Thursday, May 12, 2005

Getting Started

I have lots of friends inside Portland's newsrooms and radio stations. All of them.

Do I work in one of them? I do.

The dirty truth in the media is that most people love what they do and hate the companies and some of the people they work for. That's no different than most jobs, but the big difference is that most employees don't affect what we think about, talk about, get worried about or elated about.

So let's open this vein. Schulberg or Carlin or Turnquist don't have the contacts, the space, the backing or the inclination to tell the inside stories. Hopefully we can and give you, the reader, an understanding (and maybe some power) of how things work and how things CAN change.

Like how one radio station gutted its popular format to become the iPod shuffle station - wildly (again) misjudging the radio audience.

Like how a powerhouse TV station lost its way and is now (kinda) up for sale, again.

Like how one station uses old ratings to tout its bloody nightly newscast, when its format seems to be turning viewers off now.

You'll get to read some of the funniest in-the-room memos of managers who don't know their own internal audience - and treat these professionals like kids.

I also hope it offers a forum (anonymously, of course) to the reporters and photographers and writers and producers and editors to let us in on their world - and the decisions made.

Let's go.

47 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going on at KOIN?

Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous insideKOINer said...

3 things.
1) Parent company fired our unpopular GM - thankfully he wasn't replaced by our more unpopular News Director
2) KOIN employees will vote in June on a new union. We need defined work rules and the company did not respect our work or our family (or free) time.
3) KOIN and 15 other TV stations owned by Emmis (Indianapolis) are up for sale.

We hope for a better boss, but we know it's a cut-throat business.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best of luck on this blog. I hope it's productive. I know some journalists who feel squelched by their editors who cower under pressure from the feds to write the stories the way the feds want them to when it comes to local stories that have national implications (Mayfield, JTTF...)

Sid

Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger exKOIN said...

I met both men, not impressed with either.

Which catagories of employees would be covered under the union vote?
I worked at KOIN and lost the fight to keep AFTRA. Since then, the general atmosphere deteriorated, and workplace changes rewarded poor planning, score settling and office politics. Along the way the satisfaction in our craft was discarded like so much garbage.

KOIN used to be a much better shop. Unhappily, it's hard to recognize the place anymore.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Pepperfire said...

Isn't public journalism rather like that... You write, if they agree with what you write, they publish.

If they don't... you go into marketing.

T.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kari Chisholm said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, whoever-you-are.

Just don't get fired, ok? Suggested reading

Thursday, May 12, 2005 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feds influence copy? Do you have any examples? That is disturbing.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 1:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got an e-mail address, sparky? Better to get those leaked memos by.

Sid: Yeah, those fed sure have kept those Mayfield and JTTF stories outta the news, haven't they? They came outta those fiascos smelling like Rose City roses!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 1:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to the classic combo of Aimee Clark and Julia Radlick over at KATU on the weekends? Without Aimee's mannish looks and Juila's blond flip hairdo, I just can't get my weekend going. Did Clark get fired? Don't make me watch actual news!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 1:46:00 PM  
Anonymous lisa said...

Dude, congrats on your beautiful new blog, but...you need a better moniker. PDXMEDIAWATCHER doesn't really describe you, does it? If you really work in a newsroom, then you're not just watching, are you? You're a more-or-less willing participant in whatever goes on. Right?

How bout: The Tube-ster (I like it!). Or: Hellpaginator (ummmm--realistic but awkward). Slightly off-color: Picapussy (maybe nobody knows what a pica pole is anymore....). Or, if you're in radio: The Savvyslider. We'll have to work on that.

You should also include a link to KBOO Radio (www.kboo.fm -- there are almost a million hits on their website). The AM and PM news departments put together locally-produced news broadcasts five days a week. This is a training ground that places reporters at jobs around the country, including OPB, WHYY in Philadelphia and NPR.

I was surprised not to see a link to KPOJ (which we like to call K-pudge). They just hired a Portland news staff, and I believe they just started producing a drivetime talk show featuring Thom Hartmann (sp?) live from Portland five days a week (I think). We're talking Air America's local affiliate. Are you with me?

KBOO, OPB and Air America are proof that left-wing-oriented news broadcasts (read: anything that's the opposite of Woof Blitzer and FOX News) are quietly expanding their reach (although for many people, describing OPB as left-wing-oriented is debatable). Meanwhile, the Big O's readership is shrinking like David Reinhard's hairline.

