Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Top Five Bay Area TV News Anchors

Image result for top 5 logo TOP 5 (ranked in order)

1. Dan Ashley/KGO (ABC7) The almost, three-decade veteran has quietly built up a tenure as one of the most compelling, steady, and smooth anchors in Bay Area TV News history. Ashley is right up there with some of the great broadcasters --including Dennis Richmond, Dave McElhatton, and the late

Pete Wilson. Most impressive thing I like about Ashley is that he anchors four, (sometimes) five different newscasts per night. That's not an easy task but Ashley is able to pull it off quite nicely.  

Image result for frank somerville2. Frank Somerville/KTVU: I've had my issues with Frank but have grown to appreciate his solid work for over twenty years at the still-dominant, news powerhouse. KTVU has lost a lot of its news legacy; it's once mighty stream of anchors and reporters have either left or retired but Somerville still commands the screen. Yeah, he really does "look like an anchorman" but behind the face is a hard-working TV News journalist who is as passionate off air as he is on air. A versatile presence on social media too which is all important these days, like it or not.

Image result for jessica aguirre nbc bay area3. Jessica Aguirre/KNTV (NBC Bay Area) If there's still such a thing as "star power", even in something as mundane as local TV News, then Aguirre has that "IT" factor. She's been on the Bay Area TV screen for almost thirty years; made her mark at KGO and has become NBC's most prominent anchor in Silicon Valley. Aguirre also "looks like something" --her screen presence (that's right, I said it) is just as alluring as ever and that's saying a lot for a middle-aged woman anchor. 

Image result for ken bastida4. Ken Bastida/KPIX (CBS5) OK, so he can't ad-lib that well and he's sort of superficial; that said, Bastida has somehow survived at PIX for over two decades when most people said he would never make it as a TV guy. The former KFRC news guy has worked with the likes of Wendy Tokuda, Kate Kelley, and McElhatton. He isn't "great" by any standards but he reads very well off the teleprompter and is one of PIX's few star talents that viewers seem comfortable with. 

Image result for Terry McSweeney5. Terry McSweeney/KNTV (NBC Bay Area) This might be a surprising entry in my Top 5 but I've always liked McSweeney; in fact, if I were station brass I would seriously find a spot for the versatile newsman during the week. For starters, McSweeney has a personality, a sense of humor, and seems to be having a cool time on the air. Some anchors think they're a sort of god and come off as ancient boors. McSweeney reads the news well and looks like the type of guy you could have a beer with at the local pub. Yeah, he doesn't take himself too seriously and that's an A-plus in my book. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lawrence Karnow in Line for Fulltime KRON Weather Gig But Dollars Might be Issue

Image result for Lawrence Karnow IF Lawrence Karnow wants the fulltime KRON weather gig on the weeknight --it's his to have--only Karnow may balk at the $130K a-year salary KRON is offering for the job, soon to be vacated by Philly-bound, Brittney Shipp.

$130K is a nice salary but in San Francisco doesn't net you a whole lot of money.

On the other hand, KRON might go to their usual young female-looking-to-work-in-SF and willing to take a meager salary.

Stay tuned.

I will.

*415 Media Developing...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Brittney Shipp Heading Back to Philly; Henry Wofford Lights Up KRON 'Sports Night Live'; Kelley Not Too Popular with KTVU Staff; When I RIP People Here; 415 Media Monday Coffee and a Bagel

Related image  MONDAY COFFEE

*I thought Brittney Shipp was auditioning for an LA gig because KRON is never a long-term option no matter what; turns out Shipp, the weeknight weatherwoman is going back to Philly, where she came from.

FTV got it first.

Image result for Brittney Shipp LA Weather jobsI'm guessing Shipp came to realize that San Francisco is really great but dealing with a station that still doesn't get it and has issues galore, combined with the cost of living makes Philly sound romantic.

*I'm not always negative on KRON; "Sports Night Live" --the pro football version--was on last night and featured a welcome sight: Bay Area TV Sports vet and former Comcast anchor, Henry Wofford was on the set with JR Stone.

It was a crisp, well-paced, informative highlight show with emphasis on the Raiders and 49ers. In this day and age of multiple sports shows on cable, a LOCAL program is welcome news especially if it works and KRON's works, so far.

Related imageWofford is a delight to watch and seems to be having a good time being back on the local airwaves. Here's hoping his KRON stint is permanent and that he anchors every now and then. 

*It would never be the same again; nothing is the same again. Too bad because KTVU used to be king here and now still is (with less viewership) but number 1 overall in many time slots.

But the BIG story around "uptight" (a worker's words, not mine) KTVU/Fox2 seems to be the growing dissatisfaction with GM, Gregg Kelley.

Kelley is not popular with rank and file staff and has alienated much of the KTVU News work force with a mercurial style and less-than-people-friendly personality.

