Thursday, June 23, 2005

Is this the end of Helicopter Wars?

From Kim Montour - acting boss at KOIN:

I need to let you know that I am temporarily grounding the helicopter -- effective immediately.
I had a meeting with Warren (Petrie), and we discussed some past issues with the helicopter operator. Until he and I are comfortable that all our issues are addressed and resolved, we will not be flying.

I read that as budget cuts - don't you?

If you watch KPTV in the am (we'll wait for the numbers you Fox12 brown noser) you notice Tony Martinez camped in the chopper on the ground - even on good days. Costs bucks to fuel that baby up.

The other stations only fly on breakers any more or during sweeps. I'll bet there are a lot of quieter neighborhoods, compared to the late 90's.


Anonymous chopperjockey said...

Dont count on the chopper being grounded for long...also note that Kim Montour is the ACTING boss at KOIN....when they bring someone new in, and from what I here it will be very soon, you can bet the chopper goes back in the air. Otherwise KOIN will be left on the ground for some possible big stories...which will hurt them even more.

On a related note Warren Petrie is the Dean of Portland news chopper pilot...he is the BEST!

Friday, June 24, 2005 3:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The helicopter is responsible for more small non-news stories becoming big, big news stories -- just because the chopper was hovering above the wreck or fire.
They seemed to justify the expense by padding its newsgathering role.

The ONLY thing dumber than helicopter inspired news is "the power of 2!"

Friday, June 24, 2005 8:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The power of 2...that always cracked me up!

Friday, June 24, 2005 8:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tower of Poo?

Friday, June 24, 2005 8:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Simp said...

I can see certain situations where copter coverage could be useful.

Then there are stories where helicopers are, well... a couple years ago after 3 helicopters circling near my house for an hour, I finally called one of the stations and asked what was up.

...there was a dog stuck on the roof of a house...


Aside: I understand how easy it is to be critical and complain. With that in mind I'm trying to catch a few newscasts over the next few days and I'll try and provide some positive feedback :)

Friday, June 24, 2005 9:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warren Petrie is a consumate professional. He is a skilled pilot and excellent reporter. Try driving through rush hour traffic and talking coherently, let alone articulately on a cell phone.

If the helicopter is grounded, there is probably a good reason. KOIN would be stupid not to let him clobber the competition as he has done for the past 10 years.

As far as news from the air is concerned, any tool can be over-used. The last thread about Live for Live sake is a perfect example. When the choppers launch, it is always at the behest of the News Directors, producers, or assignment desks. It is often the quickest way to assess a situation. An airiel point of view is often less than the best camera angle to cover a story. Sometimes it is the only way to cover a story.

The wisdom comes in knowing the difference, and utilizing the resource effectively.

Friday, June 24, 2005 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people on this blog are so SMALL market. You'd think Portland was market 72 instead of 24.

Friday, June 24, 2005 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a related note Warren Petrie is the Dean of Portland news chopper pilot...he is the BEST!

If you don't believe it... just ask him!

Friday, June 24, 2005 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's probably blasphemous and all that, but is it really wise for a pilot to be flying in controlled air space, communicating with Approach Control, looking out for other aircraft...AND reporting on the air?

Friday, June 24, 2005 11:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Some people on this blog are so SMALL market. You'd think Portland was market 72 instead of 24.

10:42 AM

OK, I'll bite. What is small market about covering news with a helicopter?

Friday, June 24, 2005 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A. Everything

Friday, June 24, 2005 1:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, bullshit, choppers are everywhere in major markets. KABC just put HD in one of them.

My problem with helicopter news is that we're getting away from street-level knowledge of what's going on. We're more likely to rely on the PIO handout plus a shot from the copter. And we're spending a lot of air time on "breaking news" that consists of a grass fire or an accident. It's actually kind of boring.

Friday, June 24, 2005 2:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, kids...just to let you know,
The chopper grounding is for SAFETY reasons. Indeed, Warren is a great chopper pilot, but he's not dumb enough to fly a helicopter if there is a maintenance problem.

This is not a budget issue.

You may now resume with your conspiracy theory nonsense.

Friday, June 24, 2005 4:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan DeWitt said...

I'm sure this is heretical, but why don't y'all just get together and form a helicopter news pool? Keep one (or maybe two, tops) birds on-call who provide their video to every station in the pool. Rotate which news manager controls the helicopter each week.

It'll save each station zillions of dollars, and you don't even have to pay me a consulting fee. (Donations cheerfully accepted, though.)

Friday, June 24, 2005 6:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what is done in New York and LA where airspace is at a premium, it is done primarily for safety, rather than saving money-- all of the helicopters can transmit to any receive site, and it is simple to share video by pooling the feed. The problem comes when there is an exclusive story-- a true disincentive to sharing video. But there are few secrets in the sky....if you catch my drift~!

Friday, June 24, 2005 8:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan DeWitt said...

I guess I'm not as heretical as I thought. I'll try harder. :-)

Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best news helicopter pilot ever to step foot on this planet: Kim Ragnone

Monday, June 27, 2005 5:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, if you don't believe it, just ask HIM!

Monday, June 27, 2005 3:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problem with helicopter pilots being reporters...never seen a helicopter pilot talking to a crying mother, sitting on the sidewalk because her 8 year old just had his head liquified by a speeding car.
Too many time I've had my hard work and info gathering fed straight up to a two-day-work-week pilot who then looks like a "good reporter."

Monday, June 27, 2005 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KOIN's chopper is grounded for "safety reasons"... yet KPTV's chopper was in the air this morning with no problems.

Interesting since the two stations use the exact same chopper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had a choice of flying with Petrie or being fired, I'd really, REALLY have to think about it. It's my opinion that flying in traffic, monitoring several radios, and reporting is dangerous.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005 9:02:00 PM  

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