Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

KFOR is parting ways with their longtime News Director. What do you think about this? Is Obama to blame?

Yesterday afternoon, the Ogle Mole Network was abuzz with rumors that KFOR had forced out their longtime News Director Mary Ann Eckstein. For those who follow the local media, this was pretty big news. Mary Ann has been a staple of the Oklahoma City news scene for decades. She’s been around so long that she remembers what Linda Cavanaugh looked like as a 43-year-old.  She’s seen Bob Barry Jr. go from skinny to fat to kind of skinny to kind of chubby to almost dead from a scooter accident.

Anyway, from what we’ve gathered Mary Ann Eckstein is apparently leaving Channel 4, and I don’t think it was a mutual split. It appears to be one of those “Take this nice early retirement package and be quiet” type of deals. We also have no clue why it happened. We’ve heard everything from union troubles to disgruntled employees to the company’s embarrassing social media fails that happened on her watch. And by social media fails, I mean everything from wishing people a happy Zombie Jesus Day to asking if it’s okay to rape a child to baiting Derplahomans on their Facebook page.

Then again, it could also be that Channel 4 kind of sucks right now. They continue to lose staff to Channel 9 and their reporting has become a pandering to the lowest common denominator joke. I think every story they run has to do with sexual predators or animals. Just check out this sad “news” report from yesterday. It was the lead story on KFOR’s website for nearly 12-hours:

Effort to save abandoned dog now possibly animal cruelty case

What began as a race to save an abandoned dog’s life may now be an animal cruelty case.

The Swaim Veterinary Clinic was trying to save a puppy they found outside their office Monday morning.

The pup was so badly injured it had to be euthanized just before 1 p.m.

The vet has turned over the information to law enforcement…

Wyant (the Vet) said, “This dog was most likely run over.”

The wounds were likely less than 24 hours old.

They said the dog, likely a pug-chihuahua mix, may also have also damaged her back and needed one, if not both, back paws amputated.

If you have an animal and cannot take care of it anymore, you’re encouraged to take it to the local animal shelter.

The shelter has cages available after hours where animals can be dropped off, no questions asked.

I’m a dog guy. I own a dog. I’ve been around them my entire life. I think the story’s sad and depressing. My only question is “How is that F-cking News?!” Dogs get hit by cars all the time! What makes this story any different? Yeah, I guess it’s kind of shitty that some person abandoned a seriously injured dog by a vets office — as opposed to an animal control center where the animal would be euthanized on the spot — but why does that even matter? Are they going to report on cats and squirrels, too?  There has to be real news to report, right?

Anyway, if the people at Channel 4 were smart they’d replace Mary Ann Eckstein with me. Not only am I much nicer and more affable than Mary Ann, but I’d make several changes to improve the news broadcast immediately. The first thing I’d do is name Joleen Chaney and Emily Sutton the 6pm and 10pm news anchors.  The second thing I’d do is ban any pandering story that has to do with dead dogs, sexual predators and/or old people scammed by a someone who was supposed to cut down a tree limb from their yard. The third thing I’d do is make Mike Morgan give the weather report while riding a unicycle. And all that’s just on my first day in charge. Other things like having “Swimsuit Fridays,” replacing Bob Moore Chopper Four with an F-22 Stealth Fighter and dumping Bob Barry Jr. for a little person would come later. I can’t fix it all at once.

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Comments


  1. KFOR is parting ways with their longtime News Director. What do you think about this? Is Obama to blame?

    Ok, Ok we get it already: you’re running a liberal/left-of-center blog in the most conservative state in the nation.

      • Outside of tornado season I don’t watch local news. I knew KFOR’s weather coverage was ridiculous but I didn’t know the rest of the station had followed suit.

    • IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GOOD NEWS. ITS ALL ABOUT THE RATINGS, ARBITRON, AND SENSATIONLISM. IN OTHER WORDS, MONEY. THE HIGHER THE RATINGS, THE MORE THEY CAN CHARGE THEIR ADVERTISERS. IF THEY’D LOSE MUCK MORGAN, LINDA, THE OGLES, BARRYS, AND GET SOME FRESH BLOOD, THEIR RATING WOULD GO UP.

  2. Channel 4 has struggled more than others, but the local news has become such a weather arms race and “stories you only see here” or “seen here first’, yet many of the stories are as you so so pathetic. I have a new drinking game, it is when there is a legitimate live story being covered and I have to take a shot of tequila if the on-site reporter provides an address and a relevant fact (not just a “a man was shot and we are waiting on the detials)……..so far in the last 2 months I’ve gotten 1 shot of tequila (channel 9 on when the house blew up from the gas line explosion). There is no more “where, what, when and how” reporting. It’s all just promo’s for the next weather report…………………and that’s my 2 cents

    • You are so correct in your assumption of the news. They are too lazy to do their job. They forget about the who, what, when, where and how. That is just basic journalism which most of them have failed to learn.

  3. Mary Ann was cool, calm and calculated for the most part. You can’t blame her for every problem when there’s Managing Editors, Web Editors, Producers, etc who are in control or lack thereof regarding their own little groups. Sucks for her. I’m surprised KFOR has kept most of its staff all these years

    • HAHA All I can do is laugh about this! Lessons… Thank your employees for working their butts off for MANY hours. Give raises to people who keep it running. Find all the employees who were so burnt out and who went WITHOUT a raise for years or so much as a thanks or were told if they need money get a 2nd job… And you will find 90% of those left broadcasting completely. The people on air arent the only people there. I have more respect for the little people than I have for those who honestly ran them into the ground without so much as a thank you.

      • I was once told, “if you’re in news to make money, you’re in the wrong line of work”. They were right, I make so much more money now and I work WAY less.

  4. They lost me when they lost Jim Gardner, then David Payne. But since I hate 9 and 5 is really a joke…? Then I tried 25,now thats just sad, so I guess there is no hope for local TV. Started following news on the computer. Its a lot easier, more thorough and I don’t start yelling at the screen, which I used to do every time they said “Here’s an update on a breaking news story we brought you Last Night.” and all their “You saw it FIRST” on whatever channel I was watching….zzzzz WTF? and the weather coverage for a T-storm 200 miles away SUCKS!

    • hahahha, The local news channels just don’t understand that when they run that stupid “News you only see here” is only going to people already watching the stupid story! Who are they trying to convince at this point, the person already seeing this? The only way this works is to advertise on the competitors stations!
      I guess if I really think about who their target audience is, I should be madder at myself for caring and I would understand their tactics, but for some reason I fall into the trap of thinking it really will be “news”….whoop, wrong again! hahahaha,

  5. On a somewhat related note… why do they spend so much time advertising their helicopter pilot, news crew, weather team? I can maybe understand David Payne going to Channel 9, but what’s with all the hype over “air power”? Who cares?

    • They lost me when they started promoting their new chopper pilot by using his children, and acting like he killed bin Laden by himself.

  6. First hand account…Word on the street is that the news director and GM lied to the ownership group about that helicopter incident. One of the heavy weights in Local TV LLC was in Dallas at a tv station there and over heard the actual story about the cars in the hanger. Apparently that was not what the GM & ND told the higher ups. The union also had a large part to do with it.

  7. KFOR has the worst website of all local stations — having a good or even timely news website should be easy by now. Maybe they’ll hire some talent in this department since much of it seems to be leaving in others. And by talent I don’t mean Emily or Joleen! (Obviously, b/c they’re still there. Ah, nevermind.)

  8. Patrick, you are certainly nicer and more affable than this iceberg. She knows the business well and deserves some credit. But…Lack of people skills left many employees and advertisers deserving better. It’s Karma time. Can we call you a cab?

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