Saturday, October 29, 2011

CBS News, KCBS Radio legend Don Mozley dies

Don Mozley
Longtime KCBS Radio and CBS News reporter Don Mozley died Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 90. He passed away at London’s Heathrow Airport on the way home from a solo trip to Europe.

Mozley enjoyed a broadcasting career spanning more than six decades. As KCBS reported on Friday, Mosley was the first reporter to break the news of Japan’s unconditional surrender in 1945. He covered the atomic bomb tests at Bikini in the Marshall Islands, and traveled on the presidential campaigns of Sen. Robert A. Taft, Richard M. Nixon and General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

He also was KCBS Radio's news director for 15 years and served as an anchor and reporter. In recent years, he covered the auto industry and did test drives of new cars for his long running "California Driver" features.

He knew how to be funny, even under the stress of something like the 1981 San Francisco Financial District gas leak evacuation, recounting his descent from KCBS studios, which were then on the 32nd floor of Embarcadero Center.

“As we progressed, the Embarcadero Center loudspeakers offered conflicting advice,” Mozley reported. “First they shouted 'use the stairway.' Well, we were already on the stairway. But as the steps became more and more jammed with newcomers at every floor, the loudspeaker yelled ‘use the elevators.’ Fat chance, all the doors in the corridor were locked.”

Of course, there was more to Mozley’s story. He was within an arm’s reach of 75-year-old U.S. Sen. S.I. Hayakawa during the incident.

“I’m sitting right here and thinking of how I almost asked an elderly U.S. senator to carry me the rest of the way,” Mozley said in his report. “This is Don Mozley, looking across the street at my office.” (Photo taken from the Broadcast Legends website.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wake for the San Mateo Times still on


The wake for the San Mateo Times is still taking place on Tuesday (Nov. 1) even though BANG has changed its mind and will continue to use the “Times” nameplate. Back in August, BANG said it was dropping the Times flag and the paper’s subscribers and single-copy buyers would get the San Jose Mercury News starting Nov. 2. The wake is planned from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Murf’s Broadway Cocktail Lounge, 700 Winslow at Marshall, Redwood City. About 40 Times people are expected. Above is a photo of the former home of the Times, which was demolished in September.

KRON plans to move out of 1001 Van Ness

KRON's home at 1001 Van Ness Ave.
KRON 4 owner Young Broadcasting wants to sell its longtime home at 1001 Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco and move to a smaller but more modern facility elsewhere in the Bay Area.

General Manager Brian Greif said the 90,000-square-foot building has much more space than the station needs.

“While we love the Van Ness building and the location, the space required for a state-of-the-art digital television station is a fraction of what we have here,” said Greif. “Relocating to a smaller facility will enable us to build a new platform to effectively serve our viewing audience within the San Francisco DMA with the best of today’s and tomorrow’s digital TV advances.”

Greif said the process to sell the building and find a new home will take about a year.

The story was first reported by media blogger Rich Lieberman, who attributed it to a "well placed station source," and was later confirmed on the record by the SF Business Times and Broadcasting & Cable among others.

The Van Ness building was designed by Gardner Daily, who also was the architect for the Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets in San Francisco. Back then, the Chron and KRON had the same owners.

It was completed in 1967. Young Broadcasting bought the four-story structure in 2000 for $8.4 million, or $185 a square foot, the Business Times reported.

KTVU responds to helicopter noise complaints

In response to complaints from Berkeley residents about noise from news helicopters, KTVU news director Ed Chapuis said his station’s aims not to fly below 1,000 feet, and much of the noise people are hearing could be from police helicopters, which fly lower.

Chapuis, in a Q&A with the Berkeleyside.com news website, also said people may be noticing helicopters now because of the Occupy Oakland demonstrations.

