wordpress visitor

Ch.2′s Debuts “Bizarro World” of News at 10

English: David Letterman hosting President Bar...

His Top 10 List Makes More Sense



Channel 2 anchor Melissa Holmes led off the No. 3 item on the list of the top 10 stories on the 10 p.m. newscast Monday on WNYO-TV by saying “it sounds crazy” that members of Congress can use insider information to purchase stocks.

It sounds no more crazy than having the supposed top story of the newscast run at 10:17 p.m., which is what Channel 2 did on Monday’s “10 at 10” newscast premiere.

That is the equivalent of a newspaper carrying the top story of the day on page A-10 rather than the front page.

I have admired many of the innovations of Channel 2 News in recent years, especially the copying of ESPN and providing a rundown of stories coming up on the right side of the screen.

But the idea of trying to add suspense to the news by pulling a page out of David Letterman’s “Late Show” book and going backward in numbering stories (10,9,8,7, 6, etc) before delivering the No. 1 item in the Top 10 just doesn’t make the same sense for a newscast as it does for a comedy show.

Holmes did an admirable job anchoring her first 10 p.m. newscast since coming over from Channel 4 dispute dealing with a format that seems to be borrowed from the bizarro world of “Seinfeld.”

By delaying the top story of the day after first 15 minutes of the newscast is measured by Nielsen, Channel 2 is asking a lot of the audience that votes on the top story via a social network. Unless, of course, its goal is to get viewers to start watching at 10:17.

The same voters of the top story could have switched over to Channel 4′s newscast on WNLO-TV before 10:17 to see the story selected – the firing of John Faso as the executive director of the SPCA of Niagara – carried several minutes earlier even though WIVB-TV only considered it the fifth most important story of the day.

In a sense, Channel 2 didn’t even consider the Faso story No.1 since it started its 10 p.m. news with the “breaking news” story that a second sexual complaint had been made against a local priest (who has been removed from his parish) a year before the first complaint and hadn’t been acted on.

(BREAKING NEWS THOUGHT: If a really big story occurs that requires team coverage and is voted No. 1, would Channel 2 really want to wait until 10:17 to run it?)

But I digress. If you’re scoring at home, Channel 4 carried the priest story third without the unnecessary “breaking news” tag. Its top story of the night was the latest chapter in the bizarre story involving the medical condition of several LeRoy High students, followed by a story about a Niagara Falls teacher pleading guilty to attempted rape. Channel 2 called the LeRoy story No. 7, which in Channel 2′s world meant it ran fourth. It didn’t carry the attempted rape story.

In the bizzaro world of Channel 2’s countdown, the first “non-breaking news” story it ran at 10 p.m. – labeled No. 10 — included video of a man accused of running down a sign at a North Tonawanda pizza place. That was the kind of story that used to run near the end of a newscast, say around 10:17 when Channel 2 ran its top story. Channel 4 missed the pizza story, even though it carried several more stories than Channel 2. (Of course, many of Channel 4’s extra stories deal with crime, which Channel 2 often tries to avoid.)

After the No. 10 story, Channel 2′s No.9 through No. 7 stories were the kind of local interest stories that normally would have run second through fourth anyway, making the countdown seem somewhat confusing since they were just numbered in a way that suggested they were less important than a later story (labeled No.4) about an automobile with an airbag problem.   

Call me crazy, but if I were running Channel 2, I’d immediately call an audible, stop this silly suspense and carry the No. 1 story first tonight and number the Top 10 in order of importance No. 2 through No. 10 until the No. 10 story ran last.

I don’t blame Channel 2 for trying to do something different at 10 p.m., since Channel 4 News dominates the head-the-head competition. But borrowing a page from “Seinfeld” isn’t the answer.

Speaking of delaying things and adding suspense, Channel 4 put out a release Friday noting that its new 10 p.m. anchor, Diana Fairbanks, would make her debut on Monday. But Don Postles and not Fairbanks anchored the newscast, which wasn’t in high definition as expected. The station now plans to have Fairbanks and the HD set make their debut on Wednesday, a day before the start of the February sweeps.


Enhanced by Zemanta
filed under: Uncategorized Tagged with:

3 responses to "Ch.2′s Debuts “Bizarro World” of News at 10"

  1. Joe says:

    10 at 10 is one of the dopier things I’ve seen and doing it backward from 10 to 1 is even dopier. It’s gimmicky and having the top story go last is just not very bright. Channel 2 has been more innovative (and better staffed) than the other 2 stations but this is NOT one of its better ideas.

  2. rob says:

    Some notes whilewondering what happend to Sherry Margolis:

    What drives me crazy with these newscasts is the constant “stringing along” with stories. Joe is right; this 10-1 thing kills the reason for 10pm news. People who go to bed early prefer the 10 so hit the top stories first otherwise it’s a waste of time. Channel 4 is brutal with this in the mornings as well. A story at 5am they give you a sampling then say to hear more on this stay tuned after 5:30. People are getting ready for school or work so why do that? Broadcast news is not evolving with the “instant news” times and their ratings will continue to hit a downward path if they keep using these poor business practices.

  3. Tina says:

    As much as I like Channel 2. especially Scott Levin,, I do like the no nonsense, straight forward news that Channel 4 offers. No red coats or investigative team that requires 2 or 3 reporters at a time. Keep it simple.

Leave a reply