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Local Media in GR -- what do people think?

LA Dave

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The Grand Rapids Press is a sorry excuse for a newspaper, for this large a town. Their vomit-inducing headline puns are so high school newsletter-ish. The editorials are written by dinosaurs, and they can't seem to keep from printing pictures of blond male toddlers doing something "cute" (read: vomit-inducing) on THE FRONT PAGE, where actual news belong. Alright; said photos are usually below the fold, but still. Makes me want to claim King Herod as my personal hero.

About local radio, we only listen to WGVU, and even that's a distant second fiddle to Blue Lake ((WBLV) Kalamazoo (WMUK) and Ann Arbor (WVGR.)

Overall, there's much too much emphasis on "heart-warming", "patriotic", and "Faaammleee" in local media, at the expense of actual information.

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This is probably as good a place as any to ask (you old timers ;-) - is there a reason why we don't have a GR-based CBS affiliate? Is there some history to this? We have 2 ABCs now but no CBS. I actually don't mind the WWMT newscasters but they are definitey biased away from GR news so I don't watch.

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FYI: For those who claim not to like the Grand Rapids Press, they are the source for most of the news links on UP. :whistling:

I find they do a much more in depth coverage of the issues than the local TV media. As to their editorial staff and stories they cover, that's a separate issue.

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Local media...

Radio - I'm constantly in my car (keeping West Michigan freshly stocked with pizzas) Lately, I've taken to listening to Michigan Public Radio above anything else. As far as I can tell, WOOD does a good enough job with the basics - traffic and weather - and I've never had a problem with their news coverage.

TV - I'm with everyone else on Geha. There are a lot, lot of faces that have been on the local stations for a long time. People around here love a familiar face, but it kind of shows that the same people have been doing it in all the markets for decades now. Which is probably why I generally turn to WXMI for the news at 10. Most of the "investigative" reporting (on wzzm, wood, and wxmi) makes me cringe, though. Guess you get a little desperate when you're broadcasting at 5, 5:30, and 6:00.

Print - Say what you want, I get what I need from the Press as a daily. I read it front to back most days, and I really, really don't want print to die. GRBJ does a great job breaking business news (better than MiBiz and Business Update).

Web - I get my news from UP as much as anywhere else on the web. Sometimes, I'll go to MLive.

I think this is the first time I've actually replied to anything here.

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I prefer Grand Rapids Press online, because most of it is actual news (and Knapes corner). I also like RapidGrowthMedia. If I want to watch the news I prefer Fox17, there is a lot less hype and they cover a lot of developments around GR. I hate it when Woodtv spends 15 minutes and has 5 reporters telling about how it's snowing outside, is it really that big of a shock? I don't really watch WZZM or WXMI.

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Interesting responses. When I lived in GR, both Channels 8 and 13 had active investigative reporters who focused on issues more substantive than cockroaches in old schools. Channel 8 featured Henry Erb and Channel 13, Jim Riekse. Riekse even did an investigative series on the Press, challenging a series that the paper had done on then-school superintendant John Dow.

In response to the question of why GR doesn't have a CBS affiliate, that is because WWMT (formerly WKZO) transmitted to the GR market and thus had the area franchise. In the good old days (before 1962) there was no ABC affiliate. WOOD TV would carry both NBC and ABC programs, though more of the former. In those pre-Batman days, ABC was sort of an afterthought network.

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Simply enough, most local media stinks.

Too kitschy, too cliched, too down-home.

local TV news never makes me feel like there is any weight to what they tell me. It always feels like the people giving me the news just don't have the presence to deliver it with authority like news guys back in the 40s, 50s, 60s used to. It's like amateur hour sometimes.

If local news here was like the local newscasts that the BBC, and other European networks produce, I would never miss a chance to see them.

*The GR Press is a 5-minute read for me. Front page, Op-Ed, Metro, Business, and maybe Weather. The only thing that can be done with that is to get some competition going, hopefully not in the form of another free, leftist-leaning weekly like we had the last time.

*I do read GR Bus. Journal, and MI Biz West. But UP has made those sources just an afterthought for development news.

