Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Hemphill shines in awkward situation
It's the kind of story that local television news does better than anyone.
A Miami, Okla. fireman is critically injured while performing his duties. People have heard about it and they want to know the latest information.
Two of the three local stations led their 5 p.m. newscasts with this powerful local story. KOAM and KODE had the story placed exactly where it should have been- front and center- leading off their program.
The third newscast, KSNF's Live with Gary and Tiffany took a different approach. While the other stations delivered the news and told a tale of an injured hero, Tiffany Alaniz and Gary Bandy were enlightening their audience with yet another major news story...apparently, Gary has a new haircut.
As one of those who is follically challenged, I can sympathize with this misguided news placement, but after the haircut was discussed, the emphasis shifted to the weather forecast. It was a full two minutes before Ms. Alaniz began delivering some actual news.
KSN opened the news segment with the story of the fireman, as delivered by Dianna Hemphill, the Colorado transplant who has impressed during her 10 months in the Joplin area. Ms. Hemphill conducted a live interview with one of the injured fireman's co-workers, and as usual, she was professional and the interview was informative.
But how in the world can you make a fireman who is worried about his friend wait to do a live interview while back in the studio, the two anchors are talking about a haircut? And how in the world can you not lead off your newscast with a live interview with someone involved in the biggest news story of the day?
Ms. Hemphill had the goods, but news had to wait until the Regis and Kathie Lee segment was completed. It definitely makes KSN viewers appreciate the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts when the grownups are back in charge.