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Sweeps, Sleaze, Swaggart, Santee and South Africa

February 29, 1988

OK. The February sweeps are here and you have sounded the alarm for those who care

and cringe about these things. But KCBS Channel 2 has torn it for me. As of Feb. 1, all of its rather large stable of ethnically balanced and orthodontically acceptable news personnel are, with considerable bravura, identifying their mediocre efforts as the product of Channel 2 ACTION News!!!

Will news director Erik Sorenson, and those who will quickly succeed him, ever find the courage to do battle with the research people and the marketing mavens? I doubt it!

Channel 2 Action News indeed! Since when does a single word improve the quality of a product or service? Never! This reminds me of the undisciplined use of such megawords in advertising as: "New!" and "Improved!"

Quite a number of years ago I read with great zest a wonderful line written by the then TV critic of the New York Herald Tribune, John Crosby. He wrote about an individual, "He suffered from delusions of adequacy!" That is television's fate as long as its course is controlled by accountants and corporate raiders.


Van Nuys

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