Monthly Archives: April 2014

Use of Social Media on Local News ‘Detrimental to the Journalistic Profession’

Grymes MacedoTelevision news has always been about garnering the ratings. That’s what news directors and GMs liked. Now, it’s not only about sales revenue and the Nielsen numbers. Today there’s a definite realignment with social media. At the same time, there’s also evidence¬† of “dumbing down” the broadcasts.

If you’re up early on the weekend, for example, you may have noticed a different look on WCBS-TV.

With Cindy Hsu, a solid pro, moved to weekend nights, Channel 2 is opting for style at the desk.

Teaming anchor Andrea Grymes (above left) and recent hire Diane Macedo (above right) has the feel of girls “playing TV.”

Thankfully, the initial giggles and smiles have eased. That isn’t the type of chemistry essential in New York. Altoona, maybe, but not NYC.

Grymes is a decent enough reporter, but lacks in the substance department, especially when placed behind the desk. As for Macedo, her stock is apparently rising with management as an occasional fill-in anchor at other times.

Rolland Smith logged nearly 40 years in local news, including many in New York a generation ago at the aforementioned WCBS. He says change is not always for the better.

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WPIX Going the Contest Route to Elicit Morning Ratings

PIX11_LogoHow bad are the WPIX ratings in the morning? Non-existant would best describe them. The station wants to break out of the funk with a May sweeps giveaway to sway viewers from WNYW.

Tuned In has learned exclusively that WPIX will foot the bill for one year’s worth of mortgage or rent for four viewers. The desperate move is called Home Free Friday, and starts April 28. Winners will be announced each Friday in May on the PIX Morning News with Sukanya Krishnan and Kori Chambers.

We’re told that up to $1,500 per month will be handed out, and as much as $18,000 in total to one winner for their yearly mortgage or rent payment.

Viewers will watch for a code word during the morning broadcast. They will text the word to enter the drawing.

Major WPIX Overhaul Could Be on the Way

Tamsen ScottThe fate of WPIX’s news director is likely tied to next month’s pivotal ratings performance. Mark Effron got the position a year ago and, although he made several personnel moves, it’s no different than rearranging the Titanic chairs.

Channel 11 has been facing an ongoing battle for eyeballs. The numbers have remained poor, primarily at 10 p.m. with Effron ‘s biggest acquisition— when Scott Stanford was pulled away from sports for a full-time opportunity to co-anchor with Tamsen Fadal.

“There’s a growing feeling within Tribune that it’s not working at 5 and 10 [p.m.],”¬† a PIX insider charges.

Morning is another problem area for WPIX, with no ground gained on WNYW’s powerhouse Good Day New York. The Rosanna Scotto/Greg Kelly led program typically beats some of the big boys….having better results than NBC’s Today show.

The May sweeps could bring potential sweeping change to the Tribune flagship. Sources tell Tuned In this is a final chance for on-air talent and behind-the-scenes staffers to fight for their jobs.

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40 Years And Counting: Chuck Scarborough ‘Astonished I’m Still Here’

Chuck+ScarboroughFor a man celebrating his ruby anniversary in New York, Chuck Scarborough is certainly worthy of additional blog space. The longtime anchor is mix of gravitas and greatness. We recently wrote about his major milestone at WNBC, but without the cooperation of Scarborough himself.

At the New York Emmys Sunday night, the anchor great was on hand to receive the prestigious Governor’s Award. While there, Tuned In caught up with Scarborough and finally was granted a few minutes.

As you probably know by now, the trajectory of local news in New York was forever changed when Scarborough debuted at WNBC. It was March 25, 1974 and he was manning the first half of a new expanded two-hour NewsCenter4 broadcast. With the onslaught of Star Wars and Star Trek to follow later in the decade, there was a definite Hollywood spaceship feel at Studio 6B.

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MSG Network Leads Emmy Wins; Tamsen Fadal Named Best Anchor

tamsenThe best in local news were showcased Sunday night at the New York Emmys. WPIX and WNBC took home the most awards among the over-the-air stations. The 57th annual shindig featured trophies in more than 100 categories.

Channel 4 took the top prize–Best Newscast of the Year (over 35 minutes). Telemundo Channel 41/WNJU was a big winner in the Best Morning and Evening Newscast (under 35 minutes).

WPIX’s Tamsen Fadal (left) was a surprise Best Anchor winner. She added hardware as anchor in the Politics Special category.

WCBS’ Lonnie Quinn returns to the winner’s circle as Best Weather Anchor. His colleague Chris Wragge got another Emmy in the Live Reporter category.

Former WPIX commentator Larry Mendte was honored with three awards.

In sports, MSG’s Mike Breen took home the Play-By-Play trophy, while YES’ Jim Spanarkel was named Best Analyst.

Superstorm Sandy helped WPIX earn a pair of Emmys, including News Excellence. WABC, WCBS, and WNBC also were honored for the hurricane coverage.

Winning reporters include: WCBS/WLNY’s Alice Gainer, WABC’s Sarah Wallace, and WNBC’s Chris Glorioso.

WNBC’s Cat Greenleaf and Talk Stoop picked up the award for Best Interview/Discussion.

MSG Network topped all outlets with 14 winners. YES Network finished with 13.