Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meet the NBC All Stars: Jason Lee of "My Name is Earl"

Multiple award nominee Jason Lee has been recognized with two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Television Series and two Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor for his starring role as Earl Hickey on NBC's hit comedy series "My Name Is Earl" which airs Thursday nights at 8 PM on WKYC.

Lee not only stars, but also serves as a producer on the show about a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery. Determined to change his karma, he sets out to right all the wrongs he's inflicted on people.

To date, "My Name Is Earl" has received the People's Choice Award, two Television Critics Association Awards, a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and Emmys for executive producers Garcia and Buckland for writing and directing, respectively.

Born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, Lee turned a childhood pastime of skateboarding into a professional career. However, after moving to Los Angeles during his early 20s, he began developing an interest in acting. "After watching Steve Buscemi as the bellboy in 'Barton Fink,' I knew I wanted to be in movies," said Lee.

Lee's big break came in 1995 with the lead role in writer-director Smith's comedy "Mallrats," in which he deftly portrayed the inconsiderate slacker Brodie. Lee then went on to star in Smith's "Chasing Amy" (for which he won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his role as Banky) and as the demonic Azrael in Smith's supernatural comedy "Dogma." He reunited with Smith in the Dimension Films comedy, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," and most recently, he had a cameo role in Smith's "Clerks II."

Lee co-starred in Cameron Crowe's Golden Globe-winning ensemble feature, "Almost Famous," in the role of Jeff Bebe, the lead singer of a 1970s rock band called Stillwater. He then re-teamed with Crowe on the writer-director's film "Vanilla Sky."

After working with director Lawrence Kasdan in the ensemble comedy "Mumford," Lee reunited with Kasdan for the director's suspense-thriller, "Dreamcatcher."

Lee’s additional film credits include writer-director Rebecca Miller's "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" (with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener), director Barry Sonnenfeld's ensemble comedy "Big Trouble," "Enemy of the State," and "Kissing a Fool."

In addition, Lee co-starred as the voice of Syndrome in Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar's Academy Award-winning animated feature "The Incredibles," and he also voiced a character in the "motion-capture" feature "Monster House," about three teenagers who discover their neighbor's house is a monster. He voices the title character in "Underdog," in Spyglass Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures' live-action adaptation of the classic 1960s cartoon due for release August 3, 2007.

Over his recent summer hiatus, Lee starred in the CG/live-action hybrid feature film, "Alvin and the Chipmunks.” He stars as Dave Seville, the songwriter/father-figure to singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore. A December 14, 2007 release is anticipated.

In Summer 2006, Lee wrote and directed the short film, "The White Door," which stars Giovanni Ribisi and Beth Riesgraf. The film will have a future DVD release.

Lee is also a professional photographer, as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. He is currently shooting 20" x 24" Polaroid portraits for an upcoming gallery and book series. When not working on personal projects, Lee photographs for Los Angeles-based Anthem magazine. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, Stereo Skateboards, which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary.

Courtesy: NBC

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Director's Alert: Montel Williams Show Ending Production

The Director's Cut Blog has learned this afternoon the Montel Williams Show is ending production after this season, it's 17th.

According to Broadcast & Cable, CBS Television Distribution confirmed Wednesday that "The Montel Williams Show" will go out of production at the end of this season.

Instead, CBS will sell stations a "Best of" package for next fall, a la Sony's all-barter Judge Hatchett. With 17 years of episodes in the can, CBS will be able to give stations 52 straight weeks of episodes.

"We have been honored to have Montel as a part of our family for the past 17 years, and we're very excited that Montel will live on through these" Best-of" episodes," said John Nogawski, president and chief operating officer of CTD. "Stations continue to embrace Montel and his message of social responsibility that has been the cornerstone of his show."

Montel airs weekdays at 2 PM on WKYC.

Courtesy: Broadcasting & Cable

News: Sweeps Start Tomorrow 1/31/08

It's that time of the season again...February sweeps.

Though not a huge book, it will begin another round of compelling and sometimes sensational stories that hope to captivate viewers over the course of the next month.