*Mlive is a joke. And the GR Press not having a real web presence is just a disgrace.

*Radio for me is either AM Wood Radio or WYCE, which is the best radio station ever. Michigan Radio is ok as well. I really do wish we had a Radio BBC 1, 2, and 3 type of setup though.

*WGVU has never put much effort into local programming, like a WGBH, other than when it's time for the pledge drives.

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Local news is local wherever you go. It's trashy and smarmy and "news for you" and "StormtrackerNexRadWindowAttack" Weather.

Michigan Newspapers are dying. The Press is dying, and don't get me started on the Freep and News. A two-page business section? Really? They might as well be newsletters.

I've been addicted to Michigan Radio since high school. When I lived in Chicago WBEZ was an excellent substitute. If there's any criticism of our NPR affiliates is that for the money donated by listeners, they sure don't produce many shows themselves. WBEZ has probably a dozen shows that they produce internally.

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Since I start my day in Holland, I begin by switching back and forth between WHTC am for local news and WPNW am for Bill Bennett. I also catch a little NPR from WGVU on the commute.

I find the juvenile attempts at humor by the local morning teams no longer interests me although I grew up on Larry Lujack, then Steve Dahl, then Kevin Matthews. The 5-6 minute news breaks on WOOD am -- which are more like 2 minutes of news and 3-4 minutes of commercials) are just not enough. And the delivery (especially by that afternoon guy) is horrible. David Moore on WGVU is a class act. Kevin Richards on WOOD am is the only traffic guy in the market who even knows I-96 from I-196 or US-31 from US-131.

During the day I do not listen to local radio. Rather, I listen to podcasts and my own music using iTunes. or Internet radio (BBC, Radio Ireland, etc.). I also tune to Rush Limbaugh off and on (yeah, I know, I know)... not on WOOD, but through the Internet.

If I am out and about on business-related sales calls during the day, I may tune in to WOOD am, WGVU fm or WTKG am (for Dave Ramsey, NOT Air-America!).

On the westward commute, it's either the iPod, WOOD am, WTKG am or WGVU fm.

I glance through the Holland Sentinel and the GR Press every day. Both are somewhat credible local news sources, although I detest the "feature style" of all newspapers these days. Where's the "hard" news? It's the dumb-ification of America.

I thoroughly read the Grand Rapids Business Journal cover-to-cover every week. :whistling:

In the evening I listen to music, perhaps listen to a local (Holland) high school or college sportsast on radio, or watch Tiger Baseball.

I never watch local TV news. Ever. Weather, sometimes (Craig & Bill), but never the news. Too sensational. Too much manufactured news.

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:excl: Caution: Nothing Good To Say here about GVU, more of a rant really.

David Moore's schtick is better suited for 1950's radio. I don't see how anyone can like that kitsch. Fred Martino does some good reporting. Seriously, though I would like to know what the hell is up with Scott Vanderwerf doing everything at GVU FM, is he the ONLY employee there? He has shows on every weeknight and then 4 or 5 on the weekend. The way he does the track backs is terrible....he always sounds like he is fumbling to find the CD case, and then he has a hard time reading it because he must be in a dimly lit booth or something. He has this way of speaking where he emphasizes every other word or so and has terrible long pauses interspersed. I can't listen to any of his shows.

"welcome--TO-----W--gvu, Iiii'mmmm---SCOtt----Vanderwerf-----you were just listening to---- JaYazz music----froooom --- the great great tio------BLUE Haired------with-----Toooomm Smith--on BASS----JEFF Egger on keys------B-ahhhb jones---on vibes-----coooooming up NEXT----we----------have------somehitng else" :wacko:

GVU TV is only decent because of it's PBS content. There is almost no locally produced programming, and what is, looks like it was being produced on GRTV in the early 90's. Ask the...? and West Michigan Week? Somebody buy a new set/backdrop please.

Radio: V100 - 100.1FM out of Muskegon is good, but only reaches about into Allendale. I wish they could do something to increase their signal. http://www.v100fm.com/

640AM - Good black music station, smooth vibes and RnB, plus some talk. WMFN http://www.black-perspective.com/

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