Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sink or swim

Things aren't looking good at WYOU. Hell, things are in the toilet for the habitual bottom-dweller on South Franklin Street. Let's recap...

  • With Diane Lee's departure, the newsroom will be down to just three on-air news personalities.
  • At least one person is debating whether to leave, according to insiders.
  • Morale is in the toilet, as are the ratings.

    And that's only for this year.

    Nexstar Broadcasting seems to be uninterested in helping WYOU fix its bleeding artery. Sure, CEO Perry Sook wants everyone to think "outside of the box" with the revamped "Dialing for News" format. But the fact that the originally-planned-for-this-month launch has been pushed to October shows Nexstar has put the cart WAY ahead of the horse.

    As surprising as this may sound, a good news operation needs an appropriately-sized staff. Just ask WNEP, who sends its reporters to every nook-and-cranny of this market. Even WBRE has enough reporters to keep its head above the water. But WYOU? You tell me if three reporters/anchors are enough.

    Were it not for the shared-services arrangement with WBRE, WYOU would be dead in the water. Judging by the way things look now, that situation may not be far off. WYOU's survival now depends on whether Nexstar will beef up its reporting staff and replace those who have left, or merely order management to keep thinking "outside of the box."
  • 29 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Thinking outside the box" (God, I hate that term) is for those who can't cut it through conventional means. And management types who have no new ideas to offer.

    Seems to me that not only do you have the market leader alive and well in the box, but isn't that where your audience is? Why would you think that being on the outside would be the smart move?

    Same thinking that has managment willing to pay unseen/untested outsiders more than those right under their noses.

    8:19 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Go to the www.medialine.com open line forum. You can see the latter Perry wrote to the FCC. He's asking more time for the digital conversion because Nexstar is more than $400 k in debt. I haven't read anything that hilarious in years.

    9:18 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Don't you mean $400 MILLION in debt?

    10:23 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What date was Perry's letter posted?

    12:52 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why must we go through this on every other thread?

    LET'S REVIEW:

    Perry Snook and NEXSTAR don't give a CRAP about their stations, employees or people in general. It is ALL about money to them. The don't know the meaning of the word "MORALE".

    They will pay you crap, so they don't have to spend alot of money. Their equipment (live trucks, cameras, editing) are marginal at best.

    If you hate the place, LEAVE!!! I did, and I am in a much better place.

    IT WILL NEVER GET BETTER AT WBRE/WYOU!!!!!!

    Both will always be the Number 2 and 3 stations in the market. WYOU is a dead (no talent, no content, no news, no future) WBRE is not far behind.

    ACCEPT IT!!

    12:53 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "OMG! Ryan Leckey is soooo dreamy! We love you Sherman! Good luck and God bless Scott and Julie! Go Joe! WNEP Rocks!"

    You can think outside any box you can find, but the Moosic Cult is in full flower right now and no tweaks or slashes will help.

    50 needs another Jim Renick story, and this time they'd hafta actually have some gizzard to use it against the Cult. What a lost opportunity that was.

    1:59 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Howard needs to get better Tipsters. The launch date is early September.

    And don't worry yourself sick, Howard. Hires are being made, believe it or not.

    2:38 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    A previous poster got it right. It's all about money. It always has been. It always will be. You can be number two, maybe even number three and still make a few dollars.

    4:02 PM  
    Blogger Phil Rizzuto said...

    Why does everyone call it 50? What's up with that? Not all of us know what/where you're referring to.

    WNEP needs to have Paola and Julie anchor all newscasts.

    Besides Monteforte there's nobody else worth looking at. In the end that's all that matters.

    4:10 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    add 22 and 28=50
    combined news operations...

    4:56 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    How do you know??????

    4:57 PM  
    Blogger Tom Carten said...

    *
    When not on the field, Phil Rizzutto said: Why does everyone call it 50? What's up with that? Not all of us know what/where you're referring to.

    Channels 22 and 28, basically co-owned, using the same video, re-arranging the same deck chairs. 22 + 28 = 50.

