Welcoming John Muller Back, WPIX Gives Winning Viewer Dinner with Anchors

PIXIt’s a brand new start on East 42nd Street. We’ve seen the promos ushering home John Muller as Tamsen Fadal’s new partner tonight. Now the folks at Tribune have taken the re-do to another odd level.

The station had a contest where viewers could win an opening night seat in the studio when Muller and Fadal begin at 5 p.m. But the evening doesn’t end there! Following the early newscast, one lucky fan (said in game show announcer voice) will join the new duo for dinner. It’s a good bet the station is assured of solidifying at least one more regular viewer. To quote Greg Mocker, PIX is on the “trail of something different,” although that’s not necessarily something to be applauded.

“There are no adults watching the kids run around at Chuck E. Cheese,” one veteran broadcaster jokes. As for Fadal, she is continuing to blur the line between news anchor and reality TV personality. Occasionally, the station’s lead anchor will post her “look of the day” on Facebook and Twitter. Before she hits the anchor desk, Fadal shows off a full body photo, captioned with the dressmaker and each fashion accessory. We might as well be on the Oscars’ red carpet.

“Is this a fashion show or a newscast? Is it about how we look or the information we’re supposed to be giving to the viewers?” an insider ponders. “I say this out of love of this industry, because every time we do more of this, people make fun of us and the entire industry loses its credibility.”

One more note about the reigning Emmy Best Anchor winner. On last Monday’s 10 p.m. broadcast, Fadal and Scott Stanford, the sitting duck anchor, assuming the sports role tonight, were apparently caught off guard. As the show returned from a break, Stanford was seen leaning in his chair (above) singing “Say You, Say Me.” Someone off camera could be heard saying “stand by.”

At the same time, Fadal was looking down and tweeting or texting. Once realized she was “live,” Fadal had a “deer in the headlights” pose, as she quickly pushed the phone to the side. Ironically, Tuned In learned after Fadal was seen working her smartphone during an April newscast, station management, led by news director Mark Effron, sent an edict to staffers banning phones on the set.

An insider says, “[It] leads me to believe that management has very little control over what’s happening now. Unless she’s suspended, it will be a sign to everyone that there are no consequences to any of their actions.”

One thought on “Welcoming John Muller Back, WPIX Gives Winning Viewer Dinner with Anchors

  1. Sandy

    Stopped watching WPIX when they fired Jodi Applegate and then Larry Mente. It’s all very juvenile now.

    Reply

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