Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rose Responds to Perrault, Justice

Big Sports 590 AM talk show hosts Matt Perrault and Travis Justice spent part of a show last week discussing former Nebraska football play-by-play announcer Jim Rose, claiming Rose wanted his job back.

Last November, with three games left in the Husker football season, Rose quit his job as play-by-play caller, a job he had done the previous six years. Rose said he was stepping down for personal reasons, including spending more time with his family. He continues to co-host the KFAB (1110 AM) morning show, as well as sell advertising for Pinnacle Sports, which has the rights to Huskers sports on the radio.

Perrault and Justice questioned Rose’s reasons for quitting his play-by-play job during last week’s show. An excerpt:

Perrault: There’s a rumor going around that Jim Rose is trying to get his job back.

Justice: I’ve heard that one.

Perrault: So it’s not surprising.

Justice: It doesn’t surprise me at all.

Perrault: What I’ve heard is that he wants his job back and he won’t give up the sales angle.

Justice: That’s true. … Jim protected himself by saying that he had anxiety problems and he missed his family and all that stuff. Which part of it may have been true. But I think in the end he thought he was going to get fired. And then he realized after he quit that he wasn’t going to get fired. Don’t forget, when Bo Pelini was hired he (Rose) gets down there and runs into the suite and wants to talk with Bo’s wife and Bo one-on-one. Jim and I get along all right; I don’t have a problem with Jim. But I think he jumped the gun on this one. He should have never quit in the first place.

Rose said this week that he was glad that he could provide fodder for Perrault’s and Justice’s show.

“I’m glad to be of service to those guys because they’re having trouble coming up with topics that people care about. If what they suggest is true then that would make everything that I said on the air back in November a big fat lie. And I can assure you, I have discussed returning to the broadcast booth with no one because it’s not my intention. If they were firing me, why would I continue to be on KFAB and why would I continue to work out here (Pinnacle)?”

As for rushing to talk with Bo Pelini’s wife, Rose said, “I wouldn’t know Mary Pat Pelini if she sat down in my lap.

“I think it’s hilarious that these guys have found nothing more insightful to talk about in the world of sports than the comings and goings of a former play-by-play announcer.

“I received over 3,000 e-mails from people all over the world thanking me for the job I did … Now, I don’t think that radio show (Perrault/Justice, 2-6 p.m. weekdays) has gotten 3,000 e-mails since it went on the air.

“I don’t care what they think. They don’t know what they’re talking about. And I’m a little bit offended that they are basically calling me a liar.

“I didn’t have to leave the job when I did. And I have no interest in returning.”

Time For Sweeps

Get ready for a barrage of cross-promotion, radio advertisements and "special investigations." Today marks the start of the Nielsen Media Research TV ratings month.

KMTV-3 reporter Mary Williams made the rounds on Journal Broadcast Group-owned stations this morning, inviting listeners to tune in tonight to "Take the bully test."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Corn, Crop Circle Highlight Omaha 'Idol' Episode

Reaction to Omaha's appearance on "American Idol" Tuesday night was mixed.

Some were happy to see the city get its moment in the spotlight, while others were dismayed at the stereotypical images of corn that are more often associated with the state itself.

Swanson Russell Associates Public Relations Manager Jennifer Windrum told listeners of KFAB's "Good Morning Show" Wednesday that Swanson Russell worked closely with the show's producers to showcase the entire city - in addition to the "American Idol" crop circle Swanson Russell helped create.

"In a sense, we added to the corn," Windrum said. "But we tried to mix (agriculture) with the modern. But we knew they couldn't come here and not show corn."

Windrum said the AI production crew wanted shots of things viewers would recognize - Mutual of Omaha, the Henry Doorly Zoo, etc. - but that not everything made the show.

"We made an itinerary for them and we had four hours with them," Windrum said. "But the rain really hampered things. The day they were shooting it was rainy, so we had to change plans."