    We assume that all the professionals in the market know this, hence the constant tossing around of "50" on the site.

    5:05 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Tom...you are making the assumption that people on this board are professionals.

    And with the intelligence Phil put into his answer, it's obvious not everyone is.

    6:28 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yay!!! More bashing of WBRE/WYOU!
    Bitch, bitch bitch...that's all you coalmining slackers can do.

    6:37 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    For the last twelve to eighteen months, WNEP has been more vulnerable than at any other time in its history as "The News Station."

    Despite having a larger staff than 22 or 28; it hasn't had a reporter assigned full time to either the Scranton or Wilkes-Barre beats. One of the 6pm anchors is also the producer. Morning reporters regularly substitute anchor, at least between 7 and 9am. One of the regular morning anchors has been off on extended leave. So has an Assignment Editor. A top manager of 20+ years quit. New reporters look and sound small market, a change from the past. One reporter, though energetic and friendly, has problems with English. The consumer reporter has turned Action 16 into fun times where predecessors used to go after bad guys. The News Director and others seem oblivious to errors.

    Anyone see "this just in" and "late video" at 6pm? 16 reported the theatre at the Wyoming Valley Mall closed. The Times Leader had the story last week.

    With all this going on at WNEP, WYOU and WBRE are still barely a blip on the radar screen of viewers. They used to say 16 could get a huge share just showing a test pattern. I'm beginning to believe it.

    6:56 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Let's face it. WNEP, just like every other leach-like E media outlet, doesn't cover the "news" per se as much as it covers what will (supposedly) push the ratings up. Big difference. Recent signs of this: Andy's Internet predator thing (made possible only because of a very cooperative police officer); the skipping over of a murder story that broke first in a newspaper, thus making it unsuitable for NEP; the station's no-show at a preliminary hearing this week for two accused murderers. I'm sure there are many other instances. "Bottom line," WNEP doesn't "think outside the box" because it's wrapped up in a "win-win" scenario.

    9:19 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's not about news anymore. It's about personality and being likeable. Let us into your home. The Cult has no motivation to be excellent, so they remake themselves as just a friendly batch of familiar faces

    9:32 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yay!!! More bashing of WBRE/WYOU!
    Bitch, bitch bitch...that's all you coalmining slackers can do.


    And just where are you? Oh, let me guess, you're living on Central Park West, and just slumming here on Bealsie's Blog. God, what a moron. Go away...

    9:42 PM  
    Blogger Howard Beale said...

    And don't worry yourself sick, Howard. Hires are being made, believe it or not.

    One would think that Nexstar wouldn't have allowed WYOU's staff to deteriorate as it has. That's like finally putting out that kitchen fire after it engulfes your entire house. Better late than never, I guess.

    9:47 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's not about news anymore. It's about personality and being likeable. Let us into your home.

    Spend your life tilting at windmills, a very noble cause, but that's what it's been all about since day one, since the beginning - if the audience likes you, they watch; they don't like you, they don't watch. News matters, but it's only one part of the equation. Sorry, and it might be a sad state of affairs, but that's how it has worked since the very beginning, and it's not going to change.

    10:02 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dennis Fisher is clueless. As far as leadership goes, he could not lead a whore into bed. He, Lou Kirchen, and NY Times Broadcast group should thank God the competition is so bad.

    11:03 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Behind all the backbiting, bitching and complaining, one fact is lost. We got into this mess to be journalists. We just got lost along the way.

    If it's not light and fluffy, if it will offend, if it truly matters, it doesn't get covered in this market.

    In Scranton, the Public Works Director is being accused of using his department to pay political favors. The Mayor is directing him to appear before council. This may involve the mayor, since the favors allegedly were done for him. This could eventually topple the mayor.

    Yet not a word from any of the three stations? Must not be "news worthy." Not even from "Lackawanna county's news source." No puppies, no murder, no airtime.

    New sets, hunky reporters, personality clashes- they all make good fodder for social columns but aren't we supposed to be bringing news to the people?

