Tag Archives: WSB-TV

Tip Your Huge Media Market Giant

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A team of reporters from WSB-TV Channel 2 television news was there; someone apparently tipped them off to the arrest beforehand. The station has had exclusive access to the court proceedings since then.

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Now I can’t speak to the matter of terrorism-related charges brought on anyone, let alone a Clayton County, Georgia woman who wanted to kill all the whities via YouTube. (Although this particular burden never stops Matthew Charles Cardinale, the editor of Atlanta Progressive News. But he’s in law school now, so off he goes. Go Matthew go.)

I can, however, speak to the stinky little underhanded and exploitative way in which virtually all federal and state-related arrest media straight out of Atlanta (that good ‘n juicy perp-walk stuff) gets handed to market-dominating WSB-TV (Cox Enterprises) alone, on a silver platter, by someone at WSB-TV’s brother who happens to work in federal (or state) law enforcement.

So let’s recap: someone who works in government serves up exploitative tidbits to a single, for-profit entity, Cox Enterprises. Over and over and over again.

This sleight-of-media-hand trick has been going on in the Atlanta media market for decades: exclusive access to media/news-gathering opportunities (those folk in big trouble with the law) which no doubt many other players in this same media market would also love to exploit for their organization’s financial gain.

May be legal, but it ain’t right.

The Historical Legacy of WSB-TV Production

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WSBTVVoterF

After pondering the despicable act by despicable people of attempting to suppress the black vote in the year 2014, in Georgia of all places, take a media moment with me as I say something nice about a Cox product: WSB-TV.

The above (click the pic of Junior Farmer to get to the video) is excellent news reporting and packaging of a complex issue breaking that day (yesterday 9/17/14). As it gets immediately to the heart of a complex and historical matter, the key players, the SOTs, and the visuals.

This type of deft political production work, by WSB-TV’s political reporter Lori Geary and her production team, could not have been done without a longstanding, working knowledge of the issues on deck for the day’s news coming down – to be able to turn around this kind of comprehensive media that fast. In other words, sit back and watch professionals do their thing, cub reporting wannabees.

Knowing exactly who to get to, in a precise and time-thrifty way, and who to focus on and zoom to in the contemporary Georgia/Atlanta political arena, is editorial and production tandem work sourced from a unique and historic talent base that exists almost exclusively in WSB-TV’s deep-benched, legacy production crew. It’s hard to duplicate that level of precision political packaging elsewhere, in other words.

And it’s something we see often with WSB-TV’s political reporting. Not just yesterday’s. They know their civil rights history and legends behind the scenes there, as their production crews have lived, worked and played around Atlanta for a very long time. If one loses a career cameraman or director of 40-years at a place like WSB-TV, they take a lifetime of some mighty historical production expertise with them. And that’s simply not replaceable with an iPhone and an intern.

Tip of the hat indeed, as TV political reporting tends to take a back seat to the more easily social-shared written word. And folk who take politics and media seriously are dismissive of Cox-derived TV news, so tainted they are by a self-directed reputation founded from featuring senseless violence, self-promotion, and roadkill carnage over more civic-minded news.

It’s important to remember that visuals and sound working together, as opposed to radio/print/static screens, are also important to a highly nuanced political story, particularly a voter fraud/voter suppression story from the south. Especially in a state with a mighty history of dubious political legacies, ghosts and legends.

Don’t miss it.

The Craptastic Digital Life Of The AJC

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ComingSundayAJC

Don’t vote? Then don’t complain about politicians.

No doubt you’ve heard that one before. Exactly why I never miss a voting opportunity, as I sure don’t like missing out on a good political whine.

But the matter of digital at the AJC.com (and other Cox digital products too, but I’ll worry about the others later) has gone beyond whining to just embarrassment at and for our flagship, hometown, news delivery outlet. (I’d call it a paper, but I’m not referencing any print product here. Just the digital stuff.)

I think of gorgeous pictures from the Atlanta Beltline lantern parade last night that could have enticingly filled out a compelling homepage this morning, 9-7-14, shifting to exciting sports-related photos later in the day to enhance the Falcons’ season opener, alongside the numerous political stories from the week in some kind of overview wrap-up. And, yes, even that craptastic Ross Harris (the dad accused of murder-by-hot-car) story somewhere in an appealing homepage-in-my-head Sunday edition presentation… and well, I just wanna cry for what could be AJC.com. And WSB-TV.com too. (They should be one e-product really, but that’s another rant altogether.)

When you don’t give a shit about digital, guess what? It shows! “Coming Sunday” on Sunday, plus all the cliched copy and grade school headlining imaginable? Gawd, today’s AJC digital product is so pitiful I wouldn’t dream of sharing it with my social network; I’d rather bury it out behind the woodshed.

