Home Miami TV Rumor: Ratings Ultimatums for WFOR Bosses?

Rumor: Ratings Ultimatums for WFOR Bosses?


An anonymous tipster claiming to be speaking “on deep background” says alleges that if the current team at WFOR /the suits – ND, GM etc./ doesn’t nudge the ratings upwards by May sweeps one of the three in charge will get pink slipped. According to this tipster “most are saying that one of them won’t be there at years end…”.

/* sarcasm/ – WPLG must sucking away all the eyeballs.They’ll probably have a 30 rating at the end of sweeps this month. /* end of sarcasm*/


  1. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to report on wild rumors like this, admin. It serves someone’s agenda to claim this as fact, but you usually stay “above” the mudslinging.

  2. Mmmmmm………

    I agree with what cord said. Besides, ‘FOR is looking better everyday, and NOT because of Shannon Hori.

  3. Isn’t improving performance in the ratings a given? I don’t think it’s newsworthy to say heads will roll if the numbers don’t improve. CBS has bigger problems with their national ratings being down 19% due to the WGA strike, so maybe Sumner Redstone and his gang of idiots should chill. Shannon is a treat and so is Erika, for that matter. Antonio Mora is not an improvement over Eliot or Robb Hanrahan, either. CBS dumped Mora here to extract him from Chicago. Nice guy, but not much onscreen presence.

  4. So, if you criticize WFOR you are a “WFOR hater”? This is a blog, why give it a rest? If you know it not to be true, then say so or prove it. WFOR is such a great punching bag anyway. Most of the on air staff hasn’t even lived here longer than a year. One reporter doesn’t even live in South Florida and doesn’t want to live here. He commutes from hundreds of miles away.

    So much for local news.

    BTW, their ratings “been improving” for years, or so some say. I do know that 10’s ratings are improving though.

  5. Talk about being off base. There are a lot of people who are actually in the know who are laughing like crazy about this. ‘FOR staffers heard just before sweeps about the station’s excellent financial performance, which is the real thing corporate bosses care about.

    “WPLG (will) probably have a 30 rating…”

    Huh? Nobody in the Miami market has has a 30 average rating for sweeps since Ralph Renick sat in the anchor chair. Someone’s smoking Nielsen books.

  6. RE: Ben’s comment, “One reporter doesn’t even live in South Florida and doesn’t want to live here. He commutes from hundreds of miles away.”

    Really? Name names.

    As for how long the on-air staff has been at ‘FOR, that intrigued me. I looked on the ‘FOR website and checked the bios, just like you could have done, Ben:

    Al Sunshine: Almost 20 years
    Jim Berry: more than a decade
    Kim Bokamper: About a decade
    Gary Nelson: almost 15 years
    Michele Gillen: About a decade
    Ileana Varela: approaching 20 years
    Craig Setzer: almost 10 years
    Eliott: Almost a decade
    Strader: 4 years
    Estevez: 4 years
    Jade Alexander: 9 years
    Laurie Stein: 6 years
    David Bernard: 3 years
    Evan Bacon: 9 years
    Carey Codd: 4 years
    Liv Davalos: 10 years
    Sean Kenniff: 7 years
    Lisa Petrillo: almost 10 years
    Marybel Rodriguez: 8 years
    Ted Scouten: 10 years
    Joan Murray: 7 years
    Shomari Stone: 6 years
    Bryan Norcross: more than a decade (though he’s part-time now)

    That doesn’t count D’oench and Williams, who have been great reporters for years in Miami and who now work for ‘FOR

    According to the bios, 16 people have joined ‘FOR in the past year. 23 (59%) have been here for longer. Some new people like Davis Sutta and Cynthia Demos are South Florida natives who came home.

  7. i dont know if the WFOR newsroom is laughing or not, says RUMOR in the title

    i’m not claiming it’s true or false, just passing along a tip, a RUMOR tip, clearly!

    i wrote this past midnight and i dont smoke
    the 30 rating was a snarky sarcasm from me
    WPLG has been beating spanish stations and it’s a big deal, or seems to be,

    just do not blame me for yall’s rumors and whatever infighting there is between reporters from different stations and whatever
    i dont wanna play

    and if you think igot something wrong TELL ME, it is really easy

    that’s all

  8. hey scooter there is a lot of expereince there that is for sure. Now I know.

    But where were all those people and all that experience when 4 made that story up about the higher ups son at the Miami PD being a drug dealer? was everyone out sick that day? I seem to remember it was a completely fabricated and it was a breaking news segment during a TV show. Seems to me with over a hundred years of experience someone might have said something, right? has 4 ever owned up and explained that one? how does a story get made up like that? i don’t kknow the outcome, i just remember what was being reported by other local media. it must be devestaing to be sitting at home and see a news station call you a drug dealer and you are powerless to defend yourself.

    admin, we don’t blame you. the people in the news should worry about the facts on their own channel before they start correcting people on a blog.

    so scooter, what were saying about experience???

  9. Ben,

    4 absolutely owned up to the Parker story. They made the mistake in a morning newsbreak. They then corrected themselves in the two following newsbreaks, then ran an apology along with a soundbite from Director Parker on the 5PM news. I don’t know how much more you want.

    The story was a very unfortunate mistake, and it wasn’t “made up” out of thin air. My understanding was that it was caused by a regrettable miscommunication between the assignment desk, a high-profile reporter, news managers and the police department. And for pete’s sake, it was probably close to two years ago that that happened. By the way, Parker’s son wasn’t accused of being a drug dealer. Once again, get your facts straight.

  10. I don’t know about you guys, but I think it’s time to put the whole PD story they falsely broke 2 years ago. Those guys, who were disciples of Joel Cheatwood, are believe it or not, gone. ‘FOR has a fresh new attitude towards their news, and I don’t think shock journalism standards that WSVN had been plaguing the news industry isn’t going to help ‘FOR’s management. Sure, CBS cares about the bottom line when it comes to owning a TV station for more than 18 years, yet the integrity is starting to show. I haven’t seen this type of quality journalism coming from Mora/Hori since the days of News 4 South Florida (Khambrel Marshall/Anne Roberts era) so, kudos.

  11. i am not a news person. you are i guess. i am sure the guys lawyers made you own it.

    i doubt you would call it a “regrettable miscommunication” if it was you that was the target. i wonder, if he was a kid from the projects and if and didn’t have a powerful dad if you would of been so gracious in owning it.

    if it was a “regrettable miscommunication” than who came to you with the news in the first place? set me straight than if i dont know what i am talking about. was anyone fired? if it wasn’t made up than what part of it was true? i am open to your facts if you are open to providing them.

    u media people can sure dish it out, but if anyone even thinks about questioning you, you get so defensive. geesh

  12. No Ben, I don’t think this has anything to do with being in or out of the industry. You are simply spewing things out of your mouth and onto this blog – stating them like fact. And everytime you make a new post here, it is disputed and proved incorrect. Maybe this isn’t a battle between news people and those who don’t work in the industry, but rather between people who know what they’re talking about and people who don’t.

  13. YM

    Well if you are right and they are making a real effort to change then they deserve kudos. That would really be different, but they have a lot of work to do.

    We should not forget that story or put it behind. What the media doesn’t understand is no one trusts them, viewers don’t trust them. Yeah there are people like the Gables who sit home and fantasize about them with both hands but most don’t. They are viewed on the same levels as sleazy politicans and greedy lawyers. Go out on the street and ask people if they trust TV news people and think they are honest. Wear your thick skin. Aren’t news execs ever curious about why people don’t trust them and don’t watch?

    We have all been fooled into watching stories because they try to scare you into watching instead of doing news. All those “Is your nail salon killing you” type stories are useless crap and they know it. They just won’t say it publicly. They try and call it news when it is some recycled idea from some other city that they stole the idea from. They recycle these stories for ratings periods.

    So lets’ give scooter the benefit of the doubt. But as viewers let’s wait to see if they really are making a stab at real news and not another cheesy gimmick.

    As they say, “Trust, but verify”.

  14. That may be true, but let’s not forget one important factor:

    Okay, so the TV news industry is a big punchline. People would rather get their news from guys like Jon Stewart and Stephen Cobert, and for the world of entertainment Joel McHale. Just because the majority of the population would rather not watch the local news due to the factor of Shock Journalism in which WSVN perfected to make shock a standard in not only sweeps but in regular journalism.