Image result for gregg kelley ktvuBecause the station is tops in the Bay Area's news wars probably makes Kelley safe at his Jack London Square gig but the natives seem to be getting restless. In addition, for a news TV station that is the most-watched, one could reasonably expect a bunch of happy campers but that's not the case at Channel 2. FOX apparently doesn't believe in the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" formula. 

*When I RIP media members in this market (and I do RIP and it's harsh on purpose) it's intended to be about a person's work; anchoring, reporting, etc...I don't mean it to be personal unless I believe the person is mugging, chattering endlessly, acting stupid and/or is, in my opinion, unqualified.

So, yes, kick me if you want, for a really intense and blunt assessment --good and bad for some of the on-air talent here. 

My critiques are written with the sole purpose of getting eyeballs and gathering interest; if the individual has some family issues and is hurting, it's not my intention to pile on. 

That said, if there's any of you that have been going through a crisis, my apologies if I poured some salt on a wound. That was never my intention. 

Part of having a public job is acknowledging that your life is open book and that no matter what form of hell you might be experiencing hardly anyone on the Internet gives a damn. I know from first-hand experience.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Thoughts and Prayers; 415 Media Message to Readers

Image result for man in suit feeling anxious

Been a rough last three days; normally, I back off writing heavy personal stuff because I don't want to use it to elicit sympathy. But so many of you have e-mailed and sent notes, ok, so I'll be up front.

On Thursday morning, my mother fell and hit her head. She was dazed and was bleeding on the right side of her temple. She was conscious, thank god, but my sisters took her to the doctor and hospital. She's OK but had to have five stitches. She'll be fine which is good since I'm a wreck. 

Mom is so darn strong --she's feeling a lot better and is really ticked off because she fell. I swear. As many of you know, falling is a major medical issue for elderly people. Mom just had her 95th birthday on Aug 26. She looks great. And she's 100% lucid even after the fall but we can't have her falling. She knows that.

Reminds me of a great line by Judge Judy: "If you wanna live, don't fall." 

I want to get some things off my chest. 

My mom needs me now more than ever even though she's so amazingly independent. She walks, she gets around, she's going to be all right. Somehow, someway. all of you that wrote/e-mailed your concern. Again, I didn't want to make this an issue. It's all too personal but some of you who read me and come here to expect a media column I wanted to let you know we're good for now.

The gist of 415 Media is made available so I can be close to her and help her out in times of need. Thursday was one of those days. We have help from nurses but not enough. Limited insurance means. It sucks. But we'll persevere, mom too, she's not ready to leave yet.

Thank God.

If all goes well, (thanks Jim Eason) I'll be back on Monday with your normal 415 Media that you love and look forward to.

One more time: THANK YOU ALL for caring and sending along your thoughts and prayers.

God Bless You All. 

Rich@415 Media

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Yeah, Damn Right I'm Bitching and You All Should Be So Lucky I'm Still Here; Calling Out the Schmucks and Yentas; The Sad State of Bay Area Media

Image result for chronic complainer YES, I'VE BEEN BITCHING A LOT LATELY

That's why you come here. For the god's honest truth and nothing but.

What am I supposed to write? That everything is all warm and fuzzy and everything is all cheery --that's what you want to read? I don't think so.

I have never seen such a poor and pathetic market like the Bay Area Radio/TV scene. It's at best moderately deplorable and at worst, horribly morbid and disgusting. There are worse markets but the Bay Area stands alone.

Insipid and uninspiring reporters; reporters new to the area so devoid of credibility they don't even know the area; they are oblivious to proper street name pronunciations; they fail to do proper research and don't take their job seriously; how can they expect the viewers to take them seriously? Of course they just go straight on the air and don't get adequate training. I'm not saying all these people are inept and incapable of doing their job, just the majority and for an area this size and scope, that's deplorable.

Image result for  SF TV Radio media
*Local TV News is the worst I've seen in my lifetime. An avalanche of less-then-mediocrity has invaded the airwaves. New people. New Anchors. Phony people. People that can't ad-lib and mostly fill the air with their inane chit-chat and overloaded banality. Superficiality fills the screen with useless conversation and totally insincere and unnecessary questions that the viewers know is BS and shtick, and bad shtick at that.

*RADIO? Oh my god, died and went to heaven. Radio managers despise SMART PEOPLE. They are the lowest of the lowest common denominator. They hire frauds like Brian Copeland and Chip Franklin who cater to the dumb and dumber crowd.

There is no hope. The conditions and landscape of today dictate the complete monstrosity that rule the day and night. Inept, incompetent, and incapable news people who are supposed directors lack basic people skills; how can they expect performance excellence when they treat their employees like shit? And they still have jobs? Wow. What a bunch of useless, ruthless, folks that have no talent and only got the job because they kissed a lot of ass and curried favor to their bosses. Just plain pathetic. 

