Last week KARE 11 “Breaking the News” co-host Rena Sarigianopoulos actually did something different for local TV news. She read e-mails containing foul language from viewers who are not yet fans of the show airing at 6:30 p.m. weekdays.
We didn’t get to hear the bleeped words, although they were easy to decipher behind the large, colorful graphic superimposed over Sarigianopoulos’ mouth. This was still history-making. Normally, anchors on the four main networks just skip the naughty words, unlike cable. Speaking of which, FX’s “The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” isn’t taming former prosecutor Marcia Clark’s vocabulary at all. (And yes, I do believe that was her reaction to finding out she would be going up against attorney Johnnie Cochran.)
I was pleased Twitter’s #BTN11 finally recognized getting unflattering e-mail about the show (including complaints about the vertigo-inducing camera work) as I have gotten many such notes. And then there was that lady who got me on the phone and talked so long I missed the start of “PTI.” We had an engrossing conversation about the distracting mop of curls bobbing around on co-anchor Jana Shortal’s head. Via Twitter I applauded Shortal for airing the nasty e-mails — those are way more interesting than viewers fawning all over you. Shortal’s attitude is let them eat hate, she’s all love and pizza.
For what it’s worth, former KARE 11 “Sunrise” anchor Tim McNiff was complimentary of the show when I interviewed him for an upcoming Q&A.
My first “Breaking the News” column attracted a snippy remark on Twitter from someone who I thought was a young KARE 11 staffer. Looks like it’s been deleted. I hope nobody at KARE made her remove it, as I’m not the kind of nitwit who’d go crying to Channel 11 managers about stuff you tweet to me.
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“I like both Rena (not brave enough to try her last name) and Jana Shortal and I’ve really missed the former on weekends. I didn’t know where to find their new show. Now I’ll watch for it at 6:30 on weekdays. Jana’s oddness is what I like about her. She does not fit the typical news reader profile. Kudos to KARE for hiring and using her.” — Deb
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“I read your comments about ‘Breaking the News’ with interest because yesterday this was a prime topic of conversation in the teachers’ lounge. The group of all women unanimously agreed that they love the new show and don’t miss ‘Entertainment Tonight’ one bit. Most of these women were over 50 and all were saying how much they like Jana Shortal and are thrilled that KARE 11 just lets her be herself. My husband and I were discussing the show and we both said Rena brings little to the table, and we would love to see Jana do the show alone, or with a different partner. Different strokes for different folks I guess! And everyone dislikes their weird camera work on the new show.” (Demographically everyone above is a suburban homeowner over the age of 50.) — Sincerely, Jana Fans in the “Burbs”
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“It has not appealed to me at all. Shortall is not good to watch and she seems to exude an abundance of self-confidence = perhaps cockiness. Not a fan and won’t be watching. I feel that Rena is being wasted on this show. I miss her on the weekends.” — Dianne
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“Hello C.J. I read your comments on Shortfall [he has given Jana a nickname], I have never been too fond. Nice to read your column and stay warm.” — Vince
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“Where did they find [Shortal]? She should not be allowed on the set. She is probably the most annoying broadcast journalist I have ever seen. Not to mention that she is absolutely painful to watch. Not sure how many more times I can watch the show with her on it.” — Jack
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“My husband and I have watched a couple episodes of ‘Breaking the News’ and we just can’t get past Jana Shortal’s … hair! I’m not paying attention to the content on the show, I’m trying to figure out what the heck is going on with her hair! And those glasses aren’t helping her either.” — Elaine
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Jason Show.”