Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spotlight Feature: DVR's Are Changing the Way Americans Watch TV

By Frank Macek

It's no secret DVRs have been changing the way Americans watch TV. The real news is how fast it's happening.

People are increasingly watching TV on their own schedules, instead of the broadcasters. The good news is Americans are watching more TV than ever before.

According to a new report by Nielsen, 30.6 percent of households in Nielsen's National People Meter Panel now have a DVR as of March 2009...that is up from 12.3 percent in January 2007.

This can be contributed to the integration of DVRs into cable and satellite boxes. Standalone DVRs accounted for only 5% of this amount. Many households have more than 1 DVR...25% had two...5% had 3 or more in their homes.

The report also found programs recorded between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. were played back within the same day more often than those airing at 10 p.m. Therefore, DVR playback may have impacted live viewership of programs at 10 p.m. and later, including late news.

The highest playback times during the week occurred during prime Monday through Thursday, then fell to its lowest level on Saturday evening. Playback during the day Saturday and Sunday was greater than on weekdays, as viewers used the weekend to catch up.

Also because DVR users watched more original telecasts of series than non-DVR users, they were less likely to watch previously unseen episodes. This has implications for the programming of reruns in the summer as networks are being faced to air original content year round.

You can download and read the entire report from Nielsen: CLICK HERE

Happy Birthday Bruce!

The Director's Cut Blog would like to wish our dear colleague, Bruce Drennan, a very happy birthday today.

Bruce fondly remembers our earlier postings about him and his off the wall hats. So, we'll add this one to the mix.

"We Love You, BRUUUUCEE!"

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

News: "Wake up With Al" Coming this Summer on The Weather Channel

EDITOR'S NOTE: Former WKYC weatherman Al Roker is on the move again. Man does he stay busy!

Al Roker, widely recognized as America's favorite weatherman, has been named host of Wake Up With Al, a new weekday morning program on The Weather Channel. Roker will join The Weather Channel's Stephanie Abrams, who will serve as his co-host.

The announcement was made today by Lisa Gersh, interim CEO of The Weather Channel.

The one-hour program will air weekdays from 6-7 a.m. ET and premiere this summer.
"Simply put - Al Roker is synonymous with weather. He has an energy and a style that jumps off the screen, and we already know that people want to wake up with him in the morning," said Gersh.

"We have spent months coming up with the right way to integrate Al into The Weather Channel's programming, and I think, alongside Stephanie, we've come up with the perfect formula with this announcement."

Wake Up with Al will explore all aspects of the day's weather, combining Roker's warm style with the accuracy, dependability and expertise of The Weather Channel. He will appear both in the studio, interacting with guests and viewers, and in the field, reporting on the most compelling weather stories of the day.

"Over the years, I have been out covering the same snowstorms, hurricanes and tornado aftermath as the folks at The Weather Channel. It is really exciting to be working on The Weather Channel, bringing the best weather information to people as they start their day," said Roker. "And now I get free baseball caps and fleeces from two of the best information networks in the world."

Wake Up With Al will air live from both New York City and Atlanta. Abrams will report from Atlanta from the state-of-the-art TWC HD studio, equipped with a 37-foot wide video screen and true HD weather graphics that have revolutionized TV weather presentation. An experienced meteorologist and host, she has covered first hand the most significant storms of the last decade. That experience along with her boundless enthusiasm for weather and the science behind it make her the perfect partner for Roker.

Roker has been the weather and feature reporter on NBC News' Today since January 1996. Until January of 2000, he also served as the weekday weather forecaster for News Channel 4's early evening newscast Live at 5 on WNBC-TV, NBC's flagship owned and operated station in New York City. Prior to joining WNBC, Roker worked as a weatherman for more than seven years. He is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's prestigious Seal of Approval and has been a pioneer in the use of computer graphics for weathercasting.

Roker has reported live for "Today" throughout the years from some of history's worst storms including most recently when Hurricane Wilma threatened the Florida coast during one of the worst hurricane seasons on record. The seven time Emmy Award winner is a member of several professional organizations including the Friars Club, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Meteorological Society.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

From the Wires: FCC "Fleeting Expletives" Policy In -- For Now

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is giving tentative approval to government regulation of the use of even a single curse word on live television.

But the court, in a 5-4 decision Tuesday, is refusing to pass judgment on whether the Federal Communications Commission's "fleeting expletives" policy is in line with First Amendment guarantees of free speech.

