Friday, June 09, 2006

Oprah eats dinner in Danville!

Take a look at WNEP's after-the-fact coverage of a well-known talk show host eating dinner at a Danville restaurant. While it's not often that famous people make stops in our area, it's pretty sad that this constitutes a story. What's next, a live shot outside the McDonalds where Jack Palance gets his coffee?

Grasping for news stories like this is one of the unfortunate side effects of adding more news programming to your schedule. When many stations are cutting or eliminating news, WNEP doing the opposite, and that's to be praised. But when do they cross the line from an informative and interesting newscast, to doing news just for the sake of it?

Stories like "Oprah dines in Danville" are indicative of that problem. When there's not enough real news to cover, assignment editors and producers are forced to use stories that would not otherwise be a blip on the radar. When you've got a gaping hole in the rundown to fill, you shovel as quickly as you can.

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your point is ridiculous. This is definitely a story worth mentioning. People will talk about it---more so, than new pipes being installed in some Montour County city's plumbing. What, just because your homies (WBRE & WYOU) completely did not have it---you say it's not a story? I guess that's it.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

Oprah was there for, what, an hour? And it was just for dinner? Maybe if she gave a speech before or after dinner, I could understand. But a whole story about Oprah eating dinner? Give me a break.

While we're at it, I hear Dr. Phil will be at the Wyoming Valley Mall tomorrow to get a soft pretzel. FIRE UP THE LIVE TRUCK!

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psss...
I heard Montel is getting a connecting flight at WB/S Int'l Airport this weekend. Somebody get SkyCam 16 in the air, this is huge!

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah. How about BRE's non-coverage of the Luzerne Ct murder case the staties down in Hazleton broke the other day.
Perhaps Andy and company were just too busy putting together a new promo for the ongoing Internet predator thingo.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you need to know about the state of our proud land is that a poll last year ranked Oprah the 9th greatest American in history. Ahead of Thomas Jefferson.

NEPA loves this kind of stuff. The Rolling Stones tour bus passed thru here in the late 70's and that was huge news

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It might not be hard news, but I thought they did a good job with the story. Certainly entertaining.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea...I've been told Osama Bin Laden is hiding out in Scranton's Hill section! Get SkyCam aloft!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with what the first "anonymous" said. The big O being in Danville is all I have heard about since Thursday...and people are still talking about it. I would not have known she was even around if the local stations didn't tell me so. As a fan of Oprah...I found this to be very cool and loved hearing the coverage.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just shocked because Oprah is a WBRE show, and I don't think WBRE did anything about it (or did I just miss that.) Probably the people who had dinner with Oprah thinks she is on WNEP, since it seems like everyone in this area thinks everything is on WNEP.

Side note: Has anyone else heard the rumor that Dr. Phil will no longer be on WBRE?

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a "city" in Montour County. Plenty of farmland, a few wooded areas, some gravel roads, some sprawl housing, not no "city," Danville being a borough. Not to get too technical, of course.
But then Oprah probably knew only that she was somewhere in PA.
Oprah comes to Danville? Big deal. WTFC.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been many famous people in the area and the news did not cover it. In the past Martin Sheen and Charlie had stayed at the home of a prominent Atty. in Pittston--Martin comes in the area quite frequently. Frank Sinatra himself had visited the area many times in the past (he also had several friends in Pittston). None of it was covered but the witnesses are still around. Worthy of coverage--only to a fan, perhaps. But it is still an interesting event when a celebrity drops down on us.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any station should have covered Oprah's appearance in the area, it should have been WBRE. Considering, WBRE airs Oprah's program during the week. WNEP covered it just to bust balls, because they knew WBRE wouldn't "go all the way to Danville." Danville is "too far away" for WBRE to drive there to cover anything.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

If a crew happens to be in the area, yeah; she's a big personality and this is a small pond. Maybe get some tape, maybe stick a mic in a few faces. It's worth a minute on a slow day.

Jack Palance? Nah; he lives here. I lived in an area were lots of celebs had their homes; we hardly paid them any note, for that reason.

I wouldn't assign a crew but, like all good news people, they should keep their eyes and ears open for that little interesting item that can be a nice bridge between news and weather, or at the end of the show.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Beale, I love your site and find it an eye-opening window into some of Scranton's media madness.

I agree with this being much ado about nothng and not worth the atention it has received.

As for Jack Palance - the area should be proud to have 'em. He's one of the greatest character actors to emerge from the fifties. Check out the films COMPANEROS, and THE MERCENARY for some of his best work.

Sorry. I just needed to give props to Palance.

Continued success with yor blog; it's a daily read for me.

Cheers!

4:35 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

Danville is "too far away" for WBRE to drive there to cover anything.

Then WBRE is not getting the full bang out of the bucks they spent on their Williamsport bureau.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummmm...have you seen the "Williamsport bureau" WBRE has? They're lucky to get anything out of there. WNEP has 4 people covering central PA!
--------------------
Howard Beale said...
Danville is "too far away" for WBRE to drive there to cover anything.

Then WBRE is not getting the full bang out of the bucks they spent on their Williamsport bureau.

5:56 PM

10:45 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

Hey, doesn't Balky from Perfect Strangers live in the area? I seem to remember him being one of a number of local citizens who were up in arms about a pig farm moving into their area a few years ago, or something like that. Maybe somebody should stake out his front porch to provide round-the-clock semi-celebrity coverage?

The whole "Oprah Ate Here" story had such overtones of cornpone hickness it made me sick.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember, this market is full of small towns (boroughs, sorry). If this is a huge deal in that community - and this was - than it's a news story. Plus, I thought Andy Hirsch did a good job making it have the light hearted feature tone it needed. Those waiters/waitresses certainly were thrilled. This wouldn't play in a big market. But this is a big small market.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Regis said...

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I think it is a story worthy of coverage. An even bigger one was Steadman at the Grandview.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did she get gravy with her fries???? Inquiring minds want to know...

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious...Kelly Clarkson at a Wilkes-Barre resturant. In fact she stayed at the Woodlands during her tour last year.

Is that news too?

6:43 PM  

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