    This isn’t easy for me to say all of that, coming to the defense of WFOR. I mean like you, I would rather:

    **Watch reruns of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” on CW South Florida
    **Watch clips on YouTube

    But somehow, as viewers, we shouldn’t care too much about the ratings, that’s up to the advertisers like (Dolphin Carpet and Tile, City Furniture, and Honda.)Let’s make this point clear, news is supposed to be informative, factual and trustworthy. Yet, we’re in a time where people are learning to think for themselves, no thanks in part to this blog. Don’t really blame the news directors and suits hired by the big conglomerates. You can blame is the consultants that were hired out of market who don’t know anything about the market, rather they look at the ratings and try to make the newscast more better, and most of the time it backfires.

    The point is, if any sucker who works at Channels 4, 6, and 10, takes their time to read these blogs and realize that “SVN’s shock journalism” isn’t the only way to go when it comes to grabbing viewers, the way to go would be something on the lines like:

    ***More world stories from a local perspective: Sure, it’s more expensive but look how ‘FOR sent Brian Andrews to Peru!!! (Some as lead stories)

    ***More corruption stories (Go after the ones who screw with the taxpayer’s money) ‘FOR uncovered Timmoney’s bribe

    ***Get more Broward Stories,- Every crime and corruption stories happens in Miami-Dade or Monroe counties, Broward is as populated as those other counties.

    *** More sentimental stories.

    I know that the news world can’t afford to be boring, and they have the obligation to appeal to the advertisers first, the viewers second. Trust, but verify is one thing, building a reputation from scratch is another.

  15. Just because the majority of the population would rather not watch the local news due to the factor of Shock Journalism in which WSVN perfected to make shock a standard in not only sweeps but in regular journalism. (Does not mean all is lost, you know!)

  16. YM,

    The Timmoney story was great, but even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then. I won’t sit through 100 hours of dreck to find that story.

    I don’t watch it and I don’t get my news that way. I don’t care about their ad revenue either. My concern is there are many that still do and unlike you, they don’t know how it works, so it ends up shaping their perceptions inaccurately.

    Have you ever tried to have a discussion about politics or local issues with someone who doesn’t read and just watches WSVN for news? You can’t have a rational discussion with them because they don’t know anything and don’t care to know anything more than what is told to them on the tube. And the anchors don’t know anything because they are reading info given to them from some nameless, faceless producer who doesn’t know anything. You end up wanting to put a Glock to your head by the end of the conversation.

    Thank God for the Internet. First of all we can do our own reporting on the topics we are interested in and not depend on surgically altered beauty queens, interns and half baked actors (yes I know there are some good reporters out there too, relax people). And thanks to sites like this we can square off with the media who used to never listen to anyone else but themselves. As you can tell on just this subject alone the scooters of the world are listening. Many more in the media all over the country read this and don’t post. Maybe because deep down they know what we say about what they do is true. Local news now has watchdogs with a broadcast outlet of their own and don’t you know they don’t like it. But I do!

  17. Ben,

    Stop regurgitating anti- media talking points.

    WFOR, WPLG, WSVN, WTVJ all have loyal viewers who “trust them.” If no one trust the media then why do advertisers continue to give them hundreds of thousands of dollars every quarter?

    Ben, you obviously know nothing about TV news. Oh and by the way, no one called the PD’s son a “drug dealer.” Idiot!

  18. First of all “Ben”, you know way too much about the news business and the insider lingo for any of us to believe you are not in news. You probably just got canned from WFOR>

    Secondly, choosing that “nail salon” as your example, and some of your other statements makes me think you are more likely a “Brenda” than a “Ben”.

  19. “CanesGirl”

    What upset you darling, the surgically enhanced comment or the intern one? Which one are you? Come on, what;s the new cup size? If you are trying to be insulting you need to do a better job. Try harder please. I like it better when someone from the media trades barbs with me then the wide butt couch sitters.

  20. there is no way that info is correct for how long the on-air staff has been at ‘FOR. For one, Scooter you say you checked the cbs4.com bios, but only a few of the veteren reporters actually list how long they’ve worked in south florida.

    Case in point: Jorge Estevez has worked at the station barely 2 years. Prior to that he worked in Orlando. Look it up in the archives of this site.

    I’m not knocking jorge’s experience, I’m just saying don’t always believe “facts” people post in the comments.

  21. Ben, first of all life is short. 2nd, just because Joe or Jane Schmo gets their news from a “flashing light show” doesn’t mean they are ignorant. And three I should know, cause I am one of those—forget it! Do us all a favor and leave us alone.
    We’re trying to have a legitimate conversation over here about the state of the news media and yet you have to be so negative about it. Channel 7 is Channel 7, they’re never going to change their attitude, not in a million years.

    That and the fact that Ed Ansin is a Cheap mr. Burns.

  22. Oy Vey, For someone who has followed the news in Miami since Ann Bishop was queen of the tube, I will admit I actually know how long some many of the people have been here, bios or not, because I have watched them, many years in a professional capacity involving newsprint.

    I did check, and I was mistaken; Jorge came to Miami in February 2006. I erred by using Jawan’s numbers instead of his. It was late. Please accept my apologies.

    But the point remains the same. All of those people have worked more than a year, some 20 times that. Ben just made his claim up, and then promotes himself as a watchdog of local news. Had he been watching, he’d have known he’s been seeing those faces for years.


  23. Scooter, are you telling us that all those people with all that experience decide the stories they cover and the stories they don’t? The way I understand it they are told the stories to cover by the execs. Are you telling us that Craig Stevens or Dwight Lauderdale actually makes phone calls and drives around Miami to gather facts and are responsible for what they read on air?

    You seem to be on the inside, but the way I have always understood it is that they get told what to do by others in the TV station. So if that’s the case what good is decades of experience if the news they cover is decided by others????

    If you are going to promote yourself as a newsperson than I can promote myself as a watchdog. After all the only thing you need to do to be a TV journalist is to mouth the word or print it on a business card. If a news channel can put a recent high school grad, a beauty queen or an intern on the air and call them a reporter than I feel comfortable with calling myself a watchdog. There is a guy on Ch 10 who used to do an awful sleazy “Geraldo” like talk show and then he suddenly showed up on TV here in Miami and he was suddenly a “journalist” or a news anchor. Yeah, as long you guys keep selling us crap I will call myself a watchdog. You can talk about experience all day long, but that guy isn’t a journalist and never was no matter how good he dresses or reads. Did you ever read the fable “The Emperor’s New Clothes” when you were a kid? TV is the modern day emperor.

    If you want to read what goes on in newsrooms read the post from the CNN producer on this blog who apparently used to work at ch7. It’s a disturbing eye opener of what really goes on and contradicts what scooter writes here. scooter, there are some of us who want better than what we get, if that bothers you, well than that bothers you.

  24. Hey Ben. I know for an absolute fact that many reporters “enterprise (of course you wouldn’t know what that means)” their own stories.

    You obviously know nothing about TV News. Give it a rest.

  25. hey ben

    i’ve worked in government for awhile… and i work with the media… let me help you..

    reporters hit the streets and cover news… they show up at my office… ask the questions… write the stories…
    and while reporters do take direction from their assignment desk and producers, many develop stories on their own… it’s called enterprising (as miami times sez)

    anchors work in the building as copy editors and read the news… though some anchors i’ve known (dwight and craig do, they’ve called me on stories before) actually make calls trying to get information they can use on the air… or info to back up what their reporters have…

  26. Ben,

    It was really great to run into you yesterday. I really appreciated how you remembered to ask “want fries with that?”

    You said, “After all the only thing you need to do to be a TV journalist is to mouth the word or print it on a business card.” Actually, what it really takes is someone like a major media company to stake their reputation on you and pay you to do the job.

    I know exceptional kids who had the smarts to do this job, in small communities, right out of high school. Just because you are an intern doesn’t deny you the skills needed to be a reporter. You paint things with such a broad brush you should be be slopping Sherwin-Williams on houses.

    Here’s a story for you. In the late 70’s a TV station hired a kid still in college. No news experience except at a tiny radio station. No real journalism skills. She was a beauty queen. The station made her a news anchor, if you can believe that! Another case of local TV crap, right? Really stupid hire!

    The kid was named Winfrey, as in Oprah. She turned that job into the start of a career which has made her one of the most famous (and richest) people in the world.

    You can find people with journalism jobs among the young, the pretty,, and even the unschooled, if you know what to look for. Ben, you’re too busy telling everyone in TV news what’s wrong about them to look.

    As for Chez, the guy from CNN you mentioned, he’s a kvetch who took a fat paycheck until he got fired for writing personal opinions on stories he would later write for CNN which made it impossible for him to maintain even an appearance of journalistic impartiality, who then turned into the big TV news critic ranting about the evils of the business. Evils he failed to attack, or even reveal, reveal while drawing that CNN check. Such character!

    People in Miami TV, and even those of us outside the business, know all about Chez. Well, Ben, now maybe Chez can join you at the King. Time to flip the burgers!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here