We recognize that noise is an issue and we try to get in and out as quickly as possible. But sometimes the event we are covering is protracted, like a riot or march, and that requires us to stay up longer,” Chapuis said. “The police helicopters are usually lower than ours so they many be making more of the noise. We do try to mitigate noise though. I get a handful of calls about noise [when our helicopter is up] and I always talk to the caller.”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tribune to retain Oakland in its name -- number of BANG newsroom layoffs reduced

The Bay Area News Group is reversing course and will retain the names Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and other newspaper titles it uses in the East Bay. BANG also reduced the number of newsroom employees it will fire from 48 to 25.

Also, the San Mateo County Times will retain its name. The earlier plan was to distribute newspapers with the San Jose Mercury News flag to Times subscribers and single-copy buyers.

BANG President Mac Tully held a news conference yesterday to announce the changes to the company's original plan. According to Bay City News:
    ... [T]he Tribune also will open two new community media labs in Oakland, which are part of the news group's plan to emphasize social media and community participation that's focused on local news. 
    One of the community media centers will be located in the Tribune's newsroom when the paper moves back to downtown Oakland. The paper had always been located downtown since it was founded in 1874 but in 2007 it moved about five miles away to Oakport Street, near the Oakland Coliseum and the Oakland airport. 
    The other community media lab will be a satellite office. 
    Oakland Tribune Editor Martin Reynolds said, "Today is a very good day for Oakland. So much of the news about the newspaper industry is about its demise but today we're looking at building something." 
    Reynolds said the media labs are part of a plan to have "an open newsroom" in which community members contribute items to the newspaper and its website. 
    Reynolds also said he's "excited" that the paper will be moving back downtown sometime early next year, although the site hasn't yet been determined. 
    He said newspaper officials considered moving back into the Tribune Tower at 13th and Franklin streets, a landmark building that opened in 1924, but its now in foreclosure proceedings so moving back isn't feasible. 
    Reynolds said, "The staff never wanted to leave downtown and the community took exception to our move and thought we had somehow abandoned the scene even though that wasn't true. Now we'll be back where we want to be." 
    Tully said moving the Tribune back downtown "is part of re-engaging the community and inviting them in and this building (on Oakport Street) is not conducive to that."
The changes are set to go into effect on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Local reporters barred from Obama event

Local reporters will not be allowed inside San Francisco’s Hotel W today to cover President Obama’s appearance before hundreds of donors, the Chronicle reported this morning. Instead, coverage will be limited to White House pool reporters, who will feed reports to the rest of the media.

The Chronicle, which had previously been allowed to cover Obama’s events in San Francisco, contacted former White House press aides who called the move a mistake.
    Nicolle Wallace, a former press secretary to Republican President George W. Bush, called the ban "idiotic ... inexplicable on the politics side, let alone the press side." 
    "For a Democrat to go to San Francisco and not invite the local press is like George W. Bush going to Crawford, Texas" and doing the same, she said. "This is a place where people want to be reminded about what they love about the guy." 
    Chris Lehane, a former spokesman for Democratic President Bill Clinton, was also baffled by the move, saying they always had local pools. 
    "It's not only the right thing to do in terms of respecting the Fourth Estate, but it typically translates into better press coverage," he said. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that access results in the occupying of more real estate in the newspaper and on television."
    Ken Lisaius, who oversaw local White House press coverage as a former deputy director of the office of media affairs in the Bush administration, said he "simply can't recall a time where we didn't provide for a local pool. It's part of a transparent and identifiable government.”
The Chronicle this morning also had a scathing editorial that began, “The Obama White House's restrictions on media access to its fundraising events makes a mockery of its claim to be the most transparent administration in history.”

SPJ honors College of San Mateo's student paper for coverage of San Bruno pipeline explosion

The staff of College of San Mateo’s campus newspaper and website, The San Matean, has been honored with an Excellence in Journalism Award for print and video coverage of last fall’s San Bruno Pipeline Fire.

The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, announced the honors Tuesday for CSM amid an array of journalism professionals cited in their Excellence in Journalism awards program.

The professionals were awarded for work in 38 categories, including Journalist of the Year, Distinguished Service Award, Breaking News, Commentary, Community Journalism, Investigative reporting and Photojournalism.