The justices say a federal appeals court should weigh the constitutionality of the policy.

The decision throws out a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The appeals court had found in favor of a Fox Television-led challenge to the policy and had returned the case to the FCC to let the agency provide a "reasoned analysis" for its tougher line on indecency.

The commission appealed to the Supreme Court instead.

Source: The Associated Press

Monday, April 27, 2009

News: WKYC video tribute to Herb Score named nation's best

CHARLOTTE, NC -- A WKYC video obituary in memory of Herb Score was awarded top honors by the Society of Professional Obituary Writers at their annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The tribute was produced by Dick Russ and video editor Matt Hein and aired following Score's death on November 11, 2008. It is still being viewed on (See the player below)

Alana Baranick, director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers said the judges "absolutely loved" the production, which recounted highlights of Herb Scores life and career, and his contributions to the Northeast Ohio community.

She said the video was selected from among entries which included the network obituaries of Charlton Heston, Paul Newman, and Sir Edmund Hillary. Finalists in the broadcast category included submisssions from CBS News and the BBC.

"Matt and I are honored to have been selected," said Dick Russ, who attended the awards ceremony in Charlotte.

"It was a privilege to have been able to share with the people of Northeast Ohio some of the best memories we all have of Herb Score as a ballplayer, a broadcaster, and a beloved member of our community," Russ said.

Among the winners in print categories were stories from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Toronto Globe & Mail, and the Philadelphia Enquirer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Preview: "As Seen On TV"

In today's turbulent economy, fortune 500 companies are cutting back on their television advertising spending, a move that has opened up more space for "as seen on tv" product ads.

It started with an infomercial advertising a blanket with sleeves. And it has quickly become a pop culture craze.

Scott Boilen is CEO of the Allstar Marketing Group, the direct response firm never made a blanket before, but now has the Snuggie to thank for adding 100-million dollars in sales to the bottom line.

For those scoring at home they've sold enough Snuggies to outfit the entire population of Minnesota. "I never thought we'd have 400 parodies on youtube and 100's of facebook pages," said Boilen.

And a pub crawl.

Thousands of people are signing up and they're just having fun.

Maybe its something about all the bad news out there and people just want to have fun and have a cute little product. Nobody knows. Nobody knows why anything becomes a part of pop-culture.

But wait, there's more!

Go inside the 150-billion-dollar direct response industry with Darren Rovell of CNBC and meet the minds behind the ginsu, the pocket fisherman and the chia pet.

"As seen on TV" premieres Wednesday, April 22 on CNBC 9 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. ET.

Director's Alert: Leno Ill, Cancels "Tonight Show" Taping

Update: 4/24/09

Tonight Show host Jay Leno was released from a California hospital Friday after staying the night for observations. Leno was admitted after he became ill Thursday morning. He will return to taping new shows Monday.


Original Post: 4/23/09

The Director's Cut has learned that Jay Leno has checked himself into a hospital - forcing the cancellation of tonight's planned taping of "The Tonight Show."

NBC owned "Access Hollywood" says Leno worked all day - but has an apparent case of food poisioning.

His spokesman, Dick Guttman, says Leno left his office at NBC's Burbank studios about midday, and checked himself into a hospital for observation. Guttman characterized his ailment as "mild."

Tonight's show was to have featured guests: Ryan Reynolds, Jules Sylvester and swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

A re-run will air in its place.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

News: Romona Inducted Into Cleveland Association of Broadcaster's Hall of Fame

Special honors today for our own Romona Robinson.

She is now an official member of the Cleveland Association of Broadcaster's Hall of Fame. Romona was inducted on Wednesday at a special ceremony held at Windows on the River along with Indians Announcer Tom Hamilton and ideastream's Chief Operating Office, Kit Jensen.

All three were honored for their work in the broadcast industry and their committment to the community. This was the associations 19th annual Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.

Congratulations to Romona, Tom and Kit.

News: New Channel Offers Views Of Earth

Planet Earth, you're on the air.

Beginning Wednesday evening, a new channel on Dish Network Corp.'s satellite TV service will give subscribers live views of Earth, 24 hours a day on Channel 212.

The channel Dish Earth gets its feed from a camera installed on Dish Network's EchoStar 11 satellite, which launched last year. Images from the camera also are for sale through Give the World, a service offered jointly with Houston-based Space Services Inc.