My head is reeling, because the hard-working journalists, the few left around there, the proud, have done plenty of heavy journalistic lifting all through the past week, especially regarding the nasty level of corruption all through Georgia state and local politics. There’s been great work from numerous Cox employees reporting a massive amount of hanky panky straight out of DeKalb County, our bustling courtrooms, the AG’s and the governor’s offices, etc.

Only to piss it away on digi-crap you see a sample of in the above picture/screen grab. And on a Sunday too, the prime news reading and media consuming day for a serious journalism audience. And I’m not even highlighting their hideous homepage, whatever’s there, or not, now. Nor the online AJC’s rampant level of daily copyediting (or lack thereof) boo-boos. I’m scared to go back to their weekend-neglected homepage.

Since I gave-up on the AJC’s digital presentation with my croissant, second cup, and screens this morning, I thought about buying the paper product with which to properly absorb the Georgia political and otherwise news of a busy past week.

Not now. I’ll just put my $2.50 towards a NYT and call it a Sunday.

Atlanta, We Have A Media Problem

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I am deeply concerned about the dire condition of metro Atlanta online news outlets owned by the Cox Plantation (CP). Specifically the AJC and WSB-TV. Their homepaged car wreck carnage-media obsession is off the rails. Kinda literally, eh? I won’t bother to steal their freak show media and post it, or link to it, here though.

Headlining, banners, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, alerts, whatever, on both sites (I don’t dare check on the broadcast product) are mostly scenes and shoutouts to ragingly gruesome car wrecks where people are mangled. To death. On our many metro Atlanta roadways. A never-ending supply of human roadkill. The more people killed in a single car, the more twisted and maimed the scene, so much the better for the Cox Plantation clickbait keyboard monkeys. And management too. More on that later.

But the CP will fall behind the times if they don’t soon turn their sicko and ghoulish headlining into that related to — suicide! The NYT (CDC) reports today that suicide rates in America have now surpassed death by car wreck. And this being Georgia, surely we’re way up on the top of that particular mortality listing, too.

Thus, the CP should have a good supply of suicide scene media for their homepages. Slide shows galore. The more hideous and bloody a suicide scene, the better for the CP. Suicide by gun can get top billing. Maybe even an award-winning (sure, tell the clueless intern that) shot of a family member discovering the scene of a relative hanging, dead of course, in a closet, if they’re lucky?

And if they’re really enterprising at the AJC or WSB-TV, their camera-burdened reporter bot/intern can sneak in some place and grab video of, hopefully for the management and data-watching team, some shotgun-blast-to-the-head video!

Hope it goes viral for them. Someone will get a pat on the head for their good-dog suicide scene multimedia efforting. Go for it, kiddies. And management too.

After all, it’s CP management that has allowed their deplorable, clickbaited editorial condition to deteriorate into mostly digital online news content that reeks of disgust and carnage.

SEO, Exclusives, And The Atlanta School Gunman

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Suffering from a case of what we in Atlanta call “Coxitis”, WSB-TV has been crowing, in their balls-to-the-wall coverage of the August 20, 2013 Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy incident, of how the gunman asked that WSB-TV be called.

This is not exactly how WSB-TV came by a call to their assignment desk from the person who turned out to be an excellent hostage negotiator – McNair Academy’s bookkeeper, Antoinette Tuff, who’s compassionate ability to talk the gunman out of his harmful intentions at the elementary school likely saved lives in Atlanta.

In her subsequent interview with WSB-TV’s Jovita Moore, Ms. Tuff recounts what the obviously troubled man ordered her to do when she was with him yesterday.

Seems WSB-TV’s assignment desk got the call because of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and not because the gunman specifically asked for WSB-TV.

From the Tuff interview, 4:30 to 5:11 on the tape: 

Jovita Moore, WSB-TV: “That was another part of this. He [the gunman] told you to call Channel 2. He said, ‘Call Channel 2!'”

Antoinette Tuffs, McNair Academy bookkeeper: “He told me to call one of the news stations. But I asked him which one, it was so many. And he said, ‘I don’t care. Just call one!’ And so I said, ‘I don’t have a number.’ He said, ‘I have a number.’

And so I was like ok, and I was just sitting there and this time just praying. And he said, ‘Well, call somebody!’

And so I start looking on the Internet, and I said ‘Well, Channel 2 is here. And Channel 5 is here.’ And I was like, ok, I got to the first number and it was Channel 2, and so I called Channel 2. And he says, ‘Tell them this: Tell them to get out here.'”

Crowing about an exclusive media event is fine. We all do it. But it’s best to get one’s crow-able story straight before launching into hyper promotional warp speed mode.

Facebook – Cox Media Farm Slayer

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I figure the Cox Media Farm’s AJC will eventually be folded, gradually or maybe not, into WSB. Here’s a great example of the process at work today.

Right now we’re seeing a stage of patronizing redundancy, with two Cox Media Farm products producing like-minded content… on the same page/URL. That too will pass. As the AJC passes into WSB broadcasting, Internet-minded properties.

