Author Archives: Tripp Frohlichstein

Channel 4 wins this round

The lead story on the noon news in St. Louis on May 31 on both Channels 4 and 5 was the same…but the details were very different.

It was the latest carjacking downtown to get a lot of attention, including the killing at 11th and Washington. This one was close to Busch Stadium.

Channel 5’s Jason Aubrey reported basic details on the event-but there were no references to the report the carjack victim had a gun and used it.  Instead, after a brief description, he moved on to an angle with officials showing a lack of confidence in police chief Sam Dotson.  Even though a reply from Dotson would have made the story more balanced, there was none in this story.

Channel 4’s Anthony Kiekow, on the other hand, had clearly worked harder on the story and had many details Aubry failed to find.

Kiekow told viewers specifics Channel 5 did not report about how the victim was shot in the leg but pulled his gun and returned fire.  An interesting sound bite from a police official discussed how much blood was on the scene and why that might be significant in catching the carjacker.

Kiekow also did a better job of showing where the carjacking happened and how close it was to Busch Stadium.  While Aubrey also discussed the location and mention the proximity to Busch, Kiekow understands he is on teleVISION.  Aubrey did the “tell” part.  Kiekow did the “vision” part – a far better use of the visual medium.

Kiekow did take himself down a notch by beginning his story with, “I’ve been piecing together the details of this crime all day.”  So what?  That is your job.  Saying that to let viewers know how cool you are is a fail.

Channel 5 General Manager Marv Danielski defended Aubrey saying “We only report on confirmed info.  It wasn’t confirmed information to us.”

When I said Channel 4 had more information, he said, “Bully for them.”

As I continued to press him about why Channel 4 was so far ahead, he said, “Don’t bother calling.  You clearly have a bone to pick on this story like other stories. I know what you are going to do.”

But to his credit, he called back with new information saying they got the incident report at 12:12 and that is when it was confirmed.

Channel 4 news director Brian Thourenot says the information was all confirmed by air time.  “We’d rather be right than first,” he said. He spent several minutes explaining his news philosophy focused on using multiple trusted sources to make sure what airs is correct.

So the difference is either Kiekow got the incident report first or, using multiple sources, worked harder to have the more complete story.

In this round, chalk a win up to Channel 4’s viewers for getting a far more complete story about the carjacking.

 

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Ratings Joy at Channel 2

They are happy campers at Channel 2 since the completion of the May Nielson ratings last week.

The May Nielson rating period is one of three key four week viewer measurement periods used to set station advertising rates.  The other key months are November and February.Channel 2 reports it was the number one station overall as well as for news both on the air and in the all important social media battle.

The station looks at ratings in the key demographic (think advertising money) of Adults from 18-54.
Overall, the station says it is number one for all its programming when you measure the entire 24 hour day.
The station is number one in news from 4am to 10am11 am5pm and 6pm.  At 10pm, the stations are so close it’s a statistical dead heat. (10p-Ch 5 rating 3.1, Channel 2 rating 2.9, Channel 4 2.8).  Channel 2’s new 11pm news is doing well enough to improve upon the rating a year ago, when entertainment programming aired.  The station notes this is the #2 rated show after Channel 5’s Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Especially impressive is the fact that in the 25-54 age group, Channel 2’s morning news beats all three network news shows combined!

FOX  2​3.4

NBC​ 1.5

CBS​ 1.1

ABC​ 0.3

Finally, in the growing every more important department, social media.  Channel 2

contends it is the most followed newsroom in St. Louis. They are seeing significant growth.

The station news release claims, “KTVI is St. Louis’ most followed television newsroom, leading the way in social media with 625,888+ Facebook Fans (vs 496,076 in ’15), 132,612+ Twitter Followers (vs 95,203 in ’15), and 30,763+Instagram Followers (vs 5,785 in ’15).”

The (in)exact science of weather forecasting

Meteorologists tell us they are getting better and better at forecasts, especially in the near term.

Well, not always.

On November 2 at noon in St. Louis, there was a tale of two forecasts.

At KSDK’s Channel 5 Mike Roberts predicted a high of 75 after a foggy morning.

But at Channel 4, KMOV, Meghan Danahey said that based on the fog, she was lowering her estimated high that afternoon to “near 70.”

