Friday, October 07, 2005

Blues News -- WHAS Radio Slowly Turns Into Amateur Hour

WHAS Anchor Chris CHandler disagrees with me, but WHAS once highly praised news department continues its slow slide into irrelevance. Like most other things on WHAS since Clear Channel has taken over, including traffic, weather, and programming, the shift has been from quality to whatever can be gotten cheaply and benefits the 45 stations CC owns in the area.

So, we see traffic go from a helicopter report that was allowed to run as long as it needed to and broke in during times when a new major back-up happened to a guy sitting and reading information off of a Clear Channel database based on a few dozen cameras around the Louisville area and people calling in. Forget about hearing about alternate routes, how long the back up is, or even which lane it's in. No time. Gotta get your two ads in per traffic report.

That brings us to the news. All of WHAS' seasoned reporters and anchors seem to have disappeared, most using it as a springboard to TV. Not that anyone can blame them, because there seems precious little to do anymore. Chris Chandler's not too bad, but his tendency to want to be a junior Jon Stewart with his asides during report can be a distraction. Most of the others are a mixed bag, however. It is fun to hear certain reporters struggle over words. Case in point, Teresa Payton (unsure if spelling is correct), a news anchor who yesterday struggled over the words Legionnaires' disease in a story about a nursing home. WHen she got to the word, it was like she'd had a verbal traffic accident, pronouncing it in a manner similar to Leh gee on are ays disease. Granted, this isn't a word you encounter everyday, but Legionnaires' is not uncommon, especially in cases where numerous people who share a building are hit with a mysterious illness, so I can't understand why it tripped her up. Not to mention the fact that reading over the story before she went on the air could have prompted her to look up the word.

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