As we have been telling you, The Investigator Tom Meyers officially joins Channel 3 News this Thursday Night at 11 PM to kick it all off.

The book runs through February 27th.

Let the fun begin!

Friday, January 25, 2008

News: WKYC's Terry Moir New Morning Co-Host at WDOK

Terry Moir, WKYC's Director of Local Programming, has been named co-host of the WDOK Morning show with Trapper Jack. (Terry is pictured with Fred Griffith)

She will be heard weekdays mornings with Trapper and newsman Jim McIntyre starting at 5:30 AM it was announced Friday by the CBS Radio station. Her first regular day on the air will be Monday, January 28th. She had been filling in on the morning show recently and was quickly seen as a natural fit with Trapper and Jim according to station officials.

Terry will continue her programming duties at WKYC while getting up early to awaken morning listeners on the radio with her witty humor and contagious energy level.

You have been hearing Terry's voice for years on many Channel 3 commericals. She has also starred in a number of "Terry Godmother" programming commercials explaining to viewers changes in our on-air lineup. Plus, she was the driving force behind launching a local morning talk show on WKYC called "Good Company Today" - which airs weekday mornings from 10 - 11 AM.

Prior to joining WKYC, Terry was the Executive Producer of the "Morning Exchange" on WEWS-TV here in Cleveland.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

News: Hometown girl named NBC News correspondent

Chris Jansing has been named NBC News correspondent, effective immediately. Chris is a native of Fairport Harbor, Ohio, and graduated from Otterbein College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism. She began her journalism career working both for newspapers and radio stations in Ohio and New York.

Jansing will be based in Burbank and will contribute to all NBC News properties, including "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "Today" and as a contributing anchor for MSNBC.

Jansing joined NBC News in June 1998 as an anchor for MSNBC and has covered major national and international stories for NBC News. Most recently, Jansing reported live from Southern California on the devastating fires affecting the region. She played a vital role in MSNBC's "Super Tuesday" coverage throughout 2007 and anchored MSNBC's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.

In addition, Jansing anchored MSNBC's "Ethical Edge," a series of award-winning specials examining the ethical values and basic questions of right and wrong at the heart of news stories.

She has covered the "Return to Flight" for the Space Shuttle Discovery, and spent nearly five weeks in Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. She traveled to 23 states for the presidential campaign of 2004, and reported an award-winning series called "Battleground America".

Her extensive coverage of the 2000 election included the decisive events over 36 days in Tallahassee, Florida. Among other major stories, Jansing covered the terrorist attacks on September 11 as the events unfolded. Her numerous assignments in the Middle East included coverage of Pope John Paul's 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land and President Clinton's visit to Gaza in 1998.

In addition to working at MSNBC, Jansing worked as a correspondent for "Dateline NBC" and as a substitute anchor for "Weekend Today" and the Sunday edition of "NBC Nightly News."

Before joining the NBC News, Jansing co-anchored the evening news for WNYT-TV Albany, where she started as a general assignment reporter in 1981. While there, she was honored with numerous awards, including two Emmys. Jansing has also received many community service awards for her commitment to children.

Congratulations Chris!

Courtesy: NBC News

Casting Call: America's Got Talent

America's got talent, but do you???

Casting for NBC's "America's Got Talent" show begins immediately in 13 cities: Orlando, Nashville, Charlotte, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Brandon, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

Cleveland is not included in the tour, but if you can travel to one of the nearby sites, you just may have a shot at the big time.

Producers are looking for specialty acts such as dance groups, opera singers, acrobats, impersonators, kids groups and more.

Send an email with your city and talent in the subject line (ex. New York-acrobats) to and include the following must-have information: name, phone numbers, description of talent, interesting facts about yourself, a photo, city you will audition in (one of the 13 above) and time slot you would like (between 9a and 6p) and you must include a video link or mp3 of you performing.

Applicants without a video link will not be considered. All other talent who would like to audition should visit the website to register: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

News: Useless Analog TV's: An Afterthought?

We are only a year away now from the federally mandated switch from analog to all digital broadcasting in the United States. As you know, TV viewers who get their signals via "over the air" will be forced to switch to a cable or satellite subscription, pay for a converter box or trash that old TV and buy a new digital one.

