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What You See Is What You Get

The anatomy of a newscast.

A newscast is made up of a lot of bits and pieces that go by so quickly, many viewers don't even notice them. So we've slowed down a sample program -- the November 8 broadcast on Channel 2 -- to help you catch what you've been missing: the good, the bad and the ugly.

0:00: An announcer intones, "Your first late news, with Ernie Bjorkman and Wendy Brockman. This is WB2 News at 9" as shots of the city at night are framed between gold bars with bluish stripes. Then the WB2 logo flies at the screen. Duck!

0:08: "Only on WB2 News" (the slogan that appears inside a box graphic): Bjorkman and Brockman present a report by recently demoted anchor Beverly Weaver about pharmacy technicians, who aren't required to be licensed or undergo specific training in Colorado. "These untrained employees could have your life in their hands!"

3:37: "Cutting Costs": Brockman narrates footage of presidential candidate Al Gore claiming that prescription drugs cost too much. Stop the presses.

4:02: "Safe Drugs?": Bjorkman notes that some people think there may be a possible link between psychoactive drugs like Ritalin and school violence. He makes no mention of the possible link between calculus homework and school violence, however.

4:44: "Taped Testimony": Bjorkman introduces a package by reporter Sheryl Machado about Jeannie VanVelkinburgh, who was set to testify on videotape against alleged murderer Nathan Thill.

6:57: "Judges Threatened": Brockman does a voiceover of footage about an intimidating letter sent to a Jeffco judge by onetime Evergreen resident Jim Gluck.

7:38: Brockman mentions a preliminary hearing for the CU student raped in an alleged Asian-gang initiation rite.

7:54: Bjorkman devotes a full nineteen seconds to a body that was found stuffed under a stairwell in a Colorado Springs hospital.

8:13: A tease to the next segment. As Bjorkman promises more about a boy lost in the woods and which Bronco will start as quarterback next week, music rises over the city at night -- and then here comes that WB2 logo again. Zzzzzooooommmm.

8:26: Commercials for Men's Wearhouse, VoiceStream, Pepsi, the University of Phoenix and Pontiac.

10:56: A graphic noting that closed captioning is brought to you by US West.

11:06: "Kidnapped?": Bjorkman introduces a report by correspondent Irene O'Connor about missing child Jaryd Atadero, whose father thinks he may have been kidnapped.

14:06: "Overseas Headlines": Brockman tosses to reporter Tyler Lopez, whose story about the furor surrounding Swiss-American boy Raoul Wuthrich is dominated by interviews with other reporters. Obviously, they could relate.

15:56: "Wall Conquered": Bjorkman narrates footage showing former president George Bush in Germany celebrating the anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall.

16:35: Tease number two: Coming up are reports about "online Colorado" and local doctors putting on the pounds, followed by the attack of the flying logo.

16:47: Promos for Channel 2's upcoming sweeps-month report on the Denver Center Theatre Company and Live With Regis and Kathy Lee, plus commercials for the James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough, GMC, Safeway, Polaris, American Family Insurance and Jim Paris Tire City.

20:17: "Virtual Tour": Brockman hands off to half-reporter/half-weekend weathercaster Amy Freeze's item about Metro State students creating computerized tours of public buildings to aid the disabled.

23:01: "Reaching Out": Brockman on the construction of a fiber-optic network for the Colorado Department of Transportation. Yawn.

23:37: "Digital Divide": Bjorkman transitions into footage of General Colin Powell arguing that low-income families don't have enough access to the Internet in a made-for-TV news conference sponsored by AOL. Worked like a charm, didn't it?

24:22: "Online Meeting": A nearly three-minute-long package about President Bill Clinton's first online chat as narrated by Washington-based correspondent Grant Rampy. It might have been more useful if Rampy had noted whether Clinton kept both hands on the keyboard at all times.

27:16: "Profiling": Brockman says that Internet companies are collecting information about you right now. Turn off your computer and hide.

28:00: Okay, now you can turn your computer back on -- in order to participate in the "Defining the '90s" poll being conducted at www.wb2.com.

28:18: Tease number three mentions snow in California and an airplane with a big Pokémon on it. Then, logo alert!

28:30: Commercials for Subaru, the CollegeInvest program, KOSI-FM, Florida orange juice, AT&T, Dodge and the U.S. Postal Service, plus a promo asking amateur news videographers to send their footage straight to WB2.

32:10: "Good News": Bjorkman says construction projects are ahead of schedule. Make that "No News."

32:55: Brockman and Bjorkman jabber with weatherman Glen Gerberg, who then takes the better part of four minutes to say that the weather on Tuesday won't be much different than it was on Monday.

37:14: Tease number four mentions the WB show Safe Harbor and Broncos quarterback Chris Miller. Let that logo fly.

37:26: A promo for Friends, a public-service announcement for Toys for Tots, and ads for Stevinson auto dealerships, US West, mothernature.com, Sylvan Learning Center and Rickenbaugh Cadillac.

40:51: A graphic revealing that Bjorkman and Brockman do news updates weeknights on KOSI-FM. Tune in to hear them say the same things on the radio that they say on TV.

40:56: A near replay of the opening graphic. It doesn't get better with age.

41:04: "All the Rage": Brockman says an airplane that landed in New York that day had a big Pokémon on it. Wake the kids.

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