Rebecca Miller Fired From NBC5!!!
Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:11 PM
And now ... Rebecca Miller
Just got off the phone will Rebeca Miller, who as you may know by now was let go from KXAS/Channel 5 on Wednesday after nearly 17 years with the station as a meteorologist. Comments on this blog and on Ed Bark's Uncle Barky blog indicate that viewers were surprised by Miller's dismissal.
"I think a lot of people at Channel 5 were surprised, too," Miller says. "But I wasn't completely surprised, to be honest with you. I had a feeling. For a long time [news director Susan Tully] has criticized my work, and she says things like ... 'I just don't understand what the forecast is going to be when I watch you'. That's been going on for a while, so I knew something was up." (Tully declined to comment, citing a station policy against commenting on personnel matters.)
The day Miller left NBC-5, the weather was pleasant. Today, naturally, it's nasty, with rain and ice around us, and as I look up at another TV station, I see snow as well. Isn't that something a meteorologist would love to sink her teeth into? Actually, it turns out that Miller is glad she missed it.
"I am so thankful to not be there when it's snowing," she says. "On snow forecasts, they like to make you really push it, and make people realize just how terrible it is, and sometimes it's not so terrible." Miller backed up a theory I (and no doubt many others) have about local-weather forecasting anywhere: Some forecasters give you a worst-case scenario, so that if things are bad, you're prepared, and if they're not, you're grateful. "Their philosophy is, even if there's nothing happening, people want to know that, too," Miller says.
Aside from chief meterologist David Finfrock, whom I believe will be with the station for a long time, Miller was the last remaining element of the legacy of Harold Taft, the legendary weatherman who was with the station from its 1948 sign-on till his death in 1991, the same year that Miller was hired.
Miller isn't sure what her next step is. "I've thought a little bit about it," she says. "I'm in grad school right now. I knew that my days over at NBC-5 were probably numbered ... so I started grad school this past year at A&M. They have an online program for homeland security."
Homeland security? What brought that on?
"Well, I'm from New Orleans," Miller says. "We all know what happened with Katrina and FEMA and the government and everything. I just figured, 'I have a degree in meteorology, I have experience in the media, and maybe if I have a little bit of background with homeland security, and the certification with A&M, I could combine all three."
Miller says she'll miss her morning colleagues, such as anchors Brendan Higgins and Deborah Ferguson and traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck, but she sees them outside of work anyway. Her biggest regret about the way things happened is that she didn't get to say goodbye to the viewers.
"That really kills me," she says, "because there are a lot of people out there that would e-mail me every day, some people that I've never met before that would e-mail me all the time, and just the fact that I didn't get to tell them what happened -- I would never say anything terrible, because I had really, really great times at NBC-5, and I'm forever going to be grateful for all the opportunities that I had there. But I wish I could have had a chance to say goodbye to the viewers and thank them for watching all of these years."
Posted 07 March 2008 - 12:48 PM
They (NBC5) really screwed up when they didn't renew or negotiate with Michael Scott's contract. Now he was the heart ans SOUL of that mornin show, great guy outside of work too.
I just hope they plan on keeping Tammy.
All the meteorologists on TV are up against the "lightning" speed of the internet weather portals ala www.accuweather.com and countless others. So their days are numbered and so may be television, at least broadcast news TV. Ever notice that EVERY commercial in the crucial timeslots of the day all have a wbsite URL attached. Well, now you know why. Cheaper and EFFECTIVE.
TV is the dinosaur for true broadcast media.
But still, I wish Rebecca all the luck in her endeavors.
Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:43 PM
Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:26 PM
The big hair was really bad and she needed to seriously show a pulse on air. Seen her a few times in social circles, same as on TV.
Perfect fit for Omaha or Tulsa TV.
8 and 11 blows her piece out of the water.
She does know her subject, just too technical at times.
I think she faired well with the female metroplex population that is always P-ED OFF in the AM hours. Honest feeling. The little piece in the paper says so much about her attitude and feelings in a work setting. She NEVER sold the weather. And we all know that the weather reports make it sound more serious than it should sound (she didn't need to comment on that), but there is a reason why it is teased and aired later in the program. Like I said, all the best.
Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:27 PM
I know that if I had a station question Mike S and David F woud ALWAYS respond. I emailed Rebecca a couple times and she didn't respond. Also, I saw her at Home Depot one time and she ignored me when I spoke to her... Harold Taft was always glad to talk to folks...
Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:35 PM
I have corresponded with David Finfrock several times by e-mail and he always responded to me. I have also met him at a couple of functions and he really seems like a nice fellow. Finally, a year or so back, Architecture in Fort Worth helped Steve MacLaughlin do an extended story on the March 2000 Tornado.
Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:09 AM
Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:33 AM
That's why I would think that it is risky getting rid of established personalities. The core audience for such programing is going to increasingly be those who continue to watch out of long time habit. For example, I have heard that the average age for the viewership of the network evening newscasts these days is VERY much higher than what it used to be.
Personally, I cannot even remember the last time I had my television on for any other purpose besides watching a DVD. I did watch returns from the 2004 election - and since then I am pretty sure I had it on for alerts when there were potential tornadoes in the area. I don't have anything against television - I just fell out of the habit of watching it years ago and I already have more neat and interesting things to keep me busy and entertained than I have the time to keep up with. As recently as a few years ago, I was more or less a "freak" in terms of how little television I watched. Anymore, I know quite a few people who are more or less in the same boat in that regard.
I am sure that most of the types of programming that currently exists on television will continue to exist in some form - but I think it is a pretty sure bet that most all of it besides breaking news coverage will be on-demand streams. What is doomed is not the programing so much as people having to plan around and conform to other people's programing schedules. I am old enough to remember VCRs not being commonplace when I was a kid and grown-ups being upset over missing their favorite television programs because they were unable to be at home on a certain night. Of course, for years now, all people had to do was set a machine to record the program in order to watch it later. But we are going to get to the point where even that is considered to be an unnecessary hassle and inconvenience.
We will be able to watch whatever programs we want at whatever time of day is convenient for us - and if one has missed previous episodes, one can catch up on them as well. And since there will be no limits on channels or available time slots - well, there will end up being more programing choices and programing appealing to niches that were previously not viable to cater to.
If you are a wannabe performer there will be more opportunities open to you to break into the business than ever before. But those who do break in will be performing before smaller and more segmented audiences. There will be a lot more people who will be able to earn a living at it (maybe not in news, though) but fewer who will become wealthy as a result of it. The mega superstar was a product of a mass media culture - and as the traditional mass media fades away, so will the number of superstars.
Within the realm of traditional over the air television, I doubt it is likely that it will ever be able to attract a significant new audience beyond what it already has. So I would think that industry's best bet is to serve its existing audiences in order to hang on to them as long as possible - which means that getting rid of personalities and programing that is already viable in pursuit of something better is going to become increasingly risky. I have no opinion about Rebecca Miller's situation in particular. I do know that television news (as with the entertainment business as a whole) has always been a notoriously difficult business to maintain one's success in as one becomes visibly older, especially for females. That mindset could soon start to change as the audience for traditional media venues becomes increasingly smaller and older.
1920s & 1930s Pop & Jazz
24-Hour Internet Radio
Posted 08 March 2008 - 11:45 AM
The word today in the broadcast world is INSTANT. If you have RSS and podcast and other such outlets, then you are IN THE GAME, not necessarily AHEAD of the game. The NEW MEDIA is gaining effectiveness (much like TV had to) EVERYDAY with EVERY news story, and the fact that it is cheaper, faster and more ENTERTAINING or GRATIFYING (because you scale it down to your likings) makes it all that more of a reason that you can dump the likes of RMiller from your payroll.
I think as far as stardom, it is what you perceive it to be, but because the media is so wide open and can be very defined to the viewership. It's more likely that you will create a broader spectrum of star personalities. The RAT PACK has come and gone with the Seinfeld or FRIENDS-like crew, but this new QUARTERLIFE (GAG!) is "supposed" to be the next big hit on TV. Now NBC is not banking on it, because they make killer money with their parents (GE), but if they can attract viewership then the ad money starts to roll in. The show QUARTERLIFE has a '30 Something' (80's show) like quality to it where it was first pushed on viral or internet in a MySpace kinda LAUNCH late last year. It's a longshot in my book and it doesn't relate to me one bit, especially when Dennis Hopper is telling me that 60 is the new 40, so 30 puts me back in my preteen years. I just don't really think that the producers or director or screenwriters for that matter will TRULY capture the pulse or texture of the typical 20's-30's something year old looking for work or making a name for themselves in the workplace or any of the other crud they are scheduled to throw at us. But, nonetheless NBC wants us to sit back and enjoy the programming and TIVO if needed (That's another song and dance), and forget about all your worries in life while watching our show and advertisers.
Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:04 PM
I'd be curious to see what people on the board DO watch when they watch TV... As in what are your favorite shows... For what it is worth... I DVR Will & Grace and Judge Judy and watch them at night. LOVE Daily Show, Colbert, Ghost Whisperer and Old Christine. Try to catch Seinfeld at 6:30 if I get home in time. That is about it. All of the channels I have and there is rarely anything worth watching. Don't really do the reality shows. I know a lot of people that watch Numb3rs but I have not seen it.
Posted 08 March 2008 - 06:27 PM
Posted 08 March 2008 - 08:44 PM
C-SPAN I and II at 5am- 8am.
Food Network for GOOD EATS.
TWILIGHT ZONE (old school) on Sci-Fi.
Kinda getting the NEW Battle star Galactica on Sci-Fi, but nothing like the original.
TVLand for bedtime. Three's Co. and GOOD TIMES reruns (THE BEST!).
Posted 09 March 2008 - 01:22 AM
Channel 5 news,weather,sports
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