Monday, June 25, 2012

WOWO Afternoons Getting Interesting

According to a post from Zach Bonahoom on his Facebook page, Zach will be heard in the 3-6pm time slot on WOWO 1190 beginning Wednesday and continuing through the following Tuesday. Zach states that he is being "tested", or auditioned for the time slot, and if he does well, he may have a show "long term". 

What Zach may or may not know, is that WOWO is also going to give an audition to Matt Kelty for that time slot, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, but not authorized to speak about it publicly. 
Look for Kelty to appear after Mr. Bonahoom's turn at bat. 
What this means is that WOWO apparently felt quite a bit of  pressure from audience and advertisers to continue it's tradition of a locally-based, conservative-oriented talk show in it's 3-6pm time slot. 

This development also means that Fort Wayne and WOWO listeners will be spared from hearing Gary Snyder (AKA Henson's Revenge) during the daylight hours. The Maven has not listened to Mr. Snyder on his current 9pm-midnight show, as the reruns of "Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery channel have been far, too compelling. 

As with anything WOWO does, the Maven will watch and wait. 

Where's Gary?

Where's Gary Snyder? 

Is Gary on WOWO 1190? Has anyone heard him? It looks like the WOWO website isn't sure, either. 

On the air promos are running for every other show, except Gary Snyder. 

If you've heard Indiana's most notorious political chameleon on WOWO 1190 (and now on 92.3FM), let me know. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Submit This For An Emmy?

The Maven has been rather prickly when it comes to Lazy Journalism. So, when an exception to the norm comes along, we need to celebrate it and draw attention to it. 

WANE TV, like many regular folks, has had lingering questions about Allen County Councilman Paul Moss's early morning phone call to Sheriff Ken Fries during a traffic stop. Other that the fact that the phone call was made, there has been little or no information released to the public by the Sheriff. He insists he did nothing wrong, but won't tell anyone what he did. Now, in light of an ethics complaint filed yesterday, the "situation" is, again, in the news.
We are told that the video runs beginning to end with no edits. The reporter is respectful, cordial, and consistent in the questions asked. 
The Sheriff ..... well, I'll leave that to you for your reaction. 
I have an opinion, but that's not what we're discussing here. We're looking at a TV station doing some actual legwork on a story.....something we don't usually see.  

If I've coded this correctly, you can link to the clunky WANE TV website for the video using the link below.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ethical Ethics Complaint

Headline writers have an easy job. Glance at the story, write an engaging, eye-grabbing synopsis of the story. Simple, right? 
Apparently the Journal Gazette is confused. While an ETHICS complaint was filed with the County yesterday regarding the Fries/Moss affair, the Journal headline writers have now deemed that complaint to be ETHICAL. Says it right there: "Ethical Complaint Filed.......". If the Journal did not like the complaint and found it faulty, I'm sure the headline would have said "Unethical Complaint Filed.....".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Henson's Revenge: WOWO Adds Gary Snyder

WOWO has, apparently, found content to fill that nasty, awkward nightly repeat of Mark Levin from 9 til Midnight. No, it's not an April Fools gag...
Could this be a dry-run for political chameleon Snyder to eventually take over the 3-6pm time slot formerly held by Gregg Henson, Pat Miller and Pat White?
WOWO would do well to consider a younger, local, trusted, politically-connected voice for that assignment. My insider tells me that Mr. Snyder has not been "hired" by Federated Media, but is, instead,  purchasing the 3 hours of nightly airtime from WOWO at wholesale rates and then reselling ads to some of his "regular" clients as he did in the past when he appeared on WGL 1250. No official word from WOWO about the changes, just a retweet of Mr. Snyder's tweet.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Defense Attorney's Dream

A local broadcast station, today, convicted a man of murder without the benefit of a trial, announcing so on the air and on their web page.

A little closer look (can't you guys make your web page body-copy bigger?)

Since this station posts their on-air copy to the web, it's easy to follow along at home and one can only imagine the joy of his court-appointed public defender in seeing his client convicted in the media even before his first court appearance.
Rather than attributing the statement to local police, the newsreader spoke with authority in announcing: "Michael Lewis, who shot Christopher Mhoon in the Cap n' Cork on South Anthony Blvd. earlier this month, has turned himself in". True, Lewis turned himself in, but a jury has not convicted Lewis of the shooting, he is only charged with the shooting. Stating that Lewis shot Mhoon and not attributing the charge to law enforcement or court officials leaves the radio station and newscaster in a sticky situation of having to defend against a possible defamation lawsuit.

From the AP Style Book:

Now, honestly, the chances of Mr. Lewis coming after the media outlet are very slim, since he has other issues to worry about. But, that's not to say that his enterprising public defender might not wave around a screen capture of this story in an attempt to show media bias or even ask for moving the trial out of town as a result of "poisoning the jury pool". 
While we all may cringe when newsreaders throw the word "allegedly" around like a drunken, this case, it just might save a career.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cheap Shot? Yes...

