Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Few Updates

The Tribune last Friday wrote about the new 10pm news partnership between KGW and Portland's WB. The article went on about new morning newscasts for KPTV - extending the Good Day Oregon brand to seven days.
What it didn't say was that many people working in the stations production department are being absorbed into news (never a good thing for them), and that Good Day Lifestyles is being cannibalized. Some people have been told (not asked) to take huge pay cuts. And the station will look to hire a number of part-time employees to work short assignments on weekends (and any other time they call). I suspect a number of new workers will answer the call, then we'll hear stories about mistreatment and lack of respect for personal time. Always happens.

The Oregonian's "High Definition News" plan is starting to leak out. It doesn't appear to be a major multi-media, cross platform effort, with independent video/picture pieces on the website (like larger papers do), but a continuation of what we're seeing now - an expanded Metro section, and each section being treated as a "separate entity". There will be fewer long form stories and more attention to the "pace" of each edition, whatever that means in newspaper lingo.

On the ground Katrina reporting has come from the Oregonian, KPTV, KATU and KGW. KOIN's new weathercaster Jeff Baskin is here and has shown satellite photos of his former flooded and off-the-air station in New Orleans. KOIN employees are wondering why they aren't in the Gulf, considering the parent company sent an all-call out to employees willing to help that station get back on the air (there's been no follow up to the original request).

KATU starts its new 4:30pm newscast soon with no real planning, other than how many stories reporters have to file, no new hires for the program, that it will have more national, and that it's unlikely to be really different or aimed at a different audience. Deborah Knapp is the anchor. There will be a news "ticker" on screen, so get your glasses out. This comes at a time when the newsroom is being remodeled and everyone is having to learn new technology.

62 Comments:

Anonymous Graphics Monkey said...

LOL! Always be happy taking pills.

Its interesting seeing what's going on as the stations are gearing up for fall sweeps. I am curious to see what the new technology at KATU is going to bring to the ol' bunker on Sandy. I just had an opportunity to speak to one of the reporters there and she mentioned that the transition to the new tech is adding almost too much stress to an already overtaxed and underfunded newsroom.

Fisher might have to open their coin purse or look inbetween the cushions of the leather couches up in Seattle to hire a few more people. Of course it would be nice for them to post a profit sometime too. Somehow the layoff/cost reduction loop they seem to be in isn't helping their business.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin Coari from KPTV is also in New Orleans with the Oregon Nat'l Guard. He did a report from there last night.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last thing those poor souls in New Orleans need is a malcontent crew from KOIN whining about the conditions and the overtime.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 3:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"fewer long form stories"

this is what they used to do best. consultants have ruined journalism. no "long form" in newspapers or television. long form is an art. short form is shorthand. journalism is a bandwagon affair. i hate it. that's why i write for magazines and make documentaires.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 4:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If KATU will have news at 4:30, when will Martha's syndicated program air? 3:30-4:30 to make sure everybody misses the beginning of it? 3-4 with Millionaire right before the news to make sure they lose their Martha lead-in? I realize I'm the only person concerned with this.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 7:21:00 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

I was half-convinced that 'high definition' campaign was little more than a marketing ploy anyway. What tipped me off? All those misused hyphens (reader-interactive?) in the web teaser. If it it were truly a 'completely reengineered' product, some editorial muckety-muck would have had their hands dirty rearranging that copy...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes... I thought the trolls were bad -- now you have comment spammers!

Gotta nip that in the bud. Either delete those comments, or the rest of us will be forced to post links with titles like this pharmacy is a ripoff.

Did I mention this pharmacy is a scam?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:23:00 PM  
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Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually most folks at KATU are pretty excited about the tech upgrade. It's about time we scrap the archaic cameras and head-butt our way into the digital world. And anyone bitching about transition needs to get a life. Having the mothership invest a wad of dollars into what's always been known as the bad step-child of Fisher isn't something to complain about.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 6:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you can answer a question for me: Why did KATU water down the story about the state legislator run down by a jealous girlfriend of the janitor? Their own website lists the details, but their on-air text was so wishy-washy it was almost meaningless.

