Friday, July 23, 2010

KIAH 39 dumps traditional newscasts

UPDATE 8/2010
Gary Jaffe is new KIAH 39 Imaginator for NewsFix

Oh the rumors were flying around the Houston TV media scene Thursday afternoon. Is 39 KIAH really getting rid of its newscast? Yes and no. The answer is actually on KIAH's own website.

I've blogged in the past how Tribune (the owner of KIAH 39) is not playing around with traditional newscasts anymore. On the TV company's upcoming makeover, Tribune Co.'s chief innovation officer Lee Abrams recently told the Chicago Tribune, "It's elevating us and escaping the grip of the 1970s television playbook that seems to be what every station in America is addicted to."

Now we know what Abrams was talking about thanks to this week's job posting on Channel 39's website. This is not your average, boring TV job listing that reads the same at every station. Take my word for it and read every line - I thought it was very clever:

Executive Producer and Imaginator (Full-Time Position) A radically different approach to local TV News is being planned and the new Tribune Company is looking for the right person to hire, lead, and implement a revolution in TV news. Experience in running a TV Newsroom is not necessary and might actually be detrimental, as this position requires someone with no traditional TV News baggage, because there's little tradition involved in this idea. We do want someone:

* With a fiery passion to help re-invent the 80's rooted, focus grouped, yuppie anchors and a news desk, super doppler ultra weather style
* Who can take the blueprint and pilot for a new concept and make it happen with guidance, ideas and interaction
* Who lives and breathes content
* That is in sync with the pulse of the streets, not the PC Journalism world
* Has well honed B.S. Radar
* Who understands and embraces new production technology
* Who thinks in stereo and lives in color
* Who knows that most local TV News sucks and wants to do something about it
* Can survive and prosper in a modern high brilliance standards rock n roll culture
* Gets "it"
* Excruciatingly high quality, imagination and execution standards

The creatively challenged, old school TV news types and anyone lost in the 80's really shouldn't apply. But if this thing excites you, talk to us. Shoot your resume, POV on TV News and anything else you think might help sell you as the right person to deliver the goods on our new idea for TV News. KIAH-TV is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please list source of referral. No phone calls please. Send resumes to: KIAH-TV, HR Coordinator, 7700 Westpark Dr., Houston, TX 77063 or e-mail to:

I understand some KIAH 39 employees are a little anxious about this radical thinking. In fact the ones I heard from still are still unclear exactly what this all means for their jobs. Stay tuned.

So far KDAF 33 in Dallas does not have a job posting like this.

- Tribune stations like KIAH 39 and KDAF 33 are getting makeovers
- Cussing and insults mark TV station group ad campaigns

The Houston Chroncile's David Barron reports KIAH 39 will launch NewsFix which "discards on-camera anchors and reporters and focuses on natural sound and video to tell stories." READ MORE

UPDATE 8/2010
Gary Jaffe is new KIAH 39 Imaginator for NewsFix CONTACT: Leave me a Houston or Texas media news tip | COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here