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TV30's last live news show airs tonight

Original post made on Jun 27, 2008

When veteran newscaster Tom Morrison signs off for the last time this afternoon as anchor of TV30's "Live at 4" news, he'll bring to a close 20 years of regularly scheduled local news on the Tri-Valley's only community broadcast system.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 26, 2008, 7:46 AM

Comments (17)

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Posted by Anna Nonymous
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 27, 2008 at 8:13 am

As a former employee of TV30 and R.O.P. student under the Darla Stevens reign, I'm dissapointed to see the news program go... but quite frankly, it was gone a long time ago. The news program had turned into a former shadow of itself and lacked the qualities of a true local, community news program -- all while my tax payer dollars were funding it.

I applaud the mayors with the direction it sounds like they're taking...

"They also objected to news reports from outside the Tri-Valley as well as programs that TV30 was purchasing from other public broadcast systems and then airing locally.

"The new program format, which will be developed over the next few months, may make TV30 look more like the community broadcast station Darla Stevens founded in 1976 with public donations, hand-me-down video equipment and a largely all-volunteer team."

Way to go, Tri-Valley Mayors!

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Posted by Kevin Wing
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 3:41 pm

There has been much unsubstantiated criticism in recent weeks and months with respect to "TV30 News Live At 4." As TV30's now-former News Director/News Producer and its soon-to-be departing Interim Executive Director, I am very proud of the accomplishments of my news team.

Early last year, I assumed the duties of producing the newscast when my predecessor left for another television station. After taking the reins of the show, I was asked to crank up the broadcast a notch or two. I was asked to make it even better. As a news team, I believe we succeeded.

I was also directed to utilize my 22 years' experience in TV news to redesign the show, from giving it a new look to increasing local story content, which included reporting on stories of most importance to Tri-Valley viewers. I never strayed from the fact that this broadcast was exclusively local.

Twenty years ago, this newscast debuted with the idea of covering the Tri-Valley area, exclusively. That mindset, that focus, continued right up to our last newscast Thursday. If there was a story in San Ramon, Pleasanton, Livermore or Dublin, we were on it. Unless it was a major story that attracted the Bay Area's network affiliates, TV30 reporters and photographers were usually the only ones on the scene, day after day. Even though critics of "TV30 News Live At 4" never acknowledged that fact, my news team and I never needed the acknowledgment. We knew exactly what we were doing, and we knew what our role was as journalists when it came to covering the four communities. I have no personal choice but to ask this question: weren't those qualities representative of "a true (sic) local, community news program?" TV30 always asked its viewers for feedback about its newscast. Always. We rarely ever received feedback, critical or otherwise. What we did receive, however, was the typically anonymous "Monday morning armchair-quarterbacking" about what wasn't preferred on the news. Unfortunately, these same critics never suggested anything better.

The news on TV30 provided a huge community service to the Tri-Valley. We certainly never needed anyone to tell us that. The news team and myself always had the best interests of our Tri-Valley viewers always in mind. I am very proud to say that about all of us at TV30.

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Posted by Pat on the Back
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Kevin, Given the constant financial pressures the station was under, you and your staff did a fantastic job of putting out Live at 4.

The mayors and the viewers will soon find out what's meant by "you don't know what you've got til it's gone."

Best of luck to you.

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Posted by Kevin Wing
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Dear Pat on the Back,

Thank you very, very much for your thoughts and warm words. I will certainly pass your sentiments along to my TV30 "family". I'm happy to know that you enjoyed our newscast. All of us put a great deal of pride into each and every broadcast. We did it for you, and for everyone else in this Valley of ours.

Thank you again for your well wishes, and my best wishes to you as well. Take care.

