Wednesday, July 31, 2013

KTBS Gets New Marketing Head

This from the tip box:

Looks like Katharyn Howe DeVille is leaving Belo for the Marketing Director position at KTBS...

51 Comments:

At 12:31 PM, July 31, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad move. KTBS has gone through several Marketing Directors in the past few years.

 
At 3:36 PM, July 31, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I give her 12 months tops!

 
At 6:21 AM, August 02, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't this make KTBS' third or fourth Marketing Director in the past two or three years?

 
At 12:32 PM, August 02, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the order of succession is:
Cheryl May
Sally Croom
Farr Himes
Katharyn Howe DeVille

It's a scapegoat/no-win position if ever there was one.

 
At 6:51 PM, August 02, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheryl was there for a while, but no one will last in that position. It's turned in to a revolving door.

 
At 1:26 PM, August 03, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, seriously bad move. Do yourself a favor and don't sign a 12 month lease. You probably won't be here that long.

 
At 4:39 PM, August 03, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheryl was actually in promotions before she got tagged for the marketing job. I understand that she and a KTBS old-timer named Don were told they "needed" to apply for the position. The guy named Don apparently knew better and retired.
Cheryl got the position and lasted maybe a year and then Croom came back but couldn't do everything asked (like write copy) so she took a better gig with the state. And so on ...and so forth.

 
At 8:32 AM, August 04, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An open letter to KTBS:

Before you worry about marketing, there are some issues to address with your news product.

1. Spellcheck can be your friend. The mistakes in your chyrons/graphics are embarrassing.

2. Fix the audio problems! Bad mics are not repaired between newscasts. Live shots are hit and miss with audio. Does anyone ever do mic checks? Get someone that can actually run audio.

3. Stop producers from using "cut and paste". There are slow news days, but the repetition is ridiculous. Scripts are not rewritten. The same copy is used verbatim in newscast after newscast. The new sports director is really bad about not updating his sportscast.

4. Get some coaching for your younger anchors. Wendy Redman sounds like Fran Drescher. The weekend crew could use some help too.

5. Learn to use maps. Throwing up a map of an entire parish/county gives no information about the site of a story. Use roads, cities or something.

6. Get rid of the crosshairs. The "video wall" you are so proud of looks like a rifle site trained on people's heads. Not mall graphics look good split up on four TV's.

Not everything is bad. Gerry May and Jody Lowery are solid anchors, at least to me as a viewer. Joe Haynes is the best in the market. The weather graphics are the clearest and easiest to understand (Channel 6, you need help with graphics).

 
At 3:20 AM, August 05, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you removed the names to the open letter, only #6 would reveal which station was the "target"

 
At 12:15 PM, August 05, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:32 brings up some valid issues.

All three stations are guilty of 1-5, and all three have gotten progressively worse in recent years.
All three stations seem to have disabled their spellcheck on graphics, scripts, and the printed copy posted on their websites.

Unlike KTBS, both KSLA and KTAL still have PA's (production assistants) with dedicated audio and chyron operators. A few years ago when KTBS remodeled and went to this current set and graphics package, they also installed an all in one system so the director is performing all the jobs it used to take 6 PA's to perform. That includes audio and chyron.

All three stations need to provide coaching, and more importantly, speech and voice and diction classes for the younger anchors and reporters.

 
At 10:36 PM, August 05, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The heavy set wannabe white education reporter kills me with the over enunciation.

 
At 9:24 AM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't unpack everything right away 'cuz if this new mktg dir. has any sense, she'll see this gig as a short-term one.

 
At 10:48 AM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good advice. Best to go with a month to month lease.

 
At 1:13 PM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Former Broadcaster said...

8:32 AM is spot on. Even with all this new technology, KTBS has some serious quality control issues with their on air product. But that's what happens when you have one person doing the job of seven.

KSLA isn't far behind with their sloppy on air product. I can't believe I'm saying this, but KTAL is looking better and better them both of them every day.

 
At 1:22 PM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:13. You mention KTAL. They're product is better than what it use to be but needs lots of tweaking. I have lots of older family that don't watch them because their graphics are too busy. They really need to tone it down. Todd over in the weather graphics department especially. Too much flying in and spinning around and what not. It's just not necessary. They're logo in the corner needs to stop spinning around too. 3 and 12 tried it and stopped because it was distracting. Just because you can do it with your graphics doesn't mean you should.

 
At 1:46 PM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets be honest 1:22. All three stations need "tweaking." Evidently KTAL's flying graphics do not bother all older viewers. I have several friends and family members ranging in age from 62 to 84, who moved back here to retire, and all of them watch KTAL.

 
At 7:48 PM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL's set design and grfx looks like someone got drunk and was given an open checkbook to buy some toys for the station. It really looks over-done, something quite amateur-looking. Whatever happened to simple, elegant design. This looks like what you'd see Latin American TV stations do in the Carribbean. Looks like shit IMHO.

