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September 2003


recall election tops news coverage “war and peace”

forum 9/24 kgo
Coverage of the Iraq war and of the anti-war
protests here at home will be the topic of
this month’s Television Academy seminar.
The “War and Peace” forum is at 7 pm on
Wednesday, September 24th at ABC-7,
900 Front Street, San Francisco.
ADAM HOUSLEY of Fox News and the San
Francisco Chronicle’s JOHN KOOPMAN
will discuss their experiences as embed-
ded reporters in Iraq. War coverage veter-
SOLOMAN also will be on the panel. Also,
several journalists who covered the peace
Photo © KTVU FOX 2 Kenny Wardell marches will provide perspective on those
demonstrations and on the activists’ atti-
The recall election is making history in voters who may not have even been regis- tudes toward the media. ABC-7 ANCHOR
California and it’s making news at Northern tered to vote,” said Keeshan. DAN ASHLEY will moderate.
California television stations. The October
7th referendum on Gray Davis’ performance A block away, KPIX-TV is also hitting the FREE to Academy members, $10 for non-
has been a lead story almost daily through story hard. The station’s political editor, members, refreshments will be provided.
August and early September. It’s also creat- HANK PLANTE, reports on the recall al- Please RSVP to or
ing a windfall of campaign ad revenue at a most daily, as does night side reporter, ROZ (650) 341-7786.
time when TV stations are looking for extra PLATER. The CBS O&O uses its “Eyewit-
cash. ness Poll” to gauge voters’ reactions. The
station’s weekend morning news also in- emmy changes ?
“This is a highly unusual, historic develop- vited dozens of “minor” candidates with se- There may be three “best newscast” cat-
ment,” said KEVIN KEESHAN, news direc- rious platforms to appear on its program. egories at next year’s Emmy show. At its
tor at ABC-7 in San Francisco. Like other Several showed in August and four candi- August meeting, the Northern California
stations, ABC-7 has been going full throttle dates are booked for September weekends. NATAS Board of Governors voted to recom-
on the story since it became apparent this KPIX also teamed up with KCBS radio and mend a “three-tier” structure for the next
summer the recall initiative would qualify the San Francisco Chronicle to add extra Emmy competition. The proposal must be
for the ballot. KGO has assigned several depth to its coverage. That strategy paid off approved by the Television Academy’s na-
reporters to the story and hired a San Fran- August
Photo 26 whenMohr
Governor Davis attended tional awards committee. If OK’d, the news-
© Robert 2003 (415-647-6647)
cisco State political science professor as a “town hall” meeting at KPIX studios spon- cast categories would be:
an expert commentator. The station also sored by the media trio. An audience of 100 • Large market (Bay Area and Sacramento)
has recruited 5,000 people from its website queried the governor while 34 reporters took •Medium market (Fresno, Hawaii & Reno)
to participate in polls and focus groups. notes. KPIX plans to air an hour-long spe- •Small market (Salinas/Monterey, Chico/
“The recall has energized a generation of continued on page 4 Redding & Eureka) continued on page 2
Off Camera, September 2003, page 1
emmy changes ? tech forum this month
continued from page 1 Several Bay Area professional organizations clude high-definition television, personal
The “best newscast” would be the only cat- are hosting a discussion this month of new video recorders and “video on demand”
egory broken into tiers. Under national rules, technology and its impact on the television technology.
the other categories must remain the same. industry. The three-hour “Emerging Tech-
nologies Forum” is Thursday, Septem- The moderator is MICHAELA PERIERA,
Board members said the three tiers will pro- co-host of TechTV’s “Tech Live.” On the
vide sharper competition between Fresno, ber 18th, at the Expression Center for New
Media, 6601 Shellmound St., Emeryville. panel are: JOSH BERNOFF of Forrester
Hawaii and Reno in the middle market. Research; SCOTT BINDER of SVO Opera-
They said it will also give smaller markets a The evening begins at 6 with cocktails, hors
tions; SUSAN CASHEN of TiVo Inc.; TRACI
better chance for a “best newscast” Emmy. d’oeuvres and a tour, with the discussion
beginning at 7.
The other big change is allowing commer- NBC Entertainment.
cials to enter for the first time. They must The event is sponsored by American
Tickets are $20 for members of the spon-
be between :05 and 2:00, no informercials Women in Radio & Television (AWRT), the
soring organizations, $25 for non-members.
or program-length commercials are al- National Association of Minorities in Com-
Call (415) 561-9229 for more information.
lowed. There were minor changes to other munications (NAMIC) and Women in Cable
rules and categories. & Telecommunications. Topics will in-

