Thursday, July 28, 2011

KVUE TV's Olga Campos Leave TV

Anchor change: Olga Campos leaving KVUE and TV news


NewsMcNabb is now posting to CultureMapAustin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Pundits Slept Through Civics Class. New Post at URL:

(Bloomberg's Jonathan Alter (above) got it right.

NewsMcNabb posts at Culture Map Austin.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Not Your Father's News

You're Not Watching the News

Furthermore, the 6 O'clock news is really the 5:59 p.m. news, and it ends at 6:27.

A new content analysis by newsmcnabb:

Newsmcnabb is now posting to CultureMap Austin.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Subtle Changes for Sweeps

Subtle Changes for Summer Sweeps

Sharp-eye, savvy viewers already notice the changes at KXAN TV (NBC).

Just in time for the relatively unimportant July “sweeps”, KXAN trotted out a new look—new graphics for everything—from the weather, to the background on the set, to the front of the set, to the “supers” or identifiers on the screen, to the sports.

[“Supers” are the old-school term for the identifiers that viewers see over someone speaking during a story. The words were literally superimposed. Two pictures, one with the person talking, and another with the letters on a card, were mixed for a moment. A little TV trivia.]

Anyway, back to KXAN’s new graphics: It’s a clean, uncluttered look. It’s an attempt to repackage their news product.

And, oh, there is one other significant change in the KXAN identity. No longer do reporters say, “Live from wherever, Tina Great-Tan, for KXAN Austin News.” Now, they simply say, “…Tina Great-Tan, KXAN News.” Why is that significant? While KEYE TV (CBS) uses the phrase, “We are Austin”, KXAN wanted viewers to hear that KXAN New IS Austin news. It was the battle for the best slogans.

Personally, I always thought that it was silly saying, “In Georgetown, I’m Tina Great-Tan for KXAN AUSTIN News.” Or my all-time favorite: “In the studio, Tina Great-Tan for KXAN Austin News. It’s TV. Viewers can see where you are, especially if you were just talking to the anchors.

The theme music seems to be the same as it was before. It’s important to keep some things constant. Otherwise, viewers wonder what’s going on behind the scenes.

What’s going on behind the scenes is this: KVUE TV (ABC) remains the dominate station for news in the Austin market. KXAN had chipped into KVUE’s weekday morning ratings for a while, but KVUE won them back, even though KXAN got the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters’ award for best morning news team. Now, both stations are starting their day at 4:30 a.m., pushed back from 5 p.m.

Noteworthy too in the morning TV wars, KEYE-TV (CBS) pulled the plug on their radio-on-TV morning experiment. They’re back with a two person morning team promising to be “different from anything else” on the air in the mornings. KEYE hopes to pull itself out of last place. It’s going to be tough.

In the all-important May ratings, KVUE won almost every hour of the broadcast day.

There was one glimmer of glory, tinged with a bit of irony. KXAN News was #1 at 6 and 10 p.m. on Saturday nights. The irony is that those newscasts are anchored by David Scott. Scott was the weekday 6 and 10 anchor in the 1990s when KXAN News was “perennial number three” in the words of former Austin American-Statesman TV writer Diane Holloway.

We’ll see if the repackaging changes anything.

© Jim McNabb, 2011

You May Have Noticed ...


NewsMcNabb is now posting to CultureMap Austin.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


One Question Unanswered About the Longhorn Network

The Longhorn Network powered by ESPN will launch August 26, 2011, but where will you see it?

UT announced Thursday, July 07, 2011 that the Longhorn Network’s studios will be in the University Park development, 3300 N. I-35. The network disclosed some 50 employees are hired to run the 24/7 network, but how can you see it in Austin?

Three “nationally known” personalities will be the faces of the Longhorn Network, Lowell Galindo now of ESPNU, Westlake High graduate Kevin Dunn of ESPN Radio, and Samantha Steele of Fox Sports, but where can you find them on the dial, assuming your TV still has a dial, which it probably doesn’t.

Announced yesterday, the UT vs. Rice and one Big 12 game will be telecast exclusively on the Longhorn Network, but what will it take to watch them.

Will they be on a tier with Fox Southwest or will they be pay-per-view? Pay-per-view would be wrong in this writer’s opinion.

The big question goes unanswered. Will you find the Longhorn Network on Time Warner Cable, Grande, or AT&T U-verse or where? What about Dish or Direct TV. Silence.

Posed the above question, “Negotiations are ongoing,” said Kari Potts of ESPN. “Active discussions are ongoing,” said Nick Voinis, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications at The University of Texas.

Asked whether there is a timetable for an announcement, ESPN’s Potts was silent. She again referred me to her earlier statement using the word “ongoing”, but promised to add me to the media list, as did Melanie Sorola, Time Warner Cable Texas Region Communications Director.

Sorola’s full statement was a little more enlightening, if one reads between the lines: “Time Warner Cable continues to have ongoing discussions with ESPN about the Longhorn Network. We have been and remain proud of our long term relationship with the University of Texas,” Sorola said. The second sentence could be seen as one expressing assurance that viewers will be satisfied.

“It’s too early [to announce any agreement for telecasting],” Voinis said.

It appears that all concerned made a pact to say the word “ongoing” when referring to negotiations and nothing more.

So, for now, viewers must go to where it tells you to “Request the Longhorn Network today.”

I would expect that Austin, the center of the Longhorn nation, will be able to see the Longhorn Network. I fear that it will be found where viewers will have to pay more for the privilege. Everyone concerned in these “ongoing negotiations” is interested in making more money.

© Jim McNabb, 2011