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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 …

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 …

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 …

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

TRIPP FROHLICHSTEIN / 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. 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.

St. Louis media notes

TRIPP FROHLICHSTEIN / 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. 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. The problem comes when viewers are deceived by “sensationalistic” and inaccurate writing.

STL station apps come up short during snow storm

by TRIPP FROHLICHSTEIN / 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.

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

By TRIPP FROLICHSTEIN / 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…”

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.