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:

To subscribe to Kim's free e-mail newsletters, sign up at:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caught on Tape: Reporter Becomes Part of the Story in Georgia

A reporter in Georgia quickly became a part of the story while covering flooding in the south.

Tom Regan was in a neighborhood devastated by raging flood waters when the story took an unexpected turn.

It reminds us of the dangers associated with covering the news for our reporters and photographers where a seemingly routine event takes an unexpected twist.

Take a look at the video below:

News: Cronkite Records Destroyed By FBI

Special to the Director's Cut
By Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON -- The FBI destroyed its files on former CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite two years ago under a policy that has been criticized by researchers for allowing potentially valuable records to be wiped out.

A search of the agency's main index of the subjects of FBI investigations found some records tied to Cronkite's name were destroyed in October 2007, the FBI said in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by USA TODAY. Cronkite's death in July at age 92 made any FBI files about him available for release under the federal law.

The FBI should have preserved records about Cronkite, who anchored CBS' newscasts from 1962 to 1981, said Scott Hodes, a former top lawyer in the FBI's records office. All FBI records on such a prominent person should have been saved under the FBI's policies, Hodes said.

"You're not supposed to destroy records that are historically valuable," Hodes said. "Somebody should have known who Walter Cronkite was."

FBI spokesman Bill Carter said the agency works with the National Archives to try to ensure historically important records are preserved. He did not respond to requests for further information Tuesday.

The destruction of the Cronkite records illustrates the FBI's policies on keeping and destroying records, which date to a 1981 lawsuit over public access to those records. Although the FBI's rules call for preserving files with historical significance, researchers such as journalist Alex Heard have criticized the agency for wiping out too many potentially valuable records. The FBI destroyed a file on civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, The Detroit News reported in 2006.

Heard, who is researching a 1951 execution in Mississippi, said he was frustrated to learn the FBI destroyed records about one of the civil rights lawyers involved.

"They piled up the documents, and we (taxpayers) paid for it," Heard said. "With a lot of that material, the simplest thing would be to just keep it."

The fact that the FBI had records involving Cronkite doesn't mean the FBI had investigated him, Hodes said. Celebrities' files often consist of letters they wrote to FBI officials or investigations of extortion attempts, he said.

"When famous people's files are released, a lot of times they're the victims of crimes," Hodes said.

Source: USA Today/Gannett Content One

New Promos: WKYC Channel 3 Weather Spots

Here are some new weather promos currently airing on WKYC in high definition.

If you haven't done so already, become a Friend of Channel 3 Weather on Facebook: CLICK HERE

Promo #1: Betsy and Hollie

Promo #2: WKYC Weather On-Line

Monday, September 21, 2009

NBC Wins Big At Emmy Awards

It was another huge night for NBC Universal at the 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards as the NBC network again won 16 combined Emmys, including five for "30 Rock," which was the most-honored series on any broadcast or cable network at this year's awards. "30 Rock" also claimed its third, back-to-back win as Outstanding Comedy Series giving NBC a win in that category for the past four years. NBC also tied HBO for the most wins of the evening with five.

The awards, presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the annual Emmyfest at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, also proclaimed Tina Fey as the latest Emmy juggernaut to be recognized as she added two more Emmys to her trophy case for executive-producing "30 Rock" and for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Variety/Music/Comedy Series for her portrayal of then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." She won three Emmys last year for writing, producing and performing on "30 Rock" bringing her personal total to seven.

The combined companies of NBC Universal scored big with a total of 20 Emmys, including nods to Bravo ("Project Runway") Syfy ("Battlestar Galactica") and ("The Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Experience").

Further, Universal Media Studios, which topped all other production companies with 55 nominations, made a strong showing with a total of 12 Emmys collected for "30 Rock," "House," "The Office," "Saturday Night Live" and "Heroes."

NBC, which won Outstanding Comedy Series in 12 of the last 17 years, began the night as the broadcast network to beat with the most Emmy nominations (67) and second among all broadcast services. The tally includes an all-time, TV Academy record of 22 nominations for "30 Rock," which now ups its career total wins to 49 nominations and 14 wins.

As the network continued its winning ways throughout the evening, other "30 Rock" wins went to eight-time Emmy nominee Alec Baldwin who repeated as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Matt Hubbard for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (NBC has dominated this category for the past four years).

