to WSVN. It wasn't just that it was news-intensive, it was outrageous, in-your-face and smacking you upside the head. While WTVJ was emulating the Michael Mann glitz and glamour era of Miami Vice with the John Fox Art Deco-esque set and graphics, WSVN went all in with the Dick Wolf nihilism era of Miami Vice. It not only was unlike anything the industry had ever seen, it was such a massive departure from the staid, conservative image WSVN had prior to the summer of 1988; in many ways, they were still seen up to then as "that Wayne Farris station." Ironically, the success of WSVN precipitated the New World group into going all-in on news. Even Virgil Dominic, who loathed at WJW being called "Fox 8" led an investment into the Newscenter 8 ops and launched an ill-fated local morning show, Good Day Cleveland, that ultimately led to WJW becoming an unstoppable dynamo in mornings. HulkieD is right in classifying WSVN as "the first true Fox affiliate." I'll go one further. WSVN was the station Rupert wanted to run but never did. And probably never will. But that's okay, because Ed pulled it off in a way Rupert never could have dreamed of.
  5. 11 points
    Yep, our first set for Gray TV...just putting the finishing touches on it, truck is rolling tomorrow!
  6. 10 points
    No. Just because you can put someone on TV doesn't mean you always should. If this doctor were in some position of power accountable to the public (a health department director or the head of a notable research institution, for example), a case could be made that her claims would be worth examining and scrutinizing. But she is not. She is a discredited researcher who is being used by right wing factions to instill fear and cast doubt on the best science we have during a pandemic. She is otherwise a relatively unknown whose opinions are already well documented and dismissed. Putting her on a national platform (even if she's somehow fact-checked afterward) is only going to amplify her views and is a puzzling editorial choice. There are so many better people to ask for insight on this issue. If Sinclair is having trouble finding them, then I'd be happy to share my rolodex.
  7. 9 points
    Those images speak volumes. Same desk, same chairs, same lamp, same portrait on the wall over 30-plus years. It speaks to not only what may have been Mr. Ansin's own frugality, but on two more important themes: Simplicity and stability. With all the money he had, he could have easily upgraded his office furniture and design on numerous occasions. It's safe to assume that the phone was one of the few items there to have changed over the years. WSVN and WHDH were lucky to have a guy like that for an owner.
  8. 9 points
    So I was rewatching an old clip from 1987 about Ed Ansin challenging the sale of WTVJ to NBC... and something dawned on me. Note the scenes in which he's interviewed in his office, which was apparently the quietest room at the studio complex. ...it never changed.
  9. 9 points
    Can we please not for at least 24 hours?
  10. 9 points
    You cannot hand over your air to an unqualified person claiming that the Earth is flat, have someone else fact check her, and then say you are merely giving two sides of the story. Responsible gatekeeping is an integral part of journalism.
  11. 9 points
    KDKA-TV has updated its graphics package to a more Pittsburgh black and Gold feel. Video of 5 PM Open : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oJJ-lwwdxg
  12. 9 points
    This is probably the most expansive undertaking at WGN ever since they decided to become a "superstation" in the 1970s. Still, after all of these years, WGN lags behind other cable channels in terms of reach and ratings. Tribune gets honorable mention for attempting to raise the stakes of programming in their later years (with shows like Salem) and using their stations to promote it. But then again, WGN has lost it's luster with the loss of Chicago sports coverage, and even the carriage of their own newscasts to a national audience. I've said it many times before, Nexstar still needs to step up it's OTT game with station apps for TV boxes and live/on-demand content of their products. It's largely limited to phones and websites, making the reach to television viewers (cord-cutters) virtually invisible. AT&T is the only TV provider (outside of cable systems) that streams WGN America across most of their services. Given that Nexstar has entered into deals with virtually every virtual provider for their "big 4" affiliates, they need to finish the job with their CW & MyNetwork stations as well as WGN/WGN America. Seeing these as ancillary/added value services, the effect on pricing should be minimal. If the promotion is on their stations, it needs to be made readily available to the viewers so it can have the impact they are looking for.
  13. 8 points
    I would love to know who let it get this far. As stated above, one of the key elements of reporting is being a responsible gatekeeper of information - good and bad. Things are changing, but all this would have done was deepened the divide between fact and fiction, and you don't give a voice to fiction. We're 22 years removed from one quack doctor saying "vaccines cause autism," and an ever growing number of people believe it, even though it is proven FALSE. Imagine the type of damage that would have been done if you put the 'Plandemic' tape on air, even if you followed it up with top notch fact checking. It's so wild, and so factually incorrect, it should never have been given the time of day or consideration to air on any rational television station in the first place.