The camera was developed by the EchoStar Spacecraft Operations Team, Ecliptic Enterprises Corp. of Pasadena, Calif., and Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif. It is operated under a license from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dish Network is based in Englewood, Colorado.

Source: The Associated Press

Director's Alert: Abby Ham Leaving WKYC

WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen has announced morning co-anchor Abby Ham is leaving the station to return to Knoxville, Tennessee, and her former station, WBIR-TV, as morning news anchor. Her last day on the air at WKYC will be during the first week of June.

"Abby joined WKYC in November 2007 and has been a wonderful addition to the morning show," says Andolsen. "Her heart is calling her home to her family in Knoxville."

Channel 3 viewers have fondly welcomed Abby into their homes as part of our morning show, along with co-anchors Mark Nolan and weather forecaster Hollie Strano over the past year and a half.

Abby tells the Director's Cut blog: "Cleveland has been so wonderful to me. The people have welcomed me with open arms and I have had a blast with my co-workers. This was a personal decision that took a lot of thought and prayer. My family lives in Knoxville and I miss them terribly. It was just too hard to be away."

"I have truly met some of my dearest friends here in Cleveland and at WKYC. The people here are so genuine and I know they will be friends for life. And... I will never stop rooting for the Cavs," she added.

On WBIR's website, General Manager Jeff Lee says that Ham will be paired with current morning co-anchor Russell Biven and meteorologist Mike Witcher in the same role she had prior to coming to WKYC.

You can email Abby:

WBIR and WKYC are both owned by Gannett.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Video: Channel 3 Classic Promos from 2000

This is a group of classic Channel 3 Promos from around 2000, courtesy of the "Director's Cut" archives.

This latest batch includes cameos from Tim White, Romona Robinson, Jim Donovan, Tom Beres, David Rogers, Mark Nolan, Donna Terrell, Don Hammond and many more.

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

News: May Sweeps Start Thursday

April not only brings April Showers, but also May Sweeps which start on Thursday.

This year, the month long period will run from Thursday, April 23rd, through Wednesday, May 20th, thanks in part to an early Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 25th.

Nielsen likes to wrap up the survey period prior to the holiday since viewing generally decreases over the long weekend with people doing other activities and watching less television - in theory and a normal economy. In fact, May 21st through May 27th is a "non reported" week by Nielsen terminology.

May sweeps will be the last analog book for the remaining stations who will finally convert to all digital on June 12th, including all those in the Cleveland market.

In Case You Missed It: " To The Moon" Re-Airs Saturday at 1 PM

To the Moon: Ohio's Journey" will air again at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 25, on WKYC Channel 3 and is hosted by NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams and WKYC News Anchor Romona Robinson.

"To the Moon: Ohio's Journey" features rare interviews, fascinating archive footage and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the next generation of moon exploration.

The show includes exclusive interviews with John Glenn, James Lovell, NBC space correspondent Jay Barbree, and Dr. Robert Graham, along with comments from Neil Armstrong during Glenn Research Center's NASA 50th Anniversary Gala.

WKYC Channel 3, in partnership with NASA Glenn Research Center, presents a high-definition, hour-long prime time special. As the high definition leader in locally produced programming in Northeast Ohio, WKYC is proud to showcase our region's efforts in space exploration.

We have always looked to the sky and, for a brief moment, mankind walked on a heavenly body other than earth. Ohio was at the heart of it all, pioneering the technology and sending our bravest into space.

As we near the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, we honor the Ohio men and women who dreamed of a journey beyond all others.

We celebrate the local companies that created products and solutions for America's space program. And we take a look back -- and alook forward -- at what the next missions mean to our region.

Monday, April 20, 2009

News: FCC Unveils New DTV Website

The Federal Communications Commission is unveiling a much improved digital transition website to help improve its image under the Obama Administration.

The site is more consumer friendly and has much more timely information about the upcoming all digital transition that stations will make on June 12th.

39% of stations have already made the digital switch, according to the FCC with the latest bunch of stations flipping the switches last Thursday, April 16th.

You can find the site at:

Download the new "DTV Made Easy" guide: CLICK HERE

Friday, April 17, 2009

Program Note: Monday Changes for 4/20/09

As we previously mentioned here on the Director's Cut, WKYC will air "To the Moon: Ohio's Journey" on Monday, April 20th from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. hosted by WKYC Anchor Romona Robinson and NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams.

As a result, Monday's episode of "Chuck" will be pre-empted.

