Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From the Wires: Fox Retrenches in Time Warner Cable Dispute

AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES -- It appears Fox won't accept Time Warner Cable's offer to carry its broadcast signal while a fee dispute continues.

Chase Carey, chief operating officer of Fox owner News Corp., told staff in a memo that a signal interruption was likely when the current deal over fees expires at midnight Thursday, halting service to millions of viewers.

Carey says an interim deal would simply help Time Warner without fair compensation to Fox.

Fox argues it needs to be paid more for broadcast signals that are retransmitted to subscribers of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said Wednesday the cable operator will agree to binding arbitration and whatever steps are necessary to preserve uninterrupted access to Fox signals.

Fox will respond formally later Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From the Wires: No Immediate Ratings Change After Anchor Switch, NBC Still #1

NEW YORK -- Anchor changes at ABC's two biggest newscasts have so far done nothing to shake NBC's dominance in the ratings.

The Nielsen Co. says Diane Sawyer of ABC's "World News" finished behind NBC's Brian Williams on her first night and first week in competition.

NBC's "Today" show handily beat ABC's "Good Morning America" during the first week of the George Stephanopoulos-Robin Roberts anchor team.

Sawyer moved from "Good Morning America" to "World News" to replace the retired Charles Gibson.

Stephanopoulos moved up from Washington to take her morning job. ABC says the ratings were about what they expected them to be.

The network has downplayed those debut weeks to avoid outsized expectations and to emphasize they're in it for the long haul.
Source: The Associated Press

Monday, December 28, 2009

Notes from the Newsroom: 12/28/09

By Frank Macek

After two weeks of quiet time with the family, your blogger has returned to the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center with plenty of news for this edition of "Notes from the Newsroom."
First the good news - Darrielle Snipes is joining the Channel 3 News family starting on January 4th. She comes to us from KOCO in Oklahoma City where she was most recently as weekday reporter and weekend anchor. Before that, she worked at television stations in Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. Darrielle is originally from Chicago and will join Channel 3 News Today as a morning reporter.

Now the bad news - former WKYC Director Anthony Harris passed away last week after a heart attack he suffered while driving home after work. After leaving WKYC in January 2006, Anthony headed to Houston where he was most recently a beloved Director at KPRC, our NBC sister station. While at WKYC, Anthony directed many of the shows you saw on WKYC and the Akron Canton News including newscasts and our Browns programming. He was one of the most positive people we have ever met and will miss his huge smile and outstanding directing skills immensely. Click to watch KPRC's video tribute to Anthony | Read WUSA's Scott Rubens thoughts on working with Anthony

NATAS reminds us to make sure you submit those Emmy Entries for 2009 by midnight on Wednesday, January 20th, to be eligible for the 41st Annual Emmy Awards. The eligibility period for entries is from January 1st through December 31st, 2009. All DVD's must be received by 5 pm on Friday, January 22nd. For more information, please visit them at The awards ceremony is set for Saturday, June 19th, 2010, at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland.

And on a personal note, your blogger is saddened and angered by the format change of "The Wave" here in Cleveland which occurred earlier today, Monday, December 28th, after 22 years. The station moved their format to their HD-2 channel and on-line to make way for a new AAA format (Adult Album Alternative) that is being billed as Boom! 107.3.

The introduction of PPMs (or Portable People Meters) to the Cleveland radio market on December 31st has scared stations around the country to drop the format after ratings take a nose dive because of "methodology." WNWV was no exception and succumbed to their own fears. Remember, your blogger spent 9 years at WNWV as a weekend and on-air host of the Smooth Jazz format from 1995 to 2004 and was honored to work with the entire staff of the station.

Among those who put their hearts and souls in the station include retired GM Gary Kneisley; Program Directors Steve Hibbard, Bernie Kimble and most recently Angie Handa; and the entire on-air staff of more than 20 different people I worked with and love - YOU made the station THE best Smooth Jazz outlet in the nation. Your blogger with other former Wave personalities have started a new Facebook page called Smooth Jazz Cleveland to provide a voice for those dissatisfied with the change. Plus we are featuring the live stream of Broadcast Architecture's outstanding SJ format we hope comes to Cleveland soon. You may complain directly to Wave GM Lonnie Gronek at or call the station directly.

Although we absolutely hate the new format, we wish new Program Director Ric Bennett and staff well in their endeavours.

Photos Courtesy of KOCO-TV & KPRC-TV

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC-TV or Gannett.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Holidays From the Director's Cut Blog and We'll See You Soon

A Note from the Editor:

As Christmas nears and the year (and decade) winds down, the Director's Cut Blog would like to recognize my colleagues here at WKYC-TV and SportsTime Ohio who have worked so hard and tiredlessly to bring you the market's best local news and sports coverage in a year that was so devastating from an economic standpoint.

We had good days, and some were bad.

There were heartbreaking stories to cover, but also stories of hope.

Some of our long time friends are gone, but now we have new friends and colleagues to build new memories with.

We celebrated with the Cavs, who came so close. But, the Indians and Browns have a long road ahead.

We were a little nervous about the transition to all digital in June, but our new tower was built with days to spare and the transition turned out not so bad.

You may have noticed our news set got a tweak or two. We added a little color to the nightly colorcasts. You didn't seem to mind. And, we were glad.

NBC changed the course of our weeknight viewing habits with "The Jay Leno Show," and this drove away many of our longtime viewers. Trust me, we've noticed. We hope NBC has, too.

Now, NBC has announced it is getting new owners with the forthcoming acquisition of the network by Comcast. This, too, could change the course of broadcast television in the coming years. But we can't worry about that now.

Our committment is to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. This is our home. It's where we live and where we cover the stories we bring you each day on Channel 3.

While 2009 was a very difficult year, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow with a big year coming up in 2010. The Winter Olympics from Vancouver will fill our February schedule, Indians baseball is as sure as the coming of spring. The midterm elections will be interesting, indeed. And of course, we look forward to an improved Browns team in 2010. And yes, we are hoping the Cavs go all the way this season.

We wish you the happiest holiday season as the Director's Cut Blog enjoys vacation for the next few weeks. It's time off we certainly can use.

A special thank you to YOU for your continued support of the Director's Cut Blog. I never imagined when I started the blog 3 years ago this January that there would be so much support. It's very gratifying to say the least.

Happy Holidays and we'll resume our postings on December 28th.

Frank Macek

Snapshot: Network Fall Season to Date Numbers

Our partners at USA Today are tracking the success of this Fall's television season. These ratings are season to date since September 20th and shows how the networks are faring through this week.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get To Know Team 3: Dave Summers

By Frank Macek

WKYC General Assignment Reporter Dave Summers steps into our "Get to Know Team 3" Spotlight this time around.

Dave sat down with us in the Channel 3 Newsroom recently to answer a few questions the Director's Cut Blog had about Dave's past and interesting things you might not know about him.

Question: What stations have your worked for during your career?

Dave: I have been around the Buckeye State. My career stops have included WCMH-TV in Columbus, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, WJW-TV in Cleveland and most recently here at WKYC-TV.

Question: Which do you like better - being an investigative reporter or general assignment reporter?

Dave: I like each position equally. There are great rewards doing both. It's great to be in on the daily fast pace, but also in taking more time with a story and peeling the layers that makes it an interesting challenge.

