Day Two of the morning show and a thought occurs to me: Eugene Ramirez has one of the more unenviable jobs in journalism. Ramirez is sort of the roving reporter for the show and this morning at 5 a.m. he had to do a man-on-the-street segment about the lifting of travel and gift restrictions for visitors to Cuba (a subject that was discussed, in shallow fashion, ad infinitum during the four hours).
The cozy couch-sitting trio of hosts went to Ramirez who was standing in front of a Cuban cafe on South Beach to see what the people were saying.
"It's still really really early and I think people are sleeping in this morning," said Ramirez. "I haven't been able to talk to a lot of people out here. But I did speak to this one young guy ...".
While there were no interviews, Ramirez did a yeoman's job summing up the issue before turning it back over to the studio.
"I hope more people show up so you can more people's reaction this morning," said host Kristin.
"I think people are sleeping in today," Ramirez said.
Yo, Ramirez, here's a tip: People are going to sleep in every day. Save the man-on-the-street shots for 8 a.m. or later. Another reporter, Karen Posada, did a live shot a little later from the middle of the street in some neighborhood about an inane story about Neighborhood Watch. An hour later, she was following around a guy who was out walking his dog.
What's amazing is how little the show does with so much. In studio they have the three hosts (who spend most of their time on the couch), the weather guy and the previously mentioned Sharp-Dressed John on the "web desk." Turns out that John isn't even the one doing the Internet surfing, though. He revealed today that the two guys who sit behind him actually find the stuff he touts. On top of all that, you have the two street reporters standing in the dark.
It's not that the hosts or reporters are all bad. Dave Aizer is solid and Kristin and Amber both possess gifts for gab and giant breasts, a rare and potent combination. They just need direction. I think John had the quote of the day: "Are we considered serious journalists because we ... spend all day and night looking for the best viral videos?"
The truth is that for all of Lee Abrams' hot air about reinventing the morning show and burning up the old template, this is really just more of the same. The exact same. There's no creative center. Weather reports every ten minutes, traffic updates, lottery bullshit, warmed-over news reports, happy banter, tips on tax returns, spring fashion tips (actually "SFL contributor" Rod Hagwood, also known as Sun-Sentinel fashion writer, was a highlight of the show, in all his flaming glory).
But there is absolutely nothing new about this show at all. All the concepts are stale. This morning, they talked over and over again about child stars gone bad, Michael Jackson, Drew Barreymore, Lindsay Lohan, etc. They almost begged people to call about the topic, not realizing it was a dull idea that's already been to death.
And apparently nobody called.