Many people have lamented how lame local news is, its lack of quality, and its shallowness. In northeastern Ohio, there is currently a CBS affiliate, and its secondary station, that have a “news” department. It is not quite accurate to say it appeals to the lowest common denominator. It does appeal to the audience that finds extremist, irrational, irresponsible, mouthfoamer radio authoritative. Every on air reporter or reader seems free to ad lib (snide) comments. It does seem, all those comments come from the same range. This must be policy. Sure, they may select personnel of a certain, political persuasion, but primarily, they must be coached, coaxed, or thusly directed in sensationalist idiocy. They also select for attractive women. Their most famous stunt: was to have one appear in a mass nude photo session, it got her (Sharon Reed) a guest shot on Letterman. She has tried to get a job in a bigger market, and has not. Most of the nonsense come from males, including one, loud, obnoxious to the point of disgusting, local, radio mouthfoamer (Trivisonno).
Cleveland television news, years ago, had news directors, and station vice-presidents, give occasional editorials. I remember Virgil Dominic, Gary Ritchie, and Ken Bagwell, speak evenly, moderately, and even blandly. In recent years, the only station executive to speak is Bill Applegate. He is the VP/General Manager, and must set the tone, style and example.
The comments (they use the words honest, fair and everywhere) on WOIO would fit well on FOX cable, or a satirical comedy. Applegate* spoke on, oil drilling in Alaska, as the panacea cure-all to US energy demands. He used math, that might have been, learned from Sarah Palin. He has shown great contempt for Congressman Dennis Kucinich. His views have not been conservative, they have been from a bizarre cloud cuckoo land. His on-air staff have often sensationalised material. They have cribbed false stories from odd sources. One instance, in 2004, a false story, on a non-existing series of trysts between John Kerry and a young woman, was carried with brio and brouha. Later it was discovered, the transmitter of the story was the fake journalist, the pseudonymous Jeff Gannon. Of course false, or wild stories, are brought up, but are not rectified, when reality intervenes. Practically, any rubbish story that embarrasses certain individuals (usually Democrats) is used. Sometimes creatively, absurd questions are posed. Accuracy is irrelevant, it is an opponent to be defeated when obstructive. This is often described as tabloid style journalism, it is extreme rubbish with a political agenda.
*On the often amusing The Simpsons, there is My Two Cents, on channel 6, with Kent Brockman.