"30 Rock," which tied "All in the Family" last year for the all-time single season record with seven Emmy wins, took home the gold last week in as it won Outstanding Casting in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy Series at last week's Creative Arts Emmy Awards. "30 Rock"'s third win for Outstanding Comedy Series puts it on track to catch the all-time leader, NBC's "Frasier," which holds the record with five consecutive wins from 1995 to 1998. "30 Rock" also has the distinction of a nomination rarity by having all series regulars nominated in lead or supporting roles.

Other notable wins on Sunday night include Jeff Blitz for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for his work on "The Office" and Rod Holcomb for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series on "ER." "ER" retires from its legendary run with the industry-leading, all-time record of 124 nominations for a drama series and 23 wins.

In earlier round action at the Creative Arts Awards, the spectacular Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony won three of its four Emmy nominations including Outstanding Special Class Program. Other Creative Arts winners include Justin Timberlake for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series as host of "Saturday Night Live." He previously won Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for previous work on "Saturday Night Live" in 2007. This win gives NBC a blockbuster record in the guest actor category with the network having claimed a guest actor win for the past 13 consecutive years.

Another Creative Arts Emmy winner was Ellen Burstyn, already an Oscar and Tony Award winner, who won her first Emmy for the compelling portrayal of a woman afflicted with bipolar disorder on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Other Creative Arts Emmy winners are included in the breakdown below.

Totals for all NBC Universal programs are:

"30 Rock" - 5
"Saturday Night Live" - 2
"The Office" - 1
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" - 1
"Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony" - 3
"Chuck" - 1
"Heroes" - 1
"ER" - 1
"Stand Up to Cancer" - 1

A complete list of NBC Universal winners follows:


"30 Rock"

Alex Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
"30 Rock"

Matt Hubbard
"30 Rock" - "Reunion"

Jeff Blitz
"The Office" - "Stress Relief"

Rod Holcomb
"ER" - "And in the End"


Tina Fey as Governor Sarah Palin
"Saturday Night Live"

Host: Justin Timberlake
"Saturday Night Live"

Ellen Burstyn as Bernadette Stabler
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" - "Swing"

"Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony"

"Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony"

Buck Gunts, Director
"Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony"

"30 Rock"

"30 Rock" - "Apollo, Apollo"

"Battlestar Galactica" - "Daybreak (Part 2)"

"House" - "House Divided"

"Chuck" - "Chuck Versus the First Date"

"Heroes" - "The Second Coming/The Butterfly Effect"

"Project Runway" - "Finale" (Part 1)

"The Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Digital Experience"

"Stand Up to Cancer"

Best Overnight For Primetime NFL Game in 11 Years

Last night's Giants-Cowboys game on NBC Sports had the best overnight rating ever for a "Sunday Night Football" game. The Giants 33-31 victory, in the unveiling of the new $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, earned a 16.5 overnight rating and 27 share (8:30-11:45 p.m. ET), the best overnight rating for a primetime NFL game in 11 years.

CRUSHED EMMYS: For the third straight year, "Sunday Night Football" delivered a convincing victory while competing head-to-head with "television's biggest night," the Emmy Awards. While the Emmys were up versus a year ago, SNF still out-rated the Awards show on CBS by 65 percent (16.5 vs. 10.0).

  • Head-to-head from 8:30-11 p.m., "Sunday Night Football" out-rated the Emmy Awards by a 71-percent margin (16.6/26 vs. 9.7/15).
  • NBC averaged a 12.8/21 from 7-11 p.m. in metered-market households. It's NBC's highest Sunday average, excluding the Super Bowl and Olympics, since January 25, 2004 and the highest Sunday night average for any network in the metered markets since February 22 (Academy Awards on ABC).
  • SNF game had the best overnight primetime rating on any network since the American Idol finale on May 20.

BEST EVER ON SNF; BEST PRIMTIME NFL IN 11 YEARS: Last night's game earned an overnight rating of a 16.5/27, the best overnight rating ever for a "Sunday Night Football" game and the best overnight rating for any primetime NFL game in 11 years (Broncos-Dolphins, 17.4/27 on Dec. 21, 1998).


1. 9/20/09, Giants-Cowboys, 16.5/27
2. 11/25/07, Eagles-Patriots, 15.6/24
3. 12/14/08, Giants-Cowboys, 15.4/24
4. 11/5/06, Colts-Patriots, 15.1/22
5. 9/10/06, Colts-Giants, 14.7/23 ("Manning Bowl")

Thursday, September 17, 2009

From the Wires: TV Anchor's Flub Turns Into Catch Phrase Overnight

Editor's Note: It happens to even the best at some point in their careers. Viewer discretion is advised!

NEW YORK -- A veteran New York City news anchor flubs a line and an obscene catch phrase goes viral on the Internet.

Ernie Anastos of Fox affiliate WNYW was bantering with the weatherman Wednesday night when he cheerfully dropped an F-bomb on the air.

What he likely intended to say was, "Keep plucking that chicken."
Anastos didn't appear to recognize the error, though co-anchor Dari Alexander's eyes bugged out after he said it.

Videos of the mistake circulated widely online Thursday, as the phrase took on a life of its own. Fox isn't laughing, though.
The vice president and general manager of WNYW, Lew Leone, says he's "disappointed" in Anastos' comment and the anchor will apologize on the air Thursday evening.

Roll that beautiful bean footage:

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From the Wires: Leno Show Reaches 17.7 Million Viewers

NEW YORK -- Critics may not have loved Jay Leno's prime-time debut, but 17.7 million viewers tuned in to check him out.

Nielsen Media Research says that's the biggest audience for a prime-time television show since the "American Idol" finale in May.

Not only was Leno's debut heavily publicized, but he piggybacked on one of Monday's biggest stories. Leno had scheduled Kanye West, who was pressed to explain why he interrupted Taylor Swift the night before on the MTV Video Music Awards.

That's a big boost for NBC, but the challenge will be to hold viewers. Critics were harsh, with Robert Bianco of USA Today slamming it as a "cut-rate, snooze-inducing, rehashed bore."

On WKYC, the show did a 16 HH rating, 24 share according to the Nielsen overnight numbers.

Source: The Associated Press, Nielsen

Monday, September 14, 2009

Spotlight Feature: The New "Jay Leno Show" - Our Thoughts on Night #1

By Frank Macek

Finally, the time has come. Jay's new show has the potential to re-define the last hour of prime time and has far ranging implications - if successful - for all the big 3 networks. The days of expensive dramas at 10 p.m. may be nearing an end.

Your blogger would like to share some of my own thoughts about the premiere of the "Jay Leno Show" that debuted Monday Night on Channel 3 at 10 p.m. that we wrote as the show aired live tonight:

Instantly, I felt the old "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" had just moved to 10 p.m. The open didn't "wow" me, but the monologue was fresh and faster paced. The monologue was always among Jay's strongest features of the old "Tonight Show" - so it only makes sense to take advantage of his brand of unique comedy, the cute skits and the always entertaining Kevin Eubanks with the new "Primetime Band."

The "Cheaters" sketch worked well in the monologue, which was among the funniest of several short skit moments, with Kevin and a Jay look a like. The first 8 minutes of the show moved well.

The second segment featured a new regular of Jay's, Dan Finnerty and his Dan Band, with a entertainment skit, "Car Wash," that seemed to go on forever. The skit was meant to fill the time of a real car wash, but bored the heck out of us. I began watching the minutes tick away on the clock and probably some viewers left at this point. Probably not the best idea to follow a strong first block. But, perhaps the show felt this way after just watching the finals of "America's Got Talent" on NBC. Any of those acts would have fit better on Leno in this slot.
The third block featured Jay's first guest about 22 minutes into the show - fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Jay tossed away the old interview desk for a pair of comfty, blue chairs that suited the show well. The set was vibrant and looked great in high definition. And then Oprah showed up as a floating head on a virtual looking tv set. Scary. But the entire interview was funny and got the show back on track.

The second half hour began with more comedy. Jay always loves playing with our commanders in chief and did so with President Obama, using snippets from a CBS 60 minutes interview that ran Sunday evening in a very funny sketch that poked fun at the new show and other hot topics on the nation's agenda. I felt the skit was tight and bright and was just long enough to re-grab my attention in the 2nd half hour that affiliates worried would quickly become a tune out factor for the show. Jay held my attention well.