WKYC will air Monday night's episode on Tuesday, April 21 from 3:04 a.m. until 4:01 a.m. so be sure to set your DVR's.

You can watch previous episodes of Chuck here:

Any comments you may have about this programming decision may be posted at the following link: CLICK HERE

Director's Alert: Actors Reach Tentative Deal With Studios

LOS ANGELES -- The Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood studios have reached a tentative deal on movie and prime-time TV show productions. The previous contract had expired last June.

The announcement came Friday, a day before the guild's board was scheduled to meet. The guild said it will recommend approval by the board and then ratification by its members.

Both sides said the details of the deal will not be disclosed before the guild's board reviews it over the weekend.

Source: The Associated Press

Thursday, April 16, 2009

News: DTV Readiness Slowly Improving

By Frank Macek

According to Nielsen, 3.6 million or 3.2% of tv households, are still completely unprepared for the digital tv transition as of April 12th. The good news is Nielsen reports an improvement of nearly 200,000 households in the past few weeks since their March 29th survey.

This is down from 4.4% of tv households from February 15th - just 2 days before the original transition date when some stations did make the transition on time.

Now, there are just under 9 weeks to go until June 12th.

Here is how the numbers broke down demographically from the April 12th report:

Overall: 3.2%
White: 2.5%
African American: 5.9%
Hispanic: 5.4%
Asian: 4.3%
Under Age 35: 5.9%
Over Age 55: 1.7%

Least Prepared Market: Albuquerque-Santa Fe (9.1%)
Completely Prepared Market: Providence-New Bedford

The Cleveland market which includes Cleveland, Akron and Canton has 4.3% of households totally unready. This was the 10th least prepared of the 56 metered markets Nielsen surveys.

Our neighbors in Columbus are much better prepared with only 1.71% completely unready.


Source: Nielsen, April 12th, 2009

News: NBC's John Madden Retiring

NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol announced today that John Madden, Hall of Fame coach and the most honored broadcaster in sports television history, has decided to retire from broadcasting.

Madden issued the following statement today:

It's time. I'm 73 years old. My 50th wedding anniversary is this fall. I have two great sons and their families and my five grandchildren are at an age now when they know when I'm home and, more importantly, when I'm not...

It's been such a great ride... the NFL has been my life for more than 40 years, it has been my passion - it still is. I appreciate all of the people who are and were such an important part of the most enjoyable, most fun anyone could have... that great life with the teams, the players, the coaches, the owners, the League... my broadcasting partners Pat and Al... the production people and the still great... it's still fun and that's what it makes it hard and that's why it took me a few months to make a decision.

I still love every part of it - the travel, the practices, the game film, the games, seeing old friends and meeting new people...but I know this is the right time.

John Madden, Hall of Fame coach and the most honored NFL broadcaster of all time, has served as the game analyst for "NBC Sunday Night Football" since 2006. Madden, who has won an unprecedented 16 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Analyst/Personality, is renowned by football fans nationwide for his ability to analyze the details of the game with wit, candor and an inimitable style. Madden has been an NFL broadcaster for 30 years. On February 1, Madden earned rave reviews and critical acclaim in his final game, the 11th Super Bowl he called - Super Bowl XLIII on NBC.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has honored Madden with 16 Outstanding Sports Analyst/Personality Emmy Awards, the most recent from this past season. In all, Madden has been nominated for 18 Emmy Awards. In addition, the American Sportscasters Association named him Sports Personality of the Year in 1985 and 1992. In 1982, Madden became the first NFL analyst to receive the Touchdown Club of America's prestigious Golden Mike Award. Sports Illustrated has called Madden "an American fixture" and said that he "brings an unequaled big-game buzz to the broadcast booth."

Prior to joining the broadcasting ranks, Madden had an outstanding career as head coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders. He guided the Raiders to an overall record of 103-32-7, leading the team to seven AFC Western Division titles and a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. Madden's .750 winning percentage is the best of any head coach in NFL history. In 2006, Madden was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Head Coach.

A linebacker coach when he began his NFL coaching career with Oakland in 1967, Madden became the head coach in 1969 at age 33, the youngest head coach in the American Football League. Madden retired in 1979 and started his broadcasting career at CBS later that same year. Madden was the lead NFL analyst for FOX from 1994-2002 and the analyst for ABC's "Monday Night Football" for four years before he came to NBC Sports in 2006. He is the only person to work as the lead analyst for all four broadcast networks.

