Friday, January 29, 2010

Director's Cut TV Tech Center: Hi-Tech 360-degree Camera Used To Survey Damage In Haiti

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Joe Smith

We've been seeing horrible images of devastation out of Haiti for the past several weeks. Now a new high-tech camera is giving the world a 360 degree view of the devastation.

"It's immersive because it gets everything," says Immersive Media's co-founder David McCutchen. He envisioned the camera while working in special effects.

First there was a black and white attempt, and then came color. McCutchen took a cue from everything spherical. "This shape a dodecahedron it's called. It's the most efficient way to divide a sphere optically," McCutchen explains.

The camera is made of 11 lenses that capture full motion video. Cameraman Craig Adkins had to learn a new way of shooting. "The world of 360 is a completely new way to perceive the world. You tend to always want to be panning," he explains. "Everything happens around you and you want to pan with it. It's really tough to teach yourself to just stand there and realize you're getting things at all times."

The video signals are recorded on to the backpack hard drives. It's then edited and put on the web. "All eleven lenses have come together to make this one cohesive piece in world view," explains editor Eve Hansen.

The camera has been used worldwide from jumping out of a plane to President Obama's Inauguration to the Grand Canyon to Africa, Baghdad, Afghanistan, and now Haiti.

"They want to get a very good mapping of the entire city. So they're able to compare it against pre-destruction, post-destruction," says Chief Marketing Officer Larry Logan.

Originally, the camera was intended for entertainment and advertising. It was the first to do map surveys for Google. Now the company is shooting a 360 video for Mapquest, but it's the video in Haiti that's giving the company a new view from within.

Immersive Media will be in Haiti for at least the next 30 days. It's offering its cameras and sharing the data gratis.

The 360 view camera will be used on the upcoming Grammy Awards and also NBC wants to use one at the Olympics.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

From the Wires: About 48 million Watch Obama's State of the Union

LOS ANGELES -- About 48 million viewers watched President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address on 11 networks, with Fox TV drawing the biggest share.

The Nielsen Co. said viewership for Wednesday's speech was 7 percent lower than for President George W. Bush's first such address in 2002 but 5 percent higher than for President Bill Clinton's inaugural State of the Union speech in 1994.

From 9-10 p.m. EST, more than 9.7 million people watched the hour-plus speech on Fox, with ABC drawing 7.6 million viewers, NBC 7.2 million and CBS 6.2 million, according to preliminary Nielsen figures Thursday. Those early numbers don't reflect West Coast viewership of the speech that aired at 5 p.m. PST.

Among the cable news networks, Fox News was the leader with 5.7 million, followed by CNN with 3.3 million and MSNBC with 2.4 million. The speech also was carried live on Telemundo, Univision, BET and CNBC.

Source: The Associated Press

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

From the Wires: Jay Leno Says He Hasn't Spoken To Conan O'Brien

CHICAGO -- Jay Leno tells Oprah Winfrey that he hasn't spoken to Conan O'Brien throughout the recent contentious negotiations over "The Tonight Show."

In quotes provided Wednesday by Harpo Productions, Leno tells Winfrey that "it didn't seem appropriate" to speak to O'Brien.

But Leno says the two comedians might talk when "things cool down."

NBC unseated O'Brien and moved Leno back to the program he hosted for 17 years. Leno is scheduled to return to "Tonight" on March 1.

In a video previewing "The Oprah Winfrey Show" interview, Leno says: "This whole thing was a huge mess."

Leno's interview is slated to air Thursday. Harpo Productions made an offer for O'Brien to appear on her show, but it hasn't been confirmed.

Here's a Director's Cut Blog preview:

Story Source: The Associated Press
Video Courtesy: Harpo Productions

From the Wires: Gone From 'Tonight,' Conan O'Brien Still Produces for NBC

NEW YORK -- NBC says it has a deal with Conan O'Brien to produce a possible series, only days after his rancorous exit as host of the network's "Tonight Show."

NBC is picking up a pilot from O'Brien's production company, Conaco. The drama, as yet untitled, focuses on a Supreme Court justice who leaves the bench to start his own practice.

