Friday, August 31, 2007

Spotlight Article: A Visit From Gannett Corporate

As with any business, you get at least a yearly visit from the "big wigs" in Corporate who stop by to see everything is in order. In TV we are not exempt being owned by a major media company, Gannett.

Thursday was one such visit that gave us an opportunity to meet our new head of Gannett Broadcasting Dave Lougee. Dave replaced Roger Ogden in that role last month, and was introduced to the Channel 3 staff by Gannett CEO, Craig Dubow.

I found Dave to be quite an impressive individual - very articulate - who speaks in a manner that leaves you with a clear vision of where we are headed. Craig's presentation has always been one of my favorites.

Media in general is at a crossroads right now with the emergence of so many outlets for consumers to get their information. In TV, we are competing against radio, other TV, cable, satellite, the Internet, ipods, Google, Yahoo...and dozens of other sources for your attention and the advertising dollar. The money pie is getting sliced into smaller pieces at all times, and it's our mission to make sure we remain a leader in the local TV market.

Without going into specifics since this blog is read by our competitors, I came away with a strong feeling that Gannett knows where it is headed. The road may be bumpy, but we are going to get there. The next 100 years will be as exciting as the past 100 years have been.

Craig clearly understands his mission and has told us ours. It's to provide the best local content to our viewers and readers as we can. But, we must be adaptive to the changing nature of the business in order to survive. At WKYC, we have the right mix of people to get that job done.

You are already noticing it, whether you realize it or not. We are expanding beyond just one broadcast channel. We are multimedia: WKYC, WKYC-HD, the Akron Canton News on cable,, North Coast, North Coast, WKYC, the Director's Cut, Fair Weather Fans on the Internet...and Sportstime Ohio on the sports side...with Browns and Indians programming you won't find anywhere else...because no one else has the capabilities and the talents this facility has in its employees.

I would be remiss to say that we don't occasionally run into issues or have labor disagreements with the company...or have to deal with tightening of the financial belt with Gannett... but Gannett is a respected leader in the industry and its encouraging that the corporate managers take the time and make the effort to talk to the employees.

But as everyone knows - it's sure a relief when they leave - and they knew that too.

News: NBC Streaming Conan O'Brien

NBC began streaming full-length episodes of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the first late night talk show host to officially stream on the web. Episodes will be made available on at 9 am ET/ 12 noon PT the morning after each telecast.

Conan has been one of TV's more web-savvy comedians; his animated series Pale Force was one of the first original series featured on

Thursday, August 30, 2007

News: Faith Hill to sing NBC's "Sunday Night Football" Theme

It is the beginning of a new "day" - though that day is Sunday at WKYC and NBC - as the network has announced that country star Faith Hill will be performing her version of "Waiting All Day For Sunday Night" - as the opening theme song this season NBC's "Sunday Night Football."

Hill will perform the song before each game.

The song, which pop singer Pink sang last season, is set to the tune of Joan Jett's '80s hit, "I Hate Myself for Loving You." Hill says she loves football and is married to someone who schedules his life around games. That's singer Tim McGraw.

A couple of years ago, McGraw sang the music to his "I Like It, I Love It" with the lyrics rewritten to go with the halftime highlight reel on "Monday Night Football."

Another country star, Hank Williams Junior, has performed the opening song for "Monday Night Football" for years.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Get to Know Team 3 - Eric Mansfield

Our Akron Canton News Anchor/Channel 3 News Reporter, Eric Mansfield, has fallen into this month's "Get To Know Team 3" feature. Eric was kind enough to answer some questions we've been wanting to ask him.

Q: When did you know it was your calling to be a journalist?

Eric: I joined my high school newspaper staff when I was 15 and knew that I wanted to be in the media. I began taping two-minute news segments on my cassette recorder to play on the Akron Public Schools radio station and that got me interested in broadcasting. I also was a P.A. announcer in the high school gym, although I was probably a bit too loud on those days when there weren't too many fans in the stands for freshman girls basketball. Still, the basketball coach paid me $5 per game, and I was hooked on broadcasting. At first, I wanted to be a morning disc jockey and replace Matt Patrick at WKDD. Eventually, my focus shifted to sports reporting and play-by-play announcing, but I quickly found more opportunities on the news side of the business.

Q: What jobs have had besides Channel 3 and the Akron Canton News?

Eric: I had internships at WAKC-TV (Akron), WHIO-TV (Dayton), and ESPN during my college years (1987-91 at the University of Dayton). After graduation, I had a tough time getting a real job in broadcasting, so I took a job giving boat tours on the Cuyahoga River and writing part-time for the Stow Sentry weekly paper. I was only days away from giving up my TV dreams and selling knives door-to-door when Mark Williamsom called and gave me my first paying TV job as a general assignment news/sports reporter at WAKC in 1992. I had a great time at 23News and even worked with quite a few folks who are now at TV3. I left WAKC in 1994 to come to Channel 3 as the Akron Bureau Chief. I was only 25 when I came to WKYC, but the News Director thought I was in my 30's. He said later that had he paid attention to my age he wouldn't have hired me. Guess it's better to look older, eh? I've been in the Akron office for nearly 14 years, longer than any other TV3 bureau reporter.

Q: What's the most challenging part of covering the Akron Canton area?

Eric: Literally covering all the ground between the stories. Some days our top stories are in Ravenna, New Philadelphia, and Mansfield. Some days we spend more time on the road than we do actually interviewing folks and shooting video. Many in Cleveland don't realize the distances we travel to cover daily news across the Akron-Canton area.

Q: You served a tour in Iraq - how did that experience change you personally?

Eric: I'm certainly not the same person I used to be. Iraq took a major toll on emotionally. I had just 72 hours notice to report for duty in January, 2003, and then was deployed for 14 months. That's not much time to prepare the kids or put relationships in check. In many ways, I came back more than a year later feeling like I would pick up right where I left off only to learn that others in my life had moved on with their lives .. and my kids were much older too. There were new buildings and major changes, and it was tough to know that life went on without me. Like most combat veterans, it took me a while to adjust to peace again. Large crowds and other events made me uncomfortable for quite a while. Even today, there are times when I'm reading a news story about Iraq and see video of a place where I've been. Sometimes it takes my breath away but I have to stay composed and keep reading. It's tough to be in a TV newsroom where so many people talk about Iraq but who weren't there with me.

Q: What was it like not being able to cover the Iraq War as a journalist?

Eric: I saw so many great stories just walk on by. I saw a father serving with his two daughters and all I could think was how much I'd like to interview the wife/mother back home about what she must be going through. When Japan deployed its troops to Iraq, the Japanese soldiers arrived at our base camp. There were literally 20+ troops and about 100+ Japanese media. It looked more like a baseball throng chasing Ichiro. At one point, I was eating my lunch between troops from Poland and Japan. I just kept thinking about what a great "60 minutes" moment it was. . As we were coordinating the major forces moving forward during the Iraq invasion, I could only imagine what the news coverage must have been like. It was tough being in a command headquarters where we were coordinating support for major offenses knowing that the network media would be covering these events in the coming days. During Thanksgiving of 2003, we helped divert convoys around part of Baghdad during President Bush's surprise visit to the troops -- yet another day that I wish I could have worn two hats instead of one helmet. There were also times when I was advising commanders about the role of the media on the battlefield and trying to convince the military leaders that the journalists in the war zones were solid professionals out to tell real stories.

Q: What do you like most about writing your blog (

Eric: I like sharing news bits that I didn't have room to add on the evening broadcasts. I also like being able to share some of the comedy that goes on behind-the-scenes. Yesterday, I wrote about a man dressed completely in orange who came to our door to complain that people at the library thought he was an escaped prison inmate. It's not a story for the evening news, but it's definitely something my blog audience enjoyed. My blog generates 250-350 hits per day .. so it's nice to see that people are embracing it.

Q: What's your greatest trait?

Eric: I would hope that it's compassion. In 1984, my own family was featured on the evening news when my older brother, Brian, was murdered in North Akron. I was just 16 at the time and our family was on the "other" side of the camera. During a five-month period, the local media did many stories about my brother's killer, including videotaping my mother and me holding hands during his sentencing in court. I always remember the good and the bad I felt about being a member of the victim's family. The loss of my brother helps me empathize with so many of the people we interview today, and I hope it makes me more compassionate to what they're facing as real people.

Q: What are some books you feel everyone should read?

Eric: Tuesday's with Morrrie by Mitch Albom; What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey. Anything by Brad Meltzer and Terry Pluto.

Q: What Hollywood celebrity do you most want to be?

Eric: My cousin is Bob Barker. I would love to succeed him as host "The Price is Right". I've never met him, but he's on the family tree. He's either my fourth cousin or my second cousin once removed depending on which theory you follow. Beyond that, I'd like to be Al Pacino -- best actor ever.

Q: Name the No. 1 cut on your dream-mix CD?

Eric: Crush by Dave Matthews Band.

Q: Are you a planning a winter time getaway this year to escape the snow?

Eric: Maybe Geneva to wine country .. depends on how November sweeps goes :)

Send Eric an email:

Spotlight Feature: High-Definition DVRs

Now that you bought that shiny new High Definition TV and subscribed to (or receive an over the air) HD service, it's time to learn how to pick a High Definition Digital Recorders (DVRs) to record your favorite shows.

Hi-Def DVRs are becoming popular due to their capacity to store and playback many hours of high-definition material. HD DVRs have the ability to pause and rewind live programming, record one program while watching another and to fast forward through pre-recorded material. Some DVRs are able to record over-the-air material, while others are specifically for use with cable or satellite services.

We've put together a starter list (and links) to the following units currently available for recording High Definition programming. There are others and we'll add them as we find them - also, feel free to email us with those you've found.

Cable DVRs:

Scientific Atlanta 8300HD (Comcast)
Motorola DCT6412 (Comcast)
Digeo Moxi (Charter)
TiVo Series3 (CableCard and over-the-air)

Satellite DVRs:

DISH ViP 622 & 722 DVR

HDTV Tuner Cards

High quality HDTV tuner cards are capable of saving HDTV broadcasts to your computer's hard drive. HD broadcasts require lots of storage space, but this is becoming less of an issue now that high capacity hard drives are available.

HDTV Tuner cards: (Windows)
MyHD MDP-130
Telemann HiPix DTV-200
Access DTV
Hauppage WinTV-HD

pcHDTV HD-5500 (Linux)
Fusion HDTV5 Gold QAM

External USB 2.0 HDTV Tuner:

AutumnWave has released the OnAir GT, an external device that can be plugged into the USB 2.0 port. It otherwise functions similarly to an internal tuner card.

News: NBC Picks Up 2 New Shows

From the world of NBC Universal -

NBC has picked up two news projects that may be worked into the schedule at some point, depending on how the Fall Season performs.

The first is a drama called "Mafia Wives" about the women who take over the family business, from writer Lynda LaPlante.

Also, NBC is developing an untitled comedy project about a fading hairdresser who is trying to maintain his career and raise his kids, from columnist Jane Bussmann.

We'll share more details as we get them.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spotlight Feature: What To Do When Disaster (Almost) Strikes?

For those of you who regularly watch the Akron Canton News at 10 PM on Time Warner Cable, Friday Night was an especially interesting newscast. You probably didn't notice it at home, but the newscast almost wasn't. Here's why.

Executive Producer Chris Hyser phones me about 5 minutes before the show to tell me that their newsroom has gone down. It has been totally disconnected from our newsroom in Cleveland. In other words, we are dead in the water - since the show is edited in and anchored from the Akron Canton Newsroom at the corner of S. Main and Market Street in downtown Akron. The only part that is done from Cleveland is the control room operations and tape playback.

Without a camera (which is also disabled), we can't have Eric anchor.

So, what do you do? Thankfully Vic Gideon had just returned from gathering video and information for his 11 PM package on Channel 3. He was at his desk in the WKYC newsroom, when he gets a visit from a calm, but sweating Director (me).

"Vic, the Akron Newsroom just went down," I said. "We are 3 minutes to the show - and I need you to anchor from Studio A."

At first, Vic thought I was kidding cause we are always joking with each other. But he soon got the message...and off to the studio he ran, literally.

Vic threw on a mic, stood in front of the chromakey with the Akron background we normally use and on with the show we went.

At 10:30, we faded to black and all breathed a sign of relief.

What a day!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Special Feature: A Look Back at the History of KYW & WKYC

Our friend Tim Lones of Cleveland Classic Media has done a fascinating look back at some of WKYC's history in a new series of articles on his blog.

They include some research on such forgotten shows as "Three On the Town" and "Our Man Mark" (PBS political humorist Mark Russell) - local talks show that partially replaced Mike Douglas in the early afternoon after his show moved to 9 AM from September 1965-August 1968..

