Archive Date 2011-12-08

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# 2,821
Thursday, December 8, 2011


Annie Stensrud, a blurry-eyed
reporter and weekend news anchor at crappy little KEYC-12-CBS-Fox
in Mankato, MN (Market #198), apparently had one of those ?bad
reactions to medication? Sunday. Or else she was just really

She slurred her way through a few
stories, then, 3:30 into the 10:00 p.m. show, which started
15 minutes late because of a football game, the station dumped to
commercial. When it returned, Stensrud was gone.
Meteorologist Mitch Keegan and weekend sports anchor Erick
tap-danced till the credits rolled.

The station made no further mention of the
incident…until someone uploaded
the segment to YouTube
. Thats when the disingenuous
small-market equivocation began.

News Director Dan Ruiter issued a Nixonesque
non-denial, wrapped in a distraction, saying viewers were jumping
to conclusions if they assumed Stensrud was intoxicated.
There is no proof of that, he said.

Then the GM waded in with a deflective
"official" statement that basically said it was none
of anyones business.
?Sunday night?s
newscast on KEYC Mankato can hardly be considered private,?
wrote VP General Manager Dennis Wahlstromin. ?Nonetheless,
in our judgment, the matter represents a personnel issue to be
resolved internally.?

He did not say if Stensrud was still


T.J. Holmes, who irritatingly anchors
the weekend morning edition of "CNN Newsroom," is
leaving the network at the end of the year for a "multi-platform
talent deal
" with BET Networks.

The Maynard Institutes Richard

"BET plans to build a show around Holmes."

?We look forward to weaving T.J.?s
mixture of credibility and charisma into our fabric,? said Stephen
, president of music programming and specials at BET


Weve been hearing the rumors for months,
and Gannetts WKYC-3-NBC in Cleveland (Market #18) finally
made it "official" yesterday
. Veteran news
anchor Romona Robinson is out the door Friday, Dec. 16.
Shes been with the station 15 years.

"We just werent able to come to terms
on a new contract," said General Manager Brooke Spectorsky.
Insiders say the station has been actively
auditioning replacement candidates for weeks. "Were not
ready to announce anything at this time, but Im sure we will be
making an announcement quite soon," Spectorsky said.


Another rumor weve been hearing for
reported as fact by the Wall Street Journal
is pursuing "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest
as Matt Lauers successor on "Today," if Lauer
vacates next year, when his contract expires.

Network executives, including "Today"
Executive Producer Jim Bell, met
with Seacrest earlier this week
in New York. Seacrests
contract as lead anchor and managing editor of E! News
expires in early 2012,


Six months after replacing that
infuriatingly inept Couric
girl on the ?CBS Evening News,? Scott Pelley has found
his stride
. Now if we can just get him to stop thanking the
reporters for what theyre getting paid to do.


Gannett, which continues to lay off
staffers, announced plans yesterday to extend
a paywall across more newspapers
early next year, giving
readers limited access to its "incredibly engaging

"We need to pay off Craig Dubows
obscene $37.1 million severance package," current CEO Gracia
did not say. "And were still paying for that
silly new logo."



Barry Petchesky, an oafish writer for
the sports website Deadspin, composed
a fictional, satirical telephone conversation
between NBA
star Dwight Howard and Orlando Magic CEO Bob
Vander Weide
.   It contained a lot of drunken
profanities, exaggerated emotions, and

Petcheskys blunderous fictional,
satirical telephone conversation was then quoted as fact by Daralene
, a general assignment reporter for WFTV-9-ABC
in Orlando (Market #19) who does not normally cover sports. Alyssa Newcomb, a digital news

for ABC News, also fell for the clumsy satire.

"At no point did I write that this was
fake, but I also never claimed it was an actual
conversation," Petchesky explained later. "If you
have to make clear that something satire, youve failed.
Conversely, if people are fooled into thinking its real, it
doesnt necessarily mean youve succeeded. Plenty of people were

"I rarely do satire," he said,
"mostly because we break a lot of legitimate news around here
and dont want to discredit that. But its also because satire is
really, really hard. It should be grounded enough to be plausible,
but also have enough absurdity to let the reader know its not
real. Either Daralene or I came up short somewhere. At
least shes enjoying her newfound fame."

