Reality bites

Kings of all media: If you’re like Bites, you’ll agree that there’s nothing better than rushing home after work and catching the local news. On Friday night, KCRA 3 led with a high-school rape. KOVR 13 led with a string of jogger assaults. But KXTV 10 went with some real news: a new study on building a new arena for News10’s corporate partner, the Kings.

News10 started broadcasting Kings games last year. Under the deal, the team pays the station to broadcast games, and both entities endlessly promote the other.

Broadcasting live from the bad, old Arco Arena, reporter Alan Marsden gave a lengthy report on the latest effort to throw tax dollars at a new downtown home for the team.

Afterward, back in the studio, anchor Jennifer Smith followed up with a summary of what’s wrong with the old arena. Answer: everything! “The building has some serious structural challenges,” Smith informed viewers. She then transitioned into another story about the Maloof family. The team owners, Smith reported, are now adding to their sports, booze and gambling empire by creating a “TV company that will produce shows, including a reality show starring the entire Maloof family.”

Sounds like competition for News10.

Total time lavished on the Kings: Nearly three minutes. That’s an eternity in TV news.

But there was more. Later in the same newscast, anchor Dale Schornack squeezed in another Kings story, this one about how the “hometown favorites” are using a new lottery system to distribute playoff tickets.

Next up was sports, during which the Kings got about two minutes, including a bit of Kings-related anchor-chat about the game News10 would show the following afternoon. “Let’s hope Mike Bibby is as hot as he was in the last game!” Smith said.

Total time for all this: Around six minutes out of a 23-minute newscast—or about what most stations would dedicate to, say, the kidnapping of a Supreme Court justice.

More makeovers: Many Bites readers no doubt were appalled by last week’s item on legislators who are holding frog-jump contests, racing to the altar, weighing themselves on flatbed trucks and doing all sorts of other things normally reserved for contestants in really lame reality shows. Sure, Bites, you complain, it’s all well and good that the people who are supposed to be running our government are acting like idiots, but what’s in it for me? How can I engage in the same bizarre behaviors as my elected representatives and get rewarded for it?

So glad you asked.

By the time you read this, it will be too late for you to attend this week’s scheduled soccer game between the legislators’ Bipartisan Weigh Off Team and the fifth-grade students from Mr. Kinunen’s class at A.M. Winn Elementary School (no, Bites is not making this up), but there’s plenty more fun to be had.

This Saturday, for instance, the good folks from NBC will be holding court at the Sheraton on J Street with an open casting call for the second season of Starting Over. “Ladies, are you looking for a chance to start over????” coos the flyer for the daytime reality show whose catch line is “Life has never been this real.” Unlike typical makeover shows, Bites has learned, Starting Over “actually helps women … by utilizing ‘Life Coaches’ to help them attain their goals as they all live and interact together.” If you’re over 18 and can pass for female, the Starting Over folks will be at the Sheraton from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

For those who fail the audition (or foolishly failed to read Bites in time to know about it), there’s still hope. On May 26-28, the “Women of Greatness International Conference” will be featuring “emotional and spiritual makeovers for Christian women.” This year’s beguiling theme is “Ashes to Beauty,” something to which we all surely can aspire. This event, to be held at the Sacramento Convention Center, will set you back $65, but, hey, spiritual makeovers don’t grow on trees.