I've Been Hacked!

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Today I went to the local grocery store and purchased a few items, my total bill was $6.82.

I ran my debit card through the scanner, put in my password and "Transaction Denied" popped up. I figured I hit the wrong key while putting in my password, I went through the process again. "Transaction Denied!

I log onto my app for my bank and it showed that I made a $970 purchase at Best Buy in Tampa on Monday. I haven't been to Tampa in 5 years and I surely wasn't there yesterday. 

So, I call my bank and after jumping through hoops, they have taken my dispute claim and will investigate it. In the meantime I was popped for a number of insufficient fund charges that my bank tells me I can't get back until my dispute claim is investigated and ruled in my favor. 

Tomorrow, I have a number of bills, including my mortgage due and my checking account is short $1000+ dollars.

So, how's your day going?

....because my day sucks and worst part of it, I still don't know what my debit card bought at Best Buy.

I hope it was something cool.

A Big Thank You!

Not long ago I told you guys that my old laptop had finally given up the ghost and I would need to buy a new one.

I asked if any of you wanted chip in and help poor old FTVLive with this purchase?

A number of you did!

People gave anywhere from $10 to $250 to help get us back online when we are away from the office.

I can't begin to thank those you that saw it in their hearts to give us a few dollars and help out this website.

I'm happy to report, this morning I went to the Apple store and purchased a new MacBook Air!

I would love to see how it looks and fire it up, but right now the Boss is using it:

If she ever gets off the box, I will fire up the air and get it setup for posting stories on FTVLive.

Thanks again to all of you that helped out.

It means more than you will ever know. 

20 Years ago I was 875 South Bundy

20 years ago I was at 875 South Bundy in Brentwood, California.

If you're under the age of 40, it is likely that address means nothing to you. But, if you're over 40 and work in TV News then it is likely that I don't have to tell you why I was there.

20 years ago, pulling up to that address, I was shocked at the amount of blood on the walkway up to the house. Working for years in TV news and spending many of them as a news photographer, I have seen a lot of blood.

I have been to the scene of more car accidents, shootings and stabbings than I can count. But, even for someone that has seen so many gruesome crime scenes, this was still shocking.

The blood was thick and it had just flowed down the front walkway of this residence.

That thick blood came from two people, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

It was the very start of a story that would change TV news. But, more importantly, it changed me. 

The suspect in those murders was OJ Simpson, one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time.

The car chase, arrest and ultimately the trial helped launched a number of careers. It is likely that without the OJ Simpson trail you would have never heard of Greta van Susteren, Dan Abrams or any of the Kardashian's.

For me, standing at the crime scene, it was there that I learned there was no such thing as a hero.

20 years before I stood looking at all that blood at a house in southern California, I was standing on the sidelines at a Buffalo Bills football practice.

I had won a contest that let me attend a team practice of the Bills. I got to be on the field and hang out with the players. Part of my winning, allowed me to eat lunch at the Bills training camp table and sit down with my favorite Buffalo Bill.

I know what you're thinking, my favorite Bill was OJ Simpson, right?

Wrong.

My favorite Bill at the time was wide receiver JD Hill. I was young teenage boy excited to meet Mr. Hill. But, I was told that JD had to go to the trainer's room for treatment and would not be meeting with me.

I was bummed that my favorite Bill wasn't going to meet me and was really upset.

OJ Simpson came over to me at lunch and asked why I was upset. I told him that JD Hill was blowing me off. OJ said it was OK......I could hang out with him.

He showed me around the Bills facility and gave me a great tour. He then said he was headed to the mall for an autograph session and asked my Mom if he could take me with him? Simpson did not live far from my house and told my Mom that he would drop me off.

After getting clearance from my Mom, I got in OJ's car and hung out with him for the rest of the day. By the time he dropped me off at my house, JD Hill was no longer my favorite Buffalo Bill.

It was OJ!

The idea that this guy, a superstar would take the time to help an upset kid and hang out with all day was something I don't think you would see too many athletes now-a-days doing.

Simpson went above and beyond to help brighten a kid's day even if he wasn't even the kid's favorite player.

OJ Simpson was my hero. 

20 years later I stood looking at all that blood and was shocked that OJ Simpson was the suspect in those killings.

When Simpson was found "not guilty" in his trial, I have to admit, I was happy with the verdict. I guess the kid in me wanted to hold out hope that my friend for a day, OJ Simpson did not commit those murders.

But, the newsperson in me, knows that he most likely did.

It took 20 years, but the teenage boy learned that athletes should never be looked at as heroes. 

What little bit of innocence  I had left in me was gone. Washed away in a very large pool of blood. 

Maybe She Sucked at Her Job

Some of you have emailed me and asked why I haven't covered the Jill Abramson story?

Abramson was fired from her job as the Executive Editor of the NY Times and many are trying to claim it was because she was a woman.

Stories have circulated that Abramson was sacked because she demanded to be paid as much as the person that she replaced. Her boss says that wasn't the case.

First of all, the main reason FTVLive hasn't covered the story is Abramson worked for the New York Times newspaper and not a TV station.

While the dying newspaper industry would make great content for a website, that isn't what this site is all about. 

As for Abramson being fired?

Maybe, just maybe she sucked at her job and she should have been whacked.

She might have been a great newspaper person, but not a very good Executive Editor. 

As for her not being paid as much as the person she replaced? Do you think the person that replaces Barbara Walters will be paid what Walters was paid at ABC?

I'm guessing no.

Do you think Stephan Colbert will be paid as much as David Letterman was making? If your longtime Main Anchor leaves next week and is replaced, do you thing the new hire will be making as much?

I don't have revenue dollars for the New York Times, but judging by the rest of the newspaper industry, I'm guessing that the Times isn't pulling in the same amount of money that they made 10 years ago.

People being paid less in the media is a sign of the times (pardon the pun).

Maybe it Jill Abramson got screwed over by the Ny York Times, or maybe she just wasn't good at her job and needed to be replaced.

Abramson spoke this morning to the graduating class at Wake Forest. She told the students that she didn't know what was next for her? Which she said put her in exactly in the same place as many students graduating from WF. Ummmmmm...... I don't think many of those kids have a padded bank account like Abramson. No matter how little she was paid at the Times.

Either way, it's not a TV story and FTVLive really doesn't care. Even if the NY Media want to continue to obsess on the story. 

Jill Abramson is the NY Media's missing plane and we all know how well that worked out for CNN.

If you don't just check the recent cable news ratings. 

Florida Blue has given me the Blues

I signed up for my healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The sign up process was fairly painless and I picked a plan with Florida Blue, a health provider here in Florida.

After I signed up, I got an email from Florida Blue with a link to pay my bill. I clicked on the link and this is what I got:

I was logged out of a session I never logged into in the first place. I tried clicking on the login link with no luck. I tried it again in a different browser. Same thing happened.

I tried paying my bill through the Healthcare.gov website. I logged in and when I click on pay my premium, the link goes nowhere.

I then decided to call Florida Blue. I call them up and get an automated message that asks for my social security number. I punch that in and then it asks for my application ID. You have to say that one out loud and it takes the Florida Blue automation service 3 times to understand what I am saying.

Finally it says all is good and is connecting me. Then I get another automated message saying that the offices are closed till 9AM.

Couldn't they have had a message that said that in the first place, so I didn't have to enter all my information?

I call back after 9 and go through the same program again. Now when it is time to connect, I get the message that all of their representatives are busy and the hold music starts.

After 20 minutes I get a representative that is not friendly in any way shape or form. But hey, at least I'm talking to somebody.

As I am giving her my information and about to finally make my payment the call is cut off. 

Are you fucking kidding me. I'm was almost on the verge of tears and I never cry. I have never been more frustrated with a service in my life.

I went on the Florida Blue website and emailed them (twice), I said if you want my payment, you know how to get in touch with me.

Remember, this was all to make a payment.

I can only imagine how hard it would be to make a claim. 

FTVLive is giving you a Very Rare Opportunity

It is clear to us that KNBC Spokesperson Terri Hernandez Rosales is never going to call us back. Over 174 days ago, Rosales promised to call FTVLive back in just 2 minutes.

It is also clear that Fox News Sean Hannity isn't moving to Florida. Over 85 days ago Hannity he was sick of spending some of the millions of dollars he makes on taxes in New York and he was moving.

Because both of those things are not going to happen. FTVLive has decided to pull down the Rosales and Hannity countdown clocks in the right hand column of this and every other page on FTVLive.com (screen shot to the right).

That opens up a chance for you or your company to place an ad in those spots on this website.

Yes!!! For the first time FTVLive is opening up some additional ad space to a company that we feel is worth being on this site.

We will point out that the ad space is not cheap and not just any company can place on ad on FTVLive.

We have turned down companies in the past that we did not believe in their business practices and didn't feel they were a good fit for FTVLive.

But, if you want to reach the most powerful people in TV News, there is no better place than this website. Imagine that each and everyday you will reach people in thousands of TV stations and networks around the country and the world. 

You will get your company front and center of powerful media. 

If your serious and interested in placing an ad on FTVLive contact us and let's see if we can make it happen. 

As for Terri and Sean? It was a good run guys...thanks!

Putting my Money where my Mouth is...

This morning FTVLive reported EXCLUSIVELY that  Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota is headed to CNN.

As often happens when FTVLive breaks a story, other blogs question if our story is right or not?

It seems that some of these people are slow learners. FTVLive has broken stories time and time again and yet the haters are going to hate. 

After FTVLive posted the story, two bloggers took to Twitter to wonder if our report was correct?

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FTVLive offered one of the bloggers a bet up to $5000 (to charity) that our story was dead on the money. The blogger would not accept when it came to putting up or shutting up.

When FTVLive reported that NBC was pulling the plug on Jay Leno at 9PM, NBC along with scores of others said our report wasn't true. Just weeks later they did just that.

When FTVLive FIRST reported that Kathie Lee Gifford was going to the Today Show, TVNewser questioned our report. We know how that turned out. 

FTVLive FIRST reported that CNN was going to pull the plug on Piers Morgan. Piers himself called us a liar. Tune in tonight at 9:00 on CNN and see if you see him? 

FTVLive FIRST reported that NBC was going to dump the Hillary Clinton Mini-series. Back on October 1st the blog HotAir wrote this "....FTVLive has been right before: They claimed back in mid-August that NBC was thinking of pulling the plug on its Hillary miniseries. Yesterday the plug was indeed pulled.

Just last month, FTVLive reported FIRST that Greg D’Alba president, CNN News Networks Turner Digital Ad Sales and Marketing are not seeing eye to eye and was going to be gone from the network. Try calling CNN and asked to speak to Greg....oh that's right, he doesn't work there anymore. 

I could go on and one with this, but you get the idea.

I will say this Alisyn Camerota is headed to CNN and the deal is signed and happening. Now, I didn't ask, but I'm sure that CNN will not send me over a copy of the contract.

See, some blogs won't report anything until they get it in a press release from the network.

One blogger pointed out that I didn't have proof it was happening. Well, Fox News and CNN both don't want you to know it is happening yet, so they aren't saying anything. FTVLive is telling you it will happen.

The blogger that's just a kid says FTVLive can just say it's going to happen and then claim we were right when it does happen. Well, I didn't say that Alisyn Camerota is going to MSNBC, Al Jezzera, ABC, CBS, NBC the BBC or Home Depot or to Las Vegas to be a stripper. If I wanted to hedge my bets, shouldn't I have listed all those places and about a thousand more? 

I say to the kid that Woodward and Bernstein (Google who they are son) didn't have proof of a Watergate break in, but they had sources. 

Reporting without press releases is a bit tougher than just posting the release the network sends you.

FTVLive has sources deep inside many networks and stations around the country. That is how we break stories that others just can't come close to getting. 

As we said to Piers Morgan, does FTVLive bat 1000% on all our stories? Nope, occasionally we swing and miss. But as we told Piers, our batting average is very high and when it came to him leaving CNN, we liked the pitch and knocked it out of the park. 

FTVLive said Camerota is going to CNN because she is. And we are willing to bet anyone that has the guts to put their money where their mouth is.

Funny....all I hear is crickets.  

Follow the Leader

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Do a Google search for "Piers Morgan FTVLive" you will come up with over 4000 search results. 

Back last year when FTVLive FIRST reported that CNN would be dumping Piers Morgan's show, many questioned our report.

Piers Morgan himself said the FTVLive report was wrong.

Now, that word is out that CNN is pulling the plug on Piers, everyone is acting like they reported the story back in October. 

Sites like Mediaite have been all over Twitter Today saying shit like this:

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Mediaite, reported the "Piers Morgan is leaving" story 10 days after FTVLive FIRST reported it and they attributed that news to FTVLive at the time. Now that the news is confirmed they conveniently are leaving the FTVLive part out of their reports. 

Politico and the New York Times are acting like they broke the story. Yet, it is the same story FTVLive BROKE 5 months ago. 

Last week, I was talking to a network executive (not at CNN) and telling them that CNN was getting this/close to announcing that Morgan's 9PM show was going to be cancelled. 

Then all of the sudden the NY Times has the story over the Weekend. I'm wondering if the Network Executive that I gave the info to, passed it along to the Times?

The bottom line is FTVLive FIRST broke the story 5 months ago and then after it becomes official, everyone else now is trying to claim credit.

It's funny how these people jump on the bandwagon, once it gets way down the road. 

Let's Do Lunch in ND Speaks means you're going to starve

Bob "Let's do Lunch" Longo

Bob "Let's do Lunch" Longo

Back in my days as News Director, I always tried to return phone calls and keep my promises to do so.

There is nothing more frustrating when you try and get a News Director on a phone. You might have sent your resume to the ND and you try like hell to get them on the phone. You leave messages and get no callback. Anyone that has worked in TV news knows this frustration.

So, I always made a pledge that if and when I became a News Director, I would return calls and would not leave job applicants hanging. I would try to be honest and tell them upfront whether I was interested or not. It's never fun to be strung along by an ND and be left wondering what the next step in your life will be?

I was brought back to those days recently by new WTEV News Director Bob Longo.

Bob and I have known each other for years and when he landed the job in Jacksonville, I called him up to congratulate him.

Longo was moving up from Orlando and told me "give me a week to get settled in and I will call you so we can grab some lunch."

That was about a month ago.

You see News Directors have totally different clocks than the rest of us.

So, in an effort to help each one of you, I'm going to tell you how the ND's clock works and what they are really saying when they talk to you.

First off, a few minutes = a few days.

A few days = a week or so.

And next week = never. 

When a News Director says, "I got your resume on my desk and I will look at it later Today" what he/she is really saying is "I have no clue who you are or where your resume is and I will forget about you the second I hang up this phone."

When a News Director says, "I'm just getting ready to duck into a meeting, let me call you back in a bit." You will grow very old waiting for that callback, because it is never coming. 

When the ND says, "I looked at your resume and give me a call next week." Translation: I will never be talking to you again. 

Lastly, when a News Director says, "Give me a week a week Scott and I'll call you so we can have lunch." Translation: Scott you better go to McDonalds because you going to starve to death if you keep waiting for that call. 

Maybe I should add a "Bob Longo takes us to Lunch" clock to FTVLive.

Thoughts?