Wednesday, October 01, 2008

KTAL News Director Gone

This from a tipster Tuesday: Paul Bergen announced his resignation from KTAL at the 630pm meeting today - citing his head was not in the game and he wants to be with his family.

Most of the crew were surprised, but not totally taken off-guard after recent rumours began circling about it.

Of course, this leaves KTAL still in a flux - after not completely getting everything together after the previous news director was fired.

60 Comments:

At 9:05 AM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He did run some good folks off while he was there. He made Andy Pontz look like a Greek God as far as news judgement. Happy trails Paul.

 
At 9:44 AM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: who good did Mr.Bergen run off? He's only been there since the end of March. If I may recount the talent that has left since he has been there. In no particular order: Paula Van Drisse, Rustin Duke, Joe Arena, Tiffany Wong, Lane Luckie, Maria Vallejo...well that covers talent and the good ones in that bunch were Rustin and Tiffany who moved on to better markets....which is what good talent usually does when it's time. Oh, Lane Luckie, but whose to say Bergen ran him away, you can't blame him for that situation. If you are referring to Alexis Wiley she left a week before he even started and with her went the troubleshooters. Let's be honest Paula needed to go and so did Maria. This is the business people come and they go...you can't blame that on him.

 
At 2:50 PM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the corporate vice president for news paid a visit to the station last week and chewed out both the general manager and news director for forcing out their latest hire...Lane Luckie. That was more the doing of the GM than news director, although the news director could have spoken up on Luckie's behalf but remained silent. However, the best thing that could have happened at KTAL was to have the general manager fall the nearest rock and crawl under it where he belongs. Bergen is a much better news director than Scott Thomas is a general manager. If KTAL gets rid of him, then maybe that would improve morale and performance. Maybe Bergen is just getting out because he can't stand working for someone like Thomas.

 
At 2:58 PM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will never be any stability in the KTAL newsroom until the general manager allows the news director to run the news operation. Thomas is a micro-managing idiot who knows nothing about news, or anything else for that matter.

 
At 3:23 PM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nexstar should fire Scott Thomas and that would take care of most of their problems.

 
At 4:26 PM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at the station for five years and without a doubt Scott Thomas will run it into the ground. He would always venture into the newsroom for morning meeting and put in his "two cents"....which collectively would amount to nothing! I didn't work with Bergen so I'll save my harsh words for Pontz. This guy was clueless. The last good ND channel 6 had was Sean Kennedy. Sadly, everyone who worked with him has since departed to bigger and better things.

 
At 9:55 PM, October 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep,it's easy to talk trash about Andy Pontz since he was one of the nicest men in the biz. Paul Bergan wasn't nice or in tune with the news biz. Scott Thomas is the WORST person I have ever met and treats people like trash.

 
At 10:44 AM, October 02, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy Pontz was a great guy... and a nice and effective news director. His only flaw was not being a yes-man to the GM.

Andy was fair, had good news judgement, lots of experience, and was a hard worker. The biz just changed around him, becoming more corporate, and that was ultimately his downfall.

At least once a day, I would hear someone in the newsroom say, "I wish we had Andy back..."

And there you have it.

 
At 8:58 AM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is Paul Bergen going? Is he staying with Nexstar? Scott Thomas should go to Mars and never come back! His awful management is destroying the news department over there.

 
At 10:23 AM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL has always had problems. From WHECO days to Nexstar days. When Nexstar bought KTAL from WHECO...it bought a real "fixer-upper" and spent a lot trying to get the place to modern specs and resembling a station. And given the corporate culture of local TV in this market, it's no wonder why people leave, not just this station but others in S'port-Bossier as well. Honestly...can anyone here say with a straight face that S'port-Bossier stations are good places to work? Everyone I know roll their eyes when asked that question. Unless you're one of two anchors in this market, you're not making any real scratch and you'd be better off selling real estate. Seriously!

 
At 10:51 AM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no reason why TV in any market can't be good. Nexstar is just another greedy company that doesn't care about product or people. So not only do the people that work there suffer, the people at home suffer. I wish the city would get with the cable people and direct TV and get them turned off until they can at least get good enough to give the news too me. i have to sit through all the FAKE acting weather crap from morning to night, then A fake anchor crew at night. Not to mention, stumble, no tape, so supers, IT's TERRIBLE. The graphics at outdated, the look is 70s.
BOOOOO KTAL! YOU ARE A JOKE TO THE CITY

 
At 12:09 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, you are the joke with this rant. Greedy, really? announcements regarding employee layoffs are occuring on a weekly basis, something Nexstar has not had to do. Why, because they have operated financially sensible stations, there is no excess to lop off. So continue with the nonsense that people at KTAl are suffering. It is an insult to people who have actually lost their jobs. Grow up.

 
At 1:15 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who do work at KTAL DO suffer. They live in fear they're going to be fired; they have to tolerate harrassment and mistreatment if they want to hold on to their jobs. Nexstar may operate financially stable stations, but they also mistreat their employees terribly. It is NOT a good place to work. The general manager is a micro-manager, an ego-maniac, and a JERK.

 
At 1:41 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why he's called: "Screamin' Scotty!"

 
At 2:29 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nexstar isn't lying off people? DO YOUR HOMEWORK ASSHOLE!!! They have been combining positions and not paying overtime for over a year. They drag there heels on hiring so the other people have to carry the load on a cheaper wage. I wish KTAL would shut down, before the cockroaches carry it off.

 
At 2:56 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wish the cockroaches would carry Screamin' Scotty off. How did he EVER become GM. He obviously has no leadership or management skills. He is destroying that station with his heavyhanded management style. And... of course, he's a total idiot! Tiffany Wong, Lane Lucky, Andy Pontz, Scott Kennedy, and now Paul Bergen... they're all the lucky ones for escaping from Scotty.

 
At 3:31 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First...Good Luck to Paul.

Second...I have never heard from a more pathetic group in my life when I read all of these comments. It is likely some of work at KTAL. If you do, you are likely the problem just as much as Scott may be. It is likely one or two of you worked there at one time. If that is you, it is time to move on and stop focusing on the past. If you can't get a job, there may be a reason...you might be the problem.

Do I work at KTAL or have I worked there before? Not going to say. Do I work in the TV business in Shreveport? Yes.

KTAL is like any other stations. There are issues. There could be issues with management...could be issues with Nexstar. KSLA has issues...with management and with Raycom. The same holds true with KTBS.

For all of you who want to be negative all the time...GET A LIFE! Here is a guy that has decided to leave the business for some type of family reason and all you can do is blame management and talk about how bad KTAL may be.

Here is one positive thing to take from reading most of these comments...My life is good and not so sad that all I can do is gripe.

 
At 4:32 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANKS PAUL!! Stop thanking yourself, and you go get a life. Paul you SUCK at your job

 
At 5:26 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true company man! Probably Paul Bergen! Loyal to the end.

 
At 5:45 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"THANKS PAUL!! Stop thanking yourself, and you go get a life. Paul you SUCK at your job."

"Spoken like a true company man! Probably Paul Bergen! Loyal to the end."


No, I don't think so. Not a company man...not Paul...not Screamin' Scott. I still have a job and don't plan on leaving it any time soon. And while I may have issues with where I work, I am not going to blame it on everyone else like some of you need to do. I can only imagine that you wake up each morning, look in the mirror, and start blaming all your problems on Nexstar, Paul, or Scott. If that makes you feel better, go ahead. How Sad.

 
At 7:15 PM, October 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh actually...5:45 PM, October 03, 2008 Anonymous...KTAL really does suck, and if you've spent any time in this market you know that's true. So climb off your "get a life" horse and go back to being a happy, satisfied TeeVee employee.

Cuz ya know what? Nexstar isn't so great and they have had a reputation of hiring cost-managers ( i.e. Bates who has left a scorched path at every place he's ever worked)...and the guy in place has said openly in meetings that he's capable of "going Postal" on his employees.

 
At 8:30 AM, October 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, 7:15PM, October 3rd...I have worked in this market, still work in this market and have worked at KTAL. I know it isn't perfect and far from being perfect. Which station in this market is perfect?

I am just sick and tired of everyone bashing someone and hiding behind "anonymous." Am I doing anything different? No, but I am not sitting here bashing an individual by name.

We could all use our real names, but who would really do that? I didn't think so.

