Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bolander improves KODE morning program

This is not the first time I have written this, but it is just as true today as the first time I typed the words- "Good Morning Four States" is always better when reporter Gretchen Bolander subs.

It does not matter if Ms. Bolander is substituting for Alan Matthews or Shannon Bruffett, the program always improves. Even today, when the show opened with a two-minute discussion between Ms. Bruffett and Ms. Bolander that probably mystified anyone who was not a regular viewer, it was still far easier to watch than the typical "Good Morning Four States."

KODE's problem with the morning program has been finding someone to match with Matthews. The last partner to mesh with Matthews was Malorie Maddox, who moved on to KODE's evening news anchor position and now hosts a morning program in Omaha, Neb., with her former KODE co-anchor Jimmy Siedlecki.

While Ms. Bruffett has been the best regular morning co-host since Ms. Maddox (the rest were regrettably forgettable), it is still not easy to watch the two of them since both are loud at a time when I would appreciate a bit more calm from the people who are providing the background as I get ready to go to work.

Ms. Bolander adds that touch and is also a better interviewer of the live guests than either Ms. Bruffett or Matthews. Anytime she is on "Good Morning Four States," the show is better.

The lack of chemistry between co-hosts has also been a continuing problem at KODE's Nexstar Broadcasting sister station KSNF, which has serious problems with its Hometown Today duo of newcomer Stefan Chase and veteran Jeremiah Cook. While nearly all talk between co-hosts or co-anchors of any news program is somewhat forced, the conversations between Ms. Chase and Cook are painfully hard to watch. While both seem to be likable and capable, their forced jocularity and unnecessary comments after news segments makes me hit the remote nearly every time. Particularly galling was the commentary following a story on Wednesday's program about a blind football player. While the package itself was absorbing, listening to the two co-hosts gush about the player and hearing Cook talk about how he was sure this young man would reach his dream of becoming the first blind professional football player was embarrassing. Let the story stand for itself. If you want to say it was inspirational, that is fine, but I have a feeling most viewers already thought that without any commentary.

Each day is a painful reminder of how lucky Hometown Today viewers were to have Toni Valliere working with Lucas McDonald and then Cook for more than two years.


KOAM, meanwhile, continues to have the top-rated morning show, and perhaps it is the low-key presentation that helps. KOAM is not overloaded with unnecessary remote broadcasts, and underrated Dave Pylant provides a soothing, professional weather presentation each morning, and pleasant, and thankfully limited interaction with his co-hosts.

Pylant has meshed well with a series of co-hosts who have gone on to better things, but he has helped maintain a continuity of the program. It is never too exciting, but sometimes in the morning, that is better.

His co-host, Tawyna Bach, follows the same road map as her predecessors, delivering the news with a minimum of nonsense. It's not must-see TV by any means, but it has been a successful program for KOAM


Anonymous said...

I cannot, will not watch Jeremiah Cook. He depresses me. If I watched him in the mornings I think I would be hard pressed to find a reason to live. It appears that it takes every bit of his strength to make it through the show. He reminds me of a sad little slow slug.

Anonymous said...

Cook is as bad as it gets. Local news talent in this market is horrible except the 2 weekday anchors on KOAM. There has always been a few good local sports anchors in this market, now there is none. KODE sports guys tape there sportscasts often and try to play it off as live..what a joke! Even the weather guys are dull and Bandy's act is old. I have faith that it will all get better though, I'll start watching more then.