Archive Date 2010-03-03

SPLIT PERSONALITY

Try
to follow along here. WGXA-TV in Macon (Market #121) was born in
April 1982 as an ABC affiliate and broadcast on UHF Channel 16.
On Jan. 1, 1996, WPGA-TV became the markets ABC
affiliate, and WGXA switched to Fox

Are you with us so far?

This past New Years Day, WPGAs
owner, Register Communications, dropped ABC and went
independent, saying the networks programming was not
"family-friendly." Register thought ABC had too
much "homosexual content."

So, sensing an opportunity, WGXAs
owners, Frontier Radio Management, Inc., signed a long-term
agreement with ABC and assigned it to a new digital subchannel,
effectively regaining the affiliation it had dropped 14 years
earlier. 

WGXA also kept its Fox
affiliation. One station. Two networks. Welcome to the digital age.

But,
wait, theres more. Over the past nine weeks, Frontier has spent
about $2 million setting up a split newsgathering operation. Twenty-five
new people were hired
, and, on Monday, the
newly branded "News Central" newscasts were launched
.

The WGXA-24-Fox newscasts air at
5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The WGXA-16-ABC newscasts air at 7:00
p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The two news operations share a studio set and
newsgathering equipment and use the same pool of reporters,
meteorologists, and sports guys. Portia Lake and Adam Hammond
anchor the Fox news, while the ABC newscasts are anchored
by newcomers Stephanie Domurat and Mario Ramirez.

Alexia
Ridley
, the station?s news director, said the two stations will
have separate news meetings, but that usually one reporter
will cover a story for both operations
. She and GM Keith True
compared the two news teams to a newspaper that publishes morning and
afternoon editions.

?Well have more than one meeting in
the mornings,? said Ridley. ?Ill meet with the ABC
team, and then Ill meet with the Fox team. But well still help
each other. Well also have group meetings daily. Theyll be
working together, but there will be an affinity for their own brand.?

<<<>>>

ALL
ABOUT YOU TV

Steve Greenberg, the editorial
cartoonist for LA Observed, graphically nails the recent
announcement that ABC News plans to slash its newsgathering
staff by 25%
in the coming months. 

Speaking of news…or lack thereof. Have
you seen "Good Morning
America
"
recently? 

It has become everything George
Stephanopoulos
feared…and more.

Yesterdays big story? GMA had an EXCLUSIVE
interview with pseudo-celebrity Kate Gosselin talking about the
pairings for this seasons "Dancing With the Stars" on
ABC
.

Senior
Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser reported on signs of
low self-esteem in children. Juju Chang asked, "Are we
raising danger phobic kids?" Elisabeth Leamy reported on
"What consumers need to know." Mellody Hobson
asked, "Are money woes ruining your marriage?" Rocco
fronted low-calorie meal makeovers. Tory Johnson showed how to
correct job-hunting mistakes. Veterinarian Marty Becker said,
"Bye-bye doggie breath."

There was "Good news for
dieters!" There was a search for "the best sandwich in
America." Viewers were asked to "Help Robin Roberts
choose an Oscars dress." There was a poll: What do you think
of Jakes choice on "The Bachelor" (on ABC)
season finale?

"Have you been a victim of Mom
bullying?" GMA wants to hear from you. "Good Morning
America"
is now about Your Money, Healthy Living,
Entertainment, Recipes, Parenting, Pets, Books.

You want news? We aint got no news. Too
expensive. Too upsetting. Too hard to do.

<<<>>>

Meredith Vieira has
extended her deal with NBCs "Today" show
through
September 2011. She reportedly earns about $10 million per year.

<<<>>>

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT

While
covering the National Spelling Bee last year, ESPN
sideline eye-candy Erin Andrews was asked about someday appearing
on ABCs "Dancing With the Stars."

"I want to do it, because I think
Id be good at it," she told The
Sporting News
. "I would love it love it love it. I want to
be like, Who do I call? Lets do this. I want to do it very badly. I
love the show."

That was before, of course, she became
"deeply traumatized."

The Sporting News article also
revealed that Andrews has her own stylist, Paige Geran,
who has also dressed Britney Spears, Wayne Brady, the Spice
Girls,
and American Idols on-tour, among many others. Before
games, Andrewss outfits arrive at her hotel, and she trusts that
"theyll be appropriate" to the sporting event in
question. 

Andrews is "a huge Britney
fan," and "not afraid to admit it." She listens to Spearss
music while getting ready for broadcasts.

Andrewss
sister, Kendra, is a former Florida State Seminole dancer,
who has appeared in a Cheri Dennis video and recently landed a
prominent role in the dance movie "Step
Up 3-D
," due out later this year. Kendra flew to New
York for the audition on one of Erins frequent flier freebie
flights. Waiting to hear if her sister got the part, Erin said,
"was worse than waiting for a guy to call."

The night before her final audition, Kendra
met Erin at (the New York Mets) Citi Field and
received advice from...wait for it… confessed former ESPN
sex addict Steve Phillips.

You just cant make this stuff up.

<<<>>>

SMOOTHED AWAY

Terry
McFadden
, primary news anchor for WNDU-16-NBC in South
Bend (Market #91), fronted a sweeps
investigative report on "Smooth Away,
" a
small, oval-shaped piece of fine sandpaper used to remove unwanted hair
from "the lip, ear or other parts of the body where hair
grows."

