Editorials on Television News...Do They Still Do Them?

OK, up the road a bit from here is a station in Baltimore-- WBAL-Channel 11, owned by Hearst-Argyle-- that does an unusual thing. At the end of their broadcast, their General Manager comes on and gives an editorial. In fact yesterday’s was about US-China relations. He’s for it.

Now, none of the other stations in the Baltimore-Washington area do editorials. In fact, in the cities I lived or visited, none of the local stations do editorials. I’ve learned they, while once they were popular, virtually no one does it now.

I’m curious, does your local news station do anything that is explicitly an editorial? No, I don’t mean Dan Rather’s supposed liberal bias or Fox News’ rightward slant. And no, I don’t mean when they get two people who argue Crossfire about something, or something pilthy like “Kids shouldn’t kill other kids.” What I mean is that they trot out someone at the end whose job is to give the station’s opinion on a important issue.

Dammit! Missed a quotation mark.
WBAL Television 11 – Baltimore

Hal Fishman of KTLA ( http://www.ktla.com ) of Los Angeles does editorials all the time. He is a avid pilot, and has been quite vocal during the China Plane thing. (He was REALLY pissed at the Chinese.) He doesn’t actually speak for KTLA, but he is their veteran anchorman, and I don’t recall ever seeing KTLA taking pains to distance themselves from his editorials. Fishman is said by some to be the inspiration for the TV newguy on “The Simpsons”. He also does a lot of movie work (as a reporter) and can be seen on the new “Crocodile Dundee” film. [sub](Sorry, trivia. Had to share.)[/sub]

I remember KABC’s (L.A.'s ABC affiliate) General Manager making announcements, and I believe editorials, way back when. I don’t watch KABC much these days, so I don’t know if they still do it. (I doubt it.)

WLBT TV3 (NBC) here in Jackson, MS has not one, but TWO editorials. The General Manager (Dennis Smith) has his “Point of View” once a week. He’s a sharp guy, who finds little funny with the Banana Republic form of Government we have here. Sharp guy.

Then, we have the Owner, Frank Melton. Here is his page. If possible, he’s even more cynical about Jackson City Government, Jesse Jackson, Blacks who live on welfare and have 15 kids, anyone who whines rather than works their way off the bottom, people who expect a free ride, and general incompetence. He’s a great public speaker, (I’ve heard him several times) and he is totally unafraid to call a spade a spade, to borrow a phrase. He’s pissed off everyone from the NAACP (no mean feat, considering Mr Melton happens to be black) to every mayor for the past 20 years (about 4, sadly). Please read his stuff. He’s not making this shit up! This actually happens in Jackson, and thanks to NBC and Mr Melton, they comment and report on it.

All in all, they don’t comment on the world, cause there’s too much messed up in Jackson to fix first.

In Jacksonville, ,WJXT-TV4 has regular editorials, usually by the station manager. They are a (Washington) Post/Newsweek owned station, CBS affiliate, and led the way in investigative reporting at one time (Steve Croft got his start here, before going to the Miami affiliate and 60 Minutes) Back to editorials, they don’t do them every night, but they are quite frequent. Some are the obvious “Violence is bad” “Helping others is Good” but many are similar to traditional newspaper editorials - they state an opinion about a recent event, and give points to support their opinion. They do air rebuttals regularly. Another frequent feature are “Darts and Laurels” for (usually) local newsmakers.

Their primary competition is a 2-headed beast owned by the folks at USA Today - they have both the ,ABC and NBC stations, and simulcast the news. No editorials though.