Next came one of the hottest topics of the day - the Kanye West interview and what happened at the MTV Music Awards Sunday Night. This was the show's highlight and led into the important final quarter hour stations need as a strong lead into our local news. Although Kanye was a planned guest, the interview was moving and off the cuff which Jay handled well playing the mom wildcard and showing Jay's diversity as an interviewer. I wonder if Kanye's tears were real or if he was really sorry, again.

The interview was followed by a performance with Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West that put three very interesting personalities on one stage - part of Leno's strategy to keep the show entertaining. Not my cup of tea in music, but I found myself waiting for Kanye to grab the microphone from Rihanna.

You may have also noticed an abundance of NBC promos during the show to kick off their Fall season and the launch of NBC's new tag line we previously mentioned: "more colorful." Of course, WKYC likes this as NBC needs to do a good job and get it right this fall.

Finally at 10:52 pm, Jay turned to another old reliable feature from his old "Tonight Show" called "Headlines." This was always one of my favorites and was a good way to wind down the premiere show. Love those misplaced cabbages and the "doctor who uses groin to fix brain."

For the first show, your blogger thinks it was a good effort on Jay's part. Yes, the show needs some polish, but that will be fun to watch as it improves in the weeks and months ahead. Jay has one year to prove himself we feel. He is off to a strong start.

Please share your own thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: The previous thoughts are those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent those of WKYC or Gannett Broadcasting.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

WKYC and SportsTime Ohio Receive 8 Local Emmy Awards

Congratulations to a number of our WKYC and SportsTime Ohio colleauges who won awards at the 40th Annual Emmy Awards of the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The ceremony was held Saturday night at the Intercontinental Hotel and included several WKYC presenters such as Del Donahoo, "Good Company Today" co-host Fred Griffith and WKYC news consultant Virgil Dominic.

Also, a special recognition was given to WKYC editor John Marinko who retired last year. He was given a Gold Circle Award for more than 50 years in local broadcasting.

Here are a list of our winners this year:

Newscast-Morning/Daytime: "Channel 3 News Today" - WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen

Investigative Report - Single Story: "Sugarcreek Slaughter" - WKYC Investigator Tom Meyer

Continuing Coverage: "Strip Search" - WKYC Investigator Tom Meyer, Editor Brandi Paulson and Videographer Tom Genovese

Sports-News Single Story: "Running Down a Dream" - Photographer Michael Harris, Editor Brandi Paulson and Reporter Paul Thomas

Sports-Program: "Indians On-Deck" - SportsTime Ohio Host Al Pawlowski and Producer Mike Bachmann

Crafts: Graphics/Animation- Non-News: "2008 Compilation" - SportsTime Ohio's Design Director Gregory Golya, Broadcast Designer-3D Animator Joseph von Enck and Designer Ian Zeigler

Crafts: Writer - Short Form (Promos, PSAs, Commercials, Opens, etc.): "Congratulations Cliff Lee" - SportsTime Ohio Writer Mark Schroeder

Promotion - Station Image: "Indians For Life" - SportsTime Ohio VP/Marketing Mike Roche, Creative Director Marc Battaglia and DP/Editor Horse Hardesty (Mindclay)

Our local chapter includes the following televison markets: (Ohio) Toledo, Bowling Green, Lima, Cleveland, Mansfield, Akron, Youngstown; (Pennsylvania) Erie; (Indiana) Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, West Lafayette, Muncie, Bloomington and Anderson.

For a complete list of NATAS winners: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

News From the Network & More: 9/8/09

Saturday Night Live Shuffles Actors

"Saturday Night Live" has cut two and added two for the season premiere on September 26th. Numerous media outlets are reporting Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson are out and comedians Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad have joined the show. Watkins joined the program last fall as a featured cast member. Wilson joined "SNL" in 2008 after the Hollywood writers strike.

Former WKYC General Manager Bill Scaffide Heading South To Retire?

The Virginian Pilot newspaper reports former WKYC General Manager, most recently GM at WTVZ in Norfolk, is heading to Florida - not for another job, but to apparently enter semi-retirement. Scaffide left the station last week as the moving trucks planned to head for West Palm Beach. Bill was proud of making that station profitable during his 3 year tenure. We have lots of memories of Bill doing the same thing at WKYC and Multimedia when deep staff cuts were made after the station was acquired from NBC.

