Monday, September 25, 2017

NBC News adds to Puerto Rico misery

Crews for "NBC Nightly News" packed up their equipment...lights, cameras, production equipment, power source equipment...and staff and flew to Puerto Rico for Monday evening's broadcast ... on a military cargo plane meant to deliver much-needed supplies to the Puerto Ricans.

The purpose? Showboating, really. To make it look like its anchor, Lester Holt, knows everything, feels everything and can go anywhere in the world.  Not for the story.  They have so-called journalists in the country already with their own, but smaller and more mobile, crews.

So it places an added burden on Puerto Rico to host and help these slickers, who did not need to be there anyway, just what the local authorities needed, right?

I am not sure what they think they are proving to their viewers. I, as a viewer now and then,  wonder why the hell they were there when they could have anchored in New York and fed in the video and information from their so-called journalists in the field. Hell, Holt was back-and-forth to New York throughout the program anyway.

It all looks like a fake Hollywood glamour call and some of the real information that did manage to get through the airwaves is probably lost as the viewer figures out why Holt is there just standing amidst rubble and rubbish that is repeated in the scenes from their mobile so-called journalists.

What a waste of time and money, And I hope the cost of shipping their equipment and staff for a brief stand on the "scene" isn't being paid by you and me, the taxpayers, since they were on a military, not corporate, plane.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

How to neutralize your opposition

Megyn Kelly, last year, was the bright, bright star of Fox News Channel and a spokesperson for conservative views. Aside from Bill O'Reilly, she was most likely the top rated journalist/commentator for the network.

In a bold move, NBC lured her away from Fox with a lucrative contract and, in its effort, dimmed her conservative views and saddled her with human interest stories, personality interviews and puff pieces.

NBC was successful in extinquishing this light of political sanity.

There has been no one, so far, to fill Kelly's shoes with her former ability to fairly point out anyone with hidden agendas.

In one high-price move, the NBC network, with its no-longer-hidden liberaL bias, successfully neutralized one of the better opponents of its views.

Got to give the liberal media a point for that maneuver.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kudos to Dish Network for holding out

Kudos to Dish Network for continuing a stand-off with Hearst Television, owners of the local WGAL, Channel 8 television station, about paying a higher fee to carry Hearst television stations' programming.

The Hearst stations continue to "explain" that the impasse continues and Dish is not carrying the Hearst stations as a result. Hearst - at least WGAL - tries to make Dish look like the bad guy by telling Dish viewers they should be getting a reduced rate since the network is not carrying the Hearst stations' contents.

But let's take a closer look at this.  It is Hearst that is demanding Dish to pay a higher fee to carry its content. Not the other way around.  DirecTV already caved to Hearst after not carrying Hearst's content for a few days.

Here's the basic problem for you, the viewer, to consider. The Hearst stations are granted a license by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to broadcast its programming to the public for free. If you have an antenna, and the TV station's signal reaches you, you can see their content for free. The television station raises its money to operate by charging sponsors who prepare and carry commercials to you to get you to buy their wares.

If you subscribe to a cable or satellite network system, you pay a fee to get that content.  By all fairness, the only fee you should have to pay to see the commercial broadcast stations that are on the public airwaves, should be the fee that covers that cable system's equipment and operating expense to pick up that commercial channel to send it to you.

But that's what is NOT happening. The television stations are charging the cable systems a fee for the "privilege" of carrying their content .... which of course is absolutely free over the airwaves.

That's what Hearst and other commercial television stations are doing. But it is YOU that will have to pay for the extra fee to the cable system which in turn forwards the extra money to the stations --- whose content is supposed to be free to the public.

Private cable channels, of which they are now many, should have the right to charge you for their content because it is private and they do not broadcast on public airwaves.

For Hearst and other commercial TV outlets, they should NOT have the right to charge you money for their free content.  But that's what they are doing.

So, as long as WGAL and all other Hearst Television outlets as well as other commercial stations claim the problem is with Dish or other cable/satellite systems, it is actually the TV station itself trying to charge YOU more for what was to be free content.

The only way this inside-out method of fleecing you will ever be solved is for lawmakers and the FCC to outlaw the television stations from charging for programming that is meant to be provided for free.

I'll bet you don't like paying a fee to watch a channel that shoves commercial after commercial down your throat.

It's ironic because the commercial television stations using the public airwaves are losing audiences and desperately need to keep as many viewers as they can. Perhaps if they paid as much attention to the quality of programming they provide as they do to trying to fleece you, they may be more popular than they are.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WGAL-TV getting kinda greedy-er

Well, well, well. After a year of raking in money from excessive and incessant political commercials leading up to the recent intensive election cycle, WGAL-TV looks to make even more from those of use subscribing to DirecTV.

Let's get down to the brass tacks.  WGAL-TV wants more money from DirecTV to allow DirecTV to carry its broadcasts on the cable network.

What makes this so gross is that it is the same programming it is dishing out to you and me for free over the regular airwaves.

Tell me that makes sense.

This is the same station that has recently increased its news program times directly to drive out competing television stations.  It has nothing to do with your time available to get the news.

It used to be you'd see and hear the same stories repeated again and again for at least 24-hours.  Now, in its "expanded" coverage hours, they chop it up, giving bits and pieces of the stories from one hour to the next, forcing you to continue watching the extended time to get the full story. (By "full" story, I mean what they know, which is usually spoon-fed to them by the various public. official, and public-interest agencies.)

 It is also worth mentioning that, since expanding its coverage time, it has put its staff under increased pressure of time.  Now, hardly a day goes by that you will not witness mis-cues, technical problems with remote video or remote audio, wrong graphics for stories being talked about.  It's like the station has been running with student staff just trying to learn the business.

There was a time that high technical standards and perfection was demanded and produced by the staff of WGAL-TV.  That's gone.

In the renewal process with the Federal Communications Commission for WGAL to retain its license for broadcasting on Channel 8 in this area, one could be tempted to file objections based on its technical faux pas and boring repetition showing lack of interest in the public it serves.

Monday, August 22, 2016

They have bitten off more than they can chew

WGAL-TV of Lancaster, PA, which prefers to be known as "News8," an NBC network affiliate, launched a 4 p.m. newscast now that the TV coverage of the Summer Olympics has come to an end. In its new newscast, the anchors asked for opinions of this new effort. So I am offering mine.

I think they bit off more than they can chew. The format is the same as the other newscasts, the stories are the same, and nothing is new except the time it airs.

Even to the ordinary lay person, the move is an obvious attack against a competing television station which has had a 4 p.m. newscast for several years now. That's all it is.

Here are a few pointers that will probably not make much difference.

First, the formats between the stations' news programs are significantly different. In some ways, "News8" newscasts are more boring.

Second, WGAL-TV is locked in with a network that has "Nightly News" broadcast at 7 p.m.  The other station has no network news program to link with, so it produces a 4 p.m. and a 5 p.m. newscast and moves on to entertainment programming.

In order to stay linked in with NBC, Channel 8 has stretched its local news coverage to 4 p.m., which means they are now producing 2.5 hours of continuous "local" news, until NBC airs its "Nightly News." Before this change, Channel 8 was airing 1.5 hours of "local" news,which was already repeating itself three times, as the old format had "News8 at 5," "News8 at 5:30," and "News8 at 6."

WGAL-TV is dangerously stretching the work schedules of its anchors, not to mention their reporters and producers. The news programs have already showing signs of problems via technical issues and mis-cues, requiring anchors to apologize.  It happened again on the opening evening with the new additional program.

The station had tried to bait viewers watching an earlier news program by saying they would have more details of a story in the next half-hour program. If they think they can bait viewers into sitting in front of a TV set for 2.5 hours, they're going to have serious setback, especially when the segments are nearly identical re-hash of the segment in the earlier program.

I can't see WGAL-TV's ratings increasing at all with this move. I actually expect the ratings to thin out from what they had been.

The station also spends too much time patting itself on the back during its news programs in forms of speech such as "News8 was the only one there when this happened...," and "News8 was the first crew there," and more similar boastings.

One thing you can bet one: If a broadcast station has to remind you how good they are, or how they get something first, or get something exclusive, you can rest assured they need to make you believe that to shadow what they can't do or fail to do. The station should stop talking the talk and walk the walk to prove to its viewers that it is fast, thorough and truthful about the events they cover.

To sum it up, WGAL-TV's latest effort is at best a failure, and a joke. It's coverage is shallow, repetitious, and lack depth or originality.

Friday, August 19, 2016

What about media monopoly?

It was interesting to a super-large corporation, which usually keeps a low profile about all of its holdings, boldly advertising during the Olympic games about its Olympian size.

I am talking about Comcast.  They own NBC. They own Universal. They own Xfinity. In addition to its primary public broadcast network, NBC owns a bunch of cable networks,  All of them were pooled to carry as much Olympic games as possible.  Even MSNBC news channel (I use the term "news" loosely here) was forced from its normal news/political coverage to provide Olympic Games coverage.

The fact that there are so many diversified channels under one umbrella gives you and me the illusion that we are getting diversified news, opinions and entertainment.  That is not the case.

All of the outlets filter into and through NBC and right on up to the governing officers of Comcast. Whichever way the top brass of Comcast want to lean politically, I'll bet the underling channels are saying "yessir."

So, to me, the Comcast commercial which shows fast-moving clips of many of its channels, movies, sports and ending telling you it is all Comcast, is a blatant boast of their power and control over you and me. And I, for one, don't like it one bit.

And you don't think it's a monopoly?  

Comcast has a grip on what you see, how you see it, and when you're going to see it, and attempt to force your thinking to their point of view.

These media giants should be broken apart back into the original individual companies they used to be and let them compete on a fair footing.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Another "journalist" loses credibility

On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, "Political Director" Chuck Todd referred, during the broadcast of NBC's "Meet The Press" program, to transcripts of tapes made during a meeting by Donald Trump with the editorial board of The New York Times. That act alone destroys any trust you should have in any dealings with this man.

This trust issue of abiding by agreements that something is off the record goes all the way back to The New York Times itself when a meeting between its editorial board and Trump was held and was to be "off the record."  Yet tapes were recorded. That's problem No. 1. Then, later, the tapes were either released or leaked to other members of the press who don't honor agreements either.

You see, when a journalist or group of journalists, editors included, offer "off the record" to a source, it is their word that the information is, as it says, off the record.  Often that is how deep background information is learned as investigations proceed which are "on the record." It sort of helps point writers to sources and what to look for.

Remember the infamous Watergate, and the source only know as "Deep Throat" remained anonymous until he died, an agreement kept by Woodward and Bernstein, the reporters. Now there were honorable journalists.

Every time you speak with a journalist or editor of any form of news media, you must always assume it is "on the record," unless you and the media members agree BEFOREHAND that what you are going to say is "off the record."

When the tapes came out, they were identified as an "off the record" meeting. So, this is where the dishonor begins...first with the New York Times, and then with every journalist and its media employer dishonoring their trustworthiness as soon as they repeated portions -- or all -- of the meeting's contents, because they reported and acknowledged it was an off-the-record meeting.

And, of course, Todd jumps on the bandwagon and bases his comments and assumptions on the off-the-record tapes.  Anyone wanting to protect themselves as a source, can, from this point on, NEVER trust Todd to listen to anything you have to say even if you insist -- and he agrees -- it is off the record.

That's the state of your modern news media outlets, who think they are now so powerful and arrogant that they themselves, and choose what should be on the record or off the record.

Any journalist or news media outlet that refuses to report on the off-the-record taped meeting are true to their word and are the only ones that you may be able to trust.

Remember, there is no honor among thieves.  Don't be one and don't trust others.