Tuesday, August 18, 2009


NIPPER’S NEWSHOUND: It will come as no surprise to anyone who has tried to call us between 5:30 and 6:22 p.m. that that we voraciously consume TV news before chomping on anything else, managing to watch all three national network and four local news programs- juggling tapes and skipping commercials and those stupid “Making a Difference” and “Assignment America” non-news “good news” human interest segments- hopefully finishing up by the time PBS news ends at 7:30 p.m. and leaving a half-hour breathing room before the real news with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show at 8.

Not that we believe a word of it- although through triangulation some “facts” may be gleaned- but finding out what drivel the rest of America is seeing and swallowing as a substitute for real in depth coverage helps us understand why most Americans- as well as most denizens of Honolulu- are apparently too stupid to live.

But recently our burden has been diminished significantly ever since earlier this year when local NBC affiliate Channel 8/KHNL abandoned what was the top local news program (how's that for damming with faint praise and/or the soft prejudice of low expectations) for what they bafflingly called “content”- apparently anything that bleeds on camera or they can steal from other news gathering sources.

It’s so bad we often zip right through without stopping.

It allowed the thin gruel of Channel 9/KGMB news to serve as the, shall we say, least objectionable program followed by either the skimpy KHON Channel 2 and the classically inadequate KITV Channel 4 depending on who they fired this week or whether Joe Moore is spewing one of his wing-nut-rants.

That’s why today’s “breaking news” in both Honolulu papers is especially baffling.

According to the Star Bulletin’s version:

KGMB-TV will merge operations with KHNL/KFVE-TV in a deal announced to each station’s staff this morning.

The months-in-the-making arrangement will skirt federal regulations that prohibit single ownership of three TV stations in Honolulu. KGMB is owned by MCG Capital, while both KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV are owned by Raycom Media.

KGMB is the CBS affiliate in the islands while KHNL is the NBC affiliate.
Paul McTear, president and chief executive officer of Raycom, will discuss details of the new shared services agreement with reporters today.

We’ve yet to hear the details but this can’t be good news for news if KGMB is going to do anything but provide more “content” to KHNL as opposed to presenting a watered down version on both stations.

We certainly don’t expect any added coverage of neighbor islands to come out of this- KGMB seems to be the only ones that are even aware we exist and even they rarely if ever have coverage of any significant local stories on Kaua`i, Maui or Hawai`i island.

But the “skirting” of federal regulations can’t bode well for shedding more rather than less light on the notorious Hawai`i government corruption which is already given the shortest of shrifts in Honolulu, not to mention out here in the boonies.


kapaagirl said...

Am I the only one who thinks that this stinks? Where is the choice in what to watch or the ability to hear different viewpoints on local news coverage. Do they think we are all robotons and only need one veiwpoint?

Andy Parx said...

There are efforts by some consumer and public interest groups to challenge their supposed "loophole" to get around anti trust media conglomeration laws