Monday, April 16, 2012

Arkansas Today....Revisted

Well some things have changed since I last viewed the program about two weeks ago. Note: I watch via KTAL/Channel 6 out of Shreveport, oh excuse me "Texarkana".

> Well they still run the KTAL news ticker at the bottom of the screen, mixed with the KARK graphics. Still looks a mess BUT they did add the Channel 6 logo in the bottom right! If you want true ArkLaTex news we have to read the ticker!

> Still too many Arkansas stories, oh wait, it is Arkansas Today not ArkLaTex Today. I still don't understand why Nexstar isn't utilizing the newsrooms and journalists it has on staff in Northwest Arkansas, Shreveport, oops I mean Texarkana and in Monroe. Why not just send those folks home if you are not going to use what you've got.

> Still local weather cut ins...how funny. And still a local evening news tease.

I guess as a viewer I am expecting too much. I mean come on lets see some news. Nexstar shouldn't expect much in the ratings category in the KTAL and KNOE markets. Folks down here in Arkansas watch the Little Rock stations...and the folks in Texas and Louisiana watch the Shreveport stations. And at noon the Louisiana viewers will be watching KSLA, Channel 12.

46 Comments:

At 12:38 PM, April 16, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only interest Nexstar is concerned with regarding Arkansas Today is from regional / national ad buyers. This is a quick fix for revenue and they probably ramped this thing up fast so they could get a good chunk of upcoming political ad buys for a "Statewide Newscast". It sounds good to a buyer who needs mkt penetration. Typical "ready-FIRE-aim" school of management. Only thing is that 9 out of 10 times, they won't come back to correct course.

 
At 4:45 PM, April 16, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just a whole lot of nothing.

 
At 5:26 PM, April 16, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just signal noise for nursing home residents who can't change the channel.

 
At 6:12 PM, April 16, 2012, Anonymous Brainiac said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. A lot of noise followed by a dial and a commercial selling beds from the lady with big hair.

 
At 9:36 PM, April 16, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone outside of SW Arkansas actually watch this program? Any local ratings numbers for Arkansas Today yet?

 
At 10:13 PM, April 16, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it had two households first week in April. Still early.

 
At 9:54 AM, April 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with making sense from Nielsen diaries out of SW Ark. is that they're usually filled out in crayon or have Pat Robertson or Mike Huckabee as having been viewed 24/7.

 
At 1:24 PM, April 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Nexstar doesn't subscribe to Nielsen Ratings then why go by what Nielsen has to say?

 
At 2:05 PM, April 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because national spot buyers use Nielsen data when they put their buys together and compare audience research between stations. Things like CPP / CPM / avg qtr hour / cume audience .... those things are factored in a schedule by national rep firms, ad agencies, ad buyers, etc. While Nexstar may not buy the ratings service, you can be sure they still find out what station's pull as far as viewership is concerned. It matters.

 
At 5:05 PM, April 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it doesn't matter if Nexstar wants X dollars per spot in their newscasts either. Spot valuation & market valuation are two different things. Market valuation is determined by what other stations cost per spot vs what KTAL's cost per spot is. A good ad buyer will look at the ratings, compare apples to apples and come up with a market valuation. Then they'll pitch a Cost Per (ratinge) point as their target goal based on those numbers. KTAL may want a higher spot rate but if the ad buyer doesn't see the value... they can pass, knowing what the market is worth based on comps with the other station's spot inventory. The only thing that could set this on it's ear is if the other stations are "Sold Out" of desired avails. This commonly happens around beginning 4th qtr for Christmas campaigns. If a buyer is desperate to get a market position, they may pay more to achieve that goal.
As you might guess, there's more to selling than just avails and sales calls. I would guess more than half of KTAL's spot revenue is national/regional buys.

KTAL doesn't buy Nielsen because they know they'll be dead last. The only reason to buy Nielsen is for bragging rights if you win and to tweak rankers for your sales staff.

 
At 5:21 PM, April 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet Nexstar is praying for some serious political ad spending in the mkts where it has stations. A strong presidential campaign along with local races could add a lot of cashflow to 3rdQtr 2012. Betcha corporate is buzzing about this very topic as I write this.

 
At 9:30 AM, April 18, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know it.

 
At 10:32 PM, April 18, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does KTAL in Shreveport have so much trouble airing the lottery? They missed the Powerball drawing tonight.

 
At 10:46 PM, April 18, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because KTAL is a crap station.

 
At 8:56 PM, April 19, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they should change their call letters to KRAP?

 
At 11:44 AM, April 20, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like this is just another reason not to tune in. Waste of time.

 
At 3:09 PM, April 20, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now your catching on.

 
At 12:47 PM, April 23, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally caught some of this new Arkansas Today a little while ago. From what little I saw I was not impressed. It was very generic, but I guess it needs to be covering the entire state. Now I did like the color and style of their graphics. They really need to do something with that sports set. The fake brick wall is way out of date and needs to go.

 
At 6:37 PM, April 23, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. The fake brick wall on the sports set looks like something from the set of MTV's Headbangers Ball in 1987.

 
At 12:13 PM, April 26, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW, Headbangers Ball 1987? Your really dating yourself there 6:37. But your right, that part of the set need to be updated.

 
At 6:39 PM, April 26, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to KTAL's 10:00 Wednesday night? Less then a minute in they went to break.

 
At 11:39 AM, April 27, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beats me. I know last night during the NBC Evening News, the audio was out of sync for about 2/3rds of the newscast. Had to switch to keep from relapsing into bad Godzilla movie-syndrome.

 
At 12:11 PM, April 27, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just what is the problem with 6? They had audio problems with NBC Nightly News, and they did not have the actual Louisiana Lottery drawing Thursday. Just some fake graphics they created in house. Then they had problems with the 10:00 Wednesday night. What's the deal?

 
At 1:34 PM, April 27, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like they are living up to their reputation of being KRAP TV.

 
At 5:38 PM, April 27, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHA, good one 1:34.

 
At 7:06 PM, April 27, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is 6 still allowed to operate? They are horrible.

 
At 10:32 AM, April 29, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question. I've asked myself the same thing.

 
At 4:40 PM, April 29, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago, KTAL was warned by NBC about reducing technical issues and upgrading their signal as the reach was pretty poor in the mkt and they were substandard. They bought a bunch of new gear from NBC's fire-sale from covering the Olympics that year. From what I can tell it seems that most of these newer problems come from two areas:
A.) Trying to run everything out of one major hub
B.) Not having enough technically-capable staff to handle the issues.

Cutting corners is going to cost them even though Nexstar execs are only looking at the income statements. Seems to me they need to really pull their heads outta the balance sheets and think about real-time solutions. I'm tired of tuning in to such junk.

 
At 9:52 PM, May 02, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your point A and B are 100% correct 4:40. It's sucked around here since they forced master control up to Little Rock.

 
At 3:24 PM, May 04, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They need to work on that, and fix this hot local audio issue thats popped up in the past several weeks. And don't forget the Lottery Show problem they have several times every week.

 
At 12:20 PM, May 05, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what is the deal with the lottery? It's jacked up all the time.

 
At 10:54 AM, May 06, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amazes me that people actually watch 6. They are a joke and have ALWAYS been the worst station in Shreveport.

 
At 10:32 AM, May 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! I couldn't have said it better myself.

 
At 11:24 AM, May 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL is a tiny part of Nexstar and the attention to their state of affairs shows. Nexstar is typical of "management by spreadsheet" philosophy. As long as KTAL brings in anything above costs, it is largely ignored because quite frankly , Nexstar corporate has other more important fires to deal with. KTAL only gets attention whenever something reaches the point affecting the revenue-stream (as in employee lawsuits or dip in ad income). They must have a computer program at corporate that only flags a station when it reaches a point...then they get involved. Otherwise...KTAL is pretty much left on its own until the quarterly spreadsheets show a flag. Keep in mind that the top chiefs at corporate were never broadcasters..they're background is mostly in sales. That should give a hint as to how things are managed.

 
At 2:21 PM, May 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tiny part lead to big problems. Now I have seen a couple of Nexstar's other stations traveling around the country, but they are nothing like KTAL. Their station in Hagerstown Maryland is really good but I think that is a Top 10 market.

 
At 4:14 PM, May 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:24 is right. You can tell Nexstar is not run by news people. I worked at a Nexstar station a few years ago and it was the worst place I've ever worked. My current station & company are nothing like Nexstar. The difference is like day and night. I actually love going to work now.

 
At 9:54 PM, May 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hagerstown, MD is a small mkt but it is right next to Washington, DC and actually shares that ADI which is ranked at number 9 in the country.

 
At 10:20 PM, May 07, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Washington DC/Hagerstown MD is now ranked #8 according to the newest Nielsen Ratings.

 
At 5:04 PM, May 08, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel the same way 4:14. I quit KTAL after Andy Pontz was fired as ND. The place went down hill quickly after Andy left and so did I.

 
At 11:34 PM, May 08, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad about Pontz because he could've done some good for KTAL News.I recall hearing through the grapevine that Andy had to pull a news operation together without any budget and no support from management. I believe the GM at the time was nicknamed: "Screamin' Scotty" and was telling Andy how to run a newsroom. I think Andy was old enough to be this guy's father. Heard this GM eventually got canned and was escorted from the building by security.

 
At 10:56 AM, May 09, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, what you heard through the grapevine is correct. Andy did everything with an almost zero budget and both "Screamin" Scott Thomas and corporate did not help. Things really turned around once Andy took over as ND. We were getting live shots and covering news stories we had never done before. Several times we would show up at a news events and the guys with KSLA and KTBS asked us "what are you doing here." They had never seen us covering news like that.

Andy's wife Wanda was hired and they changed the old Troubleshoot segment into a consumer advocacy program which was basically Call 3 2.0. They created Call 3 when they worked at KTBS years before. That was going great. We were doing some really good work and being recognized for Troubleshooter when they up and fired Andy. Wanda quit a few months later and they killed Troubleshooter which was the best thing we had going at the time.

Now I was there at the station when Scott was fired and yes he was escorted out. Everyone is escorted out of the building when they get fired so thats just normal operating procedure. There were several people in from corporate for two or three days before Scott was fired. They gave an "official" reason why Scott was let go, but the actual reason was corporate discovered Scott was posting comments on this blog from his office computer. Check out the threads and comments in the archive August-December 2008. The execs even mentioned this blog during the station wide meeting when they introduced Mark Cummings, the GM from the Monroe stations as Scott's replacement. I left a few months after all this went down.

 
At 10:54 AM, May 17, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just checking this site as I don't think I've seen Arkansas Today more than 3 times, just doesn't do it for me. As for KTAL, looks like they're revamping the news set to go HD. About time. Wonder if MeeChell has gone on a crash-diet or quit doing botox as her face isn't as swollen up as it used to be. KTAL reporters are still hard to listen to as they either stammer too much during live-shots or they have way too much ethnicity in their accents. I thought enunciation and good vocal delivery skills were necessary for broadcast. Guess Loozyanna is a different planet. Everytime a local newscast on KTAL comes on it reminds me to switch channels or go read a book.

 
At 6:28 PM, May 18, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well when you hire people straight out of J school your going to get that. For decades KTAL has been the training ground for long time anchors and reporters to move on to KSLA, KTBS, or on to other markets. KTAL's current GM was an anchor there 30 years ago.

 
At 12:41 AM, May 20, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I only watch KTAL at 10p only long enough to get my powerball numbers. But I have to say that what's with the crappy chromakey fringing on the weatherguy? Seriously ...I haven't seen that much bad fringing since the Commodore Amiga. What gives KTAL?

 
At 8:01 AM, May 21, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL screws up the lottery show so much I just wait and get the numbers from the Louisiana Lottery website.
KTBS also has the same fringing problem every weekend when Rhonda works.

 
At 11:08 AM, May 22, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's just one problem. Shreveport has the worst weekend crews of any market. It doesn't matter if you watch KSLA, KTBS, or KTAL on the weekends. All three stations have multiple mess ups every single weekend. Wrong video. Clipped mics. Mics turned off or have dead batteries. Wrong and/or misspelled graphics. Anchors who have clearly NOT pre-read the script. Scripts being changed on air without notice which throughs off the anchor. Then there is KTAL who may or may not have the lottery drawing. It's a hot mess!

 

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