A broadcast imbroglio

The NashvilleisTalking/WKRN imbroglio has caught my attention again.

Lost Remote points to a Cable & Broadcasting piece that says the upheaval at WKRN may be a symptom of a rift between old and new media that has led to the departures of Interactive Media heavyweights Wes Jackson at Belo, Ric Harris at NBC Universal and Eric Grilly at MediaNews Group.

I don't have the inside skinny on any of those, but Gordon Borrell, the respected Internet/Media consultant, is quoted:

There seems to be a real rub between those running interactive operations and the big traditional media companies and [the media companies’] inability to move fast enough to satisfy those people.

The swirling rumors (and Michael Silence has a good post on those) about WKRN's NashvilleisTalking blog site is doubly interesting to me because Gwen Kinsey, new GM at WATE here in Knoxville, got the additional role as GM at the Nashville station after the bloodletting.

The new Web strategy for WKRN:

... some in the market expect management to pull the plug on NashvilleisTalking and ultimately roll back WKRN’s digital innovation. “They're going back to Media 1.0,” says one veteran of the market’s news wars. “They'll make their money on broadcast.”

Well, maybe. We'll see. Management's sparse public pronouncements would indicate some future for NashvilleisTalking.

And Brittney Gilbert, the face or voice of NashvilleisTalking until her recent departure, works up a passionate defense of the groundbreaking project even if she says she doesn't care what happens to it next. She was reacting to what Bill Hobbs said.

But amidst the we're-headed-back-to-the-Stone-Age news is a comment from Gilbert's old boss at WKRN, Mike Sechrist, who says somewhat circumspectly:

I’ve had some eye opening conversations with two individuals who want to start full fledged news operations in their respective cities (one on the east coast and one on the west) using only VJ’s and the web. They both have the same idea of usurping local broadcast news.

Usurping local broadcast news. Usurping local broadcast news. Now Mike, that's an idea.

A YouTube video of Sechrist from back in his WKRN day:

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