July dawns with assortment of D-FW news/views on CW33, Rebecca Miller, Mike Snyder and Rebecca Aguilar
07/01/10 11:36 AM
By ED BARK
Resplendent in red and now with greatly improved visuals, weathercaster Rebecca Miller remains the single best reason to watch and often otherwise endure CW33's 9 p.m. newscasts.
Her forecasts are concise, conversational and relatable. And she now has a playground worthy of her skills, as Wednesday's edition showed. CW33's newscasts were by far the last to convert to HD in the D-FW market. The station is still relatively new at providing crystal clear pictures. But it's getting markedly better at show and tell, with a sleeker studio look and increasingly decent-looking graphics that stand in stark contrast to the old converted garage look.
The station's turn toward sometimes super-cheesy sexual content and dumb-ass slogans ("You Won't Believe The $#!T We Report") have been repeatedly criticized in these spaces. But fair is fair. And Wednesday's edition was fairly solid on content from start to finish. Not great by any means. And maybe it was just an aberration. Still, there was nothing really cringe-worthy, although social media reporter Pelpina Trip perhaps should reconsider using the terms "old man" and "old lady" in her discourses on popular videos.
CW33 obviously is striving and sometimes embarrassingly straining to keep its parent network's younger target audience from totally tuning out. There's nothing wrong with making that effort. But believe it or not, it can be done with some degree of intelligence.
Here's an example. Reporter Shana Franklin, whose current lot in life is patrolling the station's recently created sex beat, had an interesting and valid story Wednesday night on two SMU professors who have created a virtual reality program aimed at teaching students how to avoid unwanted sexual advances. It led the newscast, and rightly so.
Another Wednesday entry, Barry Carpenter's report on "Mommy Makeovers," also played better than it might sound. And former Dallas Morning News reporter Dan X. McGraw, one of CW33's trio of "backpack journalists," had an interesting story on conflicting drinking ordinances at Grapevine Lake.
So maybe a very muted round of applause is merited. CW33 increasingly looks markedly better visually. And on Wednesday night at least, its overall content wasn't an eyesore either.
***Former Fox4 reporter Rebecca Aguilar, still awaiting a hearing -- or a possible settlement -- in her discrimination case against the station, has hopes of landing a show on Oprah Winfrey's upcoming OWN cable network. So she's put together a video and entered "Oprah's Search For The Next TV Star: Your OWN Show."
Aguilar says she wants to search the country for selfless people who are "making a difference for others." Her three-minute video further states her case, and you can see it -- and vote for her if you'd like -- by going here.
***NBC5's Thursday, July 1st 6 p.m. newscast will be the last co-anchored by Mike Snyder, who's leaving the station after a 30-year tour. The station's official line is that he's voluntarily "retiring." But Snyder has made it clear both in these spaces and to Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer Robert Philpot that this is not quite the case.
On his Facebook page, Snyder noted that a retrospective on his career at NBC5 will shown during his final newscast. "I hope you will be there to watch."
And on her Facebook page, his longtime colleague and co-anchor, Jane McGarry, wrote, "What was I thinking? I'm buying appetizers and first drink for everybody at Mike's party. These are NEWSPEOPLE . . . which means the first drink will be in not a glass, but a pitcher :)"
McGarry herself may end up "retiring" after her current arrangement with NBC5 ends. Snyder was dropped from the station's 10 p.m. newscasts in July of last year and McGarry got the same treatment in February of this year. Both have been anchoring the 5 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts at substantially reduced salaries.
Snyder's last contract with NBC5 was for one year -- and now that year is up. McGarry likely is working under a one-year deal as well. Both say they have new career path ideas beyond NBC5, but neither is ready to disclose them.