Madden's EA Sports video game "Madden NFL Football" is the No. 1 selling sports video game of all-time with more than 65 million copies sold since its release 20 years ago. Madden is also one of the leading spokesmen in the advertising world, with endorsement relationships including Ace Hardware, Outback Steakhouse, Schering Plough (Tinactin), Verizon Wireless and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Before coaching in Oakland, Madden was the defensive coordinator at San Diego State from 1964-66 where the Aztecs were ranked first among small colleges with a 26-4 record. From 1960-64 Madden coached at Hancock Junior College in Santa Maria, Calif.

Madden started on both the offensive and defensive lines as a player for California Polytechnic College at San Luis Obispo in 1957 and 1958 and was voted to the All-Conference team. He was also a catcher on the school's baseball team. Madden earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1959 and a Master of Arts degree in 1961, both from Cal Poly. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the 21st round of the 1958 NFL draft, but a knee injury in his rookie season prematurely ended his career.

Madden is the author of several New York Times best-selling books: Hey, Wait a Minute! (I Wrote a Book!); One Knee Equals Two Feet (and Everything Else You Need To Know About Football); One Size Doesn't Fit All; and All Madden, each written with New York Times sports columnist Dave Anderson. He has also written a cookbook titled John Madden's Ultimate Tailgating.

Born April 10, 1936 in Austin, Minn., Madden was raised in Daly City, Calif. He now resides in Pleasanton, Calif., with his wife, Virginia. The couple has two sons and five grandchildren.

Broadcast partner Al Michaels had this to say about John:

"John will always have a unique place in the history of pro football.

No one has made the sport more interesting, more relevant and more enjoyable to watch and listen to than John. There's never been anyone like him and he's been the gold standard for analysts for almost three decades.

On a personal note, I'll miss working with John on many levels. As a broadcast partner, I could always count on him -- no one ever came to work more prepared. As a friend and confidante, loyalty has always been paramount to John. And all in all, he was simply just great company.

As John said today, 'it was time." That's John -- succint, pithy and right to the point. Working with John for the last seven years has provided memories I'll always treasure. My only regret is that it wasn't 27."


Courtesy: NBC

News: Gannett 1Q Profit Tumbles As Ad Declines Deepen

Gannett Co., owner of WKYC-TV, is reporting lower first-quarter earnings and a deepening slump in advertising revenue.

Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, said Thursday it earned $77.4 million, or 34 cents per share. That was down 60 percent from the same quarter in 2008, when it earned $191.8 million, or 84 cents per share.

Excluding one-time gains and losses, earnings came to 25 cents per share. Analysts had expected 24 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue fell to $1.4 billion from $1.7 billion, roughly in line with Wall Street forecasts. Ad sales in the company's publishing unit, which includes newspapers, fell 34 percent.

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spotlight Feature: What Happens When The Switcher Locks Up

For those of you watching the early morning news on Channel 3 this morning, you may have noticed some "technical difficulties" as we say in the broadcast industry. Our main control room news switcher locked up completely at 6:30 a.m., bringing the entire show to a screeching halt.

As computers overtake our lives in the broadcasting industry more and more, we [mortals] find ourselves at their mercy when something goes wrong.

Most of the time, mistakes you see on the air are a result of human error. I push a wrong button and something ugly gets on the air that is quite unexpected - and at times humorous (News Director never think this though).

In the good ole days, switchers were much less complicated than they are today. Our Sony HD switcher uses software that practically controls everything that happens on the air. The Directors (who also switch their own newscasts now at WKYC), still physically push buttons to take sources to air, but each of those buttons are software controlled. If the software isn't working, the buttons don't either.

Also, a technical director can move sources anywhere on the board they want including cameras, video playback servers and incoming remote feeds. What's really nice about today's switchers is that each TD can customize his/her board to their own preferences much like you do on your home or office computer. Or, how NASA controls their Mars Rovers from millions of miles away from home.

And like a computer, it literally takes a reboot of the system to bring it back online - which is exactly what we had to do this morning before we could get back on the air.

Kudos to Mark, Abby & Hollie - and the entire behind the scenes crew for tackling the beast and slaying the evil digital dragon.

But that's the beauty of live television. No matter how perfect you try and make it, there are always something that will getcha.