  14. 8 points
    It's very encouraging to hear that the next generation of the Ansin family is poised to keep things going, so that we don't have another James Rogers/Intermountain West situation. If they are truly in it for the long haul, they will still be the forces that they are, and could benefit in the future WHEN the affiliate model begins to fall apart, and these corporate stations will have to do what Ed Ansin did decades ago with WSVN and recently with WHDH.
  15. 8 points
    As he proclaimed himself, Ed Ansin "died with his boots on", owning his two stations until the very end. Even with his recent presence at WSVN several days ago shows the importance of an owner who is in it with his employees, that cannot be said for a mega-company that has 150+ stations that may see a regional VP fly into once or twice a year. With both of his stations, he took situations that would have crippled others and used them to redefine how we watch local TV. Losing NBC at WSVN led to a news-intensive approach as a Fox affiliate that many stations have adopted today. And his ownership of WHDH got him back with NBC (when Westinghouse sent them packing), only to lose them over 20 years later to the network itself, for whatever the heck "NBC Boston" is. As a result of his stewardship, WHDH has grown along with WSVN turning a disadvantage into a major opportunity. So much so, that the FOX station in Boston pales in comparison to what WHDH puts out, and NBC lost out big with their gaggle of stations under their direct control.
  16. 8 points
    There will come a time and venue to debate this. Right now, people are still mourning, especially those who worked for him.
  17. 8 points
    Don’t give WJZ any ideas.
  18. 8 points
    Friend of mine sent me a few construction shots.
  19. 8 points
    ??? What comeback? It was never dropped! KCPQ was always known as "Q13 Fox" for the longest time, so this name change is hardly going to be noticed by anyone.
  20. 7 points
    Wtvf switched to the new graphics at 4pm
  21. 7 points
    I came in the front door like everybody else!
  22. 7 points
    Yeah, no... this looks terrible.
  23. 7 points
    It was trapped in new member verification, but you might want to take a look at the post above yours now. I'd say that's confirmation.
  24. 6 points
    Great observation... This was our first project with DDG and thankfully our friends at WXII were keen on having us involved as the work was much appreciated during these times... I hope everyone likes the set!
  25. 6 points
    Ed Ansin was in the same pedestal as Jerry Lee in Philadelphia and Saul Levine in LA; a lone wolf broadcaster who entered the stage in the early 1960s, outlasted in spite of the odds and lasted for decades. A lion has departed the stage. You'll never see anyone like Ed ever again, and more's the pity.
  26. 6 points
    It would be a shame of WOIO dumped those graphics this soon. It's the best package they've had since the days of 19 Action News. Nothing in Gray's current graphics portfolio would be nearly as good as the current gfx on WOIO.
  27. 6 points
    Okay, we all get the point. Some meteorologists anchor. No need to derail this thread to just list them all.
  28. 6 points
    I’m not sure what you expect them to do. As I have said before, I’m sure they, like many others, have taken the necessary steps to keep everyone safe by eliminating certain interactions, limiting gatherings, etc.. and will continue to do so. In this case, people shouldn’t get upset every time 2, 3 or 4 people interact when we don’t know the full picture. They could have taken off their mask right before the picture was taken. In fact, Joe’s mask is laying right in front of him. Let’s not give into irrational fears because that won’t do anyone any good.
  29. 6 points
    This is a huge undertaking. It’s not just a 3-hour news program but, a news organization they're building here. I’m really impressed at how quickly everything is coming together. I’m sure they’re being safe. You can’t live in fear forever.
  30. 6 points
    Wow!!! I’m loving KDKA’s new look!!!!
  31. 6 points
    I would hope not (him appearing on NBC, MSNBC, etc..). It’s best for him to be the ‘face of news coverage’ [ like Lester (NBC), Brian (MSNBC), Jose (Telemundo) Shep (CNBC) ] initially. Maybe down the line have a broader role to play, but there’s plenty for him to do at CNBC. This could easily turn into another disastrous hire for NBC News if not handled right.
  32. 5 points
    Mr. Ansin changed the way local news was presented, and was a defiant owner of television stations. He and Joel Cheatwood have Fox affiliates a model to build off of and helped launch the career of one Shepard Smith. Despite his flaws, he's a legend in the industry and will be sorely missed. RIP.
  33. 5 points
    I say it bluntly: Ed Ansin died with a smile, knowing he made the best lemonade out of lemons. He made WSVN and WHDH into what they are, while the NBC O&Os in both markets are flailing like dead fish. So kudos to him and may he RIP!