Tim also writes a lot about the Cleveland/Philadelphia Swap in June 1965 as it happened...There are 4 or 5 posts based on newspaper articles of the day.

Please take a moment over the weekend and visit his site:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

News: Nielsen Releases New 2008 TV Market Rankings

Nielsen has released the local television market universe estimates for 2008 which will be effective September 22nd for the 2007-2008 TV season. These determine market sizes for each city based on the number of TV Homes in Designated Market Areas (DMA).

This year, many of the increases are in the Southern and Western regions of the United States. Of the 51 markets that moved up in rank, more than half are located in the Sunbelt. These changes are consistent with the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent annual population estimates, which indicate increased population growth in these areas.

The Cleveland-Akron-Canton DMA remains #17 with an estimated 1,533,710 TV homes, or a 1.36% percentage of US TV homes.

These estimates, which are projected to January 1, 2008, will be used in meter market samples beginning with the data of Sept. 22, 2007, and in diary samples with the publication of the October/November surveys.

Notable changes in the rankings:


*Dallas-Fort Worth moved up 1 to #5, surpassing San Francisco
*Atlanta moved up 1 to #8, surpassing Washington, D.C.
*Phoenix moved up 1 to #12, surpassing Tampa-St. Petersburg
*Charlotte moved up 1 to #25, surpassing Indianapolis
*Harlingen-Weslaco, Texas, moved up 3 to #88
*Boise, Idaho, moved up 5 to #113
*Palm Springs, Calif., moved up 5 to #144
*Anchorage, Alaska, moved up 4 to #150
*Harrisonburg, Va., moved up 3 to #178
*Lima, Ohio, moved up 11 to #185


*Memphis moved down 3 to #47
*Dayton, Ohio, moved down 4 to #62
*Youngstown, Ohio, moved down 3 to #106
*Traverse City-Cadillac, Mich., moved down 3 to #116
*Wichita Falls, Texas-Lawton, Okla., moved down 3 to #149
*Bluefield-Beckley-OakHill, W.Va., moved down 5 to #155
*Wheeling, W.Va.,-Steubenville, Ohio, moved down 4 to #159
*Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss., moved down 3 to #168

To view the complete list of markets from #1 to #210: CLICK HERE

Courtesy: Nielsen

Monday, August 20, 2007

News: NBC picks up Amen$ia for Mid Season

NBC has picked up a new game project from Mark Burnett Productions called Amne$ia.

The show tests a contestant memory about key events in his or her past, after researching the questions with people from his/her past.

Reportedly, NBC is looking to bring the show to primetime by midseason 2008.

News: TV Recycling Program

Sony is working with Waste Management's Recycle America program to help customers recycle Sony TVs, computers and other electronics equipment.

The Sony Take Back Recycling Program will accept devices at 7 drop-off centers throughout the country, taking Sony equipment for no charge or competitors' products for a nominal fee.

The program begins September 15, 2007.

A list of drop-off centers can be found at

Friday, August 17, 2007

Director's Alert: WKYC Names Assistant News Director

WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen has announced that Howard Fencl will be re-joining the Channel 3 News family as Assistant News Director on September 4th. If you recognize the name, it's because Howard spent time here at Channel 3 before - on 3 separate tours of duty. His last duties were in 1992 as an Executive Producer.

More recently, Howard's been a Vice President at Edward Howard here in Cleveland. Prior to that he owned his own video production company, was part owner in an internet service provider when the internet first got up and running, and also has worked as an Executive Producer at WEWS in Cleveland and WBNS in Columbus.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Howard and his wife Sue and their children live in Rocky River. He graduated from Denison University and is currently pursuing a Master's degree at Hiram University.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Video: Channel 3 Classic Promos from 1992

This is a group of classic Channel 3 Promos from around 1992, courtesy of the "Director's Cut" archives.

This latest batch includes cameos from Jim Hooley, Lisa Colagrossi, Eileen McShea, Dick Feagler, Connie Dieken, Tom Haley, Del Donahoo, Amy Hasten, Jim Donovan and Art Edwards.

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: World's Largest Plasma TV Officially Goes on Sale

Ken Crane's, a Southern California big screen TV store, started selling the world's biggest flat screen HD plasma television today.

Spanning 103 inches and weighing 485 pounds, the Panasonic HD plasma television is the ultimate television experience. "This television is beyond your wildest dreams, it's a giant movie theater in your home with best HD quality picture currently available," said Steven Caldero, Ken Crane's Vice President and COO.

The 103-inch Panasonic plasma TV features nearly 4,500 square inches of display area, a 1080p full HD screen and the same high-quality picture, consistent brightness from any angle, and smooth motion during high-speed action that made Panasonic the best-selling plasma brand in America.

One can be yours today - for only $70,000.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

News: Browns Regular Season Coverage on 'KYC

WKYC has you covered this fall with exclusive Browns coverage you won't find anywhere else:

"Pre Game Huddle" will air every Sunday Morning @11:30 AM beginning September 9th. The show features the "Keys to the Game" and what to expect in that week's game.

"Browns Tonight" makes it debut Sunday Nights following Channel 3 News at 11 PM also on Sunday, September 9th, with WKYC sports guys Joe Brown and Dave Chudowsky.

"The Point After" returns Monday Nights at 7 PM beginning September 10th and features a half-hour post game discussion show of how the Browns did on Sunday and what's ahead on their schedule. The show is hosted by Jim Donovan, former Browns Coach Sam Rutigliano, Tony Grossi and Doug Dieken.

And throughout the season, you can depend on Jim Donovan to also provide you his perspective and up-to-date Browns information and highlights. For the latest Browns news from our website, CLICK HERE.

Web Link: New "Director's Cut Blog" Widget

We have added a new widget for our "Director's Cut Blog". This will enable you to get the latest news and information from behind the scenes of the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center the moment we post it.

Plus, it's a feature you can add to your own blog to give your readers even more interesting reading material to read through.

You can customize the widget by color and how much info is displayed.

Click on the link below (or the picture) to get the "Director's Cut" Widget:

Director's Cut Widget

Monday, August 13, 2007

News: Hosts Named for 4th hour of "Today"

Update: 8/14/07 @ 6:45 PM

As we reported yesterday, NBC has indeed made the official announcement regarding the new hour of "Today" confirming what we first reported yesterday. Read more details at WKYC.COM: CLICK HERE
The Director's Cut Blog has learned that Ann Curry, Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb (all pictured) will be named hosts of the fourth hour of NBC's "Today" Show beginning September 10th on WKYC. The network is expected to make an official announcement tomorrow, August 14th.

Sources also say that a rotating list of guest hosts include the Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis and New York Giant running back Tiki Barber, who became a "Today" correspondent in April.

Regular "Today" Show co-hosts Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer will NOT be part of the 4th hour. Vieira contractually can not appear past 10 AM because of her work on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Therefore, the new fall lineup on WKYC will be:
7 to 10 AM: "Today" Show
10 AM: "Good Company"
11 AM: "Today" Show (4th Hour)
Noon: Channel 3 News Midday

Friday, August 10, 2007

Spotlight Feature: Behind the Scenes at SportsTime Ohio

When you go to a game at Jacobs Field, you can see and feel the electricity of the Indians and the fans. But, what if you are watching it at home?

Channel 3 Lydia's Esparra goes behind the scenes of SportsTime Ohio with the men and women who bring that same feeling right into your living room.

Pictured is Emmy Award Winning Indians Director Pat Murray (left) and the STO Control Room (right).

This is the same control room where your blog jockey, Frank Macek, gets to direct the Indians pregame show called "Indians On Deck" for away games (along with our other WKYC staff of Directors - Al Wohl, Eric Carrel, Mark Bogden & Matt Babb).

To Watch our exclusive story, CLICK HERE

News: WKYC & Gannett Go Mobile

Breaking news, sports, weather and other must-have local information now can be accessed easily by mobile phone users in more than 100 local markets, including Cleveland...WKYC's parent company, Gannett, has announced.

WKYC news and information is available on virtually any mobile phone or handheld device. We are your mobile window to the world, anywhere you go, any time of day.

With FREE content specially formatted for your small screen device, WKYC Mobile allows you to stay in touch with all the latest breaking news 24x7.

There are three easy options to access this free service on your mobile phone:

*Simply type into the web browser on your Internet-enabled mobile device.

*Text WKYC to 59523 and we will send you this link to your phone via text message.

*Via links from the home pages of all Gannett newspaper and broadcast Web sites. For a complete list of links available: CLICK HERE

Requirements: Although the service is free from WKYC, carrier charges may apply for receiving a text message. Bookmark this address in your mobile browser and you'll always have robust, up to date mobile news and information from WKYC Mobile available whenever you need it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

News: Hal Fishman's Passing at KTLA

This story doesn't have much to do with WKYC, but it's a tv related item of interest which I felt is worth mentioning.

