Matt_Frei_BBC_WNA.jpgFor American News the BBC is Best
We have been quite happy with the first week of the BBC’s newest newscast BBC World News America, which airs at 7 p.m. on BBC America, as well as around the world on BBC World. (The half hour BBC newscasts that air on WLIW and NJN at the same time are tape delayed from an hour before.) The newscast is unlike any of the American networks and since it is an hour long unlike the big 3’s nightly broadcasts it has more actual news content, more international reporting, and it is anchored in Washington instead of New York. True PBS’ NewsHour is an hour long, but it is basically headlines at the top with people analyzing the stories of the day, instead of actual on the ground reporting.

The newscast is not flashy and filled with cute graphics. Veteran reporter Matt Frei, who has been on the American beat five years, is behind the anchor desk does a superb job with the hour long broadcast which is a mix of both international and American stories. You’ll feel much more informed about what is really going on in the U.S. and the world than watching the combined 90 minutes of the offerings from CBS, NBC, and ABC or from watching CNN for twelve hours.

NBC Consumes Elsewhere
With the recent firing of WNBC’s long time consumer reporter Asa Aarons thanks to NBC’s the latest in the NBC 2.0 budget cuts we thought we would see if any other NBC owned stations still had consumer reporters with the same sort of on air experience as Aarons.

We found that only three who came close to his almost fifteen years on air. WRC in Washington’s Elizabeth Crenshaw, who has been the stations consumer reporter since 1993, WMAQ in Chicago’s Lisa Parker, who has been on the consumer beat since 1996; and WCAU in Philadelphia’s Tracy Davidson, who has been there since 1996 and currently anchors their hour long (and twice as bad) version of News 4 You.

We found it a bit odd that these lesser market stations should have consumer reporters with similar experience, while the network’s flagship station doesn’t and most of Channel 4’s competition does. Still, we think that this may be a vote of no confidence for WNBC's 5:30 p.m. features based newscast News 4 You, which was the major venue for Aarons reports.

Wrestling Gladiator
NBC announced that the host of its midseason replacement American Gladiators will be Hulk Hogan. Hogan currently stars on a reality show called “Hogan Knows Best” which airs on VH1, was a popular professional wrestler in the 1980s and 1990s, and was the star of the 1994 television adventure series “Thunder in Paradise”.

ABC News to Expand Foreign Bureaus
Going against years of cuts, ABC News will be adding several more foreign bureaus. There is a twist, since they will not be fully staffed, but instead be one man bands where the reporter/producer will be using digital video cameras and computer editing. The new bureaus will be in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The network hopes to expand to Iran and several smaller American cities in the near future.

ABC will also be reopening its more traditional Moscow bureau after loosing accreditation from the Russian government after airing an interview with a Chechen rebel in 2005. Clarissa Ward, formerly of Fox News, will be the network’s new correspondent there.

Where is Brendan Keefe?
If you have been watching WCBS and wondering where Brendan Keefe is or why his bio is down from the station’s web site there is a good reason. He left the station and will be starting Monday as the 5:30 p.m. anchor for WCPO, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati. Earlier this year, Keefe given a ticket for getting upset at cop while covering a water main break.

7’s Breast Cancer Special
WABC will be broadcasting a special about breast cancer, Breast Cancer: New Thinking and New Therapies, hosted by Stacey Sager and Diana Williams. The special, which airs on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., will look at some new cancer treatments.