Dec 31, 2006
Fantasy gifts for the New Year AND the mini-radio reunion/bank robbery report!
Before the "behind the scenes" look at the mini radio reunion; I want to hand out my fantasy gifts for our local media kids.
WATE television local news department fantasy gift package:
1. Upon opening the giant box you will see on top an announcement of the firing of who or whatever is consulting your news department!
2. Just under the announcement you will see a short list of things that will overcome the problems created by the former consultant. Included is new steady cams, you know the kind that won't shake when the user is trying to inject drama into a report.
3. Next is a bound book of the history of WATE all the way back to the day it became East Tennessee's FIRST television station, with all of the periods of HIGH RATINGS and their causes underlined.
4. An 8X10 of Gene Patterson stapled to an 8X10 of John Becker and the note on the back saying "YOU HAVE GENE THEY HAVE JOHN, NOW DO YOU GET IT?"
5. A copy of the "this is how I get out of this thing" clause in the Oprah show contract.
6. A velvet painting of a clock showing the 6 p.m. hour and the words, "THIS IS THE TIME OF RECORD, FORGET ABOUT THE 5"
7. A list of what it would take to hire Schwall and a clandestine meeting place in Rockford to work out the details.
8. A tall stack of apology notes signed by every person drawing a check from the station and addressed to every source the news department has alienated over the last 48 months.
9. A new extended contract for Wogan with a healthy raise.
10. A large increase in the promotional budget to let the viewers know about all of the above.
WVLT Fantasy gift.
A life time contract for Chef Walter and a guarantee he will both live another 50 years and never cook a thing that calls for over 6 ingredients to prepare.
WBIR Fantasy gift.
A clothing gift certificate for Julya and guidance in her clothing selections by Robin.
WIVK Fantasy gift
The staff stays healthy, Citadel doesn't do something stupid to Ed, and the station remains the flag ship station of the VOLS for 9 more national championships in football, and 10 in Men's basketball.
The Mini-Radio Reunion
For the second year running WVLZ (1180) radio has invited burned out old DJs to tell lies around the holiday season. This year I drug in about 8 in the morning, said hello to someone in the hall who acted like he knew me, walked quickly into the control room, slammed the door, and sat down. Seconds later MIKE BEACH came in and thanked me for both not remembering who he was (I remember Beach, just didn't know the old dude in the hall) and slamming the door in his face!
Eddy Beacon did the hosting and together we covered all the old stories complete with slanderous lies about those who were either dead or not in studio. Beach told us he was the guy to first hire Mike Hammond, Eddy talked about the days he worked for the late great James Brown at his Knoxville owned radio station while I brought up the more recent Beacon Bank Robbery.
First whatever you read in the paper or saw on the television was fabricated by a local media gone wild for ratings group of Neojournalisticleftwingcommieclones driven by a blood hunger for viewers that constantly makes them kick the rules of ethics and journalism under the bus.
Beacon told us he was not involved in any bank heist, but rather innocently transporting a Doberman to Atlanta to pick up five thousand dollars for simply mounting something of the same species. As for the man with the dog, Eddy described him as a rather nice fellow with facial and body ink, stylish boots and cash money to play for the transport of said dog.
I would give you more details but I have signed an agreement with the producers of COPS to let them reveal the rest of the story. Look for it to air one week after Beacon appears on both Larry King and Nancy Grace.
Dec 26, 2006
2006 was a heck of a year for changes in both the old and new media.
Locally TV news junkies were doing double takes when about this time one of their favorites, WBIR anchor Ted Hall talked of crying children and sadness at dinner when he announced to his family he was leaving North Knoxville for Atlanta. Later we found the announcement was much happier around the dinner table when we read Ted's quotes on his new station's website in Atlanta. The real facts were simple; half of the highest rated local TV news anchor team was headed to Georgia and after earlier loosing their news director to local government the suits at WBIR had a decision to make. Granted WATE, the then number two station in the market was of little threat to 10 but still local TV news in Knoxville has been known to change quickly when talent leaves as proven by Margie Ison jumping a few decades earlier. The big guys took Bill Williams to lunch, hit him up with the idea of returning and after he pondered the deal for a day he came back to the anchor desk. Bill not only held the fort for WBIR he increased the numbers and the station continued to enjoy being the WIVK of the local TV news in the market.
