Sunday, November 25, 2007

WOIO Channel 19 – How low can they go?

WOIO Channel 19 is the CBS affiliate for Cleveland. CBS strikes me as being a network that takes news seriously (the Walter Cronkite legacy, shows like 60 Minutes, and hiring Katie Couric to anchor their evening news). Could CBS be as ashamed of the tabloid journalism style of Channel 19 as I am? Many Cleveland area residents I know are also embarrassed at Channel 19’s sensationalistic news reporting. I sometimes interpret 19’s styles as clear dislike for the city and its residents, seeing that the station appears to go out of its way to make the city look as bad as possible.

I have no problem with any station reporting the news in a hard-hitting fashion. I do have a problem when the news story stoops to serve the lowest common denominator, or sensationalizes even the simplest stories. I'll give you some examples:

Watch their traffic reporter Rick Abell and you’ll see a true unprofessional. Almost every driver is an “idjit” in his eyes, regardless of the reason for the accident or traffic problem, sometimes before he knows if the accident victim is seriously or fatally injured. Their reports on restaurant inspection violations would be informative enough, without the shouting of “CLEAN UP” at the end of every story. Let’s not forget the constant over-promotion of Sharon Reed's "over-exposure" in her story called “Body of Evidence” where she posed nude, along with many others, for a nude photo shoot by Spencer Tunick in 2004. Also a topic of much discussion was Sharon Reed’s shameless sensationalism and self-promotion when she received a phone call from a friend of alleged killer, Bobby Cutts, Jr., providing some details, albeit sketchy, of the incident. I could go on, but you already get the idea.

Now, Channel 19 reached deep into their garbage bag of stories to bring Cleveland viewers “The Orgasm Diet” on the 11:00 PM news for Monday, November 26, 2007. Yes, I did say “The Orgasm Diet.” The promotions for this story are running at various daytime hours, insuring that someone’s kid is going to see it and probably ask some questions. Now really, is this a topic fit for a real news show? Maybe it’s something more appropriate for the Jerry Springer show, but not something I need to hear from the local news.

When I see the local news rankings in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Channel 19 appears to always been in or near the rating basement for almost every time slot. This should tell them that what they are doing is not working to gain viewers. It’s great to want to differentiate one’s newscast from the rest, but Channel 19 shouldn't dumb down the content in order to gain viewers. It’s great to want to expose problem issues and areas and bring them to the forefront, but do it in a way that reports the news impartially, factually, and without all the personal opinion or derogatory comment.

Am I going to watch “The Orgasm Diet?" No way. I’d rather not waste my time. But I will tell Channel 19 that if they ever want to be considered a credible source for news in the Cleveland area, they really should look at themselves first and “CLEAN UP!”

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74WIXYgrad said...

When I see the banter that goes on in the forums about the state of Cleveland television and especially 19 Action News, it makes me want to stay away from the television during news time unless there is a breaking national story.

I have seen countless stories on every TV outlet that makes me wonder why there isn't only 1/2 hour of local and 1/2 hour of national news, like it was 30 years ago.

For the record I get my news either from radio, newspapers, or the net. Very little comes from TV.

Carole Denious said...

When I began this note, I was amazed at the many people who have written about their dislike of Sharon Reed. How is it that she is able to disrespect the other anchor people like she does? Does she have senority and how did she get it? I really have never heard a reporter who was so insensitive to others and so fixed on herself . When I know she is on the news, I will turn to another station. I would appreciate a response to this is possible. Does Sharon Reed ever read these comments?

Anonymous said...

This had disturbed me for awhile, now. Sharon Reed is a lovely young woman and quite good at what she does--BUT--her manner of dressing sends a message I'm not sure she wants to convey. I've yet to see her without a low-cut neckline or ill-fitting clothes. Tonight, for example, her skirt was so tight that it had creases across the front and outlined her lower torso in an inappropriately suggestive way. I've never seen her in a properly fitting suit or clothing that would give her the visual credibility to support her views. Now, maybe this 'slightly frowzy' image is what she's after. If so, its a shame. She's pretty and smart--what a great combination! If she'd add to that some classic AND classy ensembles for 'on air' time, she'd be hard to beat! I don't mean to be overly critical, but she's selling herself short with the inelegant way she dresses. LRM

Anonymous said...

How about interrupting the NFL Divisional Playoff broadcast with a Special Alert that it snowed last night, and it's going to be cold on Thursday.

Thank God they got that word out! "If you're an elderly American, you will not survive this storm!"

Maybe they need to re-read The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

And just once, I'd like to see them interrupt the commercial instead of the programming! Like that would ever happen.

Thank god for TiVo and satellite broadcasting so we can switch to a differnt CBS broadcast.