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

The New Downtown: A Guide to San Diego's Most Happening Neighborhood

We're delving into the new restaurants, cultural events, and businesses that are making downtown a destination

San Diego's Best Boutique Fitness 2017

We've sweated through the top yoga, barre, Pilates, and boot camp classes, and are rounding up our favorites

Your 2017 Guide to San Diego's Best Craft Beer

The best new breweries, a staff taste-test, the beer pros' go-to drinks, and the stories behind beer can designs
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote Now for San Diego's Best Restaurants 2017
    From poke to taco shops, you choose San Diego’s best eats and drinks in 88 categories
  2. The Best of North County 2017
    We scouted the greatest, buzzworthiest things to do, see, sip, and taste north of the 56
  3. A Beer-Lover’s Special (and Very Limited) Beer Alternative
    Cidre Brut, a Génépi-infused cider created by the US Grant Hotel, is a one-of-a-kind taste experience
  4. San Diego's Best Neighborhoods 2017
    Hot neighborhoods, easy commutes, new parks, and more for 2017
  5. 89 Things to Do With Your Kids in San Diego
    Camps, classes, and activities for San Diego’s youngest—and perhaps busiest—residents
  6. 10 Scenic Hikes Within an Hour of San Diego
    You’ve mastered all the trails in your area—now plan a Saturday to get outside for a hike and enjoy the views just a bit farther afield
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

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.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

9 Reasons You Need a Better Barber

Get the look and service you deserve at this East Village salon

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags