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Bill Clinton Charms the Camera

January 25, 1993|HOWARD ROSENBERG

Even Clinton would have difficulty finessing this onslaught. And lacking his boss's TV acuity, Stephanopoulos at times seems almost dazed as he occupies the epicenter, taking his shots.

Perhaps if he asked for a bathroom break. . . .

"REAL NEWS." That's the title of KCOP-TV Channel 13's born-again 10 p.m. weekday newscast that resembles no other newscast in Los Angeles.

Freed from that antique device, the anchor desk, holdover anchor Ross Becker and newcomer Vicki Liviakis roam a sprawling, high-tech set in a format (refreshingly devoid of anchor/anchor and anchor/reporter phony chitchat) that limits their intrusiveness, and occasionally they even do stories outside the building. Movie critic Gary Franklin and other contributors also stand. And bold new graphics and pulsating music provide energy.

Yet, despite the distinctive cosmetics and somewhat longer stories, the redesigned newscast essentially covered the same breaking news as its competitors in its first week on the air, and with much the same superficiality.

Although it's much too early for a definitive judgment on such an ambitious long-range project, there is no compelling reason yet to chose Channel 13's "Real News" over any other station's news.

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