Archive Date 2001-05-02


N E W S B L U E Z E T T E    Wednesday, May 2, 2001
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—Trouble at WCBS
—-Drudge Lawsuit Dropped
—–Philly Reporter Sues, Claims Profiling
—–Geraldos Brother Fired
——Fired Up Over Layoffs
——-Mrs. Bluezettes Grammar Corner

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Phyllis Furman (NY Daily News)

Theres trouble on the troubled set of WCBS News.

Channel 2s 11 p.m. co-anchor, Angela Rae, is said to be blaming partner
Ernie Anastos for the continuing weakness in the shows ratings, newsroom
sources said.

A perennial also-ran, the 11 oclock news last week clocked in at sixth
place with an abysmal 2.7 rating ? behind reruns of "Seinfeld" on
WNYW/Channel 5 and WWOR/Channel 9s "Blind Date."

"The morale in the newsroom has never been worse," said a Channel
2 staffer.

Both Anastos and Rae staunchly denied any tension. "We have such a
great respect for each other," Rae said.

"Angela and I have a good relationship and a nice friendship,"
said Anastos, who started in January. He added that he "likes the
challenge" of trying to boost ratings.

WCBS news director Joel Cheatwood, who pulled off turnarounds in other
cities before joining the station last year, hired Anastos away from Channel 9
in hopes of improving the stations fortunes.


New York WABC helicopter reporter Shannon Sohn will marry WNBC copter
reporter Dan Rice on May 12.


Howard Kurtz (Washington Post)

Nearly four years after filing a much-ballyhooed $30 million libel suit
against cybergossip Matt Drudge, former White House aide Sidney Blumenthal
settled the case yesterday for something less than he once demanded.

In fact, he agreed to pay Drudges side $2,500 for travel costs associated
with the lawsuit.

The denouement in federal court in Washington amounts to a legal victory
for Drudge — even though he long ago apologized for and retracted the 1997
report that falsely suggested that Blumenthal had beaten his wife, Jacqueline,
who was also a Clinton White House aide.


Gail Shister (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Don Lemon says he was accosted after leaving Tower Records with a CD
player. It wasnt in a bag; he had a receipt.

To WCAUs Don Lemon, racial profiling is more than just a story.

Lemon, 33, an African American reporter who joined NBC10 in June 1999,
alleges that he was assaulted by a Tower Records security guard in Center City
after buying a CD player in February.

In a civil complaint filed Monday in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, Lemon
alleges that "racial profiling" was "the sole basis" for
his being accused of shoplifting.

The eight-count lawsuit includes allegations of battery, defamation, false
arrest and imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of

Lemon is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

Heres what happened, according to the complaint: About 3 p.m. on Saturday,
Feb. 3, Lemon bought a CD player at the Tower Records at Broad and Chestnut

The cashier said there were no bags large enough to fit the CD player and
told Lemon he could leave the store without the merchandise in a bag.

Lemon walked several blocks to his car. As he was putting his purchase into
the trunk, the complaint says, "an unknown male" (later identified
as Wirth) whose face was unshaven and who wasnt wearing a uniform approached
him and yelled to give him the CD player.

When Lemon refused, the complaint says, Wirth "forcibly and violently
pushed" him into the street and traffic. Convinced he was being mugged,
Lemon began to fear for his life. He asked Wirth to identify himself, but
Wirth refused.

Lemon showed Wirth his Channel 10 employee ID card, to which, the complaint
says, Wirth responded: "Yeah, right." With a crowd gathering, Wirth
loudly accused Lemon of stealing the CD player.

At this point, Lemon told Wirth he was going to call the police. The
complaint says Wirth "bumped, shoved and knocked" him, preventing
Lemon from entering his car to reach his cell phone.

Lemon continued to demand that Wirth show him identification. Wirth
displayed "a small toy-like security badge" that, the complaint
says, didnt indicate he was a Tower employee.

Finally, Lemon got into his car and phoned the Philadelphia Police. Several
patrol cars and officers on foot arrived. Initially, they assumed Lemon was
the perpetrator and that Wirth had made the call.

Lemon showed an officer his receipt for the CD player. Another officer said
he recognized Lemon as a Channel 10 reporter. Lemon returned to Tower Records
and spoke with the manager about the incident.

Wirth apologized to Lemon, the complaint says. He was put on investigatory
suspension by Tower Records and was later let go.


Dan Mellon has been named General Manager of KOVR-TV (CBS 13) in


Baltimore Sun TV columnist David Folkenflik profiles WBFF-45-Fox
investigative reporter Jon Leiberman in a report too lengthy to reproduce


Univision Communications Inc., the largest U.S. Spanish-language television
network, posted sharply lower first-quarter earnings and said full-year
results would be hurt by the launch of its music business and a second Spanish
language network in 2002.


Michael Starr (New York Post)

Investigative reporter Craig Rivera was one of several people (and the only
on-air talent) let go from "Inside Edition" this past Monday in a
cost-cutting move.

Rivera, the brother of Geraldo Rivera, was given his walking papers along
with several other behind-the-scenes staffers.

Sources say Riveras dismissal had nothing to do with his job performance
(he had been with "IE" for many years), but was simply "for
monetary reasons."



Mr. Bluezette has had this thingy stuck in his craw.

( STICK IN ONES CRAW [idiom] To cause abiding discontent and resentment )

We keep reading about the recent "layoffs."

Layoffs!!! Wait a sec. Lets look that one up.

LAYOFF – Suspension or temporary dismissal of employees.
FIRED – To discharge from a position; dismiss.

We seriously doubts the dot-com and television industries are going through
"temporary dismissals." Rather, we think these folks are being

Headline writers take note.



E-mail from a Texas producer begins our lesson today.

Dear Mrs. B,
Please try to put out a missive on "hard" versus"
I must say I enjoy your daily lesson.
I forward them to the entire newsroom, and its been a big hit.
Scott Reather
Executive Producer
KVUE Austin

Life just got simpler, Scott.

"Hard" and "difficult" are synonyms.
Use whichever your prefer.

>Its hard for me to decide whether to use "hard" or
"difficult" when
describing Mr. Franklins political science class.

An anchor/reporter in Raleigh writes:

Mrs. Bluezette,
Can you please explain the correct usage of "more than" and
I always hear news copy saying, "Over two hundred people attended
the ceremony." But the correct usage should be, "More than two
hundred people attended the ceremony." Right?
Sharon Delaney

Use "over" when dealing with money, volume, and age:

>The car cost over $20,000.
>The bottle held over 24 ounces of juice.
>If youre over 21, youre allowed in the room.

Use "more than" when dealing with other numbers:

>The cops arrested more than 20 teenagers.
>She loaded more than a dozen bales of hay into the pick-up.
>Well have done more than 50 newscasts by Friday.

And heres one for the road.
"Amount" refers to a quantity, something that cannot be counted:

>The amount of pleasure he gets from doing the weather amazes me.

Use "number" to talk about things you CAN count.:
>The number of lessons Mrs. B has to come up with is staggering.


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