Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pam Zekman, A Chicago Legend Retires

Chicago, IL—Okay, retirement was the wrong word to use.  It was obviously the reality that CBS was going trough lean times and Pam Zekman took home a King’s Ransom sized paycheck.  They laid her and a small busload of newsroom faces off in this drastic economy move.  

After a half-century as Chicago's top investigative journalist, Zekman is wealthy and earned herself a dream retirement package.  Don’t shed a tear for this legendary, Queen of the Ambush Interview, she is now off to new adventures! By the way, Zekman influenced me too, more than she will ever know!

The more difficult job falls in the hands if WBBM-TV’s News Director, Jeff Harris.  He must find a leaner, meaner version of Zekman to fill her shoes.  

I know just the top gun investigative reporter and a kick ass producer, perfect for the Chicago market.  The ad revenue has to perk up a bit.  CBS2 knows it must move on and compete.  There is no alternative.  Harris has both the guts and savvy to make the right decision.  Like me, Harris knows that being number one is never enough!

Here is my Happy Trails video for Zekman:  

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Covid-19 is Changing TV News Delivery Forever!

Los Angeles, CA--The Covid-19 catastrophe may well change forever the way TV news is gathered and broadcast.  

The nation’s news operations have been forced to have some reporters work from home.  They’re suddenly gathering news as they conduct their routine interviews via Zoom, Skype and Facetime

The Multi Media Journalist is a mainstay everywhere except where the photographers unions are politically anchored.  That’s all about to change. 

Drones, smaller and cheaper DSLR type cameras are capturing startling video images.  Quality video live streaming has never been so easy.  The technology learning curve for reporters is no longer an obstacle.

The increased efficiency and cost savings connected to news gathering are really monumental. 

There will always be a need for helicopters, and news crews to chase breaking news.  We need to forever end those ridiculous and expensive reporter’s live shots in front of stale crime scenes that serve no useful purpose whatsoever!  

The result of this will be more and better news stories.  More  reporters and producers can be hired with the cost savings. 

News gathered and reported in the field will have a new look of immediacy with the exciting creativity and style of those sucessful modern YouTube vloggers. 

These may be amazing times if actual news replaces those politically divisive talking heads once again.  Viewers want real journalists, not propaganda purveyors.  Perhaps the term, Fake News will finally disappear. 

I’m convinced the talking heads have driven viewers away from their TV sets. 

Lastly let me say that focus groups have led news managers down the same road for far too long.  It’s understandable, they are comprised of idle people that simply don’t have a life!