"For the purposes of this
demonstration, Im going to offer myself up as a guinea pig,"
reported McFadden. "Im going to shave a little hair off my
body using a regular razor and also using the Smooth Away. In a
few weeks, well come back and compare one of the supposed benefits of
the Smooth Away ? no razor burn or razor cuts.

"The
key to the Smooth Away is to not rub up and down or side to side,
but use a circular motion, three times one way circular, three time the
other. So far, its removing the hair," he reported. "Youre
not supposed to use this on hair thats longer than more than a quarter
inch, but it appears to be doing the job nonetheless. It feels smooth
but I have to say, it feels like the razor side feels smoother right
now, and the razor didnt take as long."

McFadden used Smooth Away
for 19 days and dutifully reported on his progress. "Weve had a
couple people look at the side of my leg
that I shaved with a razor
and the side that I used Smooth Away on, and they agree that you really
cant tell much of a difference
. So you cant draw much of a
conclusion
based on my legs," he concluded.

Will someone please alert "Good
Morning America."

February sweeps, we are happy to report,
end today.

<<<>>>

A SENSE OF DUTY

In
her Parade Magazine interview, Diane Sawyer
talked
about memories of her former boss, President Richard Nixon. She
served as a press aide in his administration from 1970 through his
resignation in 1974. She also spent time with Nixon at his
compound in San Clemente, helping him write his memoirs.

?I was able to listen because no one
was really interested in what I had to say
," she recalled.
"So to be in the White House in that time and learning about
human nature as you could when you weren?t in the center of the action
was such an education.?

On
accompanying Nixon to California: ?I had a sense of duty. I
felt you don?t get to choose just being there in the celebrated times
and then get to walk away when someone is living in defeat. And no
matter how they got there and how punishing it was along the way and how
bruising it was for American politics, I just don?t think that?s the
person I can be.

?I really went out there to work on
something specific. It wasn?t just to work on his memoir, but I also
had an odd retention for legal materials. I had read all the transcripts
of the tapes that were public at the time and all the legal books and I
could weirdly say, Oh, that?s on page 253,  when something was
mentioned. 

"I went out as a kind of researcher.
I didn?t go out knowing initially that he was going to write a book. I
guess I could have extrapolated it, but I didn?t know enough to know,
I guess.?

<<<>>>

Don Kent, Bostons
first TV weatherman
, on WBZ-4-CBS, died yesterday. He was
92.

Kent had a gimmick. "My
gimmick is credibility," he said. Beginning in 1937, he delivered
weather forecasts on radio and TV stations in and around Boston until
finally retiring seven years ago
.

<<<>>>

Spencer
Denton
, morning and noon meteorologist at Local TVs
WHNT-19-CBS
in Huntsville (Market #81), signs off Friday. No word on
where hes headed next.

<<<>>>

Amy Jacobson, the controversial
reporter who landed a radio news job after her Chicago television career
blew up in 2007, is about to reinvent herself as a radio talk show host.
Robert
Feder

reports shes thisclose
to signing a deal with conservative
news/talk WIND-AM (560).

<<<>>>

CBS-owned WBZ-4 in Boston
(Market #7) has dropped Dr. Mallika Marshall as its ?HealthWatch?
reporter. Her last day was Friday.

<<<>>>

POT LUCK FOR THE RAT

Greg
Kochis
, a freelance videographer, has sued the Orlando-based Golf
Channel
and Pittsburgh-based NEP Broadcasting, accusing
them of violating Ohios Whistleblowers Protection Act.
Kochis
says he was harassed and ultimately fired after reporting that his
co-workers smoked pot on the job.

According to the lawsuit, filed in
Cuyahoga County, "his peers harassed him; refused to carpool with
him; refused to share a hotel room with him; and wrote such messages as Kochis
is a Rat
around the workplace."

<<<>>>

CNN GOES RACING

The Formula One race season begins
Sunday, March 14, in Bahrain. And one of the new team sponsors will be CNN
International
, which will be featured prominently on the cars and
team uniforms of British-based Lotus
Racing
.

F1
racing is the most widely watched sporting event on international
television.
Its also the most expensive sport out there. CNN
wont reveal how much it paid
to slap its iconic logo on the nose of
Lotus, but were guessing its still less than Les Moonvess
paycheck at CBS

Typical F1 seasonal operating
budgets hover somewhere around $500 million per team….enough to
run about 30 NASCAR teams for a season.

The United States had expected to
field a Formula One grand prix team this year, but it
was announced yesterday
that backers had abandoned the project.

By the way, your Surly Editor?
will be behind the wheel of the #8 Porsche 997S this weekend at Barber
Motorsports Park
near Birmingham, and he invites locals out to the
track to watch him burn up brake pads. 

<<<>>>

MRS.
BLUEZETTES GRAMMAR YAMMER


"A PBS mind in an MTV world."

Farther
is about physical distance. It can be measured in inches, feet, yards,
or miles. Further, on the other hand, refers to figurative
distances.

So whats going on at The New York
Times
? Look at this sentence:

By days end, it seemed clear that the
all-day televised session might even have pushed the parties farther
apart. (Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Robert Pear, 2-26-10)

And this headline:

Taking a Texas Primary Ever Farther to
the Right (NYTimes.com, 2-14-10)

Lets correct these mistakes:

~By days end, it seemed clear that the
all-day televised session might even have pushed the parties further
apart.

~Taking a Texas Primary Ever Further to
the Right

Mrs. B can see further into the
future. She can see that your grammar is improving every day.

 

 

More News from Wednesday, March 3, 2010