Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 29 of 29

Thread: Where will we steal the news?

  1. #21

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    Quote Originally Posted by amfmxm
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roberts
    Our News-talk in Dayton, Ohio still has a full-time news operation that operates around the clock with no less than a producer checking wires, the internet and police monitors 24/7. (and only for a brief period of time with only the producer) News personnel are in the building 7 days a week with others on-call in the event of a 1 am emergency. (Some news staffers, including myself live less than a ten minute drive from the station.)

    There are no fewer than a dozen people involved in the operation of our news department.

    Do we use the internet? Sure. We also use AP, and we're a Fox News affiliate. We do street reporting as needed, use the telephone too, and our affiliation with a local (sister) TV operation also permits us the ability to use their actualities and reporters as well.

    During a recent local emergency that hit on a Sunday (a hurricane-force windstorm that knocked power out to some 300-thousand utility customers for multiple days.), we broke in with reports during the storm, mobilized our news operation and went wall-to-wall by 8 pm that evening. Live almost continuous coverage continued in one form or another for two days. We scaled back continuous coverage on day 3, but continued broadcasting storm information every 30 minutes for most of the rest of that week and did special live programming when we felt it was needed.

    Oh yeah...when the Governor came to town to inspect the damage and held a press conference, we carried it live via a Comrex "Access" wireless unit. (Those things work very nicely.)

    A lot of stations don't do this type of coverage anymore. But, it's still being done.
    WHIO-AM/FM is a very special case.

    In the very Big Picture perspective, the station is owned by Cox, a company deeply rooted in the newspaper business--and WHIO operates as part of a near-monopoly with the Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV/7 and the radio cluster. My recollection is that Dayton is one of only two (large) markets in America where one company (Cox) controls more than half of all advertising revenue--the other being Atlanta, where Cox is also the dominant player. While I'm absolutely certain that the radio news crew will swear that they are completely independent of the newspaper & TV staffs, I'm also certain that they share leads or stories with their Cox bretheran--and, at the very least, can rest assured that they'll never be sued by the DDN or Channel 7 for stealing a story.

    WHIO Radio also spends very little money on programming other than news, covering 20.5 hours daily with plug-n-play network talk programs. Originating only 3.5 hours a day of local programming allows WHIO to do a bang-up job on the local news front. I'd love to see them ditch Rush, Hannity, Savage et al and return to their days of locally-produced news and talk programming. Cox has the money. The cluster has the money.

    I'll agree with the other guy on the 95.7 simulcast--it had a huge impact on WHIO's ratings. How much evidence do they need? I suppose that if they can move the thing halfway to Cincy and still serve Dayton it would be a plus. But it would be a shame if they screwed up WHIO along the way...
    We have a reciprocal agreement with TV to share material between the stations. (I don't think people don't know that.) That's not uncommon in the business, a lot of news-talks have such agreements with TV outlets (though because we're sister stations there could be a unique quality there). We credit the DDN when using their stuff as well.

    But, we are completely independent of TV and the paper in the sense that on any number of occasions we've scooped them, as they have scooped us. While we pay attention to what TV is doing, we have banks of digital police monitors in our newsroom on and constantly up. While we may not have 4 or 5 street reporters out on the streets on a daily basis, we have newswriters in the radio newsroom who are also listening to monitors...and making calls on stories. We make our own decisions in radio news about what local stories get covered and how. Sometimes, we go there and cover them ourselves. Other times it may be easier or more personnel-effective to take the feed from TV. It's all on a case by case basis.

    The one fact on our programming you fail to note is: it's successful. Putting popular national talk shows on the air gets us ratings (I believe WHIO AM/FM was #2 overall in the last book.) Nothing WHIO ever did with local talk shows got the numbers we're getting with syndicated talk now (unless you go way back to the days of "Conversation Piece", in which local hosts like Lou Emm and Bob Sweeney spoke with people like, oh...Henry Winkler (when he was the Fonz), and people such as Reverend Billy Graham. Yes, "Conversation Piece" also talked about local and regional issues, but always looked for the popular hook of the guest. (I understand there's a tape out there I'm trying to get of a Lou Emm interview with a nationally known feminist in which Lou reportedly actually asked the female interviewee "How many men did you sleep with to get your job?") So, in a lot of respects, that program was aiming for big interviews with people listeners wanted to hear from. Not just "let's talk with the Mayor about taxes". So, that could be why the show was as successful as it was. If "plug and play" didn't work, we'd be doing something else. I can appreciate you might not like the politics of the some of the hosts, perhaps, but you can't deny the ratings.

    And, since we get the numbers with syndicated talk, we can put some money back into our local news operation. If given the choice, my opinion is I'd rather see us have a good, solid local news staff with the money and tools needed to do the job, rather than a 3 person staff that goes away at 7 pm weeknights with mediocre local talk hosts getting mediocre ratings. Given the fact that some pretty big operations these days are scaling back news staffs, the fact that we're allowed to do what we do is a plus for the Dayton market and I don't mind saying I'm proud to be part of it.

    I still have no clue about the 95-7 thing (nor does anyone here as far as I know). But as everyone should be well aware, our company has a great penchant for researching and doing what works. And I have no doubt they'll do just that, whatever it is.


  2. #22

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roberts
    We have a reciprocal agreement with TV to share material between the stations. (I don't think people don't know that.) That's not uncommon in the business, a lot of news-talks have such agreements with TV outlets (though because we're sister stations there could be a unique quality there). We credit the DDN when using their stuff as well.

    But, we are completely independent of TV and the paper in the sense that on any number of occasions we've scooped them, as they have scooped us. While we pay attention to what TV is doing, we have banks of digital police monitors in our newsroom on and constantly up. While we may not have 4 or 5 street reporters out on the streets on a daily basis, we have newswriters in the radio newsroom who are also listening to monitors...and making calls on stories. We make our own decisions in radio news about what local stories get covered and how. Sometimes, we go there and cover them ourselves. Other times it may be easier or more personnel-effective to take the feed from TV. It's all on a case by case basis.

    The one fact on our programming you fail to note is: it's successful. Putting popular national talk shows on the air gets us ratings (I believe WHIO AM/FM was #2 overall in the last book.) Nothing WHIO ever did with local talk shows got the numbers we're getting with syndicated talk now (unless you go way back to the days of "Conversation Piece", in which local hosts like Lou Emm and Bob Sweeney spoke with people like, oh...Henry Winkler (when he was the Fonz), and people such as Reverend Billy Graham. Yes, "Conversation Piece" also talked about local and regional issues, but always looked for the popular hook of the guest. (I understand there's a tape out there I'm trying to get of a Lou Emm interview with a nationally known feminist in which Lou reportedly actually asked the female interviewee "How many men did you sleep with to get your job?") So, in a lot of respects, that program was aiming for big interviews with people listeners wanted to hear from. Not just "let's talk with the Mayor about taxes". So, that could be why the show was as successful as it was. If "plug and play" didn't work, we'd be doing something else. I can appreciate you might not like the politics of the some of the hosts, perhaps, but you can't deny the ratings.

    And, since we get the numbers with syndicated talk, we can put some money back into our local news operation. If given the choice, my opinion is I'd rather see us have a good, solid local news staff with the money and tools needed to do the job, rather than a 3 person staff that goes away at 7 pm weeknights with mediocre local talk hosts getting mediocre ratings. Given the fact that some pretty big operations these days are scaling back news staffs, the fact that we're allowed to do what we do is a plus for the Dayton market and I don't mind saying I'm proud to be part of it.

    I still have no clue about the 95-7 thing (nor does anyone here as far as I know). But as everyone should be well aware, our company has a great penchant for researching and doing what works. And I have no doubt they'll do just that, whatever it is.
    Jason, I'm not trying to be too hard on you or WHIO, but you're actually helping me make my point. You admit that you don't have the "street reporters," but instead have folks who sit on their asses on Wilmington Avenue and rewrite the stories that other/real reporters have uncovered, researched & written. With the exception of car wrecks & fires, it's the newspaper reporters doing the real work.

    And not to be too hard on the TV guys & gals, but in the vast majority of cases (not just in Dayton, but everywhere) the "reporters" we see on the tube doing standups are little more than pretty faces running out to West Dayton whenever the scanner screams another drug bust.

    The shame here is that Cox has the bucks to do it right. Why DOESN'T WHIO Radio have it's own staff of "street reporters?" To protect the 70 percent profit margin WHIO spins off to Atlanta? Gimme a damn break.

    And this is truly just an aside--it isn't core to the subject at hand--but please don't try to justify the lack of local programming with the high ratings that suddenly appeared when WHIO got plugged into 95.7's signal. Yes, there are plenty of other format options requiring few bodies, little expense, and no thinking. Radio is melting away to a handful of humans. Maybe you'll be the last one standing at WHIO. It sounds like you're pretty close to that already...

    But that brings us back to the original topic. When all the people are gone, who is going to do the reporting?

  3. #23

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    Quote Originally Posted by amfmxm
    But that brings us back to the original topic. When all the people are gone, who is going to do the reporting?
    Bloggers?

    Local "Drudge" wannabees?

    Press releases?

    Viral Marketers?
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

  4. #24

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    [quote=amfmxm ]

    I don't think that's important, because there will always be people who want to report. It will have to be people motivated by telling the story and their own personal agendas rather than those who are motivated by money, because there won't be much money in it.

    The real question isn't who will do the reporting, but rather how the new style of reporting, which already exists, changes the way Americans think. We've been seeing the results of it in the 2004 and 2008 election. People believe what they want to believe, not what's reported. They align themselves with the reporters who substantiate their own opinions, and accept that as fact. And then they act on it. We have people in this country, regardless of the facts, who believe Obama is a Muslim, don't Pledge to the flag, and is part of a terrorist plot. There will be more of this reporting, and it will grow in popularity. News as theater. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it any more." The movie "Network" may be 30 years old, but it's truer now than it was then.

  5. #25

    Real News?

    You opine that Americans don't want real news, yet, oddly, NPR numbers continue to grow significantly, especially for their news presentations. It's arguable that NPR does the most in-depth news coverage of any radio news source, and perhaps any broadcast network. Since they're generally reviled by extremists on both wings, I suspect that they really are the most "fair and balanced" news source available on radio today.

    I, for one, don't believe in your jaded view that the majority of Americans are interested in infotainment instead of real news, presented from multiple viewpoints. I haven't noticed Fox News or CNN getting 50 shares. Ditto Rush or Randi.
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    11,131

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    "Real news" is there for those who want it. You want in-depth, hard news with no celebrity news or nonsense, there's the Jim Lehrer hour. However, it's not getting the lion's share of TV news viewing. Otherwiise, yes with everyone having the ability to post on the web, and record and upload cellphone video, yes, the day of "old school" journalism, where the New York Times and Washington Post told us all what was important and what to think about it, are long gone.

    Could it be that WHIO doesn't want to drop its successful lineup of programming and then try to compete against it while builiding a live, local talk show staff to discuss the inner workings of Dayton politics the same reason that WHIO-TV doesn't ditch Dr. Phil for a local psychologist, or Wheel of Fortune for a revival of "Bowling for Dollars"?

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Where Appalachia collides with Atlanta
    Posts
    4,509

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    It is good to read someone else propose the same understanding of NPR that I have: It is somewhere in the vicinity of "the middle" since people from both "wings" have their criticism of it.

    All of this has me sitting here thinking about another era in American life. Though there were always people with a variety of political systems, value systems, faith systems, we used to talk about (maybe we were pretending about) the American mainstream.

    Back in the 30s and the 40s I guess we had the rural mainstream and the city mainstream, and then the rural outnumbered the city. For all practical purposes there was ONE model of Ford automobiles. One size, two or three levels of trim. ONE model of Chevrolet.

    Life was not totally one mainstream. There were people who supported the labor union movement and those who did not. But we could go to PTA together, to church together, and pretend the differences weren't there. And radio from that era was as close to being a "one model, one size, fits all" as you could imagine.

    Every line of business, every line of product today is faced with personalized choices and style. I want a car that is different than his. I want clothes different than hers. I want a newspaper that displays the world the way I know it is! And I want a church that has reformatted God the way I want HIM! (Her?)

