Monday, October 31, 2005
There won't be all the money we had wanted, but nobody will be pushed out of a job, and the paper we deliver to your home will remain full and robust. I look at it as keeping the faith: Readers trust us to give them a true picture of the world beyond their own experience in exchange for the two quarters they plunk down on the counter. That's a level of accounting I can handle.Say what you will, it's hard to argue that you're not getting your $.50 worth. Except maybe on Mondays...
On their website, the agency claims they are sometimes "accused of thinking too much". You won't hear that from me.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
We hope he wins ---but if anything, Mr. Carr is way too qualified to hold elected office in Rensselaer County.
Press Release of the Week
I didn't do it! Nobody saw me do it! You can't prove anything!Nobody from the DA's office showed up at Guilderland Town Court for an evidence hearing in Mr. Horvath's case, so he ended up with a speeding charge. Rather than accept any responsibility, Soares engaged in a wild bout of press release finger pointing, detailing how the court should have covered the butt of his ADA.
Of the "5000 cases" his office handles yearly in Guilderland Town Court, Soares said, "It is not surprising that there is an occasionally(sic) hiccup or a glitch on the part of the Court, the prosecution or the defense counsel."
Friday, October 28, 2005
Metroland named the web site best local blog earlier this year, calling it, "The most consistent and insightful forum on the Web for discussing the issues affecting the Capital Region."
This is bad news for hardcore local politics junkies.
You could count on Democracy in Albany to keep you on top of things, like the recent battle over charter reform and the upcoming election. DIA was particularly effective in keeping an eye on Jerry Jennings, offering a near daily critique of the mayor and the Albany power structure. As you might imagine, Jennings wasn't too crazy about that.
The blog wasn't just DIA's musings on the state of things; the site attracted a stable of interesting and articulate contributors who weren't shy about butting heads. Maybe one of them will pick up the torch.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I really think CBS 6 should jump on this immediately. What could possibly be creepier than opening the door and seeing Liz Bishop or Ed O'Brien standing outside? Scary stuff, huh kids? Better yet, use one of these with your costume. For example, put on the Judy Sanders mask, add a pointy black hat and you're good to go.
Watch out for poison candy and have a good time.
CC Socked by Stinky Earnings
On the heels of this news, we've heard that in addition to banning open containers at their spiffy new headquarters on Route 7, the boss is now insisting that people remove their shoes when entering the building. This will not only reduce wear and tear on the carpeting but contribute to a clean and casual workplace. Coming soon: vinyl slip covers.
Loosely related, former WTEN sports director Dan Murphy has landed a two hour afternoon slot on WOFX. His show, Murphy's Law will air in that highly lucrative 3pm to 5pm time period.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
John's column in The Record this morning tells about an encounter with Ray several years ago at Guptill's. He was skating, she was shooting a story for WRGB. He held her hand, she skated her way through a shaky stand-up... In Hollywood, this is known as meet cute. I'd say it sounds like Cameron Crowe, except John writes that REO Speedwagon was playing; Cameron Crowe would never use such a patently un-cool band in one of his movies.
Any chance John had with her is now gone, not because she's married, but because he spelled her name wrong in today's piece. It's Rachael, not Rachel. Oops.
Take Another Look (At Your Creative)
Flogging the Peacock
Tonight, Lost is a repeat...But NBC has all new drama!I didn't make that up. Maybe this approach helps you tonight, what about next week? Martha Stewart's Apprentice and the bombastic Jerry Bruckheimer mess E-Ring have been a disaster. Stewart's show is so bad that Trump blasted it last week on Imus ---he even threw Jeff Zucker under the bus, claiming Zucker "never liked what he saw." Pretty soon it may not matter what Jeff Zucker thought.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I Got a Rock
United Features TV writer Kevin McDonough wonders if The Great Pumpkin could get on TV today:
Just as "A Charlie Brown Christmas" would be considered too religious by contemporary standards, "Great Pumpkin" trades in themes some might consider dangerously pagan or pantheistic. After all, the blanket-clutching Linus professes a personal belief in an autumn squash with higher powers.
Everyone Knows It's Windy
Prime Real Estate
Maybe you've noticed those colorful stickers that are sometimes stuck to the front of your paper, the most recent one on Sunday, a promo for the TU's Easy Pay option. Not technically an ad, but it did mention Price Chopper. I've seen these in the past for people who are ostensibly advertisers, so I asked my media buyer friend, who said yes, they are selling those peelable ads, and no , they are not cheap.
I don't know about you, but I find that a whole lot more intrusive than some little banner ad at the bottom of the page. How prevalent is front page advertising? Check it out for yourself at Newseum's daily posting of the front pages of over 400 newspapers from 44 countries.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Washington Journal is the anti-morning show, and Lamb the anti-TV personality who has never uttered his own name on the cable network he helped found in 1979. Some find Lamb a bit dry, but he's the best interviewer in television, stripping away the showboat theatrics of the Katie Courics of the world and getting down to business.
Brian Lamb's idea of fun is visiting the gravesites of U.S. presidents and vice -presidents, which spawned his book, Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb, so you may catch him at the Chester Arthur grave in Albany Rural Cemetery today ---or you can see him appearing at 2pm in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center at the UAlbany uptown campus. On the agenda? History, the media and democracy. I expect you should be able to find seats, since most UAlbany students don't watch a whole lot of C-SPAN.
You can also catch him at The Egg tonight at 7:30 where he'll receive the Empire State Archives and History Award, take part in a discussion and a little Q & A. The event is free.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Journalists, Either
If you don't already check Romenesko every day you should.
Friday, October 21, 2005
This Is a Late Parrot
By the way: hate my clunky "blogspot" URL? You can also reach Albany Eye at www.albanyeye.org and www.albanyeye.net.
The vast majority of your listeners don't want to hear about your friend (and client), Sprint manager Drew DiNovo. Your stories about him aren't funny, and none of this schtick, like today's "going away party" is the least bit interesting. Don't take it personally; I don't blame you for not knowing it stinks and I don't expect anyone over there to tell you.
The Many Faces of Alan
Don't rely on the TU's online version for today's story about Alan Chartock and the WAMC fund drive, because for the full effect, you really need to see the pictures. I have to agree with Alan that the paper has given the station's fund drives short shrift in the past; today's story by Mark "Black Hat" McGuire more than makes up for the lack of notice.
The latest addition to WTEN's weather staff has one of the greatest names I've heard on TV in recent memory: Katie Virtue. Does that sound like something out of Brenda Starr, or what?
That Seventies Intern
Floyd was gracious enough not to slam Fox 23 for demoting him when they hired John Gray, and he mentioned that "Liz and I go a long way back".
They most certainly do. Floyd, who's 46, was an intern at WRGB in 1979, so there's a good chance he spent some time sharpening Liz Bishop's pencils and fixing her coffee ---or doing whatever it is Liz Bishop would have her taut young male interns do. And back in the swinging seventies that could be anything ---you saw Boogie Nights, didn't you?
The Life of Bryan
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Stirring Things Up
Anyway, I'm sure a lot of you saw that BIG profile of the girl from the North Country in yesterday's Times (If you don't have an account, there's a version here). The reporter visited with the "cooking rock star" and her mom at Ray's Adirondack cabin, where they cooked and ate and talked and had a grand old time. You know that all this attention is driving the Rachael Ray haters insane, but c'mon, how could you not like her? While looking over the Rachael Ray drinking game, she said,"This is awesome, but man, people are going to get hammered."
Mark Marks the Spot
McGuire also heard Alan play clips of what's been the highlight of the 700-thousand dollar fundraiser so far, his interview with folk legend Peter Yarrow. Yarrow, in town for an Alice Green for Mayor event, explained in song that no, Puff the Magic Dragon is NOT about smoking reefer ---and played a fractured but heart rending version of my favorite Peter, Paul and Mark song, Right Field. The fund drive continues...