In 2006 the dreaded Nielson over night ratings became a friend and a nightmare to our local TV news stations. Rather than hanging out for a quarter to see if those astronomical local news advertising prices were justified the clients could check out this column weekly to see who was winning who was coming close and who was dieing on the vine. At first those who took it on the chin said the numbers were not valid but that talk evaporated as more homes joined the sample. By the end of 2006 the over nights were showing WBIR still doing fine with Bill in the chair, WVLT winning at noon and more often than not at 11 and WATE slowly leaving the building in local TV news.
2006 will be known also as the year they began to prove to both the market and more importantly the advertisers that WVLT was on the fast track to become the new number two local news station. Big news considering WATE has been a solid number two for decades and WVLT has been a distant third. 2007 could be a new ballgame for all three of the local news stations (I know about FOX but their local is WATE produced) with WBIR now replacing Bill with a new face both 6 and 8 will be trying to capitalize on what could be a crack in the 10 shield.
In 2006 radio also had subtle changes. Two more all music stations blessed our airwaves and more small local stations gave upthe ghost. Jack (the offering at South Central) and Earl (Citadel Broadcasting) tried to be your I Pod stations. The big problem is the two stations are nothing more than last gasp tries at luring a lost audience. You kids with your MP3 players already have your Jacks and Earls and they are customized for your taste by YOU. Brothers and sisters there is a whole new world out there of media lovers who have left radio faster than we all turned to FM when James A. Dick past out those free converters in the parking lot on Kingston Pike a few decades back. 2006 was the year local radio really stopped being local, Jack and Earl are about as local as a lost family of Yankees trying to find Dolly Wood. Back in 2005 only TWO PERCENT of the cars in the Knoxville radio market had satellite radio. Also less than half of the GM cars offered the new pay radio, but this year GM has over 150 different models with satellite radio and one of the hottest sellers in the world of electronics this holiday season was XM radio. Why hear 4 in a row locally when you can hear unlimited in a row on satellite, with few if any commercial breaks? Local radio will never out music satellite, just a fact Jack. Someday you will tell your children, not grandchildren but your children, that one time there was free radio, it had people talking on it you saw in Kroger and everyone actually got excited and drove across town to get a T Shirt with the name of the station on the front. Granted they will give you that deer in the headlights look and then continue with their downloading, but most of you will feel a twinge of sadness in knowing they will miss out hearing their local team play ball on the air on a Friday night or just having their name mentioned after they called in a request.
So is 2007 going to just suck or will it be better? As far as media goes, all I am sure is 2006 was a new beginning and this time next year all of us will be shocked at the advances or in some cases the regressions we will have seen. Stay Tuned!
Dec 18, 2006
THE VERY LAST WEEK TO BUY ME SOMETHING!
The staff has taken the entire week off to shop and decorate so we will use the space for some holiday thoughts. As for the standard Christmas shows, NBC did their one night only showing of It’s a Wonderful Life and the best I could do was hang in until the drug store dude boxed the kid's ears. Sunday night Christmas Vacation was on TBS twice and The Christmas Story will run a full 24 hours starting Christmas Eve on several cable channels.
Beth Green is inviting everyone to an Christmas Eve service at their church in Alcoa. "
I invited myself into the deal and they are going to let me do a tune as well as play with the real musicians in attendance. If you know where the old Alcoa swimming pool is you can find the church and as Beth said everyone is invited.
I got this note from someone who obviously moved from the frozen north and after reading what those tired folks have to put up with in the winter I can see why they MOVED SOUTH!
Diary of a Snow Shoveler, Author unknown
December 8: 6:00 PM.
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the
wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the
window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven.
It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt
like newlyweds again. I love snow!
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow
covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic
sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World?
Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for
the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did
both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the
snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed
in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a
disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry; we'll
definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas
would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end
of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't
think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man I'm glad he's
Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to
-20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my
breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and
sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this
afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I
would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll
certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff
and puff so.
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer.
Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels.
Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the
electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in
Alaska, after all.
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the
driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed
for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere.
Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets
on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try
not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove,
but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I
can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.
Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff
last night. More shoveling. Took all day. %^#$^ snowplow
came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but
they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're
lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about
buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another
shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to
shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches
of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably
won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all
dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By
the time I got undressed, and dressed again. I was
too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his
truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy.
I think the asshole is lying.
Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0o. The wife
wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning.
What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a
month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.
6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel.
Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the
jerk who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the
snow by his thumbs. I know he hides around the corner and
waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the
street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where
I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas
Carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy
watching for the snowplow.
Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the slop tonight.
Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I
hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a
donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The
wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If
I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm
going to kill her.
Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was
all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
Temperature dropped to -30o and the pipes froze.
Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in.
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it
could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How
dumb does he think I am?
Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a
million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. 9"
Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
As they say on EZ 88.30 "Have your self a merry little Christmas!"
Dec 11, 2006
First do you recognize the teacher or any of the students in the above picture? Think WKGN, Fulton, The Duck, The Dr. and then let me know who you think it is! As always the winner gets nothing.
A few changes, thoughts, and surprises materialized in our local media camps last week. Years ago when I wrote for the "big" paper the former head man said the part of my column he liked the best was bullet points. Being a budding newspaper scribbler packing a mega radio ego I naturally assumed his reasoning was based on said bullets being short. Short is not good, short does not let the journalist inject his or her style, flavor, verve, and vast literary background into their masterpiece. Because the guy also hated stories that had a jump in them and was so terrified by snakes he would not even allow a picture of one from the zoo in his paper I naturally filed his bullet thought in the eccentric bucket and kept them to a minimum. All that said, here are a few bullets from last week.
1. Here is a thought (from someone both in the business and highly respected by me) on the mega slide to ratings hell by WATE…"Considering that the Fox News at 10:00 (produced by WATE) is one of the "late" newscasts -- the WATE 11:00 news is in FOURTH PLACE."
2. Another thought on WATE flew in over the cyber transom.
"Just in case you haven't heard, Ch 10 has a new anchor/reporter. She is Evette Martinez (SP?) She will be reporting three days a week and anchoring the weekend news. She used to be at ch 6 and left to pursue other interests in the business."
Two fast footnotes, first WBIR seldom hires anyone from across town, even if they sandwiched another job outside the business into their résumé before they joined the 10 team. Second, it was rumored by more than a few insiders at 6 that Martinez got a rather "raw" deal when she left 6. Again the key word is rumored so don't tag me with "creating" a fact on this one.
3. NEWSTALK Traffic/Talk Show Host is leaving. "I have been presented with an exciting opportunity for my career. However, to pursue this we need to move. I have accepted a position as the morning talk show host on KLIK-AM in Jefferson City, Missouri. The station is respected and its location in a state capitol could lead to bigger and better things down the road. I start at KLIK on January 2, 2007, and I will be heading out there between Christmas and New Year.
4. When Harold Ford Jr. was in town being congratulated by the libs and the dems for his fine run in November his Uncle was being sentenced to the slammer. Interesting that not one journalist attending the tainted (the guy lost) celebration party had the backbone to ask the man about his Uncle?
I checked a comment in the "guest book" at Southern Roots Radio asking why I had no information on a reportedly purloined web cam, allegedly missing from their control room. I was informed of the missing cam a few weeks back and because the few times I have had the opportunity to be on the station either it was not working or the viewing of it was tied to e mailers actually requesting the operator to turn it on, I assumed they just scrapped it? Turns out a controversy of biblical proportions has erupted over the thing and if you care to follow the history of the disappearance dash over to http://southernrootsradio.com and click first on the programming links (try political) and then on the guest book. If the big paper gets behind the story and one of the public service TV channels pile into the mix, this thing could grow legs and become of major importance, or not.
Dec 3, 2006
November TV ratings are in da can!
JUST NOTICED A GREAT COMMENT!!...If you get bored in all the number stuff at the closing of the blog PLEASE scroll down to the comment section. Several thoughts on why WATE is having another horrendous rating experience! As always, if you have a thought pop it in, it will not be jacked around with or deleted!
Here is the plan Stan.
Two stations have been sending great updates on the November ratings war and I am going to post their latest reports just as they were created.
If you have a problem with their thoughts email me or post right here on the blog...if you find wrong numbers and can prove they are wrong (or kinda think they look odd) then wear them out!