It just seems so sad and pathetic that some at KTAL sit and wait for the latest piece of crappy news at the station to come out and then jump right onto to this blog to tell the world. It seems like it only takes minutes for that to happen. They are either putting it up themselves are calling former employees. If that is what helps you get through the day, ok.

 
At 8:50 AM, October 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how do you like your management team in your newsroom? Let's chat about the existing news directors, assistant news directors, executive producers, and assignment editors.

 
At 10:42 AM, October 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like people who call others out about NOT using a name, then don't use a name themselves. YOU MUST BE A NEWS DIRECTOR? Maybe one that sucked so bad KTAL couldn't use you.
You don't hear EVERYTHING that goes on at stations here. You just hear about the people that other people don't respect, or people that commit crimes that make the real news.

 
At 9:19 PM, October 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this stuff. It just makes my day to read it all the time from people at KTAL. It couldn't be from anyone else at any of the other stations...they all seem to know what appears to be inside stuff. Nothing brings about failure faster than bringing it about from the inside. This is so cool. You should be proud of yourself.

 
At 1:26 PM, October 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 8:30 AM, October 04, 2008 and anybody else. I think if you've spent any time working in a newsmedia environment...one thing you usually pick up pretty quick is that it takes a thicker than average skin to put up with a lot of crap. This board included. And while it's true that a considerable number of postings may be from station malcontents who bitch and gripe over anything... you can't dispute that there's a kernel or three of truth among all the BS and pissin' & moanin'.

Say you're tired of people hiding behind anonymous and taking shots at people? Well...that's the way it is. And anyone here who uses their real name would be a lot like backing into a knifefight and hoping they don't get cut. Anonymity is useful or it can be abused. It's up to intelligent people who can sort through BS to find some of the truth and from what I've read here ...there's a good bit of both.

But take this one step, there's been some condemnation of Pontz and some praise. I've known Andy for quite some time and I can tell you he's an okay guy. Maybe his personality doesn't mesh with some but newsroom-wise he knows a thing or two about the biz and brought a good bit of credibility to KTAL.

I'm sure there are those who hate him...so be it. But that's true of anyone. However... I've yet to see anyone post here saying anything positive about some of the folks previously mentioned in this thread. So ya gotta ask yourself that at the end of the day.... is there something to glean from all this?

Sometimes it's not what is posted that speaks the truth...ya know.

And get used to anonymous postings.. the genie that is the internet is outta the bottle and it's up to the readers to decipher fact from fiction... BS from reality.

 
At 3:34 PM, October 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To...1:26 PM, October 05, 2008...from 9:19am, October 4th...

I have been making posts criticizing those making all the negative comments. While you make some too, at least you back it up with some sensible comments. There is no secrets that there are problems there.

My biggest issue is how some on this blog seem to be full of so much hate and only want to trash people. And before someone says that I need thicker skin, I have it. I have been in this market long enough to have put up with plenty of crap.

 
At 10:59 PM, October 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hire Mickey Goodwin!

 
At 11:26 PM, October 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...there are few places to vent about how station KXYZ sucks or how the idiot running the newsroom is a blithering moron ... or the GM needs to stay in his office and leave the news to people who deal with it 24/7. Truth be told... this is a place to vent. Sure there's a lot of junk and perhaps a lot of it is too negative. But it's a way for people to let stuff out. And much of the stuff is negative....kind of like the news biz itself. Good news doesn't sell much now does it?

Oh how I miss Marshall Fannin!!

 
At 11:36 PM, October 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opinions will vary on former ND's and GM's at KTAL. It's a subjective business. Some people will have a grudge or axe to grind.

I am also a former KTALer and even have a certain love for the old station. I spent some time there and moved on. I'm happy with life and where I am ...

All of this is prelude to what has become, not just mine, but a unanimous opinion.

Scott Thomas sucks. He's terrible. From the News side, there's really no other way to say it. He's hopeless really, and treats the people who work at the station like crap.

KTAL news would become better starting tomorrow if he never entered the newsroom again. There's no chance that will happen. Plug on, KTALers, better times ahead for you.

 
At 8:01 AM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's say something positive: Andy Pontz brought a glimmer of integrity and a truckload of credibility to the news department.
He was a threat to the GM because he is widely respected in the region and generally well-liked. Despite eight years in the market (as GSM and then GM), the GM has yet to achieve a favorable reputation for himself,his news department, his sales force or his station.
Under his leadership, staff turnover is staggering. Yes, there are people at the station who have worked there for twenty years or more. They are the core of the operation, but earn a neglilible amount of respect from the company.
Judge the work of the on-air hires for yourself. Compare it against those who have departed of their own accord or otherwise. The station gets good people but can't or won't keep them.
The work environment is depressing and occasionally hostile. The company cannot or will not equip the station sufficiently to be competitive. The staffers ultimately surrender and the operationally overmatched GM becomes exasperated at his own organization's shortcomings, which leads to an alarming exposure of his own leadership flaws.
KTAL may actually have been a better place to work before NexStar took over. At least everyone knew they were bad, but didn't pretend to be something they were not. The staff took pride in its accomplishments because they overcame their deficiencies as a team as best they could.
Now, the news department in particular and the station as a whole are a wandering, disjointed mess. They're bobbing around in the shallow end of the news pool while leadership flails away hopelessly in the wake of its competitors.

 
At 2:26 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meredith Mitchell is the hottest!

 
At 3:59 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break, the BS on this blog is staggering and the anonymous comments about others are cowardly. When you are talking about others it is not venting, it is chicken if you are not willing to say it to their face.

 
At 6:34 PM, October 06, 2008, Blogger Pedro said...

"...the BS on this blog is staggering and the anonymous comments about others are cowardly."

Signed,
Anonymous

The above is just as funny as it is ironic.

Pedro

 
At 7:51 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...the BS on this blog is staggering and the anonymous comments about others are cowardly."

Signed,
Anonymous

The above is just as funny as it is ironic.

Pedro"

___________

And how is using Pedro make you any different?

 
At 7:56 PM, October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Paul B. banged Paula Van Drease which lead to her leaving. I also think he ran his mouth about EVERYTHING, and everybody. I don't know how he made 38 people hate him that fast?


Anchor

 
At 8:43 AM, October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, anonymous posts are one thing, anonymous posts about people are cowardly. Period.

 
At 8:58 AM, October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the difference? Anything I say on hear I either have said to that person, or would. i don't care what Paul Bergan thinks about KTAL. I'm sure he hates it too.


Coward's period

 
At 9:40 AM, October 07, 2008, Blogger Pedro said...

"And how is using Pedro make you any different?"

7:51 PM, October 06, 2008

Not presuming anything but this is a blogsite where exchange of BS, Crap...ideologies...fact/fiction, etc. is the norm. So here's an obervation and take it or leave it:
Criticizing the criticizer(s) or complaining about the complainer(s)is only going to escalate into more of the same. By saying people are cowardly for ad hominem attacks under anonymity...and then being "anonymous" is ( to put it mildly ) "funny and ironic at the same time". The observation was meant to inject a bit of levity into this area which probably is futile given that everyone would rather criticize than agree...but that is the case with such discourse regarding TV News Ops.

And one other thing, it's a smart move not to put down your real name when being critical...especially if you're planning on staying in this biz or any other biz. Why? We all have seen enough stories about employees who've been "canned" because of blogging. So whoever wants to critcize people for being prudent, I say: "Grow Up and get over it!".

Sure.... some of this may be hurtful, mean-spirited, angry, jealousy-motivated...WTF-ever... but it's what it is. Besides..it seems to me that someone here is fishing for names... Could it be the folks who have been the focus of such discourse? Hey.... there are two kinds of strategy here:
1. Ignore it, when you're a manager, you're gonna take some heat no matter what you do.
2. Address it: Feel free to rebut and show your moxie by letting everyone know it's you making the rebuttal.

And the end of the day, realize this is a place for people to vent. And if higher-ups at TV stations get more than their share of flack...could be there's a reason for it. And for people who don't like the BS... well...feel free to leave! Otherwise you wind up sounding a lot like someone who hangs around the restrooms complaining about the smell.

And I ain't any different...just making a simple observation

 
At 4:32 PM, October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what ever Pedro, like that is your real name. Venting is fine. If you blog about people, and it is NOT all about upper management, and you can't say it to their face, you are a coward.

 
At 4:54 PM, October 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a lot more going on at KTAL then just Paul leaving.

Besides all the on air talent that has left over the past six months or so, there has also been a huge turnover at the station in general.

