This Just In: December 3 - 10 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This Just In: December 3 - 10


Summary: "Team 11" coverage of "Black Friday," this time from Ross Park Mall. Reporter: Jodine Costanzo, WPXI Channel 11 Airtime: 1 minute, 38 seconds on Nov. 27 Visuals: * The caption, "Retail Rush." * Thrilling shopper footage. * Giddy teenage girls behind Costanzo ... all of whom know they're on camera. * A little girl squirming in Santa's lap. Highlights: * When Costanzo, who's been stationed at the mall for a while (perhaps giving her time to reflect upon why she entered the broadcast-news business), reports, "Ross Park opened at 5 o'clock this morning. People were lined up outside and as you can see here behind me, it is still packed inside. And all these shoppers? Well, they're here for the same goal: Find those bargains! The start of the holiday shopping season has high stakes for retailers and shoppers ... but retailers headed into Black Friday with smaller inventories as shoppers more than ever are pinching pennies." * When Costanzo draws our attention to a special shopper: "Now, one woman we talked to was so excited to be here when the doors opened this morning, believe it or not, she actually forgot her shoes." * When the ebullient woman walks us through the series of events that left her sans footwear: "I drove to the mall, and I was so excited to get the deals. I made sure I had my keys, my wallet, my checkbook, credit cards, coffee. ... I drove to the mall, got up here at 5 a.m. and I realized I had no shoes on." * After Costanzo asks her what she did to remedy her shoeless situation, she retorts, "What do you think? I bought new ones!" * When Costanzo coaxes this revealing disclosure from another female shopper, "I am looking for bargains. That's why we came out here today." * When Costanzo speaks over the din of the crowd as she concludes, "Santa Claus is here, and you can see it is just packed with people. ... [I]f you're coming to the mall, well, you better pack your patience along with your shopping list -- and your shoes -- because the parking lot right now [is] 90 percent full." What We Learned: Shoe styles may come and go, but penny-pinching is always in vogue. Unanswered Question: I wish Costanzo would have asked: How many pairs of shoes does this woman have already? News Value: 1. Would anyone notice if they had aired archived reports from previous holiday seasons? The folks tracking your spending say that shoppers spent almost exactly the same as they did last year -- posting a 0.5 percent increase in purchases. No word yet from that guy who tracks whether you've been naughty or nice.