Casting has yet to be announced for the pilot, which is bucking for a series slot on NBC's fall schedule.

Despite O'Brien's recent split from NBC as an on-camera star, he retains a development deal with the network.

Past series produced by Conaco include the comedy "Andy Barker, P.I.," which featured O'Brien's longtime talk-show sidekick Andy Richter.

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Director's Cut Celebrates Its 3rd Anniversary

Hard to believe it has been 3 years this month since we launched the Director's Cut Blog with Frank Macek.

We are proud of our accomplishments and grateful to you, our readers, for following what goes on here at the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center.

Our readership has ballooned over the past 3 years as our blog has exceeded a half million views.

So, thanks for celebrating with us as we begin year 4 on the Director's Cut Blog.

Don't forget, your comments and letters are always welcome. You can reach our blogger, Frank Macek, at

Now, back to the party! Who brought the champagne?

From the Wires: Upset Winner In Massachusetts Senate Race Headed For Leno

LOS ANGELES -- Scott Brown is going prime time.

The Republican who rocketed to national prominence by winning a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts is scheduled to appear Thursday on "The Jay Leno Show."

NBC spokeswoman Tracy St. Pierre says Brown will do a skit via satellite hookup in which Leno fires off 10 quick questions.

The once little-known state legislator jolted the national political landscape last week by capturing the Senate seat once held by Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy.

The Associated Press

Director's Cut TV Tech Center: First HDTV, Now 3DTV

By Frank Macek

The digital revolution has not only given us high definition television, but has also opened up the possibility of 3DTV just as fast. If you think HD is good, wait until you see stereoscropic content come alive in your own living room. And, it will all begin THIS year.

Like HDTV, early broadcast adopters will be sports television. ESPN will be credited as the sports leader in the technology when it launches its new 3D network on June 11th.

The sports network will begin with a 3D telecast of the World Cup soccer championship between Mexico and South Africa. By the end of its first year, ESPN plans to offer viewers a target of 85 live events in 3D.

In July, Direct TV will jump on the bandwagon as it teams up with Fox Sports to air a 3D broadcast of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Dallas at the equally high tech, new Cowboys' stadium in Arlington.

And later this year, Discovery will be involved in several productions and concerts as it works with IMAX and Sony in their endeavours that will air on its new 3D channel.

There is good news and bad news for consumers. The bad news is you'll need to buy a new 3DTV set if you wish to take advantage of the new programming being offered. The good news is the cost should be only a few hundred dollars more than today's HDTV sets. This June, TV manufacturer Vizio is expected to jump into the market quickly with a set debuting around $2,000.

In addition to the television itself, you will also need to purchase high tech 3D glasses which are likely to cost extra.

Two different technologies will be available: "active shutter" and "passive shutter." The active technology uses glasses that open and shut lenses in front of your eyes so quickly, the eye can't see it happening.

Be warned. Those who have experienced the technology already are telling us the visual experience is so compelling and realistic, viewers have to guard against motion induced sickness.

Viewers will have a hard time separating television and reality - and that's what broadcasters and advertisers are hoping for in the years to come, as time spent watching tv continues to increase annually.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Behind the Scenes at WKYC: 1/22/10

Ever wonder what goes on "behind the scenes" during a live, Channel 3 News broadcast?

The Director's Cut is excited to finally be able to show you.

Click "Play" and sit back and enjoy the show "behind the scenes."

Live Broadcast by Ustream.TV

Friday, January 22, 2010

Late Night Wars: Download Leno and O'Brien Cut Outs

With the final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien upon us, we thought we'd join the "fun."

Click here to download a printable version of "The Chin" and "The Hair"

The same link will also take you to the best clips recently of Conan and Jay as they and others react to the late-night war.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Official: NBC Announces That Jay Leno Returns To Host of "Tonight", Conan Leaves

UNIVERSAL CITY, California - NBC confirmed today that popular late-night host Jay Leno will return to host "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" from 11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. (ET) beginning March 1, 2010 and that "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" will continue to be broadcast from 12:35-1:35 a.m. (ET). The announcements were made by Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment.

"We're pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years," said Gaspin. "He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television."

