KEYE TV May Have a Winner!!!
Perhaps I should drink more coffee. I am not a morning person. I don’t talk in the mornings, and I generally don’t want people talking to me.
That said, the new KEYE TV (CBS) morning show featuring JB & Sandy et al of Mix 94.7 FM with Kelly Sifka back at the TV station handling weather and traffic just might work. Monday, (October 5, 2009) was the first morning. JB & Sandy (J.B. Hager and Sandy McIlree) didn’t make a big deal out of it. They just did their thing. They made it look easy doing radio on TV. Besides, they wouldn’t want to give up their radio identity for their new TV friends.
The discussion was topical: David Letter reactions, the Austin City Limits Festival, and audience involvement with nominations for the worst intersections in Austin. It moved. All five people involved in the on-the-air performance participated. Their observations were fun, but not over-the-top. It looked easy. Can they keep up this level of energy and creativity five a week, month after month.
Let me tell you, it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I know there was much planning and extensive rehearsals to make this thing work. Think about it. The radio station still had to play its own commercials that would not air on the TV station. (I really don’t know what was going on during the TV breaks. I TiVoed the KEYE broadcast as I’m not normally available at 6 a.m. See the first paragraph.) Back at KEYE, it was clear that they knew what content would be covered during the hour-long broadcast (6 a.m. to 7 a.m.) They had video and graphics to fit the topics.
Much of the video was looped, however. I don’t like that, but they did have matching video and not just merely a group of people sitting around in a studio. The use of graphics was clean. Sifka got a minute and a half for weather and traffic.
My only major criticism is that two of the TV breaks were really, really, really long, probably to cover whatever the radio station was doing in the mean time. The first break didn’t hit until nine minutes into the show. After weather and traffic there was a four-minute-:30-second break—4:30!!! That 4:30 contained multiple commercials and promotional spots, making it seem even longer. The break at the bottom of the hour was shorter, only four minutes. Yaaaahhh! Normally, breaks that long would create a punch-out opportunity, but this a morning show. People were coming and going all of the time anyway. During the break, the commuters can get in their cars and continue listening.
The other concern is this: What happens if there is major spot news in the morning. What about a bad ice storm bringing the city to a sliding halt or a flood washing cars down creeks? Those things have happened in the morning, both KEYE and Mix 94.7 would have to cope. “We both have contingency plans in place for when there is breaking news and/or life threatening news,” said Amy Villarreal, KEYE president and general manager.
You gotta hand it to Amy. She keeps throwing ideas against the wall, hoping something will stick. This new morning show just might stick.
© Jim McNabb, 2009