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Posted by Matt
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Jul 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm

It's too bad that the news on Channel 30 is gone. I enjoyed it. I admit that I didn't watch it every day. But, when I did watch it, I felt the news people did a great job of covering the Tri-Valley. I have read in the papers (including this one) about the changes that are planned for the station, and it sounds like the cities, or the board of directors, do not want to outfit Channel 30 with quality programming. Canning the news was a mistake. I've heard about all the staff being laid off. Doing more with less won't work at Channel 30. Machines cannot do everything. It takes people. Experienced people, at that. The board has positioned Channel 30 on a collision course with disaster. I wish the best for the station, but the new plans sound very ill-conceived. Good luck.

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Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 11, 2008 at 2:05 am

TV 30 news programs may not be the polished operation as seen on a network station but the "on camera" personnel were always professional. Seems rather interesting the "Mayors Report" survived.

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Posted by The Dillon Family
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 17, 2008 at 9:09 pm

What is going on at Channel 30? Sometimes, the picture freezes for minutes at a time. Other times, the station is in the dark. And the same can happen with Channel 28 and Channel 29, too. Can this be fixed? So there's all this talk about a new plan. It doesn't seem to be working. How many times can one watch the mayors, over and over? Some variety in the programming is necessary, we feel. It's too bad the newscast is gone. My husband and I were loyal viewers. Did it really cost the station so much money that the station had to ax the news? We're sorry to see it go.

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Posted by Sabina
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 18, 2008 at 10:35 pm

What changes? I watch now and then, and I see the same faces all the time. The faces of the mayors, staff of the cities and the same shows repeated over and over. Once I don't see anything new, I turn the channel. I realize those other two channels that do city council meetings are meant to be boring. Is that the plan for Channel 30? Sorry to see the news go away. Who pulled that lever and didn't get caught? That was ridiculous. A great show. Bad idea to cancel it.

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Posted by A TV30 Watcher
a resident of California Reflections
on Jul 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Sorry, TV30. You just lost my interest altogether. I was a loyal watcher of the news with Tom and Melinda and the whole crew. I was on vacation during the last week of June. When we returned, I kept trying to find the news, but couldn't. I was later told that the news was cancelled. My main reason was to watch the news. It covered a lot of bases. Now, it's gone from Channel 30. And now, Channel 30 has one less household watching them. Nice job. The station's administration has blown it yet again.

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Posted by Monica
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jul 19, 2008 at 9:36 pm

I hear that TV30 will be offering college courses over the air with Las Positas College. I heard that through a friend of mine who's also a student at LPC. Does this mean I can stay home and watch my classes and avoid going onto campus altogether? Something sounds weird about this rumor. It's too good to be true. How will instructors know we are watching? Have a secret password during every broadcast that we will have to write down on our assignments? I think if the station does this, it won't really be meeting the needs of all viewers. Something doesn't sound right.

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Posted by No Longer A Channel 30 Fan
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 26, 2008 at 6:04 am

Late last year, I was interviewed by a reporter named Aja of TV 30 news. It was at the scene of an accident. I remember her name because it was unique. At the time, I didn't have any idea that there was a local news show exclusively for San Ramon and the other Tri-Valley cities. She told me to watch. I became an avid watcher of Channel 30 instantly, watching the newscast and tuning in to some of the other shows. My favorite was the newscast. What a professional job. Now I will admit I didn't watch the news every day. So when I returned from being out of town two weeks ago and tuned in to the station to watch the local news, there was another program on. After doing some investigation online, I found this newspaper's website and this story about the news ending. This was a bad decision. Who ultimately made this decision? I understand now that the station didn't pull the plug on the news, but the mayors did. Shame on you, Mayor Wilson, and all the other mayors. Maybe the cities should talk to their residents before they make such ridiculous decisions like killing the "local" news. Maybe the cities should stop spending frivolously on things such as taking out of town "business" trips and painting street lights to make the poles look more aesthetic. It's a light pole. Get real. Mayors, board of directors, whatever you call yourselves. Why would you cancel a newscast that focused on our valley? Now, I get to watch more of you on your own mayors show, over and over and over again. And in repeats, too. What a nice thought. I don't watch Channel 30 anymore. It's boring. Mayors and Channel 30's board: you've blown it. What's it going to be now? College classes broadcast on Channel 30 from Las Positas? Oh yeah, I'll watch now. Is this an election year?