  34. 5 points
    For Ed, a weeklong tribute is more than worth it. He was THAT influential.
  35. 5 points
    Classic Sinclair....expect to air something controversial, then they pull it at the last minute, in order to produce a more "balanced" point of view. Same thing happened with the Stolen Honor flap right before the 2004 election. Sinclair claimed "...Oh, we weren't planning on airing the WHOLE thing!" They think they can pull a fast one, but it's too late.
  36. 5 points
    Looks like the debut should just around the corner.
  37. 5 points
    The promo campaign when this debuted normally included VO saying "Keeping you: Safe. Informed. Connected." It's a severe weather market, and the longtime weather slogan is "Your safest place in a storm." New slogans, especially for legacy stations, come after lots of market research. One of the primary questions asked is normally "what do you expect from your local news?" I would assume this was born out of the majority of answers being some form of "keeping my family safe, staying informed and connected to my community." Stations are more concerned about what their audience wants and expects than hanging onto a zippy slogan that a forum thinks is "unique." EDIT: The VO in the new open is also "Keeping you: Safe. Informed. Connected."
  38. 5 points
    Vintage CBS Evening News and WBBM newscast from 1986. CBS Evening News anchored by Forrest Sawyer. Most of the time slot of the newscast was taken up by The Masters. WBBM newscast with Robin Robinson, Brian Rooney, Susan Wallace, John Coughlin, and Howard Sudberry. This is a personal rip from a tape I found at a yard sale this past weekend.
  39. 5 points
    That is like saying Les Moonves, Charlie Rose, and Roger Ailes weren't guilty of sexual misconduct because they also hired women.
  40. 5 points
    Stroud Corr doesn't know everything.
  41. 5 points
    This. Some of the animations aren't even done correctly and the yellow bar is all blown out. It just looks like a last-minute change that some ill-advised manager pushed through. Also, I'm surprised nobody's pointed out that their lower thirds are now very similar to those of WPXI's. I guess this kills off the idea that a new graphics package is on the way. They wouldn't do this if they thought it would all go away in a few months.
  42. 5 points
    Surprised they let this get through. It doesn't look good. Between the haphazard 16:9 adjustments, new weather graphics, and odd CBSN graphics, it seems like the CBS O&Os are overdue for a new look.
  43. 5 points
    They're really banking on sports coming back in earnest, aren't they?
  44. 5 points
    It’s a good look and matches the current CBSN PITTSBURGH bug when you slap it over the KDKA Logo. The double text line on the Naya Rivera with the Grey Eye Lower Third looks clean! Im not sure if I’m feeling the Gold Eye yet on the Kelly Preston Lower Third, It would look good for mornings.
  45. 5 points
    Also got a glimpse of the new graphics. It looks like they are getting the KOIN package modified with the current WFLA color scheme of blue, gold, and red.
  46. 5 points
    Just about eighteen months after Tegna deal was completed, KWES debuted their brand new set last night.
  47. 5 points
    This was the original stated purpose of NewsNet. The original concept seemed to hope that affiliates would start their own small local news departments, that would insert 5 minutes of local news twice an hour. But, surprise, very few stations actually did that. Most stations ended up being low-power stations with 10 other "throwaway" networks that just ran NewsNet national and collected whatever tiny amount of ad revenue they could. The new model seems to be convincing stations to replace most of their existing local news departments with an hour of the NewsNet feed with a few minutes of local news sprinkled on top. What that tells me is the original concept is a failure, and they're now moving on to Plan B. They have to make this work. Eric Wotila is riding the already-in-freefall rollercoaster that is local TV news, and is now working on pulling out the brakes.
  48. 5 points
    Based off of the success of WNT I definitely think the next anchor change for any of the newscasts will trend much younger than 50-60.
  49. 5 points
    Just saw Shep’s interview on CNBC previewing the show. He said that there’s not going to be any opinion from him, just the news. Good to hear, we need less opinion in prime time, not more. Also I miss his wit, so I’m glad he’s back. I think this is different from Megyn. She disrupted Today's Take which was a show that worked. Shep isn’t disrupting much, just an hour of Shark Tank which already airs all night. I don’t think they’ll be going conservative for all of prime time. That field is already dominated by FNC, and their entertainment shows are doing relatively well.
  50. 4 points
    I like the PGH feel to the graphics, but would swap the black and blue on weather - black title bar and blue background for numbers, charts and graphics. Possibly a different shade of blue would work better? J
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