Monday, September 29, 2008

News: WKYC Weather Calendar Now Available

Celebrate the distinct beauty of northeast Ohio with our new Weather Calendar! The calendar includes useful daily averages, unbelievable extremes and weather history trivia.

Also includes monthly weather highlights from the Channel 3 Weather team explaining Greater Cleveland's unique weather phenomena. Thirty spectacular photographs from the regions best amateurs and most accomplished professionals capture the unique beauty and charm of Northeast Ohio.

They are $12.99 and a portion of the proceeds goes to Coats for Kids.

Available at seasonal Calendar Stores in many area malls, independent book stores like Fireside in Chagrin, online or by phone at 216-386-0026.

See more or order online today:

*Order the Northeast Ohio Weather Calendar

*See a Preview of the Weather Calender

From the Wires: First debate seen by 52.4 million viewers

The first Presidential debate on Friday Night was not the biggest event ever seen in the history of television, but it did get fairly decent rating according to Nielsen.

While neither candidate got the knockout punch they hoped for, it's good to see the nation following the election very closely. Both candidates are in the process of budgeting a ton of money for important states, like Ohio... which will again play a deciding vote in this election year.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The first debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, seen by an estimated 52.4 million viewers on Friday, was one
of the first events of the presidential campaign that was not a huge TV hit.

The audience was 10 million less than the first debate between President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry in 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday.

It wasn't even one of the 10 most-watched presidential debates, falling well short of the record 80.6 million people who saw the only debate between President Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980, Nielsen said.

Nielsen's count includes 11 networks that televised the debate: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC America, Telemundo and Telefutura. Nielsen did not have estimates of the audience for the non-commercial PBS and C-SPAN.

Two factors may have held the audience down:

*It wasn't clear until midday Friday that the debate was even taking place; McCain earlier in the week had called for it to be postponed because of the nation's financial crisis but changed his mind on Friday and agreed to participate.

*Friday traditionally has fewer viewers than any other night but Saturday because more people are going out.

Still, the 52.4 million would make it the most popular television event since the Super Bowl.

The debate between vice presidential contenders Joe Biden and Sarah Palin is scheduled for Thursday, usually a big night for TV viewing.

The most-watched vice presidential debate ever was in 1984, when 56.7 million people watched Vice President Bush take on Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a major party ticket.

Courtesy: The Associated Press

Sunday, September 28, 2008

News: WKYC Anchors Named in Cleveland Magazine's "Best of"

Congratulations to several of WKYC's main weekday anchors for being singled out by readers in Cleveland Magazine's "Best of Cleveland" poll in the magazine's October edition.

They include the following:

*Best Female News Anchor: Romona Robinson
*Best Male News Anchor: Tim White
*Best Sports Anchor: Jim Donovan

All winners will be honored on Friday, October 10th at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

Logo courtesy:

Fall Premiere: "Life" on Monday, 9/29/08 @ 10 PM

It's that time of the year again when the Fall TV Season is about to kick into high gear. And once again, the Director's Cut Blog will give you a sneak peak at what you'll be seeing this fall.

The drama "Life," from Rand Ravich ("The Astronaut's Wife") and Far Shariat ("Confessions of a Dangerous Mind"), focuses on a detective who is given a second chance. Golden Globe nominee Damian Lewis ("Band of Brothers") plays complex, offbeat Detective Charlie Crews, who returns to the force after serving time in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Crews' new lease on life has provided him with a Zen-like outlook, peace of mind and no need for vengeance, an attitude which can be challenging to maintain when someone he cares about is threatened -- or when he is investigating the mystery surrounding the murder he was falsely accused of.

Lewis is joined by cast members Sarah Shahi ("Rush Hour 3") as Dani Reese, Charlie's skeptical and demanding partner; Brent Sexton (HBO's "Deadwood") as Officer Bobby Stark; Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life)" as Captain Kevin Tidwell, and Adam Arkin ("Chicago Hope") as Crew's former cellmate Ted Earley.

"Life" is a Universal Media Studios production. Creator Rand Ravich is executive producer and writer; Shariat is also executive producer and writer, and Dan Sackheim serves as executive producer and director on the series.

Courtesy: NBC

Fall Premiere: "Chuck" on Monday, 9/29/08 @ 8 PM

It's that time of the year again when the Fall TV Season is about to kick into high gear. And once again, the Director's Cut Blog will give you a sneak peak at what you'll be seeing this fall.