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Posted by typical citizen
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 26, 2008 at 9:08 am

Typical self-serving egocentric politicians, keep the mayors report....hmmm

Instead of mayors report try community report and give us a chance to tell you what we think.

I volunteer to be first!

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Posted by Longtime resident
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 30, 2008 at 2:25 am

Reason to watch Channel 30 now? None. Why do I want to watch my elected officials wax politic and pat themselves on the back and act for the cameras? We already get enough of them doing that, especially here in Dublin. Now we get to see them do it all the time on Channel 30. The newscast was objective, and fair. And told the truth. No wonder the mayors got rid of it. Maybe the station director should bring it back and call it Mayors and City Staff News Live at Four. Wouldn't that be riveting? Where's my popcorn?

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Posted by Judy Davis
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 1, 2008 at 9:28 am

I certainly hope "Pleasanton Weekly" submits these e-mails to the mayors.

Don't the readers of "P.W" deserve a chance to read what viewers of Channel 30 have to say. Not everyone checks letters posted on the web.

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Posted by Bob Walton
a resident of Dublin
on Aug 4, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Dear Pleasanton Weekly Editors:

Thank you for posting the story about TV30 and the end of its newscast. I'm sorry to see it go. From reading all of the comments listed here since the story ran more than a month ago, it seems clear that the mayors/TV30 board and the board staff have made a terrible mistake in axing the newscast.

I've been a regular watcher of TV30 for several years. But, since the mayors killed off Tom Morrison, Melinda Meza, Ian Bartholomew and the beloved Dr. B, George Baljevich, I don't watch anymore. The news team was fantastic. And that article you wrote recently about the news producer who became Channel 30's interim executive director who is now working for ABC. It sounds like he did a pretty nice job at Channel 30. If he's with ABC now, it sounds like he made the right choice for himself. Good for him.

There is nothing worth watching on the station. And the mayors have spoken about this grand plan for the station. A new slate of shows. Where are they, folks? All I see are the mayors on the air. All mayors, all the time. C'mon, folks! You're kidding, aren't you? Is this some bad summer TV joke?

I tried calling the station the other day. I called three times on the same day. No one answered. Did the station go dark? How many staffers lost their jobs? All of them?

Perhaps the Weekly should do an update on Channel 30 regarding these new shows and the future of the station. Oops, I think the mayors will have to eat some crow sometime soon. This was a ridiculous mistake and it's likely too late to rectify it now.

I don't watch Channel 30 anymore. It'll take something big to bring me back. That likely won't happen.

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Posted by Edward Allston
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Every time I've watched the news on Channel 30, I always felt I was getting some good information about my city, Pleasanton, and the other cities surrounding it. It was good, honest journalism that was local. I know that most of the people who worked on the news were young and just starting out, and full knowing that the station was their launch pad for greater things to come, but I'm still sad to see that the news is now history.

I would like to make a personal request to Jennifer Hosterman, my mayor. I understand you sit on the board of Channel 30. I can understand that one must make decisions that aren't going to please everyone, especially when money is involved. But, I've done some research of my own recently and I didn't think the news cost more than $500,000 a year. I thought it was closer to $250,000 or $300,000. Who did the math on this? Did the local papers get the figures wrong, or is this what it is?

My plea to you, Mayor Hosterman, is to bring back the news. Your board misstepped when it cancelled it. At 71, I'm now retired and was a loyal Channel 30 news viewer for nearly a decade. Sure wish I would've been among those citizens polled earlier this year. If it was still the top program on the channel, how could you cancel it?

I must disagree with the board on its decision. The news was worth watching. Now, I no longer watch Channel 30. Is that what you want, a station where no one watches you?

I wish you and your station sponsors much luck.

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Posted by Mary
a resident of California Somerset
on Aug 19, 2008 at 5:45 am

The station has had a lot of negative issues during the last several years. I hope it can get back on track for its own sake. Too bad that the news had to go. It was the reason I watched.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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