The First Day

August 18, 2008

Has Steven Lisowski changed his name to "Steven Fabian" so his reputation doesn’t get damaged working for Channel One News? As far as we know this is the first time a budding, wannabe reporter for Channel One has used a stage name. The freshest thing about this first show is the pretty purple logo. Hats off to the graphic arts team that knocked themselves out creating this opening. Justin Finch replaces the almost unwatchable Tony Anderson. Finch looks competent and has at least some local news experience.

Instead of starting the school year off with a dynamic, hard-hitting show, Channel One News opted for the opposite. Today was easily the worst start in the 11 years Obligation has been monitoring the show.

Oh brother, students are shown Jessica Kumari, the only anchor carried over from last year, being filmed on the Channel One set.

This is a cheap "on location" shot that makes sense for a company that can’t afford to send its "reporters" to cover important stories. Channel One has to rely on NBC to provide news footage. When the anchors get the urge to travel, they will go downstairs and film the opening of their show with Rockefeller Plaza in the background.


The top story of the day is Michael Phelps. This was a no-brainer for Channel One. This helps promote the NBC Olympic coverage and it is basically all NBC footage that means little work for Channel One.

After a commercial break that has two public service announcements, Ms. Kumari asks several staffers about stories they were covering – which means which stories they were reading about on the AP wire. She asks Nick Capote "Digital Journalist" to tell students what story he has been working on.

Nick Capote? Who is this guy? He’s not an official Channel One reporter/anchor but he is the only one with a title of "journalist."

This is complicated.

NBC is wanting to build up its brand with young people. They have a financial relationship with the New York Film Academy. Of course, NBC is also the major advertiser on Channel One News. NBC produces all C1N shows and in return students are constantly exposed to all things NBC.

Young people who choose to attend the NYFA pay up to $17,000 a semester to become a "digital journalist." NBC is obviously giving some NYFA graduates or students a chance to get their face on TV by working with Channel One. (It’s not the Big Time, but it’s something.) We assume that is why Nick Capote is on the screen saying something that could have been said much quicker by the anchor Kumari.

What did Mr. Capote tell students this morning?