The Foote Files: Clunk Emails

By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11

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I’m getting ready to take a few days off and celebrate my 27th wedding anniversary, but before I do I wanted to write this week’s blog called “clunk emails”.

I borrowed that name in part from a former major market radio DJ from the 60’s and 70’s named Larry Lujack. Larry was primarily known in Chicago at WLS and WCFL, two big Top 40 stations. His morning show had features back then, one of them being “Animal Stories” for what he is most remembered for, and “Clunk Letter Of The Day”. So I thought I would categorize those “clunk emails” we receive each and every day.

Let me say that I love hearing from the public in emails and phone calls unless the person at the other end is engaged in inappropriate behavior and language. In that case, they get nowhere fast!

I would categorize our viewer email under these categories:

  1. Request For Information. This is what we do day in and day out and we love helping out when we can. Some requests cannot be fulfilled but most can. I enjoy these.
  2. How Come You Guys Are So Dumb!”…well, we really aren’t. We are human and we make mistakes but most errors on our part are not life threatening!
  3. “Why Can’t I See What I Want To See When I Want To See It!”  Answer: Technological changes move faster than legalities involving programming. Someone always want to get paid. It’s called residuals. Ask a SAG/AFTRA member about those checks coming in on a syndicated show!
  4. Suggestions For Improvement: we get some great ideas from the public on how to do things better in our programming and news!  I like these emails too.
  5. Complaints About Our News Talents’ Wardrobe And Hair: oh my goodness!! This can be a lightning rod topic!
  6. Mispronunciation And Spelling: little defense here! This is our responsibility to do it right.
  7. Experts In Sports: this is more about why we air a game or why we don’t air a game, e.g., being blacked out due the Cowboys playing at home on FOX…”why you could have aired such and such game at that time if you had wanted!!!”…”No we can’t”….”how long that rule been in place?”….”Oh just 60 years”….case closed!
  8. Thanks: we don’t get many people who praise us but when they do it usually comes at the right time.

Also at times we receive email from people who probably shouldn’t have written one in the first place because they write in anger with some level of intent to get even with us, that we have ruined their day because Jeopardy was pre-empted. A small percentage of these are ones that we have to take additional precautions on.

The only thing I can recommend to those who want to comment on our programming is to use one simple rule: you will catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar!

Since my days at KOOL-TV in Phoenix in 1983 until I returned to the DFW area in 1984, I have been a point person for public comments and I love it, even when they get mad at us!!!

See you in a couple of weeks!

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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