Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From the Wires: Fox Retrenches in Time Warner Cable Dispute

AP Business Writer

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

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

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

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

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

Fox will respond formally later Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Notes from the Newsroom: 12/28/09

By Frank Macek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos Courtesy of KOCO-TV & KPRC-TV

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

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

A Note from the Editor:

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

We had good days, and some were bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Macek

Snapshot: Network Fall Season to Date Numbers

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get To Know Team 3: Dave Summers

By Frank Macek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: What was on your Thanksgiving table this year?

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

You can reach Dave Summers by email at

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

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

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

So, here's our latest list:

Abby Ham - WBIR/Knoxville

Carole Sullivan - KGTV/San Diego

Lydia Esparra - WOIO/Cleveland

Obie Shelton - City of Cleveland Clerk of Courts Spokeman

Eileen McShea - WEWS/Cleveland

Joy Benedict - WEWS/Cleveland

John Kosich - WEWS/Cleveland

Monday, December 07, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From: Jill in Mayfield Heights

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

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

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

You can email your questions to me:

Friday, December 04, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Associated Press

New Feature: Climate Change and How It Affects You

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

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

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

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

Click Here

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: The Associated Press