Friday, August 31, 2007

Short Weekend Wrap

OMW will not be updated between now and Labor Day, as barbecue sauce doesn't mix well with keyboards.

But coming early next week, we'll have an exclusive (as far as we know) Q&A with a former local TV news anchor who's working on a very interesting new project...

WOW! PIGS DO INDEED FLY!: It's not often that the other local media outlets praise Raycom Media's WOIO/19 and the Cleveland CBS affiliate's "19 Action News", but it's happened today.

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett has good words for the folks at Reserve Square, lauding their "Take Back Our Streets" special - which aired on the station in prime time on Tuesday night. She called the show 19's "finest hour":

The program was incredibly respectable, especially for Channel 19, which has a reputation for tabloid, in-your-face reporting.

It's great to see the station produce a quality town hall meeting and see that (anchor Sharon) Reed does her best work clothed.

Gee, and we thought we made a lot of snarky comments about the "19 Action News" anchor best known for her controversial disrobing in the station's "Body of Art" series! Brett opened the column by noting that most people probably think about "her birthday suit" when they hear Ms. Reed's name.

Though we didn't see the show, it sounds like a genuinely laudable effort. We'd probably have nixed, for example, activist and overexposed media personality Art McKoy from the guest list - he's got 50,000 watts to use every Sunday night via his show on Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100, for one.

But overall, maybe it's a dialogue and a start to help curb problems on the streets in the city of Cleveland. Yes, we'll write positively about WOIO as well. Where are those airborne porcines, anyway?

And though Ms. Reed has earned much of the derision she gets in the local media community - we can't even remotely post half of what we hear about her - she gets a gold star for this one.

We know that if it's what she sets out to do, Sharon Reed can be a good journalist. OK, give or take a "call to my personal cell phone" producing a breathless report clearly designed to showcase her dramatic talents to stations in Houston and other cities.

We recall her work on Cleveland Browns pre-season games, back before WOIO lost those rights. Once she concentrated on interviewing players, instead of flirting with them, she actually did a decent job.

Maybe she's figured that if she wants to get hired at stations that don't have a tabloid reputation, like her current employer, she actually has to build some credibility...

TERRY'S HERE! TERRY'S HERE!: We're quite frankly surprised that the Cleveland Plain Dealer hasn't put up a LeBron James-style giant billboard to trumpet the arrival of incoming sports columnist Terry Pluto from the Akron Beacon Journal.

Terry's now made the move up to Cleveland, and held an online chat earlier today with his-to-become new reader base, many of which have read his column in the Beacon already.

The newspaper has been running a countdown ("Two days!") to Pluto's first PD column, which will be in Sunday's paper.

With the shrinking base of newspaper readers in an area with a shrinking population base, it's become clear that "stars" are needed. Pluto gave the ABJ a profile much larger than its local base in Akron and nearby areas.

People READ sports columnists here in Northeast Ohio. We're passionate about our local teams, as bad as they are sometimes, and even when they're bad, we need someone to help us get through it without screaming.

We suspect Pluto's a bit embarrassed by the full court press of attention lavished upon him by the PD, but...columnists are stars for the paper. And the Cleveland paper just landed a big one...

1 comment:

David said...

Many athletes still compete long past their primes, and unfortunately, the same can be said for many sportswriters.

Reading Pluto circa 2007 reminds me of the painful sight of Willie Mays stumbling around the Mets outfield. So long as the PD can keep fooling people that Pluto is still Willie Mays circa 1954, people will still read him. A real good guy, I like him personally. But as a writer, he should stick to his faith columns, which I think are excellent. But as a sports columnist, he lost it a long time ago.

The PD's bluster about Pluto is far more sizzle than steak, but hey, Northeast Ohio newspapers and their readers have never been too discriminating.