The CSM Journalism students were honored in the Student Project category for stories and video covering the San Bruno tragedy in fall 2010. The coverage included a special section in The San Matean and video coverage shot and edited by students, then posted to YouTube with links on the newspaper’s website.

“This multimedia package, produced in the midst of a difficult-to-report disaster, demonstrates tenacity, accuracy and fairness,” the SPJ judges wrote about The San Matean’s entries. “The photographs and video captured the impact of the moment, and the reporting was thorough and highly detailed.”

Competition in the Student Project category is open to two-year and four-year colleges.

The students who produced the coverage were Margaret Baum, Alex Farr, Raymond Cheung, Mario Ayala, Tyler Huffman, Sylvia Vasquez, Jeffery Gonzalez, Bruno Manrique, Jason Pun, Roger Boucher, Khiry Crawford, Petero Qauqau and Shine Gao.

Baum, then Executive Editor for The San Matean, is a Journalism major at San Jose State University and an editor for the campus newspaper, The Spartan Daily. She was first to handle coverage of the fire.

Student Video Editor Mario Ayala directed video coverage of the fire.

“Shooting the return of the San Bruno residents to ground zero just one day after the fire and explosion was a mixed feeling,” said Ayala, who was selected this month for a $3,000 broadcasting scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

BANG's top financial executive quits, offers some suggestions and criticisms as he goes

DeBalko
BANG’s chief revenue officer, Jeff DeBalko, has quit four months after taking the job, and he’s posted to his personal blog some pointed observations about the company as it struggles to go from print to digital.

A couple of highlights:

• “You can’t transform a company if you don’t leave your office. You shouldn’t have to introduce yourself at all-employee meetings.”

• “When you make decisions, make them fast, like in hours not days, weeks or months. Eliminate forms, and processes, and approvals and procedures. How much time do you spend talking to yourselves instead of customers?”

• “My 71-year-old mother called me a while back and told me that she was calling to cancel her local paper (one of ours). When I asked why, she said, ‘They keep raising the rates on me. I don’t care about the money so much but there is nothing in the paper any more about my local community. They used to write about people I know, places I know, and businesses nearby. Now there is none of that.’ Nothing speaks louder to the failure of local media than a long, slow disconnect from the communities they serve.”

DeBalko was president of Reed Business Information’s Business Media Division before arriving at BANG.

Bay Citizen's well-paid CEO quits

Frazier
After 21 months as the chief executive officer of The Bay Citizen news site, Lisa Frazier is stepping down from the $400,000-a-year job for what she said were personal reasons. Last month the news site lost its editor, Jonathan Weber, to Reuters.

“I set out to transform an idea into a reality and to build the foundation for that reality to continue,” Frazier said in a story posted on The Bay Citizen's website Friday afternoon. “I’ve created jobs in a field of journalism that is disappearing, in a recession, but to do so in a way that has a sustainable infrastructure.”

Frazier, who will remain on the board, launched The Bay Citizen with founder Warren Hellman. She was instrumental in raising $17.5 million in funding for The Bay Citizen since the idea was born in 2009.

“She really, to a substantial extent, was the founder of this organization,” said Hellman was quoted by The Bay Citizen as saying. “My druthers would be that she stay here forever.” (Photo credit: James Irwin, from The Bay Citizen website.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

A few chuckles at the Press Club's boot camp


Kit Dicioccio, left, and Jack Heffernon, of Serra High School in San Mateo, discuss some of the more humorous experiences they have had on their school's newspaper. Below, Alexis Stewart of Jefferson High School in Daly City talks about how she and her fellow staffers are working to improve their newspaper. They were part of a panel discussion of student journalists yesterday, hosted by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. The discussion was at the conclusion of an annual boot camp to hone the skills of more than 200 high school journalists held at the College of San Mateo. Photos by Dave Price.

MNG revising Bay Area consolidation plan

Paton
John Paton, the new CEO of MediaNews Group, has asked executives at the company’s Bay Area newspapers take another look at their consolidation plan, which were announced in August before he came on board, the Chronicle reported this morning.

