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Calling the shots in another city (or state, even)

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Johnny Dangerously, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    The various threads about papers moving the printing duties to another city came to mind when I read this story in the Baton Rouge Business Report:

    December 1, 2008

    There’s a lot of dubious content that passes for news these days on the networks and their local affiliates. But WVLA-TV took it to an entirely new level recently when it aired a 10 p.m. newscast that was one week old.

    The gaffe occurred on Sunday, Nov. 17, after Sunday Night Football. The Dallas Cowboys’ 14-10 victory over the Washington Redskins ran over the allotted time, so the newscast started late. The lead story was a puff piece about Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Warrick Dunn’s charity program that finds homes for needy families. Given those circumstances, one could argue that a casual observer—even one in the control booth—might not have noticed.

    But someone’s ears should have pricked up when they heard crime reports that had run in The Advocate a week earlier. And they really should have clued in when a report aired about the New Orleans Saints’ 34-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons—hours after the Saints’ 30-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Still, the newscast kept running right on through to the close, which ended with “… and that’s the news for Sunday, November 9th.”

    WVLA News Director Jeff Hamburger would say only that he was “investigating” the cause of the mistake. He declined to comment further and did not return subsequent calls.

    Assuming it was a mistake, the situation points to the hazards of producing a newscast in one market and airing it in another, which WVLA has done since it began airing weekend newscasts earlier this fall. The local NBC affiliate produces a portion of its weekend content with a skeleton staff in Baton Rouge, then sends it by way of fiber lines to sister station KETK-TV in Tyler, Texas, where the rest of the show is put together and anchored.

    Technically, it’s not really local news—only partially local news—and it’s a growing and troubling trend in the industry that enables cash-strapped media companies to maximize already-stretched resources. When the station launched the newscasts earlier this fall, company President Steve Pruett touted the advantage of having a digital network of stations that could collaborate and share content.

    “The beauty of being digital is that your newsroom can be 200, 300 miles away from your control room,” he said at the time.

    The Nov. 17 newscast, however, clearly shows the downside of doing news that way. Hopefully, it is a lesson from which the station will learn.

  2. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    "And coming up after the break, highlights from that Baltimore Colts/St. Louis Cardinals thriller!"
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And you aren't going to believe what Bobby Thomson did today...
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    "Our lead story tonight ... the world moved to the brink of war as Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev refused to back down to President Kennedy's demands to remove missiles from the tropical island of Cuba."
  5. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    I'm Ron Burgundy, go %^*$ yourself, San Diego, I mean, Baton Rouge.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Amazing anybody caught this. Does anybody watch the Sunday night news when it runs late?
  7. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    I'm sure somebody called, but the station's answering service in Bangalore probably misrouted the complaints.
  8. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    Dewey Beats Truman
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