Monday, October 19, 2015

10.19.15 Bee-otch of the Day: WZZM 13

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Name: WZZM 13
Age: 53
Occupation: Grand Rapids' primary ABC affiliate
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Bee-otched For: moronic journalism

It's a sad shame knowing that my hometown has not one, but TWO ABC affiliates.

And sadly, they both suck.

The other ABC in town is WOTV-41, owned by Media General and is a sister station to WOOD-TV 8, our local NBC affiliate. WOTV *used* to be a cooler station than WZZM, but then, they flipped to the godawful "WOTV 4 Women" format. True, a lot of ABC's schedule is yenta-friendly, but it makes me love WZZM a little more.

Well, on Saturday, WZZM reporter Jamal Spencer pulled a "Dewey Defeats Truman" and told its viewers that Michigan had defeated Michigan State in our state's much-heated football rivalry. However, shortly after the report, sports anchor Eric Lloyd corrected Spencer. What happened was that in the last few seconds in the very close game, Michigan fumbled and State took the ball to a touchdown, 27-23.

And yes, the blooper has been preserved for all time.

The station's news director, Taz Painter apologized for the error, stating:

"At the end of Saturday's Michigan State victory over the University of Michigan – we screwed up. Due to a breakdown in communication, we reported that the Wolverines won.

When we make a mistake – our guideline is to correct it as quickly as possible and we did. Immediately.

Even though most TVs in Michigan were tuned to ESPN when we made the mistake – many thousands of people have seen at least portions of it on the internet and social media.

For the error – I want to say that we're sorry. I'm sorry.

We have and will continue to discuss what we can learn to make sure we don't do it again."

You know, Grand Rapids should be a lucky town since there's four TV news outlets as opposed to Detroit's three. But yet, WOOD-TV 8 kisses the Devos' ass, WWMT-3 is too focused on Kalamazoo and is owned by vultures and WXMI Fox 17, is, well, a Fox affiliate and airs Fox News Channel's unfair and unbalanced news stories. WZZM's problem is that they're too cookie cutter and too yenta-y (Juliet Dragos frightens me). The only real wise thing they've done in recent years is demote Lee VanAmyde to the "Watchdog" department, especially since he's a right-winged tool.

I think it's time for WZZM to realize that for a top 35 TV station, they need some work to do. I think if I were Gannett TEGNA, I would realize that their ratings suck and they simply need a makeover. Too many times, they simply polish a turd (i.e. retooling their morning yenta show from Take Five and Company to My West Michigan and replacing the portly Catherine Behrendt with the dog-faced Jennifer Pascua) instead of really fixing it. I'd say, let's destroy the whole thing and start anew.

Then again, what do you expect from a TV station whose call letters look the same upside down?
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