Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

November 14, 2006
Local TV News Sweeps: Day 12

Before we deconstruct the offerings for Monday night's sweeps, let’s do what the station’s do and “tease” to what’s coming tonight:

* Lock your doors and bar the windows! Channel 13, we kid you not, is going to break into someone house - live! - to show how easy it is to, er, break-and-enter right through the front door! (Steve Charlier, the station’s news honcho, assures us that the homeowner knows that a TV crew will be breaking in.)

* Finally, after 12 days of sweeps, Channel 3 will unleash bulldog investigative reporter Josh Bernstein. He’ll be doing a report on nursing-home abuse and the Department of Health Services' reaction - or lack thereof.

And now, what happened Monday night...

* KCRA? “Where the News Comes First”? Well, not on this night.

In the shameless-plug division, it doesn’t come much more blatant than Channel 3 sending reporter Pamela Wu to Santa Clarita (in SoCal) to “report” on the TV show “Heroes,” which just happens to also air on NBC.

Among the news nuggets we learned: the blood that Hayden Panettiere (pictured left), who plays the perennially dead cheerleader in the show, lies in during each episode is actually made of sugar and food coloring. And, in the most naked ratings pitch, the actress said, “Thank you for watching ‘Heroes.’ Continue watching. It gets so much better.”

Channel 3 spent 2 minutes, 11 seconds on that report. The time the station spent on the Mario Garcia trial at 11 p.m.: 42 seconds. (It should also be noted that Channel 13 plugged a new CBS show, "3 lbs," with a canned interview with star Stanley Tucci. That lasted 41 seconds at the end of the 6 p.m. newscast.)

* Here’s another reason why sweeps month gets a bad name: Reporter-generated news stunts.

Channel 13 did it Monday night with Tony Lopez, the 4 p.m. anchor who, dressed as Santa Claus, stood out in front of Ikea asking for donations to a bogus charity, “The Salvation Navy.”

Oh sure, we know. The station justified the manufactured report by saying it will warn easily duped people into thinking twice before forking over their money this holiday season. And Lopez was quick to point out that he and his crew either gave back all of the money or donated it to a real charity. Yeah, right, Tony. You got that in lieu of a raise, huh?

Lopez looked kind of sheepish reporting this story. He tried to justify himself earlier Monday when appearing on sister station's “Good Day Sacramento” to pimp the story.

Said Lopez: “I was worried about my credibility, you know, because, you know, I anchor the 4 o’clock news on CBS 13. You see this guy in a Santa outfit. But then I remembered Katie Couric. She dressed up as SpongeBob on the ‘Today’ show and she’s got a pretty good job now.”

No worries, Tony. You’ve got just as much credibility with us as before.

* Top stories on Monday’s later news: All four stations led with the serial rapist in North Natomas. (There was no mention of it in Tuesday’s Bee.)

* At the urging of sports guy Danny Pommells, Channel 3 anchor Dave Walker sang a few bars of “Proud Mary” at 6:30 p.m. Co-anchor Lois Hart threatened to join in, but backed off.


* Maybe Pommells needs to go back to his alma mater, Temple University, for a refresher course. At 6:30, when introducing a piece about San Francisco’s failed Olympic bid, he said, “I wasn’t much for science in school, but in chemistry they say that for every action there’s an equal and positive reaction.”

Chemistry, Danny? Try physics.

* Channel 3’s Tom DuHain did a fine report, as part of the station’s “Road to the Future” series, on the growing traffic jams on Highway 99 and I-5. Blame Elk Grove’s growth. By 2035, DuHain reported, it might take more than an hour to get from Elk Grove to downtown Sac.

* Channel 13: “Bears are on the attack in Nevada County.” (The evil bear apparently killed a family’s beloved goat, named Trouble.)

* Fox40: “Death Row inmates have MySpace pages ... and they may be interacting with your kids!”


* Yo Quiero Taco Bell: Bizarre Story of the Night goes to Fox40 for a report on a Massachussetts man who bought a Taco Bell taco allegedly laced with cocaine. Anchor Thomas Drayton: “He noticed the taco was a little powdery but thought it was just the seasoning.”

That must be why the Taco Bell Chihuahua always seems so wired.

* Follow-up Award: To News10, the only station in town that aired an update on the deer in Michigan that had the plastic Halloween bucket stuck on its face. Apparently, the deer and the bucket parted ways. Anchor Cristina Mendonsa: “Ahhhh.”

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives