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Ed Rabel -- arrogant? or bitter?
Posted - 3/28/2013 7:22:02 PM | show profile | flag this post
Memo to Ed: It's not a good thing to make generalizations, especially when you are basing your conclusions on the Huntington market.
The country is large and there are still some stations in it doing quality journalism -- and we're not all young and/or pretty.
The truth is that journalism has changed. We are doing more with less and we have tools at our disposal that you could not have dreamed of in your heyday. Don't be one of those old, bitter guys always pining for the "good old days". Go to youtube. Watch a newscast from the 80's (maybe one on which you appeared). It wasn't as good as you think.
Posted - 3/28/2013 10:52:00 PM | show profile | flag this post
Ed Rabel--Pretty Accurate
Especially in that "stepping on toes" riff. Fear of pissing off sponsors is a very real problem in the biz today, and I'll bet that every day in this "large country" stories are being spiked (or never get out of the morning meeting) because somebody in a suit doesn't want to take a chance rubbing a sponsor the wrong way.
Now, if you're the guy with the scoop...if you're the guy (or gal) who went out and turned over rocks until you found something that nobody else had, and then you got shot down because the GM wants to make sure he hits his quarterly revenue target so as to stay on track for his six figure, year end bonus....if that's you who had your enterprise story blown up in the name of not offending an advertiser....then I say you have every right to be bitter.
Posted - 3/29/2013 12:32:52 AM | show profile | flag this post
I agree with almost everything he said.
|EDitor in NJ||
Posted - 3/29/2013 7:05:27 PM | show profile | flag this post
the late Bob Teague agrees with Rabel
(Bob Teague who died the other day at age 84 was one of the first African-American reporters to break the color line at NBC and then for years at WNBC-TV wrote a critical book about local news...and they actually kept him on. Here's a couple of paragraphs from his obit in the New York Daily News)
In his 1982 book “Live and Off Color,” he mixed appalling and amusing behind-the-scenes anecdotes with his broader concern that TV news was selling entertainment rather than delivering information.
His narrative in the book, much of it personal, portrayed television journalism slowly and not always successfully being wrenched from the hands of a small group of white men less concerned with the truth than with an environment in which to efficiently sell orange juice.
Women at times were openly told they needed to sleep their way to promotions, while the obsession with appearance extended to Roseanne Scamardella’s teeth. When she was in line for a promotion, Teague reported, NBC wanted to pay to have her teeth capped.
(I think he meant WABC-Tv about Roseanne)
The book blasted “empty suits” in management who are driven by ratings “to sacrifice solid news reports for pieces of entertaining fluff, and to misuse our technology for meaningless live coverage of nonevents.”
Noting his background as a print reporter with the Milwaukee Journal and New York Times, Teague wrote that “television news, as it is today, is a sort of schizophrenic prostitute – not the honest kind of whore I can respect. Enormous swatches of television news are dumb, irrelevant, tasteless, and insulting to you as a viewer, to me as a reporter.”
He continued working in broadcast news for almost a decade after the book’s publication, but later said his disillusionment had not faded.
Posted - 3/29/2013 9:03:38 PM | show profile | flag this post
Bitter? I don't think so...
Rabel has had a pretty good career and retired on his own terms. That hardly sounds like someone who is bitter. I think it is more of someone who worked in TV during the Golden Years when there was a lot more substance in reporting. Of course, that was back in the day of a 6 and 11 o'clock news instead of round the clock feeding the beast. That along with lower ratings and less revenue have taken their toll. But all his points are sadly true.
Posted - 3/30/2013 9:45:16 PM | show profile | flag this post
"with appearance extended to Roseanne Scamardella’s teeth. When she was in line for a promotion, Teague reported, NBC wanted to pay to have her teeth capped."
Amazing, yet Darlene Rodriquez's teeth remain the same since first day at NBC, as they whistle along with just about every word she speaks.
Posted - 4/1/2013 1:44:39 PM | show profile | email poster | flag this post
Mr. Rabel made some very good points and I agree with many of his assessments. However, I think there’s a large issue at work and it’s one that there’ll never be a total consensus on. That is one of bad taste.
The so-called ‘...pretty nonothing young things...’ beats the drum of what we’ve heard for years of ‘younger/cheaper.’ While absolutely true, it is also about taste. Twenty or so years ago, a twenty something anchor moving from backwater USA to a top ten market was noteworthy in the trades. Today, it happens all the time. Stations have farmed out their talent scouting to a few talent agencies, hit or miss, looking for the ‘next great thing.’ Wonderful glamour (touched up) glossy photos are great for a visual media. But, they don’t necessarily mean the talent will look that good five days a week in all their outfits, or that they are personable, talented, funny, entertaining and even warm and sincere. They MAY be...again they might NOT be. Taste is like comedy, totally subjective. Some of us remember the humor of Johnny Carson, late night TV today has been reduced to screaming like a maniac, puppets and ‘pull my finger.’
In a pluralistic way of thinking, the younger crowd of today does bring many benefits to a medium in need of help. Many of my younger colleagues bring out of the box thinking and a special energy to the job. Not as afraid to experiment as maybe my coworkers of more like age. While some are the epitome of the ‘trophy child’ image, thanks to social media the whole world can now learn it’s ‘all about them,’ others are more understated as their parents maybe taught them about respect. It’s not that this younger crowd doesn’t, won’t or can’t contribute to local TV it’s that many are being pushed way too far, way too fast. Whatever talents they bring to the table today, will only be better when they can add the perspective of some maturity. Having kids in the school system, caring for aging parents, property taxes and zoning will no longer be abstract and distant issues you cover, it will be more close to home.
|EDitor in NJ||
Posted - 4/1/2013 6:17:25 PM | show profile | email poster | flag this post
Laura V & Darlene
I think you're being a little hard on Darlene Rodriguez.
She brings some unmatched assets to WNBC-TV's early morning shows.
Posted - 4/1/2013 10:24:53 PM | show profile | flag this post
Just curious as to what those "unmatched assets" are. Wondering if those assets were in included in a special report she did on NYC life a few years ago (when Rob Morrison was her co-anchor) and basically her two morning special report consisted of her interviewing her mother about the lemonade stand she used to have in front of their apt and just a bunch of stock clips of NYC landmarks?
Posted - 4/2/2013 10:45:43 AM | show profile | flag this post
Good post and good points. My counter to your final point:
"Having kids in the school system, caring for aging parents, property taxes and zoning will no longer be abstract and distant issues you cover, it will be more close to home."
would be to point out that by the time these young people are old enough to have kids in the school system, etc. they'll have too much experience and will be too expensive for our biz and will be on to their next careers.