Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jim Roberts, Call Your Agent! NYT Quietly Drops Morning Page-One Meeting From Its Daily "TimesCast" Video.

Damn! Just as we were really getting to know all those wonderful, wacky personalities at the NYT's daily Page One meeting -- thanks to its inclusion in "TimesCast," the paper's five-day-a-week promotional video -- the NYT has gone and yanked it from the format.

Yes, it's true: As of June 2, the NYT has quietly dropped the Page One opening sketch from "TimesCast," in favor of a mix of interviews and analysis from NYT reporters and editors.

We're miserable!

We've lost those langorous shots of executive editor Bill Keller's chin-stroking as he considered the commentary of his editors on that day's news. We're denied our daily dose of the impressively-tressed Jim Roberts, in his role as "Stage Manager" of the morning meeting. We'll miss the furrowed brow on foreign editor Susan Chira's face, the twangy confidence of business editor Larry Ingrassia, the apple-polisher persona of national editor Richard Berke...to say nothing of our endless curiosity about all those women in the second row! Who were they? Were they editors or paid extras? Now we'll never know.

We're no television experts, but it seemed to us that the more effective way to improve TimesCast was to expand the morning meeting's role, not eliminate it. We wanted more personality, more cross-talk, more debate. It was fun whenever Keller commanded a piece, or an angle, from one of his subordinates. We loved checking the paper the next morning to see whether anyone actually listened to him! (They never did.)

Instead, TimesCast has now become more focused than ever on explanatory pieces from its reporters. Not a good move. Henry Fountain has been doing an impressive job covering the oil spill in print, but to put it politely, his television persona lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. David Sanger, Brian Stelter, David Carr -- you're all whiz-bang reporters, but with you as regulars, we won't be putting TimeCast on our TiVo Season Pass.

And while Keller may have the matinee-idol looks to make it big, to call his delivery in the one-on-one format "wooden" isn't really being fair to wood.

We've emailed the NYT public-relations team to get comment on the switch. We'll update if we hear from them.


ryan said...

I couldn't agree more. The morning Page One meeting was the reason I tuned in to those every day. I do hope they reconsider, that was a fascinating (if brief) look into the process.

Anonymous said...

Hysterical piece. I love reading this site!

(former newspaper person, now working for $10 an hour)

Anonymous said...

Though flawed aplenty, the NYT hands are owed sincere heart for their spectacular anarcissism
displayed throughout the reconstructed mid-day stream.

Alas only reruns remain to be relished routinely until the nagging habit fades.

Rim Tiernaut said...

Yeah, will miss out on the mousies grumblin about the usual factoidal tidbit... at this juncture it’s worth the 2c elaboration to let ranty hang loose and off the hook from unlaid society debutant pricks re: sportfucking, a reflexively utilitarian idealized scoring regimen, of minimal lure to crafty types with no pressure to brush up deluxe venue and shit, just rank a list of innocent cosmetically overdone readymade looks created to perk and jerk around, big f dealio, it’s all over the mags, anyhow didn’t dumbo beget nimbi to doll’er up for chiching son-of-a-gun so to speak? Later on, bozos bcum your fund manager and slapfund slots for office, dangle overchiseled cougs at their side by day, and lube it out by eve, slot takes it like a champ, coug doesn’t blink anyhow, the fund what fund. What’s not to like, that’s why and how we liberate the planet yo. Nigga wuz laughin at the wheel all along, give’em a day in the sun yo.

Anonymous said...

I never liked the staged meeting, but I'm glad the NYT tried it and then put it out of its misery.

Rod said...

my fave was the episode where there's some exotic riot at a sex tourism spot and the field jack is interviewing this dude who then randomly gets his skull blown out by sniper fire, then you hear jack go all shaky like foreign now has to put some pimp out of business!!! LOL!!!