Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday's Bits and Pieces for 10/31/08

Here's our daily update of what's happening at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Tonight's WKYC Evening Programming Schedule:

6:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 6 PM
6:30 PM: NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
7:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 7 PM
7:30 PM: Entertainment Tonight
8:00 PM: Deal or No Deal
9:00 PM: Crusoe
10:00 PM: Lipstick Jungle
11:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 11 PM
11:35 PM: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

It's Our Anniversary

As we've mentioned earlier this week, today is WKYC's 60th Anniversary of signing on the air on Halloween Night, 1948. We have several features here on the "Director's Cut" blog - or you can check out our look back on CLICK HERE

Friday Night Fever at 11 PM

We'll have complete highlights from several of the big games on week #1 of the Playoffs for Division 2, 4 and 6 tonight...

- Kent Roosevelt @ Mayfield
- Madison @ Shaw
- Tallmadge @ Padua
- Avon Lake @ Highland

Complete hightlights and scores...and more on

Tonight on Channel 3 News at 11 PM

We're all looking to cut costs on everyday items and that's turning more of us into coupon clippers. But as coupon clipping has risen, so has the number of offers too god to be true. Learn how to recognize counterfeit coupons showing up on-line and in your mail box so that you don't get short-changed at the cash register the next time you shop. Lydia Esparra reports on "Counterfeit Coupons," tonight at 11pm on Channel 3 News.

"Lipstick Jungle" On the Move

NBC has moved the Brooke Shields show "Lipstick Jungle" to Friday Nights at 10 pm, beginning tonight.

McCain On "SNL" Again

Republican presidential candidate said Friday that McCain will make another appearance on "Saturday Night Live" on Saturday at 11:35 pm. The show has become a must-watch for many during this political season. Hosting the show this Saturday is actor Ben Affleck, a supporter of Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Musical guest is singer David Cook.

Sunday Night Football on WKYC

This week on NBC "Sunday Night Football," you see New England @ Indianapolis beginning with complete coverage at 7 PM on WKYC in high definition. Check out the very cool "SNF" website: CLICK HERE

Where Are They Now? - Larry Cosgrove

Since have a feeling our "Where Are They Now?" feature is going to be greatly expanding in the coming months, we figured we get in touch with one our personal favorites, who left WKYC right before your Director's Cut blogger started at WKYC - Meteorologist Larry Cosgrove.

We both share one great love - THE WEATHER. Larry is now living in Houston and we speak regularly on our Facebook accounts. So, I asked him to tell us a little about what he has been up to since leaving WKYC.


From November 1991 into January 1994, I worked (at various times) as either the weekend or morning/noon meteorologist at WKYC. Among my favorite times at Channel 3: the severe weather coverage of the summer of 1992 (I actually did a live, phone-in report from a pizza restaurant in West Amherst dealing with a tornado that ultimately hit Hopkins Airport) and the Blizzard of March 1993 (a marathon which secured a 17/33 rating/share for WKYC).

I still remember my days in Cleveland fondly, and miss the various weather challenges that northern Ohio has to offer a meteorologist specializing in extreme conditions like cold, snow and tornadoes.

A bit of trivia: the late Wally Kinnan, who was the chief meteorologist at Channel 3 during much of the 1960s and 1970s, was my boyhood idol when he was on WRCV-TV in Philadelphia, previous to his coming to Cleveland.


I now live in Sugar Land TX, just southwest of Houston.

My main role these days is consulting investment firms that handle natural gas and crude oil. I look out for important weather changes "down the road" which may affect pricing of energy sources.

I have in the past year appeared on FOX News Channel as an on-air expert for weather topics; and I still, after 21 years, do radio forecasting for WWJM-FM in the Zanesville area.

And yes, I still chase storms! I was out in the middle of Hurricane Ike when it hit Houston.


While I still love broadcasting (and wish that I could do more radio and TV work), the energy field has opened up a new and highly profitable arena for my career. I would not be surprised if, at some point, I were to build a presence on the Internet advising speculators in energy and agriculture.


Here are some classic Channel 3 Promos we added to YouTube feature Larry while he was here at WKYC.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday's Bits and Pieces for 10/30/08

Here's our daily update of what's happening at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Tonight's WKYC Evening Programming Schedule:

6:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 6 PM
6:30 PM: NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
7:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 7 PM
7:30 PM: Entertainment Tonight
8:00 PM: My Name Is Earl
8:30 PM: Kathy & Kim
9:00 PM: The Office
9:30 PM: 30 Rock
10:00 PM: ER
11:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 11 PM
11:35 PM: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

"30 Rock" Returns Tonight

Tina Fey returns tonight on NBC with a fresh new season of "30 Rock" beginning at 9:30 PM.

Election Specials on WKYC

WKYC will have extensive live coverage of Decision 2008 on Monday and Tuesday.


5 PM - 6 PM: Channel 3 Election & News Special
6 PM: Channel 3 News
6:30 PM: NBC Nightly News
7:30 PM: Channel 3 News


5 PM - 6 PM: Channel 3 Election & News Special
6 PM: Channel 3 News
6:30 PM: NBC Nightly News
7:00 PM: NBC Special Coverage will also provide mobile election results for your cell phone this Tuesday evening for 900 or so different races. You can access our mobile platform at:

One Final Note

Again, I will not be commenting on job related issues at WKYC. Employment matters are between the station and my colleagues - though we wish everyone well in this very difficult time of transition. Thank you for understanding as a reader.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday's Bits and Pieces for 10/29/08

Here's our daily update of what's happening at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Tonight's WKYC Evening Programming Schedule:

6:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 6 PM
6:30 PM: NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
7:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 7 PM
7:30 PM: Entertainment Tonight
8:00 PM: Barack Obama Political Message
8;30 PM: Deal or No Deal
10:00 PM: Lipstick Jungle
11:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 11 PM
11:35 PM: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

The Moon Won't Be the Only Thing Rising Over Parma Soon

WKYC has begun construction on our brand new television tower that will soon rise next to our existing tower in Parma. The new tower will become home to both WKYC and WVIZ television. According to our Director of Technology Mike Szabo, the foundation has been laid and the tower should start going up soon, weather permitting - of course.

WKYC Celebrates 60 years on the air

All this week, we are sharing with you some of the memorable moments in WKYC-TV's colorful past. Both on the Director's Cut Blog and, you'll find our memories and you can post your own. WKYC signed on the air as the city's 2nd television station (after WEWS) on October 31, 1948 at WNBK Channel 4.

Golden Opportunities Celebrates 10 Years

Congratulations to Armond Budish and the cast and crew of "Golden Opportunities" who celebrate their 10th Anniversary this year. The show discusses senior issues and topics that mostly go untouched in the 25-54 year old advertising world. This despite, those over 50 years old are the richest and have the most disposable income. Your "Director's Cut" blogger can actually remember that far back when we did their first broadcast in our old building at 1403 E. 6th Street.

During football season, the show airs at 12:30 PM on Sunday afternoons. The rest of the air, you can find the show at 11:30 AM.

Read more on their website:

More Job Layoffs for Gannett

A tough economy has forced WKYC's parent company, Gannett, to downsize more employees at their newspapers according to the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gannett Co., the nation's largest newspaper publisher, will cut another 10 percent from the work force at its local newspapers by early December.

This comes on top of a 10 percent reduction announced in August. Neither round affects USA Today.

Gannett isn't revealing a specific number, and it isn't immediately clear whether all would come through layoffs. Some 600 of the 1,000 cuts in the first round were achieved through layoffs.

Like other newspaper companies, Gannett is suffering declines in advertising revenue that are accelerating this year. Gannett had said Friday it might make more cuts by year's end.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Feature: The "Director's Cut Blog" Goes Mobile

We are pleased to offer you a new way to keep in touch with the latest news happening at WKYC with a brand new service called "Mobile on the Go".

You can sign up with your mobile phone number to get our updates the second they are posted and right to you mobile phone.

It's just another way we can get you the news faster and where and when you want it.

To start using this feature, click on the widget on the right hand side of the blog.

News: "Get Well Wishes" to Eric Mansfield

Our "Get Well Wishes" go out to fellow blogger and WKYC Akron Newsroom Bureau Chief Eric Mansfield who was a passenger in a car accident last week in downtown Akron.

Eric reports on his blog, "Have I Got News For You," that he remains sore and is taking a while to recoup at home.

Our best wishes to Eric. You can reach out to Eric through his blog or by email:

60th Anniversary: The Great Moments

A friend of the Director's Cut Blog, Brian Heath, helped us put together a nice collection of video from YouTube that shows the various "looks" of Channel 3 News over the years.

It's a great trip down Memory Lane.

60th Anniversary: Memories of Yesteryear at WKYC

We've put together a photogallery of several pictures from the past on

Take a stroll down memory lane with us.

To view the photogallery:


60th Anniversary: WKYC Celebrates 60 years on October 31st

It was on Halloween night that WNBK-Channel 4 signed on the air.

60 years later, WKYC is preparing to sign off on analog Channel 3 as we get set to welcome a new era in broadcasting - all digital TV.

On February 17, 2009, WKYC will assume our new digital channel, Channel 17 - though we will still be known at "Channel 3" for many years to come. (We are currently broadcasting on Digital Channel 2).

So, the "Director's Cut Blog" begins our look back at 60 great years of memories including a brief look at some of the historic moments in our station's history.

1948: WNBK-TV, an NBC owned and operated station begins broadcasting and goes on the air October 31, 1948. From 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., viewers tune in to WNBK. Soon after, the station moved its sign-on time up to 1 p.m. WNBK was Channel 4 then, and Tom Haley, who appeared on "Today in Cleveland", worked for WTAM Radio, the NBC radio arm of WNBK.

1954: WNBK-TV erects the most powerful television antenna in the Midwest and the tallest in the country. With this new and improved signal, Channel 4 moves to its new location as Channel 3 and that's where it has stayed ever since.

1955: Westinghouse trades its Philadelphia station for NBC's WNBK-TV, moving it from Cleveland, Ohio to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. WNBK-TV and WTAM Radio become KYW-TV and KYW Radio respectively.

1957: KYW-TV begins producing a children's program. Barnaby premieres with Linn Sheldon and becomes Cleveland's highest-rated locally produced show ever. Barnaby, all ad-libbed, is true "live" television. Sheldon became so popular; Barnaby airs seven days a week. WNBK then turned its attention to the news business and hired Paul Sciria at the station's first full-time news reporter.

1959: Channel 3 was featuring Eyewitness News, one of the first half-hour newscasts in the country. The Channel 3 news team consisted of anchors Carl Stern and Bud Dancy, weathercaster Dick Goddard, and Jim Graner with sports.

1963: KYW-TV hires Mike Doud, a lounge singer to host an afternoon variety show. His name is changed to "Mike Douglas," the show became a huge success and the rest as they say - is history. The show's format called for one guest to co-host each week. It also became the springboard for many celebrities who went on to fame and fortune. For example, a 20-year-old singer from New York was paid $1,000 to co-host five 90 minute shows -- Barbra Streisand. A KYW Radio director, Tom Conway often did comedy skits. A popular performer, he tried comedy on his own, but as Tim Conway.

1965: The FCC and Supreme Court rule the Westinghouse/NBC trade null and void. KYW moved back to Philadelphia, PA, taking along with it The Mike Douglas Show which went to national syndication soon after; WKYC-TV/Radio now came back to Cleveland.

1965: Television went from black and white to color, and WKYC-TV 3 became Cleveland's first all-color television station.

1986: Channel 3 became Cleveland's first VHF station to broadcast in stereo.

1990: WKYC-TV premiered northeast Ohio's first local newscasts closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired. Also that same year, NBC sold 51 percent of WKYC to Multimedia Broadcasting, Inc. from Greenville, South Carolina.

January 1991: Dick Feagler wins a Silver Baton in the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards competition for his outstanding commentaries. In April, it is announced that Dick Feagler has received broadcast journalism's highest honor, a George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast excellence.

February 1992: A 6 a.m. early morning newscast premieres on Channel 3. WKYC then purchases and introduces Northeast Ohio's first and only Doppler 3 radar system in March. In May, Channel 3 News at Noon begins. News reporter Leon Bibb is inducted to the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In July, Saturday morning news begins at 9 a.m. and in September, Sunday 9 a.m. news comes on board. In October, WKYC adds more news with the debut of Saturday and Sunday noon newscasts.

March 1993: Weekday noon news goes to one hour. Talkback 3, a way for viewers to call in their suggestions and comments begins in August, over 18,000 calls are logged within a year.

April 1994: Channel 3 launches a weekday 5:30 a.m. newscast. In August, WKYC debuts a new weather forecasting feature called Stormtracker 3, which pinpoints location and direction of severe weather through specific neighborhoods.

January 1995: WKYC-TV enters into the computer world with an e-mail address on America On-line. Viewers can now enter comments to Channel 3 via computer, over 350 messages are logged within the first months of 1995.

October 1995: WKYC-TV Saturday morning news expands to 90 minutes.
October 1995: WKYC-TV finishes first in Nielsen overnight ratings for 11 p.m. news.

November 1995: WKYC-TV becomes a part of Gannett Broadcasting's television station group. Gannett is a nationwide news and information company that publishes daily newspapers including USA TODAY.

March 1996: Channel 3 expands its Sunday newscasts to 90 minutes at 9 a.m..

March 1997: Romona Robinson, long-time Cleveland television anchor joins TV3. TV3's successful viewer outreach program. Talkback 3, goes on the road and visits viewers throughout the community.

June 1997: "Today in Cleveland" concludes its run at 6:30 a.m.. Channel 3 News expands from 5:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. Monday - Friday.

October 1997: Brooke Spectorsky is named WKYC President and General Manager.

November 1997: WKYC posts the best ratings for 6 and 11 p.m. news in a November rating book in the station's history.

January 1998: WKYC begins to celebrate its 50th anniversary of bringing northeast Ohio quality local news, information and entertainment.

February 1998: WKYC is #1 in news ratings at 5:30 a.m., Noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

March 1998: WKYC launches annual community service ca.m.paign entitled 3 Cares and adopts John W. Raper Elementary School students as part of the progra.m..

May 1998: Channel 3 News again posts #1 rating numbers at 5:30 a.m., Noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

August 1998: WKYC is named the official local television of the Cleveland Browns with pre-season games, pre and post game shows, a Sunday night wrap-up show and a revolutionary children's show called Browns Blitz.

March 1999: Veteran reporter Del Donahoo, at Channel 3 for over 40 years, signs on for three more years.

June 1999: WKYC becomes the first local television station in the city of Cleveland (Northeast Ohio) to broadcast in high definition.

August 1999: WKYC joins forces with Cleveland Live (now and goes to the Internet with our web site

August 1999: WKYC becomes the official home of Cleveland Browns pre-season game coverage and local programming.

September 1999: Channel 3 News expands local coverage beginning at 5 a.m. and at 6 p.m. Channel 3 News expands local coverage to one hour.

October 1999: WKYC breaks ground on a new state-of-the-art television facility, completed in December, 2000.

March 2000: Popular news anchor Romona Robinson, the first African-American female evening news anchor in Cleveland, renews her contract for four more years.

April 2000: Local television veteran Fred Griffith joins WKYC as host of "Fifteen Minutes with Fred," a mini-talk show during the noon hour. The show was expanded in 2004, becoming Studio 3.

June 2000: WKYC news at 6 p.m. goes from one hour to a half-hour at 6 p.m. and a half-hour at 7 p.m., to accommodate viewers' lifestyles.

August 2000: A venture into reality television, WKYC premieres "Room[mates]," a segment that follows six local college students for six weeks before they leave for school. It is the first reality programming on NBC.

December 2000: Channel 3 News at 11 p.m. is #1 in household Nielsen ratings.

January 2001: WKYC moves into its state-of-the-art all digital local television center. The 80,000 square foot facility positions WKYC Channel 3 for the future of local television.

June 2001: WKYC and Paxson Communications bring back local news on Channel 23 with a Monday - Friday nightly local newscast originating in Akron at 6:30 p.m. There is also a new voice for Akron news online:

October 2002: WKYC's weekend morning news celebrates its 10th anniversary.

January 2003: Channel 23 News at 10 p.m. debuts.

September 2003: Channel 3 News at Noon moves to 11 AM with "Studio 3" from 11:30 until Noon with hosts Fred Griffith and Hollie Strano.

September 2005: "Good Company" hits the airwaves at 10 a.m. with hosts Eileen McShea, Michael Cardamone, Fred Griffith and Andrea Vecchio.

December 2005: WKYC and the Cleveland Indians form a new company to produce and broadcast Indians games. The partnership with Time Warner Cable is set to launch during spring training, 2006.

May 22, 2006: WKYC began broadcasting nall of our local newscasts in high definition, becoming the 2nd station in the market to do so.

May 31, 2008: WKYC ends is coverage of the Akron Canton News due to tough economic conditions.

June 2008: WKYC announced the launch of ( a hip, new website for socially active taste-makers and young professionals looking to be one-step ahead of Cleveland's latest trends and hotspots.

October 15, 2008: WKYC relaunches a new graphics look using the AXIS graphic systems and a hub called "G3" from Denver.

Tuesday's Bits and Pieces for 10/28/08

Here's our daily update of what's happening at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Tonight's WKYC Evening Programming Schedule:

6:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 6 PM
6:30 PM: NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
7:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 7 PM
7:30 PM: Entertainment Tonight
8:00 PM: Biggest Loser: Families
10:00 PM: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
11:00 PM: Channel 3 News at 11 PM
11:35 PM: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Happy Annivesary Golden Opportunities

The last major sweeps period of the analog era of television begins this Thursday, October 30th. For the next four weeks expect to see all those "special" reports that make sweeps so fun.

Here is a preview of the first one we'll be airing on WKYC. Channel 3 News' Tom Meyer, "The Investigator,"reveals a new high that's popular with teens, one that's legal, but very dangerous. Here's the promo for Tom's story which airs Thursday October 30th at 11pm on Channel 3 News.

No February Sweeps in 2009

Speaking of ratings, Nielsen will be throwing out the February sweeps period in 2009 as a result of the transition to digital broadcasting. Instead, the book will run March 5th through April 1st giving local stations the opportunity to get viewer's problems worked out before then.

Obama On WKYC Wednesday

NBC and WKYC will air a special 1/2 hour paid political segment bought and paid for by Barack Obama tomorrow night at 8 PM. The same show will also air on FOX and CBS, although the campaign pulled out of its airing on ABC, which will instead air "Pushing Daisies."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tech Center: AXIS Graphics & G3

By Frank Macek

Welcome to the future of television graphics - the AXIS system from Chyron.

As you have noticed if you are regular WKYC viewer, we made a significant operational switch October 15th that changes the way we bring viewers the graphics seen on our television broadcasts. This is similar to the change that other station groups, like Fox, have made recently where all their owned and operated stations use the same basic package of graphic elements - further enhancing brand identity.

Unfortunately there is a human cost involved in this change - the days of large, local graphic departments are over for Gannett's 23 television stations thanks to this new web based technology. Almost overnight, our world has transformed to one where anyone in our newsroom can build graphics. And anyone can work anywhere at anytime with the new system - at your newsroom desk, at home or a laptop on a liveshot.

How times have changed.

In the old days, a producer would order a graphic from our local art department which would then design and send it to our computerized newsroom system that interfaces with the Deko Playback controller in the control room. When Deko was added over a year ago here at WKYC, the system replaced our graphic operators - two on the evening shift - whose job it was to build playlists and do everything that the computer system does automatically today.

Starting this month, Gannett inaugurated a brand new graphics hub operation in Denver called "G3" or the Gannett Graphics Group. The hub is located at KUSA-TV with a staff of about 20 artists. As previously reported, 30 other positions were eliminated company wide, including here at WKYC.

The core of AXIS is a web based service that a producer can log into and utilize templates designed by "G3". These include OTS (over the shoulders), full screens, lower thirds and split screen boxes used to toss to remotes. Most of the new animations and graphics were designed by Pyburn Films and were made specifically for our Gannett stations.

AXIS gives us the ability to select any graphic in the company database to use for our stories - including those from our other stations. If the story is national, we can all share the same graphics which saves time and energy. Why make the same graphic 23 times? The bottom line here is efficiency.

While most of the graphics and maps can be designed by our own producers, more complex projects like special opens, news series, and graphic re-enactments are ordered from "G3" who then sends them via FTP to our station for immediate use.

This is just one of many changes coming to local television. With technology exploding and economic conditions worsening, stations are being forced to look for more efficient ways, like AXIS, to maintain the level of product that will be needed for on-air, the web and mobile technology as it emerges.

If you would like to see a very cool demo of Chyron's Axis, CLICK HERE

Monday's Bits and Pieces for 10/27/08

Several interesting pieces of information have crossed the Director's Cut Blog's desk over the weekend.

NBC Reshuffles Wednesday lineup

NBC will revamp its primetime Wednesday schedule to focus entirely on crime dramas. Starting November 5, Knight Rider remains at 8p while Life gets a chance to rejuvenate by moving into the 9p time period and Law & Order will re-launch in the 10p slot. Lipstick Jungle will then switch to Friday nights. Additionally, NBC pushed back the debut of Momma's Boys to December 16 following the season finale of The Biggest Loser; the next week Momma's Boys will air on Monday nights at 9p in the Heroes time slot once it concludes its season. Momma's Boys was originally slated to debut on November 12.

NBC & WKYC Election Night Coverage

NBC and MSNBC will both broadcast from its Rockefeller Plaza headquarters on election night. In addition, NBC announced plans to add new features such as superimposing a huge U.S. map on the Rockefeller Center skating rink as well as projecting Barack Obama's and John McCain's electoral vote tally on the outside of its building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. NBC and MSNBC will also offer a virtual reality component by expanding Tim Russert's electronic clipboard.

WKYC will have special election night coverage of Monday and Tuesday beginning with special editions of Channel 3 News at 5 PM, election cut-ins during NBC prime which will run from 7 PM until 2 AM. WKYC Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres will be joined by analysts to discuss the Presidential elections and issues of local interest.

Cleveland Is Running Rich With Political Spending

Broadcasting and Cable reports today that the Cleveland market is seeing a nice influx of money thanks to the Presidential campaign this year where both Barack Obama and John McCain see the region as crucial to winning the election. Stations are airing wall to wall political ads in some cases, while product spots have dropped dramatically.

However after next Tuesday, Cleveland's financial party will end. We'll return to the reality of the moment that the market is hurting badly. WKYC President/General Manager Brooke Spectorsky is quoted regarding market conditions that "Dismal is an understatement."

Gannett Reports An Increase in TV Revenue, Continued Loss Overall

Good news for Gannett's broadcasting arm with 3rd quarter revenues up 3.9% thanks to a strong summer. Results were $197 million, helped by the Olympics on its NBC affiliates ($24 million) and political advertising ($26 million). The owner of WKYC also reported on Friday that Gannett's total reported operating revenue was $1.64 billion for the third quarter, down from $1.8 billion in the same quarter last year. According to Broadcasting and Cable, "While our results this quarter reflect the difficult and volatile economy both here and in the UK, they also highlight our determination to move forward with our strategic plan," said Gannett Chairman/President/CEO Craig Dubow.

Gannett is one of the nation's leading newspaper publishers and broadcast companies.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Decision 2008: Your Vote Counts Even in TV

We want your vote beyond the political election. We want to know what you think of Channel 3 News' new graphics and music package that we launched last week.

This is a package being instituted at all our Gannett Television stations and doesn't necessary reflect our likes or dislikes.

Make your voice heard -

<a href="">What do you think of our new on-air look for Channel 3 News?</a> | <a href="">BuzzDash polls</a>

News: New Life in the "ER"?

By Frank Macek

The Director's Cut is hearing loud rumors that this may not be the final curtain for "ER," the medical drama that was supposed to wrap up its 14th and final season this year.

With NBC still struggling to find footing with many of its newest shows this year, NBC is said to be considered keeping the show in production. "ER" has been doing very well again in its Thursday Night 10 PM timeslot against "Life on Mars" from ABC and "Eleventh Hour" for CBS.

We'll probably get some sort of announcement by the end of the month as negotiations are continuing between NBC and Warner Brothers, the show's production arm.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Director's Alert: Brian Williams to join us live at 7 PM

Update: In case you missed the interview live at 7, you can watch it below.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will join us live on Channel 3 News at 7 PM following his national broadcast from Green Memorial High School in Summit County where he is following John McCain and Sarah Palin.

During Nightly News, Brian will share an interview he did with both earlier today.

Be sure to join us at 7 PM for Brian's thoughts on the election, now less than 2 weeks away - and how important Ohio is once again.

Brian Williams on Channel 3 News at 7 PM

Chuck Todd, NBC Political Director, joined us live in the studio

Friday, October 17, 2008

News: A Farewell to Friends

Today is another one of those days you hate to see come in the television industry, as we say goodbye to two long time friends at WKYC - Graphic Artists Joe Wood and Lance Deevers.

Both have been instrumental in developing the graphics you have seen on the air for many years on WKYC. The following pictures were taken by Jim Kegelmyer from their going away banners.

Joe Wood
is an extremely creative and brillant designer who could turn anything into art. Joe would always design the coolest going away cards for retirees and employees who left the station. Plus, he spent a lot of time in Federal Court sketching the artist renderings you saw on both local and NBC video feeds.

Lance Deevers was responsible for much of the set building you see in our studios, including our Browns and Indians sets. His ideas were also put into many graphics you see on Channel 3 News. You can view Lance's work on his website:

Good luck to both guys. We'll miss you!

Photo Courtesy:
Jim Kegelmyer and Dani Fink's blog "Swing By and Spray"

News: WKYC offers "Shout!" on for Facebook

We're pleased to announce Shout!, our Facebook application, has launched.

Shout! is where teens can sound off about their season.

Each school has its own "wall" where teens can post comments. They can view rival teams' walls, too, and join those conversations.

Learn more about the application, and add it to your facebook profile, here:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Premiere: "Crusoe" on Friday, 10/17/08 @ 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.

From Power, Muse and Moonlighting Films comes an ambitious adaptation of Daniel Defoe's masterpiece, "Crusoe," a new primetime series for a 21st Century audience. Following the novel and its treasured tale of adventure, this high-action, fast-paced, thirteen-part series will combine for the first time the pace and energy of network television while remaining faithful to the author’s original classic story.

The drama explores the perils and challenges facing the world's most famous castaway as Crusoe (Philip Winchester, "Flyboys," "Thunderbirds") and his native friend Friday (Tongayi Chirisa) struggle to survive on a desert island with little more than their wits. Overcoming marauding militias, hungry cannibals, wild cats, starvation and apocalyptic lightning storms, Crusoe dreams of the day he will be reunited with his beloved family.

Allowed to develop away from the bonds of 17th Century life, the ingenious Crusoe builds a breathtaking and altogether modern home high up in the trees to elude his enemies. Friday and Crusoe's deep friendship is pushed to the limit as opportunities to escape their island paradise, and the people they meet there, consistently challenge them to choose between loyalty and freedom.

As the series develops, the love story between Crusoe and his wife Susannah (Anna Walton, "The Mutant Chronicles," "Hell Boy II: The Golden Army") left behind in England will unfold from meeting to marriage, as will his relationship with his mentor and patron, the mysterious Jeremiah Blackthorn (Sam Neill, "The Tudors," "Jurassic Park").

"Crusoe" is being executive produced by Justin Bodle for Power, Jeff Hayes for Bluewater Productions Inc., Michael Prupas for Muse, Genevieve Hofmeyr and Phillip Key for Moonlighting and Stephen Greenberg and Jean Bureau for Incendo Productions.

Source: NBC.COM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Director's Alert: WKYC Launches New "Look"

Beginning with "Channel 3 News" at Noon today, WKYC has a new on-air graphics and music package.

This new look is part of Gannett's companywide, G3, initiative look that will appear on all of the company's broadcast properties.

Here are a few pictures of the new look from the Noon launch:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Behind the Scenes: A Promo You'll Never See Again

As you know, we like to have a little fun here at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center and our flip cams we use to shoot "web extras" like our daily news promos.

So, my fellow director Matt Babb decided to go behind the scenes of Mike O'Mara who went behind the scenes of me shooting our nightly promo with Producer Dan Stadler.

Slap stick comedy you'll never see again - for good reason.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Spotlight Feature: The Kent State Media Ethics Workshop

By Frank Macek

A few weeks ago, I was invited to be part of a group of professionals from WKYC who participated in a day long Poynter Media Ethics Workshop at Kent State University on Thursday, September 18th. This year's session combined compelling speakers and controversial topics called "Whose Rules?"

This fourth annual conference focused on bloggers and the media and whether there should be rules for those who are becoming citizen journalists on the internet. In attendance included local media, bloggers, students and ethic experts from around the nation and beyond.

A brief overview of the day's sessions included a main discussion dealing with the pace of journalism and media online with topics including "Has the blogosphere ruined journalism?" and "Examining the relationship between blogging and journalism."

The second focused around whether there should be rules for bloggers, leading to the the keynote address by speaker Jay Rosen - a respected teacher of journalism at New York University and author of "". His speech centered around "If Blogging Had No Ethics, Blogging Would Have Failed (But It Didn't. So Let's Get a Clue)".

Following lunch, we split for concurrent sessions on "Political Blogging: Information, Innuendo, Insults and Spin;" "Online 101: What Students Need to Know About Snark, Social Networks and Survival in Cyberspace;" and "The Future of Traditional Media in a Digital Universe" that included WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen on that panel.

The day concluded with a wrap up of the day's discussions and whether we had consensus about blogging and ethics?

We did not and that's where this part of the story begins.

In today's media environment, we have two systems at work - a closed system where the media filters all of the information to the audience. A group of professional journalists bring you what newsrooms feel is important. In this system, the public is only the recipient.

However with the internet, we now have an open system where the public can write and publish anything it wants - true or false. The risk to the users of the information is that is may or may not be factual.

Traditional journalists are worried and with good reason. They can no longer control the flow of information, but must adapt to become a part of new reality where the public participants in the process - through blogs, photos, on-line forums and the like. The public becomes citizen journalists in their own communities or areas of interest forming the foundation of a "blog".

Partly blamed on today's economics where large newsrooms and expensive budgets are no longer an option, the media must begin to accept the public's help in presenting local news content in unique and niche ways on the internet. Outlets like WKYC or the Cleveland Plain Dealer MUST expand their broadcast beyond the traditional news broadcasts or daily newspaper. News happens 24/7 and people want information anytime. If we don't adapt, we'll become irrelevant and cease to exist. There is no alternative.

Almost overnight bloggers became a rich part of this new media environment. Blogging is instantaneous, providing more voices in the process and can be a strong influence of public opinion.

The main battle between the open and closed system is how mesh these two systems into a credible environment that will keep people interested and bring them stories and news that's fair and ethical.

There is the key word "ethics."

How the heck do we, as the media, force bloggers to be ethical? The short answer is we can't. However, bloggers don't have completely free reign either. The bloggers already have a code of ethics by the very nature of what they are doing.

I believe this is the point that Jay Rosen was trying to make as he spoke. "In all these ways, good bloggers build up trust with a base of users online. And over time, the practices that lead to trust on the platform where the users actually are… these become their ethic, their rules."

In summary, the media and bloggers need to co-exist in some manner that is acceptable to both and to the general public. The time has come for some serious discussion on how everyone can become involved in the process - our democracy, our freedom of speech.

The Poytner Kent State Media Ethics Workshop was the start of that conversation.

Although I can't include everything in a short posting about 8 hours of content, I would like to invite you - in fact, challenge you - to take some time enjoy some of the following links to learn more information on this year's seminar and what we discussed. Included are videos of the actual sessions you can watch. It's a fascinating look at the media in action - whether you are part of it or a consumer of it. The new media environment affects us all.


*The Poynter Kent State Media Ethics Workshop
* (Jay Rosen Blog)


*Channel 3's Eric Mansfield talked with Jay Rosen after the seminar

Feel free to post your comments here on the blog or you can email me directly:

News: Thursday Night lineup best for NBC since March

NBC's Thursday stalwarts, "My Name is Earl," "The Office" and "ER" joined forces with the new comedy "Kath & Kim" and the first of three Thursday "Saturday Night Live" election specials to propel the network to its highest Thursday rating in 18-49 since last March, excluding sports, according to "fast affiliate-based" "live plus same day" viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.

NBC finished within one rating point of the nightly lead in adults 18-49 and won this highly competitive Thursday in adults and men 18-34, pending updates.

"Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" began its three-week Thursday run with a 47 percent gain over NBC's time-period averages last season in adults 18-49.

"It's already been a historic season for 'Saturday Night Live,' with its earliest premiere ever and its biggest audiences in 14 years," commented Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "And we're thrilled that primetime viewers are now discovering what late-night audiences have known for a long time now -- nobody does political satire like 'Saturday Night Live'."

At 8 p.m. ET last night, "My Name is Earl" (2.7 rating 8 share in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) scored NBC's highest 18-49 rating and overall viewership in this time period so far this season. "Earl" was up 8 percent in 18-49 and 13 percent in total viewers versus its average in this half-hour with 60-minute telecasts this season. Pending updates, "Earl" ranked #2 in the time slot in adults 18-49 and #1 in adults 18-34 (tied) and men 18-34.

At 8:30 p.m. ET, the series premiere of "Kath & Kim" (3.2/9 in adults 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) built on its "Earl" lead-in by 19 percent in 18-49 rating and by 5 percent in total viewers. In adults 18-34, "Kath & Kim" built on its lead-in by 39 percent (3.2 vs. 2.3). "Kath & Kim" won its tough time period in adults and men 18-34, topping CBS's "Survivor," ABC's "Ugly Betty" and CW's "Smallville" in those demos, and ranked #2 in adults 18-49, behind only "Survivor."

At 9 p.m. ET, "The Office" (4.6/11 in 18-49, 9.0 million viewers overall) won its extremely competitive half-hour in adults and men 18-34, topping the season premiere of CBS's "CSI," ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and Fox's baseball telecast in those demos. "The Office" retained 96 percent of its strong season-premiere rating in this half-hour two weeks ago (4.6 vs. 4.8), despite facing strong additional competition last night from the season premiere of "CSI."

At 9:31 p.m. ET, "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" (5.0/12 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) surged 47 percent in 18-49 rating and 40 percent in total viewers versus NBC's averages in this time period last season (3.4 in 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers). With 10.6 million total viewers, this "SNL" special topped every regular "SNL" telecast since January 20, 2001 in overall viewership.

The first of three special Thursday primetime editions of "SNL," last night's telecast, which featured guest appearances by Bill Murray (as town hall debate questioner "William Murray") and Chris Parnell (as moderator Tom Brokaw), built on its strong "Office" lead-in by 9 percent in 18-49 and 18 percent in total viewers. "SNL" won its highly competitive time period among men 18-34.

At 10:01 p.m. ET, "ER" (3.9/10 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall) won its time period in adults 18-49, topping the series premieres of "Eleventh Hour" on CBS and "Life on Mars" on ABC. "ER" sewed up its highest 18-49 rating since November 15, 2007 and its largest overall audience since January 3, 2008

"ER" was up 11 percent in 18-49 rating versus the same night last year, when it did not face series premiere competition.

Note that all national ratings are "live plus same day" unless otherwise indicated.

Source: NBCU

Thursday, October 09, 2008

News: Expert Jon Gensel stops by to talk about Digital TV

H.H. Gregg's Jon Gensel stopped by the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center today for an appearance on our morning show "Good Company Today" to talk with host Michael Cardamone about the transition of analog T.V to digital.

He also explains the effects this change will have on the average television viewer who get their programming over the air starting on February 17, 2009.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

From the Wires: Second presidential debate watched by 63.2 million

The 2nd presidential debate is in the books between Barack Obama and John McCain. Just released Nielsen ratings show that this second debate was better watched than their first. However, the debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin had more attention. I wonder why?


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The second presidential debate drew more viewers than the first but still proved less of a draw than the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin matchup.

A total of 63.2 million viewers watched Tuesday's debate in Nashville, Tenn., between Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain, Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday.

The figure represents the collective audience for 11 networks.

The Obama-McCain debate on Sept. 26 was watched by 52.4 million viewers, while more than 70 million saw Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin's sole meeting on Oct. 2. It's the second most-watched political debate ever, behind the 80.6 million people who watched the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate.

Nielsen tallied viewership for Wednesday's debate on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.

The candidates' third and last debate is scheduled for Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in Hempsted, N.Y.

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Director's Alert: NBC Pulling the Plug on Weather Plus

We knew this one was coming with NBC's recent purchase of "The Weather Channel." Today, it was confirmed. NBC Weather Plus is shutting down.

Four years ago, NBC formed a partnership with local affilate stations to launch the first digital 24/7 tv channel called "Weather Plus." On cable and on digital subchannels of NBC stations, you can the channel that was developed with its unique "L" bar that provided local weather in a way that was different than "The Weather Channel."

As the local partner for Cleveland, WKYC is given so many minutes per hour to do local cut-ins that our weather team of Betsy Kling, Hollie Strano, Bruce Kalinowski and A.J. Colby bring you 24/7. Plus, it was a place where you could always find our local Xband and Nexrad radars in real time.

Our sources say that NBC News President Steve Capus told the "Weather Plus" staff Tuesday morning that the network would shut down before the end of the year.

What will this mean for WKYC, we'll see. There are many avenues we can follow to continue bringing Clevelanders the best local weather over the air, on-line and through mobile platforms we are currently developing.

And with NBC's ownership of "The Weather Channel", might we expect our local meteorologists showing up for appearances? Stay tuned.

Monday, October 06, 2008

News: Live Chat on WKYC.COM during the Presidential Debate Tuesday at 9 PM ET

Tuesday at 9 PM, you can watch the 2nd Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain on

Plus, we'll have a live interactive chat with Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres who will share some thoughts about the debate and the issues discussed.

Join us live on beginning at 9 PM, ET for a web chat live from the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center

Fall Premiere: "Kath & Kim" on Thursday, 10/9/08 @ 8:30 PM

It's that time of the year again when the Fall TV Season kicks 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 American adaptation of the Australian hit comedy series, "Kath & Kim" stars Molly Shannon (NBC's "Saturday Night Live") and Selma Blair ("Hellboy 2") as the hilarious and iconoclastic mother-daughter duo.

"Kath & Kim" focuses on Kath (Shannon), a cheerful, foxy, forty-something, and her self-absorbed daughter, Kim (Blair), who have the love/hate, push/pull dysfunctional relationship that only a mother and daughter could share.

Kath has finally found love in the form of a sandwich shop owner named Phil Knight, played by John Michael Higgins ("Best in Show"). Kim is a self-absorbed princess newly separated from her husband of six weeks, Craig (Mikey Day, MTV’s "Short Circuitz"). Kim decides to move back home, putting a damper on Kath’s new romance.

Michelle Nader ("King of Queens") is executive producer and writer of the series. Original series creators and stars Gina Riley and Jane Turner serve as executive producers of the new series along with Rick McKenna and Nader. The series is a production from Reveille for Universal Media Studios.

Courtesy: NBC

Thursday, October 02, 2008

News: Thank You Cleveland!

Updated: 9:45 PM

WKYC and the Cleveland Foodbank had a tremendously successful one day event on Thursday thanks to the caring generosity of Greater Clevelanders in our special food drive.

Viewers all day stopped by the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center to donate food and money to help feed the needy during this particularly difficult time.

Final tallies show over 10,000 pounds of food, $2,500 dollars in contributions and an unlimited amount of caring. All of these donations will provide for more than 17,000 meals to our friends and neighbors.

You can still donate by sending checks made out to "The Cleveland Foodbank":

The Cleveland Foodbank
15500 South Waterloo Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44110

Thank you to everyone involved in today's special food drive.


Gallery #1 - CLICK HERE
Gallery #2 - CLICK HERE
Gallery #3 - CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

From the Wires: Could another TV strike be looming even closer now?

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Screen Actors Guild negotiating committee has called for its board to support a strike authorization vote.

The committee adopted a motion Wednesday calling for the vote, saying it "is necessary to overcome the employers' intransigence."

Contract talks dealing with prime-time TV shows and movies have been at a standstill since the last contract expired June 30. Actors have been working under the terms of the old deal since then.

A strike authorization vote would need the approval of 75 percent of the guild's some 120,000 members.