Leno previously hosted "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" from May 1992-May 2009. The program will continue to showcase many of the features that made Leno America's late-night leader for more than a dozen years.

"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" made its broadcast debut on March 2, 2009 with "Saturday Night Live" alum Fallon as the host of the comedy-talk show. The program serves as a platform for comedy, music and A-list talent out of NBC's Rockefeller Center Studio 6B. Fallon is joined by his house band -- the critically acclaimed, Grammy-winning hip-hop band The Roots. Earlier, Fallon launched his "Late Night" video blog (or "vlog"), giving viewers behind-the-scenes access to his preparation for the show's official launch at

Fallon joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1998 and quickly became an audience favorite for his impressions of actors and musicians as well as for creating many memorable recurring characters. In 2000, he became co-anchor of the segment "Weekend Update" alongside Tina Fey. Fallon also appeared in the Emmy Award-winning miniseries "Band of Brothers," and his feature films include "Almost Famous," "Taxi" and "Fever Pitch."

In addition, NBC and Conan O'Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O'Brien's contract to host the "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien."

Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O'Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O'Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010.

O'Brien will make his final appearance as host of the "Tonight Show" on Friday, January 22nd.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Your Daily Conan Update: Signs Point To Friday Farewell For Conan O'Brien

Special to the Director's Cut
By Lynn Elber, AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Conan O'Brien all but tacked up a farewell banner on this week's "Tonight" shows, even as his exit deal with NBC remained under discussion.

O'Brien's guest lineup for Thursday and Friday had the ring of finality, with several big names, including Robin Williams and Barry Manilow on Thursday.

Tom Hanks was scheduled for Friday, as was Will Ferrell, who was the first guest O'Brien welcomed when he started last June as "Tonight" host.

O'Brien, whose show was scheduled to be in reruns next week, also joked in a monologue about looking forward to history's biggest drinking binge in a few days.
Source: The Associated Press

DIRECTOR'S CUT EXTRA: Must See Video: Chinese Animation of NBC Latenight Woes.

WKYC and Indians Announce 2010 Broadcast Schedule

CLEVELAND -- Winter's just started, but the baseball season will be here before you know it. The Indians announced Wednesday their broadcast plans and schedule for the 2010 season.

WKYC-TV, the flagship station of the Indians over-the-air network again this year, will air 20 regular season games. WKYC's sister station, SportsTime Ohio, will air 148 regular season games and simulcast the games aired by WKYC.

April 12 vs TEX 3:05
April 18 vs CWS 1:05
May 2 vs MIN 1:05
May 16 @ BAL 1:35
May 23 vs CIN 1:05
May 28 @ NYY 7:05
June 10 vs BOS 7:05
June 13 vs WAS 1:05
June 15 vs NYM 7:05
June 27 @ CIN 1:10
July 18 vs DET 1:05
July 25 vs TB 1:05
July 29 vs NYY 7:05
August 8 vs MIN 1:05
August 15 vs SEA 1:05
August 22 @ DET 1:05
August 29 vs KC 1:05
September 12 vs MIN 1:05
September 19 @ KC 2:10
October 3 @ CWS 2:05

Click here for the complete 2010 Indians Schedule

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meet The Newest Member of Channel 3 News: Darrielle Snipes

Darrielle Snipes joined the Channel 3 News in January of 2010 and primarily reports for Channel 3 News in the morning.

Before moving back to the Midwest, Darrielle worked as a weekend anchor/reporter at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.

While there, she covered breaking news stories and lots of weather stories.

Darrielle says she saw three tornados and covered a major ice storm that knocked out power to more than 500,000 people.

Darrielle has also worked in Baltimore, Detroit and Indianapolis as a reporter/fill-in anchor. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism.

She grew up in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and spent her summers as a child with relatives in Washington, D.C.

Family members tell Darrielle she told them at the age of 7 she wanted to report the news. So, it is a dream come true to be able to tell stories for a living.

She is excited to be here in Cleveland where she has relatives and a host of friends.