Danahey was right. The high hit 71. It is a reminder that weathercasters still might need to go with their gut, depending on changing conditions.

Channel 4 has been the winner of a weather accuracy award for several years. Channel 5 used the same award to brag until Channel 4 took top honors.

The station wrote in a news release, “The honor comes from the independent firm WeatheRate who monitored the forecasts for all of the news stations in St Louis each day for an entire year, and then named KMOV the most accurate.”

On this particular day, that was indeed the case.

Eight days later, Danahey again served viewers better than Roberts at noon. For days, all the stations were predicting severe storms for Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Things began changing by the day before.

The National Weather Service has various categories for the potential of bad weather moving from “marginal” to “slight” to “enhanced” to “moderate” to “high.”

On Monday, two days before the predicted event, we were nearly dead center in the highest risk for that day, the “enhanced risk.”

By Tuesday morning, the enhanced risk moved further north, with the St. Louis metro area being on the southern end of the end of the greatest risk. The metro area was now in the slight risk category. But by 12:15 PM, the highest risk had moved north of the metro area. (Screenshot below from KSDK Facebook page).

To her credit, Danahey made a big point about the fact that in the last few minutes, the greatest threat moved to north of the area so viewers might relax a little (though she did make a point of saying there was still a threat – just a lesser one).

Roberts did not point out to viewers the big threat eased north. Instead, he said we were still in the “bull’s eye” for severe weather, which was no longer correct.

Channel 4’s Danahey better served viewers by noting how things were changing.

While it’s a small thing, this difference can be substantial for viewers. Many viewers hear about severe weather and get scared.

Accurate information is important. And when really bad weather is approaching, at that point, a bit of fear may be appropriate to get people to protect themselves.

But it is not okay to scare people days in advance as, in this case, all the stations were doing? No.

Advise? Yes. Scare?  No.

Despite the hype, the severe weather never materialized in the St. Louis area. In fact, the line of storms completely missed. To his credit, Dave Murray acknowledged on the 9 p.m. news on Fox2 (KTVI) how badly the forecasters messed up.

 

GJR 1113

Charter must do better with its Spectrum app and support

Charter Communications, which is now using the marketing term “Spectrum” for its TV, Internet and phone offerings, is supposed to be a high tech company. But when it comes to its app for iPhones and iPads, it has a ways to go.

In this age of mobile apps, high-tech companies have to perform well in multiple areas while making it easy for consumers to use their products. Too bad that Charter has yet to figure this out.

This article is based on the iOS version of Charter’s app.

The app promises you can watch most stations live on a mobile device when using your home network. A glaring omission is ESPN, which is not available.

The Spectrum app was a bit hard to navigate intuitively, and instructions like these, which were found on Charter’s website, show why: “To search for a specific channel number, you must select Watch on TV at the top of the screen and then you can tap Sort to quickly locate channels. Tapping Sort a second time sorts channels in alphabetical order.”

The app was cluttered, and while better on an iPad, was very tough to navigate on an iPhone. Recently, the app failed to show local stations live.

Many people were clearly upset with the app’s problems. Of the 61 reviews at the time of this writing (Nov. 4), only a handful were higher than the lowest one-star rating.

Braymeister’s late October review titled “Really?!?!” said: “The reviews have been bad for as long as I have been watching. I tried the app a couple of times but it won’t even load.  What’s more, I go to the website and it’s almost useless.” Braymeister called it “the stinking app.”

Jpharrisjr, a new Charter customer, wrote, “I am not impressed with the app because, well it doesn’t work.  A technology company really ought to do better than this.  Seriously.”

My frustration began with the first call to tech support. The tech had no clue as to what I was talking about. After being transferred to the Internet division, the person on the other end of the line also knew nothing about the app.

Later, after a call back, a second person knew about the app but had not heard of any problems. Why? Don’t the people at Charter read the reviews of their products and inform their tech help how to respond? The answer is apparently “no.” They should be aware of the negative feelings and be trained on how to handle those calls.

And indications are, given the statement from the Charter spokesperson below, they were aware and working on the problem. So the rep I spoke with was either never made aware of the problems, a bad thing, or, the rep lied, also a bad thing.

Anyway, they promised a tech would call back within 48 hours. Then, just ten minutes later, Charter called to ask if they could call back that afternoon, would someone be available? But that callback never came. And no word from Charter after 48 hours as well.

After I made another call to support, the new promise was that a callback would be made within five days. It never came.

While not answering specific questions, a Charter spokesperson responded in an e-mail, “Charter is aware of these issues; some of which are already resolved, and others are being actively addressed.”

The local station problem appears to be resolved.

Companies like Charter, Comcast, AT&T U-verse® and others have to see more and more people are dropping their cable subscriptions in favor of finding programs in other ways – with services from Netflix, Amazon and even networks offering alternative ways to watch.  Called “cord cutters,” many experts predict the trend toward ala carte selection of programming will continue.

Unless these companies plan to make all their money from Internet access, they need to address their problems of poor customer service and improve the quality of executing their apps. Failing that, their future is not very bright.

The ‘best’ and ‘worst’ of KTVI Tim Horton’s coverage

St. Louis television viewers watching KTVI Channel 2 were recently given two sharply different versions of the opening of the area’s first full-sized Tim Horton’s in the St. Louis suburb of Maplewood.

Covering the opening of the first location of the chain is appropriate, but in terms of good journalism, Channel 2 provided “the best of times” and the “worst of times” with its coverage.

Horton’s is a Canadian chain that sells coffee and pastries and other food items. Staking a St. Louis area foothold with its first store at 7468 Manchester Road in Maplewood was a legitimate news story.

On the night of June 22, during the 9 p.m. newscast, Channel 2 anchor Mandy Murphey did a solid story on the event. She asked questions about Horton’s business strategy and how the company planned to compete against organizations like the St. Louis Bread Company. Murphey offered a thorough report.

But a day later, Channel 2’s Lisa Hart offered what seemed to be a commercial for Horton’s during the 11 a.m. newscast. Her first question to the Tim Horton’s representative Tina Bryan was “What makes Tim Horton’s so great?” Journalism?  No. There are many people who don’t think it is such a great brand at all. But the softball question let Bryan do a full-blown commercial.

Bryan took advantage of Hart’s questions with lines like: “There are a lot of things that make Tim Horton’s special,” and “We have such a wide breadth of menu items.”

At one point, Hart said that she loved the donut she was eating. Hart acted more like a Tim Horton’s cheerleader than a reporter. She said at another point, “You’ve got everything. It’s so great.”

While she did ask about Horton’s future plans (opening 40 stores in the St. Louis area), she failed to follow up with any questions of depth or corporate strategy such as “Why St. Louis?” or “Why 40 locations?” There were no questions posed about other competition in the marketplace from outlets like Dunkin Donuts or Starbuck’s.

Hart could have asked questions about obesity and the calorie-heavy ingredients contained in Horton’s products, but she didn’t.

While covering the Horton’s opening was newsworthy, what Hart did was not “news.” Her report appeared during what’s supposed to be a news show. But it was more appropriate for a program filled with feature content like “Show Me St. Louis,” the weekday, 10 a.m. offering on Channel 5. People often pay for their stories on “Show Me St. Louis,” and that fact is disclosed in a general way at the end of each show. “Show Me St. Louis” is a feature program not a newscast.

Channel 2 news managers have an opportunity for improvement among their reporters by comparing the two stories. Murphey showed how to do it right as a journalist. Hart showed how to do it wrong, making a commercial pitch during what’s supposed to be a newscast.

St. Louis media notes

St. Louis TV stations need to be more honest with their viewers. Frequently, they present stories as new that are actually a day or more old. The latest example occurred on KSDK (Channel 5) at noon on June 18. The story was about an incident the day before when two planes began taking off at the same time at Midway Airport in Chicago. Fortunately, a collision was averted. One report said the planes were within 2000 feet (nearly four-tenths of a mile) when they stopped after aborting their takeoffs. But anchor Kay Quinn read, “We have new information at this noon hour about just how serious a near disaster this was.” However, she provided no information that hadn’t aired on the news the night before. Nor did she give any indication as to “how serious it was.” She did not even tell viewers how close of a call it was (or wasn’t). Repeating the story is not the problem. Every station repeats many stories because of all the time they have to fill. The problem comes when viewers are deceived by “sensationalistic” and inaccurate writing.

Channel 5 also needs to show better judgment when severe weather strikes. The station tends to preempt programming any time there is a tornado warning. Sometimes, even severe thunderstorm warnings preempt programming. Earlier in June, meteorologist Mike Roberts said on the air that only about 450 people were potentially impacted by a tornado warning far south of the metro St. Louis area. Yet the station stayed on the air live for more than a half hour. There is no reason for this. It was not even a confirmed tornado, just indicated as a “possible” tornado by Doppler radar. Putting the information at the bottom of the screen will suffice. If many people might be impacted by a tornado, it is appropriate to stay on the air. It has to be a case by case basis. Channel 5 has gone too far. Here’s an idea. Stream weather live to the Internet so that anyone potentially impacted can watch at KSDK.com or on their mobile app. Everyone else can watch the regularly scheduled programs while staying updated with the information at the bottom of the screen.

STL station apps come up short during snow storm

The local news stations are always encouraging us viewers to check the web or their apps for the latest weather forecast. Unfortunately, it is sometimes bad advice from Channels 2 (KTVI) and 4 (KMOV). Channel 5 (KSDK) seems to be much better at actually providing later information.

The absence of weather forecast updates at both Channels 2 and 4 is noticeable and was particularly obvious during the first big snow storm of the season Valentine Day weekend. A check of all three stations’ websites and apps around 6pm on February 14 found this:

– Channel 2 had not updated the printed forecast on its app or webpage since 7:37 in the morning making it more than 10 hours old. It writes of the arctic front which “arrives this morning.” By the evening, this is clearly outdated as it had long since passed through the area.

– Channel 4’s app noted the forecast was last updated “9 hours ago” while the web was tagged at 8:13 AM, nearly 10 hours old. Updating it would have changed the language to “temperatures fell into the low twenties in mid-afternoon…”

– Channel 5 was the only station to have recent updates. The app was updated at 4:49 pm while the web update was listed as 4:53 pm, making it a bit more than an hour old and by far the most recent analysis of the forecast. It is the only one to begin with the evening forecast-appropriate since it was already evening.

Channels 2 and 4 were asked via e-mail, “why you promote going to the web (or using the app) for the latest forecast – when, in fact, long periods of time go before updating, rendering the information on the web (or app) outdated?”

Channel 4’s director of digital solutions, Bryce Moore, responded, “Weather on our .com and mobile apps is updated automatically and on a continuous basis 24/7. These constant updates include current conditions, various radar and satellite images and text forecast elements. The KMOV mobile apps deliver updated weather information that is targeted to the user’s specific location when location services are enabled. In addition to the automated data, other forecast information is updated manually by the meteorologist who is on duty at the time.”

Pressed to answer the question more directly, Moore wrote back simply, “I am comfortable with the statement – the digital platforms are full of relevant data that is literally up to the minute … As illustrated by your screen grab (attached) … As promised in our promotional messages.”

Channel 2 news director Audrey Prywitch said in her e-mail response, “Our website and apps are constantly updated. The longest period of time the video forecast goes between updates is just a few hours. That forecast is updated when we have on-air weather forecasts. Specifically, it is updated at 5am, 11am, 5pm and 9pm weekdays. It is updated at 7am, 5pm and 9pm on the weekends.

“The information displayed on our weather page is from a feed from The Weather Company-WSI. They update this information in the morning and evening. Our meteorologists can override this forecast from WSI. This may be the discrepancy that you are seeing between the on-air and online forecasts and we are working to improve that.” She further clarified her statement indicating that if there is a forecast change, Channel 2 meteorologists can override the WSI material.

That makes sense however viewers don’t know that. It is encouraging they are at least working on a solution. But for now, based on several informal checks of the stations’ apps and websites, Channel 5 at appears to be the most conscientious when it comes to updating the printed forecast.

The good, the bad and the ugly of St. Louis TV news

Media guru Tripp Frohlichstein dreams of delivering a “State of the 2014 Local News” address to St. Louis’ three TV stations (he considers Channels 2 and 11 one station as they share facilities and people). This is his dream address:

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for taking the time to discuss the state of local news. There are times when the local media perform well and serve viewers in a meaningful way.  Unfortunately, there are too many times when the opposite is true.  So today, let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of local news in St. Louis.

Before we do, it is critical to remind you of the importance of what you do.  Despite the rise of the Internet as a source of news, Pew Research studies show people still rely on local television news more than any other source of information.  A study released on June 17 by the GfK market research group for Hearst Television finds, and I quote, “viewers have a high level of engagement and trust with local television news.”