    The day political corruption in one of the larger cities in the state brings no attention from a news director is a sad day in this industry.

    If a station exists to spoon-feed the public oatmeal, it should go black and instead, open a nursing home.

    The sets, personalities and organizations like Nexstar are what make give TV news a bad name. The content of TV news is what confirms it.

    Did we really go to school for four years, work like slaves as interns and accept peanuts so we deliver schlock to the masses?

    "It's all in the past now,
    money changes everything."

    12:18 AM  
    Blogger Phil Rizzuto said...

    Anonymous said...
    Tom...you are making the assumption that people on this board are professionals.

    And with the intelligence Phil put into his answer, it's obvious not everyone is.

    6:28 PM

    You're right anonymous my answer wasn't intelligent. But let's face it news is hard to comeby in this area. When a movie theater closing is "this just in," why not get the information from someone easy on the eyes.

    If all that's on the news is fluff, I'm factoring in looks. There has to be news out there and I'll watch it, until then I'll watch fluff.
    --------------------------------
    Thanks for the information about 50.

    With half the day a combined news, why not go all the way and combine the rest? Stop pretending they're different newscasts.

    7:30 AM  
    Blogger Tom Carten said...

    *
    12:18am said: If it's not light and fluffy, if it will offend, if it truly matters, it doesn't get covered in this market.

    YBYA it won't. I don't watch all 3 casts every night, and maybe you have covered this, but the newspapers sure haven't; maybe someone can check this one out:

    Illegals in Hazleton; Mayor passes stiff law; everybody there cheers. Any reporter REALLY look at that law? No illegal may buy food, drink, clothing, shelter. Nobody may give an illegal food, drink, clothing, shelter. We have created a subculture of untouchables who are forbidden the basics of life. Even the slaves did better than this.

    10:33 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    10:02- you're right, being likeable always mattered. But there used to be an element of competence involved. No more. Jill Garrett, Paola and her mispronunciations and giggling, smart-aleck Shaffer, weathermen who don't give a rat if they get it right or not. (I'm sure they try, but they don't seem too bothered when they're wrong). How many of the current crop would get a second look a generation ago? Very few. being good is nothing compared to being likeable these days

    5:32 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Several excellent legal minds are on record as saying this law will never stand the test of any court challenge. And I would suggest those who drafted this piece of municipal legislation are full well aware of its inherent and fatal flaws. Meaning they've known all along it ain't worth shit. All the while, Mr. Mayor is grabbing headlines nationwide, headlines that could be beneficial to his political aspirations, and from all indications, there is no secret he has them. Governor? Congress maybe? A senatorial run in six years?

    5:39 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    9:19 PM wrote:

    "Let's face it. WNEP, just like every other leach-like E media outlet, doesn't cover the 'news' per se as much as it covers what will (supposedly) push the ratings up."

    Well, ya got me there. All along I thought WNEP was in business to drive ratings DOWN.

    Y'know, maybe if everyone starts looking for ways to drive away viewers we'll all be out of work soon and can move into your basement and go on welfare.

    I'm also in favor of going to mechanics who dont want to fix your car, doctors who don't want to heal you, lawyers who don't want to win your case, and clergy who want you to go to hell.

    Come to think of it, 9:19PM, YOU go to hell.

    9:27 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks, I'm 10:02. You are very right, being well-liked is a big part of the equation, but as a "news manager" I worked for years ago used to say, "You can't sell fish off an empty truck." You can be tremendously likeable, but if you don't have at least reliable substance, simply being liked won't carry the day. I still believe that.

    11:34 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well, ya got me there. All along I thought WNEP was in business to drive ratings DOWN.

    There are more than a few past and present Nexstar employees who think it quite plausible that both WBRE and WYOU are deliberately being run into the ground. Anyone here with a tax or accounting background? Just what benefits might there be in one or both of these outlets going into bankruptcy? What if loans due are called and foreclosure follows? With Nexstar's stock in the toilet, there are all sorts of possible scenarios here that no one is considering.

    6:28 PM  

    Post a Comment

    << Home