Darrielle is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Be sure to welcome Darrielle to the Channel 3 News family. Her e-mail is

You can check out the biographies of all our Channel 3 personalities, including their email addresses and facebook pages at:

Your Daily Conan Update: O'Brien's Staff Is Sticking Point In Talks

Special to the Director's Cut
By Lynn Elber, AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES -- The sticking point in Conan O'Brien's exit negotiations with NBC may involve his TV staff, not Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

A person close to the talks said Tuesday that O'Brien is intent on guaranteeing severance deals for his "Tonight Show" staff and crew and he is dug in on that point. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract talks were intended to be private.

The issue of whether NBC retains rights to familiar O'Brien comedy bits including Triumph or Pimpbot 5000 was undecided Tuesday but not a key issue for O'Brien, whose focus was his staff's welfare, the person said.

The proposed deal could pay more than $30 million to O'Brien to leave NBC and "Tonight," allowing Jay Leno to move back to late night.

Monday, January 18, 2010

WKYC and the Ohio Benefit Bank Team Up for Special Assistance Phone Bank

CLEVELAND -- Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are eligible for government benefits, but have never applied. In fact, every year nearly $2 billion in benefits and tax credits go unclaimed in the State of Ohio.

That's why WKYC and the Ohio Benefit Bank are teaming up to get you faster access to assistance.

Channel 3 will offer a special phone bank staffed by benefit bank counselors to answer your questions, take your information and help you sign up for any benefits you may qualify for.

The phone bank will be open from 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 21st.

Phones numbers will be displayed on Channel 3 News throughout the day.

Read more about the program from WKYC Reporter Dick Russ.

Sneak Peek: What's Ahead in February on WKYC

February's going to be a big month here on WKYC Channel 3.

Enjoy this sneak peek!

Golden Globes shines with TV audience boost

Editor's Note: Locally, the Globes did a 13.45 rating, 19.1 share on WKYC-TV in HH in Nielsen Overnight Ratings.
Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By FRAZIER Moore, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK -- NBC says its Golden Globes broadcast won a ratings prize: a 14 percent increase in viewers from last year.

"The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards" won its three-hour time slot Sunday, drawing 16.9 million viewers. That beat its audience of 14.9 million viewers in 2009.

Originating from Los Angeles at 5 p.m. local time, the event was aired live by NBC in all time zones coast-to-coast, rather than delayed for prime-time broadcast in the West. British actor-comedian Ricky Gervais was its host.

Even with the audience upswing, viewership was far below the biggest year for the awards show. In 2004, 26.8 million viewers tuned in.

The awards are given annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Source: The Associated Press

Friday, January 15, 2010

From the Wires: Deal Near For O'Brien To Leave "Tonight"

AP Television Writer

LOS ANGELES -- NBC is nearing a deal with "Tonight" host Conan O'Brien to leave the network, freeing Jay Leno to reclaim the late-night show he stewarded for 17 years.

A person familiar with the negotiations says top NBC Universal executives and representatives for O'Brien on Friday were close to settling details of his departure. The person, who did not have the authority to discuss the issue, spoke on condition of anonymity.

The person says Universal Studios president and COO Ron Meyer is among those involved in the talks.

The focus is on how much O'Brien, who has time left on his NBC contract, would be paid for leaving and what limits NBC may put on his future employment at another network.
Source: The Associated Press

NBC To Participate in the Haitian Relief Telethon January 22nd

We have learned that NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT will participate in the "Hope for Haiti" telethon to air on Friday, January 22nd, at 8 p.m. E.T.

Haitian-born entertainer Wyclef Jean will helm the show from New York, and George Clooney will host the Los Angeles part. CNN's Anderson Cooper will be in Haiti.

We understand the telethon will be an all star event to help raise money for the relief efforts in the impoverished nation that suffered the second largest earthquake in recent history in that area of the world.

Americans seeking news about family members in Haiti can call 1-888-407-4747, set up by the U.S. Department of State or use the Red Cross family link.

Below are links on how you can help.