The plan calls for consolidating 11 local newspapers into two regional newspapers, “The Tribune,” which would include the Oakland Tribune, and “The Times,” which would include the Contra Costa Times. The changes, which would include dropping the San Mateo County Times masthead all together and delivering the Mercury News to its subscribers, are due to go into effect on Nov. 1.

Dropping the name Oakland from the masthead has angered many in that city, who consider it yet another sight to their oft-maligned city, the Chronicle noted.

Mac Tully, head of MediaNews Group’s Bay Area operations, told the Chronicle that it is too early for him to make any announcements.

“We’re not making any announcements at this time, and things are still in flux. It’s not at a point where I can state with any precision what’s going to happen,” Tully said.

However, Tully said layoffs are still going to take place. The plan calls for 120 of the chain’s 1,500 Bay Area employees to lose their jobs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

KRON, KPIX news editor Alex Johnson dies

Alex Jonsson, an Emmy and Peabody award-winning news editor who worked at KRON and KPIX, has died of cancer. He was 70.

Born in Los Angeles, Jonsson moved to San Mateo in 1955 and graduated from San Mateo High and Cal State Hayward.

He worked as a news editor for KRON from 1967 to his retirement in 2005, then continued to work at KPIX until January of this year. During his career he won six local Emmy awards, one national Emmy and two Peabody awards.

He was shop steward and chairman/trustee of the health and welfare plan for the Local 45 Union. He died Oct. 9 at his home in Redwood City.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Virginia; his sons, Charlie (Tiffany) and Tom; two grandchildren; and his brother, Stanley (Yvette), and his children.

Jonsson wished to be cremated and have no funeral. There will be a celebration of his life after the holidays in 2012. Donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society in his memory.

KTVU using 'over the top' technology to deliver programming via Internet

TVNewsCheck.com reports that KTVU is among the stations that are quietly experimenting with technology that can deliver programming to Internet-connected TVs and conventional TVs linked to the Net through Blu-ray players and other set-top boxes.
The technology is called “over the top” or OTT. KTVU's OTT service is still in a soft-launch phase, running only on Vizio sets, News Director Ed Chapuis said. After some fine-tuning, he said, it will be launched later this year on more sets and promoted with a heavy campaign. To make money, he said, he plans on running 10-second spots in front of video clips.

Longtime KFTY manager changes careers

John Burgess, the longtime general manager of KFTY TV-50 in Santa Rosa, is leaving broadcasting to become a partner in launching Money Matters Sonoma County, a hyper-local business and investments website, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. He was news director and then station manager at KFTY, which on Oct. 1 became an affiliate of Azteca America under new ownership. Burgess said his toughest day at the station was on Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, when he carried out instructions by then-owner Clear Channel Communications to shut down the news department and fire the 13-person News 50 team.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Swanson out at KGO-KSFO as Cumulus takes over

Swanson
Jack Swanson, longtime executive at KGO-AM and KSFO, is leaving the stations which recently changed hands from Citadel to Cumulus. He said in an email to his staff that he and wife Melanie Morgan will be “going to a very small island very far away to recharge, and think and reinvent.” He emphasized that he is not retiring.

“This has been a tremendous run,” Swanson said in the email.  “Cumulus is inheriting the greatest staff in the radio industry. To a person, they are all rock stars.”

"I will be popping up somewhere soon,” he said in the email with the subject line "Farewell.”

He has been with KGO for 28 years, rising to operations manager and has a string of 120 No. 1 rating books for KGO, an eye-popper for his resume.

Also leaving is Ken Berry, program director at KSFO since 2009. Berry was news director at KGO in the 1980s and 90s. Radio Ink says that in addition to Swanson and Berry, six other people were let go.

Swanson was the right-hand man of Mickey Luckoff, who headed the stations for decades and left last year in a noisy spat with Citadel management.

“He will be sorely missed,” said KSFO fill-in host David Gold in a post on his blog. “It is so sad to witness radio consolidation result in diminished radio. Sad day.”

Media blogger Rich Lieberman is predicting that management will cancel KGO's "Afternoon News," though he cites no source for that information.

Last week, longtime KABC/KLOS Los Angeles president and gm Bob Moore was let go by Cumulus, fueling talk of a bloodbath at the former Citadel stations.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feds target medical marijuana advertising

In the Obama administration’s amped up war on medical marijuana in California, federal prosecutors are preparing to target newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets that carry marijuana ads, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch.

Medical marijuana ads are a major source of advertising for alt-weeklies such as the Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, East Bay Express and San Jose's Metro.

"I'm not just seeing print advertising," U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in an interview with California Watch and KQED. "I'm actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It's gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we're sending to our children – it's against the law."

She said her effort will start with warning letters to the media outlets. She said the government has the power to seize property or prosecute in civil or criminal court.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

An opportunity for students to visit newsrooms

The California College Media Association is offering students an opportunity this fall to visit professional newsrooms. Students will be a part of the audience for the “7Live” news show on ABC and then stay for a Q&A or visit the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s free and here’s a link to register. The California College Media Association is a statewide organization that works to stimulate communication, organization and leadership among California media students and advisers at community colleges and universities in California.

Friday, October 14, 2011

October 2011 Press Club board minutes

Oct. 12, 2011 — San Mateo Daily Journal offices

Present: Darryl Compton, Jon Mays, Kristy Blackburn, Melissa McRobbie, Micki Carter, Antonia Ehlers, Laura Dudnick, Peter Cleaveland. Absent: Marshall Wilson, Ed Remitz

The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m. by Melissa.

MINUTES: The July minutes were approved as submitted.

FINANCIALS: Darryl reported no changes from last month.

BOOT CAMP: Marshall procured R.B. Brenner, a former Washington Post editor and a current teacher at Stanford's Graduate School of Journalism, as the keynote speaker after Jim Wagstaffe could not do it. Kristy and Antonia have 10-12 students from seven schools who will serve on a panel in the closing session. The panel will focus on finding stories and putting new twists on old favorites.

Micki provided the list of speakers and topics for the middle two sessions, and the board then tweaked them to the following:


Session 2

    1. Multimedia photo/video (Paul Sakuma and friends) 
    2. Page design (Micki Carter) 
    3. PhotoShopping for print (Erik Oeverndiek) 
    4. Sportswriting (Nathan Mollat) 
    5. Interviewing techniques (Marshall Wilson) 
    6. Accuracy in Reporting and Quoting (Joe Wirt, CNPA) 
    7. Social media reporting (Camden Swita and David Carini of Patch) 
    8. Online media (Laura Dudnick and Vanessa Castenada of Patch) 
    9. Critiques (Melissa, Antonia, Kristy, Jon (?), Dave and Marshall)


Session 3

    1. Sports/news photography (Paul Sakuma and friends) 
    2. Television news (NBC Bay Area's Garvin Thomas) 
    3. Transition to college media (Ed Remitz) 
    4. Online media (Laura Dudnick and Vanessa Castenada of Patch) 
    5. Critiques (Melissa, Micki, Laura, Vanessa, Jon) 
    6. Headline writing (Dave Price) 
    7. Careers in media (Antonia Ehlers) 
    8. Social media reporting (Camden Swita and David Carini of Patch) 
    9. Advisers' gathering (Kristy Blackburn)
Micki reported that she had about 175 students registered from 15 schools. She will ask Ed Remitz for nine classrooms for the break-out sessions. Darryl will do the program, and Micki will update the High School Journalism Competition flyer for the program.

The board also reviewed its decision to open the competition to any school participating in the Boot Camp. It was clarified that any Peninsula school could participate, as in the past, even if it couldn’t send someone to the Boot Camp.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: The party will be in the Janet Parker Beck Press Room at the Hall of Justice from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 14.

SAN MATEO TIMES WAKE: Micki announced that a “wake” is planned from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at Murf’s Broadway Cocktail Lounge, 700 Winslow at Marshall, Redwood City, to honor the discontinuance of the nameplate and the destruction of the Amphlett Boulevard building of the old San Mateo Times. About 40 Times people are expected.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Micki Carter, Secretary

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Half Moon Bay Review publisher to retire

Debra Hershon
Half Moon Bay Review Publisher Debra Hershon told her staff on Monday she will retire at the end of the year after leading the weekly paper for 15 years.

