By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Station KENS-TV Channel 11 hit the ratings-sweeps bottom with a splash of slime last week when reporter Al Zimmerman offered a hidden-camera expose of what really goes on in public men's rooms. (Anyone older than 13 is wondering, "Besides sex?") To leave no doubt about the station's moral stand, the report was titled--in spooky Goosebumps-green type--"PERVERTS IN THE PARK."
Viewers were treated to dark, fuzzy hidden camera-type footage of men doing those things, with all the faces and naughty bits electronically obscured. Darn.
Apparently, this is the second time the station has covered this story, because Zimmerman reported, "These guys are at it again."
After this bit of video anthropology, KENS anchor Chris Marou, to his credit, looked sickened, and commented, "I think we ought to say something; I don't know really how to say it...Al, how the hell could you do this?"
Then, referring to the ratings sweeps, Marou said, "I think we've gone too damn far."
Midge is in the pink
Tens of people are troubled by the disappearance of KTVT-TV Channel 11's Midge Hill from the airways. No one called Buzz about it, but we decided to butt in anyway. Hill's lawyer would only ominously tell the DMN's Ed Bark that "Ms. Hill was removed from the air after she raised certain questions about age and sex discrimination with the station concerning her assignments and compensation." Hill, who joined Channel 11 as prime-time anchor in 1990 after previously working at WFAA-TV Channel 8, is of course, by TV standards, a doddering 54. Last year, she was pushed to one side of the screen by co-anchor Cameron Harper when Channel 11 became a CBS affiliate. Then she got switched to the less-watched 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts, being replaced at 10 p.m. by Karen Borta.
When Midge was first demoted, station publicist Christey Burkey lamely told the News, "Midge has been in this market for so long, and she has a lot of strength. You put your strength where it's needed." Oh, we get it: Midge's getting the boot to 5 p.m. was a tough sacrifice to help her and the station! Sort of like when Clinton fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, not because she was a problem, but because the private sector needed a good doctor.
Well, here's the skinny and it's not pretty: The excuse to dump Midge Hill came when she wore a pink outfit on election night! It really torqued off Channel 11 management. Why? We have no freaking idea. Perhaps some convenient small print in her contract about appearance? It would have to be tiny print. After all we're talking news babe culture here. For instance, Clarice Tinsley, the most popular anchor in town, wears some outfits that appear to come from the wardrobe of Dune. Buzz has noticed a few female anchors on other stations have this drum-majorette thing going. Uh...what were we saying?
Anyway, you're going to have to figure this one out for yourself.