Sunday, June 29, 2014

Where's the "WHERE"?

WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY. The essentials of a complete news story. Leave one out, and a news story is of little value to readers and listeners. 
Last week it was the News Sentinel. This week, it's the kids in the WOWO News room. 

The story does note a "Fort Wayne home..." that does not satisfy the WHERE aspect. Most every news story that WOWO covers does include, at the least, the name of the street name and block number of the incident. 

What's troubling is that WOWO News had all the information they needed. According to our friends at, the Fort Wayne Police Department press release contains the exact address of the incident. A close look will also show that the third paragraph of the WOWO story is simply an edited version of the FWPD's press release. Look for yourself...
Barricaded Subjects
Date/Time of Incident: 06-28-2014 4:40 PM
Location of Incident: 1631 Hinton Drive

On Saturday June 28,2014 at approximately 4:40 pm, the FWPD responded to a house located at 1631 Hinton Drive in reference to a 911 hang up call. As 911 dispatchers were on the telephone with someone inside the residence, dispatch believed that there was some type of disturbance coming from this address. As officers arrived on the scene, they spoke with an individual outside the residence who told police that a male who was identified as Jeremy C Elder Sr was inside the residence and was wanted in reference to a previous domestic battery investigation. Officers on the scene made several attempts to make contact with Elder which failed. Officers with the Fort Wayne Police Departments Emergency Services Team and Crisis Response Team were dispatched to the scene.
Officers with the Crisis Response Team spoke with Elders on the telephone for several hours in an attempt to have him exit the residence and surrender to police. At approximately 10:30 PM, Elders came out of the residence as he did not comply with officers orders as less leathal ammunition was used to take Elders into custody. Elders was transported from the scene to the Allen County jail and charged with felony domestic battery.
This incident remains under investigation by the Fort Wayne Police Department and the Allen County Prosecutors Office.
The moral of the story is that if you're going to regurgitate a news release, it would be helpful to regurgitate ALL of the details. FWPD Press Release courtesy of

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nip It, Nip It In The Bud.......

The Maven admits to being addicted to the work of the kids in the WOWO News room. While it is never their intention to be comedic, the end result is always a giggle, a laugh, a hoot, or a guffaw. 

Item One: The all-powerful mayor of the City of Decatur is going to put his foot down and will not stand for any summertime shenanigans in his town. He wants to "nip it in the bud"......really. 

The idea of Decatur being Mayberry, and the mayor as Barney Fife earns a "hoot" on the Maven's yard stick of comedy news writing. 

Item 2:  There are those words that no one ever uses in normal conversation. Sometimes it's 'cop speak', 'government speak', or in this case, 'fire department speak'. 

How many of you use the phrase "self-evacuated"? If your house were on fire, would you tell the 911 operator that you and your family "self-evacuated" or would you say "we got the hell outta the house"? 
It's one of the pitfalls of lazy journalists who merely cut and paste the media handout from police, fire or other government agency.

This earns a 'giggle' on the Maven's yard stick of comedy news writing. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Even Real Journalists Screw Up

You kids in the WOWO News room, as well as your colleagues at the TV stations, are off the hook today.

For your viewing pleasure, an instance where real journalists at a real newspaper failed to provide all the facts required of a complete news story. Of course, the Maven is referring to the famous who, what, where, when, and why. The "famous five". "Where" seems to be AWOL in this story from the News Sentinel.

Here you go:

Of course, if newspapers still had editors and proof readers, this story would never have gotten out of the house.......

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Adams PR Offensive Begins

Kudos to the Adams Radio folks for their skill in exploiting and recruiting the Journal Gazette to handle the PR duties about the WXKE frequency move. It's a pretty good story, and the Maven is empathetic to Frank Gray who got this tossed in his lap.

As a Facebook poster mentioned today, "of course Doc loves it, he's still working", a sly dig at Adams, who, reportedly, gutted other WXKE personnel, including Chilly and Sarah. 

A skillful "bending" of the truth": 

The claim that the new WXKE will be broadcasting with 25,000 watts is dubious, at best. The word "effective" means that is what the power of the station would be if the station's antenna did not exceed a prescribed height by the FCC.

The FCC allocation for 96.3 is a "B1" allocation. The FCC website lists the maximum power for a B1 allocation as 25,000 watts with an antenna 100 meters tall. However, if the height of the antenna is raised, (in an attempt to increase coverage) the FCC uses a formula to lower the assigned power so the station would not, theoretically, gain an advantage over other B1 stations in relation to coverage. 
The current license data from the FCC shows WXKE licensed for 6,700 watts at a height of 169 meters. The extra 69 meters, according to the FCC formulas, dials back the power to the previously mentioned 6,700 watts. 
So, kids. The Adams folks are correct that the station, if the antenna were only 100 meters tall, would be allowed to use 25,000 watts. But reality and the FCC view the station as a 6,700 watt station. 
What difference does it make? Really none, but it gives the Adams folks something more to confuse listeners and advertisers with. Most good radio people would call that "marketing". No one is calling anyone a liar, but simply put, Adams is using the ambiguity of FCC's allocation mechanism and often contradictory regulations to their direct advantage. They are excellent marketers and are using the situation to their benefit. Well done, Adams. FedMed finally has someone to compete with. 

The Journal Gazette story is here: 

The FCC allocation rules for classes of stations can be found here:

The official record of the WXKE allocation is found here:

The original News Sentinel story where 96.3 is claimed to be a 50,000 watt signal is here:

Sunday, June 22, 2014

WANE TV & Media Gaffe of the Week

Apparently, any picture of a tractor will suffice.

The above picture shows a hard-working Indiana farmer.
The Maven thinks WANE TV means this: 

In an area that is so heavily influenced agriculture, both economically and socially, one would think that someone would understand just how foolish this makes the WANE TV news product appear. 
However, the reality of local TV news, especially in Fort Wayne, is that youth and inexperience often determine what news we see and what stories get covered, especially on weekends. 

The 'young skulls full of mush' appear to be in control. 

For those at WANE TV who would like more information about tractor pulling, you might want to tip your assignment editor (you still have one of those?) to a local event that draws more audience than your nightly newscasts: The Arcola National Truck and Tractor Pull

Friday, June 20, 2014

Value Added Service?

A delightful young woman posted a photo on Facebook today that has to be an example of the work of the infamous kids in the WOWO News room. 

Federated Media, the monolithic owner of WOWO and countless other radio stations, has always been known providing their advertisers with a wide range of "value-added" services. Signs and vinyl posters have always been one of the most popular with advertisers. Like any good business operation WOWO has discovered a method that keeps their sign productions cost low, while continuing to provide those "value-added" services. Simply let the kids in the WOWO News room create banners for advertisers. 

Take a drive by Leo Crossing/Mayhew/North Clinton area and see for yourself. 

Even the Maven is impressed with the idea. Nice going, FedMed.......

Monday, June 16, 2014

They Never Disappoint

The kids in the WOWO News room never disappoint. 

Sometimes they are convicting someone of murder, even before jury selection...

Or, they are inventing new body parts...

Today's newsroom "output" has someone crashing a file while fleeing the least they weren't texting and driving. 

Carry on kids, it's always fun enjoying your relaxed approach to the news and the English language. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friends Of Yours?

From the city's last remaining commercial radio news operation, the sad tale of Matthew and Lisa:

While Matthew and Lisa do share the a last name, it looks like the kids in the WOWO News room omitted the pair's last name, on second reference, due to pure laziness. Or perhaps, the writer of the news article is on a first name basis with Matthew and Lisa, so their common last name really doesn't matter. At any rate, it would appear that Matthew and Lisa won't be showing up for beer and brats this weekend. 

FYI, kids: Most major new organizations encountering two or more subjects with the same last name, will identify the individuals by their full names to avoid any confusion. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ambiguity On Parade

It's less of a news story and more of a self-serving public relations piece for a long-time advertiser, but still.....21Alive has managed to inject enough ambiguity into the story, that this merits a mention from the Maven. 
Behold, the Emergency Fuel Generator! Now, to those not familiar with mechanical items, one would conclude that this gizmo takes natural gas and turns it into FUEL. Well, that's what it says. Fuel generator. 21st century alchemy!

Lassus Handy Dandy, the convenience store chain noted for randomly scaring the living daylights out of customers with hidden speakers blaring the voice of figurehead John Lassus, is letting you know that they can pump gas when commercial power is disrupted. But, apparently, only for emergency vehicles, and only at a Coldwater Road store.......according the body copy of the story. 

Nicely done, 21Alive. The Handy Dandy advertising contract is secure for at least another 6 months. 

Our friends at WOWO and the other FedMed stations might want to invest in one of these devices. Was it twice, or three times that all of the FedMed signals were silenced during severe weather last summer, due to a lack of alternate power at the Maples Road broadcast Mecca? Maybe John Lassus will rent them one, next time. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wrong, Again

Wrong again, kids in the WOWO News room. 

John Shoaff may offer a motion to reconsider at tonight's Council meeting, but he is not offering a "resolution" and that "resolution", as you call it, will not abolish collective bargaining for some city employees. That's what the "ordinance" is for. 

Council has already voted on the ordinance that will have that effect. Councilman Shoaff is asking for a reconsideration of that vote. It's a tactic to temporarily delay the ordinance from moving forward in the process. 

And no, Roberts Rules of Order doesn't have anything to do with ordering take out food. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Headline Proven Wrong By The Copy

Remember the old Tom Waites yarn about how "the big print giveth, and the fine print taketh away"?

Just the opposite for our friends at 21Alive.

The body copy of the story says

However, the headline can't seem to confirm that a shooting actually took place


That's how they do it in Fort Wayne media. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Did The Victim Shed Alleged Blood, As Well?

The Maven is starting a new drinking game. For each WOWO news story that contains the word allege, alleged, or allegedly, take a swig. If you are fortunate enough to have all three words in a story (it has happened) guzzle whatever you have in your glass.

Yes, my friends. The shooting victim was allegedly shot. Now, even for the kids in the WOWO News room, that's some heavy use of deductive reasoning. Logic at work....

The entire news story, in case one would think that the Maven would fabricate such a thing.....

Of course, the kids in the WOWO News room have nothing to worry about, as far as a competitive standard, since the Adams Radio Group (who just blew into town and bought half the stations in the market) has no plans for any meaningful radio news operation. Or, do they?