Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My PIX11 @ 10 Top 10

As you may or may not know, I work freelance in the TV news arena.  Living in suburban Connecticut, I had always preferred to get my news from New York City.   Quite frankly, the Hartford and New Haven stations aren't relevant to me.  A Dunkin Donuts armed robbery in Prospect doesn't mean a rat's patootie when you live in lower Fairfield County.

My go-to station as a youngster was Channel 5 WNEW back in the days of John Roland. If you are old enough, you'll remember when they covered such hard-hitting (and scary!) stories such as the Son of Sam murders and that real-life Travis Bickle, Bernhard Goetz.  Then the station changed names and became FOX 5 WNYW as it remains today.  In my opinion, Fox 5 is the McDonald's of metropolitan news.  Channel 11 has always been close second, so we'll refer to it as Burger King.  But hold on: There's been some changes as of late. (Well, since last October, but pardon me all over the place….I'm slow!)

PIX 11 slightly tweaked their 10 o'clock show.  Slightly?  Well, they did a complete overhaul.  Have you seen it?  Do you like it?  Well, who cares what you think….I love it!  And you know what?  I'd also rather eat at Burger King!  That's right.  I was once a die hard Fox 5 fan, but I've jumped ship like you wouldn't believe.  And I've got sound reasoning to back up my decision.

This new format is absolutely a "love it or hate it" thing.  There is no in between, and that's not up for debate.  It's been bashed to high hell, being called everything from "assembly line newscasting" to "an iphone app".  Never one to flow with the critics, I have a different opinion.  And I've been taking notes.  So now, with no further ado, here's my top 10 reasons for watching the revolutionary new PIX11 at 10.

10.  The A Block, AKA The Pix 11 at 10:  Yes, they use trade terminology talking about rundowns and blocks.  Why not just tell the audience about thumbsuckers and evergreens?  I'll let that slide.  Moving on, I like the little story preview icons that run on the bottom of the screen.  Not that I need to know what the next 5 stories are going to be, but it's kind of cool.  I like their green screen setup.  I like the whole walking through the studio.  Like, like, like.

9.  The Editorializing:  I'm taking this show with a grain of salt and loving every minute of it.  Once the, ahem, "hard" news is out of the way, it's off to the races.  Who's the guy who stands in front of the stone wall and does his spiel?  Well, I like the After Effects graphics on the building.  Clever.  Greg Mocker does a good job as well.  People gotta be cringing when the PIX11 News Team shows up at their door.

8. They Stand Up For The Little Guy:  All the consumer affairs segments they do, as well as segments like "Ugliest House Contest".  I approve.  Sure, they're trashy, but by all accounts, living in the metropolitan area can be a real miserable experience.  I'm glad these guys are blowing the whistle on scumbag landlords, swindling contractors and shifty politicians.  I like the consumer advocate who wears the pith helmet.  Where is he going?  On a safari?  You want to be memorable on screen?  Get a signature hat, problem solved.

7.  Monica Morales: She has a nice voice.

6. Mr. G's Weather: Well, I'm not a *huge* fan, but he seems like a pleasant enough man and you gotta know what the forecast is for tomorrow, right?

5. They Moved Kaity Tong Out Of The Studio And Put Her On Some Island: N/T

4. The Lincoln Strictly Business Report: And that it is.  Stocks and a few quick biz stories.  And I like that music bed they occasionally use.  No, not that one.  The other one.  You know I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that the PIX 11 10 o'clock graphics are very minimalist, but it all works well.  No lightning bolts or crazy-ass chrome lettering.  Lots of black screen, but like Thelonious Monk said, it's not the notes you play, it's the notes you DON'T play.

3. They Only Do One Minute of Sports:  Thank God.  Not that I have anything against big league competitive games, but if I want the scores, I'll watch ESPN.

2. Lionel:  He's radical, he's subversive.  I love his rants.  Not something you'd see in your typical newscast.  Maybe because most typical NY newscasts are focused on the score of the Yankee's game and 4 weather hits.  This isn't your typical crybaby liberal stuff like, "Oh, Michele Bachman doesn't know about the Revolutionary War.  Look at me, I'm so smug."  No, what Lionel is doing is subtlety working his viewers into a lather that may end in a coup d'√©tat.  In a very non-polarized manner, I might add.  At the very least, he's getting people to think about their government.

I just get the feeling they're gonna take ol' Lionel away in the middle of the night, OR he's going to incite this country into revolution.  Until then, whichever comes first, I'm tuned in.  BTW, this guy knows how to write a tease.  Producers, if you want your audience to stick around, take a cue from Lionel.

1. Jodi:  The News Vixen of the Tri-State area, Jodi Applegate is what makes this whole thing worth watching.  I used to enjoy her when she was on "Come On, Wake Up New York" on Fox 5.  I'd love to know why she left.  Then she was at News 12 Long Island, but now she's back in the Big City.  Did you ever see that thing on Youtube where those two losers tried to punk her by cutting a bike chain?  And they had the fake blood?  And she totally lost it?  "We'll be right back after this.  That was not cool, dude."  Well, back to present day, she makes it look easy. Big fan.

So that's it.  Now to the staff of PIX 11, should you stumble across this article, do the right thing: Hire me as a producer!  I can start tomorrow.

The rest of you?  If you haven't seen the show, tune in tonight!  And comment as you see fit.

PS-Another reason that PIX is my new Fox 5…..they got Seinfeld at 11!  That's right, and it's in glorious HD.  Make the switch!


  1. Shame on you Scott! You write a whole post about PIX11 (aka WPIX, WB11, CW11, 11Alive) and not one mention of traffic girl Jill Nicolini. Is it because she dates O&A co-host and Howard Stern rival Anthony Cumia? Although I can not watch the station down here in the sunshine state I recent stopped by their building and show indentation of the numerous logo changes. I have to mention one of my favorite childhood memories is "Pix Pix Pix!"

  2. "and not one mention of traffic girl Jill Nicolini"

    No, my only interest is in the 10 o'clock show. My son rules the roost when it comes to morning programming. Special Agent Oso wins that war.

    I know she hosted some kind of sexy Halloween parade show with Tamsen Fadal, you can watch it on Youtube.

    And yes, I too remember Pix! Pix!

  3. She was also an (NY )Islander Girl!