Also last week Bill Williams said good bye again. Man that just sucks. Like everyone else who watches local TV news I am a giant Bill fan. The first time he left we were already kinda used to Ted from Live At Five, but the station had enough gray matter to talk him into continuing on the air in other roles. Having the voice and face of Bill around is a good thing and later when Ted pulled the "Holiday Surprise" and scooted off to Atlanta Bill walked back in like he had never left. The numbers showed him to be as popular as before and BIR never missed a step.
Now that he is leaving again things are not as easy. This new fellow is reported by staff to be a very nice guy and a hard worker. Great, but will that be all that is needed to replace Bill Williams?? Yea I agree with you..Not by a long shot! I really wish the brains of the outfit had figured out a way to talk Bill into just staying right where he was a few more years. Nothing against the new dude, but unlike the first exit when Ted slid in so easily this one just has a ragged feel to it. Good luck to both 10 and Bill!
Here are the "as created" Nielson ratings thoughts from WVLT and WBIR.
Never saw a thing from good old WATE? Either they are in a snit or they don't have much to brag about this go round?
Here is the latest from WBIR-TV and NBC as of 12-1-06:
November 2006 Nielsen Sweep Results
WBIR/NBC dominated in early morning, early fringe, all primary news time periods, early fringe, prime access, primetime, and late fringe.
Mon.- Fri. daypart averages for November 2006 sweep:
HH Rating WBIR/NBC Daypart Share WATE/ABC Daypart Share WVLT/CBS Daypart Share HH Total
6-9a 7.9 58.09% 3.9 28.68% 1.8 13.24% 13.6
9a-3p 5.2 38.52% 2.9 21.48% 5.4 40.00% 13.5
3p-5p 6.4 42.38% 4.0 26.49% 4.7 31.13% 15.1
5p-6p 9.9 43.04% 7.5 32.61% 5.6 24.35% 23.0
6p-630p 15.6 53.42% 8.5 29.11% 5.1 17.47% 29.2
7p-8p 12.7 53.36% 6.7 28.15% 4.4 18.49% 23.8
8p-11p 9.2 38.02% 6.5 26.86% 8.5 35.12% 24.2
11p-1130p 11.3 54.33% 4.3 20.67% 5.2 25.00% 20.8
1130p-130a 3.9 51.32% 1.4 18.42% 2.3 30.26% 7.6
Source: Nielsen Meters in the Knoxville DMA 11/2-29/06
Primary news time period averages for first 3 weeks of November 2006 sweep:
HH Rating WBIR/NBC News Share WATE/ABC News Share WVLT/CBS News Share HH Total
6-7a 8.4 57.14% 4.2 28.57% 2.1 14.29% 14.7
6-630p 15.9 53.00% 9.1 30.33% 5.0 16.67% 30.0
11-1130p 11.5 53.74% 4.5 21.03% 5.4 25.23% 21.4
Average News Share 54.16% 26.93% 18.91% 66.1
Source: Nielsen Meters in the Knoxville DMA 11/2-29/06
WVLT Volunteer TV News is #1
in cumulative daily news households in the pure news time periods between Noon and 11:30 P.M.
Noon-11:30 P.M. – Cumulative daily Total Average (++)
WVLT 173,000 households
WBIR 171,000 households
WATE 135,000 households
6:00A.M.-11:30 P..M. - Cumulative daily Total Average (+)
WBIR 214,000 households
WVLT 182,000 households
WATE 157,000 households
More East Tennesseans are getting their news, sports and weather from WVLT Volunteer TV between Noon and 11:30 P.M. than any other Knoxville Television station!
More East Tennesseans are getting their local news, weather, and sports from WVLT Volunteer TV than any time, ever, in its more than 50 year history!
• + Measuring “pure” news time periods of 6:00-7:00 A.M.; Noon-12:30 P.M.; 4:00-4:30 P.M.; 5:00-5:30 P.M.; 5:30-6:00 P.M.; 6:00-6:30 P.M.; 7:00-7:30 P.M.; 11:00-11:30 P.M.
• ++ Noon-11:30 average excludes early morning news averages from totals for all three stations.
• It should be noted WBIR does a brief news capsule at the top of its infotainment program, LIVE @ 5, and those households are NOT counted in any of the totals.