Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wendy extending the Bias to live video on the Internet?

Video Pimp My Ride: the tragedy of the News-Less-Press-Supress-Mess may be extending into other media, but will anyone watch or care?

Sources (and that is all you readers need to know) reveal that representatives of The Wendy traveled to Turlock (yes, that Turlock, the one near Modesto) earlier this week to purchase a mobile TV production rig, often called a War Wagon, the kind of electronically-tricked-out vans that TV crews use to broadcast live productions from the field.

The Wendy reps reportedly were not too sophisticated about understanding all the technical capabilities of the TV production rig, but they did pay full price of $125,000.

They told the Turlockers that the "TV" streaming video at the News-Less web site will expand to include live webcasting from the field.

But will anyone watch Wendy-TV because of the gee-whiz hardware, or will web viewers instead still crave the fundamentals of a newspaper business: crazy things like experienced and credible editors and writers and a functional web site to start with.

Is live web video the answer when the canned video still is lame and just a rehash of the news releases and/or the Wendy view of reality?


Anonymous spiffy in sb said...

Sorry, but I laughed out loud the same way I did when I first heard about the blue lines...

I think we have just too much sun on the 'brain' in SB...

(except for the great thunder and lightning show Wed,11pmish.)

I hope 'stupidity' is not contagious!

Thanks for the bed time giggle, Sara, and the change of pace.

8/30/2007 1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the youtube world this is great and better than old hippy style news. rock on!

8/30/2007 6:01 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Hopefully Ta Ta for Now! won't claim credit for the scoop ( See Craig Smith).

Good story CS -- I guess this is for value added subscriptions.

8/30/2007 6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You keep forgetting: Wendy's newspaper has lots of fans. Lots of people listen to her radio station. Lots of people use her NP website. And they think she is doing just fine, better in fact than the slant that infected this media source before.

Get over yourself being such "quality"reporters that the NP can't survive without you. This is not true and you were really only a minor part of the whole newspaper package, which survives for its subscribers very nicely. Get over yourselves.

8/30/2007 7:32 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

And will you need to subscribe in order to see the videos?

8/30/2007 7:36 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Laura and Craig seem to be having a conversation...

Maybe Craig can get a letter in the NP? and publish the unedited version on the website

8/30/2007 8:05 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

anonymous 7:32: You keep posting the same drivel as a comment so many times that I could practically write your comments myself (let me know if you ever fall temporarily ill and need a proxy).

You forgot this bit:
"And come November, wait and see, there'll be big changes in the city council from those of us who like the new and improved News-Press. The old, biased writers who didn't want you to really know what's going on behind the scenes of city government aren't there to supress the stories anymore, so now all the voices of those of us who want to see big changes in city hall get to tell our side. Get prepared, Santa Barbara. Change is coming, and the sooner you prepare for it, the better off you'll be. The current council better start looking for day jobs where they'll have to work for a living instead of rolling over for the whims of city staff (who are all corrupted by public employees' unions) and overeager developers who want to build mega-monstrosities on every vacant lot downtown. All of us thousands who think Wendy's doing a great job are ready to take back our city! Watch out!"

How'd I do?

8/30/2007 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont subscribe anymore since the meltdown, but do wander by the webpage to check the breaking news updates to check those from time to time. In doing so have checked out the videos posted since they are free and you dont have to subscribe. Most of them have been fairly good and informative, with decent editing and at least as good if not better than most of the stuff thrown out on channels 3,6,11 and 12.

Having worked in tv news for some years afew points seem strange. I have never heard anyone call a eng truck a "war wagon" and the price seems extremely low for a eng truck could it be for her radio properties since the average microwave truck for television is going to run far more than that. Then again maybe she bought used like the ill fated newsroom macs.

Either way I dont really mind the news press tv the product seems better than the paper offers these days and most papers seem to be venturing into that. Although if this report is true she is one of the 1st papers in the country to invest in tv production capabilities and with such a small market paper thats strange.

8/30/2007 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has The Wendy ever come forth with any numbers?

--How many still buy her paper these days?

--How many listen to her station?

--How many watch Wendy TV?

--How many don't care anymore?

--How does all this compare to the pre-Mess era?

Probably down, big-time, so the figures will remain shrouded in mystery forevermore?

If up, wouldn't McCaw trumpet on front page?

8/30/2007 1:02 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

Dear Anon 7:32 am!

The SBNP is "surviving" not only for its subscribers, but continues to haunt those of us who canceled our subscriptions!

What do I mean?

Well every week in the U.S. mail I receive a thick copy of NP Direct! It is Sunday SBNP advertising inserts stuffed into a classified advertising section from the newspaper.

What does it cost to do that? Do other newspapers do that for non-subscribers?

Then there was the personally signed letter from Arthur many months ago telling me how sad he was that I canceled.

And then 2 weeks ago the one "signed personally" by Ms. McCaw telling me how she was not only saving the animals, but also the children.

And asking me how could I cancel under those circumstances.

These are reflections of a paper doing just fine? I don't think so!

I'm boB

8/30/2007 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 7:32 a.m., thanks for the ego boost! I am just reminded of what a fabulous journalist I am. I know for a fact that the News-Press is not the same product without my thoughtful, heartful and energetic reporting, but I am doing much better without it. I wrote stories that people will save for the rest of their lives.
Love, Lois Lane

8/30/2007 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok 7:32am, You just hit the nail on the head. You called it "Wendy's newspaper". Nobody ever called the NP TM's paper or the NY Times paper because their emphasis was on the community, not themselves. Also, I haven't met anyonew who actually likes the new NP, other than Wendy and her goons and buddies so I keep wondering who all those happy people are. Don't tell me they are all the subscribers, either. As we all well know those numbers have been heavily padded.

8/30/2007 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News-Press TV is available to anyone, even those without a subscription, just like News-Press Radio. I just click on the icons at the top of News-Press Radio is the only station I've found besides public radio that uses BBC.

Just about every reasonably sized newspaper website has video on it in one form or another. For the News-Press to be able to offer live streaming video on the web, of breaking news or just of community events, is awesome.

I look forward to seeing it.

And I have to agree with some of the other commentators, "Get over yourself." It's OK to say something encouraging about a local business that is trying something new.

Occasionally I see something interesting on Blogabarbara, so I'll continue to look at it, but the smarmy attacks on the News-Press are getting old. Where's the objectivity that you're calling for?

8/30/2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Citizen Stringer said...

The video War Wagon was used; that is why they got it in Turlock.

The "News-Press TV" videos at their web site have very high production values, but the content is puff and merely some images of a location with a narrative reading the press release from the event organizer.

Just like the text version, the video News-Less-Supress is more of the same nothing.

8/30/2007 6:23 PM  
Blogger ssdd101 said...

Did anyone notice that the NPTV thing had a news video up in just a couple hours about the fire in Montecito this afternoon? And it was good, up-close video, too.
They may have started out a little shaky, but I think they're doing a pretty good job - breaking new ground and setting an example for other newspaper's websites.

8/30/2007 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Actually having watched their video of the fire coverage, make your own kayak competition for semana nautica and some others how can you possibly say its just a press release? As for fluff well we are in Santa Barbara. Its the same thing Keyt or others do and the guy who does it does most of them well and interviews the people on scene to get reaction. Its standard eng technique and he does a good job for this market.

As for the NP itself I dont subscribe and dont agree with Wendys actions but your tone is just a shrill and biased as hers in this matter. Just because its the News Press dosent always make it wrong.

By the same standard were Dawn Hobbs, Melissa Evans and the others wrong to have kept their jobs past the inital wave of resignations? Why dont you go after them for waiting to be fired? If they had any ethics shouldnt they have quit? Its not always black and white there are still some people doing a good job and trying to get by its the ownership/mgmt that bites.

Dont hate the players...hate the game :)

8/30/2007 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its interesting to see such a small market daily dabble in the video side with that type of equipment. Even the big papers who have started to hand out video cameras to their photogs and reporters havent done this unless they have a agreement with a local tv station and then its not their product.

If Wendy really has done this it will be watched by other publications regardless of the mess.

8/30/2007 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

citizen stringer says 'puff and merely images of a location reading the press release...' Have you seen the piece they did about the Sizzler robbery and arrest? Or the Zaca Fire pieces?

Yeah, some of the videos could be commercials or features, not hard news, but I don't see anyone else doing anything better. Even the SBITV website, with their collaboration with Daily Sound, has dropped their newscast.

And, stringer, you might think you have a sense of humor, but what the heck do you think is funny about 'the video War Wagon was used; that is why they got it in Turlock'? I'm assuming you meant it to be funny, but it's just random.

8/30/2007 7:54 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

This isn't youtube style news because it isn't generated by readers of the News-Press....I'll do a post about how great other newspapers are doing with their own small-c citizen stringers.

Live web streaming sounds cool but is a little over the top and a model that will be extremely hard to make money on. It will immediately become a podcast which will help generate ad revenue but will be expensive versus doing so ex post facto.

Truth is we don't even know what their plans are....let's see.

8/30/2007 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Wendyvision said...

I think it's going to be used to cover more animal stories. get close up and personal with the squirrels in Shoreline Park. Maybe a chance to watch our beloved Meerats frolic at night. but probably no Michael Vick-like dogfights.

8/31/2007 3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to read the letter Wendy is sending out to subscribers who've canceled.

Anyone care to post?

8/31/2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know how Wendy-TV plans to make money? Charge for on-line viewing? Watch the Baron hawk landfilling bottled water during commercials? Have Travis sell subpoenas by the pound?

8/31/2007 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I failed to resubscribe and kept getting it delivered and just recently got a bill for all the extra copies I kept getting, with the claim I had agreed to pay for these until I affirmatively unsubscribed.

But I got no cute personal messages at all, just the routine formal bills I always got. But with the message about the extra copies still delivered - for which I now owe them $35 dollars.

I guess I overlooked this clause. Cable TV did the same thing for me. I thought just stopping my monthly payments would end the service, but they also claimed somewhere I had agreed to keep paying until affirmatively stopping service.

I will resubscribe. I have no problem with the new NewsPress. Just got lazy and was also curious how long they would keep delivering them to me - about 3 months? I owe them. I enjoyed reading it and found TA editorials actually getting better and better.

8/31/2007 9:18 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Wow. Hard to believe but hope you are getting all you need from TKA....better and better? We are still in the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

8/31/2007 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad and scary part about the "new" News-Press is that much of the news is being initially reported — and simultaneously spun — in Travis' editorials.

So readers, instead of being given the facts and being allowed to make up their own minds about issues, first learn about them with someone else already passing judgement and telling them what they should think and believe.


9/01/2007 12:46 AM  

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