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July 6, 2007
TV news smackdown


Wow! Here's something new to fill the dog days of local TV news...

Usually, the 30-second promotional ads that air during newscasts fall into one of three categories: (1) the scary "exclusive report" type, with eerie synthesizer music, (2) the chest-thumping, back-slapping, reporter-on-your-side dreck, and (3) the obligatory weather and traffic gambit.

Rarely do we see one station going after another.

But Channel 13 Thursday night ratcheted up the rhetoric with an openly disdainful promo attacking Channel 3. They never use KCRA's name in the spot, but the meaning is obvious.

It opens with "Good Day Sacramento" gadfly Mark S. Allen tossing tennis balls up and down. Then he starts to go on about how boring tennis is as a sport and recommends that people tune in to the weekend edition of "GDS" instead of watching Wimbledon.


The spot closes with Allen smirking into the camera and saying, "News comes first? Yeah, when they're not playing tennis."


Obviously, "GDS" sees an opening to improve its ratings Saturday and Sunday morning, because Channel 3's weekend news will be pre-empted by the tennis coverage.

We love the viciousness of the promo, but we've got to wonder whether the move might backfire. See, we had totally forgotten that the Wimbledon finals are this weekend. Doh! Now, we'll be sure to tune in!

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