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Greg Floyd, Anchorman
Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Broadcasters
In the interest of full disclosure, it may be a job where they want to cut your pay by 15% (WRGB), offer you no benefits (Albany Broadcasting), prevent you from taking fluids inside their shiny new building (Clear Channel), fire you for no good reason (WTEN), or make you anchor with Liz Bishop (also WRGB) ---but other than that, it really is very exciting and glamorous.
Not qualified? No problem, there are associate producer and account executive positions available. Those seeking on-air jobs should bring demo tapes; high school students applying for on-air work at Capital News 9 should also bring their working papers.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Tales from the Fund Drive
Come to our campus, they said, but don't ever utter the word "abortion" on the air. Your board of directors? Our people will control it, and if you turn us down on this, we'll see that your station loses all its funding. Alan has never named the college or the prominent business leaders in question, but it's clear who they are ---just as it's clear that what they wanted was to steal the soul of the radio station. Alan and David walked out and the rest became the stuff of fund drive mythology.
I could be wrong, but I think 6:22am was the earliest I've ever heard this one.
The station needs to raise 700 thousand dollars to meet operating expenses, so they're back at doing what they do second best. I say second best because what they do best is make good radio. What they do second best is motivate their audience to support what they're doing.
I've heard people on commercial stations run down WAMC, derisively calling what goes on there as a "begathon". To them, let me ask this: How much money would your listeners pay to keep you on the air?
Monday, October 17, 2005
There are exceptions, of course ---in fact, one of the web's biggest celebrities works right in our backyard. Soccergirl (you may not want to click this link at work unless it's for journalistic reasons), is the 26 year-old internet sensation from Germantown whose podcasts rank among the most popular on Apple's iTunes service. Her profile begins:
Confident and busty, I don't like to keep my best features under wraps.Indeed. There's no shortage of revealing pictures at Soccergirl's home page, but it's also where you find her "shows", mesmerizing blends of original music, interviews, rambling sexy stories, and monologues. As you might imagine, she's pretty excited about the whole video iPod thing. It's all a little rough around the edges ---don't expect WAMC's Roundtable, unless you expect to tune in someday and hear Susan Arbetter in the bathtub.
Why is she so popular? Soccergirl, who lists her occupation as archival librarian (and exhibitionist), is like that really smart girl from high school who came back from her first year in college a complete freak. Brilliant, beautiful, and way out of control.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
WRGB: McMillian told investigators he was afraid to go back to jail and was convinced he could outrun officers because of all the video games he played.
Capital News 9: McMillian told investigators he was afraid to go back to jail and was convinced he could outrun police officers because of all the video games he's played.
Quotes from the Week That Was
I can't stand seeing coppers on horsies.
-WROW's Paul Vandenburgh, expressing his disdain for mounted police patrols.
They are taking the cross-town bus.
-Amber Alert test message accidentally played statewide on Sunday.
When someone yells fire in a movie theater, does everyone stand around and wait until it's verified?
-Explaining the false Amber Alert to the TU, a State Police spokesman hilariously misused Oliver Wendell Holmes' famous passage from Schenck v. US.
I wasn't drunk, I was upset. They shouldn't accuse me unless they have evidence. It pisses me off they do this low-life stuff.
-Hebron Town Supervisor Ken Talkington, on been accused of being drunk at a town budget meeting.
He lies better than he drinks, and he's a pretty good drinker.
-Hebron Town Board member Brian Campbell on Ken Talkington.
Each horn dog must complete a day of community service, and Conlon was ordered into drug treatment.
-From the Post's story about a couple arrested for fornicating on a Brooklyn street.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Donnie Michaels, former FLY 92 program director, must be getting a little hot under the collar right about now. Michaels, Eliot Spitzer's payola poster boy, now works at Clear Channel's WHYI in Miami; earlier this week the media giant canned two radio managers implicated in the SONY BMG pay for play scandal ---and you know they've been taking a close look at Michaels.
Donnie's (Donnie???) exploits at Albany Broadcasting were chronicled in just about every news story about Spitzers's case, and it's fair to wonder if he continued taking goodies after moving to Miami.
If you ask me, there's no penalty severe enough to punish someone for playing J-Lo records on the radio.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Anchorless in Albany
WRGB in Albany, NY is looking for anchor to team up with our established female anchor on our 6pm and 11pm newscast.Maybe they should change that to still looking. WRGB is staring down the barrel of November sweeps and they still haven't managed to fill that empty anchor chair. It was rumored that Jerry Gretzinger and Greg Floyd were in the running, but nothing's happened on that front ---and a well placed source says that CBS 6's front runner for the slot turned them down cold.
This isn't a good time to be making the hire, either. For years, the TV industry has faced an acute shortage of male anchors, especially those that convey the right touch of experienced confidence. In smaller markets, you frequently see an older man anchoring with a young woman; we could well end up with the opposite situation here, but if they don't hurry it will look more like Harold and Maude than Demi and Ashton.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Rosen worked for the TU from 1945 to 1989, signing on when he was just 22 years-old. You may know him better for his sculptures around town, like the Martin Luther King memorial in Albany's Lincoln Park, and the downtown statue of Tom Whalen and his dog Finn. For a real taste of Rosen's style, check out his 1998 book From Rocky to Pataki; the book's text is by former AP reporter Peter Slocum, and makes a good read for those challenged in the institutional memory department.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
TV Guide Grows Up
After 52 years TV guide is going big, abandoning its familiar small dimensions and becoming a full-size magazine. TV Guide's circulation has been in a steady downward spiral for years. First newspapers stole away many of their eyeballs with free weekly inserts like the TU's ON TV book; now, with the advent of sophisticated, surfable grids on digital cable, all printed listings are becoming archaic. Printed listings remain popular with the older audience, and those slow to embrace new technology, like yours truly.
This week's final small format editions pay tribute to the classics, with today's stars recreating famous TV Guide covers from the past.
Monday, October 10, 2005
One frequent correspondent is being driven mad by the term leaf peeping and wishes to see it banned by editors everywhere. When I hear the word peep, I think of someone looking through your window at night, or those delicious chick shaped marshmallow treats. Anyway, the writer kvetched that a certain large well known local daily paper recently contained an article that had something like a dozen references to leaf peeping, leaf peepers, and peeping at leaves ---and, he says, all other area media are guilty of the same.
I must ask you, Mr. Name withheld, is it really the use of leaf peeping that troubles you, or is it those peeping leaves? From Wikipedia:
A person who leaf peeps is called a leaf peeper. Leaf peepers are often tourists and are known for driving slowly on public roads.I's say anyone who's ever driven up Vermont Route 7 on a Saturday in October, hates leaf peepers.
A Clear Channel radio employee has written to tell us about the no-beverage policy in their spankin' new headquarters up on Route 7. Apparently, there are no open containers permitted anywhere in the building, except, presumably, the lunch room. Please! How are they going to afford to buy up more local radio stations if they have Carpet Master up there cleaning coffee out of the rugs every other day? Maybe next the coffee and soda drinkers will be banished to the outdoors, like the smokers. Seriously ----who do they think they are, Siena College?