Monday, April 13, 2009

From the Wires: New Leno Show To Air On Boston NBC Affiliate

EDITOR'S NOTE: For those of you following the WHDH-TV station vs. NBC goliath story over the airing of Leno this fall, we finally have some resolution: the TV station backs down.


BOSTON -- Boston's NBC affiliate has decided to air Jay Leno's new show, after all.

WHDH-TV owner Ed Ansin issued a brief statement Monday saying that "upon further consideration," the station had decided to telecast Leno's 10 p.m. talk show beginning in September.

WHDH had previously said it would run a local newscast in that time slot instead, prompting a threat from NBC to strip the station of its network affiliation.

Ansin said he enjoys Leno's humor and hopes the show is a big success. Leno is a native of Andover, Mass.

NBC TV Network President John Eck said in a statement Monday the network was "very pleased" with WHDH's decision, calling Leno "one of the most bankable stars in the business."

Source: The Associated Press

Friday, April 10, 2009

Programming Note: "Friday Night Lights" To Re-Air on WKYC

UPDATE: Friday Night Lights will air this Sunday morning from midnight until 1 a.m. Set those DVRs!

CLEVELAND -- The season finale of NBC's Friday Night Lights will be re-aired on Channel 3.

Channel 3 News is aware that the final episode was pre-empted by the Cleveland Indians Home Opener.

The episode will be re-aired in its entirety at a date to be announced on The exact date and time is not known at this time.

Channel 3 must receive permission from the network to re-air the episode.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Preview: "Southland" Debuts Tonight at 10 pm on WKYC

New NBC cop drama "Southland" premieres tonight on Channel 3 beginning at 10 p.m. in the old "ER" time slot.

Mark Barger has a preview:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Preview: "Parks & Recreation"

What happens when a well-intentioned but clueless manager of a parks and recreation department goes on a campaign to make a park out of a dirt pit?

You get NBC's newest comedy, starring Amy Poehler of "Saturday Night Live".

Set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, the show was developed by Mike Schur and Greg Daniels of "The Office."

It's shot in the same mockumentary style and co-stars "Office" cast mate Rashida Jones.

"Parks and Recreation" is shot almost entirely in L.A., but the show's creators did meticulous research into Hoosier life so that the references on the show are true to Indiana.

The show premiers Thursday night on NBC.

News: Leno Delights in Motown for Free

Economically battered Detroit got a little comic relief Tuesday night. Comedian Jay Leno performed the first of two free shows for the Motor City.

The crippled and crumbling auto industry has left so many in the Detroit area without a job and without much hope.

Leno says he hopes the shows can provide a little relief even if only for a few hours. "I'm a big believer in the power of getting out forgetting your troubles, at least for a night, you know?," said Leno.

Along with the free show tickets, parking was free.

About 20,000 people were able to attend each show at The Palace.

Leno is only the eighth comedian to play The Palace in the building's 20-year history.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Opening Day Coverage on 'KYC

Channel 3 is your official Indians station! You can catch all the exclusive Opening Day action on WKYC this Friday, April 10th!

Starting at 2 pm, it's our "Tribe Time" Home Opener special. Only Channel 3 has access inside the ballpark with interviews with players, their wives and much more.

That's followed by "Indians On Deck" at 3:30 pm.

Then, the Tribe takes on the Toronto Blue Jays live from Progressive Field at 4:05 p.m.

And think you missed out on a pair of free tickets to the sold out Ppening Day this Friday?

Fear not. Log onto right now to, click on the "Life tab" and "Twitter" to start following us on-line.

During the day Friday, we'll send out a special tweet on what you need to do to get our final pair of tickets.

Monday, April 06, 2009

News: WKYC "Sweeps Up" in March

By Frank Macek

Despite this year's move of the February book to March in anticipation of the switch to all digital broadcasting, WKYC wound up the month with a strong showing, particularly in the most important age demographics.

As you know, the transition date for most stations moved to June 12th, but Nielsen went ahead with their original March book plans as scheduled.

Stations were previously interested in claiming victory based on Households (HHs) before Local People Meters (LPMs) came to Cleveland last August. This was mainly because Nielsen took several weeks after the actual sweeps period ended to release the break down of individual demographics. Stations were quick to use the total amount of people watching to begin selling their next quarters.

Now, the demographic breakdown occurs instantly and continuously. And stations have a much clearer, daily picture of how their products are attracting the coveted "money demo" audiences.

