Archive for the 'Editorials' Category
It was neither cutting-edge nor particularly exciting to watch, but on the night of December 18, 2006, the Massachusetts television scene lost an important local voice. The Ten O’Clock News on Boston’s WB (always emphasis on ‘the’) was more than a local newscast, it was a story of perseverance and the ability to put together a collection of stories that fit the landscape, without the excessive corporate influence or sensationalism that characterized nearly every other outlet in Boston.
Every newscast began the same way, with a short public-service announcement that reminded viewers, “It’s ten o’clock, do you know where your children are?” It tied together the Boston’s WB FamilyFirst initiative that included the occasional ratings-draw piece and various sponsorships. The newscast itself, however, harkened upon an era before helicopter parenting. While the cold open with a rundown of topics covered that evening was nothing out of the ordinary, the talent intros done in the actual intro sequence were unique. It really emphasized the faces that bring the news home, something that has become a bit of a lost art now that the faceless, team coverage strategy has replaced it.
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Continue reading ‘WLVI Week Part Three: “This is THE Ten O’Clock News on Boston’s WB”’
With the departures of both Frances Rivera and Matt Lorch from 7 News, a major hole is opened within the anchor teams. The question of who will replace the two has yet to be seen. The usual feeder station for WHDH, Miami’s WSVN, has been racked with departures as well, losing both weekend anchor Reed Cowan and reporter Vanessa Ruiz. Ruiz has taken a job with TV Marti but Cowan has been reportedly in line for an anchor position in a top-20 market. The obvious connections to be implied are quickly smashed, however, as Cowan has been reportedly seen in Los Angeles.
The question is now turned over to you, the btvn reader. Who do you think will replace Matt and Frances at 7 Bullfinch Place? There have been a few guesses ventured on our forums and in the commentary areas on the blog. Here is an area for ideas to develop and be expressed.
WBZ-TV, once known to all as Eyewitness News, dominated the ratings in the 1970s and battled it out with WCVB’s NewsCenter5 for most of the 1980s. However, a 1993 decision to drop the longstanding moniker began a path of over a decade of decline for channel 4. However, the real decline is rooted in a 1995 affiliation change.
Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the Fox network, realized that the only way that his network would grow would be through acquiring the rights to broadcasting sports. After being rebuffed by the NFL in 1987, he was successful in acquiring the rights to broadcast games from the NFL’s NFC division in 1994. As a result, New World Communications, the owner of several large-market stations (including Boston’s own TV38), orchestrated a deal to switch the affiliations of its stations (mostly CBS-affiliates) to Fox. This sent shockwaves throughout the industry, prompting shakeups in over thirty media markets.
This large shakeup was a defining moment for WBZ. Hit the jump to read about how these changes hit home and how channel 4 responded.
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Continue reading ‘Media Memories: “The Tradition Continues on WBZ News 4″’
The NEWSE7EN clue was no match for the Best and Brightest of btvn it seems. While many guesses in the right direction were made by iWatch, Erik Davis, and AJ Buruca, only Owen Two nailed it down to a specific newscast. Perhaps this clue will keep everyone guessing until the next edition of Media Memories is unleashed on Tuesday?
Screenshot from a promo for "Local10 News" featuring WHDH past and present: Matt Lorch and Laurie Jennings. Click to watch the video.
Since it’s debut in 1994, WHDH’s 7 News format has been mostly successful. However, a key piece of the formula is the “revolving door” effect when it comes to talent. As a result, 7 News alumni are scattered throughout the country. One such example is Miami’s WPLG, which also has been home to some current 7 News personalities.
The video today is from May 2005. WPLG, Miami’s channel 10, is a strong number two to WHDH-sister station WSVN. While WSVN is somewhat of a “farm system” for our adaptation of 7 News, WPLG also has a number of familiar faces. Current 7-anchor Matt Lorch was at ‘PLG for the better part of the naughties, and former-7 News morning anchor Laurie Jennings is a current anchor at the station.
Continue reading ‘Out of Context: WHDH Past and Present’
While the stations of the Boston media landscape have remained (mostly) constant for the past few years, there was a time of great change in the city.
The year is 1982. WCVB has been making waves with its NewsCenter5 format for four years after having been restarted in 1972 and rebranded in 1978. WBZ, then an NBC affiliate, was still a powerhouse but was quickly losing ground to channel 5. The smaller players, WLVI and WSBK, were still a few years away from their current iterations, and WXNE on channel 25 was a non-factor. This leaves WNAC, the old channel 7.
WNAC had been founded in 1948, two weeks after WBZ. Owned in conjunction with several other radio outlets under RKO General, WNAC had operated without issue until the end of the 1970s. At this point, the shady corporate dealings of its parent company caught the eye of the FCC when it came time to renew the broadcasting license. Due to a lengthy investigation by the federal government, the FCC decided to strip RKO General of all of their broadcast licenses. The winning applicant for the Boston license, New England Television, purchased the intellectual property and facilities from RKO in order to cut their losses. Hit the jump for a history of the new station’s first newscast.
Continue reading ‘Media Memories: “It’s a new day on Channel SE7EN”’
Media Memories is the second in a series of new segments from btvn. Media Memories are a look into the history of Boston television. Each Memory begins with a clue, which will be posted a few days prior to the actual editorial. Readers will have the opportunity to leave their guesses as to what the clue is in the comments section, and the winner will be announced in time for the next clue. Media Memories takes its roots from Curbside Classics over at TheTruthAboutCars.com, a truly interesting view into the world of the cars that prowl the streets of Eugene, Oregon. Although different in subject matter, the two segments both provide an opportunity to see into the products that shaped the course of history for their respective industries.
Welcome to the first of many Media Memories segments. Above the introduction, you may find the first clue. If you have any guesses as to which broadcast it may have come from, please leave them in the comments section. The winner will be mentioned in the next Media Memories Clue. Good luck!
Screenshot from WTVR-TV's 1992 ad entitled "Who is Mike Wankum?" Click the image to watch the Youtube video.
Out of Context is the first of many new segments to come out of the revamped btvn. Out of Context primarily involves familiar on-air talent shown in unfamiliar situations. Examples of such unfamiliar situations would be movie cameos, cable programs, non-news related advertisements, and in this case, vintage ads from former markets. Today’s Out of Context focuses on a 1992 advertisement from Virginia’s WTVR-TV that asked “Who is Mike Wankum?”
While most of you know Mike Wankum as the effervescent meteorologist over on Channel 5, many viewers remember Mike Wankum as the chief meteorologist at WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia.
Mike Wankum joined WTVR in 1990, where he served as the chief meteorologist until his departure for WLVI in 1993. During his tenure at WTVR, the station made a large expansion to their building that allowed the weather department to operate in one cohesive area. It was at this time that the station began to promote Wankum, airing various spots which include the video on which this article is based.
Continue reading ‘Out of Context: Who is Mike Wankum?’