    This isn't a radio only puzzle.
    Life is too short to waste time dancing with ugly posts

  8. #28

    Re: Where will we steal the news?

    I'm glad to see NPR being an "alternative" to the "infotainment" offered on commercial radio. But, commercial radio does what it does for a reason: it's a commercial enterprise. And there's always been that difference.

    Why did we see "All OJ All The Time" on TV a couple of years back? It's what everyone was talking about at the water cooler. The Palin/Biden debate got Fox News...what? Some 11,000,000 viewers? The alphabet nets would love to have that kind of audience on some of their prime time shows. It got tune-in. Cume. Ratings.

    If you're ever expecting commercial radio to mimick NPR, don't hold your breath. Radio researches its' product, whether that's good or bad. But it reseaches how people use the product radio offers and that's how you end up with the news aired on commercial radio.

    Most people have no time for 3 minute "think pieces". They're more interested in finding out if traffic is screwed up on the interstate...something that might save them 20 minutes of precious time. OK, that may be a sad commentary on society, but to be successful in business you find out what the client (the audience) wants and you give it to them. They don't have time to listen to 2 talking heads argue for 10 minutes on a subject. They might give them 2 minutes. (Which is why the pieces on Fox and CNN are the way they are.)

    Radio "street reporters" started going away in the early 1980s...well before consolidation hit. The only cities in which you'll see such reporters are in the major cities and, from what I hear, even those positions are on the chopping block these days. Certainly, cost was a factor (even then radio newsrooms were being challenged to prove they could make the station money), but eventually smaller town ND's learned what they were getting from street reporters was often nothing the public cared about. (C'mon...who cares about a 60 second piece about the opinions of an under deputy assistant City Manager about an increase in parking fees that will be detemined by the City Commission 60 days from now?) Stories like that could be covered with a telephone call, 80-90% of the time. (You can call a bailiff at the courthouse and get the bond from an arraignment, too!)

    Anyone who has worked in Cincinnati radio news at any time in their lives (and I did from 1978-1980) knows you could drive yourself crazy covering every inconsequential press release that comes out of the offices of that city's extremely dysfunctional City Hall. I can remember installing an equalized phone line to Council hall so I could just listen to City Council meetings back at the station. I could focus on the 3 minutes or so that were important to my station's audience and let the rest of the "posturing" and "blah blah" be where it belonged...amid the noise in the newsroom.

    In Dayton, Ohio in the 1970's...no radio station ever had "4 or 5" full time street reporters. WONE/WTUE had 1 (and that position was gone by the early 80's). WING may have had 2 at one point, but mostly had 1. (And by the late 1980's, was down to 1 person who did morning news and left at 11 AM.) WHIO had 2, but both of those positions have been gone about 30 years now. WAVI/WDAO never had a full time street reporter. The "anchors" there covered the street when they were off the air. And, largely that's what happens today. When there's a need to cover a story on the street, a reporter is assigned to it. That's what WHIO does. It has people on the street when it matters...just not people "assigned" to "beats" anymore. And it has more people working on its' news product than anybody else in town.

    Ratings? WHIO-AM did quite well by itself. Generally #5 12 plus...and #2 or #3 in Men. How many stand alone AM's get those numbers these days? The addition of 95-7 didn't "save" the station, it made it better. By introducing a new, younger audience to the news-talk format. An audience that probably never listens to AM radio and wouldn't for any reason. So now, the station has competitive numbers 25-54 (something a lot of aging talk stations would love to have), dominating numbers age 35 plus and a 12 plus number that a lot of radio managers would kill for.

    As for just about everything else that's been suggested here about WHIO - you're dead wrong. Period.











  9. #29

    Re: Real News?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot

    I, for one, don't believe in your jaded view that the majority of Americans are interested in infotainment instead of real news, presented from multiple viewpoints. I haven't noticed Fox News or CNN getting 50 shares. Ditto Rush or Randi.
    I never said that. No one is going to get a 50 share. Not when you have 200 channels.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

     
Useful Contacts
Community


123