Here's my commentary based on the first 12 to 15 hours of 405 Freeway Shutdown coverage. First, KNX/1070 AM gets the nod for continuing reliable coverage. However, for sheer news and entertainment, KTLA and KFI rate applause here.
KTLA/5 Morning News: Chris Burrous and Mary Beth McDade anchored the Saturday coverage starting at 5 a.m.
Key to success, for me, was it stayed energized - boom, boom, boom -
it kept moving at a crisp pace, and wisely did the non-405 segments frequently, too. No dead spots. And when a show has high energy from the on-air talent and content, the viewer is excited enough to keep watching even when there is not much to watch in terms of the freeway being quiet.
Other key to success: Chris' self-described "nerdiness" - telling us about
some of those construction things and why and how it happens in a way
that was entertaining as well as educational kept me tuned in.
Most importantly, the Saturday show kept what has become signature for the weekday program (credit Joel Tator here) - having fun. Whether planking (Friday's show) or kidding Mary Beth Saturday morning, it just made it fun to watch even as all was quiet in the show I call the freeway frolics. What I'd like to see: more cameras in Lynette Romero's car. A great idea, she is perfect for the assignment, but the lock down cameras prohibited flexibility. Overall, though, KTLA gets an "A" for its Saturday morning coverage.
Next, KFI/640 AM. Having Tim Conway, Jr. do his Friday night show from the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel with a view of the freeway was a brilliant promotional idea - and executed very well. How do we know? When all the TV stations in town see nothing is happening and the "story" becomes Conway at KFI, you know it has worked. And TC made it funny, yet informative. It was super to have his Dad on for awhile, too. Kudos to Mike Nolan, too. He's part of an endangered species - a pilot who does it all, fly the plane and report traffic. KFI gets an "A" for this one.
Note: the above views represent my Blog commentary, independent from from my radio column for the Orange County Register. I will have follow-up comments on overall radio coverage in next week's radio column.