News is a revolving door of new people. Production has a never ending stream of new faces. Engineering has five new hires in a department of like 8 or 9. Sales has the biggest turnover in the building.

Makes you wonder doesn't it?

 
At 7:32 PM, October 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last comment about turnover is just confusing...

Yes, there has been a turnover, but not because something sinister is brewing at KTAL... People got in trouble, so they were fired. People moved on to better markets. People quit the biz.

None of that seems unusual for the type of establishment it is.

Just think of the people who are still there... managers, editors, photographers, engineers, and PA's... Lots of people have been working there for years and seem quite comfortable and stable.

So, there's no real turnaround there... just reporters playing leapfrog (or the DUI game).

 
At 11:40 AM, October 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a thread. Almost dozed off there for a second.

But philosophically...I wonder if someone who criticizes people collectively as being cowards for criticizing others anonymously and then signs off being "anonymous" themselves... isn't that a bit hypocritcal?

Or....is it like one of those transcendental things like: ".... if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it...does it make a sound?..." type of thing?

Is this logical or more towards existential? I dunno.... I need a cerveza and mescal to sort it out. And then...maybe not..... sort it out that is.

ay carumba!

 
At 6:34 PM, October 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to tvjobs.com, Bergen is now ND at KBMT in Beaumont, TX.

 
At 8:44 AM, October 10, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it makes sense that Bergen goes back to Beaumont, I think his girls are there with his ex-wife so I'm sure he's glad to be back close to them. I used to work with him at KBTV and even though sometimes I thought he wasn't the best ND around he was and still is a friend.....

 
At 9:12 AM, October 10, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Paul! Getting away from KTAL and Nexstar is the best thing you ever did.

 
At 9:40 AM, October 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way KTAL keeps during through ND's I wonder if they will start having the ND of the week? Let everyone at the station fill in as ND each week.

 
At 8:00 PM, October 11, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanted: News Director for Local TV Station.

Qualifications: TBD.

Interested applicants should contact: Jean Simpson Temporary Personnel Services

 
At 3:24 PM, October 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First Paul and now Chuck. Wonder who head is next to roll?

 
At 10:20 AM, October 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul may be taking some people down to Beaumont with him.

 
At 10:32 AM, October 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd go with him! Shreveport sucks!

 
At 1:12 PM, October 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd go too!!

paula van dreise

 
At 5:30 PM, October 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is another long known fact about KTAL for you. Bepending on the job they are paying you guys $3 to $8 an hour less then your counterparts at KSLA and KTBS.

 
At 5:34 PM, October 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well good luck in Beaumont. It is a much smaller market then Shreveport with a lot less money.

 
At 6:52 PM, October 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment about the low pay is so true. I went from $7.50 an hour over there to $12.00 an hour across town doing the exact same job.

 
At 11:16 AM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the attitude with a lot of TV managers is that there's kids at the BPCC Film/TV program who'll be willing to work for pizza delivery money. That's always been a factor

 
At 12:26 PM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BPCC theory is so false. All those kids are taking video classes, but none of them really want to work in TV or video. It's baffling. When asked to come work at a station, they scoff at it because the pay is so low - and that's not just at KTAL. Most of the students at BPCC look down their noses at TV work.

So... I'm not sure where the stations will get their next group of hires. From the looks of the P.A.s, they'll get them from the Circle K down the street.

 
At 1:58 PM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the ones we have may have worked at Circle K down the street. Or maybe we will get the next group from work-release or welfare-to-work programs.

We really need to have a station wide dress code. The current P.A.'s look like they just rolled out of bed and came to work in the clothes they slept in. At least put on some real shoes that cover up your crusty corns and bunions.

 
At 8:26 PM, October 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have only been hiring BPCC students over the past few months. That is a resource we just now started using.

After the Lane Luckie debacle we will be lucky if anyone from BPCC or NSU would be willing to work for us.

 
At 11:31 AM, October 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once worked at a local Fox affiliate and the GM at the time slammed my budget request for me wanting to hire two videographer/editors with TV experience and told me to "...get two part-timers from BPCC and pay $8/hr for 20 hrs each per week!" We did get two part-timers and when we didn't offer them fulltime gigs, they left.

So the "Hire BPCC Students" theory was very much in effect at the station back in the early 90's. Can't say what it's like there now 'cuz I left not long after that.

 

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