Those keys to success are measured by the amount of viewers a station delivers to most advertisers in the following age demographics: Adults 25 to 54, Women 25 to 54, Men 25 to 54 and Adults 18 to 49. Households are no longer as important.

WKYC did extremely well in March. In fact, the station was number 1 at both 6 & 11 p.m. in A25-54, W25-54 and A18-49. This was very encouraging news for a station that has had to make changes due to economic conditions and NBCs failure to deliever stronger programming in Prime Time (8 to 11 p.m.) over the past few years.

Plus, the March book gave us a clear reading on our decision to have a solo anchor, Romona Robinson, at the helm of our main broadcasts. As we have discussed before, this new format relies more on anchor/reporter interaction and spends more time examining the stories we report on.

We'll call that experiment a success so far.

WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen tells the Director's Cut blog, "This is the first ratings period since we debuted our single anchor format and I am thrilled we passed with flying colors at 6 & 11 p.m. Romona's anchoring and years of experience, coupled with a strong on-air team and producers who understand how to produce a single anchor newscast are all keys to our success."

In addition, NBC's late night programming was also particularly strong in March as Jimmy Fallon succeeded Conan O'Brien on "Late Night." And "The Tonight Show" saw some of its highest ratings thanks to an appearance to President Obama.

Although, we are now on a 12 month ratings cycle, the next major ratings period will be April 23rd through May 20th - still lovelingly referred to as "May Sweeps."

Behind the Scenes: The Rock Hall Special

By Frank Macek

Hopefully you got to see our special "Rock Hall Induction Preview" that aired last Friday from 7 until 8 p.m. The show featured hosts Mark Nolan and Carole Sullivan, Jeff Maynor and Monica Robins on location at the Rock Hall giving you a preview of this year's Inductees and the stories behind the music.

As I mention earlier, I had the pleasure of being the Director for the show and wanted to spend a few moments talking about what went into the broadcast for our readers interested in getting into television or knowing more about how television works.

The planning started weeks ago with the Rock Hall and our producer, Amanda Subler, who began putting a rough outline of the show together. This included scouting locations where we would put our talent, gathering information about the Inductees and putting a rundown together for how the show would flow.

After our plans were finalized and the program was scheduled by the station, the reporters and producers went to work putting the feature packages together you saw during the broadcast. This included researching, shooting, writing and editing the content. This process can take from a few days to a few weeks depending on how involved the stories became.

Finally the big day arrived. Our crews headed to the Rock Hall during the late afternoon hours and put the finishing touches on the setting up the technical part of the broadcast. This included positioning cameras, testing our microphones and establishing IFB communications with the station so talent and camera operators could hear the Director and the booth producer during the live show. Communication is the most important aspect of any broadcast - live or taped.

At 7 p.m., we hit the air and everything fell into place. With very minimal issues, the show flowed well through the entire hour. The only problems we faced were more weather related. We had planned on using the Goodyear Blimp for aerial shots, but high winds and low cloud ceilings Friday afternoon put a wrench in those plans.

But since the station is so close to the Rock Hall, we were able to mount a camera on our back deck and provide outside pictures that filled the void - although our camera operator experienced very windy conditions.

We hoped you enjoyed the special and our small look at behind the scenes of the Rock Hall Special that we hope to bring you again when the Induction Ceremony returns to Cleveland every third year!

If you missed our special, I've posted a few clips of video from the show you may still enjoy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

News: "ER" Delivers Highest Drama Series Finale Ratings in 13 Years

Last night, the series finale of "ER" delivered the highest 18-49 rating for a drama series finale on the broadcast networks in nearly seven years and the biggest overall audience for any drama series finale in 13 years, according to updated "live plus same day" viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.

Last night from 9-11 p.m. ET, the series finale of "ER" (6.0 rating, 16 share in adults 18-49, 16.4 million viewers overall) scored the highest 18-49 rating for a drama series finale since "The X-Files" wrapped with a 6.3 on May 19, 2002. In total viewers, "ER," with an average 16.4 million viewers, assembled the biggest overall audience for a drama finale since "Murder, She Wrote" concluded with 16.5 million on May 19, 1996.

"ER," which made its original series debut on NBC on Thursday, Sept. 22, 1994, following a two-hour movie on Monday, Sept., 19, 1994, concluded its 15th and final season with last night's telecast.

