It's a shame Jimmie Siedlecki is Omaha-bound just as the KODE news team has started to hit its stride.
On its 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts today, KODE led with Alan Cavanna's story on hazardous waste shipments rolling through the Joplin area. Cavanna covered the story thoroughly without making it sound as if doom awaits everyone in this area. Lately, Cavanna has had a string of big stories and seems to rapidly be becoming KODE's go-to guy. KODE followed its news segments with weatherman Ray Foreman's weekly cookout, an entertaining and pleasant segment that does not detract from the remainder of the newscast.
While all of that was going on during the 5 p.m. newscast, KOAM met the KODE challenge with an update on the two-year-old who was apparently murdered in Lamar, including some investigative work that turned up some past legal problems in that household. It was a stellar piece by newcomer Jennifer Denman. (It pays to hire someone with a print journalism background.)
Meanwhile on KSN's "Live with Gary and Tiffany," which functions next to the 5 p.m. news on sister station KODE like 'The Teletubbies" functions next to Masterpiece Theater on PBS, I still haven't quite figured out what they were doing, but I am sure there is no shortage of people who will be happy to tell me.
When the news portion of KSN's program finally began, the lead story was the festival going on in Joplin this weekend. I have no problem with that. News does not have to be bad to be worthy of leading a newscast...it's just a shame KSN waits that long to get to the news function of its program.
Following the lead story, KSN ran the footage from Cavanna's KODE story, with Ms. Alaniz doing the voiceover.
Now, that being said, no matter what it says in the comments that have been placed on this blog, I am certain that "Live with Gary and Tiffany" has loyal supporters, and not just employees of KSN. The two have a long history in this area and have earned the goodwill of the viewers. Also, it has to be taken into consideration that KSN's 5 p.m. news was number three out of the three news programs in the last Nielsen, so some changes may have been in order.
But if this is what the majority of the news department at KSN wanted, then I don't know news people as well as I thought I did.
KSN has some promising young reporters, like Lucas McDonald and Toni Valliere, and a solid veteran in Brad Douglas, but it appears that the station is headed back to the days when it used Jim Jackson's smooth, on-air professionalism to cover up a lot of holes.