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Flashes

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Of course, several of the contributors to the print site can actually compose sentences. The spelling and grammatical errors on the TV site provide appropriate ambiance. Some samples of commentary on Valley stations:

* KNXV Channel 15: "Upper management has managed to chase away almost every talented person. In three-plus years, the place has gone through no less than five news directors. The last one was so fed up he actually left the business. The new one is in the GM's back pocket.

"Sports is really big in Phoenix, but not at KNXV. They do 'sports in a minute' and have hired a former high school coach to do commentary twice a day, five times a week. Can you say boring?"

"The author of the previous article wasn't lying when he said KNXV was chasing away its best people. One need look no further than their investigative unit for proof. The award-winning reporter-producer team was one of the best in the nation and one of the big reasons KNXV was starting to make the top dog sweat. Then the brain trust in Cincinnati started tinkering and broke something that didn't need fixing."

* KTVK Channel 3: "The news director and news VP have been in Phoenix their whole careers, but that doesn't mean they're smalltown. Who else could take a station that had lost its ABC affiliation and make it the number one indy in the country? Creativity and determination drive these folks.

"You wanna talk money? Be an anchor or reporter. Our main anchor makes over $200,000 a year. If you have a pretty face, management will make you a star. . . .

"I mentioned before that anchors are the 'stars.' Prima donnas are more like it. There's no real reporting going into their work; it's all about face time. Our health reporter/anchor has earned the internal nickname 'beauty reporter' for the shallow stories she airs. Then you've got the fresh-faced college grads. It's unfathomable that these people, who have the least experience, are put on the number-one morning show in the state. The errors made daily are horrendous, the writing is atrocious. And neither the executive producer nor the news director seem to care."

* KPNX Channel 12: A consultant "told management, reporters and anchors have to hold something in their hands to make the story more important. Every reporter had a document in their stand up or set piece. Anchors were holding glasses of water or books on the set to get the idea across. We looked like idiots."

"Everyone in the market knows that the pay at KPNX is ridiculous. Pretty much across the board, the pay is terrible.

"Morale in the newsroom is mixed. Many staffers just keep plugging away at their jobs, doing the best work they can day in and day out. Others are depressed because they see what potential the station has.

"The reporters are frustrated because of the often-goofy stories they're forced to do. In a recent ratings period, one of our promoted pieces was how to select the right lipstick. In another book, we did a piece on what causes flatulence. (I'm not kidding.)

"If you can be satisfied with doing quality work for low pay for management that may or may not know you exist, then come join us."

A Channel 12 manager responds: "I'm the incredibly condescending and egotistical news director mentioned above. . . . To comfort the writer, I make an awful lot of mistakes. Bad ones. So have many, many other managers who, over the years, have worked at KPNX. Occasionally, things go so right that employees are pleased with our performance. Go figure. Human nature, perhaps? Maybe things may get even better? Stay tuned. . . ."

* KPHO Channel 5: "Compared to KPHO's days as an indy with Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy, it's doing better--oh, wait. Andy and Lucy are back, and a full 10 p.m. show is nowhere on the horizon. On our way to number one? In Mayberry, maybe, as long as Floyd leaves the barbershop TV set to Channel 5."

* KSAZ Channel 10: "The management staff is laughable, the assistant news director is queen of the obvious. A plane could crash, the U.S. could go to war, or President Clinton could be impeached, and she just stands shrieking in the newsroom, 'we need to go live,' or 'get it on now!' She used to be some PR shill, now she's just shrill."

Food for Thoughtlessness
"Can too much fast food be bad for you?" Unless the Flash's ears were deceived, that was the teaser line with which Channel 5's Roger Downey promoted a midday news broadcast last week.

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