Archive Date 2006-05-12



AN ODE TO NEWS PHOTOGS

Jim
Wooten
, the senior correspondent for ABC News until his
retirement last year, pens a beautifully crafted tribute to
television news photogs
in
this months Columbia Journalism Review
.

Wooten recalls first hearing the
news of a roadside bomb that critically injured his friends, photog Doug
Vogt
(who he describes as "a modest, soft-spoken Canadian with
a flat Alberta accent and the chutzpah of a jewel thief") and ABC
reporter-pal Bob Woodruff.

He
recounts Vogts description of the events that took place
"on a road through a scabrous city just north of Baghdad in
January as he perched on the edge of the rear hatch of an Iraqi armored
personnel carrier filming the dun-colored landscape rolling past."

Said Vogt: "I was blown
flat on my back on the APC with my knees still inside. I knew there
was a hell of a lot of firing back and forth and I knew my camera was
gone and I knew I should be trying to get down, inside the vehicle but
I couldn?t move. I just couldn?t move. Not my hands, not my legs,
not my arms, not my fingers, not my head. Nothing. Nothing was
working.

"Then
someone [Vinnie Malhotra, the producer] was pulling me by my
boots down through the hatch and into the APC. Bob was already
inside, yelling, screaming, pulling at his gear. I could see he was
hurt. He was bleeding from his face and I could feel my own blood wet
on my own forehead, but I still couldn?t move anything for, Jeez, I
don?t know how long. I was conscious and I could hear the gunfire
outside the APC, but I was inside and I was gradually moving again. My
arms and hands first, I think. I just don?t know. I had no idea
whether I was hurt bad or not."

Wooten reveals for the first time
that ABC had to track down Lee Woodruff in Orlando, where
she had taken her children to Disney World on vacation.

"A
couple of days later, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda,
Maryland, I saw them both," recalls Wooten. "Bob
was in the intensive care unit, heavily sedated. He was in such bad
shape I lost all hope for his recovery
. Yet a few weeks later he was
walking and talking, and is now undergoing rehabilitation.

"Somehow, despite their proximity to
each other when the blast occurred, Doug had miraculously avoided
the level of injuries sustained by Bob."

"Doug only deepened my
admiration for these men and women who are as much journalists as anyone
with a notepad or a microphone and who, with the cameras on their
shoulders ? leading the way, walking point, recording the images
without which there is no television news ? are often at risk."

<<<>>>

The condition of veteran Oklahoma City KFOR-4-NBC
investigative reporter Brad Edwards, who suffered a brain
aneurysm and fell into a coma Tuesday after being hospitalized for a
rare bacterial infection in his heart, remains unchanged, according
to the TV station
.

<<<>>>

Larry Attebery, 73, who covered
Los Angeles for more than three decades at KTTV and KCOP, died
last week in Nevada of complications from pancreatic cancer
.

<<<>>>

SCHOOLS OUT

15-year-old
Channel One, the news
network that broadcasts a daily 12-minute newscast (including
commercials) to nearly eight million high school and middle school
students
in more than 12,000 schools across the country, is moving
its news operation from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. 

New York-based Primedia, which
owns Channel One, says it will continue to maintain a bureau in
El Lay, although tipsters claim nearly the entire Los Angeles staff
has been dismissed.

Channel One was the launching pad
for Anderson Cooper, among others.

<<<>>>

BANDINI OUT

NewsBlues
Looker Caterina Bandini,
the evening co-anchor at Bostons Sunbeam-owned WHDH-7-NBC,
announced yesterday that she will
leave the station in the fall because shes expecting twins
.

Bandini, who married local
businessman Dan Schwinn last summer, has worked at WHDH
for 11 years, five of them as a principal anchor with Randy Price.
She said yesterday she doesnt feel she can continue her 2 p.m. to
midnight shift with infants at home.

This is very bittersweet for me because
I love my work," she said. But Im 38 and Im having two
babies. Its a big thing.
"

<<<>>>

WEENIE OUT

Imagine
the surprise of Csaba
Sukosd
, named sports director at crappy little WENY-36-ABC
in Elmira, N.Y. (Market #173), just five months ago. He learned that his
bosses at Lilly Broadcasting apparently thought so little of his
talent that they
posted his job availability on the stations website

Sukosd landed the gig at WENY
(known affectionately to its detractors as "Weenie-TV"),
after working as a sports intern in Cleveland. He impressed few
in Elmira, say insiders.

<<<>>>

Andy Funk, who worked ten years as
news operations supervisor at Atlantas Fox O&O WAGA-5 (Market
#9), has been hired by ABCs Houston O&O
KTRK-13
(Market #10).