You can check out charities before you donate on the Charity Navigator web site or through the Better Business Bureau or read article on avoiding scams.
  • The American Red Cross is taking donations to its International Response Fund. Donations can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at
  • The fastest way to donate may be by text. Text "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross relief efforts. The amount will be added to your next cell phone bill.
  • The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations to assist in the effort via, its website, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and postal mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, PO Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728. Designate donations "Haiti Earthquake."
  • is also taking donations for Haiti earthquake victims.
  • The U.S. Government is providing dedicated internet sites for those wishing to donate resources or assistance to the earthquake victims: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead agency for disasters outside the U.S. The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is operating under a grant from USAID.
  • In Northeast Ohio, is taking donations. You can also reach the organization by calling 216.692.1685.
  • Health Frontiers, is a charity founded by Case Western Reserve University doctors in 1991. It's accepting donations on its web site or by contacting them direct at 507.789.6725.
  • Catholic Relief Services is pledging $5 million initially in its relief efforts. You can donate at the CRS website, by calling 1-877-HELP-CRS or by writing a check to Catholic Relief Services; PO Box 17090, Baltimore, MD, 21203-7090.
  • Donations can be made directly to missionaries working in Haiti via: Christianville/STO; 1333 Lakeside Ave.; Cleveland, Ohio 44114
  • You can find additional resources to help quake victims from
  • Expanded coverage on the earthquake and its aftermath, including additional resources to help victims at
  • The White House web site has posted President Obama's remarks on the disaster and has links to the Red Cross for those wishing to help.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Director's Cut Alert: Reports: Jay Stays, Conan Out is reporting that Jay Leno will get the full one hour "Tonight Show" starting after the Olympics.

According to, "As we first reported, under the contract Jay had been working under, he was guaranteed the 10 PM hour. By moving him to 11:35, NBC was in breach of his contract and needed to negotiate a new deal. That is now done, sources tell TMZ."

People magazine is reporting Conan's last night as host of the "The Tonight Show" will be next Friday, January 22nd.

A source told the publication, "Conan does not currently plan on doing any more new shows after next week."

The show had already been planning a hiatus beginning Monday, January 25.

So Conan O'Brien is out, and Jay is restored.

Director's Cut Alert: NBC Announces New Weeknight Lineup

The Director's Cut has learned of the new NBC lineup that will follow the Olympics beginning Monday, March 1st.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- New and veteran NBC dramas and a comedy produced by Jerry Seinfeld will take over the bulk of the prime-time slots soon to be vacated by Jay Leno.

NBC announced Thursday that the freshman drama "Parenthood" and the relocated "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Special Victim Units" will fill three slots. Another will go to the comedy panel series "The Marriage Ref" from Seinfeld.

"Dateline NBC" will fill another 10 p.m. EST slot.

The new lineup will debut after NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics from Feb. 12-28.


Monday, March 1st
8:00-9:00 CHUCK (original)(through May 24th)
9:00-11:00 LAW & ORDER (original)(2-hours)

Monday, March 8th
9:00-10:00 TRAUMA (original)(through May 24th)
10:00-11:00 LAW & ORDER (original)(through May 24th)


Tuesday, March 2nd
8:00-10:00 THE BIGGEST LOSER (original)(through May 25th)
10:00-11:00 PARENTHOOD (original)(through May 25th)


Wednesday, March 3rd
8:00-9:00 MERCY (original)(through May 19th)
9:00-10:00 LAW & ORDER: SVU (repeat)(through May 12th)
10:00-11:00 LAW & ORDER: SVU (original)(through May 26th)


Thursday, March 4th
8:00-8:30 COMMUNITY (original)(through May 20th)
8:30-9:00 PARKS & RECREATION (original)(through May 20th)
9:00-9:30 THE OFFICE (original)(through May 20th)
9:30-10:00 30 ROCK (original)(through May 20th)
10:00-11:00 THE MARRIAGE REF (original)(through May 20th)


Friday, March 5th
8:00-9:00 WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? (original)(through April 23rd)
9:00-11:00 DATELINE (original)(through May 21st)

Friday, April 30th
8:00-9:00 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (original)(through May 28th)


Saturday, March 6th
8:00-9:00 THE BIGGEST LOSER (repeat)(through May 22nd)
9:00-10:00 LAW & ORDER (repeat)(through May 22nd)
10:00-11:00 LAW & ORDER: SVU (repeat)(through May 29th)


Sunday, March 14th
7:00-8:00 DATELINE (original)(through May 2nd)
8:00-9:00 MINUTE TO WIN IT (original)(through May 2nd)
9:00-11:00 CELEBRITY APPRENTICE (original)(through May 23rd)

Sunday, May 9th and May 23rd
7:00-9:00 DATELINE (original)

Some information courtesy: The Associated Press

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Director's Cut Alert: Conan Says "No" To NBC

LOS ANGELES -- Conan O'Brien says he's rejecting NBC's attempt to move "The Tonight Show" to a post-midnight slot to accommodate Jay Leno's return to late-night.