You want to know something? I'm not going out on a limb. I do believe the vast majority of Bay Area people who watch and listen to the news are far more SMARTER than you think. They know real and genuine and can spot fake and insincerity. They realize that, yes, things are not the same as they used to be and that, yes, it's a different era. Mediocrity and dreck are king. Anything short of that description is a lie and you all know it. If you don't, welcome to the real world.

I'm here to call these bastards out, and god willing, with your support and financial backing, will continue to give 'em hell and make sure they are accountable. Hell yeah they HATE ME because they know I won't give you guys the BULLSHIT --the BS they purport to be "facts" but aren't. They should know better. You CAN'T FOOL Bay Area consumers. Never.

So, yeah, I'm going to bitch when bitching is necessary --this is not a site for "good, positive" news; never has been. You want that you've come to the wrong arena.
Image result for Tuna melt and fries
Now go eat a good tuna melt and diet root beer and have a happy day. 

KTVU's 'The Nine' Needs a Lot of Help; Fox Agrees; Gasia Mikaelian Directive: Tone it Down; KGO-TV Senior Staff Embarrassed (Still) at Morons Aqui and Zouves; 415 Media Lunchtime Inside Buzz

Related image

There's been a sort of policy sea change at FOX-owned KTVU; a senior management suit with mucho influence at the Oakland O and O wants more subtlety --still lots of gusto but a lot less flash and dash.

The management official's first directive was to tweak KTVU's meager "The Nine", which lacks news and mostly concentrates on lighter issues. It's a mixed bag of interviews, cooking segments, and some heavy-duty chatter between guests and anchor and anchor and anchors. The results of 2's light-hearted fare from 9 AM -10 AM, have been fairly poor. It gets hammered by the Today Show and only has paltry numbers overall.

Its anchors-- Gasia Mikaelian, Mike Mibach, and Sal Castaneda, take part in a mostly frivolous hour that lacks very much on substance and seems to want to attract suburban moms at home in Walnut Creek. There's nothing wrong with that missive but these guys on The Nine haven't hit pay dirt. In fact, they fail miserably. 

Image result for ktvu the nineThe show's premise is OK but in order to pull off a successful venture on a long-term basis you must have viewer/anchor comfort factor. And a whole lot of variables and good luck too. "The Nine" hasn't built up any reservoir of good will because its talent hasn't earned a viewer bond. The main problem in that aspect falls squarely on Mikaelian, who comes off as uber-superficial and out of touch. It's this thing called credibility and trust. Mikaelian is fine as an anchor but her consistent, over-the-top, histrionics are an embarrassment not only to her, but KTVU as well. Viewers are hesitant to watch and the few that do haven't warmed to The Nine's chirpy, ridiculous Gasia. It's become almost farcical. Castaneda is OK as a segment host but Mikaelian's antics overwhelm both he and Mike Mibach. The Nine isn't interesting too and both its males seem like afterthoughts to Mika's daily fool act. Of course, yes, its FOX but even FOX has standards.  

To that end, FOX/Oakland officials have tried to "soften" Nine's variables. Mikaelian has been told to "tone it down" and become more "sedate" and "stately." Whatever that means, but I gather she's been asked to knock off the giggling, camera mugging and endless chatter. It's not so much an ultimatum as it is a directive to improve the program and help gather some momentum to make the show more straight and watchable. Even if they can accomplish such a feat, there's no guarantee of success. KTVU seems hellbent on as much news as possible (which brings in gargantuan revenue) but The Nine is hardly a breadwinner and unlike "Mornings on Two", it lacks coherent structure and direction.

Mikaelian's garish behavior modification can't hurt. Less hairspray and giggles; more substance and straightforward assembly. Gees, what a concept.

Image result for reggie aqui natasha zouves*Over at KGO-TV (ABC7) the BIG topic other than the Heather Ishimaru lawsuit settlement is the continued, ongoing, DISGUST amongst senior staff of morning anchors, Reggie Aqui and to a lesser extent, Natasha Zouves

Aqui is the main instigator and his outlandish behavior seems to has caused deep resentment inside KGO's newsroom.

A source with direct knowledge tells me Aqui's sophomoric act gets worse everyday and causes much friction between himself and others.

"Look, he's destroyed our credibility and news rep. It's horrendous and despicable and he seems not to care one iota. We do."

The source continued.

"We don't give a shit about his personal life. It's his business." "But when he acts like an ass on the set and to his colleagues, there's a problem."

Aqui had a months-long feud a while back with co-anchor and sometimes enabler, Zouves. The feud is apparently over, at least for now although Zouves is still not exactly warm and fuzzy with Reggie.

Neither is KGO senior staff. Making matters worse, ratings for ABC7's morning show are awful and already there's talk of a major overhaul for the fall.


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