Indeed, she did. "Welcome to all of
my new followers!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful
Wednesday!" Jones
, blissfully unaware of the embarrassment she had
created. "I cant wait to see what tomorrow holds. If its
anything like today–its going to be AWESOME!!"

"There is nothing wrong with aggressive
reporting," wrote
Orlando Sentinel sports columnist George Diaz
"It remains the heart and soul of the news business. But the
first order of business is getting the basic facts right."

"Major fail here," he
concluded, not really saying who he thought had failed worse, Petchesky or Jones.


Jim Van Fleet, who debuted Monday as
the new chief meteorologist at Gannetts WTSP-10-CBS in
Tampa (Market #14), took
a closing shot
at his former station, WOFL-35-Fox in
Orlando (Market #19). 

"That was Triple A, and now Im ready
for the majors," he said. Background: WTSP offered Van
the chief met job months ago, but WOFL
grudgingly refused to
let him out of his contract even a day early.


We told you yesterday how Larry Perret,
the news director of Newports fourth-place KTVX-4-ABC
in Salt Lake City (Market #32), was shaking up the newsroom with
anchor reassignments and dismissals. The station has now announced
a bunch
of new anchor hires


Kristi Runyon, a morning and noon
anchor at WTVQ-36-ABC in Lexington (Market #64) since 1999,
is leaving
the TV news business
for a pee-ahr job in the Kentucky
Community & Technical College System
. We hope she wont be
composing press releases.

"The news industry, and certainly WTVQ,
has [sic] seen a lot of changes," she said, explaining
her decision. "Some of them have been for the better, and
some of them havent. Those are things that however large or small
… affected me every day. When I look at how things have changed
and my own professional and personal goals, it was time for me to
look at something outside the news business."  She signs off tomorrow.


Down the road a piece, WHAS-11-ABC in
Louisville (Market #48) has hired a pair of purdy girls. Chelsea
, a lovely anchor-reporter-producer at Max
crappy little KULR-8-NBC in Billings, MT
(Market #168), will report during the week and anchor weekends. 

She starts Jan. 2.

And Maggie
(right), a reporter and weekend anchor at Cox-owned WTOV-9-NBC
in Steubenville (Market #158), who was once voted "Sexiest
Newscaster in the Ohio Valley,"
will report and anchor
weekend mornings at WHAS.  She also starts Jan. 2.

Expect on-air marriage proposals,
maternity leaves, and retirements to spend more time with family
in the not-so-distant future.


Mark Baker, who anchored mornings at WXXA-23-Fox
in Albany, NY (Market #58), has been hired across the street as
the new early afternoon and evening anchor at WTEN-10-ABC.
Hes been freelancing as the stations weekend anchor.


Our pal Tom Campbell, who has been
away from the midday anchor desk at Gray Televisions
in Augusta (Market #114) since May, while
undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments for cancer,
officially retired Saturday
during the stations annual
holiday party. Hes been at WRDW for 16 years.


Mike Cavender is the new executive
of the RTDNA. Please govern yourselves



Were not quite sure what to make of this
final story. "Better Mornings Atlanta," the
last-place breakfast show on Merediths last-place WGCL-46-CBS
in Atlanta (Market #9), hired a local video producer to put
together a hip-hop promotional music video.

The resulting 3:21 piece was roundly
reviewed as "Awesome" by YouTubers,
but it left your fuddy old Surly Editor? more than a little
shocked and awed by the WGCL news anchors dancing stiffly on the
garage roof, and the blatant rips at the competition.

Hey, we just report. You decide. Yo, dont
fall off da roof yall.




"A PBS mind in an MTV world."

These ones live in that tree
right there.

Thats what Mrs. B heard from a
resident of Key West talking about the chickens who live there,
too. And shes heard it on the air when photos of suspects are

These ones are who police are
on the lookout for.

And in reporting on changes in
teacher qualifications:

The superintendent says those
ones will never meet school board approval.

Its simple. Do not use
"these" or "those" and "ones" side
by side. Its substandard English. And thats something as a
journalist you cant afford to use without compromising your

Herere corrections of the
sentences above:

~Police are on the lookout for
these suspects.

(In order to be suspects, of
course, they must have names.)

~The superintendent says those will
never meet school board approval.

Mrs. B hopes youll use standard
American English in your writing and in your reporting.



Search Mrs. Bs grammar
for previous lessons.
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