Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm back

It's amazing what happens when you're away. WNEP's new owners take out the big red pen and start crossing out names and jobs on Montage Mountain and at other former NYT stations. Nexstar Broadcasting fans the flames of scuttlebutt that it will sell its TV stations, including WBRE and WYOU. And former WYOU reporter Gabrielle Prutisto gets a settlement that's worth more than all of my belongings combined. And people tell me you can't make money in television news!

I never thought I would just walk away from this blog, but I did, and I think all of you deserve to know why: I had to. I won't go into specifics here, but let's just say that a breakdown of sorts nearly happened, which sucked away at my love for my line of work. It became difficult for me to walk into the newsroom, and tell myself that something positive would result, because the end result was the same stuff I've criticized: lame stories, horrible writing, idiotic management, etc.

And despite my best efforts to push my work, and the work of others, towards the well-written, insightful work that television news should produce, it was the same old thing. And when I would go home and update this blog, it was the same old thing. "WNEP can't write its way out of a paper bag!" "WBRE wouldn't know a good story if it smacked it in the face!" "WYOU...well, WYOU!"

Perhaps I'm just stubborn, but I'd like to remain in television news. For better or worse, it's what I do. I even turned down a PR job with the state, just so I could stay in my line of work. Dedication or stupidity? I'll leave it up to you. Regardless, I realized that I couldn't be a journalist and be Howard Beale all at the same time. I needed to get away. With that, I walked away, and never said a word.

That was a big mistake.

Even though this blog attracted the mudslingers and trolls that made my job as Howard Beale hard, it also attracted real insight, from the people who bring you the news, to the people who watch the news, and everything in between. It was refreshing for me to hear people point out what was right, and what was wrong, about television news in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market. I'd rarely hear that in the newsroom, as either people were too scared to go against the grain, or their noses were up someone's you-know-what to even care.

Beale's Bites serves a bigger purpose than as a medium for me to rant and rave about my job. It gives people a forum to say what they couldn't otherwise say about the news in this market. Few stations or newspapers want to give people an open forum to call them out on bad decisions or other goofs. That's where this blog came in. And even if the tip box goes dry, which it sometimes does, I think Beale's Bites is just too important to sit around and collect dust.

I'm still mad as hell. I'm still not going to take it anymore. But now, I'm sorry as hell for leaving.


Blogger NEPAmedia said...


Welcome back.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Welcome back Howard; I hope all goes well for you in the future. I missed the Bites and I think a lot of other people did, too.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's great to read your blog once again. While you were away, you were greatly missed.

I hope you're well.

Best wishes for continued success in your future endeavors.


11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you didn't stop the blog because you were "outed?" That was the prevalent and accepted story.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! You're back! Welcome back!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

So you didn't stop the blog because you were "outed?" That was the prevalent and accepted story.

That's correct. Nobody outed me, though I've heard that either I was outed, or I stopped because I was now working in Harrisburg.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, so you ARE Dennis Fisher. Thought so. The timing of your departure from both WNEP and this blog was too coincidental

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to have you back Howard. Please keep up the good work and don't leave us again.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh howie, b-meister, what a dramatic return.
(no really, I like it)
don't leave us again... we can't survive without a somewhat rational take on this crazy game we play
but truthfully, nothing will change in this market til the big five-oh, errr, deathstar duopoly turns around.
You can pare down wnep even more, and it will still clean house. It's the nature of the beast.

A low-down dirty shame.
Cuz a game's no good without competition

2:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God you're back! I was forced to read nepamedia for its slow trickle of information about broadcasting.

Open the flood gates, Howard!

By the way: if (as it seems) nepamedia is where newspaper types go to post--no wonder papers are in worse shape than TV. Most posts there are illiterate and/or obscene and/or not very bright.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

By the way: if (as it seems) nepamedia is where newspaper types go to post--no wonder papers are in worse shape than TV. Most posts there are illiterate and/or obscene and/or not very bright.

You'd be surprised; the people who work in the communications biz (TV, radio newspaper, PR) are often the worst communicators in real life.

1:29 PM  
Blogger :) Jenna said...

Glad you are back, Howard...

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! Fantastic! The internet is fun again! Yippee!!!

Seriously, Howie, welcome the hell back man (or woman) !!!

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This newsie from central Pa (who formerly worked in NEPA and keep tabs on the goings on there) missed you...glad you're back !!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back. I think all of us need to step back sometimes and let the world slip by without our input because we're discouraged, disillusioned, fed up, or just plain tired. Whatever. I'm thinking your hiatus may have been good for you. It made you miss the blog, and apparently appreciate it more and what it means. You seem renewed, interested again, and that's all good. Don't apologize - you deserve a break. But next time warn us. We feared you left for good. Just say you need some space and relax. We'll be here when you get back. Again, welcome back. I'm betting you won't be sorry you're back in the swing of it.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read about NEPA from Dallas Texas every week...and missed your blog! Welcome Back! And Thank You!

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy the intelligent conversations, debates and opinions here; but in no way did my life or my internet suffer extreme hardship. Some of you folk need to find girlfriends (or boyfriends).

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes indeed Howard welcome back to the fray...

While you were gone someone did a great letter to the editor of the Scranton times on the big bucks being paid out at might want to check it out...the numbers will make you sick...

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:33 :

I don't think Howie will be messing with WVIA for quite some time.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What or who would stop Howard from blogging about WVIA?

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Better find some better sources.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the information about WVIA was in a letter to the editor in the Scranton Times...can't that just be posted and let the discussion begin....

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How out of the loop are you! WNEP, WBRE, and WYOU all do fake live scenes. And for your information, WBRE does report LIVE from Stroudsburg and Williamsport. I can tell you are not a WBRE viewer.

1:37 PM  

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