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You need to get past the anchors' story-intro.
Well, how about this woman from her KXLY days?
How much of that do you want to see?
A) The amount Q6 had on at 5 today is about all I need. B) Is it essential to telling the story? C) The human body is nothing to be ashamed of. D) I'm still not over the KXLY woman mugging with Sarah Palin and posting a photo on her Facebook page. E) If jiggle news gets to be too much, the viewer is free to avert his or her eyes. F) Other.
Just a few minutes ago the smart, stylish Channel 4 producer/weather backup said two astonishing things on the air.
1. A cool day in June isn't the end of the world.
2. The possibility of a little rain should be taken in stride.
Or something to that effect. I was too stunned to be sure I was hearing correctly.
I thought Spokane TV news people had to sign an oath. You know, the one saying that they pledged to embrace the insanity that anything but 95 degrees and cloudless skies is cause for deep depression.
Bonus points if you can name the state where she won the "Miss (fill in the blank" Pageant."
If you heard someone refer to the Spokane TV news reporter who looks like a "crazy-eyed ex-wife," would you know who the speaker was talking about?
Are the former genuinely fired up about the big game or do they simply feel that they have to come off that way even though they might not actually give a flying rip?
Could at least some of them be, you know, acting?
You make the call.
Over the years, certain Spokane TV news folks have changed their hair styles so many times it is impossible to escape the conclusion that at least a few local salons owe their continued existence to these ladies.
Twenty-five percent of the women working in Spokane TV news are named Breanna (various spellings).
…who has been on the cover of People magazine and had a cameo in "The Larry Sanders Show."
An emailer wonders if the longtime KXLY weather personality has become a special-features reporter at Channel 4.
I don't know. I suggested that my correspondent contact the station and ask.
But perhaps someone reading this has the answer.
A channel-hopping Slice correspondent said he gets a kick out of it when at least two Spokane TV news shows have the same story and each claims it is an exclusive.
Interesting promo concept.
There is an excellent chance that your assumptions are wrong.
If you were the news director at a Spokane TV station, how would you cover wintry weather?
Name the winner of the Miss Alaska pageant who worked in Spokane TV news as a weather spokesmodel some 20-25 years ago.
Compare and contrast with this young woman employed in Spokane TV news.
Is it possible to visit another city and turn on the television without seeing someone who used to work in TV news in Spokane?
Readers sometimes ask me questions, instead of the other way around. Which is fine. Happy to help, when I can.
But one thing that comes up over and over leaves me shaking my head.
Readers want to know what happened to this or that Spokane TV news anchor, reporter or weather pointer after they seem to disappear without a trace.
I used to just forward these queries to Jim Kershner. But since he is no longer here, I have to come up with a new system.
Let's try this. I'll simply offer readers a multiple choice of possible answers.
A) Don't know. B) Don't care. C) Maybe he asked for more money. D) She got a job in a bigger market. E) I have never heard of the person to whom you are referring. F) He/she is just taking time off to allow the cosmetic surgery to heal. G) She got married and wants a different kind of life. H) It turned out that his commitment to our community was just a slogan. I) Wasn't cute enough and had trouble talking. J) Went into PR. K) Became a producer or got into sales. L) Decided to follow religious calling. M) Called longtime anchor "short stuff" in a meeting. N) Grew weary of the idea that people were just staring and not really listening to the breaking news about a garage fire. O) Married someone rich. P) He/she realized he/she wasn't really interested in the news and also hated doing featurey stuff. Q) Discovered that being recognized has a downside. R) Got tired of long-distance romance and moved to be with significant other. S) Other.
One of my longtime correspondents enjoys registering disdain after watching Spokane TV news broadcasts that, he says, consist mostly of the on-air people talking about how nice the weather was that day.
The problem with not watching local TV news is that you might miss something special.
I won't bore you with a detailed rehashing of the reasons for my casual boycott. After all, you might be one of those who is genuinely interested in how the anchors feel about the day's weather. But I am willing to admit that I sometimes fear I could be missing some good stuff.
Like the time a reporter covering a story that dealt with the owner of a local building supply store said the name of that place was "Ziggy's Yeah Ziggy's."
Or the time a neighbor asked to comment on an urban livestock issue appeared above a graphic reading "Lives near pig."
I could go on.
OK, sure. The SR certainly has had its share of goofball moments. We've addressed "pubic education," written about a recipe for "honey fried children" and so on.
But the thing about the newspaper is it's easy to turn the page.
As the T-shirt says.
I had challenged readers to come up with a drinking game based on watching Spokane TV news.
I'm not really encouraging people to mindlessly consume alcohol. I just wondered what readers might suggest.
And a friend, who noted that if this weather keeps up we're almost certain to have a white Christmas, had a few ideas.
He named names and all. But, even though this blog is pretty obscure, I have no wish to be considered a big meanie. So I've decided to leave out the names. Still, perhaps you will recognize a few of these broadcasters despite that.
Every time a certain gentleman says "weather-wise," you drink.
Every time a certain anchor smacks her lips, you drink.
Every time another anchor tacks on an unnecessary tone-restatement — "Tragic situation," "Thoughtful cab driver," et cetera — you drink.
And then there's one that would have every game player hammered in short order.
Every time someone says "Reporting live," you drink.
You almost have to feel sorry for Spokane's TV news operations.
We finally get the sort of weather they dream of overcovering.
And it's a Saturday.
But maybe they'll call in their A teams to help note that it snowed.
If the predicted snowfall materializes, we can assume it will be covered as if it is a nuclear plant meltdown.
I have a few theories.
1. People talk about the weather.
2. Snow is visual.
3. Snow gives news directors a chance to deploy people wearing spiffy station-logo jackets to various parts of town.
4. Video of cars fishtailing, sliding, et cetera is good TV.
5. News directors know the other stations are going to be all over it, so there's an arms-race mindset.
6. Chance to use/show off latest technology.
7. There is ample evidence suggesting that many people hereabouts do, in fact, regard a little snow as a natural disaster.
8. Spokane TV news directors know that people here love to sit at home and mutter "Man, I'm glad I'm not out in that."
9. It's fun to give transplanted Montanans and North Dakotans a reason to shake their heads and think, "Has no one here ever experienced winter before?"
10. Snow storms are an easy story to tell.
A guy who informally keeps track of the comings and goings of Spokane TV news reporters said he thinks 2011 might have been a record year when it comes to turnover. So he suggested that The Slice organize a betting pool on the longevity of those on-air folks still here.
No thanks. I'm not sure that would be legal.
Besides, it is not as if the newspaper has been a bastion of stability in recent years.
Readers of the print Slice may recall that a few months ago I declared an intention to discontinue watching Spokane TV news.
In a nutshell, I had grown weary of being told how I'm supposed to feel about the weather. I prefer to make up my own mind.
Well, I have to admit that I have been backsliding a little bit. In the last couple of weeks, I've felt free to watch a few minutes now and then.
And I have one question: Who are these people?
It seems like the actual reporting staffs have gone through a 90 percent turnover since I pulled the plug, so to speak.
I had heard that some regulars were gone. But I had no idea the shuffle had been this drastic.
Here's an actual question from a Slice reader.
"Who do you suppose is the most pissed-off person at KXLY right now?"
I don't know.
Several readers have asked how my self-imposed boycott of local TV news is going.
It's going fine. Now the only people I have to deal with who assume I share their insane view of what constitutes a nice day are those I encounter in person.
A few of my correspondents report that turnover at Spokane's TV news operations has been remarkable lately. I wouldn't know. But I hope the people who moved on are doing OK.