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Tonight At 6: A Daily Show Masquerading as Local TV News

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In Tonight at Six: A Daily Show Masquerading as Local TV News, veteran journalist Michael Olesker paints an intimate, behind-the-scenes picture of local television news as few have ever seen it. He describes the long slide of a medium that was once assumed to be the golden future of American journalism, but is now widely considered an afterthought for viewers seeking serious news coverage. In his two decades as a nightly on-air commentator at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV, Olesker watched as the station tumbled from pre-eminence as one of the country’s top-rated local affiliates–where the on-air news personalities included the two top-ranked anchors in the country, plus a young woman named Oprah Winfrey–to inglorious runner-up in its own market.

Tonight at Six offers a personal look at many of those public news personalities. But it’s also a story about the decline of all TV news: how commercial considerations, short-sighted management, and the constant pressure of ratings forced the dumbing-down of local news programs around the country. It’s the true story of how television stations purporting to cover the stories of huge metropolitan areas–their governors, mayors, city and county councils, school systems, police, criminal courts, neighborhoods, and more–quietly attempt this with no more than a handful of reporters. How do they do it?

As Olesker explains, they don’t.

SKU: 978-1-934074-17-6 Categories: ,

Product Description

In Tonight at Six: A Daily Show Masquerading as Local TV News, veteran journalist Michael Olesker paints an intimate, behind-the-scenes picture of local television news as few have ever seen it. He describes the long slide of a medium that was once assumed to be the golden future of American journalism, but is now widely considered an afterthought for viewers seeking serious news coverage. In his two decades as a nightly on-air commentator at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV, Olesker watched as the station tumbled from pre-eminence as one of the country’s top-rated local affiliates–where the on-air news personalities included the two top-ranked anchors in the country, plus a young woman named Oprah Winfrey–to inglorious runner-up in its own market.

Tonight at Six offers a personal look at many of those public news personalities. But it’s also a story about the decline of all TV news: how commercial considerations, short-sighted management, and the constant pressure of ratings forced the dumbing-down of local news programs around the country. It’s the true story of how television stations purporting to cover the stories of huge metropolitan areas–their governors, mayors, city and county councils, school systems, police, criminal courts, neighborhoods, and more–quietly attempt this with no more than a handful of reporters. How do they do it?

As Olesker explains, they don’t.

About the Author

Michael Olesker was a nightly news commentator for WJZ-TV’s Eyewitness News for nineteen years. He is a columnist for the Baltimore Examiner and previously wrote a column for the Baltimore Sun for a quarter-century. He is the author ofMichael Olesker’s Baltimore: If You Live Here, You’re Homeand Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore. With Leo Bretholz, he co-wrote Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe. A graduate of Baltimore City College and the University of Maryland, Olesker resides with his wife in Baltimore..

Additional Information

Praise

“What viewers see every night is a far cry from what often goes on in a TV newsroom. Olesker tells the story in such a way that you’ll feel like you were really there, and are still dizzy from the experience. You’ll never look at the TV news the same way again.” — Dick Gelfman, Attorney and Former Consumer Reporter, WJZ-13 “While this account eviscerates three Baltimore network affiliates, the sad truth is that they are no worse–and no better–than all local TV news operations. Olesker paints a high-definition picture of the façade beneath the façade.” — Ira R. Allen, Former UPI Reporter and White House Correspondent

Pages

308

Format of the Book

Paperback