Edit ModuleShow Tags

When the News IS the News


Published:

(page 1 of 3)

There’s a story going around local TV newsrooms about a reporter for one of the new teams in town. Both the Fox and Warner Bros. affiliates launched news shows last winter, flooding the market with eager 20-something anchor wanna-bes. This one cub reporter, the story goes, asked District Attorney Paul Pfingst during a press conference, “Now, what does the district attorney do?”

District attorney spokeswoman Gayle Falkenthal swears she can’t recall that particular incident, but she acknowledges its underlying truth. “These folks need it from square one,” she says. “Many of these reporters don’t know that [radio talk host] Roger Hedgecock was once the mayor of San Diego.”

These are strange days in the trenches of San Diego TV news, and it’s not just the two new stations and their kiddie corps of reporters. Almost every channel has been going through massive changes. Stations are changing anchor lineups like drunken baseball managers desperately looking for the right combination. Veteran reporters are suddenly sent to the cornfield, banished from the airwaves. Helicopter journalism rules. Everything is shiftng.

And more than anything, there is a new intensity to the competition—a sense that this isn’t laid-back San Diego anymore. “We’re looking like L.A.,” says Channel 8 consumer reporter Bob Hansen. “You go to a press conference and there are six or seven cameras there.”

XETV (Channel 6), the Fox affiliate, laid its scent for the competition in the February sweeps—its first major ratings period—by offering features on penile implants, Tantra sex techniques and a man accused of sexually assaulting sheep. Fox news stories usually feature neck-wrenching camera moves and lightning-fast edits, driven by a steady rock beat.

“You don’t have to be bored to death to receive information,” says XETV news director Alberto Pando, who has a shaved head (and a baseball bat behind his desk). “The other stations don’t go to the extremes we do because they are afraid to fail. We’re not afraid to fail.”

He makes no apologies for the sweeps features, penile implants et al. “We’ve gotten about a hundred e-mails asking for the doctor’s name,” Pando says. “We’re providing a service.” It’s not clear if he’s kidding.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Top Doctors 2016: Innovation in Health and Medicine

Our annual feature of 700 physicians in 76 specialties

The Ultimate San Diego Wine Guide

Move over, beer, there's a new craft in town

Fall Fashion 2016: Into the Wild

Fall in love with the season's Victorian details, dark florals, deep reds, fur, and more
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags