Randy Michaels’ Words To Avoid List For News

It pains me to side with Randy Michaels and not Robert Feder. I’ve been reading and enjoying Feder for years. On the other hand there’s plenty not to like about Michaels.

A few days ago word came Randy Michaels, CEO of Tribune Company, had sent a memo to WGN-AM, one of the radio stations under his control, containing 119 words and phrases to be avoided on-the-air.

Robert Feder, former Chicago Sun-Times media columnist and now professional blogger, wrote about the list and slammed Michaels.

Sure, you’d think the chief executive officer of a company struggling to emerge from bankruptcy and desperate to salvage an $8 billion buyout-gone-bad would have better things to do than pester his underlings with crazy proclamations. But in the case of Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, you’d be wrong.

It pains me to side with Randy Michaels and not Robert Feder. I’ve been reading and enjoying Feder for years.

On the other hand there’s plenty not to like about Michaels. He was one of the enablers at Clear Channel as they removed live and local from most live and local radio stations. He is bombastic and over the top.

So much for me ever working for Tribune I suppose.

Michaels’ list is right on! Newscasts cover similar type of stories all-the-time: crimes, disasters, corruption. It’s too easy to fall back on jargon.

How many of these words and phrases have you heard twice too often?

* “Flee” meaning “run away”
* “Good” or “bad” news
* “Laud” meaning “praise”
* “Seek” meaning “look for”
* “Some” meaning “about”
* “Two to one margin” . . . “Two to one” is a ratio, not a margin. A margin is measured in points. It’s not a ratio.
* “Yesterday” in a lead sentence
* “Youth” meaning “child”
* 5 a.m. in the morning
* After the break
* After these commercial messages
* Aftermath
* All of you
* Allegations
* Alleged
* Area residents
* As expected
* At risk
* At this point in time
* Authorities
* Auto accident
* Bare naked
* Behind bars
* Behind closed doors
* Behind the podium (you mean lecturn) [sic]
* Best kept secret
* Campaign trail
* Clash with police
* Close proximity
* Complete surprise
* Completely destroyed, completely abolished, completely finished or any other completely redundant use
* Death toll
* Definitely possible
* Diva
* Down in (location)
* Down there
* Dubbaya when you mean double you
* Everybody (when referring to the audience)
* Eye Rack or Eye Ran
* False pretenses
* Famed
* Fatal death
* Fled on foot
* Folks
* Giving 110%
* Going forward
* Gunman, especially lone gunman
* Guys
* Hunnert when you mean hundred
* Icon
* In a surprise move
* In harm’s way
* In other news
* In the wake of (unless it’s a boating story)
* Incarcerated
* Informed sources say . . .
* Killing spree
* Legendary
* Lend a helping hand
* Literally
* Lucky to be alive
* Manhunt
* Marred
* Medical hospital
* Mother of all (anything)
* Motorist
* Mute point. (It’s moot point, but don’t say that either)
* Near miss
* No brainer
* Officials
* Our top story tonight
* Out in (location)
* Out there
* Over in
* Pedestrian
* Perfect storm
* Perished
* Perpetrator
* Plagued
* Really
* Reeling
* Reportedly
* Seek
* Senseless murder
* Shots rang out
* Shower activity
* Sketchy details
* Some (meaning about)
* Some of you
* Sources say . . .
* Speaking out
* Stay tuned
* The fact of the matter
* Those of you
* Thus
* Time for a break
* To be fair
* Torrential rain
* Touch base
* Under fire
* Under siege
* Underwent surgery
* Undisclosed
* Undocumented alien
* Unrest
* Untimely death
* Up in (location)
* Up there
* Utilize (you mean use)
* Vehicle
* We’ll be right back
* Welcome back
* Welcome back everybody
* We’ll be back
* Went terribly wrong
* We’re back
* White stuff
* World class
* You folks

Can You Complain If It’s Free?

My homebuilt MythTV DVR uses zap2it to fill its database with program listings. It’s a free service and I was never sure why Tribune Media (zap2it’s owner) provided it.

Today, zap2it said they’re stopping the service – free or otherwise!

My DVR is great, but a significant part of the value is derived from having this incredibly complete searchable database.

Hopefully, those brighter than me will find a solution. If not… well, I’m just not sure.

Telling Off The Boss

There’s an old joke. Two guys get together, and the first one says, “You know, I really feel like telling off the boss again.”

The second one says, “Again?”

“Sure,” comes the reply, “I felt like telling him off yesterday too!”

At some point, we all want to tell off the boss. It’s not limited to me. I’ve had ten bosses at my current job. Each of them probably wanted to tell off his/her boss too.

We seldom let loose in the face of authority. Mostly, we grumble to ourselves and suck it up. On those few occasions when emotion trumps restraint, it can be downright petrifying.

I remember one incredible screaming match with my bosses boss. This was nearly twenty years ago and I was much more hot headed… and expendable. He was hot headed too, so we just went at it.

I left that fight knowing I’d soon be fired.

I wasn’t and never figured out why. Trust me, it wasn’t because he liked my spunk&#185!

Anyway, what brings this up is what was said by Rinker Buck, a reporter for the Hartford Courant. He told his bosses off – questioned the marching orders they’ve given, and he’s done so publicly.

He hadn’t finished the first paragraph of his rhetorical treatise when he said: