TV Salutes Buck with Fan Reaction. (Channels)
Frohlichstein, Tripp, St. Louis Journalism Review
Kudos to KTVI (Channel 2), KMOV (Channel 4) and KSDK (Channel 5) for their coverage of reaction to the death of Jack Buck. (I did not see Channel 11.) The stations offered comprehensive looks at the life of the great talent and had a substantial number of interviews with a wide range of people expressing their feelings about Buck.
I was especially impressed that all three chose to devote a great deal of time not to the celebrities but to the fans. There were lots of average fans who got to express their opinions.
The stations also had a good mix of celebrities ranging from ballplayers to civic leaders. Well done by all. They were prepared.
I'd like to share my Jack Buck memories. I first met Jack in the mid-1970s. I was a new kid at Channel 4. When I was introduced to Jack, he treated me as if I were an important person. From then on, he would always remember my name. He truly saw people as individuals.
I remember when I was with our news director and a couple of anchors. He paid as much attention to me as to them. I admired that. And it is true he always had a kind word. I have never been privileged to know anyone quite so nice.
I talked to him many times during my eight plus years as a TV critic on KMOX radio. He would always take the time to chat and never shrug you off. Yes, I can say only nice things about the man who, himself, only said nice things. He could be honest about a player doing poorly without beating up on the player. Jack Buck will truly be missed as an announcer--more so as a fine human being who made a difference.
Sympathies are also in order to the family of Channel 5 helicopter pilot! traffic reporter Rich Barklage. He died of a heart attack while jogging shortly after Buck's passing. His brother, Allen Barklage, had also worked for Channel 5. He died in an accident several years ago.
The third celebrity death of the week put even more strain on local stations. While they knew the death of Jack Buck was coming, the matter of Darryl Kile was completely different. Caught by surprise, stations had to mobilize on a Saturday afternoon (a tough thing to do given people are out and about and hard to reach). What I saw of Channels 4 and 5 showed they did a credible job jumping on the story and getting people to Chicago. You had to feel bad for Channel 4 when one of their reports from a Chicago reporter on the 5 p.m. news had to be scuttled due to a technical failure.
This week has tested our local news stations' mettle. I give 'em an "A."
The power of the media to do good was demonstrated in no uncertain terms on the morning of June 22. More than 45,000 people showed up downtown for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research. Channel 5 was the primary reason with extensive pre-race coverage and promotion and then live coverage of the event itself. The event raised more than a million dollars to help fight breast cancer.
The event is also a lesson to nonprofit groups who want television coverage. Get a key person from a television station on your board. Channel 5 General Manager Lynne Beall is on the Susan G. Komen board. She was able to use her television station to further the fine cause.
The only criticism is that the broadcast went on too long. It began at 6 a.m. and ran four-and-a-half hours. Near the end, we just heard a bunch of sponsors thanking people. It was enough already as the broadcast turned into commercials--we even heard the platinum, gold and silver sponsors being introduced. I'd like to think they sponsored the event to help the cause, not to get their names on television.
There were also other announcements of awards such as "winner of the largest new team in the large team category" or the winner of the "largest new team in the medium category" or even "largest new team in the small team category. …