Thursday, March 09, 2006

On The Media Beat: Webcasting The Legislature Is A Step Closer, Plus: TV Ratings Derby Sows Confusion, And: Death Calls Sports Writing Legend Maestas 

Wouldn't it be great if you could catch your NM Legislature in action in the wee hours of the closing moments of a session? No? You mean you have a life? OK. But for insatiable political junkies there appears to be hope. While Big Bill Wednesday vetoed a measure putting up $75,000 so we could see our glamorous lawmakers Webcast live on the Internet, his office reports there is another 75 grand in the capital outlay budget for Webcasting that he did not veto. Why there is two versions is a story for another time, but now we are watching to see if the money is actually used to provide the Webcast or, as sometimes happens, simply stays on the books unspent.

Hey, maybe they can Webcast the activities of the State Treasurer's office too. Now, that would be interesting viewing. And, of course, if the Legislature ever does come to computer screens, the proper viewing snack will be pork rinds.

Big Bill's veto pen still has some ink left in it, but he did spill a bunch of it Wednesday, the last day for him to act on bills sent to him by the recent Legislative session.


KOAT Anchor Izaguirre
The hotly competitive ABQ TV news scene was beset with confusion this week when an ad agency for KOAT-TV reported the station had gone from the number three position in the all-important 10 p.m. news ratings to the top spot. The numbers also showed the ABC affiliate had done it in a big way. But it turns out the numbers were off the mark, so I asked my media Alligators for the real story.

They report that KOAT-TV, long the cellar dweller at 10, did take the #1 spot in the February sweeps, but because KOB-TV was airing the Olympics and their news was not coming on for most of the month until 10:30, a true 10 p.m. reading will not come until the May ratings. But the battle will likely remain nip and tuck as it has been for a couple of years now.

In Feb. KOAT, anchored by Cynthia Izaguirre and Doug Fernandez, came in with a 9.5 rating, KRQE-TV took second with an 8.2 and the late post-Olympics news on KOB sunk them to third with a 7.7. In the November 05' book KRQE was first, KOB second and KOAT third.

Even though Channel 7 has to wait for a clearer reading until May, there's nothing wrong with coming in #1 under even under unique circumstances. It shows that people were willing to sample them when they could not find the news on the competition. The station, the market leader from 1974 until 2000, failed to get its helicopter up in time to cover the historic 2000 Los Alamos fires. KOB did and grabbed the ratings crown away. In the last few years KRQE has joined the fray for first. So what promo was Channel 7 running during the recent sweeps? Ironically, it was one bragging how fast it gets its helicopter in the air to cover breaking news.

By the way, the politicos will soon be flooding the airwaves and insiders say thirty seconds on the 10 p.m. news in ABQ will cost the hopefuls anywhere from $1000 to $1500. When that dough starts flooding in all the stations will be winners, at least in the cash flow ratings.


And if all the TV stations are so proud of their efforts as they constantly trumpet in mind numbing promos, how come none of them airs their product on the radio at 5 or 6 p.m. when just about everyone is in their cars? KOB-TV used to do it, but no more. Grandma and grandpa are home at 6, but what about the rest of the audience? Isn't there an idea in there somewhere?

While you can't hear the TV news in your car, you can catch it an hour earlier and a lot of folks are, according to the ratings. At 9 p.m. KASA-TV, Channel 2 broadcasts an hour of early news with Jessica Kartalija and Jeremy Jojola anchoring. It is another one the polticos will hit heavy, especially to target older viewers.

Back to radio, we are in the early planning stages for primary Election Night coverage on KANW- 89.1 FM. It will be year 19 for us at the public radio outlet. Top NM lobbyist Scott Scanland will again be back as our chief analyst, along with many other familiar voices. It's a New Mexico tradition and the most listened to Election Night radio coverage in the state. We are pleased to be part of it and will keep you posted on this year's plans.


If you grew up with the UNM Lobos, or just about any other New Mexico sport, you grew up with Frank Maestas. The colorful sports scribe held forth at the ABQ Journal for nearly thirty years, from 1962 to 1990, a time that saw the basketball Lobos achieve legendary status, and along with them, writers like Maestas who covered their rise and the fall.

Maestas died of lung disease at his ABQ home Wednesday. His son, attorney Moe Maestas, is a candidate for the Dem nomination in ABQ Westside House District 16 and says he has suspended his campaign "indefinitely" in the wake of his dad's death.

Maestas was a sports junkie whose wild hair was his trademark and made him nearly as famous as the UNM Pit he spent so much time in. I don't think he would mind if I mentioned that at the end of his career he got in trouble for sports betting. In today's wide-open gambling atmosphere the incident looks quaint. In fact, Moe and I joked about it over lunch recently.

A memorial celebration is set for Monday, March 13, at 3 p.m. at the YDI Wool Warehouse, 516 First Street NW, ABQ.

Frank Maestas, a native of Las Vegas, NM and a graduate of Highlands University, loved the games of sports and of life. He was 70 years old.

Thanks for the company today, and for your e-mail. Keep me posted. There's a mail link at the top of the page.

Not for reproduction without permission of the author
website design by limwebdesign