Even young people cite the importance of local TV news.  Now, many of those people may not watch the news in the traditional way.  Instead of sitting down in front of the television at 6 o’clock and watching for a half-hour, they may pick and choose the stories they want by going to your station’s website or Facebook page.

Please keep this in mind during this presentation.  More importantly, remember this responsibility as you make your day to day decisions on what to cover, how to cover it, how you write it, who you hire and so on.  If you keep your audience’s reliance on your integrity and skills in mind perhaps, just perhaps, you can improve the product you deliver.

Let’s begin with some of the good when it comes to how you serve the viewers of the region. All of the local news stations have the ability to perform well when major news, affecting many people, is breaking.  Of particular note is bad weather.  Sure, some viewers get upset when you interrupt their favorite shows, but when lives may be on the line, it’s the right thing to do.  Moving the actual programs to one of your alternative digital channels is a good idea and should become standard practice.

One of the highlights of last year was the intense and challenging coverage required after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson.  All of the stations performed extremely well, though some of the Gannett reporters from out of town used by Channel 5 had problems as they were not as familiar as local reporters with the area.  The violence required reporters to put themselves in danger at times.  However, local viewers benefitted in the end with accurate information (a lot more so than many of the national networks) looking at the many different angles of the story ranging from the actual shooting, the grand jury verdict, the violence, the peaceful protestors and their attempts to stem the violence, the impact on surrounding communities as well as the city itself, and how the national media coverage portrayed us.  Despite some mistakes and not always being where they needed to be, most of the time, our local stations excelled as they covered those events.

I also admire some of the investigative work done by the local stations. Elliott Davis (2) continues to crank out example after example of government waste. Craig Cheatham (4) often has well researched, well thought-out investigative pieces.

You also boast some fine veteran anchors who do a quality job of presenting the news.  In local news, you not only want credibility but personality.  Mike Bush (5), Kelly Jackson (5), Kay Quinn (5), Steve Savard (4), Robin Smith (4), Mandy Murphey (2), Tom O’Neill (2), Dan Gray (2) and John Pertzborn (2) are some who immediately come to mind.  They have different styles but do their jobs well. After all, morning anchors need even more of a lighter touch than the (supposedly) more serious evening anchors.

There are some good reporters out there too, mostly veterans.  You have to admire Betsey Bruce, the venerable Channel 2 reporter who has been relegated to not exactly prime time yet continues to turn out solid, old-school journalism, covering stories fairly and professionally.  There are many other solid reporters such as Russel Kinsaul (4), Matt Sczesny (4), Roche Madden (2), Paul Shankman (2) and Andy Banker (2).  But there are not enough high quality reporters and we’ll get to that in the bad section.

Perhaps the greatest strength of local news in St. Louis is its weathercasters.  While most of the best reporters are veterans, there is a good mix of young and old when it comes to meteorological talent.  Dave Murray (2) and Cindy Preszler (5) have ruled the roost for a long time.  But also showing considerable talent are the entire Channel 5 and Channel 2 weather teams. At Channel 4, Kent Ehrhardt, Matt Chambers and Kristen Cornett all stand out.

Finally, in sports, it is again the veterans who stand out.  Perhaps the most unsung hero of the sports genre is Frank Cusumano, who consistently produces interesting pieces that go beyond the typical sports highlights and interviews. Renee Knott (5) has also established himself as has his colleague Katie Felts (5).  Doug Vaughn (4) and Maurice Drummond (4) are also solid sports contributors.

From the good, we turn to the bad.  Part of this is dictated by budget cuts that result in understaffed newsrooms and overworked, often rookie, reporters.

Gone are the days when a reporter was always accompanied by a camera person and sometimes even a sound technician.  Today’s reporters are so often what you call a “one man band.” Interviewees often complain reporters no longer spend much time preparing for their interviews.  And, because reporters often are rushed, mistakes seem more frequent.  Part of this may also be due to the younger less experienced reporter. St. Louis is often a reporter’s first job.  The result is viewers often get misinformation, as the mistakes reporters used to make learning their trade in smaller cities now happen here.  Be comfortable with corrections. Corrections make you look good.  It tells viewers we want to get it right. Instead of avoiding admitting a mistake, own up to it.  Your audience will appreciate it.

