Who speaks for broadcasters?

sag_aftra_broadcasters_logoI got my first radio job when I was still in high school. I’ve been broadcasting for 39 years, from Belle Glade FL to Stuart to Orlando to Miami to Los Angeles. I’ve been a DJ, a news anchor, a music director, a program director, a format creator, hosted shows syndicated worldwide, and appeared on television.

I know broadcasting. I know broadcasters. I’m one of them and have been for most of my life. And I’ve been proud to represent broadcasters on the Los Angeles Board of SAG-AFTRA for the past 4 years.

I work with the great Hal Eisner who, if you cut him, would bleed TV and radio. He represents broadcasters on the SAG-AFTRA National Board.

Broadcasters should be represented nationally and locally by REAL broadcasters. We understand our lives, our needs, our challenges, and what we want our union to do for us. Things someone who’s not a broadcaster would not understand.

We’ve been on the front lines of mergers, consolidation, of media swallowed up by investment firms. We’ve fought to represent our communities, we’ve fought hard in the face of homogenization. We’ve watched broadcast journalists stand up against hate and threats of violence to be voices of truth.

The fight is not over yet. In many ways, it’s just beginning. I’ll have a lot more to say soon.

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Wanna get away? GO UP OR DOWN!

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Once again, a sci-fi space show treats three-dimensional space as a flat earth ocean. This week’s Star Trek: Discovery shows the Discovery and Enterprise “surrounded” by enemy ships.

This seems to be de rigueur for TV and movie spaceships, with a few notable exceptions including The Expanse – which shows ships behaving as if they’re actually in space, not banking like aircraft. (Sadly, though, Expanse producers still give us sounds in space. I guess TV needs to add aural excitement somehow.)

In space, ships don’t fly around like they’re in the air. And every time two ships come face to face, they wouldn’t always be oriented exactly the same, as if they’re on a flat surface. And, spaceships wouldn’t necessarily be laid out like ocean-going vessels, with decks plotted horizontally. (The Expanse gets this one right, too.)

And here we see in the otherwise excellent Star Trek: Discovery, ships threatening the Discovery and the Enterprise… as if they’re on a flat ocean somewhere. “Escape is impossible! Unless we, you know, go up or down.” (And “up” and “down” are meaningless in space.)

Game of Trek

A few years back, I wished for a return of Star Trek to the small screen where it belongs, but rather than just another iteration of every series that came before, I wanted something different. I imagined Trek going to HBO, but with a Game of Thrones-level of storytelling and production value.

I got my wish with Star Trek: Discovery. Okay, so it’s not on HBO, it’s another pay service, but that doesn’t change the fact that Discovery gives me GoT-level twists and turns, sumptuous visuals, and something DIFFERENT in the world of Trek while still maintaining the Trek worldview that’s missing from the current movie franchise.

Discovery has gotten better and better with each outing, and last week’s installment was terrific. I didn’t fall in love with the characters off the bat, but then, neither did I when Game of Thrones started.

DSC (as the franchise-masters refer to it, rather than an unfortunate STD) started slow but picked up speed as it leaned into its serialized storytelling. The writers introduced characters judiciously and built their backgrounds, sometimes twisting them off into unexpected directions, sometimes unexpectedly killing them off altogether, just like that dragon-specific show on Home Box Office.

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode and hope CBS All Access doesn’t make me wait too long for season 2. If you’re still asking yourself if it’s worth the money to pay for a subscription to CBS’s streaming service, my answer is yes, absolutely. And I say that not just because I used to be an employee of CBS (but not anymore, as the CBS Radio division was recently spun off to Entercom), but because I firmly believe it.

Get it. Enjoy it from the beginning. It’s worth the ride.

Angry Trek fans denounce new Trek before they’ve seen it (2017 and 1987 editions)

Before the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, pause and reflect that the 1987 launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation was met with a subset of angry fans condemning it before they’d seen it (see below).

Now, 30 years later, TNG is held by some Trekkies to be as sacred as TOS.

Will Discovery be good? Who knows. But as a confirmed Trekkie myself, and as someone who also enjoys the movies (even the Abrams ones), I know that Trek belongs on the smaller screen in serialized form.

But don’t forget, it took a more than two seasons before TNG found its footing, and TOS wasn’t perfect (most of the third season was awful).

The early word is that DSC is good (DSC is the approved three-letter designation, avoiding an unfortunate STD nomenclature). I am ignoring the voices of those Trekkies who have pronounced a fatwa against it before they’ve even seen it.

Nor do I care that much about continuity. (Okay, I care a little bit, but not like continuity should be considered an infallible text.) Just make it a good show with compelling characters and thought-provoking stories. Oh, and take advantage of 1080p and make it visually sumptuous.

I will definitely be watching Sunday.

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John Oliver explains “the most influential media company that you’ve never heard of”

The largest owner of local news stations in the country, Sinclair is finalizing a deal to acquire Tribune Media, making it an even larger force in local media.

WATCH: Star Trek Discovery – first look trailer

We’re finally seeing the first footage from the new Star Trek series, Discovery. The first episode will premiere on CBS this fall, with the rest of the episodes appearing exclusively on CBS’ streaming service, All Access.

CBS has also announced that the original 13-episode order is being expanded to 15, and a companion show, Talking Trek, will launch at the same time.