Early Tuesday morning, the broadcasting industry lost a legend - KTLA Anchor Hal Fishman. His passing is important because he was the longest-running news anchor in television history. Hal died at age 75 from colon cancer that had spread to his liver - a disease only he was aware of until he collapsed last week at home. His final broadcast was Monday, July 30th.

I regularly watched Hal anchor KTLA's 10 pm "Prime" newscast through Dish Network's Superstation service. Hal was one of the most polished & articulate news anchors I have ever seen. He had a journalistic integrity you rarely see anymore. You trusted what Hal said.

Hal was a fixture on Los Angeles TV for nearly 50 years. The last several decades, he was a mainstay on the newsdesk of Channel 5, KTLA - having been hired by Gene Autry when he bought the station in 1965.

He was also seen recently in the "Spiderman 3" movie, playing himself as a TV news anchor.

Our own WKYC General Manager Brooke Spectorsky worked with Hal and the KLTA team as director of programming from 1979 to 1981 - and I am sure Brooke remembers Hal well.

So, please take a moment of your time to visit the KTLA website and pay tribute to the man who, for so long, had a tremendous impact on more than just a few of us in the industry.

To watch video of KTLA's multi-part memorial to Hal: CLICK HERE

Photo Courtesy: KTLA

News: The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on WKYC

Preparing a year in advance, NBC Universal announced it will showcase round-the-clock coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games over 17 days, beginning exactly one year from today: 8-8-08 at 8 PM on WKYC/TV 3.

The plan, totaling 3,600+ hours, offers more televised coverage than all previous Summer Olympics combined in U.S. history (from 1960 to 2004). Coverage from Beijing will be seen on NBC, USA Network, MSNBC and CNBC, along with high-definition coverage on USA HD and Universal HD. Spanish-language coverage will be seen on Telemundo.

Additionally, NBCU will offer live streaming Olympic broadband video footage for the first time in the U.S. via, and approximately 3,000 hours of highlights, rewinds and encores will be available on-demand.

Despite a 12-hour time zone difference, NBCU will feature must-see events in primetime from live swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball.

To See the new Olympics Video Trailer: CLICK HERE
To Go to the NBC Olympics Website: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Get to Know Team 3 - Lydia Esparra

Channel 3 reporter/weekend anchor Lydia Esparra stars in our "Get To Know Team 3" feature for this go around. Here's a couple of interesting things you may not have known about Lydia.

Q: Where did your career start?

Lydia: My career began at a cable company that had news and other types of programming. It was in Davie Florida. I really loved it! One show was called "Swing On a Star." I got to go around South Florida doing all these odd jobs like wrestling alligators and swimming with Dolphins.

Q: What other cities have you worked in besides Cleveland?

Lydia: Davie, Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Miami, Florida; Albany, Georgia; Columbus, Georgia; Cleveland, Ohio.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

Lydia: Reporting stories that affect people's lives. I like it when you do a story and it really gets people thinking. It's informing the viewer. And you can never have enough information! I like bringing the viewer to the scene. I wish I had a million dollars to give to people who I meet that are down on their luck, lost a loved one or really need financial help for their children. We have good people out on the streets, we you just never get to meet them.

Q: What is the best story you have ever had to cover?

Lydia: Hands down...when the Buckeyes went to the first championship! I loved it and waited my whole life for the Buckeyes to win the National Championship and I was right in the midst of it. It was awesome!

Q: Who is your idol in the news business?

Lydia: Peter Jennings. I first started watching him and only him at the age of 13. He was the consummate newsman. He loved the field, loved the desk, excelled in politics, he had the whole package. And he was good. He was a high school dropout and he proved that knowledge indeed was power. He was Canadian born but loved being in America. He traveled the world and made a difference. I always wanted to meet him, but unfortunately he died from lung cancer in 2005.

Q: What do you always have in the fridge?

Lydia: Fruit. I love fruit. I can't give you my favorite because I love it all. Also, Tabasco sauce. I put hot sauce on just about everything.

Q: What celebrity would you most like to be in Hollywood?

Lydia: Well, Pope John Paul the Second wasn't a celebrity and didn't live Hollywood but there was a man who used his connections to change the world. I will never forget Easter Sunday when he gave his last homily from the Vatican. He was suffering so much but wanted to be with the people on last time. He died with dignity and respect. He knew the way to a better world was to enrich our youth. And oh, how they loved him!

Q: Do you collect anything?

Lydia: Not really, but I do have a lot of shoes.

Q: What is your favorite piece of clothing?

Lydia: I have a pair of baggy running shorts that I love. They are horrible but they are so comfortable. They encourage me to workout.

Q: What is the first song you're singing on Karaoke Night?

Lydia: Blue Moon!

You can email Lydia at:

Monday, August 06, 2007

News: New Program Guide for WKYC & STO

We've added a new feature to the "Director's Cut Blog" - a TV program guide for all our shows on WKYC and Sportstime Ohio.

This is located on the menu off to the right and gives you are complete list of which shows are on WKYC Analog Channel 3, along with those shows presented in High Definition on WKYC's Digital Service - 3.1 & Weather Plus 3.2 (Channel numbers may be different on your cable or satellite system).

You'll also find a daily program guide for SportsTime Ohio.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Web Link: Ed Esposito Blog

We have added a link to our Director's Cut Blog located under "Frank's Link Favorites" from our good friend, Ed Esposito - who is the Editor of AkronNewsNow and also oversees news and information media for the Rubber City Radio Group Stations: WAKR-WONE-WQMX in Akron.

His informative blog is located at:

Thursday, August 02, 2007

News: Freak Storm Floods Channel 3

This afternoon, an intense thunderstorm over downtown Cleveland led to 4.45" of rain falling in about an hour.

This led to severe flooding including at the Channel 3 Digital Broadcast Center. The basement parking garage had 6 to 7 inches of standing water at one point. Also, many cars surrounding the station were partially-submerged under water, while many roads were temporarily closed until the water could run off.

Sportstime Ohio, which has a studio in the basement, was almost forced to higher ground during a live broadcast of "All Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan" because of the flooding situation. However, they continued broadcasting as former Tribe Skipper, Mike Hargrove, was being interviewed by Bruce.

To see our storm coverage @ 6 PM: CLICK HERE
To see a live report from Paul Thomas @ 7 PM: CLICK HERE
To watch video for amazing pictures of swamped roadways: CLICK HERE

These are pictures from the Channel 3 Studios & Parking Garage....

These are other pictures around the station:

News: WKYC is #1 Again in July at 11 PM

July sweeps are over.

WKYC is again the #1 late, local news leader at 11 PM both Monday thru Friday...and Monday thru Sunday (12+ numbers).

Also, the station continues to have the highest rated weekend morning newscasts as well.

Overall, viewing was rather low for all broadcast stations in the market for the month. This is generally true each summer when people spend more time outdoors than they do watching TV during June, July and August.

The next major book will be in November.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Breaking News: News Director Named at WKYC

Updated: 5:15 PM
WKYC General Manager Brooke Spectorsky has just announced to the staff the permanent appointment of Acting News Director Rita Andolsen to News Director - officially beginning a new chapter for Channel 3 News.

Rita has worked hard in a variety of management roles in the WKYC newsroom since coming to Channel 3 from WJW-TV 8. Most recently, she had been Assistant News Director until Mike McCormick left.

Congratulations to Rita!
Here is a portion of the official press release from WKYC:

"Channel 3 is pleased to announce the appointment of Rita Andolsen as News Director," said WKYC President and General Manager Brooke Spectorsky. Rita has served as Interim News Director since May. "She knows Cleveland, WKYC and has worked closely with almost every single person in the newsroom over the past seven years," added Spectorsky, "and I know she is passionate about leading WKYC into the future as we develop new ways to reach our audiences on-air and on-line."

Rita has been with Channel 3 since 2000 when she joined the staff as Senior Executive News Producer. More recently she has served as the Assistant News Director. Prior to coming to Channel 3, she was an executive news producer at FOX 8.

"Over the years I've had the opportunity to work with a great team here at Channel 3 including Tim, Romona, Mark and Jim. As News Director my aim will be to take our news to the next level," said Andolsen. "Right now our industry is facing a very competitive landscape. My entire newsroom is committed to providing Northeast Ohio the best news coverage possible through our daily newscasts and on We hope to build on a great legacy here at Channel 3 and everyday we remember our promise to viewers and online users - report the facts, respect the truth."