We Daily Intel bloggers often work at home … alone, isolated, no flesh-and-blood colleagues to mutter annoyances aloud to or smoke your brains out with in front of the building. We crave human faces and voices. Which is why, from virtually the moment we rise from our humble Murphy bed (seriously!) until the moment we leave the house in the evening to drink off the LED stupor, we are cosseted and amused by the warm, burbling tones of NY1. [Ed. note: Tim Murphy, our beloved contributor watches NY1 exclusively. We other Daily Intellers obviously take time out to watch The View, and Live anytime Anderson is subbing in for Regis.] Hence the sharp, contemptuous “Ha!” we emitted this morning upon learning that NBC plans to launch in November a competitor channel to NY1. Brashly titled “New York’s Newschannel,” it’ll go 24 hours a day and cover not only the five B’s but the greater region, including New Jersey and Connecticut (areas that NY1, in its own commercials, rightly congratulates itself for ignoring). We predict it will fail, leaving NY1 the undisputed chronicler of midday drive-by shootings in Morrisania and senior-citizen découpage summits in Sheepshead Bay. At the risk of drawing attention to NY1’s secret weapons in this moment of challenge, we will enumerate the ten reasons NBC will topple before the Mighty Queen of the Lower-Left-Corner Time and Weather Logo…
1. It will not have the artistic audacity to find a brilliant gaggle of no-name local musicians and film self-promoting clips of them singing their own, charmingly quirky lyrics to its theme jingle. See for yourself. (Scroll down for the talent!)
2. It will not dare to question and deconstruct the myth of a firewall between reporting and opinion by having an anchorwoman that morphs magically into a theater critic before your very eyes.
3. It certainly will not try to enliven its own evening call-in show by, on some implicit level, emboldening its own on-air talent to call in with anonymous crank calls, their voices poorly concealed even if they assume such classy-sounding identities as “Dalton, from the Upper East Side.”
4. It will not be shrewd enough to, even four years after the end of Sex and the City, air 253 times a day, every day, a sassy Carmel Town Car commercial cleverly patterned after the hit series.
5. It won’t take the piss out of highfalutin local arts collectives by making them perform in the lobby of its own building or among its own cubicles.
6. It likely will not employ a “news wheel” based on the shrewd psychology that, unless you see the clip about the rabid gerbil that got loose in the Staten Island pre-K 23 times over three hours, it probably is just not going to sink in and you are not going to care enough.
7. It will never give a coveted morning slot to a lovably goofy schlub who, “>upon gaining such a reputation, must undergo a semi-successful attempt to taper both his waistline and his tri-state-bubba appeal.
8. Its news team will also likely remain devoid of adorably corpulent, memoir-publishing, pol-grilling Bronx homeboys, sweetly bland, fashion-proof blondes helming the weekend desk, and headline-summarizing Canadians whose toast-dry tone barely conceals the sneering, Mencken-like bitchiness within.
9. Even with a 24-hour news hole, it will likely not ram home daily reminders that, just outside a Manhattan bursting at the seams with wealth, fame and fabulousness, there remain 8 million odd regular New Yorkers struggling with un-fabulous issues like deadbeat landlords, bus-route shutdowns, and asthma. Not to mention neighbors who always want to be on camera in the wake of a local mishap, no matter how slurred or inchoate their remarks.
10. Getting back to the matter of theme songs: NBC’s will never be as catchy, even if the guys from Abba write it. It will never burrow like aural scabies beneath your cortex and chirpingly colonize your waking hours, even the few spent away from NY1. It will never match that soulful sax and those piping piccolos! But you know what, NBC? Go ahead and try. Fat chance this city’s humanity-starved, housebound freelancers will hum along, though. —Tim Murphy