“If It Bleeds It Leads” Is Alive and Well at Fox 29

No other news outlet spends near the amount of time and resources covering Philadelphia crime, suggests new report.

steve keeley as seen in various Fox 29 news clips about Philadelphia crime

Steve Keeley as seen in various Fox 29 news clips about Philadelphia crime (via Fox 29)

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No News Outlet Covers Philadelphia Crime Quite As Much as Fox 29

Update, March 10th: Since we originally published this story, other journalists and one member of City Council have criticized Steve Keeley as well. For the full story, go here.

The old saying in the news biz is, “If it bleeds it leads.” Though in more recent years, some news outlets have changed their approach, declining to cover every single cold-blooded killing in great and grisly detail and developing policies where mugshots are rarely shown. But over at Fox 29, it’s crime, crime and more crime — all the time. OK, well not all the time. But according to a fascinating new study on the Philadelphia media landscape, a whopping 69 percent of the news stories over at Fox 29 are about crime.

Just turn on Good Day Philadelphia on Fox 29 any weekday morning, and in between goofy banter with Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick and weather reports from perpetually cheery Sue Serio, there he is: hard-nosed, always tan, buffish reporter Steve Keeley, talking about whatever terrible thing happened the night before. And he does so in such an animated fashion. The gesticulations. The choice of words. A certain post-apocalyptic vibe about the whole thing. It’s a real brand.

In fact, I recognized him for his unique talents in my 2022 Worst of Philly awards with “Worst Reporter to Follow If You Need an Occasional Dose of Good News: Steve Keeley.”

If you’re wondering where the other TV stations fall into this crime-reporting spectrum, 6ABC comes in at 50 percent, CBS3 and Telemundo both at 39 percent, and NBC10 at 31 percent.

Philly Mag? We’re among the lowest on the crime-reporting spectrum, with just about eight percent of our coverage devoted to crime during the period studied. (Our crime coverage has fluctuated in its frequency over the years). And I’m not apologizing for that eight percent. There are a lot of other things to talk about — both good and bad — and knowing that Keeley is out there to give you the blow by blow of every murder, I’m happy to leave that responsibility to him.

You can read the full study — “The News Philadelphians Use: Analyzing the Local Media Landscape” — here.

Is It Finally Going to Snow?!

Karen Rogers at 6ABC is saying some Saturday snow is “likely.’ But it doesn’t sound like you’ll be sledding. In other words, get your camera ready for some rare white stuff on your lawn. But don’t go panic-shopping at the Ack-a-me.

Political Movements

Delco-based Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Zabel is resigning amid sexual harassment allegations. That’s quite the 180 from last week, when he said he would not resign. “The toll is just too great on my family, and was too detrimental to my well-being,” Zabel told the Associated Press in a phone interview. “I need to focus on what matters.” The woman in question is a lobbyist. She says Zabel caressed her leg while they were talking about legislation. And also said he wouldn’t stop when she tried to move away from him. Other women reportedly have similar stories.

Malcolm Kenyatta, who lost his U.S. Senate primary bid to John Fetterman, wants to be Pennsylvania’s auditor general.

It’s fun to watch the various candidates try to figure out TikTok.

And by the numbers:
– 20%: The tax Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro wants to stick on recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania, which is, as yet, still illegal.
– 90: The approximate number of people running for various political offices in Philadelphia. Ugh.
– $3 trillion: No, that’s not the amount of money Philly has paid out to DROP recipients. It’s the amount of deficits President Biden says he intends to cut over the next decade, a point he’ll reiterate tonight when he speaks in Northeast Philly about the country’s economy.

What the Heck Is a Chinatown Stitch, You Ask?

No, it’s not some new TikTok dance move. It’s the name of a project where the city wants to cap portions of the Vine Street Expressway from Broad Street to 8th Street. The idea being green space and fun stuff instead of a loud roadway that cuts through and divides an important neighborhood.

My Wife Would Agree With This One

Philadelphia is supposedly the worst city for sleep health.

And From the Everybody-Wins Sports Desk …

In the Atlantic 10 tournament yesterday, 10th-ranked St. Joe’s stifled seventh-ranked George Washington, 87-76, behind a 34-point showing by Erik Reynolds II. Right after that, Fran Dunphy’s 11th-seeded La Salle Explorers took on sixth-seeded Duquesne and came on strong in the second half to win 81-70. St. Joe’s will go up against second seed Dayton tonight at five, while La Salle faces number three Fordham at 7:30. And 11th-seeded Georgetown was never really in the game against sixth-seeded Villanova, who led 41-20 at the half in the Big East tournament and wound up winning 80-48. That means the Wildcats play number-three Creighton — one of the ranked opponents they already knocked off this season — tonight at 9:30. Oh, and in further ’Nova news:

The Phillies had a rare day off yesterday; they’ll play the Orioles at 1:05 today.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.