Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Where Are They Now? - Connie Dieken

Connie Dieken
This month, we asked Connie Dieken to share with us some exclusive information on our Director's Cut Blog about what she has been up since leaving the WKYC family in our "Where Are They Now Feature?" We have video of Connie anchoring the 11 pm news at the end of the story.

Connie spent 16 years broadcasting the news to Cleveland television viewers, beginning at Channel 3 in 1984. Her first duties at the station were as weekend anchor and consumer reporter. She quickly moved up and joined co-anchor Tom Sweeney on the anchor desk for the 5 PM broadcast...and became a main anchor of Channel 3 News at 6 & 11 PM.

Her work garnered numerous high profile communication awards including Emmys, Tellys and being named Best TV Host by Cleveland Magazine. Viewers always loved Connie for her friendly & warm approach to bringing them the news of the day.

Also during her stay at Channel 3, she married former Browns offensive lineman Doug Dieken.

Her quiet departure from the airwaves in 2000 left many Clevelanders scratching their heads, "Where did Connie go? Why did she walk away from the spotlight?"

Turns out, Connie reversed the spotlight. She launched a communication coaching and consulting firm to help business leaders deliver powerful, high profile messages. Her firm, onPoint Communication, helps leaders develop and deliver high profile communications for mergers and acquisitions, annual meetings, product launches, sales presentations and media relations.

Connie has also been busy co-authoring 4 business books and is the author of the upcoming communication book, "You Lost Me at Hello: How to Talk to a World of Short Attention Spans."

Recently, Connie was honored with the 2007 Leadership Think Tank Award for small business in Ohio. Other awards include being one of the Top Ten Women Business Owners of 2006 and being honored by the National Speakers Association (the CSP) - an award given to less than 7% of speakers worldwide.

Connie still lives in Greater Cleveland with her two children, ages 18 and 14. Her oldest child is heading to college this fall. Her career change from the evening news to entrepreneur allowed her to balance her dual commitments to career and family, and gain both personal and professional success.

To Email Connie: connie@conniedieken.com

Monday, July 30, 2007

HDTV: Local HD Channel Assignments

Fellow WKYC Producer/Director Matt Babb has been researching High Definition TV as he upgrades...and shares with us some information you might interested in regarding where to find our local HD channels.

Here are the analog TV channels and their corresponding "over the air" HD channel assignments.
Note: When tuning though, you will still see the stations displayed as X.1, X.2, X.3 (depending on how many multi-cast channels each station offers).

Station-Analog (New Digital)

WKYC-TV 3 (Digital 2) - Displayed as 3.1, 3.2, etc. ***Will Move to Digital Ch 17**
WEWS-TV 5 (Digital 15) - Displayed as 5.1, 5.2, etc.
WJW-TV 8 (Digital 31) - Displayed as 8.1, 8.2, etc.
WOIO-TV 19 (Digital 10) - Displayed as 19.1, 19.2, etc.
WVPX-TV 23 (Digital 59) - Displayed as 23.1, 23.2, etc. **Will Move to Digital Ch 23***
WVIZ-TV 25 (Digital 26) - Displayed as 25.1, 25.2, etc.
WUAB-TV 43 (Digital 28) - Displayed as 43.1, 43.2, etc.
WNEO-TV 45 (Digital 46) - Displayed as 45.1, 45.2, etc.
WEAO-TV 49 (Digital 50) - Displayed as 49.1, 49.2, etc.
WBNX-TV 55 (Digital 30) - Displayed as 55.1, 55.2, etc.
WQHS-TV 61 (Digital 34) - Displayed as 61.1, 61.2, etc.

News: Former NBC Talk Show Host Dead at Age 71

Sad to report that former TV show host Tom Snyder died Sunday in San Francisco from complications associated with leukemia which he announced in 2005.

Snyder was not your typical broadcaster....and usually smoked cigarettes during his interviews. But, he was polished and a great interviewer.

He left "The Tomorrow Show" which followed "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" on NBC and WKYC in 1982. (He was host from 1973 to 1982).

In 1978, Tom brought his show to town with then Mayor Dennis Kucinich over breakfast at Tony's Diner at W. 117th & Lorain Avenue.

He then returned to late night television on CBS with the "Late, Late Show" following David Letterman more than 20 years later. Tom was eventually replaced by Craig Kilborn on that show.

Tom held a brief stint as an anchor at KYW-TV in Cleveland, currently WKYC, at age 29.

Known for his improvised and relaxed style and hardy laughs, Snyder did a number of memorable interviews including John Lennon, Charles Manson & Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols.

Tom will always be remembered in our hearts for his catchy phrase: ''Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air.''

TV Trivia: Which TV Show Reminds You Of Your Boss?

According to CareerBuilder.com survey, some TV bosses are pretty close to the real thing. When asked which TV boss most reminds them of their own boss, the most popular responses included:

1. Sam Malone from "Cheers"
2. Charlie from "Charlie's Angels"
3. Judge Judy from "Judge Judy"
4. Donald Trump from "The Apprentice"
5. Simon Cowell from "American Idol"
6. Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons"
7. Miranda Bailey from "Grey's Anatomy"
8. Michael Scott from "The Office"
9. Tyra Banks from "America's Next Top Model"
10. Jack from "Lost"

Courtesy: CareerBuilder.com

News: Another News Helicopter Goes Down

It's been a really bad couple of days for news helicopters.

Another helicopter carrying a pilot and two traffic reporters crashed landed after losing power Monday morning in Texas (near Grand Prairie), leaving the passengers bruised but alive.

Chip Waggoner, who was reporting for Dallas Fox O&O KDFW-TV, told his station that the aircraft lost power about 7 a.m. and that pilot Curtis Crump was able to make a hard emergency landing.

Waggoner said he and Crump appeared to be unhurt, and radio traffic reporter Julie DeHarty was sore but able to walk. DeHarty is the traffic reporter for Dallas radio stations KRLD-AM and KVIL-FM.

Courtesy: KDFW-TV

Friday, July 27, 2007

Director's Alert: 2 News Helicopters Crash Covering Chase

Updated: 8:50 PM

To watch compelling video taken from the KPNX chopper of the accident, CLICK HERE
It was bound to happen at some point - and today, it did... two news helicopters covering a police chase collided in mid air and crashed in Phoenix, Arizona, this afternoon.

Our Gannett sister station KPNX (which did not have one of the two choppers involved in the accident) reports both the pilots and photographers on each of the two aircraft died when the helicopters collided over Steele Indian School Park. The helicopters, as well as those from other stations, were covering a police chase at the time.

There did not appear to be any casualties on the ground.

Channel 15, the local ABC affiliate, reported that pilot Craig Smith and photographer Rick Krolak were on board their aircraft. Channel 3, the an independent station, reported that pilot Scott Bowerbank and photographer Jim Cox were on their aircraft.

For the latest information on this story, we refer you to the KPNX website: CLICK HERE

Courtesy: KPNX and Azcentral.com

Thursday, July 26, 2007

TV Trivia: Ads We Can't Get Our of Our Heads

Our sister publicaton, USA Today, continues its 25th Anniversary celebration with Weekly Top 25 lists.

This week's list looks at the Top 25 Ads "We Can't Get Out Of Our Heads."

Here are the Top 10:

1. Life Alert: I've Fallen, and I Can't Get Up! (1990)
2. Apple Macintosh: 1984 (1984)
3. Wendy's: Where's the Beef? (1984)
4. Isuzu: Joe "Trust Me" Isuzu (1986)
5. Energizer: Energizer Bunny (1989)
6. Bartles & Jaymes: Thank You For Your Support (1985)
7. California Raisin Advisory Board: Heard It Through The Grapevine (1986)
8. Budweiser: Croaking Frogs (1995)
9. Bush campaign: Willie Horton (1988)
10. California Milk Processors Board: Got Milk? (1993)

To read the rest of the list, CLICK HERE on the USA Today website.

Courtesy: USA Today

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

News: The Show Must Go On...

If you were watching Channel 3 News Today at 5:00 am Wednesday morning, you may have noticed something unusual - the anchors were forced outside after the station's fire alarm sounded.

Although, there was no fire - there was a low water pressure issue in the building which set the system off as a precaution.

Barb, John and Hollie spent the first 15 minutes anchoring the show from in front of the building, since you would not have been able to hear them over the alarm.

As they say, the show must go on...and it did!

News: Gannett Names Dave Lougee President of Gannett Broadcasting

Gannett, parent of WKYC-TV, has named Dave Lougee as president of the Broadcasting Division for Gannett Co., Inc., effective July 30th.

Lougee, who is executive vice president/Media Operations of Belo Corp., replaces Roger Ogden, who retired on July 1.

"Dave's background in award-winning journalism, his experience running a strong affiliate operation and his knowledge of Gannett make him a perfect person to head up our Broadcasting Division," said Craig Dubow, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We are thrilled he will be joining us."

As executive vice president/Media Operations for Belo, Lougee has been in charge of the company's 19 TV stations and 4 cable news operations outside of Dallas. In 2005, he was a senior vice president of Belo. He joined Belo in 1998 as news director at KING-TV in Seattle/Tacoma, becoming president and general manager of Belo's TV and cable operations in Seattle/Tacoma in 2000. Lougee was vice president/News at WRC-TV in Washington, DC from 1996 to 1998. From 1990 to 1996, Lougee was news director at KUSA-TV in Denver, a Gannett station. While he was there, the station received the national Edward R. Murrow award for "Overall Excellence." He began his broadcasting career at KCNC-TV in Denver in 1982.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Director's Alert: Former WKYC Reporter John Herrington Dies

Memorial Contributions:
Bethesda on the Bay Lutheran Church or the The Huntington Playhouse, 28601 Lake Road, Bay Village, Ohio 44140
CLICK HERE to see video of John in this morning's mention of his passing on Channel 3 News Today from our website, WKYC.COM.

CLICK HERE to see an ad when John was anchor of the 10 pm News at WKBF

CLICK HERE to post your memories & comments about John

Former WKYC reporter, John Herrington passed away Tuesday evening (7/24) at age 76.

Herrington joined worked here at WKYC for twenty-five years as a reporter beginning in 1971 as a reporter, and in-studio & field anchor frequently reporting on events of national interest for NBC during the period that it owned & operated WKYC. He took early retirement from the station in 1993. John was best known at Channel 3 as the "Energy Warden" and his stylish hats.

John came to Cleveland from Kansas City, MO, where he worked at WDAF-Radio and TV for 10 years starting in 1958. In Cleveland, John worked at WKBF (Channel 61) which was an independent TV station serving Cleveland owned by a joint venture between Kaiser Broadcasting and Field Communications. In an attempt to bring unique programs into the market to gain profitability, John became the main anchor of a 10 PM newscast simply called "The 10 O'Clock news" under News Director Alan DePetro.

In 1995, John was presented a Silver Circle Award by the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Television Academy for his outstanding work as a journalist.

Since retiring from WKYC, John worked as a free-lance producer for several network and syndicated television reports, covered community events for a suburban weekly newspaper and wrote a periodic column for a local Cleveland website.

John was one of those rare reporters who could handle many different types of stories from the very entertaining to very serious, depending on the subject matter. All will agree, John was well respected in the Cleveland television market for his work.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife of 27 years, Carol Ann...and his entire family.

News: Tivo Introduces New HD Recorder

TiVo's new, wallet-friendly high-definition digital video recorder debuts today.

The DVR pioneer begins taking orders for the new machine, priced at under 300 dollars, on its Web site this morning, and units are expected to hit retail outlets by early next month. The TiVo HD DVR has many of the same technical features as its Series-3 cousin, which is priced at 800 dollars: it has two tuners, so subscribers can record two different shows in HD at the same time while watching a third, recorded show.

It also has two built-in slots for CableCARD, allowing users to access digital programming without a separate device from the cable TV provider. The new model will have a smaller hard drive -- 160 gigabytes instead of 250, meaning it can store about 20 hours of high-definition programming or up to 180 hours of standard programming.

Courtesy: WKYC.COM

News: US Online Video Viewing Increases

Online video reached 81 million people or 63% of US Internet users as of March 2007, up for 70 million just 6 months ago. Net video viewing was found to be addictive to TV viewing rather displacing; 33% of those surveyed said watching video online actually led to an increase in TV viewing.

Consumers indicated that greater awareness of where to find the videos they are after, better navigation interfaces and availablility of internet video via home television sets could significantly drive future broadband video content use.

Courtesy: CTAM/Neilsen Entertainment & NielsenConnect

Monday, July 23, 2007

News: Fall Season Premiere Dates for NBC

To View NBC's Fall Preview: CLICK HERE
NBC has announced its fall premiere dates for its weeknight primetime lineup.



8p Chuck 9/24
9p Heroes 9/24
10p Journeyman 9/24


8p The Biggest Loser 9/11
930p The Singing Bee 10/2 ***NEW DATE***
10p Law & Order: SVU 9/25


8p Deal or No Deal (Monday Debut 9/17, Wednesday debut 9/26)
9p Bionic Woman 9/26
10p Life 9/26


8p My Name Is Earl 9/27
830p 30 Rock 10/4
9p The Office 9/27
930p Scrubs 10/25
10p ER 9/27


8p Deal or No Deal (new day) 9/28
9p Las Vegas 9/28 (then moves to 10p)
9p Friday Night Lights 10/5



8p Dateline NBC
9p Drama Series (repeats)

Sunday: (Fall 2007)

7p Football Night in America
8p NBC Sunday Night Football

Sunday: (January 2008)

7p Datelline NBC
8p Law & Order
9p Medium
10p Lipstick Jungle

Director's Alert: Dave Chudowsky Joins the Ch 3 Sports Team

WKYC has announced that Dave Chudowsky is joining the Channel 3 Sports team from ONN in Columbus where he was a sports reporter, photographer & editor.

Previous to Columbus, Dave also worked in Toledo and interned at WKYC back in the late 90's when the station was still located at E. 6th Street.

Dave has also recently appeared as a guest on "All Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan" on SportsTime Ohio where he has made a number of appearances leading up to his hiring by WKYC.

Dave is a graduate of Bay Village High School. While at ONN, Dave did a lot of work covering The Ohio State University and knows plenty about the Browns, Indians and Cavs.

Dave replaces Brian Colleran on the WKYC's sports desk along with Sports Director Jim Donovan and reporter/weekend anchor Joe Brown as we continue to bring our local viewers the best sports coverage in the market.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Spotlight Article: What Size Screen Is Right For You & Your Room?

With the traditional analog TV set, you generally needed to sit about 8 feet away from a 32 inch screen to get the best picture quality. If you were closer, you would start to notice the scanning lines that form your picture.

Today, the HDTV (and HDTV capable) sets have much higher resolution screens that allows you to put a much larger set in your room or gives you the choice of sitting much closer - based on your preference. But keep in mind, you want to measure your room and go with a size that is comfortable, not crowded.

High quality video material like DVD's and HDTV programs look amazing on these new sets. But you may also find that the noise and distortion in lower-quality analog signals (like standard broadcast and cable TV) are exposed and magnified.

That's why the suggested viewing distance chart below offers a range for each screen size, based on suggestions from manufacturers.

If most of your viewing is DVD quality or better, you'll see more details by sitting closer. If you want more regular (non-HD) video, sit farther back for a smoother picture.

Naturally, personal preference factors into viewers distance too. Just like in a movie theater: some people sit up front, some in back and some prefer the middle. Lots of people buy a TV, only to discover they should have bought something larger. That's why we recommend thinking carefully about how big your room is, what experience you wish to have, and your budget.

Size ---- Suggested Viewing Distance Range

30" ---- 3' 3/4" to 6' 1/4"
34" ---- 4' 1/4" to 7'
42" ---- 5' 1/4" to 8' 3/4"
50" ---- 6' 1/4" to 10' 1/2"
56" ---- 7' to 11' 3/4"
62" ---- 7' 3/4" to 13'
70" ---- 8' 3/4" to 14' 3/4"

From the Mailbag: Pixel Amounts for HDTV

From: Jim in Parma

Q: How many more pixels are their between regular TV and High Definition TV?

A: Well, it depends on what type of HD capability your TV has. An ordinary analog TV (like the ones we are used to) has "only" 346,600 pixels on the screen. An 720 HD TV has 921,600 pixels. A full HD 1080 has 2,073,600.

For the best picture quality, a 1080 is the way to go.. though a 720 will do for most people who want HD without the huge price tag.

News: Lebron to Host SNL

Cleveland Cavs star Lebron James will host the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" on NBC and WKYC on September 29th at 11:30 PM it has been announced by a publicist for the network.

The 22-year-old James will be the latest, prominent athlete to host "S-N-L" -- following in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, N-B-A superstar Michael Jordan, who hosted the show in 1991. Last season, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning also hosted an episode.

Perhaps his recent stint as "Bobby Brown" at the ESPY's Awards on ESPN got him some notice... If not, it just could have the positive reviews he got from just co-hosting that show earlier this month with comedian/talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Director's Alert: WKYC Launches New Weather Blog

WKYC is launching a new weather blog called "Fair Weather Fans" which features all things local weather for the Greater Cleveland Area. This will include audio forecasts, graphics from the Channel 3 Weather Plus Forecast Center, the latest watches and warnings & information about various weather phenomena.

You can post your storm reports & pictures that will aid our forecasting team with severe weather events. We might even use some of your pictures on the air.

Get a sneak peak and bookmark the blog at: www.wkyc.com/weblog/weather

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Get To Know Team 3 - Joe Brown

The newest member of the Channel 3 Sports team, Joe Brown, is this week's "Get to Know Team 3" feature. Joe came to WKYC from Altitude Sports in Denver. His first day was Thursday, May 17th. His first assignment was covering the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals. We recently sat down with Joe and asked him the following questions:

Q: How did you decide your calling was to be a sportscaster?
Joe: When I was 15 years old worked in the press box at Mac Arthur Stadium in Syracuse. Just knew that the only thing I wanted to do was to be around sports.
Q: You last worked & lived in Denver, how does that city's spirit compare to Cleveland? (Both have die hard sports fans)
Joe: Denver was a lot of fun. But there is no comparison. People there follow the Broncos. But here fans love the Browns, Indians, Cavs and Ohio State unconditionally. So I have noticed a big difference.
Q: What is your favorite sport to do play-by-play for?
Joe: Without a doubt baseball. At my last job I did a handful of game for triple a Colorado Springs. I actually took a 2nd during the game and thought to myself how lucky I was to be sitting in the press box describing the game and being out on a beautiful night, and also being paid to do it.
Q: What is your favorite sports-related movie?
Joe: There are so many movies I could chose from and I think I own them all. "Rudy" is incredible, "Bull Durham" is another one. But I would probably have to say "Remember the Titans." Great football scenes and an even better message.
Q: Who is your favorite national sportscaster?
Joe: Mike Tirico. I was lucky enough to intern for him when I was in college. I actually saw him during the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals. Very talented and a very good guy.
Q: What is your favorite season of the year?
Joe: The fall is the absolute best. Baseball is closing in on the playoffs and the NFL and college football has kicked off their seasons.
Q: What is your favorite snack to grab between sportscasts?
Joe: Whatever is in the vending machine. I have made a lot of runs between the newsroom and the kitchen in my short time here.
Q: What is your idea of a perfect vacation?
Joe: Last summer a friend and I went to Yankee Stadium and Fenway in back to back nights, that wasn't bad.
Q: Are you still a traditional radio fan or do you have satellite radio in your car?
Joe: Traditional radio for sure. I've thought seriously of getting satellite radio because of all the options with the sports packages.
Q: What is your favorite day or the week & why?
Joe: Saturday or Sunday. This time of the year it's a bit slower. But in the fall best chance to watch sports all day long.
You can email Joe at: joebrown@wkyc.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

News: NBC Tweaks Fall Lineup

New co-boss at NBC Entertainment, Ben Silverman, has announced some tweaks to the fall programming line up at NBC-TV.

Among the more noteable:

* "Deal or No Deal" is out from the 8 pm Monday timeslot. It will be replaced with the new series "Chuck" which joins "Heroes" & "Journeyman." Mondays will be a night of sci-fi

* "The Biggest Loser" will be expanded to 1 1/2 hours, with the new reality show "The Singing Bee" to finish out block. "The Singing Bee" moves from Friday Night and "Chuck" moves to Mondays.

* NBC has signed fired "Grey's" actor Isaiah Washington for a guest role in "Bionic Woman."

* NBC also has signed a deal with producer Norman Lear ("All in the Family") to produce a one-hour dramedy (drama & comedy) called "Phenomenon"about a mother who re-enters the Wall Street workplace and finds herself pitted against her late husband's ruthless partner.