join the new media SILVER CIRCLE

committee 10/15 Wednesday, October
15th from 7-9 p.m. at
the Sony Metreon’s
inducation 10/25
The 2003 Class of the NATAS Silver Circle
Action Theatre. This
will be inducted at a luncheon on Satur-
will be the first meeting
day, October 25, 2003 at the Radisson
of our New Media
Miyako Hotel in San Francisco. Cock-
NTA Board retreat lunch at the Casablanca Committee. The gath-
tails at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon followed
Restaurant, on the Beach in Santa Cruz ering will focus on
by the induction ceremony. The inductees
Broadband/VOD, with a panel of represen-
The decision came at an all-day retreat for names will be announced in next month’s
tatives from companies like TiVo,
board members held August 16th in Santa “Off Camera.” Formal invitations will be sent, iVast and others. KEVIN
Cruz. The board also welcomed new mem- in October. NTA governor, RON LOUIE is
HAUSE, VP, Screen Digest will be the mod-
bers, discussed a proposed $230,000 bud- the Silver Circle committee chair.
erator. More information next month.

foot in the door workshop 11/1

get for the coming fiscal year, and laid out
the next nine months of chapter activities.

creature features at KPIX-TV in San Francisco. Refresh-

ments and lunch will be provided.
The September Co-sponsors are the National Association
23 rd Broadcast of Television Programming Executives
Legends luncheon (NATPE) and the Television Academy.
will salute “Creature
Features.” Former NATPE co-founder LEW KLEIN will mod-
hosts of the KTVU erate. The program is free to Bay Area col-
“Creature Feature” lege telecommunications students, how-
program BOB ever, pre-registration will be required. Check
NAPTE workshop at Loyola Marymount
WILKINS and JOHN STANLEY will be on your October Off Camera for further details
University, LEW KLEIN at the podium
hand to show clips and tell stories. and the names of panelists.
Recent college graduates working in TV
The luncheon will be held at the Bay Bridge will reveal the secrets of how they ‘scored’ Silver Circle member DICK BLOCK, Block
Holiday Inn, Emeryville, 11:30 a.m. recep- their jobs, at the upcoming career work- Communications Group, is producting the
tion, 12 noon, lunch followed by the pro- shop. The seminar will be held on Satur- event with the help of NTA board member
gram. day, November 1st, from 8am to 1:30 p.m. PAT PATTON, Young Broadcasting/KRON..
Off Camera, September2003, page 2
newscast premiers on kbhk war correspondent
building in San Francisco. Under the new
schedule, the news airs Saturday mornings
cerre join sf bureau
from 7 to 8 on KPIX and from 8 to 9:30 on
KBHK. On Sunday mornings, it’s on KPIX
from 7:30 to 8:30 and on KBHK from 8:30 to
The new newscast is called “CBS 5 Eye-
witness News on UPN 44.” SYDNIE
KOHARA and RON JONES anchor both
shows. The programs share the same field
The Bay Area’s UPN station finally has a reporter and some news stories, but differ-
newscast, even though it has no news de- ent guests and packages run on the KBHK
show. There are still bugs to work out. On An ABC News reporter who covered the war
partment. KBHK (UPN 44) began broad-
some Saturdays, the control room crew has in Iraq has joined that network’s San Fran-
casting a weekend morning news show on
only five seconds to switch stations. cisco bureau as a correspondent.
September 6th. The program is actually
MICHAEL CERRE will report for ABC News
an extension of the weekend morning news-
The KPIX shows have done well in the rat- from his new location.
cast that KPIX (CBS 5) launched last Janu-
ings, and advertising sales are healthy. It’s
ary. Cerre was “embedded” with U.S Marines
hoped the expanded newscast will do the
Both stations are owned by Viacom and same for KBHK, which is lagging in ad rev- during the Iraq conflict. His combat experi-
broadcast from the same Battery Street enue this year ences were the subject of an hour-long
broadcast on ABC News’ “PrimeTime.”

