Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Where is Where?

Sometimes, these blogs write themselves. This is one of those times. If you're looking for snark about the children that run the WOWO news room, or WANE TV's latest screw up, sorry, you'll have to wait.

Instead, offered for your pleasure, is one more exhibit in the continuing movement of local print journalism slowly sliding into the dumpster of obscurity and non-relevancy. From the Friday evening News Sentinel.......

It appears that the writer managed to shoehorn in all the details EXCEPT one. WHERE? Where the hell does this wonderful event take place?  Details....eh!

UPDATE! N-S reveals the location.....5 days after the original story.....find the story here:


And this seems to be an issue with the News Sentinel.......from last year:

Getting Ugly-er

The promoter of the Luke Bryan concert in New Haven may want to have a conversation with the folks in the double-wide out on Maples Road. 

First it was K105 getting caught flat-footed when trying to bluff their way around a listener's question on social media, and when called on it, responding in a rude and condescending manner to the listener. "Lighten up" is not how we talk to listeners, advertisers or potential diary holders.

Well, now the comedy of errors continues, as K105's sister station WOWO, the Marconi award winning station, appears to have issues reading a map. 

Yesterday WOWO tweeted this map in their Twitter feed with this message:  
If you're going to the Luke Bryan concert Wednesday, here's a map of where you're supposed to go.

And later, they followed with this Tweeted map and message:
CORRECTION: The last map was directions when you leave the Luke Bryan concert. Here's the map for getting there. 

There is no doubt that Luke Bryan will give the fans a great show, that's what he does. 

However, considering the large sums of money that the promoter is spending to publicize and pull off this giant concert, next time the promoter may want to find another radio group to work with, perhaps one that can find it's ass without using both hands. 

This is embarrassing. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Protecting One's Friends

A fracas in a parking lot of a local club at 3:00am.

When it was Piere's back in March, WANE TV played stupid and did not mention the business by name when every other media outlet reported a parking lot shooting at Piere's.

When it's Early Bird Ultra Lounge, we get the name and address of the establishment. How come?

To the more cynical readers of this blog, it might appear that WANE TV feels some sort of obligation to keep Piere's out of the news. Good luck with that. 

Hello? Anybody home?

Here's what the ABC affiliate looks like tonight in Fort Wayne IN.

And here's the NBC station....

Your guess is a good as the Mavens.

First, it's WOWO and her FedMed sisters who can't survive a thunderstorm, now, two network TV affiliates can't keep things running. The Maven predicts the blame will fall to an equipment failure. Since Radio Shack if out of business, no word on how long the Please Stand By slides will be up.  

UPDATE! They're back, just in time for Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. Hope the bailing wire and chewing gum holds.....

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Someone Needs an Attitude Adjustment

Watch and learn kids.  

How not to respond to a listener's question on social media:

Here's what the Maven thinks:

Issue one: You are responsible for updating the station's social media webpage, and not being able to answer a simple question regarding information that was posted earlier indicates you are either inept, irresponsible, or don't give a shit.

Issue two: When the listener presses you for a complete answer and notes that the info was posted earlier, you cop an attitude, "lighten up" is never an appropriate response to a listener or advertiser. This is not high school.

Issue three: Passing the blame to someone else on the station staff is the equivalent of throwing a coworker under the bus. If your promotions people are idiots, go over their heads, get the answers and let your listeners know.

Issue four: Working in the media gives you no special privileges to insult or demean those who chose to listen to your station, or those who you work with. I'm not sure who your promotion director is, but they not be sliding you any free concert tickets anytime soon.

If this were an isolated incident, the Maven might understand. However, K105 and the other members of the menagerie of stations in the doublewide out on Maples Road seem to have an issue with dealing with listeners in a positive manner. First that comes to mind is WOWO's former combative operations manager who, in the course of a broadcast, threatened to kill leaders the of a pro-life organization, identifying them by name. Then there's a former, disgraced News director, who carried an operating cell phone into open court as a publicity stunt and got arrested.

The bottom line is that some FedMed employees have "attitude" issues and don't play well with others who they purport to serve.  Further, it's apparent that FedMed management protects certain employees while allowing others to twist in the wind when the crap hits the fan. 

Thank you to Marti Taylor-Dee for allowing the Maven to use her messages and name. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Difference of Opinion

Our town is one of the last "two-newspaper" towns remaining in the country. While the Journal Gazette and News Sentinel share a building, printing press, sales staff, circulation department and toilet paper supply, the news rooms of each compete for readers and are totally independent editorially. When the Maven uses the word "editorial" it means more that just the opinion pages. Each news operation works to serve the needs of their target audience. Each is independently owned. Each shares an ownership stake in a separate company that operates the facility and buys the toilet paper.

Today's reporting on the Jeremy Washington case is a prime example of the editorial differences between the papers.

The Journal Gazette has a long history of being a "democrat" or "liberal" newspaper. The stories they choose to report and the manner in which they are written all cater the the audience they desire to deliver. That can be seen in their Tweet announcing the jury decision in the Washington case. 

Even the kids in the WOWO news room will notice that the JG leads with Washington being acquitted of the most "serious" charges. The jury did find Washington guilty of reckless homicide which, apparently, the Journal Gazette must feel is a minor offense. 

Why does the Journal do this? It's to cater to what they believe is their audience of enlightened NPR-listening liberals who don't want to portray members of the minority community in a less than favorable light. 

Contrast this with the News Sentinel which is proud of their Republican-leaning heritage. True to playing to their audience, the NS takes a more "law and order" stand and reports the trial outcome this way:

The News Sentinel report is also factual and correct. They chose to present the story in their style for their audience. 

Contrast this journalism with the news product churned out by the towns TV news operations. Usually a rehash of what the daily newspapers report and some cut and paste media releases thrown in for filler. 

In the final analysis, Fort Wayne is most fortunate to still offer print readers a choice, and in this case, a very discernible and easily understood difference.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Get Well Soon WFFT

This is how you do it. Technical issues happen, and WFFT Local has done the right thing to let their viewers know what's going on. 

So, why isn't the Maven jumping up and down and frothing at the mouth? Easy, WFFT is doing the right thing by letting viewers know there's a tech issue, and they're working on it.

Contrast this to Federated Media. That operation seems to evaporate into thin air during typical Indiana-style thunderstorms. Advertisers and listeners have been assured that FedMed has spent the required oodles of cash to keep their menagerie of stations on the air during severe weather. Perhaps something a little more robust than the artist illustration seen here.....
However, after the winds and rain and lightening, usually FedMed is silent, at a rate that seems to be increasing over the past few years. Since workers at FedMed have been warned about talking to anyone outside of the "FedMed family" about internal issues, only the suits in Mishawaka and maybe a few NSA analysts know the real reason that FedMed takes a dump when it rains.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

The headline says they built it. 

The story copy says they are going to build it. 

Today's Daily Disappointment from the kids in the WOWO news room: 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Obligatory WOWO F*Up Of The Day

OK, you may now giggle. And the folks who run the NAB Marconi awards can take another drink and be proud of their choice for Medium Market Station of the Year. Drunks.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Something New?

Fort Wayne media have a bad habit of pulling their punches. It appears that our lazy, lap-dog media have an aversion to hard news reporting, sticking instead to regurgitating the official "facts" found in press releases and media handouts. It's safer that way, I'm sure.

Every now and then, someone in the media does the right thing, and names names, gives straightforward information and does not alter or shade the facts to shield their friends in high places.

Perhaps it was an oversight, or hopefully a sign that real journalists really do exist in our town. In any event, the Maven offers kudos to the Journal Gazette's Dave Gong, for good reporting and for not only correctly reporting the City Council vote, but also for reporting which council person voted for and against the proposed million dollar Legacy Fund gift to Parkview, Trine University and other rich and powerful players. 

Why is this important? 
FW media, in general, only report the vote at council meetings, and very often confuse the committee vote with the final passage vote. They rarely ever reveal how each council member voted, especially during election years. Whether or not the media is just being lazy, or are trying to do a favor to their rich and powerful friends, no one knows. 
The Maven hopes that this is the beginning of a trend to more transparent reporting, and fewer and fewer breaks being given to the political ruling class, offering them less political cover and providing the taxpayers with valuable information. 

Now, if the City Clerk's office could make meeting minutes available in a more timely manner, that would be good. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

When Best Isn't Good Enough

In hindsight it will be seen as either a bold and swift gamble, or a profound misinterpretation of market data and audience research....either way Best FM 95.1 is gone, and the more familiar Majic 95.1 is back on the air. 

From what the Maven can tell, the music seems to be about the same and the morning show on Thursday and Friday featured their standard music fare with only a female reading the liners, news and weather. The two less than memorable male characters, who often joined the woman in daily talk-a-thons were not present. Perhaps the bitching and moaning about not having their own office may have weighted slightly in managements decision to make changes.

At any rate the Majic is back, perhaps because of a ratings slide, a change in audience habits, or possibly dictated by pissing and moaning from the sales department.

Whether or not this "adjustment" will fix whatever WAJI management saw as an issue....remains to be seen.

To WAJI's credit, they gave Best FM a good shot, giving the new brand well over a year to play out.

Contrast this to Fed-Med WMEE, who hold's the Fort Wayne market record for the most morning show changes and program director changes at 6 during a 30 month period a number of years ago.

No word if the "new" Majic 95.1 will play Neil Diamond every hour and/or if Becky Kellie and Barb Richards will return. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Southbound US 30?

You're not from around here, are you?

21Alive did their dead-level best to confuse their audience about the whereabouts of a fatal accident early this morning on US 30 just west of the Allen/Whitley county line. 

First, US 30 is an East - West highway, so "southbound on US 30 is a physical impossibility. Second, 800 East is a North - South road, better know to a preponderance of the viewing audience as County Line Road. The fact is was referred to as 800 East indicates the dedicated little news writers out on Butler Road copied their homework from a Whitley County law enforcement agency press release. Of course, they did not copy very well since they botched which way US 30 runs. 

Reading this journalistic masterpiece, a reasonable person might draw the conclusion that two trucks, traveling southbound on two different, non-intersecting roads, suddenly hit each other through a freak of nature and in opposition to the laws of physics.

The story on the 21Alive website still contains the error. You can see it here:


Knowing the direction of local streets and highways can pay big dividends towards not making your news operation appear incompetent and foolish. As the Maven says, "if you were from around here....you'd know that."