Many are going tosimply opt for trashing the old set and buying a new one.

And this is where the problem lies. Each of those sets is a toxic mess waiting to happen...with several pounds of lead and mercury...that could contaminate soil and water supplies if they are not properly disposed.

Today there are very few options, other than landfills for these sets.

Congress hasn't been thinking much about this problem after deciding to impose this mandate on consumers. Nor do they seem to care. We have yet to see a serious program offered by legislators that addresses this issue or provides serious funding for recycling programs.

A few companies, like Sony, are trying to start up and expand recycling programs - but unless they move more quickly to reach a majority of the population and make it a relatively easy turn in procedure - most of those old sets are still going to wind up on folks front lawns awaiting Mr. Trashman.

CNN reporter Kate Bolduan takes a more in-depth look at e-waste recycling.

To watch Kate's package on TV recycling: CLICK HERE

News: Emmy Award Deadline Update

The deadline for entry into this year's Lower Great Lakes Emmy Awards is now Friday, February 8th at 5 PM.

You can visit to download your entry forms on-line and to find more information.

Also on Tuesday, February 9th, the chapter will host three simultaneous luncheons in Cleveland, Indianapolis and Toledo called "Digital TV - 365 Days and Counting; The Future of Television in Amercia."

Keynote speaks from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) will be in each market.

Watch the NATAS website for more information next week.

Monday, January 21, 2008

News: Indians Games to be broadcast on WKYC

The following is a complete schedule of Indians games to be aired on WKYC this season:

*Note all games outside of primetime will have 30 pregame shows and postgame wrapups

Monday, March 31 vs. Chicago @ 3:05 (home)
Sunday, April 13 vs. Oakland @ 1:05 (home)
Sunday, April 20 vs. Minnesota @ 2:10 (away)
Sunday, April 27 vs. New York @ 1:05 (home)
Sunday, May 4 vs. Kansas City @ 1:05 (home)
Tuesday, May 6 vs. New York @ 7:05 (away)
Sunday, May 18 vs. Cincinnati @ 1:15 (away)
Sunday, May 25 vs. Texas @ 1:05 (home)
Friday, June 6 vs. Detroit @ 7:05 (away)
Tuesday, June 17 vs. Colorado @ 9:05 (home)
Saturday, July 5 vs. Minnesota @ 7:10 (away)
Sunday, July 13 vs. Tampa Bay @ 1:05 (home)
Sunday, July 27 vs. Minnesota @ 1:05 (home)
Sunday, August 3 vs. Minnesota @ 2:10 (away)
Monday, August 25 vs. Detroit @ 7:05 (away)
Sunday, August 31 vs. Seattle @ 1:05 (home)
Monday, Sept.1 vs. Chicago @ 7:05 (home)
Saturday, Sept. 20 vs. Detroit @ 7:05 (home)
Monday, Sept. 22 vs. Boston @ 7:05 (home)
Saturday, Sept. 27 vs. Chicago @ 7:05 (away)

Director's Alert: All STO Regular Season Games in HD this year

We were the first to tell you about this last week on the Director's Cut Blog...and now here are the official details:

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians, SportsTime Ohio and WKYC-TV3 announced the 2008 Tribe TV schedule. All of the games on the two networks will be televised in High Definition. (NOTE: This does not include the Spring Training games.)

SportsTime Ohio will television 141 total Tribe games on cable/satellite (133 regular season games and 8 spring training games). WKYC-TV3 will air 20 games as the flagship station of the Indians Over-the-Air network. Fox Sports National will televise 8 games during the regular season.

The Indians will continue to be among the industry leaders in High Definition broadcasts as all 153 network broadcasts will be in HD. (All 133 STO games and all 20 games on Channel 3).

STO will begin their season with eight telecasts from Spring Training, beginning March 5th at 1:05 p.m. when the Tribe plays host to the Atlanta Braves.

STO's spring training television schedule includes:

March 5 vs Atlanta
March 8 vs Philadelphia
March 11 vs Detroit
March 20 vs Tampa Bay
March 22 vs New York Mets
March 24 vs Atlanta
March 25 vs New York Yankees
March 27 vs Tampa Bay

"Since the launch of SportsTime Ohio two years ago, our sole vision for the Indians games has been to produce the best possible telecasts for Tribe fans, equal or better than any production in the league," said SportsTime Ohio President, Jim Liberatore. "Producing all of our 2008 broadcasts in High Definition builds on that mission and allows the Indians to become the first pro team in Cleveland to have all games in HD."

Rick Manning returns to the STO booth with partner Matt Underwood and WKYC Sports Director Jim Donovan will once again join the Indians TV broadcast team during the Tribe's over-the-air broadcasts on WKYC-TV3.

The Indians open their 108th season in the American League with a three-game series against divisional rival Chicago (March 31 & April 2-3) in Cleveland. The Indians will then head west following the Opening Series with stops in Oakland (April 4-6) and Los Angeles (April 7-9).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy First Anniversary to the Director's Cut Blog

Today marks the one year anniversary since the launch of "The Director's Cut Blog" here on WKYC.COM.

It's been quite a year as we close in on our first 100,000 page views thanks to big stories like the SuccessTech Academy Shootings, a flash flood at the station, a visit by NBC Nightly News anchorman Brian Williams and tons of stories about what goes on behind the scenes here at WKYC - including exclusive in-studio photos.

We were quoted & we were criticized in great on-line media like "Ohio Media Watch," "NewsBlues," "," "TV Newsday," "Shop Talk" & others.

We brought you great "Where Are They Now?" features on former WKYC employees Terry Burhans, Lisa Colagrossi, Connie Dieken, Art Edwards, Doreen Gentzler, Amy Murphy (Hasten), Eileen Korey, Marshall McPeek, Joe Mosbrook, Dawn Stensland and Donna Terrell

Our popular "Get to Know Team 3" offered you inside information on several of our staff members including Joe Brown, Dave Chudowsky, AJ Colby, Lydia Esparra, Betsy Kling, Maureen Kyle, Eric Mansfield, Mike O'Mara, Carole Sullivan and Chris Tye.

We were the first to bring you breaking news on the hiring of News Director Rita Andolsen, a brand new morning show, the hiring of Tom Meyers, Bruce Kalinowsky, Abby Ham, Bruce Drennan and other news releases from WKYC and NBC.

Our classic Channel 3 promos have been viewed by more than 25,000 people.

And, we started a live "Director's Cut Blog Chat" every Wednesday to answer questions about the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center and the transition of television to all digital broadcasting.

So THANK YOU for our first successful year.

The best is yet to come!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Where Are They Now? - Joe Mosbrook

This month, the "Director's Cut Blog" touched base with former WKYC reporter Joe Mosbrook. Although semi-retired, Joe continues to be one of our favorite, traditional journalists whose high integrity for the product and booming voice will forever have a place in the history of WKYC.

I can't help but remember Joe standing in the snowy Ashtabula field in 1981 after our chopper at the time "Newshawk 3" went down and flipped over in near blizzard conditions. There was a calm and collected reporter and his photographer, Dave Hollis, doing a matter of fact feature on themselves. Although Joe doesn't mention it below, it was certainly one of the memorable moments in local television most folks working here still remember about Joe's career. (Watch the video below)

We asked Joe to share, in his own words, a little about his past, present and future.


I joined WKYC TV & Radio in March of 1967 and formally retired in April of 1998, although I continued for three or four additional years on a part time basis, doing some "Look Back" features and serving as Channel 3's voice-over announcer. I was mainly a reporter (usually politics and government), although in almost 35 years I did almost every job in the shop at one time or another. When I retired, someone said I had probably covered more news stories than anyone in Cleveland TV history. In the late 1960s and early '70s, I was the radio news supervisor and produced and anchored a number of NBC Radio Network newscasts from both Cleveland and New York City. Probably the biggest story was the assassination of Robert Kennedy. I was anchoring the radio network from Los Angeles when he died. Other big stories included the elections and administrations of Cleveland Mayors Carl Stokes, Ralph Perk, Dennis Kucinich and George Voinovich. and such continuing court cases as the Cleveland schools desegregation case, the Sam Shepherd murder case, the Kirtland cult killings, and the Kent State shootings. A report I did on WKYC led to the overturning of the Kent State civil verdict.


