KPTV news crew stakes out mornings
- Pete Schulberg
- Portland Tribune - Features
Good morning, Katie and Matt. You've got some company just down the dial. Meet Kimberly, Pete, Andy, Tony and all those perky early-morning types at KPTV (12).
Fox 12's 'Good Day Oregon' is on a ratings roll, with a new look and new emphasis on news and information. It isn't unusual for the locally produced three-hour show to beat out ABC's 'Good Morning America' and CBS' perennial loser 'The Early Show.' Occasionally, the KPTV gang even gives NBC's mighty 'Today' show a run for its money.
(Not that beating CBS in the morning is any great distinction. CBS, having given up on the Bryant Gumbel experiment, might be smart to throw in the towel and start showing 'Captain Kangaroo' reruns.)
KPTV's morning success is all the more impressive considering that some of the program's familiar faces are gone: News anchor Kathy Smith retired (again), and co-host Ken Ackerman and features reporter Phil Cassidy were shown the exit this past summer.
'We were not providing enough news of the day,' says news director Troy McGuire, who came aboard in July and gutted much of the show's fluff factor.
Tune in now to 'Good Day Oregon,' and you'll see Kimberly Maus and newly crowned co-host Pete Ferryman behind the anchor desk, serving up good ol' news and doling out good chemistry. The cushy chairs-and-coffee-table set where the show's hosts used to hold court now sits empty, save for in-studio interviews, which have been cut back by half.
'Good Day Oregon' is taking advantage of Fox resources for national and international news. But there's no doubt that the focus of 'Good Day Oregon' is still Oregon.
OK, so it's disconcerting to see Maus dwarfed by a Northwest forestland backdrop. And those extreme in-chopper close-ups of traffic reporter Tony Martinez could scare any small children who tune in.
But this is a team getting the job done, be it smiley weather guy Andy Carson or on-the-scene reporter Mark Glyzewski.
Thanks to its new affiliation with Fox, KPTV is seeing a boost in viewership at almost all hours. Two Fridays ago, when a fire broke out at a warehouse along Northwest Front Avenue, Martinez was the only reporter on Portland TV providing major doses of live coverage. When the smoke had cleared and the overnight ratings came in, KPTV beat out 'Today.'
This proves that even while folks are still in their jammies, they're armed with channel-changers looking for that breaking news story. And they're not going to find it on the network affiliates airing tape-delayed news segments.