Live, from a fence.

Last night on KDKA news at 11:00, poor David Highfield filed a story about how West Virginia is gearing up for their new poker tables and other table games.

Poor David Highfield had to report on his story about WEST VIRGINIA, a whole different state, live from the North Shore at 11:00 at night with complete darkness and a chain link fence behind him, where someday there will be a casino that won’t have table games.

That is just frickin’ ludicrous. I need to become news director or station manager because my newscasts would kick ass and poor David Highfield would have filed that report from the moon before I sent him to stand in the dark in front of absolutely nothing.

He should have thrown it back to Patrice all,”For KDKA news, I’m David Highfield, reporting live from a dead construction site FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Back to you.”

Watch it here.





27 Comments

  1. Tinare
    October 16, 2007 9:38 am

    I really, really wish local news here would save the live shots for times when it makes even a modicum of sense. And I’m not talking about making some poor smuck stand at the side of the road during an ice storm either…



  2. MRPGH
    October 16, 2007 9:53 am

    WPXI did an entire newscast in front of their own fence…



  3. chrys
    October 16, 2007 10:12 am

    I couldn’t agree more, Tinare. There are times that I am watching and the anchor goes to a live shot.. and I find myself watching and waiting for the reason that they felt this expenditure neccessary. Just one big waste of time and money.



  4. Hazel
    October 16, 2007 10:20 am

    I have always questioned the live spots from various locations throughout the city. Why does Ralph Iannotti have to stand in front of the jail, courthouse, or Children’s hospital at 11pm to tell us a story about a criminal, the trial or an injured child? I don’t see the point and never have.



  5. Lisa
    October 16, 2007 10:25 am

    That’s probably my biggest pet peeve about the news. “Live from the hospital where I have absolutely nothing to show you!”



  6. Woy
    October 16, 2007 10:53 am

    Personally, I think they should build the casino next to a PennDOT salt pile.

    Two great Pennsylvania pasttimes together: degenerate gambling and overzealous snow management!



  7. bucdaddy
    October 16, 2007 11:01 am

    That drives me batty too, but as I understand it, the reporter gets paid a little more for a “live” report than he/she does sitting in a chair in a studio. And I don’t expect any of them who aren’t anchors get paid like kings/queens, so … As for what the station gets out of it, it’s part of the “smoke-and-mirrors” deal, fool the viewer into seeing something that isn’t there. “Hey, look, Maude! They’re LIVE again! They sure do a lot of ‘Live’ reports. They’re really on the ball down there!”

    I wonder how many people are fooled by this “perception is reality” con game. I fear the answer is, “A lot.”



  8. Gunn Lino
    October 16, 2007 11:22 am

    Reminds me of high school AV classes, before the advent of computers, video, etc.



  9. Bill
    October 16, 2007 11:25 am

    I used to work at Allegheny Ford on the Southside. I often saw news crews setting up for a live remote shot across the railroad tracks at the foot of S 6th St. That way the Allegheny County Jail would be in the background across the river. They would sit over there for hours!



  10. spoon
    October 16, 2007 11:28 am

    Actually on a lot of the newscasts if they’re at a hospital of a shooting/stabbing victim they are really at a different location because they cant show you where the person being treated. Though most people in the hill/north side are either at Mercy or AGH anyways.

    WPXI is usually the most guilty of the 3 for abusing the “LIVE from…” shtick when it comes to weather. And as always Dee Thompson will be on top of the Perrysville bridge crossing 279.



  11. bucdaddy
    October 16, 2007 11:48 am

    What bothers me just as much are the random shots — a street, a building — where no one explains what it is we’re supposed to be looking at. “Here’s a street, here’s a building, you figure it out.”

    Beano Cook’s three worst inventions of the 20th century:

    1. Income tax

    2. Artificial turf

    3. Local news



  12. GeeO
    October 16, 2007 12:09 pm

    They do this because the consultants tell them to do it. Local news here and around the country is not journalism, but an entertainmnet medium whose sole purpose is to get as many people to watch in any given 15-minute period so that they can charge more for commercials. Never make the mistake of equating television news with journalism.



  13. Mike
    October 16, 2007 12:25 pm

    Reporters do not make more money if they are out on a live shot. Auctually, the live shot costs the station no additional money at all. The reporter is paid the same reporting live or in the studio. The photog gets paid the same if he or she is doing a live shot or sitting in the break room. The live trucks are paid for long ago(the station HAS to have live capability)–so a live shot from the county jail(or wherever) really does nothing but supposedly give a viewer the sense that the station is on top of the story–at least that is what the consultants tell them.



  14. Woy
    October 16, 2007 1:10 pm

    Mike must definitely be right, because otherwise Dee Thompson would be wealthier than Old Man Hardy.

    That man should get megabucks for hazard pay alone.



  15. Kelli
    October 16, 2007 1:52 pm

    I think it is good that Dee goes out to so many live shots. I mean, look at how many times he has actually found a dead body. He’s better than a bloodhound.

    Dee Thompson speaks for the dead.

    Also, I work on the North Shore. And I swear there is an almost daily “live” shot up here. Like, near PNC, looking at downtown. I’m not really sure why – I guess so that we all know downtown is still there.



  16. Pensgirl
    October 16, 2007 2:12 pm

    The one thing I liked about that Pittsburgh-set newsroom show in the episode I watched was how they stuck the reporter outside in the rain to talk about something that happened hours ago. It really is ludicrous, isn’t it?



  17. spoon
    October 16, 2007 3:47 pm

    YES! one of my Clarks minions came over here! guess giving PG props there worked out.

    unsatisfied, KDKA is obsessed with cranberry right now because of the teacher’s strike. watch out or you may hit their van parked illegally in the street.



  18. bucdaddy
    October 16, 2007 3:56 pm

    Mike, Thanks for clearing that up. I though they got like a hazard pay bonus or something (which Dee should).

    I like it when the tiny-town station down near here (Clarksburg, W.Va.) goes to the Weather Cam before the 11 p.m. forecast, showing downtown from a hilltop view, and it looks sort of like the Big Dipper — you can see about seven lights on in the darkness and nothing else. There might as well not be a town there at all. Hilarious waste of technology.



  19. Bob M
    October 16, 2007 4:28 pm

    It’s crap like this that convinced me to get out of TV news. I used to work in Johnstown, and every winter -believe it or not- it snowed. [pause while you recover from the shock of that revelation]
    And every time it snowed, I was sent out to stand along Route 219 and tell viewers “only damn fools are out in this weather”.
    Why do a live shot? Because we could. It was the cool new toy back in the day. Now it has become habit. A bad, nasty habit.



  20. Kat
    October 16, 2007 4:54 pm

    Also, I work on the North Shore. And I swear there is an almost daily “live” shot up here. Like, near PNC, looking at downtown. I’m not really sure why – I guess so that we all know downtown is still there.

    I used to live on Mt. Washington, and same deal. At first I would get excited because maybe some big news was happening, but no, they just needed a shot of a talking head in front of the point.



  21. PittCheMBA
    October 16, 2007 6:50 pm

    This makes as much sense as John Shumway attending Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference and asking stupid questions.



  22. Gene
    October 17, 2007 2:16 am

    Give Dave a break. It was a nice day out, he spent all afternoon in a casino…don’t begrudge the man some fresh air.

    I liked how Dave did his stand-up in front of a fence, and during the report itself he was in front of a curtain. I enjoyed the symmetry. I also liked how Dave used the lingo and said that WV is “upping the ante”. Nicely done.



  23. REARless
    October 17, 2007 8:31 am

    I always feel sorry for poor Dee Thompson. I think he has been sent out into snow storms at 4AM since the 70’s. (Any old farts remember when WPXI was WIIC?)



  24. Davey J
    October 17, 2007 9:43 am

    Added Highfield, “Fuck”



  25. bucdaddy
    October 17, 2007 11:31 am

    *(Any old farts remember when WPXI was WIIC?)*

    *Raises hand* I go back to the days of Carl Ide, tho I think that was another station. If that’s too far back, I remember the Bill and Patti Burns co-anchor thing, unless I just dreamed it.



  26. REARless
    October 17, 2007 1:20 pm

    I remember the Bill and Patti Burns co-anchor thing, unless I just dreamed it.

    Yup, the “Patti and Daddy” show.

    Which brings to mind the legenday burgh band The Spuds with their great song, “Patti Burns My Eyes”.



  27. unsatisfied
    November 4, 2007 12:26 pm

    “YES! one of my Clarks minions came over here! guess giving PG props there worked out.

    unsatisfied, KDKA is obsessed with cranberry right now because of the teacher’s strike. watch out or you may hit their van parked illegally in the street.”

    spoonster — for some reason, my posts ain’t here no mo. I think it’s because the website thinks I’m a spammer — which I’m not. as you well know, I’m a lot of things, but not that.

    but — I’ll keep trying to post. and, I hope that one day, pittgirl will love me.