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November 29, 2006
Local TV News Sweeps: Day 27

Blown off by The Sacramento Bee? We’ll see about that later on tonight! Right here on CBS13 news at 10!
- Channel 13’s Kurtis Ming

Yeah, it’s about time “Call Kurtis” blew the lid off The Bee’s corruption. We’re all a bunch of plant thieves, wastrels and roustabouts.

Tuesday night, Ming, the station’s consumer reporter, did a piece on a south Sacramento homeowner who had front-lawn statues and plants stolen in the wee hours of the morning, right after, it seems, the morning newspaper was delivered. So the man installed surveillance cameras and caught a man stealing plants not 45 seconds after a Bee delivery person dropped off the paper.


Well, not really.

Turns out the man’s newspaper carrier is a mother-and-daughter team, and it was a man who stole the plants. Still, the homeowner “called Kurtis” when The Bee refused to pay for the cost of the pilfered landscaping. Ming, that investigative bulldog, successfully cajoled The Bee’s upper management to cut a check. Little matter that newspaper carriers aren’t employed by The Bee (they’re independent contractors) or that there was no proof that the carrier stole the plants to begin with.

Kurtis seeks justice - and big ratings! He will NOT be ignored.
(Kurtis' next Big Bee Scoop: Our mascot, Scoopy, is behind the burglary spree in Lodi! Just kidding.)

In other sweeps developments:
* Obligatory Sex Story: Channel 13’s Brandi (With an "I") Hitt reports that eating vegetables improves your sex life.

Brandi: “What’s not happening in the bedroom may be what’s cooking in the kitchen. Could a change in diet be what you need to light up your libido?”

Lose the Viagra, pass the green beans.

* Obligatory Animal Story: Several stations, most notably Channel 3, reported on the theft of a rare bird, named Trouble, from a pet store.

* Anywhere But the Set: The trend spreads of newscasts going to other parts of the building to file reports. Channel 13 sent reporters to the lobby, the newsroom, the hallway and, yes, Tony Lopez even reported live from the men’s room Tuesday night (as predicted here a week ago). And now, Channel 3 has started reporting from “Studio B,” which is next door to the main set. KCRA has had reporters in the newsroom and at the “severe weather center.” But Studio B is new.

* Banter of the Night Award: To Fox40’s Thomas Drayton and Donna Cordova, after a story that claims women talk more than men (20,000 words a day, compared to 7,000).

Donna: “Maybe that’s why we live longer. We get it out there.”

Thomas: “I’m not going to touch it.”

Donna: “We talk it through.”

Thomas: “You see?”

* Alliteration Alert: To Channel 13's “Dodging Disaster,” “Bad Business” and “Recorded Ripoff.”

* Artistic Location Shot of the Night: Channel 3’s Richard Sharp, reporting on which two high schools in Sacramento might close, cut between the two schools in mid-sentence. He started the sentence in front of one school, ended it in front of the other.

* Weather Hyperbole: News10 led its broadcast with the “painfully cold” weather, as anchor Cristina Mendonsa said. Reporter Dave Marquis: “You can feel the chill cutting right through you.”

So then they threw it to weather guesser Patty Souza, who told us the weather in downtown Sacramento was 43 degrees.

These people obviously have never lived on the East Coast.
* And finally, in a story about a Tracy family getting evicted because of community redevelopment, Channel 13’s Mike Dello Stritto quoted a local man who identified himself as “Grizzly Adams” as saying, “I think it’s stupid... .”

Wait. Grizzly Adams?

C’mon. Anyone with pop culture knowledge knows that’s a TV character.

Just to be sure, I did a database search for Tracy and its surrounding areas and, not surprisingly, found no one by that name.

And yes, sweeps is finally getting to me.

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