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Open Mike

Be There

Editor: I liked P.J. Bednarski's column on Aaron Brown ["The Error of Aaron," Feb. 10, p. 35]. There is an axiom in broadcasting: "Be There." You can't do anything without the microphone and (in his case) camera. I can't tell you how many extra hours I spent in my office as GM just making myself available for an employee, advertiser, news emergency, etc.

In fact, the Iran hostage crisis was a classic. We had a new newsman following up on the rumor that diplomats were taken hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Iran. He called the embassy, and, because he could speak French, they talked to him. For the next 24 hours, he and [radio station] WHIO were the conduit for the State Department and the world.

Be There. Yes, we were.

Ron Kempff, Kempff Communications Co., Tampa, Fla. (Kempff is the former general manager of WHIO(AM)-FM, Dayton, Ohio)

Brown Has Wrong Stuff

P. J. Bednarski's [Feb. 10] column this week in B&C deeply disturbs me. "The Error of Aaron" about Aaron Brown's comments and disinterest in the Columbia disaster shows me he doesn't have the right stuff.

Even non-working newsmen are glued to their sets in a news event. I was glued to Brian Williams, Buzz Aldrin, etc., to get a greater understanding of what befell these American heroes, as were millions of Americans.

The fact that Brown didn't know about the tragedy until three hours after the event itself shows how out of touch he is with news. I don't know of any newsperson who doesn't turn on the set to 24-hour news in the morning in case something happened overnight.

Even this non-working journalist in Palm Springs canceled her
golf game that day. His behavior does not fit the title of lead anchor. This should show CNN he is not fit to sit in that chair.

Kathleen Sullivan, Palm Springs, Calif. (Sullivan was the one of the first anchors hired by the then-new CNN in 1980)

No to IDs

It all started in the early '80s, with the station logos [in the lower right-hand corner of the screen]. At first, they were only displayed, and intruded upon and irritated people, for the first and last 15 seconds of the show. Then [networks] became even more emboldened and never took them off for the whole movie or program.

And now premium stations like Showtime splash their logo on top of the movies I pay for. They destroy the whole atmosphere of the movie and ruin the whole movie experience.

It has gone way out of control. Stop having little parades going on the bottom of our screens.

Michael O'Rourke, Mesa, Ariz.