Are they worried about lawsuits?

Signed,

Interested Viewer

Thursday, September 08, 2005 9:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Graphics Monkey said...

*laugh*

KATU has always been the black sheep upstart of the fisher chain. Glad to hear that the one opinion I heard was not the majority. Still you won't find FSCI in my stock portfolio until Fisher gets their financial ducks in a row.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 9:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet the 4:30 news cast will pull better numbers than millionare or the PAX 10pm.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 2:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl Click finally started at KATU - anyone know where Ken Ackerman will land?

Thursday, September 08, 2005 3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Former Viewer said...

Regarding The O. Think more along the lines of USA Today, a buddy working there tells me. Lots of crappy graphics, more but shorter stories, fewer opportunities for a reporter to actually write.

Basically, The O now. A fast read and fairly boring.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 4:42:00 PM  
Anonymous RAH said...

Oh my. The O has been heading that way for the last 20 years so it's not a huge surprise. They shrank the pages, then the made the fonts "easier to read" (aka "larger type" and "more space between lines and words"). They claimed at the time that there would be absolutely no reduction in news content. You tell me... smaller pages with bigger print. I haven't noticed them printing *more* pages to make up for it.

All we need are more colorful pie charts, and we have USA Today.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new tech going in at KATU (and KVAL in Eugene by the way) is Panasonic P2 cameras and a server based edit/air system.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 5:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The O's remake is more marketing strategy than journalism (notice ads around town and the tie-dye card on the side of the coin boxes?). They're worried cuz their Sunday single-copy sales are in the tank and they're trying to make them rebound somehow. That's why they ran that Bingo game a few months back, which briefly spiked circulation upward. You had to buy the Sunday paper to keep up with the game.

I don't think anyone has considered that the real problem in shoddy journalism. Goldschmidt, anyone?

Thursday, September 08, 2005 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:42: Flannery O'Connor once said: "Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them."

5:00: Anybody who knows anything about typography can tell you that "easier to read" does not necessarily mean bigger. It's absolutely possible to have smaller pages with the same amount of news if you know what you're doing with type and design. And there's not an American newspaper in existence that hasn't heard the "USA Today" trope whenever it makes any changes. It has become meaningless.

10:02: Journalism doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with Sunday circulation slides. It's happening to nearly every newspaper in the country. It's a cultural thing. People have less free time and more competition for that time. The newspaper that doesn't attempt to take that into account is doomed.

Friday, September 09, 2005 12:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the primary reason Sunday circ is down *everywhere* is the rise of online classifieds -- Craig's List, E-bay, etc. People used to buy the Sunday paper on Saturday to get a jump on real estate listings, jobs, etc. (and the Sat. on Fri. for yard sales, car sales, etc.). Now they go online 24/7 and get that info free.

And previous resizings of any paper that has changed its shape -- the NY Times, the O, the Tribune -- have more to do with the cost of newsprint than any editorial mandate. (For a comparison, see the Times of London, which went last year from broadsheet -- like the O -- to tabloid simply to transform its image in a crowded marketplace.)

Friday, September 09, 2005 6:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

K2's new gear allowed the crew from the gulf to file their stories over the internet from TX, and LA. The storries were shot digitally, edited on a laptop, transmitted by the web, and put smack down in the server that conatians the newsrooms material. All the station had to do is find the file and copy it. Sounds a lot like what the newspaper fellas have been doing for years. BTW, yeah the newsroom remodel is a GIANT pain in the rear... people stacked like sardines, dust, noise. But, when it's done and I have my new desk, with my new chair, and my new computer, and my new surroundings... I'm still going to have to work. That sucks.

Friday, September 09, 2005 7:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long-form journalism doesn't serve the needs of today's readers, viewers and listeners.

