October 2008
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Council coverage falls off without Ahl; blogs pick up slack

It used to be that you could count on WCBU to cover any city council meeting held on a Tuesday night, including important budget discussions like the one happening tonight. But since former news director Jonathan Ahl left the station, coverage has fallen off. It appears now that only regular city council meetings (twice a month) are carried.

That’s unfortunate, because the council meeting tonight covers important budget issues facing the City of Peoria. What’s being discussed tonight is at least as important, if not more important, than the business taking place at the regular council meetings. Why have they stopped being covered?

Fortunately, there’s still one media outlet that’s covering the event live — Billy Dennis’ Peoria Pundit blog. All Billy needs to do is figure out a way to provide a live audio stream through his blog in addition to his running summary.

10 comments to Council coverage falls off without Ahl; blogs pick up slack

  • matt jones

    c.j. did you get my email about speaking on the 16th?

  • I got it — I’m checking my schedule.  Since it’s during the day, it’s a little tricky for me.  I’ll let you know asap.

  • I hate to dump on a Peoria Pundit-friendly blog post, but in WCBU’s defense, I seem to recall similar budget meetings that started at 5 p.m. that were not covered live by WCBU. As I recall, there are contractual obligations that prevent WCBU from tearing away from regular programing that early. It was one reason WCBU asked the council to NOT start meetings earlier.

    And my apologies for not getting to the meeting earlier. I had some obligations of my own.

  • Have you talked to Jonathan? Does he like his new position?

  • Billy — Partly-true, but I remember WCBU joining the council meeting in progress at 6:00 on several occasions.

    NewsAnchorMom — I haven’t talked to him lately, no, but I keep up with his blog.  He doesn’t blog about work, but if he’s enjoying his new position as much as he’s enjoying becoming an Iowan, I’m guessing he’s pretty happy.

  • I too miss Jonathan. I miss his widsom. I miss his enthusiasm for good journalism. I miss his willingness to call me on my b.s. I miss his body of knowledge from having covered the council for years. I miss his wry sense of humor.

    But Tanya Koonce is MUCH better looking.

  • Tulip

    Jonathan served us well. I miss his professional reporting.

  • I miss his probing questions at press conferences. 🙁

  • Tanya Koonce

    The cause for not covering last  night’s budget meeting seemed like a non-issue to me.  The city council budget session began at 5.  It is our policy not to interrupt All Things Considered unless content warrants.  Joining the meeting at 6 or 6:30 in progress and then taking the live presidential debate seemed like too much programatic jumping around. 
    Thank you though CJ for your comments, and the opportunity to share the programming decision making that took place.  Sincerely, Tanya Koonce, WCBU News Reporter