Friends send me these all the time. They usually bring a chuckle or occasional smirk, but the reaction I feel most is sadness.
First, I'm sad that this is what has become acceptable in our media, and our culture. Schools no longer teach cursive writing, and, apparently, spelling is optional, too. No longer do we have to use our hand-eye coordination required for creating the letters of our language. We now, simply, type in the first few letters and our iPhones do the rest. I would also comment on the responsibility of news people to learn, honor and respect the names of the streets, people and towns that they cover. That is fodder for a whole, separate, lengthy post.
Secondly, I'm sad because it is now demanded of media people to cover so many more job functions than ever before. TV reporters, for example, must shoot the story themselves, interview the subject, shoot more "B" roll, perform the obligatory "stand up" at the end of the report, edit the package, then repost their scripts on the internet, put a story link on Facebook, and then include a Twitter update (hopefully with a link that will take the reader to the story and not the station's generic homepage). The opportunities for error are massive in this business model.
While the Maven may take temporary umbrage at the media missteps in spelling and understanding of our unique market, it really brings me little joy in seeing media continue to loose credibility and trust from the audience.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Personnel Change OR Radio Slight-of-Hand?

By now, most of the free world and parts of Arkansas are aware that WOWO’s 3-6pm talk show hosted by Gregg Henson has been replaced by the syndicated Sean Hannity program. Is it temporary? Is it permanent? Only those folks on Maples Road and, to a certain extent, the folks at 245 Edison Road in Mishawaka know for sure.

Because the Maven is a suspicious person by nature, I would ask you to consider two possible scenarios.

First, is the most obvious: WOWO demoted Pat Miller to a weekend show because they wanted to broaden the type of issues discussed during the daily 3-6 program, and either Mr. Miller refused, or WOWO management thought him incapable of the task. Mr. Henson, then, took over the show and had difficulties of his own with WOWO’s conservative core audience. His bullying tactics and naming private citizens to his enemies list on the air triggered an advertiser revolt. So, Henson is off, Hannity is on.

The second scenario is this: In light of the recent gutting of 92.3 The Fort and Froggy 106.7 and replacing them with simulcasts of other existing programming on their other existing local stations WOWO’s ownership sees further opportunity to slash expenses and remain financially solvent. This is accomplished by eliminating Mr. Miller and the subsequent costs related to his program. So, what was the Gregg Henson drama/fiasco about? The people on Maples Road are sly operators. If Mr. Henson’s anti-conservative bullying tactics, near libelous antics and subsequent advertiser revolt were so egregious, he would no longer be in the building. In a nutshell, it was all bad radio theatre. Now, WOWO can move Sean Hannity into the 3-6pm slot, effectively crushing rival Pat White on WGL 1250, and saving the money associated with paying Mr. Miller. You’ll also notice that Mr. Miller’s weekend job has been eliminated, too.

As much as we might like to demonize Gregg Henson (and, trust me, there’s a lot to demonize there) Mr. Henson may soon be sporting “employee of the month” honors for his efforts to help WOWO remain solvent and somewhat relevant to the community.

And, then again, you may have your own theories.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Which Is It?

Earlier today WANE TV posted a story at 2:31 pm today headlined "Man dies after Thursday fight in Auburn". The unnamed writer of the story gave all the pertinent facts in the case dutifully quoting the Auburn Police with all the appropriate details. 
What is confusing are the last to 'graphs of the story included here: (screen capture not available as story was updated)

Following an autopsy conducted Friday by DeKalb County Coroner, Jeff Warner, the deceased man was identified as Rex DePew Sr., of Auburn. DePew's cause of death has not yet been determined pending toxicology results.

Police said no charges have been filed in this case and names are being withheld pending notification of family members of the parties involved.

They name the deceased, then in the next paragraph they revert to the "withheld pending notification of family members of the parties involved".

So, is this sloppy webpage editing, or just random ineptitude?
Only WANE TV knows for sure.   

I Know I Am, But what Are You?

The Maven gets occasional hate mail from newspaper editors, reporters, headline writers and others who don't agree with some of the Maven's opinions. That's fair. In most all instances, those missives may be a bit pointed, but are usually handled on an adult level.
This afternoon when I Tweeted about WOWO News saying "out there on Fairfield" and pointing out that Fairfield was well within the City and that Aboite would be considered "out there", I received this response from the nameless, faceless.....and also gutless person Tweeting on the @WOWOFORTWAYNE account.

I can understand the frustration of a rookie newsreader, not from Fort Wayne, confusing local geography. However, as someone who has been a news director and operations manager for radio stations in cities much larger than Fort Wayne, Indiana.....I really don't think that a catty and unprofessional remark to a media critic (and avid listener) is in the best interests of the station. In the nameless and faceless realm of Social Media it must not matter.