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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

If Beverly Hills Fire Happened Today?

A posting on my previous blog, about how Beverly Hills fire covereage in 1977 changed the TV news ratings landscape, pointed out that the live, mobile "instant cams" were brand new technology back then.

So that got me thinking: What would the coverage of a Beverly Hills fire be like today, with current technology?

--Live, national coverage on cable news channels picking up the live TV pictures from local stations?

--Would some of the victims trapped into the showroom have had time to call their loved ones on their cell phones and say goodbye, as some of the World Trade Center victims did on 9/11?

--Would we see cameraphone video of Walter Bailey interrupting the comedians on stage, and asking patrons to calmly leave the building?

--How else could cell phones/camera phones changed covering a huge tradegy, in which 165 people die?


at 5/27/2007 6:41 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think we would also see live unedited video streaming on the internet as well

at 5/27/2007 9:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, we would see 20 seconds of video from somewhere played for hours with the words "breaking news" flashed long after the incident was over.

The most sordid and sensational bits of video would be highlighted, at the expense of meaningful reporting which would have been done in the past.

And very few people would learn, so the same thing could be expected to happen again. But media profits would be good because of no shortage if these stories, and the places hosting these events would prosper as they ignored the lessons, and expenses of prevention.

at 5/28/2007 7:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Going to see John Davidson at a supper club? More likely today "iPodding Maroon 5" while eating takeout and watching a lame reality show on an oversized HD screen ("Dang! You can see every hair in his armpit!")
Technology isn't the only thing that has changed over all those years. Coupled with eroding public taste, the idea of a crooner in front of some middle-aged, middle-class, coat-and-tie polite patrons is a total anachronism. To capture that scene on your camera phone, you'd have to take a ride in the Wayback Machine.

at 5/29/2007 10:51 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember how I got the news. We sitting in our car installing a new CB radio. We first heard the reports on the emergency channel. Soon all the channels were taken for the emergency. It was a very sad day. Let's hope we never see it again!

at 5/29/2007 1:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

ANON 9:21 hit it on the head.

There would be a short video loop repeated over and over. And, along with the "breaking news" logo, the locals would be scrolling emergency numbers and conducting interviews with people who are NOT at the scene and know nothing more than they are seeing on TV.

The local "inexperienced" reporters would be asking some hard hitting questions like "What's it like in there" and "Could you smell smoke"

Channel 5 would try a chopper shot, but you wouldn't see anything for the smoke, plus the chopper would have to keep a distance since it's in the flight path at CVG.

Channel 9's weatherman will tell us about the time he went there to see Frank Sinatra.

And Channel 19 would actually just tease the story at the top of the news, open with the weather, and give us breaking news and developing stories on 2 over the rhine shootings, 3 fender benders, plus deliver a 4 minute "package" on American Idol, before going to the Beverly Hills fire at 10:09.

Channel 12 would be giving away 4 VIP tickets to Riverbend, if you call up the Morning Show the next day and answer the question "Who were the last 5 acts to play Beverly Hills"

at 5/29/2007 7:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

what'd y'all think about Julie O'Neill anchoring with Carol Williams on Memorial Day?

How does it compare to Sandra & Sheree anchoring together over on TV5?

at 5/30/2007 10:05 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think TV5 needs to make a new commercial, similar to "Derek Said It Would!" only it should be "Kiese blog Said They Would".

Didn't this blog and its bloggers extensively point out how bad a move it was to pull Derek from the morning show? The team was just starting to gel, so 5 fires its "undisputed severe weather leader," breaks up the morning team to move the "popular" weather man to nights, and the ratings go bust across the board. Not that it's the only factor - but you-know-who will get the blame when the contract expires!!!

Hey, Cincinnati! You know where to go for falling ratings.
(sing along) "Kiese Blog Said They Would" Drop Like Thiiiiis. (cue NBC chimes, end scene)

at 6/10/2007 1:08 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

test test test

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