Continued reader research shows most people read the headline, the cut lines, graphics and the first paragraph or two of a long story.

Typically, they don't follow "jumps" to other pages.

Why the "O" still chooses not to put news in their newspaper is beyond me.

Friday, September 09, 2005 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 10:41

sadly your point of view prevails. and it diminishes journalism. just becuase you have an short attention span doesn't mean everybody does. please check the numbers for OPB radio and TV. radio has long stories and Oregon Field Guide and Oregon Art Beat both run stories that are up to 15 minutes in length. they both get good numbers.
you are what's wrong with journalism.

Friday, September 09, 2005 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always fun to read anonymous comments written by KATU's news director. Yes he is excited about the new cameras!

Friday, September 09, 2005 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Ken is going to sell real estate.

Friday, September 09, 2005 1:30:00 PM  
Blogger breakingsnooze said...

KGW is going through a new Tech upgrade too, though not for a few more months. Getting rid of all there Avid edit systems and replacing them with Grass Valley systems with a central servert system. Most of the editors and Photogs are happy about the change from 12 year old Avids to the newer systems.

Friday, September 09, 2005 1:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 10:41 and all

"Why the "O" still chooses not to put news in their newspaper is beyond me."

The main problem as I see it is, the O is no fun. The people at the top are bureaucrats, not newshounds. These people don't know what they're doing. They run scared and embrace every management fad that comes along.

The new approach, however, may be the first thing Sandra Mims Rowe has done to free up reporters and clear the way for better and brighter stories. I'd say give it time. Don't expect magic on the September launch date. Give the newspaper 6-12 months to reposition itself.

If the paper is improved, its because Rowe and upper management have finally wised up and given reporters and line editors more room to do their best work.

If the rank and file have that freedom and don't make good use of it, the paper will suck forever.

Saturday, September 10, 2005 1:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

--"Continued reader research shows most people read the headline, the cut lines, graphics and the first paragraph or two of a long story."--

I would argue that the 'jumps' are a more valuable characteristic to advertisers. Cram more 'lead-in' stories on the front page to grab interest and pull readers through the subsequent pages... WHERE THE ADS ARE. Their plan should scare off advertisers; what if readers feel sufficiently informed after reading a bunch of shorter stories, all on page one? Maybe I'm wrong, but this could decrease ad impressions on latter pages. -TK

Sunday, September 11, 2005 9:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! anonymous 11:35:56 needs to adjust his/her medication! Is there really a need for profanity. Or are you just so unimaginative that you resort to profanity because in fact YOU are clueless about how to express yourself any other way?

Monday, September 12, 2005 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree with the sentiment about the Seahawks, as long as KPTV keeps getting 25-30 shares for the Seahawks and Lions, that's all we're going to get.

Monday, September 12, 2005 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm...

doesn't the FOX NETWORK decide what games will air... where... and when?

Monday, September 12, 2005 1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe anyone who has endured any of the O's 97-part, 107,000-word Pulitzer-bait investigative series actually thinks the paper doesn't do *enough* long-form....

Monday, September 12, 2005 4:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They probably do a couple long-form investigative series a year just to have something to send to the Pulitzer folks.

Monday, September 12, 2005 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ummmm,

Last I knew, the local affiliate carrying NFL games has the right to choose from several different games. The trick for affiliates in markets with no team, is to pick games with a strong local tie. Therefore, Seahawks and Lions is what we get. I worked for an affiliate once that would constantly shuffle between a northern team, and a southern team... each week pissing off a large group of fans. Hate calls every Sunday, gotta love it.

Monday, September 12, 2005 8:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're not all idiots . . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey -- Gutless Anonymous 1:37

Did it ever dawn on you that most of the people who perform the sex act to which you refer are women? And how sad your life would be if nobody performed that sex act?

No.

Of course it didn't.

You're a moron.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:52:00 PM  
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Arghh ... I liked that Good Day Lifestyles!

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