Question: What are some of the questions fans ask you when you meet them on the street?

Dave: They often ask what Romona [Robinson] is like! They also ask me if my work ever puts me in danger when I am out reporting in the field. Other questions include "What my favorite story is?" and "Do I do my own writing?" And yes, I do my own writing.

Question: Tell us the funniest that's happened to you while you were on-the-air "live."

Dave: Years ago, I used to smoke. While in Columbus, the anchor caught me off guard while walking around in the newsroom with a live camera. He couldn't resist informing the public I was outside smoking earlier. Thanks Doug, my mom was watching that show!

Question: We have to ask what is your favorite brand of car?

Dave: I have a Ford F-150 pickup truck that I love dearly. My other favorite would have to be a convertible Porsche - Boxster or 911.

Question: If we are out dining on a Saturday night, which Cleveland area restaurant(s) would we most likely run into you at?

Dave: I suspect you could catch me at Blue Canyon in Twinsburg. But, I also love Johnny's Downtown and Crop Bistro. My all time favorite "special occasion" restaurant is Mario's in Aurora. The place is most charming at Christmas.

Question: Where can you find the best suits at the best prices that you wear on the air?

Dave: Good question. I suspect it would be Peter's in Chagrin Falls. The place is a wonderful, family owned shop. They sell only the best and you get personal attention by their staff.

Question: You went to Ohio State in college...are you still an OSU fan?

Dave: Oh yes, I am still a fan - although not like I was in college. No more season tickets or buckets at Black Forest Inn or Papa Joe's (if they still even exist).

Question: What was on your Thanksgiving table this year?

Dave: I would have to say the folded hands of a grateful man. I have been blessed and lucky in my life and career. I truly have much to be thankful for.

You can reach Dave Summers by email at

Former Channel 3 News Staffers... Where Are They Now?

As you know, several WKYC staffers have left during the past year due to economic reasons and have moved on in their careers.

We get emails almost weekly about where these folks have landed and we thought we'd share some of those with you.

So, here's our latest list:

Abby Ham - WBIR/Knoxville

Carole Sullivan - KGTV/San Diego

Lydia Esparra - WOIO/Cleveland

Obie Shelton - City of Cleveland Clerk of Courts Spokeman

Eileen McShea - WEWS/Cleveland

Joy Benedict - WEWS/Cleveland

John Kosich - WEWS/Cleveland

Monday, December 07, 2009

Programming Note: A Special "Point After" Will Air Friday at 7 PM

By the end of this week, the Cleveland Browns will have played two games... Sunday afternoon's game was against the San Diego Chargers.

Thursday night's game will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers and airs on WKYC beginning at 8 p.m.

As a result, WKYC will air a second edition of "The Point After" this week on Friday at 7 p.m. following NBC Nightly News.

WKYC's Jim Donovan, former Browns Coach Sam Rutigliano, the Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi and Browns radio booth color analyst Doug Dieken will break down the Browns vs. Steelers Game.

If you can't watch it live on Channel 3, you can also watch "The Point After" on at 7 PM or on-demand following the broadcast.

From the Mailbag: Will NBC Shows Be Rescheduled Due to the Browns vs. Steelers Game Thursday?

From: Jill in Mayfield Heights

Q: I was wondering when the Dec. 10th episodes of Community, Parks & Rec., The Office & 30 Rock will be rebroadcast due to the showing of the Browns vs. Steelers game?

A: The Jay Leno Show will air early Friday morning from 3:30-4:30 a.m.

The other shows will be broadcast from 2 - 4 a.m. on Sunday morning. This includes "Community," "Parks and Recreation," "The Office" and "30 Rock."

You can email your questions to me:

Friday, December 04, 2009

Director's Alert: NBC's Tom Brokaw Unhurt In NY Highway Wreck That Kills 1

NEW YORK -- Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw and his wife say they were involved in a three-car accident on a New York City highway that killed one woman. Neither Brokaw nor his wife was hurt.

The accident happened Friday afternoon on the Bruckner Expressway. Brokaw says he was driving in the highway's left lane when an SUV driver lost control of her vehicle in the right lane.

Brokaw and police say the SUV driver, an unidentified woman, slid into the middle lane, forcing a mail truck in front of Brokaw's car. Brokaw says his car collided with the mail truck.

Police say the SUV driver was thrown from the car and killed.

The 69-year-old Brokaw and his wife, Meredith, were not injured.

Source: The Associated Press

New Feature: Climate Change and How It Affects You

CLEVELAND -- WKYC.COM and Gannett's ContentOne are launching a new page dedicated to the coverage of climate change and how it affects you.

Our new page features local and national stories about our climate, interesting videos from our Gannett partner sites and photos that show how climate change is happening around you every day.

We invite you to bookmark the site and visit it often for daily updates, new developments, conferences and debates and a chance for you to voice your concerns with our on-line Twitter feed.

You'll find the site on our weather page ( or at the following link below:

Click Here

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

New Information: AP Sources say Comcast To Pay $13.75B For NBC stake

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Deborah Yao & Stephen Manning, AP Business Writers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Associated Press has learned that Comcast is expected to pay General Electric $13.75 billion in cash and assets for control of NBC Universal.

The deal, which was set to be announced Thursday morning, calls for the nation's biggest cable TV provider to spend $6.5 billion in cash and contribute cable channels worth $7.25 billion for a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal.

That is according to people familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been made public.

The new NBC Universal also is expected to borrow $9.1 billion -- part of which will be used to cover the $5.8 billion that GE is giving to Vivendi SA.

General Electric Co. had to buy Vivendi's 20 percent stake in NBC Universal before selling a controlling interest in the movie and TV company to Comcast Corp.

Source: The Associated Press


Monday, November 30, 2009

Director's Cut Alert: GE, Vivendi In Tentative Deal For NBC

Special to the Director's Cut
By Deborah Yao, AP Business Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- General Electric Co. has reached an agreement to buy the 20 percent stake in NBC Universal held by French media conglomerate Vivendi SA, The Associated Press has learned.

The agreement would pave the way for GE to sell control of the TV and movie company to Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable TV provider. That deal, which would make Philadelphia-based Comcast one of the nation's largest entertainment companies, is valued at about $30 billion.

An understanding between GE and Vivendi has been reached but has yet to be formalized, according to a person with knowledge of the talks who requested anonymity because the talks were private.

The Wall Street Journal reported that GE would pay $5.8 billion for the stake.

Source: The Associated Press

Notes from the Newsroom: 11/30/09

By Frank Macek

It's time again for an edition of "Notes from the Newsroom" as your blogger shares some of his thoughts on our little corner of local broadcast television.

The Thanksgiving Holidays are over and now we look forward to Christmas and finally kissing off the worst year in the 22 years I have been a Cleveland broadcaster. Fortunately, advertising is beginning to rebound, according to various trade publications - particularly at the national level.

Now, some programming notes:

Don't forget next Thursday night, December 10th, Channel 3 will bring you to the Browns vs. Steelers game from Cleveland Browns Stadium. Kickoff is 8:20 p.m.

