Friday, August 12, 2016

Media Notes

A little yammering about the business as we head in to the weekend...

NBC's Olympic ratings are strong, but down a bit from recent games.  I wish I could give you a reason.  A lack of really compelling stories, viewers want live coverage rather than recorded, competition...  It could be a lot of things.

ESPN's John Saunders passed away the other day.  61.  I liked him because he, unlike most at ESPN, wasn't a clown.  On top of that, he managed to keep that Sunday morning windbag sports columnist show moving.  FOX wanted Saunders for its NFL show when James Brown jumped back to CBS, but Saunders chose to stay at ESPN.

I also have to note last week's passing of David Huddleston.  85.  Among many things, he was the elder of the unrelated Jeff Lebowskis in "The Big Lebowski."  I love that movie.

I actually watched the Kitten Summer Games on the Hallmark Channel.  Scoff if you must, but it was an entertaining 90 minutes.

One of the WVIA digital subchannels broadcast the Kennedy and Johnson "American Experience" shows again this week.  It was outstanding television.

Speaking of digital subchannels, I still get a kick hearing the old "Tonight" show theme and watching Johnny Carson walk out from behind the rainbow curtain on WNEP2.

FOX is broadcasting the final Alex Rodriguez game tonight, and that's not a bad idea.  I think Rich Eisen said it the other day, and it's how I feel...  I want so badly to like Alex Rodriguez, but it's just not happening.

In a broader sense, this can be media, because it did advertise...  Jet's Pizza in Dickson City closed last week.  It wasn't great pizza, but it was a good pie.  Fast service and the staff was very nice.  I hope they all find new jobs very soon.

This really deserves a blog entry on its own, and I'll do that one of these days...  but, once upon a time, in another place, I produced a morning newscast.  I'd write something funky, and the anchor, who I loved and respected, would print the script, walk over to my desk and ask "Would Cronkite say it that way?"  I admitted he wouldn't, and I'd modify the script to keep the anchor happy.  Anchors can be monsters.  This guy wasn't, but if an anchor doesn't like a script, he's not going to read it well.  Most of the times, you can compromise.  Bottom line, I watch a lot of news.  I see and hear so many things these days that would have Uncle Walter shaking his head.