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FTV Live's Top Ten list


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The top ten stations to work for in local TV journalism, as per Scott Jones and FTV Live: 

 

1. WLS-TV Chicago

2. WRAL-TV Raleigh/Durham

3. KIRO-TV Seattle/Tacoma

4. WESH-TV Daytona Beach/Orlando

5. WMAQ-TV Chicago

6. KPRC-TV Houston

7. KMGH-TV Denver

8. KCRA-TV Sacramento/Stockton

9. WSVN Miami/Fort Lauderdale

10. WRC-TV Washington DC

 

Thoughts?

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KMGH seems like an odd choice. Also, not sure I'd keep KIRO that high knowing that it, along with all the Cox stations, still face an uncertain future.

 

It's also worth pointing out that these are all big market stations. There are plenty of great small market stations to work for...if you can land an anchor or manager role.

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5 minutes ago, C Block said:

KMGH seems like an odd choice. Also, not sure I'd keep KIRO that high knowing that it, along with all the Cox stations, still face an uncertain future.

 

It's also worth pointing out that these are all big market stations. There are plenty of great small market stations to work for...if you can land an anchor or manager role.

 

I can't specifically say why it is because that could damage personal relationships, but I know why KMGH is top 10. And there is very much one reason.

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3 hours ago, Big Rollo Smokes said:

The top ten stations to work for in local TV journalism, as per Scott Jones and FTV Live: 

 

1. WLS-TV Chicago

2. WRAL-TV Raleigh/Durham

3. KIRO-TV Seattle/Tacoma

4. WESH-TV Daytona Beach/Orlando

5. WMAQ-TV Chicago

6. KPRC-TV Houston

7. KMGH-TV Denver

8. KCRA-TV Sacramento/Stockton

9. WSVN Miami/Fort Lauderdale

10. WRC-TV Washington DC

 

Thoughts?

 

What does this mean? Are they ranking by work environment or news product?

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1 hour ago, DirtyHarry said:

 

What does this mean? Are they ranking by work environment or news product?

That and ownership probably. Notice there are no Tegna, Sinclair, Nexstar, Gray, or FTS stations in that list, and he even admits Scripps stations can be hit and miss. But there are bad stations in "good" groups as well as vise-versa. 

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11 minutes ago, H4UL4U said:

That and ownership probably. Notice there are no Tegna, Sinclair, Nexstar, Gray, or FTS stations in that list, and he even admits Scripps stations can be hit and miss. But there are bad stations in "good" groups as well as vise-versa. 

 

I noticed the absence of certain station groups, as well

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5 hours ago, Big Rollo Smokes said:

The top ten stations to work for in local TV journalism, as per Scott Jones and FTV Live: 

 

1. WLS-TV Chicago

2. WRAL-TV Raleigh/Durham

3. KIRO-TV Seattle/Tacoma

4. WESH-TV Daytona Beach/Orlando

5. WMAQ-TV Chicago

6. KPRC-TV Houston

7. KMGH-TV Denver

8. KCRA-TV Sacramento/Stockton

9. WSVN Miami/Fort Lauderdale

10. WRC-TV Washington DC

 

Thoughts?

 

That's a respectable list though I do question KMGH over KUSA. I'm surprised he didn't choose WFTV over WESH but still pretty good choosing either or.

 

I'm also glad WSVN is there and not WPLG.

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Scott is not alone in the decision making based on what he said in his opening post: https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2019/11/8/ftvlive-special-edition-best-tv-stations-to-work-for

 

The list looks good to me, I can see a couple of us seem unnerved by KMGH being on the list, granted they haven't for the longest time been the big favorite among those who watch Denver TV, but I have to say I have been looking at them more over the last few months and I think they have started to change for the better, they have become less of a sensory assault and more involved in the community and bringing out what's good.  I am usually between them and KCNC when checking websites, Twitter, and TV.  The only thing I can see being an issue, doesn't KMGH still have a six month no-compete clause or was that abolished?

 

I will admit though, when Scott said he was going up high for his number 7 choice, I had a feeling it was a Denver station and was expecting it would probably be KCNC since he never says anything bad about them.  Of course then again, I do think KCNC is a harder station to get a job at since they have a certain degree of character they want to maintain and want to rely mostly on their experienced reporters.  Also they favor employing people who grew up in Colorado , which isn't a bad thing as long as it doesn't take priority over qualification.

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I'd be curious to see a list for small to medium markets as well. If I were to make a top 10 list for stations only outside the top 60 markets:

 

1 - KCCI (by a mile I would say)

2 - WBOC (they really punch above their weight)

3 - WSFA (being in a hometown has perks even if sold)

4 - WHIO (some uncertainty awaits, but they behave like a top-20 station)

5 - KXLY (wow, they really went big and it showed)

6 - KNOP (an odd pick I know, but it's a great learning environment and really good for a bottom-10 market)

7 - WAPT (they have the legacy disadvantage but found a way to shine even as a competitor faltered)

8 - WGEM (another hometown advantage here)

9 - KELO (Nexstar hasn't really bothered it yet and treats it as a crown jewel)

10 - WMAZ (yes, it's Tegna, but they haven't really bothered this one which punches above its weight

Edited by GoldenShine9
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16 hours ago, Big Rollo Smokes said:

The top ten stations to work for in local TV journalism, as per Scott Jones and FTV Live: 

 

1. WLS-TV Chicago

2. WRAL-TV Raleigh/Durham

3. KIRO-TV Seattle/Tacoma

4. WESH-TV Daytona Beach/Orlando

5. WMAQ-TV Chicago

6. KPRC-TV Houston

7. KMGH-TV Denver

8. KCRA-TV Sacramento/Stockton

9. WSVN Miami/Fort Lauderdale

10. WRC-TV Washington DC

 

Thoughts?

 

Here's the thing about this list. Although I do respect Scott's opinion.

However, I see he has a bias against some stations in the Northeast. Although he does have WRC-TV- NBC O&O.

When I look at this list, although diverse. It's mostly Southeast, and I know he is from Florida.

There are good stations out in the Northeast that do deserve to be apart of this list.. WABC and WNBC respectively, Philly stations WPVI, WCAU,  Baltimore: WJZ, Boston: WBZ, Connecticut: WVIT

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Maybe I’m watching WSVN at the wrong times but I don’t see it as a hard news stations. Yes they cover stories but it always seems like they are more flash than substance - as in going for the salacious details.

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There are a lot of unknowns with the former Trib stations. WGN is seen as a great place, but who knows what cuts are coming, and what environment is beyond the horizon? Besides, while I'm a little surprised WMAQ made it into the top 10, there were already 2 Chicago stations on the list. Honestly, WLS at the top serves 2 purposes; it's a model operation within the well-regarded ABC O&O group, and the model of stability in a no-nonsense, competitive market.

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Keep in mind this list is ONE person’s opinion.

Scott’s.

It has no basis in thorough evaluation or investigation. This is not the US News & World Report list of best hospitals. He doesn’t explain his methodology, but is likely based solely on e-mails he receives over the year (which admittedly are many). The same can also be said about the “worst” list(s) he will publish by the end of the year.

 

One of my concerns about his list is that it doesn’t appear to show consistency in how stations might be compared, in terms of management style, competitive edge, staffing, equipment, local quality of life, etc.. For instance, anybody who knows TV knows that WSVN is one of the most competitive, best staffed and technologically equipped stations in the country. KMGH, on the other hand, has been a terrible station since black & white days. I don’t understand how they’re on the same list, or, even more head-scratching, how KMGH is higher on the list than WSVN. 
 

I’m also having a hard time understanding KPRC on the list. There’s nothing specifically wrong with it, but there’s nothing record-setting either. There’s not much of a reputation of any kind. They do have a competent owner (Graham) and a new building. But among Houston stations, they have rarely been the top payer or player.

 

Scott is entitled to his opinion, and he might be more in tune with this than many people. But he is not without his own biases or sets of standards that might differ from yours or mine. It’s only his opinion. I might respect it more if his daily blog showed the same high standards of quality he seems to expect from others.

 

Edited by MetroCity
Typo
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1 hour ago, MetroCity said:

KMGH, on the other hand, has been a terrible station since black & white days. I don’t understand how they’re on the same list, or, even more head-scratching, how KMGH is higher on the list than WSVN.

 

In the black and white days before 1970, the station was KLZ and actually was at that time the highest rated station in Denver with Carl Akers as the lead anchor.  Things began to fall apart when McGraw-Hill bought the station in the early 70s and overtime it's been difficult for the station to build a better product in large part because the other stations have made good use of their personalities.  And much of KMGH's problems came about not only with ownership but also with a no-compete clause that was implemented in the early 1980s following a major departure of their lead anchors and meteorologists who favored the direction at KOA (soon-to-be KCNC), and station suffered a higher turnover of news staff for years because of it, a number of which had to leave Denver to stay employed in the business.

 

Of course I don't know if they still have that clause in place, or if they got rid of it when Holly Gauntt became news director.  When she was still with KDVR she hired Matt Makens away from KMGH who wanted to stay in Denver and was able to do weather on KWGN to avoid the terms of it, so I would imagine she had her misgivings about it before crossing the street.  One reporter Marshall Zelinger who is now with KUSA left the station in 2016 and had to be off the air for six months as part of the clause, but that was before Gauntt took over at KMGH.  I think things are changing over there now, it might not be ever enough for those forever sold on other stations but it does seem like there is a different attitude over there based on what I have seen with their Our Colorado stories and more emphasis on stories focusing on those needing help.

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On 11/13/2019 at 12:57 PM, GoldenShine9 said:

I'd be curious to see a list for small to medium markets as well. If I were to make a top 10 list for stations only outside the top 60 markets:

 

1 - KCCI (by a mile I would say)

2 - WBOC (they really punch above their weight)

3 - WSFA (being in a hometown has perks even if sold)

4 - WHIO (some uncertainty awaits, but they behave like a top-20 station)

5 - KXLY (wow, they really went big and it showed)

6 - KNOP (an odd pick I know, but it's a great learning environment and really good for a bottom-10 market)

7 - WAPT (they have the legacy disadvantage but found a way to shine even as a competitor faltered)

8 - WGEM (another hometown advantage here)

9 - KELO (Nexstar hasn't really bothered it yet and treats it as a crown jewel)

10 - WMAZ (yes, it's Tegna, but they haven't really bothered this one which punches above its weight

 

Now if we are talking about product, market position and not not necessarily how nice your boss is and what they are willing to pay people, you have to include WBNS, WTHR and the Griffin stations, no?

Edited by DirtyHarry
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1 hour ago, DirtyHarry said:

 

Now if we are talking about product, market position and not not necessarily how nice your boss is and what they are willing to pay people, you have to include WBNS, WTHR and the Griffin stations, no?

But the way GoldenShire did the list it only included stations in markets that aren't in the top 60  So neither Columbus, Indianapolis or Oklahoma City would be on that list but maybe perhaps Tulsa could be considered as they're right at #60

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Maybe the list took other things into consideration. Like affordable housing, or places to eat around the station.

 

Hell, if you work at WLS, you never have to worry about being late to a show you have tickets for at the Chicago Theatre. There's also a lot of public transit options nearby.

 

There's a lot more to a good place to work than the ratings or content.

 

Also, remember the no lists rule. This is quickly turning into a list thread.

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13 hours ago, Weeters said:

Maybe the list took other things into consideration. Like affordable housing, or places to eat around the station.

There's a lot more to a good place to work than the ratings or content....

 

And one of the top considerations...

 

"Do I gotta pee in the cup?"

 

 

Edited by Eat News
Epstein Didn't Kill Himself...
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