 
At 9:10 PM, August 06, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually like the KTAL set design. I just think the graphics are too busy. They could easily tone it down and look classy. And I know they probably paid a lot for the weather rate certified most accurate crap but they need to lay off of that. There's no reason I should see that in the corner of the screen all of the time. If they want to make an impression with weather, they need to do very well with severe weather coverage. Try to get something going like ABC 33/40 in Birmingham. I know that will never happen but they could better prepare themselves by getting with spotters before outbreaks and whatnot.

 
At 8:27 AM, August 07, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The criticisms 8:32 AM pointed out are very accurate and legitimate problems with KTBS. We've all seen it. The only way any of that will change is if viewership declines, which leads to lower revenues, causing the Wray's checks for doing absolutely nothing to shrink. Then, and only then will things change

On this KTAL issue. Nexstar forced that set and graphics package on KTAL. It is copied from their sister station and hub KARK NBC 4 in Little Rock. The same set and graphics are also used at the Nexstar owned stations in Fayetteville-Rogers and Monroe-El Dorado. It's a one size fits all approach.

 
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At 2:38 PM, August 08, 2013, Blogger Tim Fletcher said...

i agree with Saleem. valid points.

 
At 10:01 PM, August 08, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KTAL could do better. Period

 
At 11:13 AM, August 09, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So can KTBS and KSLA. All three need improvement.

 
At 1:31 PM, August 09, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, I had a ad agency rep show me some ratings info from May 2013 that showed KSLA news programs ahead of KTBS in all dayparts as KTBS lost share from 2012. KTAL is still quite weak in the AM & Mid-day, they're showing up a little better in the evening but barely in single-digits. KTAL's chance in being #2 would be at 6pm as they are trailing slightly behind KTBS who is far behind KSLA at 6pm

The takeaway from all this is that local news just doesn't grab as many viewers as it used to, despite having all these extended newscasts. Guess the stations make money by not spending any.

 
At 11:32 AM, August 10, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah and there in lies the problem. More and more people of all ages are watching anything other then local news. That is a nationwide problem.

And locally the demographics are still the same. KSLA's average viewer is age 55 to death. KTBS' average viewer is age 18-35. KTAL's average viewer lives in Texarkana and the rural areas outside the city limits of Texarkana and Shreveport-Bossier.

 
At 1:57 PM, August 10, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is the only constant in the equation. Talent comes and goes but the demos remain the same.

 
At 3:06 PM, August 10, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doubt very seriously that KTBS "average viewer is 18-35" as younger people tend to not watch local news really. This explains why stations only use the ratings number and not the share number because it would reveal just how bad the audience numbers really are.
The biggest audience cumes are persons 45 and older as anyone younger is doing things other than tuning into local schlocky news, especially in the Shreveport-Texarkana mkt.

 
At 9:18 AM, August 11, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe what you will, but that has been the local demo since the 1980's.

 
At 2:26 PM, August 11, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well a lot has changed since the 1980's folks as current research points to adults 25-54 to make up the most news audience core for all stations. It's a statistical fact that younger viewers (18-35) aren't all that strong when it comes to watching local newscasts. While there are some viewers that come from the 18-35 adult tier, the fact is older people are (and always have been) the statistical core viewer of local news... placing the mean viewing age north of 35 yrs of age. Call TeleRep and/or Nielsen if you need confirmation.

 
At 3:52 PM, August 11, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering. Does Belo mean Below?

 
At 11:01 AM, August 12, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Belo means Gannett.

 
At 9:24 PM, August 12, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might help:
http://www.belo.com/

 
At 1:28 PM, August 13, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all have pointed out major some problems with KTBS and the other stations. Over all, none of the local stations are as strong as they were a few years ago. Every time I'm back in town I see the decline which is blatantly obvious. There are a few bright spots as far as talent goes, but content and production quality are non existent. Now I do give KTAL a lot of credit. Even though they still have a long way to go, they are vastly improved over what they were for 50+ years.

 
At 1:18 PM, August 14, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When KTAL first started, it was the first station to broadcast in Color and had the tallest transmitter tower with the best signal. Some old-timers told me that you had to fill out a psychological questionnaire before getting interviewed. KTAL was going to be a regional Superstation by creating original programming. They had Snookie Lansen from America's Hit Parade and other music acts. But the ratings were poor and syndication chances dried up. So the owners fired the original managers and brought in a radio sales mgr named H. Lee Bryant who had zero TV experience. His mandate was to cut costs and make money. And that's what happened for the next 40 years... Bryant ran KTAL like a cheap radio operation... cameras would be malfunctioning, colors would be wrong, images geometrically distorted due to lack of technical competence or spare parts or both. The signal got so bad that NBC network threatened to pull their affiliation with the station.

Then after the NBC Olympics in the early 1980's, KTAL bought barely used RCA M2 Camcorders and VTRS and improved their quality somewhat but it was still a crappy TV station.

Fast-forward to now...KTAL is vastly improved but Nexstar's management of the station's local image is puzzling especially with the noon news coming out of Little Rock...leaving their biggest audience (NW La & E. Tex) largely ignored. Their NBC Nightly News lead-in to their local 6pm is what's helping their ratings. But their numbers are still quite weak across all newscasts... they barely show at all in some demos.

Strange why that is, you'd think they'd have really closed in on number 2 by now in all dayparts, or at least more than they have so far.

 
At 5:43 PM, August 14, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know that. Like I said, "Even though they still have a long way to go, they are vastly improved over what they were for 50+ years." That does not mean KTAL is good enough to be #1 in this market. If KSLA can hold on to the #1 position with that pathetic product they are putting out, there is something seriously wrong with the ratings sources.

 
At 8:14 PM, August 14, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nielsen diary ratings methodology is not an exact science. It is just a statistical view of a given audience sample and some demographics are "weighted" more than others.
For example; historically Af American households weren't as good about responding (filling out & returning) a household ratings survey. So Nielsen came up with an idea to take the number of Af. American diaries that were completed & returned and then give them a higher response percentage based on the known market demographics. Hypothetically speaking, a diary from an Af. American household might be viewed as having the same significance as 10 households, whereas a non-Af. American diary household might be viewed much less say 2 or 3 households. Everyone knows that KSLA's / Raycom's strategy has been to attract more Af. American viewers than the other stations.
So it stands to reason that while their news product may not be all that great, they're branding image is what has won many viewers over and kept them tuning in.
KTAL made a terrible mistake hiring MeeShell White LA-FEET as her street cred & audience appeal with Af Americans wasn't all that great. And KTBS and their Rhonda Lee debacle did them no favors either.
Taking these dynamics into account makes it a pretty safe assumption as to how KSLA keeps their first-place time and time again. They suck but audiences don't care so much about news as they do about being entertained I suppose.

 
At 8:46 AM, August 15, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever.

Getting back to this new KTBS marketing director. Who wants to bet on how long she will be there? I give her 10-14 months.

 
At 10:06 AM, August 15, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take a piece of that action. I give her 9 months.

 
At 11:27 AM, August 15, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think her tenure will be up after the May 2014 sweeps. So I'm guessing end of June 2014.

 
At 5:38 PM, August 15, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think you have something there. The November sweeps are to soon, but May sweeps are the big make or break one.

 
At 10:03 PM, August 15, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WTH is KTAL thinking. I know it's their 60th anniversary but that's no reason to bring back crap anchors for the 10 o'clock news

 
At 10:53 PM, August 15, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess they figure a nostalgic shot in the arm for Aug Sweeps to support 60th Anniversary in the ArkLaTex.
The few folks who watched back then may like it. Where was Sherri Talley? Did she not get invited?

 
At 8:13 AM, August 16, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious? They're bringing back old anchors? I guess Sherri declined. Was Mr. Pint of Old Crown Dale Hoffman there? Is he still at KLAB in Alexandria? What about former anchors Shannon Slatton, Lane Stone, Shawn Patrick, Heidi York, Rick Boone, and the every popular Diva MEEsheel White?

 
At 1:31 PM, August 16, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was part of their 60th anniversary of being on air. Here is a link of their story:
http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/story/ktal-celebrates-60-years/d/story/r7bXglLHgkyLxzkx_AlbMQ

 
At 1:43 PM, August 16, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MeeShell oh S__t, I could go forever without hearing her voice again.
Did she land somewhere else or get some fake PR job with a govt. agency somewhere?

 
At 9:29 PM, August 16, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't know. Haven't heard a word about MEEshell since she left.

 
At 2:08 PM, August 19, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would've guessed her pal Ivan Smith might've tossed her a bone but guess since Cummings got canned from KTAL, the buddy-buddy deals are few and far between these days.

 
At 9:42 AM, August 23, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting how broadcasting has declined in general. I just got back in from Florida and I did not see any difference in the on-air product. The only time I notice any difference is in Top 10 and Top 20 markets.

 
At 1:15 PM, August 28, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about KTAL's attempt to be a regional superstation. I believe they tried this because they were forced to drop CBS because KSLA's signal reached Texarkana (then its own market) and didn't want to affiliated with ABC, which was the weakest of the three networks at the time. So the only other options were go independent, which didn't work, or persuade the FCC to merge the Shreveport and Texarkana markets into one, which leads us to today.

 
At 6:02 PM, August 28, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like someone's been reading the KTAL page on Wikipedia.

 
At 1:45 PM, September 23, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I win the office pool: she left just a little over a year at the job. Seems she's in Montgomery, AL working for RAYCOM... betcha the folks at KTBS really love that!
http://www.linkedin.com/in/katharynhowedeville

 

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