Finally, a couple of people sent me this, which strikes me as the sort of story reporters tell when the sit around the campfire:
ROWLEY, Mass. --A reporter for Rowley's weekly newspaper died after her car collided with a van carrying disabled adults. The crash that killed 49-year-old Liz Ichizawa occurred Tuesday at the intersection of Route 1 and Wethersfield Street. Ichizawa, who worked for The Town Common newspaper, had recently written a posthumous profile of longtime Rowley resident Margaret Smith, who was killed in an accident at the same intersection in July.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Stems and Seeds
Joe Pagliarulo's hoping that Canadians find his voice as rich as poutine and as sweet as maple syrup. The former CBS 6 (union busters) anchor is now chasing VO work, and being repped across the border by an Ontario firm that describes him thusly:
"Joe Pagliarulo's voice is astonishing and enthralling. His Herculean voice beams, muscling it's way through as a clear, unrivaled force to be reckoned with."Only We Can Do That To Our Employees
Another attack on the media this week, and I'm not speaking figuratively. WTEN photog Marty Miller, who's well known in the news business for his tenacious pursuit of breaking news and sleeping in a room full of scanners, was assaulted by the owner of a truck involved in a fatal accident at a Bolton landing construction site. I'd say "allegedly assaulted", except the incident was captured on tape and shown repeatedly on WNYT and Fox 23. Donald Kingsley was charged Friday with harassment and criminal mischief.
All About Alan
The delighfully ubiquitous Alan Chartock graces the front page of this week's Business Review. The profile addresses a question on the mind of many listeners, namely how long will the station's 64 year-old leader hang in there? The answer: "Until they take me out by my boots".
Also in the paper this week: a bland assessment of the local TV business climate that makes the point (stop the presses!) that viewers have more choices these days. What it doesn't mention? The bad situation at WTEN. This isn't the first time Business Review Barbara Pinkney has chosen to ignore what's going on over on Northern Boulevard.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Please Sir, May I Have Another?
Whether they make any money or not is a story for another day.
By the way, did you know that there is a Hall Hall on the RPI campus?
All Rachael, All the Time
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Meanwhile, the other former Apprentice with local ties, Jennifer Crisafulli, continues to rebuild after her disastrous brush with power.
Loosely related: Clear Channel is at it again, whining to Congress that they aren't allowed to own more radio stations. Sirius, here I come.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Given Up for Lost
It's actually a pretty good way to keep tabs on Shawn "I Want to Be the White Oprah" Killinger, who used to be the morning reporter at union busting CBS 6. You'll find handy thumbnail stats from each episode, bios of the contestants, and descriptions of the key scenes. Log on today ---and join the millions of people not watching the show tonight. Things don't look good for the Trump spinoff; NBC has thrown it up against Lost, swapping it out with their other Wednesday night dog, E-Ring. Judging from the lack of promotion, the network has pretty much given up on both these shows.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Missed It by That Much
Technology so advanced even we don't understand it...
Monday, October 03, 2005
In a Guilded Cage
Meanwhile in New York, work continues on the "glittering glass office tower -46 stories tall - the new Hearst headquarters". The 46 story monument is scheduled for completion in April '06. Maybe they'll have wrapped up this contract thing by then.
The Ethan Allen
Capital News 9's monopoly on 24 hour local news will not last forever. Sooner or later, one of the affiliates will join the game, most likely utilizing a piece of their digital spectrum to provide their news product all the time. Until then, despite their shortcomings, CN9 is the winner.
From the media literacy department, a good analysis in Mark McGuire's column on the use of graphic footage in yesterday's reports, particularly about how WNYT dealt with the issue. The station, McGuire points out, will not usually air pictures of bodies, "unless there are a lot of them". And why no wall to wall coverage? Even under such extreme circumstance, "Sports fans are a lot less tolerant of interruptions," said WNYT News Director Paul Conti.
Spelling It Out
In response, NABET quotes a recent Freedom Communications annual report as calling WRGB's 2004 a “fantastic year”, and that, “Growing audiences and growing profits at the same time is what 2004 was all about.”
Furlong also took a cheap shot at NABET Local 21's president, WNYT Reporter Bill Lambdin:
It is sad that you are being misled by an individual from another television station and the union. What is their vested interest in this negotiation? The individual from the other station gets to knock off a competitor and use you to try and improve his position at the next WNYT negotiation. At no threat of losing his job or having to put up with a strike. The union is stretching out the negotiations telling you that by trashing the station in public we will be more agreeable.