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

Best Neighborhoods in San Diego

Our annual neighborhood guide explores where to settle if you're a foodie, outdoors-lover, just starting out, or urban-obsessed

Spring Fashion 2015: Luxe Layover

Pack your bags! Spring’s 1970s styles are leaving on a very chic jet plane.

Get Fit & Have Fun in San Diego

From doggie bootcamps to intense bodybuilding programs, it’s an exciting time to get in shape. What are you waiting for?
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Reasons to Love San Diego
    Our annual list of all things San Diego and rad—from kiteboarding to urban farming to a city-wide book club
  2. San Diego New Year’s Eve Guide
    Ring in 2015 at these parties, concerts, dining, and family-friendly events
  3. 25 BIG Ideas
    Fascinating San Diego people inspire us with big, bold ideas on everything from genomics to urban planning, art to architecture, food and more
  4. About that story we "stole"...
    8 things to ask yourself before you accuse a publication of stealing your stuff and barf all over their beautiful Facebook page
  5. Get Fit & Have Fun in San Diego
    From doggie bootcamps to intense bodybuilding programs, it’s an exciting time to get in shape. What are you waiting for?
  6. I Tried It: The New Jazzercise
    When I hear the word “Jazzercise,” neon leotards, leg warmers, headbands, and old ladies come to mind
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.

La Jolla Music Society Events

The La Jolla Music Society's 2015 Calendar
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

'Tis The Season

Winter in the desert cities

100 Works of Art to See Before You Die in San Diego

Local art critics, museum directors, and the big kahunas of the art world picked their must-see paintings, sculptures, and buildings with a special checklist just for you
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags