Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Posts Tagged ‘Ken Boddie

Something’s Missing

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Tannerite

I’ve written in this blog about how CBS, under long time anchor Dan Rather, pioneered the idea of using maps as part of stories. The reason, at the time, was because studies showed American kids were terrible at geography. It was an attempt to make news not only inform, but provide basic education. It was decades before the Internet.

Fast forward to about 2009 when the New York Times starts making it easy for web users to define certain words and phrases in its online version of stories. Users who let their browsers hover over unfamiliar terms see a thumbnail description. Later, the site would underline those same words and phrases with hyperlinks to make it even easier to quickly get an in-depth explanation of those unknown somethings.

Maybe news departments have come to believe that because the Internet is so ubiquitous, people will know to look up something they see or hear that they don’t understand. And so, maybe that was the reason why KOIN’s Ken Boddie, in reporting an accident at an Oregon gun range involving the substance “tannerite”, didn’t explain what tannerite is.

Tannerite is the brand name of an explosive sold mainly for making targets on gun ranges blow up. A listener might wonder why something that has the potential to accidentally explode would be used on gun ranges. Wikipedia says tannerite is a combination of two powders that is stable until hit by a hammer blow, a low-velocity shotgun blast or dropped.

Clearly, a complete description like that is more than a news director might feel such a story needs. But that missing detail, for someone who doesn’t spend their time on gun ranges or in gun stores, was just glaring enough.

In the end, I did look it up.  But for a completely different reason.

Written by Interviewer

August 17, 2015 at 23:58

Mike Murad Gone

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Mike Murad Gone

Ten months ago, I posted a blog post about the fickleness of broadcast management when it comes to who they have sitting in the anchor chair.  At the time, the sacrifice du joir was former KOIN morning anchor Chad Carter.  Mr. Carter’s chair was still warm when they brought in Mike Murad.  Mr. Murad was formely from KBOI and Boise’s Treasure Valley.  And his landing seemed to kick off a fresh look and feel for KOIN’s morning news, including a new and snappy ad campaign that included Meteorologist Sally Showman, Anchor Jenny Hansson, Traffic’s Carly Kennelly and Murad, all getting along swimmingly in front of a new set and behind new graphics.

Fast forward to last week, and a Twitter post (see above) where Mr. Murad is suddenly unemployed.  And he has to be gracious about it because he’s probably looking for work in another market and he doesn’t want to look like a bad sport to a future employer.  He simply says “Management said they wanted to go in another direction.”

Again?  This is the kind of thing that can make a viewer wonder exactly who is driving the train, or car, or clown car.  You know he was vetted.  You know he was focused grouped to death.  You know they spent a lot of money believing he was money, baby.  And now, he and Mr. Carter share a pitiful truth about the broadcasting business.  It quite possibly doesn’t know what it’s doing.

And just like before, I wonder how the staff is weathering the change. This is hard shit.  For months, we were fed that happy, cheerful spot of the four of them seemingly loving each other’s company as a way of convincing us we would too.  But I wonder if this is just another reason for people at the station to worry about their own jobs and, like Madame Secretary, know they better just hold it in and keep going.

While the station possibly looks for a new face, long time local rock of a reporter, Ken Boddie, is joining Jenny Hansson at the anchor desk.  Seeing these two pros side by side makes me marvel that anybody ever gets to stay long enough to become a pro.  And seeing Mr. Boddie in Murad’s old seat tells me KOIN management didn’t have anyone warming up in the bullpen which makes me think this departure was sudden rather than the previous one which seemed more planned.

Just as an aside, Mr. Murad’s tweet is dated March 16th, which was a Monday.  I first noticed something was wrong after I started counting the number of vacation days he probably had that I though he had certainly used up by now.  So, he’s been off the air at least two weeks.  If industry norms prevail, he was probably let go on a Friday.  And that tweet is from his own account because according to Twitter, his KOIN twitter account, @MikeKOIN, doesn’t exist anymore.  It was almost certainly and immediately deactivated.

Nice.  Real nice.

Written by Interviewer

March 23, 2015 at 13:12