<<<>>>

Brett Baier has been named chief
White House correspondent for Fox News, replacing Carl Cameron,
who becomes chief political correspondent.

<<<>>>

GONE FISHING

Robert
Feder

reports in the Chicago Sun-Times
that Dennis Swanson,
who now heads station operations for Fox Television, has
announced the exact date he plans to retire — March 15, 2009.
Thats when he turns 71.

"I want to be in our business in
2008, which I think will be a huge year," Swanson told the
alumni magazine of his alma mater, the University of Illinois.
"You have no incumbents [in the presidential race], so I think 2008
will be a lot of fun, and [I] want to be around for that one. But after
that, it might be time to do more bass fishing in Vermont."

<<<>>>

When Katie Couric delivers the
commencement address tonight at the University of Oklahoma in
Norman, shell
pick up an honorary doctorate in humane letters
and a speaking fee
of $115,000.

<<<>>>

Four weeks have passed since WCBS-2
shook up its anchor teams, and the employment status of many of the
former anchors remains unsettled.

Lynda
Lopez
, who had been weekend morning co-anchor, hasnt been behind
the desk since. Mario Bosquez and Jim Ryan (left)
have also been off since being deposed as weekday morning anchors.

"They are all employed by WCBS-TV,
but have not been seen on-air while the negotiations are under
way," a
spokeswoman told New York Daily News TV Editor Richard Huff
.

<<<>>>

The
New York Post
reports
bitter insider back-biting between
staffers of Viacom chief Tom Freston and CBS boss Les
Moonves
.

<<<>>>

Maury Povich tossed a
season-ending wrap party with his "Maury" staff
yesterday, and the Manhattan
paparazzi were out in force
.

<<<>>>

Whiny
Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) claims he was "ambushed"
in a Capitol hallway by CNNs Joe
Johns
(left) and promises
to file a formal complaint with chamber officials
over what he
considers an ?unethical? action.

Beltway watchers yawn and say its just
the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between politicos and the Radio
and Television Correspondents? Association
over Capitol Hill
interview access.

<<<>>>

Oprah correspondent Gayle King is
definitely angling for a spot on ABCs "The View," despite her
claims to the contrary, reports
Rush & Malloy

<<<>>>

ESPN baseball analyst Rick
Sutcliffe
gave a rambling, slurred "drop by" interview
during the local cable broadcast of the Brewers-Padres baseball
game Wednesday night, and
staffers eventually chopped his mic
.

Craig Nichols, GM of cables 4SD,
described the interview as embarrassing.

<<<>>>

"The
Jerry Springer Show,"
once described by TV Guide
as "the worst show in the history of television," is
celebrating its 3,000th episode.

<<<>>>

ABC
News
correspondent Cynthia McFadden arrived at the Waldorf to
host the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America benefit and realized
shed left her speech in a cab

A frantic call to the Taxi and
Limousine Commission
summoned her driver in time for McFadden
to salute Martha Stewart, Vera Wang and Madeline Boyd.

<<<>>>

SNEAKY AND COWARDLY

The
anonymous blogger behind the opinionated
Albany Eye web log
wont say whether he/she actually works in
the TV business. "Would it be a conflict of interest if I worked
for a media outlet? That depends," he/she
tells TV writer Mark McGuire in the Albany Times-Union
.
"If I worked in Newsroom X and my boss told me to write an
anonymous blog criticizing the competition, yes, that would be a
conflict.

"But doing it as a hobby, as I do? That
may be sneaky and cowardly but Im not sure its unethical
."

<<<>>>

MRS.
BLUEZETTES GRAMMAR YAMMER

"A PBS mind in an MTV world." Mrs.B@newsblues.com

Mothers Day is coming up Sunday
and Fathers Day next month.
Mrs. B wants you to notice the possessive of these two holidays is
singular.

And how did Mothers Day come
about?
Following the death of her mother, Anna Jarvis of Grafton, West
Virginia, campaigned the clergy, politicians, and business leaders
(including John Wanamaker, a merchant in Philadelphia) to recognize Mothers
Day
as a national holiday.

The first observance, on May 10, 1908,
was a local celebration in Grafton and in Wanamakers store in Philly.

By 1914 Jarvis had talked President
Woodrow Wilson into issuing a proclamation, officially making the second
Sunday in May Mothers Day.

So this coming Mothers Day will
be the 97th anniversary of the first official one.
Happy Mothers Day… if youre a mother.
And Mrs. B hopes you wont forget your mother.

 

 

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