offers five new digial

channels changes in fresno
KQED-TV has gone digital in a big way. In widescreen PBS programs;
July, the San Francisco PBS station con- • KQED Encore (Comcast 189), featuring
verted from an NTSC analog master con- popular PBS primetime programs;
trol system to all digital. The new equip- • KQED World (Comcast 190), providing
ment allows KQED to cablecast five pro- history, nature and science programming;
grams simultaneously, in addition to its • KQED Life (Comcast 191), showcasing
broadcast NTSC and high-definition televi- arts, entertainment, food, gardening, travel
It hasn’t taken long for KGPE-TV’s new boss
sion signals. The station was quick to take and money management; and
to make her presence felt. In June, DIANA
advantage of its new technology. • KQED Kids (Comcast 192), airing pro-
WILKIN-ZAPATA took over as the Fresno
grams for children.
Last month KQED premiered five new cable CBS affiliate’s VP/General Manager, replac-
channels, each with unique programming. ing BARRY BARTH.
“This is an incredible opportunity for KQED
The channels are available on Comcast
as a leader and innovator within public Last month she fired news director TOM
digital cable. They are:
broadcasting and the Bay Area community,” BURKE, in what could be the first of many
• KQED HD (Comcast 188) offering a vari-
said JEFF CLARKE, the station’s president. changes. Wilkin-Zapata told the Fresno
ety of high-definition (HDTV) and
Bee she is determined to revamp Channel

new faces at kgo 47. The Clear Channel-owned station, for-

merly KJEO, has been mired in low ratings
for years. It’s also undergone several own-
BOB GOLDBERGER has been named ex- ership and management changes. But
ecutive producer of the 11pm News for Wilkin-Zapata said viewers should begin to
KGO-TV. Bob was the news director at DEBRA PREITKIN has been named topi-
see marked improvement in KGPE’s news.
KNTV in San Jose for three years. He also cal promotion producer for KGO-TV. Debra
served as assistant news director at WBBH held the same job at KGW in Portland, OR. JIM HOLLAND, from KAKE-TV in Wichita
and WZVN in Ft. Meyers, FL. Bob has been She has worked at KGET, Bakersfield; has just been named the new news direc-
an investigative reporter and capital corre- KEYT, Santa Barbara; KOAT, Albuquerque; tor. He has also worked in Dallas, Syra-
spondent for WBRZ, Baton Rouge, LA. as well as KOMO and KING in Seattle cuse, and Albany.
Off Camera, September 2003, page 3
governor recall - the big story bavc scholarships
continued from page 1 Stations in the state capital, naturally, are
cial on the issues and hopes to sponsor at focused on the recall as well. Besides air-
least one live candidates’ debate. “It’s a ing the KTVU-sponsored forum, KXTV will
huge story for us,” said KPIX news director broadcast a September 17th candidates’ The San Francisco-based Bay Area Video
DAN ROSENHEIM. debate at Sacramento State. The ABC af- Coalition (BAVC) is offering scholarships to
filiate has assigned a reporter to each ma- help low income adults enhance their digi-
KTVU in Oakland echoes the sentiment.
jor candidate, and they’re also doing “truth tal video production skills. The classes,
As Off Camera goes to press the Fox affili-
tests” on campaign ads. “Our philosophy is which begin October 1st, will be taught on
ate is planning a September 3rd forum on
to treat this story as we would any other sig- cutting edge production, post-production,
the recall election co-sponsored with
nificant political process in the state,” said and digital design equipment
KQED-FM and the Contra Costa Times. The
KXTV news director RON COMINGS.
two-hour “Race to the Recall” will feature
“While we have not devoted time to most of Qualified San Francisco residents can ap-
discussion of the recall issue with the top
the 134 candidates, our mission is to take ply for “Digital Directions” scholarships to
six gubernatorial candidates. The event is
real issues to the significant candidates and help pay for the courses. Applicants must
to be broadcast live on KTVU and on KXTV
get answers, instead of simply reacting to agree to take 156 or 320 hours of training
in Sacramento, and fed to other stations
every campaign maneuver.” over a six to eight-month period. For more
throughout the state.
information, contact Samantha Wayne at
KTXL-40 in Sacramento is also providing (415) 558-2195, or you can download
Spanish-language KDTV has been report-
daily coverage on the recall. The Fox affili- an application at
ing on the recall for months. The San Fran-
ate planned to re-broadcast the KTVU fo-
cisco-based Univision O&O has set up a
rum from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. later that
website and a telephone hotline for voters
night . It also is teaming up with its sister
and viewers. Its on-going coverage in-

stations in Los Angeles and San Diego for
cludes profiles of the major candidates and
election night coverage. “We’ll provide de-
their platforms. KDTV has also teamed up
with KUVS in Sacramento, KFTV in Fresno
and other California stations, to expand its
tailed coverage of the election in these final
weeks,” said KTXL news director STEVE
KRAYCIK, “but we’re careful to not over
reach. “Our news philosophy is to em- KQED-TV has produced a five-part docu-
saturate our newscast with it. There’s a
power people through accurate and thor- mentary on migration to California that’s
danger in people getting ‘turned off’ be-
ough information and to encourage them available only on the internet. The series,
cause they feel they’re tired of seeing ‘all
to participate in this important democratic called “i5,” was created by KQED Interac-
recall, all the time.’” But for other stations,
process,” said ALBERTO LARIOS, KDTV tive. It examines the journeys of five recent
there may not be any such thing as “too
executive producer. arrivals to California.
much recall.”
Each story is on a different web site.

norcal rtnda convention & • “” is about a young

Vietnamese woman who now lives in Or-
awards oct. 17-19
The NorCal RTNDA board “Meet the General Managers,” “Talent
ange County.
• “” chronicles the ex-
perience of a Peruvian-born Chinese aca-
of directors is finalizing Coaching,” “Visual Story Telling,” and “An- demic who came here from Canada.
plans for the 22nd Annual chors Away.” • “” details the life of an
NorCal RTNDA Conven- African-America MBA from New York who’s
One-on-One tape critiques are offered to
tion and Awards. The event will take place
full time registrants; students attend at ½ adapting to suburban San Diego.
the weekend of October 17-19. The loca-
prices and will have a group critique ses- • “” is the tale of a Mexi-
tion will be finalized this week.
sion. can farm worker’s wife living in Salinas.
The program starts Friday evening with a • “” is an adult-oriented site
The awards banquet will be held Saturday whose subject is a transgender Cuban refu-
reception followed by “A Foot in the Door,”
evening with pre and post cocktail parties. gee now living in San Francisco.
how to get that first job and climb the mar-
A social activity is planned for Sunday.
ket ladder.
The “i5” documentary was produced by
Full information will be posted at JOSE MARQUEZ. The segment produc-
Saturday is a full day of seminars including: or call 650-341- ers were BEN BENJAMIN, JAIME
“From the Recall to the White House,” “In-
vestigative Reporting,” “Tough Decisions,”
Off Camera, September 2003, page 4
cinema club cinema club cinema club
sacramento new sacramento 9/20 san francisco 9/8
place & time
The latest Sacramento Cinema offering
drew a dozen viewers last month. The film,
shown at the Regal Theater in the Natomas
Mall, was “Seabiscuit.”
To help beef up attendance, the movie has
moved from Monday nights to weekends.
This month “Open Range.” The movie is
FREE to any NATAS member and a guest.

9/26 bay area

Five local film organizations will present:
“Media Mash: A Monstrous Bay Area HARVEY PEKAR, the hilariously downtrod-
Mediamakers Mixer.” The event will bring den Cleveland comic book artist, is the sub-
local video and filmmakers together for an ject of AMERICAN SPLENDOR, titled af-
Western 2 hours, 15 minutes ter Pekar’s autobiographical series. Played
informational networking event on Friday,
MPAA Rating: R for Violence. by actor PAUL GIAMATTI, Pekar also ap-
September 26, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Starring: KEVIN COSTNER, ANNETTE pears as himself, giving the film a docu-
In addition to learning about the wide range BENING, ABRAHAM BENRUBI, ROB- mentary feeling with many behind-the-
of resources available to local indepen- ERT DUVALL & MICHAEL GAMBON. scenes on-set shots.
dents, makers are invited to view new, lo- Directed by: KEVIN COSTNER.
cally produced work in a curated one-hour Screenwriters: CRAIG STORPER & Directors SHARI SPRINGER BERMAN
program that will repeat throughout the night. LAURAN PAINE. and ROBERT PULCINI maintain this bal-
The evening also includes projections, DJ Producers: JAKE EBERTS, KEVIN ance between the actors and the real-life
music, and door prizes, including free mem- COSTNER, DAVID VALDES & CRAIG characters—Pekar’s wife Joyce and co-
berships from presenting organizations. STORPER worker Toby also appear on set as them-
Light refreshments and drinks (no-host, Following the day-to-day encounters of four selves—while crafting a funny, difficult,
cash bar) will be served. cattle herders who roam the countryside heartwarming tale that encapsulates
without owning a particular piece of land, Pekar’s life, work, and uniquely bizarre per-
The event takes place at Bay Area Video or “freegrazers” (Costner, Duvall, Luna, spectives.
Coalition, 2727 Mariposa Street in San Benrubi), living in the final years of the Wild
Francisco. Admission is $5; volunteer op- Drama & Animation: 1 hour, 40 minutes
West, this film tells the story of how they even- MPAA Rating: R for Language.
portunities are available and no one will be tually team up to rid a burgeoning remote
turned away for lack of funds. town, Harmonville, from the machinations Written by: SHARI SPRINGER BERMAN,
The presenting organizations include: The of a ruthlessly evil rancher, Baxter BOB PULCINI, ROBERT PULCINI,
Association for Independent Video and (Gambon), who forms a sort of “outlaw state” HARVEY PEKAR & JOYCE BRABNER.
Film; The Bay Area Film Alliance: Bay where he makes the laws and rules, and Produced by: TED HOPE.
Area Video Coalition ; Bay Area Women enforces them using scare tactics and brute The CINEMA CLUB is a FREE first run
in Film and Television; and the Film Arts force. monthly screening (second Monday) for
Foundation. You may contact the indi- Meet your NATAS representative in the lobby NATAS, DGA and AWRT members who may
vidual organizations for more information. of the Regal Theatres @ Natomas Mar- bring a guest. The private viewing is at the
ketplace, 3561 Truxel Road, Sacramento Delancey Street Screening Room, 600
Always check our website
(Off I80). Networking at noon, the film starts The Embarcadero, San Francisco. Re- at 12:30 p.m. FREE to NATAS members freshments & Networking 7 p.m., movie 7:30
for the latest information who may bring a guest. p.m. Seating limited to first 146 to arrive.
Off Camera, September 2003, page 5
Nov. 1st “Career Workshop, KPIX-TV
Oct. 25th “The Silver Circle, Miyako Hotel
Oct/ 15th “New Media Event, Sony Metreon
Sep. 24th “War and Peace Forum,” KGO-TV
Sep. 20th Cinema Club, “Open Range,” Sacramento
Sep. 8th Cinema Club, “American Splendor,” San Francisco
coming events
fax: (650) 372-0279
(650) 341-7786 4317 Camden Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403-5007
(415) 777-0212

the board of governors

something to ‘bragg’ about
KEITH SANDERS, KICU, VP, San Jose There may be noth-
paid program-
GEORGE FRANCO,KOVR, VP Sacramento ing obviously spe-
JEFF CARDINALE, KFSN, VP, Fresno ming, plus His-
cial about Fort
DAVID RATTO, KTVN/ImageSync, VP, Reno panic TV shows
PAMELA YOUNG, KITV, VP, Hawaii Bragg, a commu-
from KTNC, the
MICHELE BALL, KBWB WB20, Secretary nity placed located
JIM SPALDING, Spalding & Co., Treasurer(Finance) Concord Azteca
along Highway One
national trustees: about midway be-
JAMES LAUTZ, Tudor Communications tween San Fran- The station has
CYNTHIA ZEIDEN, Zeiden Media (Activities) cisco and Eureka. only one em-
governors: But the Mendocino ployee. ROBBIE
DAN ASHLEY, KGO ABC 7 County town has ROBINSON, a
BRIAN AVERY, KTLN 68 something Willits, former news an-
JOHN CATCHINGS, ITN/MediaOne (Museum) Ukiah, Leggett and chor there, now is
ALISON GIBSON, Media Cool (Education) Sea Ranch can’t boast – its own television KFWU’s office manager.
STEWART HELLER, York Productions station.
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX News Since Ft. Bragg is officially part of the Bay
ASHLEY JAMES, KTOP Cable 10(Publicity) Fort Bragg is the home of KFWU, Channel Area’s demographic area, it’s in the
RON LOUIE, KTVU FOX 2 8 to the locals. Since its “birth” in the early
TERRY LOWRY,LaCosse Productions country’s number five market, believe it or
DEANNE MOENSTER, KTVU FOX 2 1970’s it has been re-broadcasting the sig- not, instead of the 190th market occupied
JOHN MURRAY, JM Communications nal from the ABC station in Redding, KRCR- by Eureka.
SHARON NAVRATIL, KTVU FOX 2 TV. Before cable, that was quite a plus for
JOHN ODELL, City College of San Francisco
PAT PATTON, Young/KRON (Membership)
the citizens of Fort Bragg.
But eight years ago the station’s ownership
“off camera”
Send us your stories; “Off Camera” is al-
TERRI RUSSELL, KOLO 8 changed and so did its programming. ABC ways looking for news of our industry to share
HEATHER SEARLES, ITVS (KGO-TV) was available on cable, so the with our members, especially from markets
JAVIER VALENCIA, KRON 4 (Awards) new owners decided to re-broadcast the outside the Bay Area. E-mail us at:
KIRA VILANOVA, KDTV 14 (Publicity) programming from another of its stations,
STUART YAMANE, Independent KTNC, Channel 42 in Concord.
RICK ZANARDI, Notre Dame de Namur University Add us to your PR mailing list:
committee chairs That set off a storm of protest. Fort Bragg Off Camera
DARRYL COHEN, Cohen & Cooper ( Legal Counsel) citizens, used to their own ABC affiliate, 4317 Camden Avenue
LINDA GIANNECCHINI, KQED9 (Museum) flooded the KFWU switchboard. There San Mateo, CA 94403-5007
exective director were even bomb threats. Eventually, the The editorial deadline is the 22nn of each
DARRYL COMPTON, NATAS, SF/NorCal furor died down. KFWU now runs mostly month..
Off Camera, September 2003, page 6