One of the original goals of the project - to get show host Ryan Seacrest on a Claas LEXIONClaas LEXION Combine - didn't happen, Windrum said.

"We got them out to the Claas facility but it was raining and they wanted a combine in action," she said.

The crop circle came off much better, despite the rain and a short timetable to get it made.

"Once we mentioned that to the producers, we had two weeks to do it," Windrums aid. "We hired a company from Utah called The MAIZE and they mapped it out with a GPS. The 'Welcome to Omaha' part was hand-carved with machetes.

Swanson Russell's website features a "making of" video of the crop circle. Windrum and SRA Public Relations Associate (and former KETV reporter) Laura Liggett (pictured above) are shown helping cut the crop circle.

Voorhees Wants Your Opinion

KFAB (1110 AM) morning talk show host Scott Voorhees is inviting listeners to cast their vote for the impression left by Tuesday's American Idol episode.

The choices are: "Too much corn, but that's ok," "Too much corn, and that's ignorant," Who cares about the corn? We were featured on the #1 show!," and "I didn't watch it."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When An Embargo Isn't Honored

There's a story behind the massive crop circle that will be shown on tonight's episode of "American Idol."

Media outlets were alerted about the circle and how it came about through an embargoed press release from the Omaha office of advertising agency Swanson Russell Associates. But not everyone agreed to the embargo that was to have held the details until after tonight's Omaha-centric episode airs on KPTM-42 at 7 p.m.

Judith Siers-Poisson, who contributes to PR, a blog that is part of the Center for Media and Democracy, publishes the entire text of the press release and photos that were sent out by Swanson Russell Public Relations Manager Jennifer Windrum.

Siers-Poisson writes:

Unfortunately for Ms. Windrum, this incentive means nothing to us. I emphatically do not want to keep getting her emails, and neither I nor CMD has ever promised to honor an "embargo" on what is essentially unsolicited spam... Now, I know this is far from an earthshaking story. To be honest, I just got annoyed past the point of politeness. And hopefully, PR "pros" will learn to not send unsolicited emails -- especially embargoed information -- to PR industry watchdogs.

What follows in the comments section is a back-and-forth exchange between Siers-Poisson and Windrum that might have been better handled as a private phone call between the two parties.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Former World-Herald Building Will Be Razed

The Omaha World-Herald's former headquarters at "World-Herald Square" (14th & Dodge) will be torn down and replaced by a park, according to a story in the newspaper's Saturday editions.

The land eventually may feature more than a planned plaza, said World-Herald CEO and President Terry Kroeger. The building is expected to be torn down this spring and the park in place by fall.

“This is an important piece of land for our company, as it literally sits between our primary offices at the Omaha World-Herald Building and our manufac turing plant at the Freedom Center,” Kroeger said. “Therefore, long-term control of this property is critical.”

The World-Herald moved out of the building in 2006.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In This Week's Edition...

There’s a shift in power at the top of the TV ratings in Omaha.

Read more about how the Omaha TV stations fared in the latest Nielsen Media Research ratings in this week's edition of the Omaha City Weekly.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bill Randby Quoted In World-Herald Story

For the first time in a long time, the Omaha World-Herald reached out to a TV station for information.

KETV-7 Chief Meteorologist Bill Randby is quoted in Saturday's editions of the newspaper in a story headlined, "Forecasting winter weather an inexact science."

Reporters Michael Avok and Tom Shaw provided direct quotes from Randby in the front page, above-the-fold story. They also sourced weather forecasts for Sunday from two other Omaha TV stations, KMTV and WOWT.

KPTM's forecast was not referenced even though it was posted online immediately after the station's 9 p.m. newscast. (In it, Chief Meteorologist Tyson Pearsall called for 2-4 inches of snow on Sunday.)

According to the newspaper story, the World-Herald's weather consulting service, AccuWeather, calls for 2-4 inches of snow on Sunday. KMTV and KETV forecasts agree with that total, while WOWT predicted a "60 to 70 percent chance" of snowfall. The Weather Channel forecast also calls for that same snowfall percentage while the National Weather Service forecast office in Valley predicts 1-3 inches of snow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Omaha World-Herald Gets Cruiser Camera Video

The Omaha World-Herald's online portal,, offers Omaha Police cruiser camera video of a pursuit that occurred in November 2006.

The video was released following Wednesday's sentencing of Robert Carter, the man being pursued by police after a string of three robberies in less than 15 minutes. Carter shot at officers several times during the 20-minute chase, which ends with one police cruiser crashing into a pond.

The accompanying story, published in the newspaper's print and online editions, doesn't do the video justice, though veteran reporter Todd Cooper gives it his best shot.

Following departmental policy, Omaha Police do not routinely release cruiser camera video. Public information officers say it is considered "evidence in an ongoing investigation" and thus does not meet the guidelines for release as stated by the state's open public records law.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Changes at KETV

From a press release issued by KETV-Channel 7 Monday afternoon:

“Viewers tuning in to KETV NewsWatch 7 at 10 on Sunday night were greeted by a new Anchor team. Rob McCartney and Brandi Petersen along with Chief Meteorologist Bill Randby and Sports Anchor Matt Schick will now provide more complete coverage to viewers every Sunday night at 10.

“In addition to Anchoring the Sunday 10 p.m. news, Brandi Petersen is joining Julie Cornell as Co-Anchor of KETV NewsWatch 7 at 5 on Monday, January 7. Most recently Brandi was Co-Anchor of KETV NewsWatch 7 First News Weekend. Julie Cornell and Rob McCartney will continue to Co-Anchor KETV NewsWatch 7 and 6 and 10.

“’This change allows KETV to continue to have a strong Anchor team on our 5 p.m. newscast, while freeing up Rob McCartney to do more investigative reporting,’” according to KETV News Director Rose Ann Shannon.

“Rob McCartney will now lead KETV NewsWatch 7’s investigative ‘I-Team.’ Rob has won numerous broadcast journalism awards and adding him to the I-Team allows KETV to highlight one of his strengths. ‘My first love in television is reporting,’ said Rob McCartney. ‘Leading KETV’s I-Team allows me to focus on more stories that impact the heartland.’”

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Notes From The Omaha Press Club

The Omaha Press Club's annual poke at public figures and news events will be titled "Rosensplatt...And Other Foul Bawls" and takes place Saturday, March 29, at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.

The annual read-through for cast, band and crew will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Press Club. Members wishing to be involved with the show who cannot attend the Read-Thru should e-mail Kurt Keeler (kurtykee(at)msn(dot)com.

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The Press Club’s annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17. Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 6 p.m. Officers and directors will be elected at the meeting and all members are invited to attend. If you are unable to attend, a proxy ballot can be found in this month's newsletter, which is being mailed this week.

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The Press Club's fifth annual Excellence in Journalism Awards competition opens Monday. The competition honors the outstanding work of media professionals in several categories.

New this year is the "Journalists of Excellence Hall of Fame Award," which will be presented at the Excellence in Journalism Awards banquet on Thursday, May 29.

Contest entry forms are available for download here. Deadline to enter is March 17.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Maddox Voted 'Hottest Newswoman' On Big Sports 590

Malorie Maddox, Courtesy of Gray TVMalorie Maddox, weekday morning news anchor at WOWT-6, topped Brandi Petersen of KETV-7 in the third annual "Hottest Newswoman of the Year" call-in poll on "The Big Show with Matt Perrault" on KXSP (590 AM).

In voting on Monday's program, Maddox narrowly edged out Petersen, who was the winner of the 2006 contest. Maddox won in 2005 and later appeared on the show to accept her prizes, something Petersen did not the following year (at the request of KETV management).

Maddox recently won the NebraskaInfoWomen Yahoo! Group poll, which asked which Omaha TV weekday morning female anchor did the best job.

Click here to listen to the final voting.