Our lineup that evening will include the following:

*6 pm - Channel 3 News at 6
*6:30 pm - Browns Pre Game Huddle
*7 pm - NBC Nightly News
*7:30 pm - Channel 3 News at 7
*8 to 11:30 pm - Browns vs. Steelers
*11:30 pm - Channel 3 News at 11

Cleveland Magazine is featuring a number of former Channel 3 personalities in an article called "Where Are They Now?" Sounds very familiar, doesn't it - if you are regular blog reader. Anyways, you can read the latest on such personalities as Wayne Turney and Cassandra Wolfe from "Hickory Hideout", Elwood Edwards - the voice of "You've Got Mail" (who just happens to sit next to me in the Channel 3 Newsroom), Doug Dieken and coach Sam Rutigliano (both are current analysts for Channel  3 & Sportstime Ohio) and former WKYC evening weathercaster Amy Murphy (Hasten) - who we just discovered has left being on-the-air for another job in Los Angeles. You can find the article in their December edition.

Our "Jay Leno Show" update shows Jay trending upward finally after some tweaks to the show format. We continue to get many comments from our readers about his show being boring and not what they expected. No additional word on any additional changes. NBC is trying really, really hard to keep the show on the air. Prime time ratings in the 10 to 11 pm hour are down 42% from last year.

Finally, November sweeps are over. Our 6 pm show continues to lead the pack at 6 pm in all key demographics. Our 11 pm show trended downward, in large part due to Leno - but did hold its own where other stations across the country fared worse. However, Leno also brought Channel 3 News more men in the 25 to 54 demographic than NBC Prime did last year. Channel 3 News Today from 5 to 7 am continues to hold a firm second place rating and is very attractive to advertisers, which is what matters most.

We posted a new job opening at WKYC if you haven't seen it for Sale Account Executive. These are the folks who sell the advertising to clients and is a thankless job. If you are interested in applying for the position, see the earlier post and links.

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Snapshot: Network Fall Season to Date Numbers

Our partners at USA Today are tracking the success of this Fall's television season. These ratings are season to date since September 20th and shows how the networks are faring.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from the Director's Cut

Hey Hollie! Give My Kid A Call

Make your child's snow day even more special with a LIVE ON-AIR phone call from Channel 3 News Today meteorologist Hollie Strano!

When schools are being closed due to wintry weather, our Channel 3 News Today meteorologist will call some lucky students LIVE on-air to let them know their schools been closed!

To make your child eligible, you'll need to fill out the form at the following link:

Click Here

Monday, November 23, 2009

Send Us Your Favorite Holiday Light Displays Through The Season

CLEVELAND -- Channel 3 News and are on the hunt for the area's best light displays to feature on-air and on-line.

We invite you to snap your favorite holiday lighting displays and upload them on our website.

We'll feature the best of 2009 on Channel 3 News at 11 PM throughout the holiday season, on and on our WKYC Facebook page to share with everyone.

Also, we'll put together an on-line video to help remember the "Christmas of 2009."

It's easy to participate.

Just upload yours at the links provided below and be sure to tell us what city each photo is from.

*To Upload your photos:

Click Here

*To View our photogallery:

Click Here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

From the Wires: Newseum Puts Tim Russert's NBC Office On Display

WASHINGTON -- Museum visitors in Washington will get the chance to step into "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert's old NBC office, which has been reassembled at the Newseum.

An exhibit opens Friday with the office recreated to look as it did in June 2008 when Russert died of a heart attack at age 58. The journalism museum will keep the office on display through 2010.

Curators say it's an unpretentious office with Russert's favorite books, family photos and Buffalo Bills pennants.

Newspapers and research binders cluttered his desk.

Russert was NBC's Washington bureau chief. A wooden sign for his staff reads "Thou Shalt Not Whine."

Newseum chief executive Charles Overby has said the only other journalist who gets such prominent treatment is Edward R. Murrow.

Find out more about this new exhibit: 

Click Here

Source: The Associated Press
Photo Courtesy: The Newseum

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Snapshot: Network Fall Season to Date Numbers

Our partners at USA Today are tracking the success of this Fall's television season. These ratings are season to date since September 20th and shows how the networks are faring.

Snapshot: Surfing The Tube

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NBC and WKYC Unwrap A Bundle of Holiday-Themed Series and Specials

NBC gives the gift of holiday-themed series episodes and specials throughout late November and December with a multitude of festivities, a special military audience for "The Jay Leno Show" airing Thanksgiving evening and a night of holiday-themed Thursday night comedies from "Community," "Parks and Recreation," "The Office" and "30 Rock" on December 10.

In addition, NBC premieres "The Sing-Off" as a four-night holiday event series beginning Monday, December 14 featuring the hottest a cappella singing groups from across America competing for the chance at an Epic Records/Sony Entertainment recording contract. Also, a new SNL holiday special "Saturday Night Live Christmas 2009" is set to air on Thursday, December 17.

Other programs joining in on the holiday spirit are the family friendly specials and movies -- the all-new special "Merry Madagascar," "83rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade," "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina," "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa," "It's a Wonderful Life," "NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" and the "121st Tournament of Roses Parade."

The following are airdates of this year's holiday, themed specials:


"Merry Madagascar" (8 - 8:30 p.m.)


"Heroes" (8 - 9 p.m.)
"Trauma" (9 - 10 p.m.)


"83rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" (9 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
"The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" (12 noon - 2 p.m.)
"The Jay Leno Show" (10-11 p.m.)

"Christmas in Rockefeller Center" (8 - 9 p.m.)

"Community" (8 - 8:30 p.m.)
"Parks and Recreation (8:30-9 p.m.)
"The Office" (9-9:30 p.m.)
"30 Rock" (9:30-10 p.m.)

"A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa"

"The Sing-Off" (8 - 10 p.m.)

"It's a Wonderful Life" (8 - 11 p.m.)

"Saturday Night Live Christmas 2009" (8 - 10 p.m.)

"WWE Tribute to the Troops" (9 - 10 p.m.)

"NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" (10-11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.)

"121st Tournament of Roses Parade" (11 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)

News: Daily Television Viewership Continues to Grow

A new Nielsen report finds daily television viewership continues to grow as Americans have more choices than ever before.

Among the report's key points:

  • For the 2008-2009 TV season, the amount of television watched reached an all-time high as Americans spent four hours and 49 minutes a day on average in front of the TV, up four minutes from last year and up 20% from 10 years ago. The average household watched eight hours and 21 minutes a day on average, also at an all-time high.
  • Daily viewing during primetime remained flat compared to a year ago, but is still at its highest peak since 1991.
  • The continued increase in television consumption can be attributed to several factors including more television sets in the home, and Americans also have more channels and content to choose from and are using their DVRs more than ever.
You can download Nielsen's historical daily viewing activity among households and person 2+ from 1949 to 2009 at the following link:

Click Here

Courtesy: Nielsen

Leno Update: Low Ratings Mean Changes

By Frank Macek

After all the bad press Leno has been getting the last few weeks, it looks like NBC brass, under pressure from affiliates, are forcing changes at "The Jay Leno Show."

Broadcasting and Cable is reporting today (Tuesday) the show is being re-formatted to be even more like his old "Tonight Show," with familiar skits including "Headlines" and "Jay Walking" following his opening monologue.

We also hear more changes are coming.

Ratings on Monday hit an all time low, when the show fell to a 1.2 rating nationally - apparently being the last straw.

Many NBC stations are being hurt by Leno's low ratings leading into their 11 p.m. newscasts during November sweeps.

Locally, Tuesday night's ratings were better with a 5.3 rating in households (3rd place at 10 p.m.) and a 3.2 rating in adults 25-54 (4th place when comparing Channels 3, 5, 8 & 19).

Friday, November 06, 2009

Spotlight Feature: Is It Finally Time to Cancel Leno?

By Frank Macek

After two months, NBC executives must be asking themselves whether its finally time to shelve "The Jay Leno Show."

The show's strong start in September has been followed by a dramatic drop off that has kept the network in 4th place during the fall and has seriously hurt affilates 11 PM newscasts across the country.

Nielsen ratings recently showed Cleveland as among Jay's most watched markets. Sad thing is, the ratings have wobbled between only a three and a five rating every week since the show's launch. We can only imagine how smaller markets must be faring.

NBC brass suggested early on that even a three rating would satisfy advertisers and make the network a ton of money in comparison to the amount they would have to pay for dramas or scripted shows in the 10 p.m. hour.

But is destroying the network worth it in the long run?

With NBC's arrogance the show would re-invent television, without considering "what if" the show failed, the network apparently never believed how such a failure would dampen affiliates news numbers at 11.

With all due respect to Jay and his staff, the show has not improved since its first week or two. In fact, the show has become very difficult to watch for a quarter hour, let alone a full 60 minutes. The skits are lame, the interviews are bland and the momentum seems lost in a show that seems the same night after night.

We highly doubt any network would stick with such a low rated show in its 10 p.m. hour for more than a week or two, let alone for 8 weeks.

With the recent news that NBC may be on the block by such suitors as Comcast, we wonder aloud whether a change in ownership could bring a quicker end to the show and a return to a traditional 10 p.m. hour of drama in some form.

Last week, Jay himself suggested he would be happy to return to the "Tonight Show," if NBC asked. This kind of statement makes us think Jay doesn't feel the show is working or knows something we don't going on behind the scenes.

In addition, Conan's numbers have slipped dramatically, giving the higher ground to David Letterman at 11:35 p.m. - not to mention how stiff Jimmy Fallon continues to look as host of "Late Night."

One idea we floated on the "Director's Cut Blog" not long ago was for NBC to consider allowing local affiliates the option of moving their newscasts to 10 p.m. weeknights as a compromise.

The network would push back Leno to 10:35 pm. and leave the rest of its late night schedule intact.

As of yet, we have not heard of any rumblings to this nature.

Perhaps the station in Boston who originally refused to air Leno was right after all.

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions expressed in this feature are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC or Gannett Broadcasting.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Leno Says He'd Return To 'Tonight' If NBC Asked

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jay Leno's plugging away in prime time, but he still says he would have rather stayed put at "The Tonight Show" -- and if NBC offered him that late-night job again, he says he'd take it.

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Leno hastily adds that such a decision isn't his to make. Conan O'Brien, his successor as "Tonight" host after 17 years, is "doing fine," says Leno.

"The Jay Leno Show" began on NBC in September, airing Monday through Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern, where it has displaced prime-time scripted dramas. For that, and for his less-than-stellar ratings thus far, Leno has taken heat within the TV industry as well as from critics.

But getting beat up is just part of the game, says Leno, who insists he enjoys his role "being the underdog."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

WKYC's Donovan, Russ Among 2009 Journalism HOF inductees

CLEVELAND -- WKYC's sports anchor, Jim Donovan, as well as managing editor, Dick Russ, will be among those formally inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame at a dinner reception this evening in Westlake.

Former WKYC investigative reporter, Paul Sciria as well as columnist, Regina Brett, and photographer William Wynne from The Plain Dealer are the other inductees.

Jim Donovan came to Northeast Ohio as a weekend sports anchor in 1985 and has gone on to be arguable Cleveland's most prominent voice in sports.

Donovan has been the radio play-by-play announcer for the Browns since their return to the NFL in 1999. He has covered the Summer Olympics in 1992 and 1996 and World Cup soccer in 1994.

Dick Russ has proven to be one of Northeast Ohio's most versatile broadcasters. He has worked as a reporter, anchor and now managing editor at WKYC-TV 3.

Colleagues say Russ' talent with words has always set him apart from his peers. Russ is also a member of the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Silver Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

He has won 10 regional Emmys for his reporting. He is also the recipient of the Gabriel Award, the highest national honor for TV reporting on religion.

To view photos from the event, click on the following link:

Click Here

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DVR Use Increases Network Ratings

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Gary Levin, USA TODAY

Viewers are tuning in to the major networks this fall. Ratings are up 2% after years of steady declines.

New hits, big gains for some returning shows and comparisons with last fall's strike-hobbled start have helped. But the biggest factor: "There's much more DVR recording this year than in the past, which has had an impact on all the numbers," says ABC prime-time research chief Larry Hyams. A fourth of young-adult viewership is now recorded, though ratings among ages 18-49 are flat.

Starcom Media analyst Sam Armando says the season is off to a decent start: "People are aware of the shows and are checking them out." But overall, cable is down, partly from news networks' post-election drops.

AAmong the networks:

-- Top-rated CBS is up 6 percent (and flat among young adults), thanks to big gains from the seventh-season wonder "NCIS" and a strong launch for its L.A.-based spinoff. With time-slot moves, "The Big Bang Theory" is up sharply, but "The Mentalist" didn't gain much and "CSI" has shed 26 percent with the departure of star William Petersen.

-- ABC is down 4 percent (and -7 percent among young adults). Despite a better crop of new series, with "FlashForward" and "Modern Family" as standouts, others have declined from early weeks, and declines of top hits "Desperate Housewives" and "Dancing With the Stars" hurt.

-- Fox is up 5 percent (and +12 percent among young adults, ranking first), with its best fall in years. "House"'s move to Monday paid off, new hit "Cleveland Show" is buoying Sunday's animation block, and "Glee" has clicked with younger viewers. "Fringe" has suffered but improved Fox's Thursday, though Friday's "Brothers" and "Dollhouse" are a washout, yanked for November.

-- NBC is up 3 percent (but -5 percent among young adults), with no new hits and steep declines for its "Jay Leno Show" compared with last fall's dramas. What's helped? Big gains for its two most popular programs, "Sunday Night Football" and "The Biggest Loser." "Mercy" has been winning its Wednesday slot.

-- CW is down 3 percent (but +3 percent among young adults), even after ditching its low-rated Sundays. New "Vampire Diaries" is a keeper, but "Melrose Place" stalled, and Monday's "Gossip Girl"-"One Tree Hill" duo are off 20 percent or more.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Notes From The Newsroom: 10/27/09

By Frank Macek

It's time again for an edition of "Notes from the Newsroom" as your blogger shares some of his thoughts on our little corner of local broadcast television.

Thanks to everyone involved in our station wide event called "Heroes Help Northeast Ohio" that took place all day on Thursday, October 22nd. Over 17 bins of food were collected and lots of cash that will provide for over 30,000 meals for our local needy. Also, 312 coats were received for area childen and a room full of toys will delight northeast Ohio children this holiday season. A big thank you from all of us at WKYC, the Cleveland Foodbank, "Coats for Kids" and "The Salvation Army" and to WKYC producer Jon Adkins who made the day so successful.

Surf in tonight (Tuesday) to WKYC.COM from 7:30 until 8 p.m. for a webcast followup to the "Road to Reform" special that aired on WVIZ last Friday Night and WKYC on Sunday morning hosted by WKYC Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres and WVIZ's Dick Feagler. Tonight's webcast will answer the questions viewers sent in during the program. The website address to click at 7:30 pm is:

November sweeps officially start Thursday, October 29th. It will be an interesting month, especially for our late newscast after the limited success that "The Jay Leno" show has shown so far. While the show is doing what NBC promised advertisers in the time slot, the show is hurting late news lead in to affiliates across the country, including Channel 3. NBC has apparently given Jay two years to make the show go before they would pull the plug, but with NBC being courted by several corporate giants - a merger may change the equation for Jay.

Speaking of advertisers, we are beginning to see more and more in-show sponsorships appearing in various NBC programming. "The Jay Leno Show" has been pitching McDonald's Monopoly games among other adversisers...and "Saturday Night Live" was recently sponsored by Anheuser Busch. This was the first time in the show's 35 year history this has been done and left an extra 8 minutes of show time for content.

Jon Bon Jovi has inked an exclusive deal with NBC to promote his new album "The Circle." Look for Jon to perform on "Today," "The Jay Leno Show," "The Tonight Show" and "Saturday Night Live" in the coming weeks.

2009 will most likely be known as the "Year of the DVR" thanks to an all time high use of digital video recordings this year. Nielsen says about 33% of all TV households now own one and they are helping show ratings for 3 NBC programs in particular. In Nielsen's 7 day ratings that includes same day and people who watch the show sometime in the following 7 days, "Heroes" posted an additional 26.5% audience increase, "The Office" with 26.8% and "Community" with 21.0%. By comparison, "The Jay Leno Show" barely increased.

Don't forget complete Election Night coverage coming up next Tuesday, November 3rd on Channel 3 News at 11 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Flops and Breakout Hits Equally Rare on TV This Fall

Special to the Director's Cut
by Gary Levin, USA Today

Five weeks into the new TV season, it's clear that few new shows are tanking in the ratings. But breakout hits are elusive, too.

The top new show is CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles." The spinoff follows the original "NCIS," which has eclipsed CSI to become TV's No. 1 drama.

"L.A." and "The Good Wife," also on CBS, Fox's "Cleveland Show" and "Glee," and ABC's "FlashForward," "Modern Family," "Cougar Town" and "The Middle" are doing well enough to earn full seasons. (Cleveland has already been renewed for next season.) CW's "The Vampire Diaries" also is expected to keep going.

"All in all, the networks are in decent shape" with new series, says CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl. "It feels a little more optimistic to me than it has" in the past.

That's not to say TV doesn't have its clunkers; far more series fail than succeed. ABC's "Hank" and "Eastwick," NBC's "Trauma," CBS' "Three Rivers" and Fox's "Brothers" and "Dollhouse" aren't likely to survive once initial 13-episode runs wrap up in January. But none seem in danger of imminent cancellation, a contrast to past years when itchy trigger fingers led networks to yank shows ahead of the November ratings sweeps period, which begins Oct. 29.

"There's a little more patience this year, just because of the lack of backups" to replace them, says Carat USA ad firm analyst Shari Anne Brill.

Only one new show has been canceled outright - CW's "The Beautiful Life," which lasted just two episodes - as fewer shows than usual have completely tanked. "There don't seem to be as many shows falling well below what was expected," says ABC scheduling chief Jeff Bader.

New shows typically get 13-episode test runs; if successful, they get the go-ahead by November for nine more, enough to last through May. The same applies to returning shows unveiled last spring: ABC's "Castle" won a full season Tuesday, while Fox's "Lie to Me" awaits word. NBC canceled "Southland" before the second season began.

Still other shows, such as NBC's "Community" and "Mercy" and ABC's "The Forgotten," probably will stick around despite lower-than-hoped-for ratings because newly patient programmers hope they'll gradually attract more interest.

Some freshmen "have gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but we see in many of them good internal signs," NBC's Mitch Metcalf says.

Also safe for now: NBC's "Jay Leno Show." The network says it's meeting expectations, even as some affiliates complain about the effect of the low ratings on their local newscasts.

Snapshot: Networks Fall Season to Date Numbers

Our partners at USA Today are tracking the success of this Fall's television season. For the first month (September 20th through October 18th), the following graphs show where the main networks are standing:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Notes from the Newsroom: 10/20/09

By Frank Macek

It's time again for an edition of "Notes from the Newsroom" as your blogger shares some of his thoughts on our little corner of local broadcast television.

WKYC is gearing up for our station wide event called a "Heroes Help Northeast Ohio" that will benefit several different groups this holiday season. From 5 am until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, you can stop by the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center to make your donations to help benefit the Cleveland Foodbank, Salvation Army and Coats for Kids. WKYC will broadcast live throughout the day on WKYC and SportsTime Ohio's "All Bets Are Off with Bruce Drennan" show. We'll even have the Perry High School Marching Band to play for us during the morning hours. And, you'll be able to see our live, all day web stream at Please come and make this year's outreach to the community our biggest yet!

WKYC, WVIZ/PBS & 90.3 WCPN ideastream and the Plain Dealer are teaming up to present a special show examining some of the important issues facing voters in this year's General Election on November 3rd. WKYC Senior Political Corrrespondent will appear along with WVIZ's Dick Feagler for "Road to Reform" and an in-depth examination of Issues 5 & 6 that could very well reform Cuyahoga County government. The show will air on WVIZ this Friday, October 23rd at 8:30 p.m. and on WKYC on Sunday, October 25th at 10 a.m. You can read the Plain Dealer for special stories related to this project and on-going coverage of the county reform initiatives. Be sure to watch the show for details on a follow up, web only special that will answer your questions directly the following week.

On the corporate level, welcome back to Gannett CEO Craig Dubow who recently returned to work after surgery. We wish him well. Also, as we mentioned late last month, Gannett posted solid 3rd quarter financial results giving the business some hope we may have turned the economic corner as we head into 2010.

Don't forget, the Winter Olympics from Vancouver, Canada, are only 3 months away. We are busy planning for the return of the "Olympic Zone" show that will feature some great content from our Gannett sister stations covering the event in February.

Our personal thanks to Virgil Dominc for sitting down with your blogger last week to discuss the future of television and to get his insight on what lies ahead. His consultation has been crucial to our success at WKYC this year as we have weathered quite a storm.

Finally, we discovered that former WKYC weekend anchor/reporter Scott Newell is running for Pepper Pike City Council this election day. Our Director's Cut spies were out in full force and happened to find one of his campaign signs planted with his big ole smiling face. We wish Scott well in his endeavours.

You can read more about Scott's campaign run at:

(and no, Scott did not personally approve this "message" in the Director's Cut Blog, but we are sure he'll be reading our column).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

WKYC Introduces Our New Text Messaging System

CLEVELAND -- WKYC-TV and WKYC.COM are proud to announce our brand new instant text messaging system for iAlerts, breaking news, severe weather and more.
WKYC Text Alerts
Now you can get our alerts direct to your mobile phone or device faster and easier than ever before, with WKYC's new text alert messaging system.

Get breaking news updates along with other local information sent to you as a text message.

The best part is you can select only the messages you wish to receive.
  • Our iAlerts are broken down by individual schools.
  • Our severe weather alerts are only for the counties you select.
  • Our other features are only the ones that interest you.
You can choose from the following categories:
  • News - Be alerted when important local and national news happens.
  • Severe Weather Alerts - Stay updated when severe weather is in our area.
  • Daily Weather Forecast- Get the daily forecast sent to you each morning.
  • Friend to Friend - A friendly monthly reminder for women's health.
  • iAlert School Closings - Be notified when your school is closed.
  • Coupons & Contests - Be the first to know about Channel 3 News contests. Save money with valuable offers from local businesses.
Signing up is fast and very easy!

Click on the following link to get started:

Click Here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

News: Delayed Viewing Boosts Numbers For Networks

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Gary Levin, USA Today

Viewers with DVRs are catching up with series in record numbers, brightening the picture for TV networks by easing yearly declines.

In new Nielsen data for the season's premiere week, many shows scored substantial gains from viewing delayed one to seven days after they aired.

The lift, bigger than ever, blunts early fears several top returning series had plummeted. Grey's Anatomy added 3 million viewers, climbing 17% from its initial total, and two others - CBS' The Mentalist and Fox's House - added nearly as many. In all, 36 shows added 1 million or more viewers, and ratings for 14 programs shot up 20% or more.

And it shows how DVRs - now in one in three homes, up from 27% last fall - not only shift viewing but also increase it; owners watch far more TV than those without. Yet because viewers can skip commercials, networks can't charge advertisers for many of those extra viewers. (Ad buyers do pay for commercial viewing up to three days later.)

Popular programs in competitive time slots continue to be the most heavily recorded. Grey's, CSI, The Office and Fringe, all airing at 9 ET/PT Thursday, are among the biggest gainers. ABC's FlashForward was the most heavily recorded new-series premiere, adding 2 million late viewers (16%); NCIS: LA gained 1.8 million (10%).

On a percentage basis, Fox's low-rated sci-fi Dollhouse was top gainer. It added 37%, which translated to just 914,000 extra viewers. Fringe, up 34%, was next, followed by four CW series up 30% or more. NBC's Heroes got a 27% lift but still ranked below last year's opener.

Shari Anne Brill, analyst at ad firm Carat USA, says delayed viewing also spiked because, in contrast to last fall's strike-hobbled start, "there are a lot more new shows bumping up against each other in competitive time periods," and more of them won recorded tryouts from viewers.

The data "doesn't radically change perceptions" about borderline series, says Fox scheduling chief Preston Beckman. But "on a night when there's so much good programming, you want to see if you're the second choice or the third choice. It helps us to feel comfortable that if we're patient, we can start to see growth" from same-day viewing.

News and sports programming continues to rank among the least-recorded. So were weak new series such as Fox's Brothers and CW's already-canceled The Beautiful Life. And while NBC touted its new Jay Leno Show as "TiVo-proof," the flip side is that the show gained less than 5% in its second week from delayed viewing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spotlight Feature: Newsrooms working with less, Expecting more

By Frank Macek

Over the weekend, I had a chance to read an excellent article by Hillary Atkin in NewsPro Magazine that takes a look at the current state of television news and how we got to this point. I thought I'd share some of my comments on the general points made by Ms. Atkin.

The bottom line is cutbacks by television stations are having an enormous impact on the overall quality of television news, including here in Cleveland. All our stations locally have been hurt financially in 2009. However, we doubt that few, if any, local station managers would admit their product isn't what it used to be because of staff reductions. They would probably argue its been multi-faceted.

One of the biggest reasons for cutbacks is diminishing profit. Since the great economic downturn that started in late 2007 and 2008, stations have been under extreme pressure financially. Advertisers aren't spending as much money and local television stations are now competing for ratings and revenue from cable, satellite and the internet (including mobile) - in ways we have never seen before.

The owners initial reaction was to cut back, and cut back fast. Then figure it out later. And many broadcast companies did just that.

The first folks in television to go have been high priced talent. Those who were at the top tier were jettisoned early on through non-renewed contracts or buy outs. In many cases, these people were some of the most experienced and most seasoned professionals in the business. Their knowledge and ideas were assets to newsrooms, particularly during times of crisis. Now, stations are relying more on younger and less experienced people to help re-invent the product. We fear the next time there is a major regional disaster and how well we will be able to cover it.

The recent California wildfires was one example Ms. Atkin used after the Los Angeles stations were highly criticized for lack of coverage - mainly because it was on the weekend when newsrooms are barely staffed.

Also, local stations are replacing higher priced syndicated programming (which costs a lot of money also) with an increase in daily news programming. Stations are actually doing MORE news, not less in their economic climate. The increased news does not cost stations more, it actually saves money going to syndicators with the same staff and resources.

No one where has this more apparent than with Fox affiliate stations. This fall, many stations added an extra hour of news from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. to replace the cancelled "Mike and Juliet Show." That included WJW who feels more news is a cheaper option than paying for another syndicated show. They are right.

Regardless of how much news a station does, all news departments are expected to do more with less. This includes providing fresh content not only to your television screen, but to the web and through social media - like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. WKYC has been highly involved in this area for well over a year now as we reach untapped audiences.

Also, talent are now anchoring multiple newscasts. Producers are expected to spend more time working on the web before and after their newscasts. Reporters are becoming one man bands of photojournalists, editors and reporters or "MMJ - Multi Media Journalists". And control room staffs are being nibbled toward automation where crew of 5 or 6 are whittled to one or two.

Those who will survive in this new media environment are the ones who can do it all, don't mind long hours and accept lower pay than folks they've replaced. Television ownership knows they have the upper hand, as more people are looking for fewer available jobs. This allows stations to choose those who best fit their future needs.

Your blogger has found it very hard to encourage those in college wanting to work in television. In today's environment, the committment one must have is deep and very personal. The satisfacation one gets working in television or broadcasting must come from within and benefit you as much as it does the company.

Journalism is far from dead. But the new opportunities are going to created by entrepeneurs who can use new technology as their new platform rather than the newspaper, or television station or radio talk show. The power of the internet is waiting to be tapped.

Those opportunities are there. The true challenge is figuring them out.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Snapshot: Tracking Leno's Numbers

News: Flat Screen TVs Go Green

Shopping for a flat-screen TV? Buying one with the Energy Star sticker could land you a cheaper electric bill.

Energy Star-certified televisions are usually about the same price as comparable models, if not cheaper, and also save on electricity. California is even close to banning the sale of energy-guzzling TVs.

Frankie's Sports Bar and Grill in Uptown Dallas is hoping to guzzle less power by switching some sets to more energy-efficient models. "Our electric bill is anywhere from $6,000 to $9,000 a month," said Joel Hill.

He said the bill is just the cost of doing business. "We have to have the game on and have it on in a lot of places," Hill said.

Oncor said the sports bar could save energy and money by switching to Energy Star-certified televisions.

"You are going to save about 30 percent compared to your old TV right now," said Jeamy Molina an Oncor spokeswoman.

Hill said the bar has recently added several energy-efficient flat-screen TVs.

"All the newer TVs we replaced were the Energy Star ones," he said.
Robert Sam said switching helps everyone save money.

"For the average television, maybe a 50-inch size, you are liable to save yourself probably $12 to $14 a year," he said.

News: Cables Are The Key For Good HD TV

You've got a new flat-screen high-definition TV and HD cable box-but there's a good chance you're not even using the high-definition technology your TV was built for. The culprit isn't your TV though: check the cables.

Most people don't know that the type of cable running between their TV set and cable box has such a big impact on picture quality. Simply upgrading from composite video cables to HDMI or component cables (for only about $15) will make a huge difference in the clarity.

The folks at the Geek Squad say the same clarity can be achieved with your TV and home theater's audio system by replacing analog wire with a coax or optical cable.

Our sister station, KARE explains:

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

News: Big Japanese Brands Readying 3D Flat-screen TVs

CHIBA, Japan -- Japan's big name electronic manufacturers are readying flat-screen TVs that can show high-definition movies and video games in 3D for launch next year.

At the country's biggest consumer electronics show that opened Tuesday just outside of Tokyo all the major makers displayed 3D prototypes.

Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. said they would bring their first models to market next year.

The companies are plowing ahead even before there is much content available, with corporate spokesmen saying only that preparation is under way.

Demonstrations at the exhibitions were mainly short clips of movies, nature scenes and sports.

Source: The Associated Press

WKYC to Present "Heroes Help Northeast Ohio"

Last year WKYC helped the Cleveland Foodbank pull off their largest one day food drive in foodbank history thanks to everyone's generosity in dropping off canned food items during our one day event.

This year, we are aiming to make the event even bigger and beat last year's total."Heroes Help Northeast Ohio" will be held on Thursday, October 22nd, from 5 am to 7:30 pm in front of the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center, 1333 Lakeside Avenue in Downtown Cleveland.

WKYC staffers will be on hand all day to collect items in a drive through that will be easy and convenient.

In addition to collecting food, WKYC will also be collecting new or gently worn coats for our annual "Coats for Kids" campaign we hold each year with our radio partners. Plus, we'll accept holiday gifts for the Salvation Army.

We need everyone's help in the community to be part of the Hero Army and make the day a complete success.

Please encourage your kids' schools or neighborhood schools to take part. Plus your local charity organizations are also welcome. We you to collect items and between now and October 22nd and then turn them in the day of our drive.

Help WKYC make a difference in our community on Thursday, October 22nd with "Heroes Help Northeast Ohio." You'll be glad you did.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

"SNL" Zings David Letterman's Difficulties

NEW YORK -- Add "Saturday Night Live" to the shows making sport of David Letterman's difficulties. But in the hands of "SNL," Dave got off pretty easy.

On Thursday, the late-night host acknowledged having sex with women who worked for him and told viewers he was the victim of a blackmail attempt.

On SNL's "Weekend Update," anchor Seth Meyers dubbed the extortion attempt by a CBS News producer "a stupid human trick."

Meyers added that the would-be blackmailer was threatening to reveal embarrassing details of Letterman's personal life, then gave a joking example: After sex, Dave would say, "Stay tuned for Craig Ferguson."

Fellow TV hosts Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon are among comics who already had zinged Letterman on their shows.

Source: The Associated Press, Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer

Thursday, October 01, 2009

From the Wires: Comcast Shares Dive on Reports of NBC Acquisition

PHILADELPHIA -- Shares of Comcast Corp. are diving after reports surfaced that the nation's largest cable TV provider is in talks to purchase a stake in NBC Universal.

Comcast has called some of the reports inaccurate but stopped short of denying that talks were held.

General Electric Co. owns 80 percent of NBC Universal, which includes several cable channels plus the NBC and Telemundo networks, the Universal Pictures movie studio and a chain of theme parks. The other 20 percent is owned by the French media conglomerate Vivendi SA.

Shares of Philadelphia-based Comcast were down $1.17, or 7 percent, to $15.71 in morning trading Thursday. GE fell 26 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $16.16.

Source: The Associated Press

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Notes from the Newsroom: 9/30/09

By Frank Macek

Time for another edition of "Notes from the Newsroom" as your blogger shares some of thoughts on our little corner of local television.

Congratulations to several WKYC staffers who take top honors in Cleveland Magazine's annual "Best of Cleveland" poll. This year's winners include Romona Robinson for best female anchor, Mark Nolan for best male anchor and Jim Donovan for best sports anchor in Cleveland. Also, SportsTime Ohio's Design Director Greg Goyla and his 80's cover band the "Spazmatics" were recognized for rocking 80's music like no other local group. They have even performed for former President George W. Bush. The "Best of Cleveland" party will be held on Friday, October 16th at 7 p.m. at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

WKYC.COM has launched a new project called "Tributes" that uses the power of to spread the word about the passing of our local residents through on-line obituaries. The service launched on Monday, September 28th, and offers an affordable option for families to share the life story on a loved one. You can leave notes of rememberances, upload photos of a loved one and view regular obituaries from participating funeral homes across northern Ohio. The site also offers a starting point for funeral pre-plannning and more information.  Please take a moment and check out the website at:

With health care reform and the spread of H1N1 in the news almost daily, WKYC is committing even more resources to both on our on-air and on-line medical coverage to keep our viewers informed on these important stories and developments. As a result, WKYC's Senior Health Correspondent Monica Robins will be devoting more time to leading our WKYC health coverage and anchoring our 7 p.m. broadcast with her co-host Eric Mansfield.  As a result, WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen has announced Maureen Kyle as the new anchor for "Channel 3 News at Noon" that started Monday.

Newspapers may have slowed, or perhaps even stopped, their financial descent after three years of plunging revenues, crumbling stock prices and heavy layoffs. The latest glimmer of hope came as the largest U.S. newspaper publisher Gannett, owner of WKYC-TV, announced that its third-quarter earnings will be substantially above analysts' forecasts. Although Gannett's revenue for the period fell slightly below analysts' projections, executives said newspaper advertising sales didn't fall as badly as they did in the first half of the year. Still, newspapers have yet to come up with a solution about what to do regarding the massive shift of readers and advertisers to the Internet. Gannett shares rose 18 percent Tuesday. Other newspaper and media stocks also climbed. On Wednesday, Gannett closed up again $12.51. (Source: The Associated Press)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

From the Wires: Changes Afoot At NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"

Special to the Director's Cut
By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Changes are afoot at "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" involving original cast member Vincent D'Onofrio and newcomer Jeff Goldblum.

According to two people close to the production, D'Onofrio is poised to leave as a series regular early in the ninth season on USA Network next spring. The people asked that their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak publicly about casting.

Goldblum, who joined the series last season, may remain as lead detective and could be joined by Saffron Burrows, replacing Julianne Nicholson. Deals with Goldblum and Burrows have yet to be signed, one person said.

USA Network and series producer Wolf Films declined comment.

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" has seen cast turnover before: Chris Noth co-starred for three seasons.

Source: The Associated Press

From the Wires: Conan O'Brien Hits Head During 'Tonight' Stunt

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES -- NBC says Conan O'Brien hit his head during a stunt for the "Tonight Show" and the production was halted.

The accident occurred Friday. O'Brien was being examined at a hospital, according to a person close to the production.

The person, who lacked authorization to discuss details of the matter, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Through NBC, O'Brien issued a statement to demonstrate that he was able to joke about the incident. O'Brien said that he recalled "enjoying the play with Mrs. Lincoln," and the next thing he was aware of was being served cookies and juice.

A repeat of "Tonight" was shown Friday, NBC said.

Source: The Associated Press

Conan shares his experience Monday on the "Tonight Show"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Notes from the Newsroom: 9/25/09

By Frank Macek

Time for another edition of "Notes from the Newsroom" as your blogger shares some of thoughts on our little corner of local television.

No news is good news, so they say in this business.

Fall continues where summer left off at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center - not much new - which is why we've been a little scarce in doing a regular edition of "Notes from the Newsroom".

The biggest thing going on right now is Fall Premiere Week(s). So far, we've seen mixed results for NBC with their schedule.

The Jay Leno Show has fallen from its huge premiere on Monday, September 14th, but is still helping NBC and WKYC in the 10 pm hour. The always important final quarter hour of Jay's show (10:45 - 10:59 PM) has been a good lead-in for Channel 3 News at 11 PM in the demographics we need for our advertisers. It's funny how the tabloid news programs have been calling for the show to be cancelled. While I personally don't believe we've seen the best show yet, Jay continues to tweak as the months roll along.

Meanwhile, WKYC continues to make gains in the morning against WJW and all our evening newscasts continue to lead in the important adult demos.

Hopefully you've seen our news weather promos airing on Channel 3. The first features Hollie Strano and Betsy Kling. If you haven't seen them, we posted them in an earlier post (CLICK HERE). The other new one promotes the fact we have been highly successful in our efforts with Twitter, Facebook and as additional platforms you can find our weather information. As many of you know, your blogger is very active in the daily flow of weather information out of the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center. Did we mention we should have been a meteorologist? It's a personal love that started during elementary school WAY back when in Garrettsville, my hometown.

Our parent company, Gannett, has launched the new "Content One" idea where all our newspaper and broadcast stations can now share stories and ideas in an effort to be more efficient. As I mentioned earlier this week, we'll be featuring more stories from my Gannett colleagues on the blog from Content One about television.

Friday Night Fever is always a fun time around the Channel 3 Newsroom. Assignment Editor Dani Fink is at the helm as "official party planner" each Friday night between the 7 pm and 11 pm telecasts. We always have a plenty supply of pizza, editor Pat makes the best cookies, and there are plenty of chips, pretzels and other food brought in by our folks to add the pounds quickly. I've even seen Romona sampling from time to time (though I doubt she'll admit having two cookies). So, it's time to go have some pizza.

Thanks for being a reader of the Director's Cut Blog as we close in on the 1/2 million page views mark. Your blogger appreciates all the comments you post and send me directly. I found them interesting and at times, quite entertaining.

Saturday Night Live Kicks Off New Season With Megan Fox, U2

Kids are back in school.

Football's returned.

Leaves are beginning to change.

And in another sure sign of fall, NBC's studio 8H is busy once again for this week's season premiere of "Saturday Night Live".

"I've got the super butterflies and I'm sick to my stomach all the time," said the show's head writer, Seth Myers.

"The nightmares. Yeah, the nightmares are back," chimed in co-star Andy Samberg.

But the SNL gang's coming off a dream season.

A Presidential campaign that sent buzz off the charts
and brought in the show's biggest audience in more than a decade.

"We had so much fun last season, the hardest part, to be honest, was last season ending. We had all that momentum," Myers said.

Now, the challenge is to top themselves.

"It's a tall order, as orders go," Myers said.

"Not Manute Bol tall, but Michael Jordan," added Samberg.

"It's Jordan tall. Yea," Myers agreed.

The season's first host is one of Hollywood's hottest actresses, Megan Fox.

"Part of the fun of SNL is when you have a host who's willing to do anything," Myers said. "And Megan Fox seems to have a great sense of spirit for that stuff."

And, the show's tossing a bone to its musical guest.

"These U2 kids are good. We think if they nail these songs, they might have a shot," Myers joked.

"They've got an interesting sound. I think it might catch on," Samberg added.

They said "SNL" might catch on too-----35 years ago.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TV Tech Center: New Tech TV Promises A Better Picture

Editor's Note: The Director's Cut Blog through WKYC and Gannett's new Content One, now has access to all the resources of both our newspaper and broadcast divisions. As a result, our blog will be able to bring you many more timely and interesting feature articles about new technology has it relates to television and broadcasting in addition to our regular articles about what's happening at WKYC.

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Kim Komando

With football season here, maybe you're eyeing your old televisions and considering new sets. Before you buy, learn about the latest developments in television technology. Your choices aren't limited to LCD and plasma. A slew of new technologies are hitting the market:


Sony, Sharp, Samsung, LG and Toshiba all make LED TVs. These are really LCD sets. However, they use light-emitting diodes for backlights. Other LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent lamps.

LED backlights provide clearer, crisper images with better contrast. For an even better picture, look for one with local dimming. Local dimming turns off the backlight in dark areas of the screen. The result is blacker blacks and excellent contrast.

LED TVs cost more than traditional LCDs. Expect to pay a $400 premium. For example, Samsung's 32-inch UN32B6000 retails for about $1,500. The comparable LN32B650 LCD TV lists for about $1,100.

But an LED TV may save you in the long-term. LED backlights use less power than CCFLs.


OLED sets are also trickling out. Unlike other sets, OLEDs don't require backlights. Rather, they use organic light-emitting diodes. When a charge is applied to the material, it creates a picture. It also gives off the light necessary to illuminate it.

OLED sets are amazingly thin and use less power than LED sets. And the picture is even more impressive than that of an LED set. OLEDs provide excellent contrast and color reproduction.

Of course, OLED sets are not cheap. Sony's 11-inch XEL-1 retails for about $2,500. LG will release a 15-inch model early next year. It should list for about $2,500. Larger models are also rumored.


Mitsubishi started selling its LaserVue laser TV last fall. However, production problems have lowered availability.

Laser televisions use rear projection technology. Mitsubishi's 65-inch L65-A90 LaserVue TV ($7,000) is 10 inches deep. Laser televisions produce brilliant colors and a bright image. Some say the colors are so intense they look fake.

Laser sets have double the color range of other TVs. They use a fraction of the power of LCDs and plasmas. And they don't degrade over time. So, they have a longer lifespan than other sets.

Unfortunately, you won't find much programming designed for laser TVs. So, you won't get the full benefits.

Also, methods for adapting content can result in a bad picture.


OK, thin isn't really a technology. But technology does make thin possible.

You'll pay a premium for thin sets. For example, JVC is releasing the LT-32WX50 in November. This 32-inch set makes standard LCDs look downright obese. It is only about a quarter-inch at its thinnest point. It will run $3,000.

Despite their thinness, the sets must still provide room for connections. In some cases, connections may be moved to a set's stand. Or, a wider area on the back may accommodate the connections.
3-D TV

There has been a resurgence in 3-D technology lately. And, it is spilling over from the large screen to the living room.

JVC has just released the 46-inch GD-463D10. It runs about $9,100. Philips and Sony both plan to introduce 3-D sets next year. Panasonic is also planning a 3-D set.

In order to create the illusion of 3-D, televisions must display multiple images simultaneously. Usually, glasses are needed to view the image.

However, some sets will use technology that doesn't require glasses. For example, Philips uses pixels that send light in several directions. This creates the illusion of depth.

I'd hold off on a 3-D set for now; programming is limited. Also, the technology is not standardized. That could lead to a format war and if your luck is like mine, you'll chose the wrong side.

Kim Komando hosts the nation's largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit:

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