"ER" sewed up NBC's highest 18-49 and total viewer results in this time period with entertainment programming since May 18, 2006, the night of the "Will & Grace" finale. This is the highest-rated episode of "ER" among adults 18-49 since October 12, 2006 and in total viewers since May 18, 2006. Versus "ER's" season-to-date average for original episodes, last night's telecast was up 88 percent in adults 18-49 (6.0 vs. 3.2, "live plus same day") and 90 percent in total viewers (16.4 million vs. 8.6 million, "live plus same day').

"ER" took charge of the two-hour time period, dominating in adults 18-49, total viewers and other key ratings categories. In adults 18-49, "ER" generated a 94 percent margin of victory (6.0 vs. 3.1 for CBS's dramas in second place). In the 10-11 p.m. hour, "ER" beat the ABC-CBS drama competition combined in all key ratings categories – adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers.

Last night from 8-9 p.m. ET, the special "ER Retrospective" (3.5/10 in 18-49, 10.6 million viewers overall) delivered NBC's best non-sports 18-49 rating in the time period since January 3, 2008 and biggest non-sports total viewership in the slot since March 27, 2008. The retrospective finished within 0.1 of a rating point of the time-period lead in adults 18-49 and ranked #1 in adults 18-34, women 18-34, women 18-49 and women 25-54.

NBC's 5.2 average in adults 18-49 and 14.5 million viewers overall from 8-11 p.m. last night marks the network's best Thursday primetime performance in both measures, excluding sports, since May 18, 2006 (the night of the "Will & Grace" finale).

Updated 18-49 averages for Thursday night are: NBC, 5.2/14; CBS, 3.3/9; Fox, 3.0/8; CW, 1.6/4; and ABC, 1.4/4. In overall total viewers, April 2 updated results are: NBC, 14.5 million; CBS, 12.1 million; Fox, 8.1 million; ABC 4.5 million; CW, 3.6 million.

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

Source: NBC

Thursday, April 02, 2009

News: "ER" By The Numbers

Special to the Director's Cut
By Mark Barger

The doors at County General Hospital are officially closed now, as "ER" aired its final episode Thursday night. As you might imagine, a lot has gone into the production of the show over its 15 years on NBC.

For instance, the trauma doors at County General have swung open more than 3,000 times with more than 5,453 actors passing through. 750 of those actors were trauma patients arriving by ambulance another 500 patients just walked right in to talk to one of 10 different desk clerks.

Those patients have spurted more than 180 gallons of fake blood. That's brought on more than 160 chest tubes and 300 intubations. There've been 23 different doctors and they've ordered up more than 450 x-rays.

And along with the 31 different nurses they used more than 447,000 latex gloves and worn more than 130,000 pairs of hospital scrubs. Add in more than 4 dozen directors almost 3 dozen writers and hundreds of crew members it all adds up to one legendary medical drama.

As for other "ER" numbers, it took 34,000 hours of photography to shoot those 332 episodes. 180 days of that photography was done in Chicago.

News: "Toyota Concert Series on Today" Schedule Announced

For its 14th consecutive year, NBC's "Today" is bringing together the biggest, boldest names in music to rock the Plaza. This year's "Toyota Concert Series on Today" kicks off with a special comeback performance by Grammy Award-winning rock band No Doubt, Friday, May 1.

No Doubt has been on a multi-year hiatus, and the innovative band's "Today" performance marks the group's first concert together in five years. The live concert will also mark their first-ever "Today" performance.

The "Toyota Concert Series on Today" continues its tradition of bringing "Today" viewers the hottest hit-making artists in the industry. This year's concert series also features special performances by Dave Matthews Band and Kings of Leon, both bands' first morning television concerts. America's favorite morning program will also feature surprise guest performers throughout the series.

Following is a list of concerts scheduled to date. All concerts are Friday performances.


1 No Doubt
8 New Kids On The Block & Special Guest
15 Jennifer Hudson
22 Fall Out Boy
29 Taylor Swift


5 The Dave Matthews Band
12 Black Eyed Peas
19 Jonas Brothers
26 The Fray


3 Rob Thomas
10 Rascal Flatts
17 The All American Rejects
24 Katy Perry
31 Kings of Leon


7 Jason Mraz
14 Flo Rida
21 Natasha Bedingfield
28 TBA

Additional performances will be announced throughout the season.

Fans and visitors are encouraged to join us on the plaza for the live performances. Viewing is on a first-come, first-served basis outside "Today's" Window on the World Studio, located at 49th Street and Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.