Barry ZeVan

Continuously in the professional broadcasting and entertainment industry since age 5, Barry is a Telly Award-winning and three-time Emmy-nominated producer, writer, director, talent and production designer, locally, nationally and internationally. He garnered the highest local ratings in U.S. television broadcasting history as “Barry ZeVan, The Weatherman” in Minneapolis-St. Paul in the mid-1970s. In fall 2013, he was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Odds and ends. The emphasis is on "odds".

Posted by: Barry ZeVan Updated: September 25, 2012 - 10:51 AM

More ranting from this 75-year-old, but perhaps you may share the same feelings, to wit:

PRO-FOOTBALL: This past few days has been especially tough on those of us who remember when pro-football referees rarely made bad calls. Now with too many replacement refs mis-calling the shots, even the television play-by-play announcers are publicly voicing displeasure during the horrendous moments when the refs calls were clearly disproved by the many-camera-angles shown in replays. Aside from last night's Packer-Seahawks end-zone mis-call, which meant the loss of the game for the Packers, I think even worse was Sunday's absolute nightmare toward the end of the Vikings-49ers game. To have the officials obliviously ignore the fact 49ers coach Harbaugh had already used up all his time outs, and then gave him one or two more, even stunned and disgusted the Fox sports broadcasters announcing and calling the game at Mall of America Field. It was laughable, but only in the most painful way. Screaming at the television set or throwing a brick through it (the latter which I, and possibly you, wanted to do at that juncture) was the best anyone watching could do to express the frustration. After the game, which the Vikes thankfully won, our great quarterback, Christian Ponder, wrapped the entire mess eloquently when asked about the whacky officiating. He said, "In the end , it didn"t matter." Amen, but if it had, I shudder to think of fan and team ownership reaction afterward. (On a more pleasant note, bravo to those who excellently-conceived the new PurplePath on Fifth Street. Great amplified tailgating.)

MORE LOCAL TALK RADIO AND TELEVISION GAFFES: As has been the occasional bent for yours truly the past two-plus years on my STAR TRIBUNE weekly webcasts entitled A SENIOR MOMENT, and sometimes in this space, I've been unable to suppress displeasure...vocally and printably shared with me by many of you...regarding either the mis-pronunciation and/or sometimes massacre of the English language or place names by local newscasters and talk show hosts. It even occurs on the networks these days. I remember a time in broadcasting, even as recently as the 1960s, when some radio and television stations wouldn't hire broadcasters without having them take a test to learn if they were well-read, well-versed in current and historic events and knew the proper pronunciation of certain words. They were also required to do their homework when addressing a subject over the public airwaves, regarded as educators, as well as entertaining broadcasters. The education element was especially true pertinent to younger listeners and viewers, who were viewed as the most impressionable, hearing everything they heard and saw as "gospel" when emanating from a television set or radio. An avid subscriber to that thinking was my former boss at CJLH-TV in Lethbridge, Alberta, a CBC-TV affiliate, and who, before coming to Lethbridge as Production Manager, was Lorne Greene's understudy as chief announcer for the CBC, until Lorne became a full-time actor (BONANZA, of course). My boss's name was Sam Pitt, and could have been the exemplar for ALL announcers and television production people, ad infinitum. Sam often told us the announcers, newscasters and talk hosts were the "final product" for what the public ingests and digests from any broadcast or telecast. "Fancy" sets, the latest equipment nor anything else really mattered to a broadcast more than the human being talking, either on camera or behind a radio microphone, thus everything stated from that human being had better be "perfect", was Sam's excellent credo.

Akin to the above, yesterday I was listening to one of our local news-talk stations when I heard the host state (paraphrasing here) perhaps the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be changed to allow a U.S. President to serve more than two terms. The word he forgot to use was "consecutive" terms. Bill Clinton was the subject of the call-in forum. The host inferred that Clinton could never run again because of the two-term restriction. Wrong. Clinton could have run again after even one term of his successor. Homework, homework, homework.

This morning, I heard a morning television news-talk host mis-pronounce the word "devotee". The host pronounced it as "duh-VOTE-EE". It's pronounced "devv-oh-TAY". It's one of those French words that never changed pronunciation, such as restaurant, when it crossed the Atlantic. There are dozens more examples of "bad" English (or French!) that assault our ears every day, but as my wife often tells me, "You're correct, but you can't change it or do anyting about it". True, but it certainly is nice to at least have the privilege to vent HERE! :)

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