In a statement Tuesday, O'Brien says that NBC has given him a scant seven months to try to establish himself as host of "Tonight."

NBC wants to move "The Jay Leno Show" out of prime-time and to the 11:35 p.m. EST daily slot, bumping "Tonight" to 12:05 p.m. EST.

O'Brien said he hoped he and NBC could resolve the issue quickly so he could do a show of which he and his crew could be proud -- "for a company that values our work" -- raising the possibility he might go to another network. But he said he has no such offer.

In a statement released by Conan:

People of Earth:

In the last few days, I've been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I've been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I've been absurdly lucky. That said, I've been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it's always been that way.



Monday, January 11, 2010

From the Wires: Focus shifts to Conan O'Brien in NBC's late-night tangle

PASADENA, California -- NBC has made its late-night move, and the
next one could belong to Conan O'Brien.

O'Brien's mindset is a key to unweaving the tangle caused by NBC bumping Jay Leno to his old 11:35 p.m. timeslot, with O'Brien pushed back to 12:05 a.m.

With Fox showing interest in O'Brien and potentially able to offer him an 11 p.m. slot, the question becomes whether O'Brien would want to jump networks or be happy returning to a post-midnight slot on NBC.

An 11 p.m. timeslot would allow O'Brien to get the jump on both Leno and David Letterman, behind whom he has fallen in the ratings.

Fox would likely have to persuade affiliates to give the network control of that hour. And there would also have to be a resolution of some complicated contractual issues with NBC.

Source: The Associated Press

Sunday, January 10, 2010

NBC Officially Pulls Plug On Leno At 10 PM; Late Night Lineup Still Undecided

LOS ANGELES -- NBC is ending the Jay Leno Show experiment it launched September 14th at 10 p.m. the network announced Sunday.

NBCU Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin tells TV critics in Los Angeles that the low-rated primetime hour will end the night before NBC's telecast of the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

Primetime Leno "did not meet affiliates' needs," he says.

Replacing Leno after the Olympics will be a mix of original shows, repeats, extended Dateline and shows pulled from cable nets Bravo and USA, he says.

The network says it is still in negotiation with Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon to keep all three in late night.

However, nothing has been finalized.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

USA Today: 'The Jay Leno Show' Could Be On The Way Out

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Gary Levin

Jay Leno's prime-time "experiment" may be cut short.

The former Tonight Show host, who spent 15 years atop the late-night ratings race, hasn't worked out at 10 p.m. ET/PT, hurting both NBC's overall ratings and the local newscasts that follow it on the network's affiliates.

Now NBC is weighing scenarios that would lead The Jay Leno Showto end its run as early as Feb. 11, on the eve of the Winter Olympics, according to network executives involved in the discussions.

In statements Thursday, NBC said the Leno Show has not yet been canceled, adding that while Leno's average audience of 5.8 million viewers has met expectations, the show has "presented some issues for our affiliates," who have complained about sharp declines for late local newscasts.

A meeting with stations is set for Jan. 21 in New York, in part to discuss a plan that could include shifting Leno back to late night or letting him walk away and paying out the remainder of his two-year contract.

NBC's decision to air the Leno Show at 10 five nights a week resulted from its promise five years ago to hand The Tonight Show to Conan O'Brien and the network's need to prevent Leno from moving his show to ABC or Fox. But programmers acknowledge it also stemmed from the fourth-place network's prime-time woes and the lack of enough shows to fill its 22-hour weekly schedule.

Still, the network characterized the move as a bold experiment for recessionary times, and last summer newly installed NBC TV chief Jeff Gaspin called it a "smart risk," since the show is produced at a fraction of the cost of a typical prime-time drama.

"Going into the season, it was going to be a seminal shift in how to approach prime time," says analyst John Rash at ad firm Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis. "And yet by any objective quantitative standard it failed."

And ratings for The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien are half those claimed by Leno in that late-night slot.

In prime time, NBC could replace Leno starting March 1 by shifting top-rated The Biggest Loser and Law & Order: SVU to later time slots and adding more reality shows and Dateline NBC to the schedule until the TV season ends in May.

For next fall, the network is developing 18 pilots for potential new series, the most in several years, that could be used to help fill the time.

Director's Alert: Leno Moving Back to 11:30

By Frank Macek

8:50 PM Update: The New York Times reports that pressed by affiliates and shrinking ratings, NBC has a plan in the works to radically alter its latenight television lineup, restoring Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight, while pushing the man who replaced him, Conan O'Brien, to a starting time of 12:05 a.m.

4:47 PM: The Director's Cut has learned NBC is about to blow up Leno at 10 PM, according to website TMZ.COM

According to TMZ, they learned "Jay's 10:00 PM show will go on hiatus February 1. After the Olympics, Jay will take back his 11:30 PM time slot. What has not been decided -- whether Jay's show will be a half hour, followed by Conan, or whether Jay's show will be an hour and NBC says sayonara to Mr. O'Brien."

NBC is denying the rumors saying "Jay Leno is one of the most compelling entertainers in the world today. As we have said all along, Jay's show has performed exactly as we anticipated on the network," an NBC rep said in a statement issued Thursday. "It has, however, presented some issues for our affiliates. Both Jay and the show are committed to working closely with them to find ways to improve the performance," reports MSNBC.COM

What is missing from the statement tells the most about the story. Clearly Leno is floundering, but NBC is committed to the show, but not at 10 p.m. The statement DOES NOT deny the show is moving to another time slot, 11:30 p.m.

All this follows the recent 51% acquisition of NBC by Comcast from GE...and the poor showing of Leno's ratings in the 10 pm hour - although NBC says they have delivered what they promised advertisers for ratings.

We figured something was up on Tuesday when NBC started placing orders for LOTS of pilot show - the most of any network, for the least amount of time slots available.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Channel 3 News Today's Hollie Strano Embraces Change in the New Year

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Hollie Strano

After being all cozy with her desk in the studio for the past several years...her entire time at Ch.3 thus far...Hollie moves out to the newsroom.

I continue to warn everyone around me...I am NOT good with change.

I come by it honestly though. I like routine. My family is that way too. I can remember stressing at the beginning of each semester at John Carroll. Different teachers, different classes. You can relate, right?

So...the desk change threw me in a bit of a tail spin.

Click on the video to see Hollie's new desk.

From the Wires: ESPN, Discovery Push Third Dimension For TV

NEW YORK -- Two major cable networks -- ESPN and Discovery -- will beam 3-D entertainment into peoples' homes for the first time.

Riding one of the next big waves in consumer electronics, Disney Co.-owned ESPN says it will have a 3-D channel for broadcasting live sports events in time for the FIFA World Cup soccer match on June 11.

The channel will not operate 24 hours a day, but plans at least 85 live events in its first year.

Separately, Discovery Communications Inc., which owns Discovery, TLC and other cable channels, says it will partner with Imax Corp. and Sony Corp. to bring out its own full-time 3-D network. The companies did not say which shows it will air on the new channel, but it plans a launch in 2011.

Source: The Associated Press

Saturday, January 02, 2010

From the Wires: Fox, Time Warner Reach Deal For TV Broadcasts

LOS ANGELES -- Fox network and Time Warner Cable say a deal has been reached to continue carrying television broadcasts.

The Fox Networks Group and Time Warner Cable announced today that they have agreed in principle to a comprehensive distribution agreement to provide more than 13 million households with programming from Fox Television Stations, Fox Broadcasting (FOX), Fox Cable Networks and Fox's Regional Sports Networks.

The deal also includes carriage agreements for Bright House Networks' 2 million additional subscribers.
Source: The Associated Press