I'm still on the air (55 years since I first started in radio), doing the weekly Cleveland Jazz History series on Monday nights on WCPN. That radio series, now in its 20th year, led to a book that was published in 2003. Last year I was inducted into the Radio/ Television Broadcasters of Ohio Hall of Fame and have gotten several other awards including a Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. I also serve as president of the Cleveland local of AFTRA (the broadcasters' union) and have been on the boards of the Northeast Ohio Jazz Society, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Cleveland TOPs Swingband, and Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights. At the moment, I'm finishing up another book, not on jazz, but on the history of a colorful little resort community in northern Pennsylvania, and working on a TV presentation for the TOPs Swingband.


I just plan to continue what I've been doing, broadcasting and writing, spending time with our four grown children and two granddaughters, and not worrying about doing 6 a.m. live remotes during snowstorms or asking grieving mothers how they feel about seeing their children killed. But I still get bad dreams at times about failing to have a TV report ready in time to get it on the air -- something that never happened when I was reporting every day.

You can reach Joe by email:

The following is Joe discussing the 1981 "Newshawk 3" helicopter incident. If you can't see the video on this page, CLICK HERE

From the Mailbag: All Indians Games in HD this year?

From: Mike in Cleveland

Q: Hi Frank...Love the Director's Cut Blog on The old clips are great! Heard that the Indians were going all HD on STO, do you know if that's true? How come we see HD Indians games on channel 3, and an HD newscast, but all the Indians highlights within the HD newscast are seemingly SD, and really bad SD at that? Any way to record and edit HD highlights like they do on Sportscenter?

A: I love these multiple part questions...Thanks for the comments. Glad you enjoy the blog. I'm always working on new ideas.

Regarding STO - yes, all Indians games (home & away) this season will be done in high definition according to Pat Kilkenney, SportsTime Ohio Vice President of Program Acquisition/ Executive Producer. Viewers having been asking - and now you shall receive.

Finally, the bad quality video is a result of us not having the capability "yet" to record massive amounts of video in high definition for our newscasts. This is coming, but requires equipment upgrades which are being planned.

You can email your questions to me:

From the Mailbag: Thin Line of "Static" at the Top of the Screen

From: Calvin in Akron

Q: I just subscribed to high definition cable and the HD channels look great. But I notice a very thin line of static at the top of the screen on the SD (standard definition) channels, what is that?

A: That "static" has been there for a long time. It's a data stream of information your TV reads for closed captioning and time codes transmitting by a broadcast TV station.

In the analog TV days, this information was usually hidden by your TV set which didn't quite display every line, so you likely never noticed it.

When SD programs are viewed on a HD set, you see the entire SD picture - and the line with the information.

Check in your new HDTV's control setup for an overscan feature (sometimes called "zoom"). You can use this to crop your picture a bit and eliminate this "static" if it bothers you. Keep in mind, if you start watching a lot of HD programming afterwards, you may want to switch this back. Otherwise, you might lose some of your HD picture.

You can email your questions to me:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

News: Ch, ch, changes....

Starting today, the Director's Cut blog has made some minor changes to where you can find some of our features. This is being done to allow local WKYC features to occupy the main page of our blog including "Where Are They Now," "Classic Channel 3 Promos," "Meet the NBC All Stars" and my own commentary regarding WKYC and our transition to all digital broadcasting.

However, we have found there is also tremendous interest in the daily programming we offer from news to upcoming guests to watercooler talk.

Thus, the "Director's Insider" feature about NBC Programming has been expanded to now include information from other highly popular WKYC shows including "Montel Williams," "Rachel Ray," "Ellen DeGeneres," "Dr. Phil" and "Entertainment Tonight."

The "Director's Notebook" is a new addition to the blog that features stories from around the internet regarding WKYC, NBC, Gannett, High Definition TV, Digital TV and other important stories the trade publications are writing about.