A report on the Review’s website said she began her career at the Review when she was hired as an advertising representative in 1991. She became publisher in 1996.

The Review has won numerous awards and, in 2006, it was named the best small weekly newspaper in the country by the Inland Press Foundation. The newspaper is owned by Wick Communications, publisher of 31 community newspapers across the country. (Photo credit: Charles Russo of the Review)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Columnist: Steve Jobs didn't like the press

In all of the glowing tributes to Steve Jobs, what has been missed is his antagonistic and often angry attitude toward the press.

LA Times columnist James Rainey points out that Apple was a company that “shut down a youthful fanboy blogger, punished a publisher [who] dared to print an authorized Jobs biography and repeatedly ran afoul of the most basic tenants of a free press.”

And veteran Silicon Valley journalist Dan Gillmor told Rainey that Apple did a good job of manipulating journalists.

"Not only did [Apple] introduce actually innovative products but it had the uncanny ability to get normally skeptical journalists to sit up and beg like a bunch of pet beagles,” Gillmor said.

Rainey writes:
    One of the ironies of the digital communications age is that some of the greatest revolutionaries for transparency and human connectedness prefer to apply those principles to everyone else. (Google and Facebook are among the other tech giants that have made the Pentagon look pliant in comparison.) …
Rainey recalled how in 2006 Apple convinced Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg to force small-fry bloggers to reveal their sources about upcoming Apple products, a case that raised questions about whether new media were entitled to the same First Amendment protections as traditional media. An appeal’s court reversed Kleinberg and preserved reporters’ independence.

The column also mentions how Apple got cops to search the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen for a prototype iPhone that had been lost at a bar in Redwood City by an Apple employee.

Rainey concludes, “Steve Jobs appreciated many things, big and small. But a vigorous, unbridled media was not one of them.”

Veteran political reporter Rollin Post dead at 81

Rollin Post
Rollin Post, a political reporter for KPIX, KQED and KRON who covered nine presidential campaigns and 18 national political conventions, died Monday at his home in Corte Madera. He was 81.

His family said the cause of death was complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

The LA Times said of his 40-year career: “In an era of fluffy news and blow-dried personalities, Post remained a throwback to the era of his broadcast hero, Edward R. Murrow. He was not always perfectly coiffed or properly pressed, but he had a deep knowledge of politics, a love and respect of history and an impressive roster of contacts from the local precinct to national campaign levels.”

The Marin IJ obit notes that Post played himself in Robert Redford’s 1972 film “The Candidate.”

The Times said Post played an integral role in helping his friend and broadcast partner Belva Davis blaze a pioneering path as the first black woman hired to appear on the airwaves in California.

Fall tune-up for journalists offered

The Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers is putting on a training seminar Oct. 15 in San Francisco with topics such as "Geek Basics," Final Cut Pro, telling stories with sound and the business of freelancing. It’s an opportunity for freelancers and staffers to develop new skills. They’re offering 16 different workshops during five sessions. Here is a link.





Admission is free to members of NABET, the Guild, the Guild’s new freelancers unit and students at SF City College's journalism department, where the event is being held. Others pay $20 with advance sign-up by e-mail or $25 at the door. Financial assistance available.



If you think you'll probably come, please RSVP to lock in the lower rate and help organizers plan for box lunches and appropriate room sizes. Just send your name and contact info to register@mediaworkers.org.

SPJ blasts BART police for detaining journalists

The Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Chapter has sent the following letter to BART's board of directors:
    Dear Directors: The Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee condemns the wrongful treatment of journalists by BART police during the Sept. 8, 2011, protest at Powell Station. 
    The Committee requests acknowledgment of BART police’s error, assurances that such actions will never be taken again, and new training for officers to ensure that their interactions with the press remain appropriate and lawful. 
    The actions of BART police on Sept. 8 are both serious and numerous and should be addressed by the Board. Most disturbing are the allegations of David Morse, a veteran Indybay.org reporter who goes by the nom de plume “Dave Id.” Mr. Morse alleges that as he was newsgathering, BART Deputy Police Chief Dan Hartwig singled him out for immediate arrest by pointing in his direction and saying, “him.” 
    Mr. Morse was the first of several people to be arrested in such a manner that night. He believes that he was singled out because of numerous articles critical of BART police that he has published since the Jan. 1, 2009, killing of Oscar Grant. 
    Mr. Morse has reported that Deputy Chief Hartwig knows that he is a journalist, and he also notes that upon being isolated from the main group of detainees he was asked by another officer whether he was “Dave Id.” If Mr. Morse is correct that he was targeted for arrest based on articles critical of BART police, such action would constitute a grave violation of the First Amendment. 
    Additionally, BART police unnecessarily detained reporters regardless of whether they displayed police or non-police press credentials. In certain cases, BART police refused to release journalists even after being informed that they were present to document the protest on behalf of media outlets. For example, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vivian Ho was placed in handcuffs after officers were made aware that she was present at the demonstration solely in her capacity as a journalist. 
    After roughly 30 minutes, BART police made the decision to release journalists who possessed San Francisco Police Department credentials. However, these journalists were not allowed to remain on the scene. And, in a highly unusual move, BART police directed SFPD officers to confiscate these journalists’ credentials, an unnecessary and seemingly punitive action that SFPD media relations director Troy Dangerfield later described as an error that violated SFPD protocol.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

KRON wants tighter stories but not so tight clothes

Dayra Folsom
Dayra Folsom
A couple of interesting notes about KRON from media blogger Rich Lieberman, who seems to have a lot of sources at Channel 4.

First, he says management has told producers and reporters that their stories have “too many details.” Apparently management wants shorter, tighter stories.

Second, he says management has shown no interest in keeping morning anchor Dayra Folsom when her contract ends at the end of the year. Lieberman says Dayra has “suddenly” started acting nice around the station. But she’s also taking pictures of female talent who wear low cut and tight outfits. People don’t know why she’s taking these pictures, but Lieberman says Darya has been told to stop dressing in such attire. Maybe the pictures are evidence for a lawsuit when she’s dumped from Channel 4?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

KFTY 50 flips to Spanish language programming

Stan Atkinson
KFTY-TV 50 in Santa Rosa — the channel that gave broadcasters Jon Miller and Stan Atkinson their start — flipped yesterday to Spanish-language programming.

In 1972, a former KNBC executive, Kit Spier, put the station on the air from a studio that had been a former postal distribution center at Fifth and Davis in Santa Rosa. The station was undercapitalized and left the year a year later. (This op-ed from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat gives the early history of KFTY.)

Jon Miller
Newspaper publisher Wishard Brown, who sold the Marin Independent Journal to Gannett in 1980, put TV50 back on the air in 1981.

Nine years later, Brown sold KFTY for $2.25 million Gary Heck of Korbel Champagne Cellars. Heck sold it to the Ackerley Group in 1996 for $7.8 million.

The station had a series of owners including Clear Channel Communications, which abruptly shut down KFTY's newsroom on Jan. 26, 2007, and laid off 13 employees, as it was trying to reduce the station's expenses in preparation for a sale to Newport Television a few months later.

In 2011, KFTY, which is carried on local cable systems in the Bay Area and DirecTV, found a new audience by airing shows such as “Star Trek,” “Lost in Space,” “I Love Lucy,” “MASH,” “Mary Tyler Moore” and “Gunsmoke” as an affiliate of MeTV.

But in July, Newport sold KFTY to Una Vez Mas for $5.2 million. Una Vez Mas, the largest affiliate group of Azteca America, owns stations in Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, Tucson, Atlanta, Tampa and Washington, D.C.

MeTV announced on its website that it is seeking a new affiliate in the Bay Area.

(Photo credit: Screen grabs from this YouTube video of a 1972 video of a KFTY newscast.)