Why? Cox needs a Bo Emerson (byline on the copy/text stuff) the way I need another Clinique giveaway lipstick. I’ve got six New Shade of Grape in the basket as it is.

Why have a Bo Emerson only banging-out redundant, old-school style text… in a high-speed Internet media kinda world?

Anything he’s alerted us to, in this piece, is readily available on Facebook. Which has 800 million users now. And growing. If you desperately need to ask a question about who got there first (to the park protest tonight, for example) you’d just Tweet ’em.

Even way up in the air in his Gulfstream James Cox Kennedy (JCK) can see those kinda numbers. He’d better make hay with mommy’s money for his family while he can, as soon even WSB properties will be redundant and superfluous. We simply will not need them. Already, plenty of us do not.

But back to the present tense. Can you take a Bo Emerson and make him, say, a video journalist? Hand him a SLR and a tripod? Probably. Especially if he was straight outta J-school. He is not. Bo Emerson is a well-seasoned journalist.

One who’d better start banging out some other kinda media product, e-books maybe in his case, if he hasn’t already. (Trust me, as a seasoned multimedia-ist, it ain’t brain surgery, but I diverge.)

So thus Emerson’s wages are, presumably, already way too high, even though I seriously doubt JCK is overpaying anyone on staff with his mommy’s money.

And with J-schools cranking-out even more eager beaver kids with journalism degrees than ever before, cheap content-churning monkeys are merely… a job board away.

Anyway, James Cox Kennedy (JCK) isn’t the least bit interested in journalism and piddly, cumbersome product such as the AJC. He says as much in this 2002 interview.

Nope, JCK’s a cable/broadcast kinda guy. Although I bet he’s trying to be the best Internet content kinda guy he can be by now. To go with all those Internet supply chains he already owns. But Facebook’s pre-emptied so much of the grand plan of any good old-school media tycoon.

And that makes a Bo Emerson, and even Gal With The Pink Faux Chanel Jacket, well, superfluous. Cox Media Farm too, come to think about it.

As should we need to tune-in fresh media from the Occupy Atlanta movement tonight at 6pm we need only click, once, to its Facebook page… or those of its 4K-plus followers.

And we’ll do so with our Apple product and some (free if we can find it) wi-fi, not some big fat TV that comes complete with a whopping cable bill.

Cox Media Group – Contradiction, Confusion, Clownage

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You’ve all heard and seen it by now. (If you’re in Georgia.) Some expensive, marketeer-driven slogan the Cox Media Farms Group is using to pimp their AJC product. Something about being clear, complete, correct. Three Cs. I forget the exact three Cs, so un-inspired I was by the campaign.

The AJC, the flagship Cox Media Farms Group product according to Wikipedia, is under new leadership. The first bit of non-inspiration out of the new AJC editor, Kevin Riley, was to start banning stuff.

But Riley’s got a sturdy ego, allowing himself a burst of uninspired face time with us *audience*, trotting himself at a nice clip through a newsroom in a particularly awkward moving pictures ad spot. Look busy! Nothing like a campaign of more middle-age white guys trying on *leadership* roles to inspire a Cox-only media consumption movement in the metro Atlanta masses.

(And can they ho-out Mike Luckovitch any harder than they are now at the AJC?! Jeez, they’re gonna break him they keep up this pace. But I diverge.)

Overall, the best part of whatever the heck it is they’re trying to do around the Cox Media Farms Group Of Stuff was a recent interview with their new president, Doug Franklin. (Lot of new, new, new fever around that barn, eh?) Whereby Franklin said this:

One of the things I (Franklin) should point out is that our goal is not to homogenize our media businesses.

Well, could have fooled me as a recent Cox internal memo, now in wide digital circulation, about how to “co-brand” Cox properties, but at the same time not let us out here know about this co-branding stuff, said this:

The decision to co-brand will be determined on the front end, in the story conception meetings between the respective properties. The branding will need to be communicated fully to the newsroom production staffs so they’ll know to use the labels.

Labels and everything too! Already in the pipeline, should the non-homogenization process need to be trotted out. (Cute how they’re still beating that dead print horse too.)

Yes, but us simple, passive, media consumers out here in the A are still not supposed to know there’s a Cox Media Farm Group Of Stuff homogenization effort under way. Again from the internal meme:

As a rule of thumb, most collaboration efforts will NOT be made known to readers/viewers/listeners.

That’s ok, because in the interview with TVNewsCheck Franklin goes on to tell us he will tell us this:

I will tell you that we have recently moved 30-50 journalists from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and they are now housed at the WSB building. We are moving more content people in with the television and radio newsrooms and I think you will see continued increased shared work there. So, yes, we are going down that path, but prudently to make sure we protect the outstanding brands we have in Atlanta.

But who needs to know what they heck it is they’re doing with their various media products, in the name of journalism, when we consumers out here have full access to whatever it is they’re trying to do up there in the C-suite!

You know how to get in touch.