Both these features are now accessible via links on the right hand menu at the top -- or you can bookmark the following quick links:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Comedian Frank Caliendo pays a visit to Channel 3

CLEVELAND -- Monday morning, Comedian Frank Caliendo and his many personalities stopped by "Channel 3 News Today" and provided some laughs.

Frank has been busy lately appearing on the new TBS series "Frank TV." Whether he's lampooning the President or sending up the hottest celebs, you never know who Frank will show up as next. Frank's new show is shot in front of a live audience, but also includes segments filmed at a variety of locations. Everything from current events to icons of the past is fair game for this comic chameleon.

Among the impressions he performed for WKYC viewers this morning included John Madden, President Bush and Robin Williams.

To watch a clip of Frank on Channel News Today (1/14/08): CLICK HERE

Frank's Website:
Frank TV on TBS:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

News: The Guide to Digital Television

With the transition of television from analog to digital only a year away, many of you have questions about how all this will work.

We're here to take you through it step by step.

The Director's Cut Blog, WKYC.COM and Gannett Broadasting have put together a useful guide that will help you better understand what the transition means for you and how it will work.

It's an excellent resource you will want to check out and let others know about.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Video: Channel 3 Classic Promos from 1994

This is a group of classic Channel 3 Promos from around 1994, courtesy of the "Director's Cut" archives.

This latest batch includes cameos from Judd Hambrick, Connie Dieken, Art Edwards, Jodine Costanzo, GM Bill Scaffide, Liz Habib, Jim Donovan, Eileen McShea and Jon Laufman among others.

Our special thanks to WKYC Editor Sarah Montgomery for helping us get the videos to the web.

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

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Meet the NBC All Stars: Howie Mandel

Host Howie Mandel can be seen on NBC's hit show "Deal or No Deal" where he helps contestants beat the banker and win up to a million dollars in cold hard cash.

Howie Mandel's versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, ranging from television to film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning "St. Elsewhere" to the international (and also Emmy-nominated) "Bobby's World," Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene.

Mandel started his career on a dare during a trip to Los Angeles in 1979. He was at the legendary Comedy Store on amateur night and was coaxed by his friends to get up and try his luck. As fate would have it, there was a producer in the crowd who immediately hired him to appear on the comedy game-show "Make Me Laugh." His appearance on the show led to talk-show appearances, a stint as Diana Ross' opening act and, eventually, to the television series "St. Elsewhere," where he spent six seasons as Dr. Wayne Fiscus on the NBC drama.

Mandel's Emmy-nominated animated children series "Bobby's World" ran eight seasons on Fox and now appears in syndication six days a week in 65 countries. As the series' creator and executive producer, Mandel was closely involved in its writing, as well as providing the voice of Bobby, Bobby's dad and other characters. Mandel attributes the show's success to drawing the storylines from real life.

Mandel has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show "The Howie Mandel Show," and continues to be a mainstay on the talk-show circuit. He frequently appears on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," performing his signature hidden-camera bits. He also is one of the first people that Regis Philbin calls to fill in for him when he takes a vacation from "Live with Regis and Kelly." Mandel also continues to perform as many as 200 concerts a year throughout the United States and Canada.

Mandel lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Terry, and their three children.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

News: And the Winner Is????...Nobody

The Golden Globes ceremony won't look the same this year. The traditional ceremony has been canceled and will be replaced with a news conference format. The move came after striking writers threatened to picket the event.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which owns the Globes, says it's disappointed viewers won't see their favorite stars celebrate the achievements in movies and TV, but at least winners will be announced on the ceremony's original date.

The Association had been working on reaching an agreement on a revamped format with NBC, which is to air the show this coming Sunday. The award show regrouped when actors threatened to boycott the ceremony rather than cross the writers' picket lines.

The Golden Globes ceremony provides the unofficial kickoff to the Hollywood awards season, and has served as an informal bellwether to the Academy Awards.

To watch a package on the Golden Globes: CLICK HERE

Courtesy: The Associated Press and NBC

Monday, January 07, 2008

Web Link: Consumer Electronics Show Podcast Portal

As you know, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is underway in Las Vegas featuring the latest and coolest new gadgets and technology.

Some of the best features of the show are the presentations given by both manufacturers and broadcasters.

The CES is offering a videocast podcast portal from this year's show that is well worth checking out:


Video Feature
To watch video about the latest gadgets at CES: CLICK HERE

News: Digital to Analog Converter Boxes Just Plummeted

The battle over business for the new digital to analog converter boxes just ramped up today as EchoStar (owner of Dish Network) announced its plans to offer two new digital-to-analog converter boxes at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The boxes will be distributed in anticipation of the Federal Communications Commission's requirement that all full-power broadcasters cease the transmission of their analog signal by Feb. 17, 2009.

EchoStar's TR-40 over-the-air, digital-to-analog converter allows analog TVs to receive digital over-the-air broadcasts and comes with an onscreen setup wizard for easy installation. Other features include up to a seven-day electronic programming guide (EPG), program search, parental locks and VCR auto-tune timers. The box will be sold under both the EchoStar and Sling Media, Inc. brand names for $39.99 at retail, and can be purchased via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. The program provides U.S. households with up to two coupons, worth $40 each, toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes, which includes the TR-40.

EchoStar will also offer the TR-50 DVR digital-to-analog converter box that includes a digital video recorder, allowing customers to view, record and play back local over-the-air analog and digital broadcasts, including high definition. The TR-50 DVR offers all of the TR-40 features, plus closed captioning, reminder pop-ups for pre-selected programming, simultaneous output from HD and SD connections, as well as Ethernet, modem and USB connections to support additional functionality. Pricing for the TR-50 DVR will be established in the coming months.

The TR-40 is sampling now and will be available in limited quantities in March and unlimited quantities in June of this year. The TR-50 DVR will be available in July.

"While DISH Network has always offered 100 percent digital programming, we know there are still a lot of consumers who have analog TV sets and want to ensure they can continue to watch their favorite over-the-air programming without interruption," said Mark Jackson, president of EchoStar Holding Corporation. "Our new TR-40 and TR-50 DVR digital-to-analog converter boxes leverage the award-winning technology we put into our suite of receivers, and will provide analog TV owners a TV viewing experience not unlike that offered by digital TV sets."

Consumers were originally scheduled to pay $20 to $30 per box after the $40 government subsidized coupons for over the air households. Now, it looks like people may be getting them for free after all. Stay tuned on this one.

Some information courtesy: Echostar

News: Dr. Phil Says Forget It to Britney

LOS ANGELES -- Dr. Phil has been criticized for visiting Britney Spears when she was in the hospital over the weekend and his plans to talk about issues surrounding that visit on his show Tuesday.

Bending to public pressure over his proposed Spears intervention show, Dr. Phil has now canceled the program scheduled for tomorrow, according to managing editor Harry Levin at

In a statement on the Dr. Phil site, he said, "As was widely reported this weekend, at the request of concerned family members, I visited Britney Spears in the hospital. The details of that visit will, of course, remain private. We had planned to tape a Dr. Phil Now show today, focusing not on the tabloid side of Britney's latest problems, but instead on the very serious issues surrounding this case."

The statement goes on, "Clearly, it is not just Britney's family struggling to find a way to protect adult children who cannot be ordered or compelled to seek help. Because the Spears situation is too intense at this time, and out of consideration to the family, I have made the decision not to move forward with the taping at this particular time. Britney and her family are in our prayers, and we ask that they be in yours."

Levin had criticized Dr. Phil for stepping in, saying "Britney didn't ask for it, Britney didn't know about it" and he says Spears walked out when Dr. Phil walked in. says it spoke with eight psychiatrists who don't think Dr. Phil should've been allowed in to see Spears when he doesn't have in-patient privileges. One says "it's a total violation of her rights.

Dr. Phil airs on WKYC at 5 PM weekdays.

Courtesy: The Associated Press

Friday, January 04, 2008

From the Mailbag: Questions about Digital TV

From: Jim in Kent

Q: I first want to commend you and WKYC for informing the public about HDTV and the changes in television that we are going through over the past months. I have some questions about how the switch to digital will affect WKYC and other television stations. Will the digital signal be any clearer/stronger when the analog signal is finished? Will it cost the station any less to broadcast digitally? What will you do with your analog transmitter? And with the recent rule change by the FCC, do you think any stations in the Cleveland/Akron area will drop their analog transmissions in 2008?

A: Thanks for your letter. I'm glad the information has been helpful to you.

Let's take a look at each of your questions - First, digital definitely offers better picture quality because the resolution is much higher than analog tv. Plus, most people forget about the audio. With digital, we can offer superior 5.1 (or higher) surround sound which is another attractive feature to many TV users.

Secondly, the problem with digital vs. analog for people who live on the fringe coverage area is this... If the signal becomes too weak, the pictures disappears. The TV either receives the signal or it doesn't. There is no in between since the signal is bunch 1's and O's being broadcast. With analog, the weaker signal could be fuzzy and still viewable. This is how you can sometimes view distant stations outside the market. That won't be the case with digital.

Third, I'm not really sure there will be any cost savings by going digital for stations. There is a lot of upfront cost to build the digital facilities, but afterwards - we still have costs involved with transmitting our signal. And let's say there will be a lot of analog transmitters heading for the junkyard. Though, low power TV stations aren't being required to switch from analog to digital. So, some of the transmitters may be bought by them or sold overseas.

Finally, I highly doubt any local station will stop broadcasting their analog signal until forced to on February 17, 2009 in the Cleveland/Akron market. Roughly 20% of the TV audience still gets their signals "over the air." With such a competitive environment for TV viewers, I doubt any station will want to lose ANY viewer before then.

You can email your questions to me:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

News: NBC very interested in "The Weather Channel"

Media trade publications are reporting today that Landmark Communications is putting its high profile network, "The Weather Channel," on the auction block - and NBC is licking its lips.

The New York Times says, "Among the Weather Channel's suitors, NBC is expected to compete aggressively, people involved in the auction said. NBC has a weather-related unit called NBC Weather Plus, a joint project of NBC News and NBC affiliates, but the venture has never taken off. NBC Weather Plus includes a cable channel, frequently available only on digital cable platforms and high on the dial, along with a Web site,"

"The Weather Channel" has a staff of 800 employees; 125 are meteorologists.

This could make for an interesting marriage between NBC and a network that at one time was seen as a fledgling network that was not going to make it. But it did and has remained as one of the last remaining independent cable networks not goggled up by big media.

The deal could be worth $5 billion including the channel and the website, (currently the 18th largest media website by traffic).

Other possible players include News Corporation, Comcast, Time Warner and Yahoo.

Some information courtesy: The NY Times

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

From the Mailbag: Problems Receiving Our Signal

From: William in University Heights

Q: I just purchased a new HD TV with a digital tuner. I also own several older sets and get excellent reception through a household antenna. However, despite using exactly the same antenna, the reception on my new digital TV is so poor that many stations can not be viewed. This includes both VHF stations, such as WKYC Channel 3, and UHF stations. Can you explain why? I will be very disappointed not to be able to view your station. Although it is often reported that viewers should be able to receive the same stations on digital or analog TVs using normal antennas, my experience shows this is not true.

A: I turned to WKYC Engineer Dave Kushman who handles our transmitter facilities to answer this one - "The fact that you are not receiving any stations well VHF or UHF is telling me you have an antenna issue. DTV and analog reception are totally different. A weak, snowy signal or one with reflections (ghost) will be viewable on an analog set but a DTV receiver does not know how to handle this kind of picture so it basically shuts the channel down.

You are in a location were the signal strength of all the stations is excellent. If you are using an outside antenna, there is probably a broken connection either between the antenna and splitter or splitter and TV. If you're using an indoor antenna, it's more than likely that reflections are causing the problem.

Using a critical eye and the analog tv, look at an analog picture using this antenna. If you see sparkly dots, there's a good possibility there is power line interference getting into the receiver causing the problem. This would be true if you look at our channel 3 and possibly channel 5. If the other UHF analog stations have this kind of problem, it's more likely there is a broken feed from the antenna. I doubt very much that any local interference source could cover that range of frequencies."

You can email your questions to me: