Thursday, March 22, 2007

So Long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, goodbye

This is officially my last post on this blogsite. As I stated before I tried to get issues resolved about signing on and never got a satisfactory answer so I began posting on my new blogsite where I've been trouble free and it even features the new beardless picture of me for anyone who might care. I will attempt to migrate my blog over by the end of next week and pull the plug here. As I mentioned before I hope those of you who check in on a regular basis will visit on occasion. It's .


Joe Larkins

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Okay, I Gave It My Best Shot and Now I've Moved

Patience is a virtue. Lord knows I need a virture. Whether patience is one I possess remains to be seen.
But I will let Job be known for his patience because mine is officially exhausted in dealing with just trying to sign on. So, for those of you trying to find out where I might be or care to keep up with my semi-regular rants and observations, you can find me at . I figure some of you might wander over to check me out. I hope to eventually have my old blog migrate to wordpress but I will give it a few weeks before I pull the plug.
Thanks for the support over the past 14-months. I managed 75, 500 hits. That just goes to show some people (including me) have way too much time onour hands.
Joe Larkins

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Okay, I'm Going to Try This One More Time.....

I'm currently testing out some other blogsites after repeatedly running into brick walls here in just trying to sign on. It's about as easy to sign on here as (a) NOT finding an overhyped story on the local TV newscast during a ratings period, (b) trying to find a Memphis area politician who is NOT in trouble with the law or making hay about those who are (c) finding someone who lives in Memphis who has not been a victim of crime or knows someone who was. Yes, it's that difficult. If you post a comment and it doesn't appear for a few days, it's because I can't even sign in to allow your comments to be shared.
So as I test out other sites, I hope to eventually post a link to a new blogsite on this site as my last effort.
Having said that, let me move on to other areas.
I know members of the local media are probably stepping back to take stock of themselves after the good mayor of this city accused them of being on a witch hunt of sorts. Talk about a comment that should be throwing gasoline on the proverbial fire. It's gotten ugly down at city hall and promises to get even uglier before all is said and done.
Congrats are in order to WREG for another win on the nightside. It's a slim win but hey, it's still a win. Take it as you get it. I will admit that even I'm disappointed in the Commercial Appeal on the latest numbers. They keep leaving out the information for the morning shows. Isn't that the new "primetime"? Once again, if anybody has any numbers, please share. At last book, WREG was ahead with WHBQ making some inroads. WMC still made a strong showing as well I'm sure.

And finally, did anyone happen to catch U-S Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis on the Comedy Channel's Colbert Report. It aired either Wednesday or Thursday night and I'm sure the video is floating around somewhere on the internet ( I couldn't find it on Colbert's website as of this posting). I have to hand it to Cohen who was described as a mad black woman, he held his own. I managed to interview Cohen several times while he was a state senator and he's a nice guy who lives in the same general neighborhood. I'm quite pleased to see that he did so well with Colbert who edits his interviews and can make the interviewee look like a doofus.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (You decide which is which)

I'm back in the saddle on Blogspot, having finally been able to sign back on.
What did I miss?
WREG promoted a piece with former news anchor Jerry Tate talking about the arrest of his police officer son. Did I see it? No. Did I want to? No. Was I surprised to see the subject matter at all? Yes and No. I was surprised to see Jerry Tate talking about something such as this that was so painful for his family. I know what his son went through caused Jerry great personal distress as he was always quite proud his sons. Perhaps WREG said they were going to do something on the case of his son one way or another and that Jerry could throw in his 2-cents worth, I don't know. Bottom line: it was a sweeps piece and easily promotable. I will say that Jerry looked good with the goatee.
I HAD planned to watch the Lesbian Gang story on WPTY. Not because of the content so much as the fact it was being promoted in commercial breaks on various cable shows. Then there's the name. It struck me as something akin to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I meant to TIVO the WPTY news to catch the report but got distracted.
I see that Peggy Phillip is leaving the land of the Big Orange (Tennessee) to work in the land of the Orange man. (Syracuse) Don't know when the move takes place or if she is already there. I know she grew up in South Dakota and spent some time in Boston so she is used to cold weather. Unlike Memphis, which practically shuts down if an inch of snow falls, Syracuse measures snow by the foot and yard. Ditch the lawnmower and buy a snowblower.
And speaking of weather, I was sent this tidbit by a friend who used to do weather. Apparently a weather guy was canned in Cincinnati and couldn't decide what to do with himself.
This guy, Rich Apuzzo, set up a weather operation and set at his home and every night at 7pm delivers a forecast. You can subscribe to it for just 30-bucks a month. You can also buy commercial time and web space for a modest fee as well. Yah, I can't wait to shell out 30-bucks to see something I would get free. Still, people laughed at Fred Smith and the Federal Express idea and Ted Turner and that CNN thing. We'll wait and see but I wouldn't hold my breath on this last venture.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I'm Really Close to Having to Change My Blogsite

Log-in issues have become a royal pain for me at this website and I'm really close to having change my blogsite so I can just access it. If I disappear for a while or you post a comment and it doesn't appear for a few days it's because of these log-in issues. If I can't get these resolved, I will be attempting to migrate to another website. I will attempt to post a forwarding site on this blog but don't know if I will have any luck. It's really annoying so far. I just wanted to make anyone who reads this blog aware of what's going on.
Joe Larkins

Friday, February 23, 2007

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I think it's safe to say that few people consider a trip to the dentist to be a fun thing. I don't think many would consider it to be in their top ten things to do.
So I went in for the six month check-up and had just settled into the chair for my cleaning. (An aside here. My dentist is a really cool guy and his staff is top-notch. They also have the little TVs positioned on the ceiling over the dentist chair so the patient can be distracted. The TVs usually run some tranquil setting such as ocean waves lapping against the shore or something else equally soothing.) Not this time. It was tuned to Fox News. (Not the local version, the cable channel.)
Now I will admit Fox News is not my source for news. I choose for myself what is "fair and balanced" and find that usually when someone uses that as a slogan, they aren't.
So there I am, sitting in a chair having my teeth scraped with a metal pick, watching a program I didn't want to see. Could it get worse? Yes. I had been in the chair for about two minutes when Fox returned to its coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith court case. I would have asked for nitrous oxide to knock me out or perhaps just had the dental hygienist to just shoot me
but the dental person had both her hands in my mouth and I couldn't speak if I wanted to.
Trust me, it was a long, long 40 minutes in that chair.
I think the really sad thing about the massive coverage of ANS and Britney Spears' meltdown is how so many people apparently would rather see how the mighty (and I use that term loosely) have fallen instead of stuff like what's going on around the world that will actually have an impact on them and their kids. Maybe it's an effort to escape from the reality that's facing us. I don't know but I find it rather reprehensible that one woman's claim to fame is basically based on two bags of a silicone type substance sewn into her body. Yah, she posed in Playboy, managed to make some wealthy old geezer very happy, and has a tragic life with the death of a son and now her own death. But to hear or see news programs refer to her as "America's Rose". Jeez. Give me a break. At least Marilyn Monroe made some decent movies after her Playboy gig. Yah, she played the blonde bimbo, but she was famous more for than just being famous.
And I think the whole Britney Spears thing reminds me that one should be careful of what they wish for as they just might get it. Her parents must have figured getting BS on the track of fame and fortune would be a gravy train and it has. But at what price? I actually feel sorry for BS. She has no tools for making adult decisions or being adult. She never got to be a normal kid and now it's caught up with her. Now the American public is constantly bombarded with this train wreck as it continues to play out and I wish it would all just go away. I don't there is not going to be a happy ending to this in any form or fashion. For now anyway, she has the money to help pay for her therapy. I hope the money lasts. Meanwhile, the media is waiting for the next celebrity meltdown. Why? It's like a fire. It's easy to cover, you don't need any special skills to cover it and it fills time on the tube.
And finally, I like clever writing in news. I find that on a regular basis when I watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann. I consider KO to be one of the sharpest, most well-read and "quick" on-air people gracing the Tube these days. He has clever writing and the viewer sometimes has to be on his toes to catch some of the references he makes. Just as clever are the "banners" displayed for the various stories covered in his newscast. The banner for the story concerning the fallout from the British departure from Basrah in the south of Iraq: Southern Discomfort. When the focus turned to British Prime Minister Tony Blair's announcement of the British troop withdrawal from Iraq: The Blair Ditch Project. Some writing experts will tell you to stay away from clever things. I say be clever, but don't go overboard.
Okay, my rant is done. I'll get off my soapbox.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Some On-Air Changes Taking Place at Your NewsChannel 3

I just read about some on-air changes taking place at NewsChannel 3. You know, the one owned by the NYTimes . Something about the traffic person quitting and an interim news director making some changes. Oh wait, what's this. Oh, it's the NYTimes station in Norfolk, VA! I'm sorry. I hope no one minded that I hyped a non-local, non-story here on my blog. After all, it is February and I'm just trying to drive up my hits on this website.
Seriously, the article from specifically mentioned a change ordered by the interim news director at WTKR. Nancy Nydam who has some big market experience (not sure in what capacity and am too lazy right now to look it up) replaces ND Jeff Parsons who left to work on internet broadcasting in Minnesota. Anyway, Ms. Nydam's first order of business: She axes the awkward sounding "Live in the (community) mobile news room and replaces it with just "Live".
I don't know if they still do that silliness here in the Memphis market. I bet when the former ND at WREG implemented catch phrases such as "mobile news room" and "breaking news center" and "flying mobile breaking news center" (okay, I made that last one up) that consultants were giggling and buying each other drinks over the fact that they had helped change the face of news. Those catch phrases rolled off the tongue like peanut butter. Anyway, it's nice to see that someone saw the light and put a stop to the nonsense. I guess the really funny part is that five or ten or twenty years down the road, news people will look back and admit it was a silly notion. They will have finally caught on to what the rest of us already think about those catch phrases.