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 Dog Lover's Guide to San Diego

Here are 52 ways to experience San Diego with your four-legged friend

17 Big Ideas for 2017

From blue technology to workforce housing to social innovation, San Diego surpasses major hubs around the country

San Diego Schools Get Creative about Physical Activity

How teachers and administrators are improving students' ability to focus by first getting the wiggles out
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  2. Best of Baja 2016
    46 ways to relax, dine, drink, and play the Mexico way
  3. Vintage San Diego: How Our City Has Changed Since 1876
    Before bottleneck traffic and the modern housing crisis, San Diego was a swath of undeveloped land, horse-drawn carriages, and dairy farms
  4. FIRST LOOK: The Grass Skirt
    San Diego's tiki boom continues with this new spot in Pacific Beach
  5. Why Our Veterans Keep Quiet About Their Service
    From misconceptions about the military to reticent heroism, San Diego veterans share the many reasons they often keep mum about their service
  6. 67 San Diego Holiday Traditions You Don't Want to Miss
    'Tis the season for fa-la-la fun in San Diego
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

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home to Age-In-Place

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments anyone can make, and it’s only natural to want to live in your own abode for as long as you can.

CraftHounds - Craft Beer Delivery in San Diego

Craft Beer Delivery - The Best Gift Ever?
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags