Tuesday, March 31, 2009

News: "Friday Night Lights" Renewed For 2 More Seasons

NBC Universal and DIRECTV have extended their innovative and multi-platform partnership from last year to produce 26 episodes that would launch the fourth and fifth seasons of the critically acclaimed drama series, "Friday Night Lights." The series would air first on DIRECTV and then subsequently on NBC with 13 episodes each during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.

DIRECTV would have exclusive rights to the 13 new episodes for each of the series' fourth and fifth seasons on DIRECTV's entertainment channel "The 101 Network."

Last year's arrangement provided for 13 new episodes to be produced. Specific broadcast dates for the new installments on both NBC and DIRECTV will be announced later.

The announcements were made by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, and Marc Graboff, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, and Eric Shanks, Executive Vice President of Entertainment for DIRECTV.

"We're proud that a deal for the renewal of 'Friday Night Lights' has been reached," said Silverman. "It is one of the best shows in the history of television and we've worked hard to keep it alive for future seasons. NBC Universal has been at the forefront of creative deals such as these, which ultimately benefit audiences, critics and advertisers alike."

Expanding on the hit feature film and best-selling book "Friday Night Lights," the award-winning "Friday Night Lights" centers on life in Dillon, Texas, where high school football brings the community together -- and the drama of small town life threatens to tear it apart.

Hailed as one of the Top-10 shows by numerous publications such as Time magazine, Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times, "Friday Night Lights" also has been honored two years in a row (2006/2007) as an American Film Institute (AFI) Television Program of the Year, received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 2006 and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series in 2007.

Source: NBC

Monday, March 30, 2009

WKYC Presents 2009 Rock Hall Induction Special This Friday at 7 PM

WKYC has your front row seat to a preview of this year's 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to be held in Cleveland this Saturday, April 4th.

Our special WKYC broadcast will air Friday Night from 7 until 8 p.m. on Channel 3.

We'll cover all aspects of the festivities with your hosts Carole Sullivan and Mark Nolan live from the VIP Party at the Rock Hall.

Reporter and music lover, Jeff Maynor, will give us a look back to the last time we had the induction here in town. Plus, he'll share the story of the man who coined "rock and roll" - Cleveland DJ Alan Freed and other influential disc jockeys of the time. Plus, we'll examine how influential our Cleveland rockers have been in the music industry.

Monica Robins will report live from the red carpet as the "Who's Who" of the music industry arrive at the VIP party at the Rock Hall including both inductees and presenters. Only Channel 3 will have the red carpet access to the stars.

Also, Kim Wheeler, Dick Russ and Tom Beres will bring us stories about what the Rock Hall has meant to Cleveland...from education to the economy.

The show will be produced by Amanda Subler and directed by Frank Macek.

So, join us this Friday, April 3rd at 7 pm only on Channel 3.


*For more features and in-depth interviews: CLICK HERE

Behind the Scenes: Wrap Party of "ER"

Special to the Director's Cut
By Stephanie Stanton

Stars of the hit TV series "ER" ditched their scrubs for red-carpet attire to attend a posh Hollywood wrap party. Laura Innes who played Dr. Kerry Weaver on the show expressed her excitement.."I just feel like wow... This is a gas... It's just a great time."

Cast members past and present were among the hundreds on hand for this goodbye bash.

Ellen Crawford who played nurse Lydia Wright was one of those in attendance.
"It's exciting... a little sad... It's very bittersweet, I have a little tear. It's been a great run."

The show's executives also shared some final thoughts... "Thank you for everything you've done all these years." Meanwhile, a video tribute and a wall of photos highlighted some of the show's memorable moments.

One section of this posh Hollywood nightclub has been transformed into the "ER" set. These are actual props from the show where guests can have their picture taken.

After 15 years on the air... The staff at County General will do their final rounds this week. The upcoming 2-hour series finale will feature some of show's original cast members. Several have already made their farewell appearances.

Parminder Nagra who played Dr. Neela Rasgotra had some thoughts on the return of a very famous original cast member. "I think my grin needed to be peeled off my face when Clooney walked through the doors... I think that was a bit of a thrilling moment!"

Executive Producer John Wells wrote the finale without his longtime friend and the show's creator Michael Crichton... who passed away in November. "It was a nice way to reconnect... talking about the ideas, the characters. He was sort of there with me again. "

And cast members also got to reconnect and reflect on the show that has changed so many lives. Noah Wyle who played Dr. John Carter explains how unique the show was for him. "I don't think I'll ever have that kind of ease or comfort on a set again."

The series finale airs this Thursday on WKYC and NBC.

Friday, March 27, 2009

WKYC Exclusive: Interview with PD's Susan Goldberg

In Focus at 7 p.m., we were joined in the studio by Cleveland Plain Dealer Editor Susan Goldberg to talk about the state of the paper in rough economic times and the industry in general.

Take a listen to her thoughts as she shared them with anchors Carole Sullivan and Eric Mansfield, putting rumors to rest the Plain Dealer would not continue publishing 7 days a week, could close down, or might move on-line only as other papers have done recently.

News: A Look Back At "ER"

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Mark Barger

NBC is saying farewell to one of its longest running shows next Thursday. "ER" will be closing its doors with a two hour finale, preceded by a one hour retrospective.

It began with novelist Michael Crichton, when he created the drama. In 1994, Crichton said "we are really trying to do something that's different." "ER"'s frenetic pace and rapid fire medical jargon shattered the mold for TV doctors.

"It changed the way we watched television," says TV Guide's Greg Evans. Thursday nights became a vicarious thrill ride for viewers, echoes of Crichton's medical school days alongside ER doctors and nurses. "They're in there for the rush, the adrenaline, the excitement and for the necessity. To do their work under extreme pressure," said Crichton in 1994.

But this "ER" was almost DOA.

"All the networks passed twice. Not just once, they passed twice. Because it was just so different," says TV Guide's Evans. But NBC gave "ER" a third chance.

This time, veteran producer John Wells teamed with Crichton, and they brought in a cast of largely unknown, but optimistic actors. George Clooney said of the program in 1994 "this show is, in every sense of the word, a classy show."

When NBC saw the finished pilot "they were like, what the hell is that?" says original cast member Sherry Stringfield. But test audiences loved it. And even the cast was blown away.

"we all went ooh....wow, we really are a part of something that's much bigger than us individually," says actor Anthony Edwards. When NBC finally gave "ER" a golden thursday time slot, It hoped for the next "LA Law" or "Hill Street Blues". But it immediately got something even bigger.

"Okay, cover of Newsweek is calling us a phenomenon. I think it's a go," says Stringfield. Blockbuster ratings turned actors such as Clooney into household names overnight. Clooney and other original cast members have returned to "ER" in this final season.

"You want the show to go out on a high note the way it came on," says Actor Eriq La Salle. "It's been an incredible experience and one I wouldn't trade for anything," adds series star Noah Wylie.

But it's an experience that's drawing to a close. "We all did a show that we were very proud of for a long time," says Executive Producer John Wells.

"But it's still very good and we're getting a chance to end it while it's still very good. That's a good feeling".

Director's Alert: Longtime NBC newsman Irving R. Levine dies

BOCA RATON, Florida -- Irving R. Levine, the NBC newsman who explained the fine points of economics for nearly a quarter century, has died. He was 86.

Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, says Levine died Thursday. Further details were not released.

The bow-tied Levine was a presence at NBC since 1950 when he began covering the Korean War until his retirement in 1995. His overseas assignments included stints in Moscow and Rome.

He had become the network's full-time economics correspondent in 1971. He did weekly commentaries on CNBC in later years and appeared on "Meet the Press" more than 100 times.

After retiring from NBC in 1995, Levine joined Lynn University as dean of the college of international communication.

Source: The Associated Press

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spotlight Feature: How To Recycle Your Old TV Sets

By Frank Macek

As we approach the final deadline for the transition to all digital television, many people are replacing their old television sets with new, hd sets. But what do you do with that old set?

Before you simply toss it on your lawn for the garbage man to collect, consider this: old sets have up to eight pounds of lead in them. Putting them in landfills can greatly increase the likelihood of poison getting into our water supplies once the sets are crushed and the seeps into the ground.

Now multiple that 8 pounds of lead by 27 million sets that consumers discarded in 2007 alone, according to the latest numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency. You see the problem.

For the lead reason alone, many municipalities have now banned TVs from landfills.

Unfortunately, you can't just drop off the TV at the local thrift store or recycling center and call it a day. Some charities no longer accept used TVs since the cost of getting rid of broken sets won't offset the money they could make by selling ones that still work.

But you have some alternatives:

Some retailers and manufacturers including Samsung, Sony and Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba have committed to the EPA's "National TV Recycling Challenge" of offering consumers a way to responsibly dispose of their old sets.

  • Samsung offers more than 170 locations throughout the US where consumers can drop off their Samsung TVs at no cost (other brands are accepted for a fee). CLICK HERE

  • Sony provides 274 nationwide locations with free recycling service for all Sony branded TVs and fee-based recycling of other brands. CLICK HERE

  • Panasonic, Sharp & Toshiba have 280 locations to collect their branded TVs for free recycling. CLICK HERE

You can also search through Earth 911's database of recycling, disposal, and donation alternatives. Just enter your ZIP code and get a list of options instantly. CLICK HERE

Please be responsible with old television sets and help save the environment and quite possibly a life.

'Saturday Night Live' Springs Into April With The First of Two New Shows

"Saturday Night Live" returns April 4 with the first of two live shows during the month. Comedy star and writer-producer, Seth Rogen returns as host alongside France's preeminent alternative rockers Phoenix.

Seth Rogen returns to the SNL stage as host on April 4th. Rogen lends his voice to the 3D animation phenomenon, "Monsters vs. Aliens," which opens this Friday. He also stars in the dark comedy "Observe and Report," opening April 10.

Rogen has emerged leading a new generation of comedic actors, writers and producers with several blockbuster films including "Knocked Up," "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express." Rogen's breakout role was in the critically acclaimed NBC series "Freaks and Geeks," followed by a scene-stealing turn in "The 40 Year Old-Virgin." Up next for Rogen is this summer's comedy "Funny People" opposite Adam Sandler, and he is set to begin production on the highly-anticipated big-screen adaptation of "The Green Hornet" which he co-wrote.

Joining Rogen and making their SNL debut is the alternative rock band Phoenix. The band has been recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine as "France's finest art-rockers" and made the magazine's "Top 50" album list in 2006 with "It's Never Been Like That."

Phoenix has been featured on Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch "Must List," and according to New York Magazine's Vulture, "Front man Thomas Mars's playful vocals are expertly framed by giant synths, big, shiny guitar sounds, and the occasional sonar noise, all to great effect." The quartet, childhood friends from Versailles, France, will perform from their upcoming album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix." The song "Too Young," from their debut album "United," became an underground hit when Sofia Coppola featured it in the Oscar-winning film "Lost in Translation."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Director's Alert: Monica Robins Named 7 PM Co-Anchor of Channel 3 News

WKYC announced this afternoon Monica Robins will become the new co-anchor of Channel 3 News at 7 PM beginning Monday, April 6th. She'll join current anchor Eric Mansfield on the broadcast anchor desk Monday through Friday at 7 p.m.

WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen points out, "Monica is an experienced anchor and reporter who brings energy and passion to the assignment."

In addition to anchoring the 7 p.m. broadcast, we are being told Monica will continue her signature medical reporting and noon anchor duties.

Monica replaces Carole Sullivan who is headed to San Diego with her husband, Mike Sullivan. Mike recently took a position with the San Diego Chargers. Prior to that, he worked with the Cleveland Browns organization.

Ms. Andolsen announced that Carole's final day on the air will be Friday, April 3rd.

Congratulations to both Monica and Carole on their new endeavours.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

News: Got An Expired TV Converter Box Coupon? Try Again

People who got digital TV converter box coupons but let them expire can now apply for new ones.

The recent stimulus package put more money into the coupon program, letting the National Telecommunications and Information Administration give households with expired coupons a second chance.

Each household can apply for two $40 coupons that cover most of the cost of converter boxes. While 26 million coupons have been redeemed, 17 million expired at the end of their three-month life span.

The government also has cleared the wait list that built up after funding for the coupons dried up in January. That problem led Congress to delay the shutdown of analog TV broadcasts by four months, to June 12.

After then, older TVs that aren't hooked up to cable or satellite feeds will need converter boxes.

Source: The Associated Press

Monday, March 23, 2009

News: Gannett Imposes Another Round of Furloughs in 2Q

MCLEAN, Virginia -- Newspaper publisher Gannett (and parent company of WKYC-TV) is forcing most of its workers to take another week of unpaid leave before July.

The furloughs spelled out Monday in a company memo are being imposed to avoid laying off more employees as Gannett tries to offset a steep drop in advertising revenue.

Gannett owns USA Today and more than 80 other daily newspapers, including The Cincinnati Enquirer and 10 newspapers in central Ohio cities.

This marks the second time this year that most of Gannett's 41,500 workers have had to give up a week's pay. Most employees, including CEO Craig Dubow, were furloughed for at least five days during the first three months this year.

This time around, Gannett is requiring its higher-paid workers to relinquish up to two weeks pay during the April-June period.

Source: The Associated Press

Friday, March 20, 2009

News: Obama Scores Big for Leno

Last night's telecast of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," featuring a guest appearance by President Barack Obama (11.2 household rating, 26 share), has achieved the highest "Tonight" rating in metered-market households since Monday, January 24, 2005 (11.2/26), the night of a special tribute to Johnny Carson, according to in-home viewing figures from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research.

The last time Jay Leno scored a higher metered-market rating than last night's 11.2 was Thursday, May 14, 1998 (12.4), the night of the "Seinfeld" finale.

Last night's historic edition of "Tonight" matched the fourth highest metered-market household rating in the more than 16 years Jay Leno has been hosting "Tonight."

President Obama's appearance last night is the first for a sitting U.S. President on a late-night talk show. Also appearing on last night's show was music superstar Garth Brooks.

Last night's telecast of "Tonight" improved on the show's season-average 3.9 household rating in the metered markets by 187 percent.

The other higher rated nights in the metered markets for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" are May 20, 1993, the night of the "Cheers" finale; May 25, 1992, the debut of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"; and May 14, 1998, the night of the "Seinfeld" finale.

National ratings for last night's "Tonight," including demographics and viewer totals, are due from Nielsen on Thursday, March 26.

In case you missed the interview, watch it below right now:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Meet the Man Who Holds Our Future In His Hands

By Frank Macek

Soon, there will be a new FCC sheriff in town - and he's not going to make broadcasters very happy.

His name - Julius Genachowski.

By all accounts, he's the opposite of former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and believes strongly in media diversification, "net neutrality" and affordable broadband access to all Americans.

High on his priority list will be to lead efforts that de-consolidate media. Could this mean a reversal of past rulings, absolutely. Newspaper and broadcast ownership rules will be highly scrutinized. Bigger will not mean better under the new administration for either radio or tv media giants.

Genachowski is also a firm believer all people should have access to broadband internet service. Cable and telcos already fear he will keep them from slowing or blocking users traffic based on ownership.

Some winners under Genachowski are likely to be high tech companies including Google, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, YouTube and other internet based entities. Mobile providers also win, especially those offering wireless services.

Traditional broadcasters are likely to lose, unless they speed the transition to mobile and internet based platforms.

So, let's take a quick look at Mr. Genachowski's background:

Genachowski is a technology executive and entrepreneur with strong experience in both the private sector and public service. He is Cofounder and Managing Director of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures, and a Special Advisor at General Atlantic. He was a senior executive for eight years at IAC/InterActiveCorp, where his positions included Chief of Business Operations and General Counsel.

In government, Genachowski served at the Federal Communications Commission as Chief Counsel to Chairman Reed Hundt, and earlier as Special Counsel to FCC General Counsel (later Chairman) William Kennard. He was a law clerk for United States Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and, before that, for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (ret.). He also served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Abner J. Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Genachowski served on the staff of U.S. Representative (now Senator) Charles E. Schumer, and also the staff of the House Select Committee Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair.

Genachowski received a J.D in 1991 from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where he was co-Notes Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. in 1985 from Columbia College (magna cum laude). Genachowski was raised in New York, and now resides in Washington DC. He is married to Rachel Goslins and has three children, Jacob, Lilah and Aaron.

On the nomination of Julius Genachowski, President Obama said, "I can think of no one better than Julius Genachowski to serve as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He will bring to the job diverse and unparalleled experience in communications and technology, with two decades of accomplishment in the private sector and public service. I know him as the son of immigrants who carries a deep appreciation for this country and the American dream; and as the proud father of three children working with his wife Rachel to be responsible parents in this digital age."

Get ready for a new day at the FCC.

WDLI's Early Transition To Allow WKYC To Prepare For A Easier Channel Shift

The Director's Cut Blog has learned the current analog station in Canton, WDLI Channel 17, will officially throw the switch to all digital on April 16th.

Owned by Trinity Broadcasting, WDLI's early transition will allow WKYC to continue preparations for our move to digital channel 17 by June 12th.

The filing was made recently by WDLI with the FCC and appears in the latests update of "Stations Intending to Terminate Analog Service Prior to June 12." The station was the only new one in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton DMA that will make the transition earlier than June 12th. WOAC switched on February 17th.

However, this extra time will allow us to do more testing and tweaking on our new channel prior to the actual transition date, once our new tower is constructed in Parma that will house both WKYC and WVIZ.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Funeral Arrangements for Tom Haley

This afternoon, we received funeral arrangements for our old WKYC friend Tom Haley who passed away yesterday morning.

The wake will be held Friday from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. at McGorray's Funeral home in Westlake. They are located at 25620 Center Ridge Road.

The funeral will follow on Saturday morning at 10 am at St. Malachi's located at W. 25th St. and Detroit Road.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My thoughts on Tom

By Frank Macek

When I first started at WKYC in 1994, my first assignment was working on the "Tom and Del" or "Del and Tom" show as they often fought over first billing. The rest of us just called it "Today in Cleveland."

Tom had been one of the broadcasters in Cleveland television and radio who I looked up to even more in '94. As a kid still in school, I remember waking up to them each morning at 6:30 a.m. and wanting to be like Tom and Del - maybe not quite as cranky though. But, at least I wanted to be on tv because of them. They had so much fun.

My dream came true - at least behind the scenes. And there are so many fond memories of Tom that it would take hours to write about.

Every morning, Tom would come into the control room at our old E. 6th street studios and the first thing he'd select would be the opening music of the morning. A little music for the "Haley Shuffle" as his opening dance was called. Man, did Tom have the moves. They would make those housewives swoon at home we heard.

In fact Tom & Del were so popular, they lasted 16 years in morning tv until then were canceled and Tom retired.

Having worked on the air at WRMR, I always appreciated Tom's choice in music... from "On the Sunny Side of the Street" to Willie Nelson tunes to whatever else he had in his hand picked collection of "carts" or the broadcast version of those 8 track tapes we'd play.

After that, he was off to the set to stir up Del. Would he jeer Del about Martha's coffee today or be nice and have cranky thoughts on something else. You just never knew with Tom. Unpredictability is what made Tom unique.

I think the best part of the show was during the commericals. That's when the good stuff would happen between Tom & Del. Some of it staged and some of it done in spite. But the pair always have a hidden appreciation for each other.

So as we get to lower the curtain on Tom, we have to say "make it a good day, filled with lots of love, and some peace too."

Director's Alert: Former WKYC Personality Tom Haley Dies

LAKEWOOD -- Long time morning show anchor Tom Haley passed away suddenly this morning.

Haley was well known as the co-host of the popular early morning show "Today in Cleveland" for decades, where he entertained viewers alongside long-time partner Del Donahoo.

Haley was born in Brooklyn New York and studied Journalism at Fordham University. His lengthy broadcasting career began in the 1940's while working as an NBC page. In 1943, Haley began a radio broadcast career in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A year later he worked at WRC radio in Washington before coming to Cleveland where he first worked at WJW radio before joining WKYC.

His first major television effort was a one-hour variety show "Haley's Daily" which he wrote, produced and hosted. Later he was host of locally produced shows "Breakthrough", "Morning Surprise", and "Open Camera".

Haley was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in 1991.

Haley, always the proud Irishman, passed away this morning around 8 am at Lakewood Hospital. His daugther Nan tells Channel 3 News he had been sick for the last two weeks.

Haley raised seven daughters, was grandfather to nine and great-grandfather to 4.

Tom Haley was 88.

Funeral arrangements will be posted as we get them.


Eric Mansfield takes a look back....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Director's Alert: President Obama to Appear on Leno Thursday

The Director's Cut has learned that President Obama will make a guest appearance this Thursday on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

WASHINGTON -- The White House says President Barack Obama will appear this week on Jay Leno's talk show, perhaps adding a lighter touch to his bid to resuscitate the moribund economy.

Obama will visit "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" during his trip to Los Angeles on Thursday. NBC will tape the program and air it that night, after the president has returned to Washington.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

News: WKYC reports play role in new HBO documentary

On Monday March 16, HBO will debut a documentary, "Death on a Factory Farm" featuring undercover video taken at a Wayne County hog farm.

WKYC investigated the issues raised in the undercover video in an award winning series of reports. The undercover video and the WKYC investigative pieces by reporter Bills Safos led to animal cruelty charges. The farmers were later acquitted of all but one charge.

Bill Safos' work on the series earned him a Genesis Award in 2008 from the National Humane Society of the United States in the Local Reporting category.

Video from the reports is part of the HBO documentary.

"Death on a Factory Farm" debuts at 10 p.m. on Monday, March 16.

To read the text from the stories click HERE or play the video clip below:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spotlight Feature: Stewart vs. Cramer

By Frank Macek

If you haven't heard about the attack that Jon Stewart made on CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on "The Daily Show" this week, you'll be shocked to find out that according to Jon - the media (and specifically CNBC) is basically to blame for the downward spiral of the economy.

Jon feels the media (for which he is a part) should be the central whipping post for the miserable failure of the Bush Administration's policies that refused oversight of the greedy Wall Street swine and their oil rich, controlling buds. So, Jon takes aim at someone he apparently doesn't like, Jim Cramer, and faults - only - CNBC for not accurately reporting that problems were brewing - and that Jim Cramer led the way in deceiving his viewers. Now, we have shifted from the media to just CNBC.

For those of you intelligent enough to understand the workings of the fourth estate, the media's job is to report the news...we don't predict it. Should we lead our newscast tonight with "Dozens will die in car accidents, maybe, tomorrow?" If we did, Jon would say that we might be scaring people into not driving their cars anymore. We might then be responsible for the collapse of the gas futures market or auto sales?

Stewart seems to believe that Cramer misleads the public about where to invest and why. It's true that investors have come to believe in the sound reporting of CNBC when it comes to financial news. But, no one has yet to master the future of the market - and how can we expect Jim Cramer to be any different?

"Mad Money" is as much entertainment as business. The format works for a reason: people like the entertainment value while trying to understand the market. Is Jim going to be right every time, No.

The viewer controls the power. Take that little remote and change the channel if you feel a show is biased or not reporting factually. That is the surest way to get it off the air. You have the power, not the networks in this new media age. But, now should we blame the public for watching? Jon would.

Our Director's Cut question is then why if Stewart felt that CNBC and especially Jim Cramer were so misleading investors and caused the downward spiral of the economy based on bad financial reporting, did Jon wait so long to "expose" this sinister plot to send investors into spiral? Jon apparently was far more intelligent than the rest of the world - but kept quiet until now.

We know this one already - Jon saved his attack for a RATINGS SWEEP PERIOD to benefit HIMSELF and his little show. Now, that IS fair and balanced reporting.

Jon, the rest of the media doesn't tolerable stupidity either.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the opinions of your blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of WKYC or Gannett. Any reference to this article must be done within context.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

News: "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" A Hit

NBC's late-night lineup dominated the week of March 2-6 over all cable and broadcast competition, with the debut week of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" topping the opening-week results for rival late-night personalities Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Kilborn and Tom Snyder. "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" also registered big numbers last week, matching its highest 18-49 rating in more than a year.

The opening week of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" averaged a 0.9 rating, 5 share in adults 18-49 and 2.4 million viewers overall, generating increases versus the first weeks of other network late-night programs, including the January 3-7, 2005 premiere of CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (0.8 rating in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall), the January 27-31, 2003 debut of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (0.8 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall), the March 30-April 2, 1999 premiere of CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (0.7 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and the January 9-13, 1995 debut of "Late Late Show with Tom Snyder" (0.8 in 18-49, 1.7 million viewers overall).

Jimmy Fallon won the time period over Ferguson and Kimmel on five of five nights in 18-49 and total viewers, including a head-to-head win over Kimmel in the 12:30-1 a.m. ET half-hour on Monday despite the guest appearance on Kimmel of Jason Mesnick ("The Bachelor"). For the week, Fallon out-delivered Ferguson and Kimmel in every key ratings category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers. Versus NBC's "live plus same day" "Late Night" averages for the season, Fallon was up last week by 26 percent in 18-49 and 21 percent in total viewers.

"Late Night" ruled the time period over all cable and broadcast competition, topping its closest broadcast rival, "Late Late Show," by a 60 percent margin in adult 18-49 viewers and by a 25 percent margin in total viewers. Jimmy was even more dominant over the cable competition, defeating his closest cable rival in the time period, Nick at Nite, by 70 percent in adults 18-49 (1.248 million viewers vs. 733,000) and 54 percent in total viewers (2.363 million vs. 1.531 million).

In the younger half of the target 18-49 demo, adults 18-34, Fallon more than doubled Ferguson (594,000 viewers vs. 257,000) and also easily out-delivered CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" (487,000), despite starting an hour later than "Late Show."

The Monday premiere of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/7 in 18-49, 2.9 viewers overall) also generated better results than the opening nights of other network late-night personalities, including Ferguson (0.8 rating in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), Kimmel (0.6 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall), Kilborn" (0.8 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall) and Snyder (0.8 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall).

The Monday debut of Fallon scored NBC's highest 18-49 rating for a Monday "Late Night" telecast since February 28, 2005 and also out-rated that night's telecasts of Letterman, Ferguson and Kimmel.

It was also a strong week for "Tonight," whose 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 matched Jay's best since the week of February 18-22, 2008. Jay leads Letterman for the week and the season in every key ratings category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.

Season-to date, Jay is stretching his leads over Letterman this season vs. last, establishing a 24 percent margin over Letterman in adult 18-49 viewers, up from a 22 percent margin at this point last season, and a 29 percent advantage in total viewers, up from last year's 25 percent.

Also during the March 2-6 week, "Last Call with Carson Daly" matched its highest adult 18-49 rating, a 0.5, since the week of October 15-19, 2007. In the valuable adult 18-34 category, "Last Call" tied CBS's Ferguson with a 0.4 rating for the week. On Monday, "Last Call" scored a 0.6 rating in 18-49, the show's highest Monday result since October 27, 2008.

Source: NBC

NBC Announces New Summer Lineup

A summary of NBC's new summer lineup follows (new series capitalized; all times ET):

"I'M A CELEBRITY...GET ME OUT OF HERE!" -- premiere (8-9 p.m.)
"Medium" season finale (10-11 p.m.)

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" -- season finale (10-11 p.m.)

"Law & Order" -- season finale (10-11 p.m.)

"THE LISTENER" -- premiere (10-11 p.m.)

"METEOR" -- miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC season premiere; 9-10 p.m.)
"Dateline NBC" (10-11 p.m.)

"MERLIN" (premiere 8-10 p.m.; June 28 airs 8-10 p.m.; July 5 resumes regular time 8-9 p.m.)

"AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" (9-10 p.m. both nights)

"THE PHILANTHROPIST" - premieres (10-11 p.m.)

"GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP" -- premieres (8-9 p.m.)


"THE STORM" - miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

News: The Source of the Smoke

We wanted to update you on the excitement we had Tuesday night at Channel 3 when smoke starting coming out of the floor in the newsroom. Apparently the smoke started as the newscast was just beginning.

Turns out the cause was a motor that's part of the ventilation system under the raised floor. No one was hurt and things returned quickly to normal about 1 a.m.

Our own assignment editor, Dani Fink was right on the game after calling the fire department, she had her camera ready and snapped some pictures which you can find on her blog: Swing By and Spray.

Never a dull moment at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

News: Some Smoke, But No Fire

WKYC was paid a visit by the Cleveland Fire Department right after the 11 p.m. news tonight as smoke was spotted in the Channel 3 Newsroom.

No word yet on the cause of the smoke which was seen coming up through the floor...and no flames were spotted.

However, the smoke did create some tense moments for our engineering staff who combed the building looking for the source of the smoke. As you know, a television station has miles and miles of wires and electrical cables throughout the building and things like this can happen from time to time.

Our sincere thanks to the Cleveland Fire Department for being so professional and arriving on scene quickly.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Nostalgic Look Back: Building WKYC and the Cleveland Browns

One of our dear friends, Dean Cummings, brought to our attention a piece he put together about two things being built at the same time back in 2000 - the Cleveland Browns and the new WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

When your blogger saw the video, it immediately brought back memories our our big move from the old E. 6th Street studios where I first started my television career.

So, I'd thought I'd share.

Courtesy: Dean Cummings

Monday, March 09, 2009

Spotlight Feature: Tech-Savvy TV Watchers Turning To Internet

Special to the Director's Cut
By Brian Curtis

Josh Gilbert was tired of paying for the TV programming he wanted so he dumped his cable TV service and connected his television to his home computer. At electronics giant Best Buy, experts said more consumers than ever want to know how to do the same thing.

"I have at least five to ten customers on a daily basis asking how they can hook up their desktop computers to the Internet," said Anthony Gomez of Best Buy.

Connecting a newer model television to a computer is usually a simple process. There are several ways to do it, but one of the easiest is by using an HDMI cable. One end plugs into the computer, the other goes directly into the back of the TV.

There's plenty of content online.

For TV shows Gilbert said he likes Hulu.com, which is partially owned by NBC Universal. For movies he uses an online service called Vudu. Blockbuster and Netflix also have online movie services. Pandora.com is a music Web site.

Gomez said the quality of Internet video is excellent.

"It's great quality, actually. It streams smoothly. There's no waiting for it to buffer out," he said. Of course, consumers can have it both ways. It is possible to connect a TV to the Internet and still keep traditional cable or satellite service.

But Gilbert said there's only one way he'd do that: "If they made it free, too."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

News: Finally, the Romona Robinson PD interview

We told you several weeks ago that Plain Dealer writer Julie Washington was hanging out at WKYC to work on a story about our main anchor Romona Robinson. Finally after more than a month, the article appeared in the Plain Dealer Sunday morning.

Other than it was shocking to see that Cleveland was once again market size #15 (which it hasn't been in years - it's #17), and that Romona was "named WKYC Channel 3's evening anchor" after Tim's departure (although Romona was anchor long before Tim arrived), your blogger thinks Julie Washington fell a tad short of capturing the real Romona Robinson and the unique qualities she has as solo anchor of Channel 3 News at 6 & 11 p.m.

It's a good thing Romona is writing a book about her career that will be published in the future.

If you missed the article in the Plain Dealer: CLICK HERE

To watch the P.D.'s "in depth" interview with Romona, click on the player below.

Channel 3's anchor Romona Robinson goes solo on evening news

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Feature: "Mountains Inspire Me" by Neal Hamilton

CLEVELAND -- Whether you like skiing, or you just love beautiful scenery, there's a new book you will enjoy. And it's from one of my former co-workers at WKYC.

It's called "Mountains Inspire Me." The author and photographer of the book is Neal Hamiliton - an avid skiier and a former Channel 3 employee of 35 years who just retired from the station.

The book features beautiful pictures of mountain ranges from around the world. Neal shares his work with Kim Wheeler on Channel 3 News Today this morning of pictures he took while on ski vacations.

To learn more about the book, or to purchase a copy: CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Director's Cut Alert: Conan Interview on Channel 3 News Tonight

Update: We have added the exclusive interview Romona did with Conan on Thursday at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center. Watch the video below.


Conan O'Brien, the new host of the "Tonight Show" was in town and stopped by the studios of WKYC this afternoon.

He sat down with our very own Romona Robinson to talk about his new gig and what he hopes to bring to the "Tonight Show" when he takes over June 1st.

Parts of the interview will air at 6, 7 & 11 PM tonight on Channel 3 News.


Just In: TV converter box coupons start flowing again

NEW YORK - The agency that mails out coupons for digital TV converter boxes has received fresh funding from the economic stimulus program.

It expects to eliminate its coupon wait list in two and a half weeks.

The fund that pays for the $40 coupons reached its spending limit in early January. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration was still able to mail out coupons, but only as old ones expired. It's accumulated a wait list of 2.3 million households.

The NTIA also expects to change its rules so that people who received coupons before but let them expire can now apply for new ones.

Courtesy: The Associated Press

News: March (I mean February) Sweeps Begin Today

As you probably know, Nielsen decided to move the February sweeps period to March in anticipation of the digital transition that was supposed to occur February 17th. For many stations, the original deadline was kept. These were mainly smaller stations with affiliated programming other than NBC, CBS or ABC.

For those who wished or had to wait, Congress delayed the drop-dead date to June 12th and Nielsen kept with its March sweeps period which will be comparing apples to oranges with February sweeps from last year. Ratings will be measuring shows that are different and have to deal with the return of Daylight Savings Time this weekend that changes the equation of people watching tv vs. people doing something else in the evening with the later nightfall.

So sweeps begin today, Thursday, March 5th and will last through Wednesday, April 1st - which of course is April Fool's Day - so we'll see where the joke lies.

Get ready to see those outrageous reports, sensationalized dramas and stories about sex... but not from WKYC.

As always, we'll be doing the quality reports you've come to expect and know you can trust. Report the Facts, Respect the Truth is still important to us at Channel 3.

With NBC primetime still struggling, we know we will have an interesting challenge on our hands, but will work even harder to make Channel 3 News at 11 pm your #1 choice for late night news.

Let the games begin.

News: Romona Promotes Reading At The Library

We found this new ad floating around the pages of our favorite publication, "Cleveland Magazine." Though,we hope one day they decide to feature behind the scenes people and the impact of local bloggers. However, I digress.

As you can see, the ad features our very own Romona Robinson. A quick glance makes me want to head to the Cuyahoga County Public Library right now and check out a book, or two, or more.

Monday, March 02, 2009

News: WKYC.COM Offers Your Favorite NBC Shows On-line

CLEVELAND -- WKYC.COM has teamed up with "NBC Video Rewind" to bring you the latest episodes of our favorite tv shows after they air on Channel 3, and some great American classics including "Emergency", "The A Team", "Buck Rogers" and "Most Outrageous Moments"

Plus, you get to watch the latest episodes of current hits like "ER," "Heroes," "Friday Night Lights," "Chuck" and "The Biggest Loser."
Bookmark the following link on wkyc.com:



30 Rock
The A-Team
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
America's Got Talent
Battlestar Galactica
The Biggest Loser: Couples
Buck Rogers
The Celebrity Apprentice
The Chopping Block
Coastal Dreams
Days of our Lives
Deal or No Deal
Friday Night Lights
Gemini Division
Heroes Destiny
Heroes Webisodes - The Recruit
Heroes Webisodes: Going Postal
Howie Do It
Jay Leno's Garage
Kath & Kim
Knight Rider
Last Call with Carson Daly
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Law & Order: CI
Law and Order Special Victims Unit
Lipstick Jungle
Miami Vice
Most Outrageous Moments
My Name Is Earl
My Own Worst Enemy
The Office
Pale Force
Parks and Recreation
Rod Serlings Night Gallery
Saturday Night Live
SNL Backstage
Super Bowl XLIII
Superstars of Dance
The Tonight Show Experience

New Study: TV May Do No Harm Or Good To Babies

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Chris Clackum

New research suggests there's no benefit to letting young children watch television of any type, even those specially packaged, educational DVD's.

In fact, they could actually interfere with the development of a child two years old or younger.

North Carolina mom Jodi McKay is much like moms and dads across the country when it comes to their children watching television.

"We've got three young kids and so the TV does become a babysitter at times, but as much as possible we try to limit the amount of television that they watch," said McKay.

Researchers have long said that attitude is the right one for all children, but a report from children's hospital in Boston suggests watching TV is of no real benefit to toddlers like Jodi McKay's 18-month-old baby girl, Wyatt.

"We found that TV viewing in the first two years of life did not have any benefits or harms relating to children's cognition at age three." Said lead researcher Marie Evans Schmidt, Ph.D., of Children's Hospital Boston.

Researchers also said that even those educational DVD’s may not help the two and under crowd.

Baby Einstein representatives say their videos foster quality time between parents and their children, and are "designed to inspire new ways for parents and babies to interact."

Experts say they are still in the early stages of understanding the effects of TV on infants, but say the balance of evidence still recommends limiting TV exposure as much as possible.

Reuters: S&P cuts Gannett's debt rating to junk status

Reuters is reporting this afternoon that parent company of WKYC, Gannett Co., has been downgraded to "junk status".


NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's on Monday cut Gannett Co's (GCI.N) ratings to junk status, citing worsening prospects for ad spending at the largest U.S. newspaper chain.

S&P also warned that some lenders could recover only a negligible amount of their investment if the company defaults.

Gannett's rating had been in danger of slipping to junk since the publisher of USA Today posted a 36 percent decline in ad revenue in the fourth quarter. A downgrade to junk status can significantly increase a company's borrowing costs.

Gannett's bonds fell significantly after the downgrade. Its 6.375 percent notes due in 2012 fell to about 62 cents on the dollar, down about 2.5 cents, according to MarketAxess.

Ad spending is expected to decline further this year in both Gannett's newspaper and broadcasting businesses, S&P said in a statement. Unfunded pension obligations have also been rising, and the company is likely to face an extended period of cyclical pressure, the rating agency said.

S&P cut Gannett's corporate credit rating by two notches to "BB," the second-highest junk rating, from "BBB-minus." The outlook is negative, meaning another rating cut is likely within the next two years.

S&P cut Gannett's senior unsecured rating by four notches to "B-plus," the fourth-highest junk rating, partly reflecting expectations of negligible recovery of zero to 10 percent in the event of default. The agency withdrew its "A-3" commercial paper rating on the company.

Gannett last week said it would cut its quarterly dividend by 90 percent in response to the global recession and tightening credit markets.

Courtesy: Reuters