That Other Dying MSM: TV News

In his LA Times media column this morning, James Rainey laments the demise of another LA television news outlet, KCOP, whose operations have been co-opted by Fox affiliate KTTV. He quotes the latter's general manager, Kevin Hale (an Evergreen State College grad and former GM of KSTW Channel 11 here), as insisting that - despite the dancing meteorologists - nothing much has changed in merging the two stations, essentially leaving one news operation standing. According to Hale's bio, he helped KSTW make its momentary switch here from independent to CBS affiliate in 1996-97, until the network returned to its KIRO-7 home. The following year, Channel 11, like the LA station today, killed off its news operations. KSTW did go out with a bang - a memorable finale, with co-anchors Don Porter (later, at KING-5) and (above) Christine Chen (later, at KCPQ 13), showing flashbacks: a blind peanut vendor singing "On a clear day. . . .", sports announcer Kenny Mayne (now ESPN) with a nosebleed, and Bill Cosby doing the weather: in "Puyallupman, it was 76; in Bellinghousen and up in the Olympics the water was there and so was the frogs, and Katchacootie Mountains up here" - he slapped his hand on the map behind him - "we're gonna have a lot of foam!" All of which is an excuse to bring you Rainey's own memorable line today. Noting that 64 percent of Americans rely on television for most of their local news, he types: "Saying you count on TV to learn what goes on in your city is a little like saying you go to Raiders games for lessons in civility. But I digress."

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