Your site is a good idea. Just today, in a restaurant, I pulled a copy of the Big O's new fake weekly "magazine" out from under a table, and actually perused it for the first time (it's called someting like, "Fake Portland Weekly"). Deep in its bowels was an item called "cop scanner" or maybe it was "police scanner highlights," something like that. The story: someone threw a water balloon on NE 82 Ave. STOP THE PRESSES. It read like The Mercury's Best of 82nd Avenue. Still, I don't think that was the effect the O staff was looking for.

Good luck, pdxmediablublub. We gotta work on that moniker!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need an e-mail address, otherwise these comments are going to get 1) cluttered and 2) off-topic.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 1:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have an rss feed?

Thursday, May 12, 2005 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger The One True b!X said...

Sid and I have both written about Feds influencing the local AP regarding the JTTF story, for example.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 2:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't forget the little guys: Skanner, El Hispanic News, Just Out, Asian News, Observer, etc etc etc ...

sometimes being small and led by an owner/publisher/editor isn't all its cracked up to be either, and much good (read: critical) work gets waylayed while profiles of kittens get page one, all "for the good of the community"

and are you including blogs as "media" ....

Thursday, May 12, 2005 2:46:00 PM  
Anonymous MarkDaMan said...

I was led here by the One True's website. I can't wait to see what's coming. As a reader of our daily rag, a visitor of the local newsrooms websites, and a watcher of the telecasts, I have many opinions on the local media's inability to provide relavant coverage of local and national...hell for that sakes, international events. Relevant news used to be a one stop shop, now I have to search 10+ outlets just to get the days headlines and not just for the pure pleasure of comparing the stories.
I'm glad you created this site and am looking forward to what is to come...

Thursday, May 12, 2005 2:52:00 PM  
Anonymous PDXMediaWatcher said...

Thanks for the useful ideas and comments. And yes, I'm probably part of the problem, even though I and a number of my colleagues feel like Don Quixote. I'm making the site changes, but felt like starting this to get it out of my system. And I do have kiddies to feed, so being outed will take its toll. Thanks for helping me get started.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 3:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I *like* the new FM station!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger paulsepp said...

I look forward to your blog!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 4:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks b!x for putting up the link. For those who questioned my above statement regarding editors being pressured by the Feds on the Mayfield and JTTF stories, you've gotten it all wrong. They don't pressure the editors NOT to write about the stories, rather they pressure them to write the stories the way the Feds want it,e.g. they don't want the Mayfield case to be affiliated with the Patriot Act.

Get to know some reporters and you'll learn what's really going on. Most of them want to quit and freelance.

Sid

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, you can't beat this when it comes to a frustrated journalist.

Was this you, pdxmediawatcher?

Sid

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Freelancer said...

Sid said:
"Get to know some reporters and you'll learn what's really going on. Most of them want to quit and freelance.

I say: no, they don't. if they did, they would. I did. I am. I love the freedom and would never go back to a staff position.

Welcome to the blogosphere, PDX...., it will be great to go behind the scenes!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 9:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freelancer,
Congratulations on quitting and becoming a freelancer. I think there are reporters who would like to be able to do what you've done, but they're afraid they won't be able to pay the bills. Maybe some of those reporters feel they haven't established a name for themselves yet and want to continue working until they do.

I don't know. I'm just spouting what I hear from the few I know.

Sid

Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sid, that is the best link. It's not work or kid safe, but it is hilarious. Bravo to the writer, and thank you for the link.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay R said...

You should really link to pdxradio.com -- especially the forum. If anyone wants inside buzz on Portland radio, they've got it.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any information on what became of MAX910's Rick Emerson and his crew, Clyde or Tim?

Friday, May 13, 2005 9:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any information on what became of MAX910's Rick Emerson and his crew, Clyde or Tim?

Friday, May 13, 2005 9:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any information on what became of MAX910's Rick Emerson and his crew, Clyde or Tim?

Friday, May 13, 2005 9:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julia Radlich left weekends to do weekday mornings.
Aimee Clark quit to go to India for two years... kinda like Peace Corps but something else. She wanted to do something meaningful in life while she was still young and able to do it.

no loss, really. Didn't like her looks or her delivery. Had no sense of timing. Annoying voice. Preferred the girl before her. Better looking and more down to earth. Now what was her name??

Even Aimees replacement is better.

Friday, May 13, 2005 9:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weekday mornings - God what a slog. More time for ice skating I suppose. Forget about K2, how the HELL did Kelley Day get her job back? That's a subject for a post....

Friday, May 13, 2005 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous John Doe said...

is this Lars Larson?????

Friday, May 13, 2005 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous John Doe said...

is this Lars Larson?????

Friday, May 13, 2005 3:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to get up on Saturday morning, watch Julia Radlick do the weather, and spank my monkey. Guess I'll save money on tissues and lotion.

Friday, May 13, 2005 3:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what happened to Kelly Love @ KGW?

Saturday, May 14, 2005 9:27:00 AM  
Blogger PDXMediaWatcher said...

Kelley Love is working for Washington Congressman Brian Baird in the SW Washington office.

Saturday, May 14, 2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Dingus said...

This is a great idea. Lord knows we need some constructive input where Portland Media is Concerned.

Hope it goes well and please do stay anonymous long enough for the good stuff to flow :P)

Saturday, May 14, 2005 7:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the state of PDX Radio...especially since the winter ratings just came out and NRK killed the competition. But I'm sure you'll slam them like everyone else.

Saturday, May 14, 2005 8:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

State of PDX radio? Call a priest, it's a dying medium. It's been mortally wounded by commercial overkill. Corporate owners slashed open the goose and plundered its golden eggs, and listeners said, Screw this, I've got a million better ways of getting what I want. Clear Channel is pretending to be all enlightened and listener-friendly with its "less is more" commercial policy, but all that means is a return to the spot load of the days before it ran amok with its eternal spot breaks.

Healthiest stations in Portland: K103. KINK. Jammin. NRK.

Sickest stations: Charlie (what a blunder). KLHT. KRVO. KKRZ.

Sunday, May 15, 2005 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look forward to a post explaining David Reinhard. Why did he feel compelled to tell us that Justice Saad - a Bush appointee had a problem in his FBI report? Er, I guess he was trying to say that Senator Reid is a human hemeroid for mentioning the problem. But what does that make Dave? After all the O has never, as far as I can tell, written about Justice Saad or his FBI problem. Such a shame that Dave would broadcast Justice Saad's FBI problem, whoever Justice Saad is.

Sunday, May 15, 2005 8:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Gonzo said...

Spent 25+ years in radio, most in Portland/Salem. Rarely listen any more, and news (radio and TV) is boring. How many times can you hear about death and misery followed by perky change-of-pace featurettes before going bananas?

The only stations I can bear these days: KINK and ...well, that's about it, and KINK only when they play a decent tune, which seems to be less and less. Sometimes Corvallis' KLOO (106.3) which at least has a wider playlist for corporate radio. Smaller market is a benefit, I presume.

And KISN is now Charlie FM? From Steely Dan to Joe Walsh to Bangles to some weird unrecognizeable trash. I listen to podcasts now and 10,000 songs on my own damn PC, plus streaming media from all over the world...radio is a shadow of its glory days (60s? 70s? even 80s?).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this.

It's a great addition to the Portland media scene.

I'm a long-timer at The Oregonian, and also a long-time watcher of the local media scene.

This independent forum is a great new vehicle for our town.

Good luck with it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 7:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NRK is really turning my head with its new format; as close to the pure blissful KEXP (Seattle) as we'll ever get. Their on-air talent can be annoying at times, but the programming has been swell. Like a college radio station (which we are *sorely* lacking) but a tad bit more professional.
What a bit turnaround from 6 years ago when all they could play was Nickelback.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 10:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bookmark is already in place: I'm very glad the site's here. One other suggestion for a link inclusion: The Business Journal. It may not have the cache of the O or the Clackamas Tribune, but most media people know about it and subscribe to its daily uploads. (okay, okay: One of my friends works there. Now she owes me.)

Also, yes, I'd like to see links to the Skanner and the smaller papers.

Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Meremark said...

I don't know. Anonymous, shmanonymous. "Make sure you are right, then go ahead." -- A. Lincoln. Meaning before suggesting reading ahead, there is base understanding established in an alternate suggested reading list.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 2:46:00 AM  
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005 6:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Friday, October 21, 2005 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a live fire scannersite. It pretty much covers live fire scanner related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're a fan of LOST, check out lost tv watch episode

Monday, October 24, 2005 8:18:00 PM  

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