Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm Not Kidding...

The End

This is possibly the last newsmcnabb post. I’m hanging it up. I say “possibly the last post.” Something may be so juicy or troublesome that I could feel compelled to write, but I think four years of periodic posts is possibly enough.

At the outset, I wanted the blog to be more than a recitation of comings and goings. That can be accomplished in much the same manner as “Transactions” in the sports pages of the Austin American-Statesman. Comings and goings seem to be more and more frequent nowadays for a variety of reasons.

I wanted to go deeper, digging into all media in the market, and I think I did.

This doesn’t mean that there is no longer anything to write about. Just look at the almost daily “corrections” on Page 2 of the American-Statesman. Some of them are glaring. The most common and possibly the most heinous are misidentifications. Misidentifications can sometimes result in lawsuits!

I thought about writing something about the new owners of KEYE TV, and Sinclair’s history in politics. I decided to take a “wait and see” approach. If you are curious, just Google Sinclair Media.

New owners and TV news consultants are also an interesting subject. Many think what worked in another television market will work in Austin. It probably won’t. Austin is not a “cookie-cutter” market. Yet, these managers who “ain’t from around here” will keep trying until the audience/the ratings prove it to them.

Consultants would be more useful in coaching new staff members some of whom seem to be working their first TV jobs. Somebody needs to tell them to stop yelling at the audience; just talk. Be conversational. Your voice in your live shot should match your delivery in the voice track. It would be mean and possibly hurtful to be specific, so I didn’t write about that.

I could have written more about the online, hyper-local media such as CultureMapAustin, Austin Post, the Austinist, and several others. I’ve wondered if folks glean their news from these sites as much or more than so-called “main stream media.”

Taking stock, my 272 posts over four years is probably plenty.

When I started writing newsmcnabb, I felt like I was filling a void. There is still a void, but it is smaller. Gary Dinges of the Statesman, whom I’ve never met, is doing a good job of covering local broadcast media now. No, he’s not going to criticize his own newspaper, and he’s not going to take a point of view, but he is doing good reporting. It’s his full time job.

Writing newsmcnabb is not my full-time job. Right now, I’m more interested and even obsessed with the coming semester at St. Edward’s University. For the next nine months, my energy, creativity, and priority will be focused on preparing solid content for my students. It must be said, it is so very, very satisfying when those students succeed!

So, “newsmcnabb” will remain in cyberspace for archival purposes for a while, but it’s time to turn the page. Turn the page without even so much as creasing the corner.

One final and important thing: To those who followed or subscribed to my missives, thank you!

Wage peace.


© Jim McNabb, 2012


Keith Elkins said...

Jim, thanks for "shining a bright light" where there would otherwise be darkness. To quote another, "I (may) disapprove of what you say (occasionally), but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Which brings me to another point, which is accuracy. That quote is often incorrectly attributed to Voltaire but in fact was written by an English writer named Evelyn Beatrice Hall. Yes, content may be King - but accuracy is essential. God speed my friend.

Ted Burton said...

Jim -- I'll miss your commentary. You have been a part of my news media world since the 80's. First, I watched you on the news, then I was a student journalist at UT and you spoke to my class. Later, after I left the TV news biz, I had the pleasure of pestering you for coverage for my clients and enticing you to come speak to nonprofit communicators to help them understand how to get their issues covered.
I appreciate your perspective because I can almost always relate to it (does this mean we're both old?).
Thanks for being a teacher over the years -- you have helped groom a smarter, more curious generation of journalists. I am certain you will always be a teacher in some capacity.
While you may be signing off your blog, I can't imagine this is the last we'll hear from you. And for that, I'm thankful.
All the best.

David Harder said...

Hi Jim,
As an Austin TV news alum, who has moved far from the Texas Hill Country that I grew to know and deeply love, I have enjoyed the ability to have a connection to what was happening in the Austin market through your posts.

In college I had a professor who once said, after a particularly caustic review of a theatrical production, “Anyone can criticize, but to be a good critic you must have the desire to see the product improve.” Thanks for working to improve local TV news.

I hope your work as a chaplain to journalists is benefiting anyone who has been hurt by the biz, and/or those who simply need to know that God loves them regardless of the latest poorly-produced package, messed up live-shot or bad book.

Blessings to you,

Bob Buckalew said...


I can't tell you just how much I'm going to miss your wonderful media blog.

Always thoughtful, insightful and spot-on, you provided a valuable service that I imagine no one will be able to replace.

All the best to you, and let's trade our college lectures soon!

All the best,

Ray Niekamp said...

Sorry to hear you're hanging it up, Jim. I'll have to work a little harder now to get the backstory on what's happening in Austin TV.

Stephanie Elsea said...

I've so enjoyed your blog but understand your desire to put a period on it and move on. We'll always have Facebook...

Always all the best to you.