Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The New WOWO News Director is WHO?

We managed to dodge the great Mayan apocalypse. We sidestepped the “blizzard of 2012” but it looks as if Fort Wayne is going to suffer a direct hit. 

This morning,, the radio industry’s premier news conduit featured this headline and story:

WOWO Names Kayla Blakeslee News Director

Yes, Fort Wayne, the woman who once used the word “guys” 12 times in a five minute newscast; who believes that Berry Street intersects with Wayne, who's idea of "out there" includes Fairfield Avenue and who once convicted a man of murder even before a jury was selected…..has been named “news director” of WOWO 1190 (and now on 92.3fm). 

Back in the day, news directors were powerful people in the radio business. As an equal to the program director, sales manager, office manager, director of engineering, the news director hired and fired talent, prepared budgets, set the tone for on air presentation and was usually a seasoned market veteran. Reading the story from, you’ll note that Ryan Wrecker, identified as WOWO’s program director, appears to be Kayla’s boss. Mr. Wrecker is quoted as saying: 

"KAYLA has emerged as an afternoon leader by generating stories, anchoring newscasts and managing traffic for our television partners at 21 ALIVE," WOWO PD RYAN WRECKER said. "Her dedication to the station and community -- and as a respected member of the FT. WAYNE community -- has already created a solid working foundation on which to build on."

Sounds like that quote came directly from her annual employee review, perhaps written by the last WOWO News Director, Dave Wheaton, who now does something like sort the mail at a TV station, that according to his bartender.  

So, before we all get our bowels in an uproar about a giggly, inexperienced market outsider taking over the position once held by the likes of Victor Locke, Jerry Hoffman, Glenn Richards, Dugan Fry, Curt Miller and others, keep in mind that Kayla’s promotion basically means that she gets to open the press releases, organize news feeds and gets to work when other news people are sick, too hung-over, or just don’t feel like coming to work. She will not set station policy, nor will she hire and fire, compile and present budgets to the GM and the Maven is pretty sure this title is in lieu of a pay raise. That’s just how the industry is moving. No word on whether Kayla’s voice will continue to be heard on commercials on other Fed Med stations. 

On a related note, Mr. Wrecker, while singing the praises of his new news director might also want to, himself, become familiar with the names of certain outlaying communities, understand that snow plows can not combat high winds, and that in Indiana a road named 400 S is pronounced “400 South”, not “400 S”.  Rookie mistake. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sorry, Kayla, It's Wasn't Your Fault

In an afternoon Tweet, the Maven chastised WOWO's Kayla Blakeslee for reporting that "Joseph Kast  had been found guilty of murder by a unanimous vote." As anyone with a 4th grade education knows, in criminal proceedings in the State of Indiana, as well as other jurisdictions, a verdict to convict has to be unanimous. There are no "split decisions". What I did not realize at the time was that Kayla's only error was reading shoddy, ineffective and patently poor copy written by WOWO's "news partner", Indiana's Newscenter, also known to some as 21Alive. My apologies to Kayla. 

By reading the story, it's clear that the INC news writer has no grasp of the basics of the court system, and reporting on a unanimous vote for conviction is not only redundant, it's foolish. If this were a school board or City Council meeting, the number of votes to win or lose would be appropriate. 

Considering the state of the broadcast industry in general, and our little 'burg in particular, we should probably consider ourselves fortunate to have a couple of stations still attempting to provide some level of news coverage, sub par as it is. 

For our friends at INC, the State of Indiana's website has some great resources for journalists, and TV news writers, as well

Indiana Rules of Court
Jury Rules

Including Amendments Received Through January 1, 2011

(a)    In all criminal cases, if the defendant is charged with: murder, a Class A, B, or C felony, including any enhancement(s), the jury shall consist of twelve (12) persons, unless the parties and the court agree to a lesser number of jurors. If the defendant is charged with any other crime, the jury shall consist of six (6) persons. The court shall determine the number of alternate jurors to be seated. The verdict shall be unanimous. (emphasis added)
(b)    In all civil cases, the jury shall consist of six (6) persons, unless the parties agree to a lesser number of jurors before the jury is selected. The verdict shall be unanimous, unless the parties stipulate before the verdict is announced that a verdict or finding of a stated majority of the jurors shall be taken as the verdict or finding of the jury. The number of alternate jurors shall be governed by Trial Rule 47(B).