Category Archives: Tel-E-vision

How Does An Atlanta Fox News Affiliate Cover Murdochgate?


Very quietly, that’s how.

After seeing some stuff in The Atlantic and on CNN (what’s a 10-foot turban?) about how Fox News/News Corp’s many American media outlets are being very quiet, ok almost silent, on the parental company’s, News Corp’s, Murdochgate scandal raging overseas, I got curious. (Every now and then curiosity will happen. Even to me.)

What kind of internal memos are being issued (and I’m almost certain there are memos being blasted out) across Fox News/News Corp’s vast American media farms right now on just how to cover (or not) Murdochgate stateside?

Being that one’s backyard is always a great place to start, and up to this point no one has fowarded me any internal communiques, I checked-in with the Fox News affiliate here in Atlanta, Fox 5 Atlanta. Or just plain WAGA, as us longtimers still call our TV news stations.

I found a few links on the My Fox Five (hey, it’s mine, so let me see what’s going on inside) website’s International section, the latest being a scrubbed-up piece about the Murdochs now agreeing to testify in the British Parliament. But that was about it. Anyone heard anything on their broadcast product? If so, let me know in the comments here. I could have easily missed it.

Creative Loafing used to, moreorless, be on the e-blast list every time Julia Wallace issued one of her now-infamous memes to the AJC staff about how great they all were but they were getting the ax. And thus I (we) could tune-in to Cox Plantation internal maneuvers that way.

But that, er, two-way street isn’t quite as wide open in Fox News/News Corp Land – Atlanta. So I gotta get out a machete and hack around a bit. Make phone calls and stuff.

As of 2:45pm I called the VP of News at WAGA and got that person on the phone, and, once I explained that, yes, I guess you could call me a reporter, although I’d rather be called a blogger, I asked if reporting *guidelines* on Murdoch and co. were being circulated there on Briarcliff Road.

I was politely referred to, conveniently with name and contact number, the Fox News corporate PR person in NYC. A Claudia Russo, a familiar name actually, although I can’t place where I’ve come across it. Likely Mediaite or some other TV news blog. Or maybe she used to be with GMA? Every time I can’t place a name in corporate news I assume they worked for GMA – a people-churner if there ever was, but I diverge.

I put in a call to Ms. Russo, left a message, and never expected to hear back from her. Ever. But, get this, I just did. Russo referred me… on down the line. Sigh.

Will keep at this little endeavor in media bureaucracy and let you know what I come up with. But should I ever get someting, and that’s doubtful, you’ll get it first and faster on Twitter. Of course.

Or someone with My Fox Five Atlanta WAGA Whatever could just forward me any internal memos! I promise not to tell where I got ’em from.

Until then…

Under The APS Investigation Atlanta Media Circus Tent


As I’ve died and gone to Atlanta media circus heaven lately it’s been hard to break away to play ringmaster by providing the necessary, critical blog posts. Facebooking and Twitter alone are about to do me in.

Honestly, I’ve been having too much fun sitting back with my peanuts and cotton candy watching from here in the cheap seats. But someone’s gotta play local TV news farm media critic in this town, other than @RichardsDoug; and there is, of course, no one better qualified to do so than me.

Thus, let me take a moment to pry open the laptop and reflect on just last night’s Atlanta local TV media hightlights and lowlights before I go back in for more. (Thank goodness for that new, 4-5pm block from Channel 2, eh?)

Last night WSB-TV, or WizBee or Death Star Two as it’s called in the biz around here, was on disjointed fire! When they open a 6pm with longtime, hysterical crime reporter Mark Winne (his Facebook fan page is here) rest assured we’re going to be served drama.

The local TV news station that can’t do ’em some news drama, in a city as ragingly dysfunctional as Atlanta, is just dead to me. Otherwise, why bother to exist? Anyway… getting to the point.

Winne led-off with pretty good shrieking over the hilariously mule-headed refusals by a few implicated (now kinda sorta fired) APS school administrators to… go down without a public fight. I think they were bellowing for a publicized *hearing*, whatever the heck that is. Good luck with that tall order.

The best part was a replay of Winne grilling, weeks ago, one of the most mule-headed APS admins fingered in the whole royal cheating mess, Tamara Cotman.

Low and behold, Cotman was, once again, right up in our living rooms. Still looking slouched down and bloated from all the investigatory stress and educator cake she’s been consuming over the years, defensive and sliding down a slippery conference room leather chair slope of no-where-else-to-go prayer.

Cotman was posed in the classic ATL local TV media perp tableau – lawyer on one side, Mark Winne leaning in with a question on the other. Talk about media places you never want to be seen in this town.

Bless her tired, stressed, cake-laden heart. I almost felt sorry for her, as, so far, Jesus has yet to come to her emotional or otherwise rescue. Maybe next year. Keep those prayers and cards and letter coming, Atlanta!

Read the rest of this entry

Network News In Recovery?


The recovery of Diane Sawyer? Could it be? Someone used the phrase *post-9-11 smarmy* on Twitter to describe network news. How true. And Diane Sawyer always seemed to me to be the worst offender of that cloying, enduring, post 9-11 smarmy.

Or *obsequious faux*, as I describe her drippy on-air persona. I mostly blame that morning show beat Sawyer ho’d on, if feeling generous. If Voldemort rises again, it will be on a morning *news* show, but I diverge…

But last night, during the interview with astronaut Mark Kelly, Sawyer barely made me hurl or even cringe just a little. Could network news be coming out of its dipshit coma? Too early to tell. Let’s all pray some more for a full post-9-11 recovery.

Add Kyle Keyser To WSB-TV Sept. 13 Debate Lineup!


Kyle megaphone

Ooops! I know they mean well at WSB-TV/Channel 2, but sometimes they’re just not able to keep up with all the latest developments happening in their own political backyard via social media. Neither can old-school kinda orgs like the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF).

Bless their hearts! It’s tough out here for the way-it-was-ers, isn’t it?

Seems APF and Channel 2 forgot to invite Atlanta mayoral candidate Kyle Keyser to the Atlanta Police Foundation’s mayoral candidate debate on September 13 at 6:30pm on Channel 2. Silly media!

You can find all the other debate details here though:

This is very funny because Kyle Keyser (@keyserformayor on Twitter) almost singlehandedly forced the issue of rampant crime in the City of Atlanta to the top of the media heap through his 10K + member org, Atlantans Together Against Crime, or ATAC:

And the Atlanta Police Foundation/Channel 2 Sept. 13 debate is… a debate focused solely on public safety issues.

Contact Atlanta Police Foundation and ask that Kyle Keyser be included in the Sept. 13th mayoral reindeer games at:

(404) 586-0404

Grayson Daughters
SpaceyG on Twitter

Kyle Keyser For Mayor:

Jack Bauer Went Down To Georgia




I was delighted as the next person to have 24 return to our TV sets last night, although being aware of the mighty-righty blowhards’ proclivity to the show, I could never really achieve full-drama-immersion status with last night’s 2-hour special the way I could with Last Enemy, a much finer-tuned thriller/mini-series sharing an inordinate amount of bad-guy cast members with 24, yet trumping 24 in intrigue, intelligence, suspense and chills. (But not explosions.)

Reason being, I was often mentally interrupted throughout last night’s 24 special with visions of Erick Erickson as Jack Bauer, leading a pack of lost boys out of violence-plagued Clayton County, Georgia. With Dick Williams in the role of trusted side-kick, sacrificing himself for the sake of the innocents on a landmine that, conveniently, took out not only himself, but Brian Nichols at the same time. Clayton Commissioner Eldrin Bell had a bit part as a bandaged-up woman fleeing yet another superfluous explosion of hardware. Jason Pye, alas, had his scene left on the cutting room floor.

As if any Georgia mighty-righty would ever be caught doing anything more than wringing their hands over fussy old-man issues such as who gets to marry whom because Jesus told him so.

If anyone is interested in (media for instance) real stories of real “lost boys” from the Sudan, All Saints’ church here in downtown Atlanta was instrumental in relieving and re-locating actual children from their war zones.

CNN Broke Twitter?


I bet @ricksanchezcnn finally broke Twitter for good. The fragile thing wasn’t meant for heavy MSM lifting. Between Sanchez on CNN at 3pm and the anti-Motrin ad moms today, the damn thing may never recover. Call some lawyers quick!

TV Today: Good Thing, Bad Thing?


Oh dear. I am not sure how to react to all this breaking TV news today. Item #1, and of utmost importance in the big scheme of things. From Reuters:

CBS is saying aloha to a new installment of “Hawaii Five-O.”

The new take on the popular crime drama, which aired on CBS from 1968 to 1980, is being developed by Ed Bernero, executive producer and showrunner of “Criminal Minds.” He is such a big “Hawaii Five-O” fan that he has the Ventures’ iconic theme song from the show as his ringtone.

Bernero is writing the project, which he describes as “‘Hawaii Five-O’ 2.0.”

It’s no secret that my favorite TV show EVER was/still is Hawaii Five-O. Item #2: look at this about CNN’s big reorg. Seems they are barking way up the new media tree. From a NYTimes blog:

CNN announced Tuesday that it would “double its domestic news-gathering presence” by assigning journalists to 10 additional cities across the United States.

But the journalists will not work from news bureaus; instead, they will be stationed at local television affiliates and other office locations. Using inexpensive laptops and cameras, they will file stories for the Internet and report live on television. One “all-platform journalist” will be assigned to each city.

The strategy reflects the increasingly portable and flexible nature of television production. Expensive bureaus with camera crews and satellite uplinks are increasingly being downsized by TV news divisions, in favor of so-called “one man bands” that interview, write, record, edit and report live.

So much new. So much re-vamped. So much changing outright. We just need to take a moment, take a deep breath and ask… what would McGarrett do?

Good Luck With That Olympics Embargo Thing, NBC


Don’t want to wait for NBC’s ridiculously delayed coverage of the Olympics? There are plenty of places to get it now, get it live. The NYTimes Olympics blog has a list of what’s going on here. And Silicon Valley Insider has many tips and tricks on where to get it all live and off the NBC media plantation using the tubes.

“Exclusive” and “embargoed” – two words that need to be retired from the broadcasting milieu with the advent of live Internet streaming.

BONUS FEATURE: The NYTimes also has this nifty Olympics Events Tracker tool you can customize to optimize your many sporting options during The Games.

“Don’t Worry About The Complex Questions. Just Look Good.”


“You will do whatever they tell you to do.”

A blistering rant about the state of the broadcast news business… from someone on the inside. Amani Channel posts the podcast. Wow.

Big TV Turning Gray


The average age of a TV network viewer is now 50. From Variety:

The broadcast networks have grown older than ever — if they were a person, they wouldn’t even be a part of TV’s target demo anymore.

According to a study released by Magna Global’s Steve Sternberg, the five broadcast nets’ average live median age (in other words, not including delayed DVR viewing) was 50 last season. That’s the oldest ever since Sternberg started analyzing median age more than a decade ago — and the first time the nets’ median age was outside of the vaunted 18-49 demo.

Fueling the graying of the networks: the rapid aging of ABC, NBC and Fox. The three nets continue to grow older, while CBS — the oldest-skewing network — has remained fairly steady.

“The median ages of the broadcast networks keep rising, as traditional television is no longer necessarily the first screen for the younger set,” Sternberg wrote.

Full story here.

Product Placement Is Where It’s Gonna Be At


Why? Because product placement within online content is the only way people are going to see “the product”… whatever “the product” might happen to be. As folks increase their online viewing of TV shows, movies, etc., but creators and advertisers see less and less return on their investment in that medium, then where else is there to place the stuff? From The Online Television Picture in Europe in eMarketer:

According to Motorola, already by January 2007 nearly one-half of all broadband users in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK were watching TV on the Web over high-speed connections.

The proven formulas for making money from television content are under threat.

“Historically, broadcasters’ profits have depended on restricted access to their material—viewers had to tune in to a broadcaster-owned channel and watch advertising that covered the costs of program production, promotion and distribution,” says Ms. von Abrams. “Advertisers paid a lot to be seen in prime TV slots on these channels, and (until video recording arrived) viewers could not avoid seeing ads.”

Full story here.

I always thought Sas and Pauline would have ho’d quite well for and with… booze and cars! As for online TV, I am hooked on watching, totally free with no downloading necessary, House on Hulu. But has doing so prompted me to consume? Enroll in med school? Writhe on the floor with some mysterious illness? Nope, ‘fraid not. But say Hugh Laurie was drinking a certain kind of vodka? I’m just sayin’…

Forget product. What I want to know is where can I “consume” even more Hugh Laurie?!