Our discussion of the bad must also include a disturbing penchant of self-promotion of station programming.  If “Great Day St. Louis” or “Show Me St. Louis” wants to feature these “features,” good for them.  But the half-hour and hour evening newscasts should be devoted to real local news, not interviewing the star of a show that airs on the station’s network.

Today, for the most part, the “beat reporter” in television is a thing of the past.  The real loser in this is the viewer who now gets less analysis of a variety of issues.  Wouldn’t it be nice, for example, if a station were to take a true, in-depth look at the battle between county executive Charlie Dooley and the challenger for his job in the Democratic primary, Steve Stenger. It would be great if stations did in-depth interviews with both men, as well as those around them, to really understand what appears to be their deep-seated dislike of one another. Why not do in-depth reporting to examine the validity of each man’s claims?

Instead, we have too many short-form, easy-to-cover stories.  It is easy and efficient to cover fires, murders and meetings.  It is hard to cover government stories or the background leading to the meeting being covered.  But which of those has more impact on the largest number of people in the community?

Another thing to think about is how you use a live shot.  If something happened 8 hours ago, there is absolutely no need for a reporter to be standing in front of a building with nothing going on, to tell us it happened “here.”

Finally, the weather sometimes is not as dangerous and yet still gets over-covered.  Severe thunderstorms are part of living in St. Louis.  When tornadoes are spawned, cover them.  Otherwise, information at the bottom of the screen is all we need.

Finally, the ugly.  All the stations are guilty of trying to be first with a story. You folks at the stations think being first is important.  Maybe it is to you.  But to viewers, not so much.  So think about what viewers care about, not what you care about next time there is a major breaking story.

Related to this self-promotion is some of the overly dramatic writing and delivery by some of our anchors.  Channel 4’s Sharon Reed is at the top of the list, but by no means the only offender.  It sounds really important when you hear an anchor say “News Four has learned…”  But so has every other station because it was in a press release.  It’s not right to fool viewers.

Then there’s this one:  “Our investigation uncovered several lawsuits.”  Well, that’s not true.  You didn’t uncover them because lawsuits are not hidden.  You just found out about them.

Some of the promotion is also almost tasteless.  I wrote in the Gateway Journalism Review about Channel 4 running a promo around 6:20 in the evening warning people not to eat meat until they heard a story promised for 10 o’clock [Editor’s note: the author’s post ran on gatewayjr.org on March 14, 2014]. At dinnertime you are telling me to wait till 10 o’clock?  If it is that important, tell me now.  And when the story did air, it was a vague, very short 17 second story about a recall from the previous month.  This is not the way to treat viewers: in the interests of increasing your own ratings.  The same goes for a station promising to keep viewers updated on a story.  But you never hear another word.

Finally, the number of misspellings of on-air graphics has increased substantially.  How am I supposed to trust you if you can’t spell a name right or misspell basic words on a regular basis?  Either use your spell checkers or have someone proof those graphics before they are posted.

“The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly,” ended with the Good winning, the Bad dead and the Ugly out of the picture.  I hope that happens here.  As I said at the beginning, people rely on what you do.  So as you go forward, please make your decisions less with “self” in mind and more with your viewers at heart.  I would argue that if you truly try to work that way, it will mean more trust, more viewers and, therefore, more advertising dollars.

Thank you.

Different facts

Watching two different stations may give viewers two different takes on the same story, depending on which facts they know and report.

Such was the case at noon on January 20.  Channel 4 (KMOV) led with a live report from Robin Smith in South St. Louis where a fatal accident had occurred hours earlier.  She noted that only MoDot was on the scene repairing a damaged pole.  She mention homicide investigators had been called in saying investigators were “not sure why it happened.” Channel 5 aired only a taped version of the accident as their second story.

They began with the line “Homicide detectives are on the scene…”  Not being live, and watching Channel 4 live on scene, this was simply incorrect.  They appeared to be gone as was the wrecked car.  However, Channel 5 had a better angle, even though they were not there as they noted WHY homicide had been called in.  The station reported it was because the “injuries were inconsistent with the crash.”  Robin Smith never gave the reason for calling in the homicide detectives. Depending upon who you were watching, different views of the same story.