Digital Broadcasting Nearly 100%

Seems the public has finally figured out they need to switch over to all digital tv to get any sort of decent programming that low power stations just can't afford. Lower power stations are the only ones still allowed to broadcast analog signals. Nielsen reports DTV penetration is now about 99.4% across the nation. Nearly 1.2 million homes have made the switch since June 12th when the U.S. television industry finally made the switch. Only 710,000 homes remain non-digital ready.

TV Viewing Continues to Increase

Good news for broadcasters...the public is watching more television lately - about 141 hours per month during the 2nd quarter. Previous fears of viewers replacing one medium for another as new technology emerges so far hasn't happen. Instead, Nielsen is finding that people are adding new mediums to their daily lives, while keeping the traditional ones - like television. Nearly 57% of Americans with internet access currently use both television and the internet at the same time at least once a month. That amounts to about 2 hours and 39 minutes each month of simultanteous use helping both mediums grow this year.

Leno Debut Being Pushed on Radio

NBC is using the power of radio to help promote the debut of Jay Leno Show next Monday, September 14th at 10 p.m. The network is primarily buying time in the top 25 markets, which includes Cleveland. The spots will feature a sampling of Leno's comedy bits and will air mostly in morning and afternoon drive at about 10 minutes past the hour.

In Case You Missed It

Even network tv newscasts have bad moments. Last week while NBC's Brian Williams was anchoring in the field from the California Wildfires for NBC Nightly News, he got rather excited by the news that ABC anchorman Charlie Gibson was stepping down at the end of the year. He'll be replaced by Diane Sawyer, which by our calculations makes Brian the only remaining male anchor on the Big 3 newscasts, unless Katie gets the boot soon. Just as he started ribbing ABC about what this means for competition at 6:30 p.m., his cameraman either started to die laughing or tripped as the camera jerked right off Brian. Was the last laugh really on Brian?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Notes from the Newsroom: 9/2/09

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.

It's hard to believe it is September already and fall is just a few short weeks away. We'll be kicking off a new fall schedule in just 12 days with the new "Jay Leno Show." NBC affiliates are a little apprehensive - to say the least - about NBC's new approach to Prime Time. For his part, Jay is ready to go and excited about being part of their new revolution. Time & the ratings will tell.

Many of you have weighed in on our new set tweaks, designed to add a little more color and depth to our background. Some of you like it, some of you don't. The single biggest complaint is the fact we didn't do live monitors for the right side of background. Given the high cost of buying many monitors and the current economic climiate, we decided to go with the "fake" monitor wall for now on that side. Another reason is we don't want the background to be distracting from the anchor and the show content. If you are watching the monitors moving behind Romona or Mark, for example, you aren't really paying attention to the news content. Thanks for all your suggestions, and look for tweaks in the future as we continue to evolve.

Another tweak coming soon will be the graphics themselves. G3, the graphics group who designs our graphics through a hub system, has re-designed the color scheme of some of the tease and animated graphics from an amber touch to a red touch. You'll see these introduced into our newscasts in the next week or two.

Our heartfelt condolsences to WKYC News Director, Rita Andolsen, on the recent loss of her father, William Ginley Jr. Services will be held Thursday and the funeral on Friday. For those of you who know Rita personally, please keep her and her family in your thoughts during this difficult time for them. Rita is one outstanding lady - and news director.

A programming change to our lineup this week. Channel 3 will air the Tribe vs. Twins game this Friday Night at 7:05 p.m. We were originally scheduled to carry the Tribe vs. Tigers game Tuesday Night...but because of "America's Got Talent" airing in this time period, the decision was made to swap games. "Indians on Deck" will air at 6:30 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio, then the game at 7 p.m. on Channel 3. No 7 p.m. news will air Friday night.

Don't forget next Friday Night at 7 p.m., September 11th, WKYC will air a special leading up to the "Race for the Cure" on Saturday morning. Senior Health Correspondent Monica Robins will share the background and history of the race and the emotional stories about those who participate - many survivors themselves of breast cancer.