* NBC's premiere week is going to feature one hour episodes of "My Name Is Earl" and "The Office" on Thursday, Sept. 27, and a two-hour season premiere of "Las Vegas" on Friday, Sept. 28.

* NBC is signing Jerry Seinfeld for a guest appearance on the season premiere of "30 Rock." Mr. Seinfeld, whose interstitials promoting his upcoming "Bee Movie" will air on the network this fall, will play himself on the half-hour comedy.

* NBC Universal announced "Green Is Universal," a week long programming initiative where shows across the company's platforms will adopt environmental themes.

From the Mailbag: Behind the Scenes Taping

From: Sam in Highland Heights

Q: I am an avid watcher of Channel 3 News, and also have an interest in the World of Broadcasting. Every now and then I visit your Director's Cut Blog, and enjoy reading it...I recall a few months back (January) you said that you would post a video of behind the scenes of a newscast. I was wondering if you still plan on doing it...Another question I had was will WKYC ever stream their newscasts online (like WMAQ in Chicago)?

A: Do I get extra pay for two part questions? The answer to your first question about the behind the scenes look at the news. Yes, I am still planning on doing that... When, I am not sure. There are some legal issues regarding using video on the web that may appear during a show I use - which makes the project a little more time consuming than I can get involved with right now since we are in the middle of Indians season and all we do for Sportstime Ohio too. But it's still on the agenda..

Secondly, we are not planning on streaming our newscast at the moment. Again, for the same reason. We would have to pay additional fees to rebroadcast video on the web and right now there isn't a way to justify the additional cost with limited return. But, it will happen.. When, is the best question.

Send your emails to: fmacek@wkyc.com

From the Mailbag: Akron Special on 45/49

From: Dan in Akron

Q: Hi Frank, what did you think of the Channel 45/49 show about the loss of Akron's only local TV station?

A: I got a chance to Tivo the show on Saturday...and overall, I thought the show was pretty comprehensive, but at times really dragged on about factors that may or may not have contributed to the loss of WAKC as a news operation. Yes, WAKR/WAKC did have a factors going against it - but it may have been the lack of direct market competition that doomed it more. If Akron would have had 3 or 4 local TV stations, there would have been a much better chance of the city standing apart from the Cleveland market in Arbitron, then Nielsen's eyes.

But since there wasn't, the lone station just got absorbed into Cleveland - which then suffered because it never had ratings, in relation. I think the Berk family made a bad mistake is selling the station. They feared they couldn't compete, but I don't think had enough courage to keep the station going in uncertain times.

Of course what Bud Paxson did was unforgivable - promising to keep local news going, then basically turning off the lights only hours after Pax's purchase. It really goes to show how much more a business TV is than a committment to the community which the FCC should really re-explore when they take future action. It's good to see that companies, like Gannett, still have the community in their vision.

Send me your emails to: fmacek@wkyc.com

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Video: "Twentyfourhours"

As I was reading Eric Mansfield's blog tonight, I thought I'd share the following article he posted regarding an article about the recent documentary on Akron's Newscasts. That will re-air again this Saturday Morning at 3 AM on Channels 45/49.
While this new program hasn't been added to their video on demand web service yet, you can watch Twentyfourhours, a program first aired in 2001 about our local TV news at that time. To watch, CLICK HERE
From Eric's Blog:
Much has been made on a few media blogs and elsewhere about the documentary that aired a few nights ago about the death and rebirth of TV News in Akron. It will re-air at 3 a.m. this Saturday morning on PBS 45/49. Some liked it while others didn't. I still need to see it before I can weigh in.

If the topic really interests you, there's another documentary out there that is exceptionally well done, and it's available for free on the Internet. Twentyfourhours was put together in 2001 and looked at how all of the Cleveland stations cover Akron-area news. The report also looks back at how Akron ended up without a newscast for a five-year period.
While it's a few years old, this documentary really nails a lot of the big issues facing Akron news coverage and includes a broad group of interviews to tackle the subject. Let me know what you think. As fate would have it, the PBS crew was scheduled to visit our Akron newsroom on September 11th. So the video you see of our newsroom at the top of the documentary where folks are running all over the place and looking stressed on the phones was shot on the actual day of the attacks.

Where Are They Now? - Lisa Colagrossi

Several weeks ago, we mentioned former WKYC reporter/anchor Lisa Colagrossi in a story (CLICK HERE) about the WABC TV studios catching fire in New York City. Lisa has worked 6 years now at WABC as an early morning reporter/fill-in anchor.
Ironically, Lisa is the one who covered the story on the fire which gave us the idea to find out what's she has been up to since leaving WKYC.
Lisa tells us that she first headed to Florida where she went to work for former WKYC News Director Dick Moore (still her favorite) and WKYC General Manager Brooke Spectorsky who were both in Orlando at the time at Channel 7. Lisa's first duty was a 5:30 PM anchor and would add the 11 pm newscast to her resume.
Her husband's career then took her to the Big Apple in 2001. Lisa joined WABC-TV on the Sunday after the World Trade Center disaster as a freelance reporter and hit the ground running. Lisa has also covered other major stories including the crash of flight 587 in the Rockaways. She tells us she is currently working with a few other WKYC alumni including Tappy Phillips and Jim Dolan.
Lisa's work has garnered two Suncoast Regional Emmy's, five Emmy nominations, and numerous awards from the Florida Associated Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
In addition to working in Cleveland, Orlando and New York, Lisa has also worked at stations in Alabama and West Virginia.
Lisa calls Connecticut home now with her husband and two children, ages 7 & 3. Her parents and brother still live in Strongsville, but her sister lives near her in Manhattan.
You can e-mail Lisa at: lisa.colagrossi@abc.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

News: HDTV Cable Penetration Rises

HDTV penetration among cable subscribers has nearly doubled in the past year with 29% of cable customers claiming they have an HD set. That compares with 15% last year, according to new figures released by the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM).

Digital cable customers are the most likely to make the leap, with 41% of the digital cable homes now HD ready.

Most homes that haven't upgraded, but plan to do so in the next 12 months say they will order a cable package to go with it within a month of their HDTV purchase.

83% say they will order at least basic cable

77% say they will get a digital package.

Courtesy: CTAM

Spotlight Article: Channel Branding with Digital TV

For years, all your favorite TV stations in the Greater Cleveland area, including WKYC, have branded themselves by their analog channel numbers. For us, it's Channel 3 as in "Channel 3 News." Channel 5 is "Newschannel 5." Channel 8 is "Fox 8 News." You know the drill.

But with the upcoming move of TV stations by the FCC to new digital channels in 2009, what will stations be called? The simple answer is: still Channel 3, 5, and 8.

In the analog world, there is a direct relationship between the channel number and the RF frequency. In the digital world, this relationship becomes indirect (but linked) using an electronic system called PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol). You can read more on the specifics at http://www.psip.org/

The PSIP is data that is transmitted along with the station's digital TV signal to alert your new digital TV where to find a station on its tuner. The PSIP identifies both the DTV channel and for now, the NTSC (analog) channel. Your TVs will electronically associate the two channel numbers making it easy for viewers to tune to our station(s), even if that do not know the new digital channel number. Thus, the digital channels really become irrelevant.

Today we are located on a very bad position at digital RF position Channel 2. In the next year, we'll move to our new digital RF position channel 17, but will still be known to viewers as "Channel 3." The important brands that TV stations have today will need to be preserved and they will be under this PSIP system.

Since we are already broadcasting digitally, WKYC (on analog Channel 3) is being coded on RF Digital Channel 2 as "Channel 3-1" (Channel 3 HD) and "Channel 3-2" (Weather Plus). We will have the opportunity to add even more TV or data channels in the future.

When we move to Channel 17, your new TV's will find us as 17-1, 17-2 and you won't need to do a thing.

Once the analog WKYC channel 3 channel is forced to sign off the air in 2009, the only change viewers will notice is that the analog signal disappears. You will be receiving only digital signals from that point forward.

It's an exciting time in the broadcast industry...and we'll be here with you to explain it to you in layman's terms as we go along.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

DVR: TV Special on Akron's Newscasts

A Reminder: This show will air again this Saturday, July 14th at 3 AM on Channels 45/49 if you are interested.
From our friends at Ohio Media Watch:

WNEO/45-WEAO/49 "PBS 45 & 49" will air a special tonight, Tuesday, at 9 PM titled "Akron, Ohio: The City Where Commercial Television News Went Black".

We'll presume it delves, in-depth, into the saga most of our readers probably know well...the end of local news on then-ABC affiliate WAKC/23 (nee' WAKR-TV), which eventually got sold to the PAX TV folks and was stripped of its news and ABC affiliation.The saga continued, as with help from the city of Akron, local over-air TV news was reborn as "PAX 23 News", produced by WKYC/3 from a new bureau in the heart of downtown Akron.

That newscast went off the over-air signal last year, when PAX TV's agreement with WKYC parent Gannett Broadcasting (and many other companies running PAX affiliates) ended. And to complete the story, of course, the newscast still airs on cable on Time Warner Cable channel 23 - or channel 15 in some of the western Akron suburbs on systems formerly owned by Adelphia.

And to close all the loose ends, WKYC/3 Akron-Canton Bureau chief Eric Mansfield, who helms the "Akron/Canton News" operation on TWC as anchor, is also the newly minted host of... 45/49's own "NewsNight Akron" weekly news roundtable discussion program.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Web: The Original Amateur Hour

"OriginalAmateurHour.com" is the official website for the Original Amateur Hour, the radio and TV series that started the talent competition craze that continues to fascinate audiences across the world.

The show helped launch the careers of over 50 majors stars including Frank Sinatra.

Long-time producer and show veteran Albert Fisher launched the website in 2005 to help promote and sell an archival DVD of the show, but the site has become a place where many of the 1 million of the show's former performers can obtain a copy of their lost 15 minutes of fame, which is provided on VHS at no profit as a service to the OAH community.

But the site also showcases some rare TV and radio memorabilia.

Check out the site for some memories: www.OriginalAmateurHour.com

News: The Apprentice WILL return to NBC


Granting a reprieve from near cancellation, NBC has decided to renew Donald Trump's reality show "The Apprentice" for a seventh season - and eighth season, at least.

In mid-May, "The Apprentice" did not appear on NBC's 2007-2008 primetime roster but after NBC hired Ben Silverman, talks between the network, Trump and executive producer Mark Burnett resumed.

The new season will feature celebrity contestants and the list of who will participate has not been released yet. Instead of getting hired by The Donald for one of his real estate enterprises, the celebrities will raise money for various charities. In addition, Trump's children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, will appear in several episodes as boardroom advisers.

Trump and NBC also have a partnership involving the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as both were renewed last March through 2010.

From the Mailbag: A Note from Terry Burhans

From: Terry Burhans, former WKYC Meteorologist - now in San Diego at XETV...

Q: Frank...Nice work on your "Where are They Now?" blog (If you missed the article I did on Terry recently, CLICK HERE)

Here is something to add to your update...I'm Brian Christie's sidekick on "The Boomer Show" on Wealth TV. Check out our site www.Boomershow.tv or you'll get a great High Definition clip at www.wealthtv.net.

Life here is huge! No Lake Effect. You mentioned Steve Brown...he's in San Antonio Tx. Our "Mr. Inside & Mr. Outside" promos were in High Definition and were memorable to me because we shot them in New York in Queens in a huge 80 foot ceiling sound stage...The tape recorder they used that day was the only one in America at the time that recorded High Def and it's speed was 30 inches per second...(30 1ps) We did three segments...

"Rain"...while Steve was safe and sound in the studio at the weather set I was chroma keyed on a pier on a huge body of water...presumably Lake Erie...with a humongous wave approaching..cut back to the studio ...more Steve safe and sound...cut back to Terry...being blasted with water from an off screen 20 gallon water cannon...we did 6 takes and I was soaked...cut back to Steve tossing to me..."Oh Terry...How's the Weather out there...Terry?"...cut back to pier and all you see is my sailors heavy weather yellow hat floating off the piercut to steve voice over..."Terry?...Oh Terry?".

"Wind" this one was my favorite...same edit set up...Steve...cut to Terry... cut to Steve... cut To Terry...But this on was about a huge wind storm event...Big enough to blow me completely off camera...sideways...of course...this concept was thanks to my mentor and possibly the funniest man ever on TV Ernie Kovacs... because we used one of his tricks to turn the camera 90 degrees and instead of falling down as gravity tends to make us do...I fell off the right side of the screen with a scream...Big yucks here...

"Snow" was a kick too...we even brought an authentic Cleveland no parking Snow sign and used it in the studio...it looked just like an 8 to 10 inch storm in downtown...The shoot was all done in one day...I stayed over night in a great hotel on Park Avenue and remember it like it was yesterday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

News: NBC Testing Effects of Fast Forwarding Commercials

Thanks to my WKYC directing colleague, Matt Babb, for tipping me off to this one...

Those of us who have Tivo or other DVR's know how nice it is to skip over the commercials in the shows we record. But, NBC is trying to figure out a way to keep our attention as those spots go zipping by.

According to an article in the New York Times, NBC's research department is trying to convince advertisers viewers are just as engaged while watching fast-forwarded commercials as they are when watching live TV. NBC-commissioned a study by Innerscope to measure biometrics such as heart rate, eye movement and breathing patterns. Viewers who watched the first 20 seconds of live ads scored an "engagement" score of 66 while those watching the same ads in Fast Forward scored a 68.

It's fascinating reading... Read the entire article. CLICK HERE

News: Congratulations to Jennifer Murphy

Congrats to Jennifer and her husband Joe on the birth of their daughter, Julia Rose, who was born just after 9 am this morning.

Julia weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and is 20 inches long.

Mom and baby are both doing well.

Jennifer and her husband also have two sons. Since Jen has become a mom, she now works part-time here at WKYC.

Send your emails to Jennifier at: jennifermurphy@wkyc.com

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Video: Channel 3 Classic Promos from 1989

This is a group of classic Channel 3 Promos from around 1989, courtesy of the "Director's Cut" archives.

This latest batch includes cameos from Tom Beres, Rick Jackson, Doug Dieken, Judd Hambrick, Doreen Gentzler, Jim Mueller, Joe Conway & a young Stefani Schaeffer.

Feel free to post your own comments and share your memories. Just click on the videos to watch. If you can't view them on this page, CLICK HERE

News: WKYC to Air NBC's "Live Earth" Concert

NBC's big Live Earth concert is scheduled for this Saturday...7/7/07...and will be shown around the world in 8 cities on all 7 continents. 100 different musical acts will perform including Madonna, Sting, Spinal Tap, Smashing Pumpkins, The Police, Dave Matthews & Genesis.

Cities hosting the event include Rutherford NJ, Sydney, London, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Hamburg and Rio de Janeiro.

As for NBC, it will carry the event on a slight delay (in case of profanity) from 8-11p on WKYC, and on Bravo, CNBC, Sundance, Telemundo, mun2 and Universal HD.

Other coverage includes:

*Bravo - 18 hours starting Saturday morning at 8 am until 2 am Sunday Morning.

*Sundance and Universal HD - 22 hours beginning with Sydney's concert at 4 am ET and concluding at 2 am Sunday morning.

*Telemundo picks up the action at 7p.

*mun2 begins at 5p.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

News: Plasma TV "Sells" for only $4.88 at Walmart

Thought you might find this article a tad funny after finding it on the newswires...

Wal-Mart is known for dropping its prices. But one Monroe, Louisiana, man took it upon himself to drop the price of a plasma TV to $4.88.

Police arrested Chandon Simms Tuesday on a charge of felony theft. Police say Simms carried a 42-inch Sanyo Plasma TV to a self-checkout aisle after switching the original price tag of $984 with one for only $4.88.

Wal-Mart Loss Prevention officers saw Simms' pull the switch-a-roo and called police.

News: Political Ad Spending Already Underway

With about 16 months left until the presidential election, Nielsen has reported the broadcast airwaves and online buzz are heating up.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney has placed more local television ads than all the other candidates combined at 4,549 as of June 10. Local TV ad spending started early this time, too, as Republican Duncan Hunter was the first to run a TV spot, starting 625 days before the November 4, 2008 election.

For the Democrats, Governor Bill Richardson has run the most TV ads at 2,232 spots in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Radio has seen some action, as Republican Rudolph Giuliani has placed 642 spots in many major markets with emphasis in Kansas City, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Providence.

According to Nielsen BuzzMetrics, Democrats have owned the online world so far with a 64.3% buzz share compared to the Republicans at 35.7%. And, without running any online ads, Senator Barack Obama has a 2 to 1 lead with online buzz volume through blogs and discussion at 45.5% share compared to his next nearest competitor Senator Hillary Clinton at 32% share. Republican Senator John McCain leads his party with the most online buzz at 37.9% share.

Read more of the study...CLICK HERE

Courtesy: Nielsen

Monday, July 02, 2007

Web: Television Tunes

Want to re-live some great TV memories with shows like "Hogan's Heroes," "Happy Days," "Gilligan Island," "Home Improvement," and hundreds more?

Check out this website I found called Television Tunes.

There is a huge archive of over 750 TV theme songs, all indexed alphabetically in the MP3 format which you can download to your computer.

Be warned, it's addictive!

Get to Know Team 3 - John Anderson

This time, we sat down with morning news anchor John Anderson and asked him some questions about his daily duties at WKYC and a few personal things he cared to share. John also has started a blog called "Pan Ohio Hope Riding."

Q: What was your first job anchoring the news?

John: My first TV job was actually in high school. We had a cable TV station inside my high school in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. I hosted a weekly show called Park Sports. I interviewed coaches of our high school teams. My first paying job was weekend sports anchor in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I was hired when I was a junior in college. It was a lucky break that came my way.

Q: What time do you have to get up in the morning to be at the station?

John: I actually wake up at different times. On the days my wife works, I sleep earlier and get up by 5pm to be with the kids. Other days, I sleep until 8pm so that I can see the kids before bedtime and read stories. The schedule is different almost everyday of the week, but it's good to be different.

Q: What's your secret for looking so wide awake at 5:01 AM?

John: The only secret I have for being so wide awake at 5 in the morning is I love my job. I love coming into work and helping put the show together and then telling stories. Ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed telling stories, and that's what anchoring is all about. When you love your job, it sure makes it easier to go to work.

Q: What's the most difficult story you've ever had to report on?

John: There have been several, but the one that comes to mind right away is a tornado that hit Spencer, South Dakota. Spencer was a small town, about 12 blocks wide, and 11 blocks were wiped out. I remember meeting one of the survivors, who just happened to look out the window and witness one of her neighbors being killed by the tornado. She was one of the strongest people I've ever met, and my heart just went out to her when I heard this terrible story. But to show you the strength of some small towns and the people who live there, one thing left standing was the Little League Baseball Field. The next night, there was a game on that field. The residents told me that there was no way the tornado was going to take baseball from them.

Q: You love doing the morning sports report, would you rather be a sports anchor?

John: I actually was a sports anchor for the first seven years of my career. I love sports, have a real passion for them, but I enjoy the job I'm doing. Plus, the morning show gives me a chance to put together the sports for the show. I love talking sports with the viewers, as Cleveland is so passionate about their teams. I also love putting together my special "Look at This" segment during the 6am half hour. It gives me a chance to show the fun, weird, wacky, you name it, that sports has to offer.

Q: What's your favorite sport or team?

John: Favorite sport has always been hockey, no surprise growing up in Minnesota. As a kid, I followed the Minnesota North Stars every move. I feel I have something in common with Browns fans - I was crushed when my beloved Minnesota North Stars picked up and moved to Dallas. I still remember that day when the announcement was made. So now I cheer for the Minnesota Wild, and the soon to be Lake Erie Monsters!

Q: You and your wife both work, who takes care of the kids?

John: That's easy - we work opposite shifts, so we take care of the kids. Our schedules actually work out, and we can have long weekends together.

Q: What's your favorite type of car?

John: My favorite car would be a NASCAR. I have the need for speed, although I would never drive that fast! I went to see a NASCAR race in Michigan - TV can't capture the speed or the sound of racing.

Q: What do you like to read?

John: Honestly with two almost-three year olds, the only reading I do at home is stories like Brown Bear, Bears on Wheels, and Sesame Street.

Q: Where will you be headed for summer vacation this year?

John: Most of my vacation time will be on the bike. I just got back from Lake Tahoe, where I did a 100 mile bike ride around the lake for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was very exciting - our Northern Ohio team raised a personal best $390,000! Later this summer, I will be riding 300 miles from Cleveland to Cincinnati for the American Cancer Society, and then another 100 mile ride for the Leukemia Society in Maryland in the fall. Otherwise I'll be busy training in the wonderful Metroparks in the Cleveland area.

To reach John, you can email him at: joanderson@wkyc.com