The world's nerdiest secret agent is back! Executive producer Josh Schwartz ("Gossip Girl," "The O.C.") and executive producer-director McG ("Charlie's Angels," "We Are Marshall") team up again to bring back the one-hour action-comedy series about Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi, "Less Than Perfect") -- a computer geek who is catapulted into a new career as the government's most vital secret agent.

When Chuck opens an e-mail subliminally encoded with government secrets, he unwittingly downloads an entire server of sensitive data into his brain. Now, the fate of the world lies in the unlikely hands of a guy who works at a Buy More Electronics store. Instead of fighting computer viruses, he must now confront assassins and international terrorists.

With the government's most precious secrets in Chuck's head, Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin, "My Bodyguard") of the National Security Agency resumes his responsibility of protecting Chuck. Casey's partner is the CIA's top agent (and Chuck's dream girl), Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski, "Gone"). They try to keep Chuck safe by trading in his pocket protector for a bulletproof vest.

Also starring are Joshua Gomez ("Without a Trace") as Morgan Grimes -- Chuck's best buddy, Sarah Lancaster ("What About Brian?") as Chuck's ever-supportive sister, Ellie, and Ryan McPartlin ("Living With Fran") as "Captain Awesome," Ellie's fiancé. Chuck's Buy More team consists of Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence, "The Pursuit of Happyness") and the Nerd Herd, which includes Lester (Vik Sahay, "Time Bomb"), Jeff (Scott Krinsky, "The O.C.") and Anna (Julia Ling, NBC's "ER").

Schwartz and Chris Fedak are the writers. "Chuck" is produced by College Hill Pictures, Wonderland Sound and Vision, in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Courtesy: NBC

Friday, September 26, 2008

Behind the Scenes: WKYC Foodbank Promo Shoot

We had a chance to grab the flip cam this afternoon between my regular tapings to grab some video of WKYC anchor Tim White recording a promo in the studio for our Food Drive on Thursday, October 2nd from 5 AM until 7:30 PM at the WKYC studios.

Videographer Steve Pullen was behind the camera as "one take" Tim made it look so easy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where Are They Now? - Virgil Dominic

Time flies in television in so many ways. Therefore, we feel another in our series "Where Are They Now?" is long overdue.

For this month's feature, we located one of the easiest of the Channel 3 alumnists to be found - Virgil Dominic. Virgil is back at Channel 3 working behind the scenes with our talent and news management as a consultant this time around.

If there was ever a "TV Dad" I wish I had, it would be Virgil. His career as taken him to many locales, but ultimately found Cleveland as home. Virgil has done it all over the years from anchor to sales, to General Manager of WJW and now a consultant.

We recently asked Virgil to tell us, in his own words, what he has been up to over these many years that go by so fast.


I served as the main anchor at Channel 3 from 1965 to 1972. In addition to doing the 6, 7 and 11 PM newscasts, I also did a national radio show, NBC News on the Hour, at 5 PM each day and a local radio newscast on WKYC AM at 5:30 PM. I had come to Cleveland from WKY-TV in Oklahoma City. In those days, the networks did not have extensive bureaus. They relied on local stations with good news operations to cover stories in the regions of the country.

Our region was Oklahoma and parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. I was getting on NBC's Huntley Brinkley report pretty regularly as news happened in our region---everything from tornadoes and forest fires to visits by John F. Kennedy. In that way I came to the attention of some NBC news executives and, out of the blue, they offered me the job in Cleveland.

WKYC's newsroom at that time was run by NBC News. Because of this, the network frequently sent me to New York to be the news anchor on the TODAY show, when the regular newscaster was on vacation. Among the people I got to work with was Barbara Walters, who was very kind to me, and whom I continue to admire. I loved working at WKYC...we had some wonderful reporters...many of whom went on to have great careers at the network as correspondents. These included Carl Stern, John Dancy, Fred Briggs and Don Oliver.

These were exciting days to be in television...we were all young people and the business was still sort of being invented at that time. For example, there were no teleprompters. I had to memorize every line of copy for 3 shows a day. Of course, the anchor at that time also had to write most of the show it is your copy it is easier to memorize than one might think. I quickly became friends with my studio crew. One time they timed me and said I was looking at the camera 98 per cent of the time.

One of my newscast directors at that time was a guy you know...his name was Brooke Spectorsky. Who knew back then that Brooke would become GM and hire me as a consultant. Long time relationships are just one of the wonderful things about this business. There were a lot of big stories that I was involved in back then. I anchored election night coverage when Carl Stokes was elected the first black mayor of a major American city; I was out on the street covering the terrible Hough riots; NBC sent me to Detroit to cover the riots there.

One of the interesting things about that was...after me and my cameraman had been out on the street all night and most of the next day...NBC sent in Chet Huntley and he ended up reporting the story with all the material we had developed and written.

The Kent State shootings were also a story I shall never forget. Then, there was the great July 4th storm. The incredible fact about that was that while we did the 6 PM show the show was shining brightly; our weatherman Wally Kinnan scanned the radar. There was not a cloud in sight. Wally confidently predicted it would be a fine night to view the fireworks. About an hour and a half later it was raining so hard you couldn't see across the street. Of course there was a lot of damage and some people, who had gathered at Edgewater Park for the celebration lost their lives. I loved being at WKYC...loved the people I worked with..and was so proud to be the anchorman.

As time went by, I began to develop a feeling that I wanted more control over the news stories, the kind of news stories we did, and how we did them. I began to wonder if I could be a news director. t was only a thought because I was doing well at the station ands at the network..and I wasn't looking for a job. I think that sometimes God literally steps into one's life. Out of the blue, I got a call to go to Atlanta to become news director and anchor at the 3rd place station there. With heavy heart, I left TV3.

Starting a newsroom from the ground up was the most important lesson of my life. We didn't have money to hire an experienced staff. So I interviewed young people who were just begging for a chance. I hired them and trained them as reporters, producers, and cameramen. That experience formed my entire philosophy of management..which basically as close to your people as you can and use your management authority to help them become the best that they can be. In three years, our little station became Number 1...knocking off the great WSB which had been number one for 50 straight years.

As fortune would have it...the owner then sold the station, making a huge profit. The new owners wanted there own people and I found myself looking for a job. Again, I believe God stepped in. In Atlanta I had competed against a station owned by the same company that owned WJW-TV 8 in Cleveland. The manager in Atlanta recommended me to Bill Flynn who had just taken over as TV8's manager. To my great good fortune, I was able to return to Cleveland where I had always wanted to be anyway. We rebuilt the news department there, became number one and stayed number one in all newscasts for 15 years.

Many of TV 3's people were there with me at Channel 8...Dick Russ, Cliff Adkins (pictured), Mike O'Mara, Tom Meyer.


As for the future, no...I don't ever want to retire. I have been blessed in many ways and one of the biggest blessings was being allowed to make a living in a business I truly enjoyed and loved. This new consultancy is my newest blessing. It is a real "high" for me to be back inside a television station, especially one as beautiful as TV 3. I love working with Rita, and Maureen and AJ and Lydia and being asked for advice by Romona and Betsy and others. It is so nice to still be remembered and treated so nicely. I also hope that I can help everyone, at least a little.

Some pictures courtesy:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Premiere: "Lipstick Jungle" on Wednesday, 9/24/08 @ 10 PM

It's that time of the year again when the Fall TV Season is about to kick into high gear. And once again, the Director's Cut Blog will give you a sneak peak at what you'll be seeing this fall.

Based on the best-selling book by Candace Bushnell ("Sex and the City"), this sexy drama follows three high-powered friends as they weather the ups and downs of lives lived at the top of their game.

Movie exec Wendy (Brooke Shields, "Suddenly Susan") does everything she can to balance career and family. Nico (Kim Raver, "24"), editor-in-chief of a hot fashion magazine, has her eye on becoming CEO. And free-spirited designer Victory (Lindsay Price, "Beverly Hills, 90210") longs to make her dreams come true -- and maybe find "Mr. Right" along the way.

Armed with humor and strength, these three modern New York women support one another through the triumphs and tears that are all part of making it big in the Big Apple. Also starring are Andrew McCarthy ("Joy Luck Club"), David Noroña ("Frasier") Paul Blackthorne ("Big Shots") and Robert Buckley ("Fashion House")

The series is executive produced by Oliver Goldstick ("Ugly Betty"), Timothy Busfield ("The West Wing") and Bushnell. Based on the book by Bushnell, "Lipstick Jungle" is from Universal Media Studios.

Courtesy: NBC

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TV Tech Center: How MOS changed our lives

By Frank Macek

This year is the 10th anniversary of the an idea that revolutionized the broadcast industry for better or worse - the MOS (Media Object Server) Protocol.

MOS is a language that was born on August 28, 1998, by a group of broadcast vendors and their customers who agreed to a standardized protocol that would allow a variety of electronic and computer related, broadcast devices to talk to one another. On that day, automation became reality and the moment was seized as the broadcast station owners' dream to improve efficiency, save time and money on large staffs began.

I would even argue, this moment was as destructive for television employees as was the 1996 Telecommunications Act was to radio in bringing about a revolution that would forever change the landscape inside a television station.

But it did happen and we must now deal with it as newsroom systems, graphics, teleprompters, switchers, cameras, videotape machines & servers, audio and others pieces of equipment are built around a common language that allows them to understand and talk to each other like they had some sort of conscious awareness of what they were doing.

In the "old days", a newsroom computer system like BAYSYS, for example, was its own entity. Producers were limited to the newsroom to use the system and virtually nothing in the control room was integrated electronically into the basic rundown. It was just a word processor to bang out anchor scripts. Everything was done manually. You needed to send paperwork to a graphics operator to order graphics, to an artist to build a map or to an editor to edit your story.

That has all dramatically changed with MOS.

Today a system like WKYC's Avid I-News system controls virtually everything in the control room. One person can create an entire newscast by themself.

The producer or director can sit at their newsroom computer and work on every facet of the production from start to finish. The MOS system integrates the graphic associated with a story right into the rundown - whether it be an over the shoulder (OTS), a full screen, a lower third or a tease slug.

Today's MOS integration lets the newsroom computer system control "talk" to every other system in the facility. Entire graphic systems, video servers and teleprompter systems all get their commands from a single source - the rundown.

When the rundown changes, everything else follows with it.

To the extreme, a system like Parker Vision goes even further and can handle a completely automated product with very little input from the director or producer once the original rundown is completed. Cameras, graphics, microphones, lighting grids, video servers, music and everything else runs on a pre-built timeline.

We have the Media Object Server protocol to thank for this. Happy Anniversary to the one concept that changed the lives of everyone in broadcasting today. It's not been a pleasant experience for all those who found themselves on the wrong side of technology. The transition has been painful for so many in our business.

Unfortunately, the future is not much brighter. Learn about new technology. Use it to your advantage. Survive.

Disclaimer: The comments are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC or Gannett Broadcasting. Please post your comments below or email me:

News: WKYC to Help Feed the Hungry

On Thursday, October 2nd WKYC and the Cleveland Food Bank will be teaming up for "Let's Feed Northeast Ohio." This is just one way we can join forces with those in the our local community to make a difference.

And, we need your help.

We ask you to think about dropping off your non-perishable food items between 5:30 AM and 7:30 pm on October 2nd at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center, 1333 Lakeside Avenue at the corner of E.13th and St. Clair Avenue.

WKYC staffers will be on hand to collect your donations and prepare them for shipment to help feed the needy right here in our local area.

This is your chance to help - and we hope you will.

Please spread the word and let your friends know. Our food drive will be Thursday, October 2nd from 5:30 AM to 7:30 PM.

Thank you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Premiere: "Knight Rider" on Wednesday, 9/24/08

It's that time of the year again when the Fall TV Season is about to kick into high gear. And once again, the Director's Cut Blog will give you a sneak peak at what you'll be seeing this fall.

On the heels of NBC's hit movie, the iconic 1980s television classic comes roaring back to life as a reinvented, updated and super-charged action series showcasing the new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand). Absolutely the coolest car ever created, KITT is equipped with an "AI" (artificial intelligence) that is capable of hacking almost any system. Its weapons systems match that of a jet fighter, and its body is capable of actually transforming into other vehicles and using sophisticated holographic imagery to elude villains.

"Knight Rider" stars Justin Bruening ("Cold Case"), Deanna Russo ("NCIS"), Sydney Tamiia Poitier ("Veronica Mars") and Bruce Davison ("Breach"). David Bartis ("Heist," "The O.C."), Doug Liman ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "The Bourne Identity") and Gary Scott Thompson ("Las Vegas," "The Fast and The Furious") are executive producers. Based on characters created by Glen Larson, "Knight Rider" is from Universal Media Studios and Dutch Oven Productions.

Watch the show on Wednesday, then give us your feedback by posting your comments below.

Take a look at the preview:

Courtesy: NBC

Friday, September 19, 2008

News: She's Back!!!!!

Can't remember what Betsy looked like before she had little Josephine?

Join us Monday beginning at 6 PM when meteorologist Betsy Kling makes her return to the 6, 7 & 11 PM newscast.

Betsy's back this Monday.. just in time for Fall Premiere Week on WKYC.

Coincidental? We don't think so.

Watch Betsy's first newscast from tonight at 6 pm, 9/22/08

Fall Premiere: "Heroes" on Monday, 9/22/08

It's that time of the year again when the Fall TV Season is about to kick into high gear. And once again, the Director's Cut Blog will give you a sneak peak at what you'll be seeing this fall.

From creator/writer Tim Kring (NBC's "Crossing Jordan") comes the award-winning "Heroes," an epic drama that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities. In its first two seasons, "Heroes" was honored with a People's Choice Award, an AFI Award, a Multicultural Prism Award, a TV Land Future Classic Award, the TV Critics Association Awards' Outstanding Program of the Year, and the International prize at this year's BAFTA Television Awards and Choice TV Show Action Adventure at the Teen Choice Awards, as well as nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, NAACP Image Awards, WGA Awards and Satellite Awards. On Monday, September 22, "Heroes" returns for its third season, with a brand-new chapter, "Volume 3: Villains," which will explore the nature of good and evil in all the characters, as a cadre of villains is unleashed upon the world.

Previously in "Volume 1: Genesis" and "Volume 2: Generations," when a total eclipse cast its shadow across the globe, a multitude of everyday men and women with special powers seemingly were called forth. To prevent grim predictions of the future, a handful of these individuals banded together to save the cheerleader, New York City, and the world. Now, as ominous, new signs signal catastrophe ahead, new and familiar adversaries begin to gather...

With his abilities returned to him, serial killer Sylar (Zachary Quinto) relentlessly continues to accumulate other people's abilities, which leads him to the Bennet house. Bound to a secret company with a keen interest in people like his daughter, "H.R.G.," a.k.a. Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), finds new purpose when his most dangerous, fantastic foes break out of custody and must be dragged back. Reeling from recent events and revelations, Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), an indestructible high school cheerleader, struggles to define her identity and place in the world.

An act of heroism unveils an amazing secret about Niki Sanders (Ali Larter), a Las Vegas single mother with astonishing strength -- and an unknown, hidden family. In Japan, Yamagato Industries heir Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) continues to use his ability to pierce the space-time continuum and manipulate time to leap into wild, international adventures with his best friend, Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee).

Nathan Petrelli's (Adrian Pasdar) attempted assassination leads several Heroes on a stunning spiritual quest to explain his power of flight. For his younger brother, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), the future and present collide as his many absorbed powers lead him to discover that the only way to end the catastrophic moment facing the world is to do the unimaginable. Meanwhile, their ruthless mother Angela (Cristine Rose) and her associates continue their ongoing, complex machinations to change the world from the shadows.

Former LAPD officer Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) is taught new ways to use his expanding ability to hear and manipulate other's thoughts by an unlikely guide. Dr. Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a genetics professor from India, takes a dangerous step into darkness as his research into those with extraordinary abilities living among us continues. Far from her Dominican Republic home, Maya Herrera (Dania Ramirez), who causes death when filled with fear or anger, begs Suresh to cure her - only to watch helplessly as he embraces his darker side.

Their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world...

Joining Kring as executive producers are Dennis Hammer (NBC's "Crossing Jordan"), Allan Arkush (NBC's "Crossing Jordan") and Greg Beeman ("Smallville"). The drama is produced by Universal Media Studios in association with Tailwind Productions.

Watch the show on Monday, then give us your feedback by posting your comments below.

Take a look at the preview:

Courtesy: NBC

Your Voice: Ethics and Today's Media

As some of you know, I attended an important ethics seminar with many of my Channel 3 colleagues today at Kent State University. The all day event was a lively discussion of ethics and how to maintain them as we move to include citizen journlists and those who wish to express their voices in the new world of digital media using our platforms like on blogs, forums and Youtube, for example.

Before I share my views on today's forum, I like to first ask you to comment on how YOU feel we should move forward with maintaining quality while we [the media] are economically forced to look at different ways to remain relevant.

Can a standard of ethics be maintained while still allowing the public to be part of the process? Or is the only way to continue a "closed system" - where we [the media] are the only gatekeepers and filters to the public that they can trust.

Please post your comments below. I will moderate the comments, but not edit them. This is only to keep the comments on topic.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

News: Local family competes on NBC's 'The Biggest Loser'

NBC's hit series "The Biggest Loser" returns in tonight at 8 p.m. with "The Biggest Loser: Families," featuring eight teams of two family members -- four husband-and-wife teams and four parent-adult child teams, one of which is from Cleveland.

Jerry Skeaback, a 51-year-old police sergeant could possibly be the most unfit person to walk on the Biggest Loser campus. It has always been convenient for him to stop at any fast food place during his shifts, on his breaks or at the end of a shift before heading home. The poor food choices, along with working extra hours just to pay the bills, have really taken their toll on Jerry and caused him to packed on many extra pounds.

As a former athlete, he is constantly wishing he had the extra push to fill those voids. Trying to keep up with his kids over the years has become difficult, and Jerry has had to miss out on many things in their lives due to his weight.

Coleen, 23, is the second of four children in her family, but the only child who is overweight. Coleen has struggled with her weight since her early teen years. Being the only overweight child in her family has been tough on her. Never really feeling comfortable in her skin, Coleen searched for other ways to take the focus off of her weight. She is sociable, engaging and always has a hand to lend to whoever needs it.
Growing up on fast food and quick-fix meals, Coleen began to pack on the pounds at a young age. Sitting at a desk and snacking all day is all part of her daily routine as a receptionist.

"The Biggest Loser" challenges and encourages overweight contestants to shed pounds in a safe and recommended manner through comprehensive diet and exercise as they compete for a grand prize of $250,000. The unscripted and life-altering reality series gathers contestants from across the country to face real-life temptations, while being provided with approved weight-loss skills and resources in an effort to help them transform their bodies, health -- and ultimately -- their lives. Contestants work out under the supervision of professional trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper.

How will Jerry and Coleen do in their quest for $250,000 and a healthier life? Tune in tonight at 8pm on WKYC Channel 3 to find out.

For other video previews of "The Biggest Loser" and to learn more about Jerry and Coleen, click here for our video page and do a "video search" for "Skeaback" to watch several video features about the Skeabacks and the show.

Monday, September 15, 2008

News: We've reached another milestone

I'd like to take a a very brief moment as your blog master returns from a relaxing vacation to thank everyone for their support of the Director's Cut Blog since we launched in January 2007.

While I was away, we hit the very cool mark of 200,000 page views from readers all across the country - including many national and on-line tv trade publications who look to our blog for information happening on the local TV media scene. This may not seem a lot, but it is for a local blog that started from nothing and has grown into its own identity.

As you have heard me say before, we have been quoted, misquoted, loved and hated all over the course of the last 21 months. And, I have to say - I have loved every minute of it. When someone talks about you, you know you are doing something right.

I'd also like to thank the management of WKYC who gives me the leeway and flexibility to bring you interesting and timely articles about the station you won't find anywhere else. They understand the positive contributions of what connecting with our viewers is all about. The blog is a very important part of that motto we all strive for everyday at Channel 3: "Report the Facts, Respect the Truth."

Also our sister work, the "Fair Weather Fans" weather blog continues to do remarkably well, approaching nearly 100,000 page views since it launched last August.

Again, I thank you for being and continuing to be a fan of our blogs. We wouldn't have made it this far without your loyalty. As we continue to grow, we hope you'll tell a colleague about our work.


Spotlight Feature: Behind the scenes of Browns football coverage

In our spotlight feature this week, we are going to give you a double treat of life behind the scenes at one of Channel 3's preseason football games and NBC's Sunday Night coverage of the Browns vs. Steelers game.

In both cases, it's a complex process that's fascinating to watch.

Channel 3 Reporter Lynn Olszowy takes us first inside our production truck as Director Allen Wohl leads our local team of engineers and technicians in perfect harmony.

In the next video, Lynn goes behind the scenes of Sunday Night Football from the weekend's Browns vs. Steelers game right here in Cleveland.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

News: WKYC sweeps up at the Emmys Saturday

CLEVELAND -- Saturday night was Emmy night for local television stations.

Channel 3 had a great night at the awards, winning an Emmy for Best Evening Newscast, Best Weekend Newscast and for our breaking news coverage of the Success Tech Academy Shooting.

WKYC was also honored with a President's Award for 60 years of service to the community.

Congratulations to Romona Robinson, Tim White, Rita Andolsen, Dave Grendzynski, Lydia Esparra, Scott Newell, Carrie Young, Julie Ocepek, Kim Wheeler, Danielle Fink, Monica Robins, Lisa Lowry, Allen Wohl, Dave Summers, Brandi Paulson, Amanda Subler, Maureen Kyle, Mike O'Mara, Tom Genovese, Paul Thomas, George Payamgis, and Chris Mizell.

For a complete list of winners: CLICK HERE

Friday, September 05, 2008

News: "The Doctors" Debuts Monday at 3 PM on WKYC

"The Doctors" debuts on WKYC this Monday, September 8th at 3 PM. It's the hot new fall show coming to daytime tv that everyone will be talking about.

Meet "The Doctors," four renowned physicians with different medical specialties - ER physician (and former ABC "Bachelor") Dr. Travis Stork; OB/GYN Lisa Masterson; cosmetic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears.

This groundbreaking new talk show does for health care what Dr. Phil has done for psychology - provides frank discussions in a fascinating, off-the-cuff manner. Expect these medical experts to weigh in on compelling guest issues and dispense valuable information about health topics du jour. Debating everything from the benefits of plastic surgery to the controversy surrounding autism and vaccines, this medical dream team is the go-to source for information on the latest scientific breakthroughs.

Never visited an OB/GYN before? Or is the idea of a face lift frightening to you? Conquer your fears by learning more about what modern medicine has to offer. The show highlights on-set medical procedures - either in front of the studio audience or backstage in the exam room.

The Doctors airs five days a week and is brought to you by the same team behind Dr. Phil, as well as his own son, Jay McGraw. If it matters to you, it matters to "The Doctors!"

Visit their website:

From the Wires: FCC plans to go through with DTV test in NC

This weekend is expected to be a big one as the nation's first local market shuts off its analog signals in a test situation that will determine how bad the February 17, 2009, shutoff will be for consumers across the country.

It looks like even a storm won't delay the test.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission says he's unlikely to delay plans for an important test in North Carolina that could disrupt television service for some viewers in the path of Tropical Storm Hanna.

The Wilmington, North Carolina, television market is taking part in a test for the national conversion to digital broadcasting. The city's four commercial network affiliates will stop broadcasting an analog signal at noon Monday. The move will leave viewers who aren't ready for the digital change unable to watch those channels. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin says since it appears the rough weather will have moved on by the time of the test, it will go ahead as planned.

The storm has worried some emergency planners who may need to broadcast emergency messages. Martin says if a decision is made to postpone the test, it will be announced Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy: The Associated Press

Thursday, September 04, 2008

From the Mailbag: Where's Judd Hambrick?

From: Pat in Florida

Q: I know I E'd you once before to ask what happened to Scott Newell. I was a huge fan of the New Christie Minstrels music and got a kick out of knowing he was part of the band. I moved to Florida over 20 years ago and always liked Judd Hambrick, do you know what he's doing now? Thanks for taking the time to answer my burning questions.

A: JUDD...and we all called him JUDD.. Hambrick is now semi-retired and lives with his wife in Florence, Alabama, after pursuing some business ventures for a time in Belden, Mississippi.

You can watch some of the fun promos that I previously posted on YouTube of Judd from 1985: CLICK HERE.

You can email your questions to me:

From the Wires: Prisons scramble to make digital TV switch

Here is a story off the wires that caught my attention this afternoon. Think this should be the least of our worries.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- No big screens in the big house could lead
to big trouble.

The upcoming switch to digital TV is presenting a challenge to prison officials who want to make sure prison televisions are up and running. When broadcasters make the switch in February, televisions that aren't hooked up to cable, satellite or a converter box will be reduced to static.

Prison officials are growing concerned about TVs possibly not working. That's because prisoners don't qualify for $40 coupons that can be redeemed for the converter boxes needed to display the digital signal.

While TV might seem like an undeserved luxury for inmates, both prison officials and prisoners say the tube provides a sense of normalcy. It's also used as a bargaining chip that encourages good behavior.

Courtesy: The Associated Press

Gannett acquires a majority stake in CareerBuilder from Tribune Company

Gannett (parent company of WKYC) and Tribune Company announced Wednesday that Gannett has acquired an additional 10 percent stake in CareerBuilder from Tribune for $135 million. The acquisition gives Gannett a 50.8 percent controlling interest in CareerBuilder, the U.S.'s largest online job site.

"CareerBuilder is a terrific company, with great growth potential that just keeps delivering more for Gannett and our partners," said Craig Dubow, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). "We were delighted when the opportunity arose to acquire more of the company while maintaining a good, solid relationship with our partners."

"We are committed to CareerBuilder and want the team there to continue to do what they do best: grow the company, bring in revenues and deliver the best customer service in the jobs space. We don’t expect any major changes," Dubow said.

"This transaction offers us an excellent opportunity to monetize some of the value CareerBuilder has built over the years, while enabling us to maintain a significant stake in a great online property," said Sam Zell, Tribune's chairman and chief executive officer.

Tribune now owns 30.8 percent of CareerBuilder; The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) continues to own 14.4 percent; and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) continues to own 4 percent.

Under the new ownership agreement, Gannett has three seats on the six-seat CareerBuilder board of directors. Tribune and McClatchy have one seat each and the chief executive officer of CareerBuilder has one seat.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

From the Mailbag: Mark Nolan on the Evening News

From: Sarah in Cleveland Heights

Q: Hey, glad to see Mark Nolan on the evening shift again. I miss seeing him every night...I never get to see him doing the morning news. It's WAY too early.

A: We loved having Mark fill in for Tim White the last couple of days. Romona and Mark looked great together. Watch out Tim!

You can email your questions to me:

News: NBC Football Debuts Tonight on WKYC

NBC will kick off another football season with a special Thursday Night edition of "Football Night in America" tonight. Then our regular schedule of "Sunday Night Football" starts this weekend at 7 PM.

WKYC will have live coverage of the Giants and Redskins game beginning at 7:00 PM. Channel 3 News at 7 will not be seen.

Go behind the scenes with NBC's NFL team of Al Michaels and John Madden as they share with Mark Barger what they're looking for in the coming NFL season. (See what they have to say about the Browns!)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

News: Former Voice Of NBC & WKYC Announcer Dies

LOS ANGELES -- Don LaFontaine, the voice behind thousands of Hollywood movie trailers, has died. He was 68. Many of you may remember hearing Don's voice on NBC and Channel 3 when he was an announcer for a number of our promos and station IDs.

LaFontaine has been a fixture in Hollywood for decades, working on about 5,000 movie trailers. Much of his fame stems from his trademark movie-trailer catch phrase, "In a world where..."

LaFontaine's agent Vanessa Gilbert says the voiceover artist died Monday as a result of complications from the treatment of an ongoing illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Don LaFontaine was a native of Duluth, Minnesota. After graduating from High School, he joined the army and eventually was stationed at Fort Meyer, Virginia, outside of Washington DC. He was assigned to the United States Army Band and Chorus as a recording engineer.

After his discharge from the service, he moved to New York City where he found work at National Recording Studios as a sound engineer/editor. Late in 1962, he was assigned to a young radio producer named Floyd L. Peterson, who was creating radio commercials for "Dr. Strangelove". They worked so well together that, in January of 1963, LaFontaine joined Floyd Peterson, making it a two man operation, working out of Floyd's apartment.

Over the next couple of years, the company rapidly grew to employ thirty people and expanded into its own building; a carriage house on west 57th street. Floyd L. Peterson, Inc. was one of the first companies to work exclusively in motion picture advertising. Prior to that time, most film promotion was done in-house by the studios. It was during this period that the format for the modern Trailer (Previews of coming attractions) was developed, and LaFontaine and Peterson were among the first to create the catch phrases that still dominate trailers; "In a world", "A one-man army", "No where to run, no where to hide and no way out" etc.

In 1965, a mix-up in scheduling prevented an announcer from making a session, and LaFontaine was forced to create a "scratch" narration for radio spots for the film "Gunfighters Of Casa Grande" in order to present something to the client, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. To his surprise, they bought his performance, and over the next 16 years he voiced thousands of spots and hundreds of trailers.

He spent a number of years as a head of production for Kaleidoscope Films, Ltd; one of the premiere trailer production houses. In 1976, he started his own production company, Don LaFontaine Associates. His first assignment as an independent was "The Godfather, Part II."

In 1978 he was asked to join Paramount Pictures, heading up the trailer department. Over the next three years, he became literally the "Voice" of Paramount. In 1980 he was named Vice President, but he missed being involved in active production.

He left Paramount in 1981 and moved from New York to Los Angeles, again as an independent producer. One of his first phone calls was from a young agent named Steve Tisherman, who urged LaFontaine to pursue voice-overs more aggressively. He signed with Steve Tisherman, and never looked back.

Over the past 25 years, LaFontaine cemented his position as the "King of Voice-overs." Aside from his continuing work in the trailer industry, he has also been the voice of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and UPN, in addition to TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network. By conservative estimates, he has voiced hundreds of thousands of television and radio spots, including commercials for Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Budweiser, McDonalds, Coke, and many other corporate sponsors. At last count, he has worked on nearly 5000 films, including appearances as the in-show announcer for the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards. Based on contracts signed, he has the distinction of being perhaps the single busiest actor in the history of SAG.

LaFontaine was married to Singer/Actress Nita Whitaker, and lived in Los Angeles.

Special thanks to: The Associated Press & the Don LaFontaine website

Monday, September 01, 2008

Special Report: In the Eye of the Storm

As Hurricane Gustav blows through the Gulf Coast this weekend, we have a behind the scenes look at how our colleagues at NBC News are covering the storm this Labor Day.

Take a look -