Friday, July 30, 2010

From The Wires: Terrence Howard To Join "Law & Order: Los Angeles"

Terrence Howard
BEVERLY HILLS, California -- Terrence Howard is joining the cast of NBC's newest "Law & Order" spinoff.  Howard was born in Cleveland.

Howard will play a deputy district attorney in "Law & Order: Los Angeles," rotating with Alfred Molina, who was previously announced as a prosecutor on the drama.

Series creator Dick Wolf said Friday the combination of Howard and Molina makes him feel like the manager of the 1961 Yankees. Wolf said he now had his "Mantle and Maris," referring to sluggers Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

Also joining the cast of "LOLA," as the "Law & Order" spinoff is nicknamed, is Corey Stoll. He's in the movie "Salt" and guest-starred in the original "Law & Order."

"Law & Order: Los Angeles" debuts September 29th on WKYC, Channel 3.
Source: The Associated Press

Behind the Scenes: NBC To Air Live Episode Of Tina Fey's "30 Rock"

BEVERLY HILLS, California -- NBC says "30 Rock" is going live this fall.

The network said Friday a live episode of the comedy will air Oct. 14 and will be performed twice so that both East and West Coast viewers get to see it that way.

NBC executives told the Television Critics Association that "30 Rock" executive producers Tina Fey and Loren Michaels were approached about a live episode and were up for the challenge. Fey, the show's star and creator, is familiar with live TV from her "Saturday Night Live" days. Michaels created and produces the show.

NBC has aired other live episodes, but this will be the first for the Emmy-winning "30 Rock," which is produced in New York.

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Director's Cut Alert: Jennifer Lindgren Joins WKYC

Jennifer Lindgren
Jennifer Lindgren is joining the Channel 3 News team announced WKYC News Director Rita Andolsen on Tuesdsay. Rita tells us Jennifer will be working as a Multimedia Journalist with Channel 3 and has plenty of experience already.

Multimedia Journalists are the growing trend in television broadcasting where a reporter shoots, writes and edits their own work across a growing number of on-line and on-air platforms

"I’m one of a growing group of reporters who actually loves to shoot and edit my own stories," she tells the Director's Cut Blog exclusively. "It’s been a regular part of my job for five years now. I enjoy the challenge of photography!"

Jennifer joins Amanda Barren who was recently hired by Channel 3 News as a Multimedia Journalist in June.

She comes to WKYC from our Gannett sister station duopoly in Jacksonville, WLTV/Channel 12 & WJXX/Channel 25 - better known as First Coast News, where she has been a reporter since August 2008. Jennifer reports for their 11 p.m. broadcast and is a fill-in anchor for "Good Morning Jacksonville" on the weekends

Before that, she worked in South Carolina where she spent two years reporting for another of our Gannett stations, WLTX-TV, whose General Manager, Rich O'Dell is a former WKYC alumnist.

In 2008, Jennifer received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for writing. In the past couple of years, the South Carolina Associated Press has recognized her work for general assignment reporting, as well as the Florida Society of Professional Journalists for feature reporting.

Jennifer's also tells us her first professional job was reporting for KXII-TV in Sherman, Texas. She says she has lived in many places, but calls Savannah home. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in business.

She also explains that her favorite part of the job is meeting new people and learning about what matters to them, and she's traveled all over the country to do so. When she's not busy shooting, writing, editing and reporting stories, Jennifer enjoys painting, traveling, exercising, and cooking.

"I’m very excited," she tells us. "My trip to WKYC was not only my first time to Cleveland but to Ohio. Everyone I met at Channel 3 welcomed me and I could see myself as a part of the team. I’m looking forward to contributing in any way possible. Coming from Florida, I bet one of the biggest challenges I’ll face will be learning how to drive in the snow!"

Viewers should begin seeing Jennifer and her work on the air for WKYC starting August 16th.

Monday, July 26, 2010

From The Wires: NBC affirms Carell's "The Office" Exit Next Season

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

LOS ANGELES -- NBC might wish Steve Carell was just joking, but a network executive says "The Office" star has consistently told NBC he's leaving after this season.

In the network's first acknowledgment of Carell's plans, NBC prime-time entertainment president Angela Bromstad said the actor's seven-year run as boss Michael Scott will end when his contract expires in 2011.

Bromstad says it's not unusual for a "major movie star" to leave a series, and added that "The Office" is strong enough to weather the change.

Carell first mentioned the possibility of leaving the sitcom in an April radio interview. Bromstad said the door was open for Carell's occasional return appearances as Michael. His new film is this week's "Dinner for Schmucks."

Source: The Associated Press

Behind the Scenes: "Today" Hosts A Happy Hour

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Olivia Barker, USA Today

NEW YORK - Amid the whir of hair dryers huddle a half-dozen women chatting about Lindsay Lohan and Jersey Shore. Cases of makeup litter a counter, behind which sits Kathie Lee Gifford, wearing a Flashdance-friendly gray tunic and a crown of rollers, and Hoda Kotb, clad in black and fuchsia workout gear and expertly applied mascara.

No matter that it's 8:35 a.m. on a Wednesday. "It's Winesday," Gifford reminds the ladies. One, a Today show producer, produces a tiny foam flip-flop that hugs the foot of a wine glass and lets an imbiber know whose stem is theirs amid a glut of goblets. Gifford studies the spongy pink-and-purple Chardonnay cozy, considering whether she and Kotb should discuss it during their on-air chat. "How truly elegant," she deadpans. "I never put mine down - that's the thing." Kotb's assessment is slightly more generous: "Oh, that is cute."

Yes, the Gifford-and-Kotb pajama party starts well before 10 a.m., when their goofy, cultishly popular corner of Today commences one floor down from here in 10 Rockefeller Plaza. Gifford, 56, the Carnival Cruise pitchwoman turned Regis Philbin sidekick, and Kotb, 45, the Emmy-nominated Dateline correspondent, are the odd couple of talk TV - though more Laverne and Shirley than Felix and Oscar, Gifford says. (Naturally, she's brassy Laverne; Kotb is square Shirley.)

"We enjoy each other - so far," Gifford says. "I mean, today could be the end of it."

Indeed, it's against a lot of odds that this odd couple is celebrating their 600th episode today. The matchup was a risk, concedes Today executive producer Jim Bell. "But there's no question that that show and their relationship has tapped into something" - and not just a wine cask. (The full wine glass is one of their stock desk props).

This season, the Gifford- and Kotb-hosted fourth hour is averaging 2 million daily viewers, up 4 percent over last season. Among grown-up pajama partiers - women ages 25 to 54 - the audience has grown 13 percent.
"I thought that I would last a year," Gifford says. "Now that we've made something out of this, I feel a responsibility to the viewers who look forward to a cup of coffee with us - or glass of wine. We don't judge."
There are the spoofs shot across the plaza on Saturday Night Live. There are the 3.5 million monthly average video streams on There are the dynamic daytime duo's 141,000-plus Facebook fans and more than 39,000 combined Twitter followers.

And there's the fact that if Gifford has long been well-known by her first two names (and monogram), Kotb is catching up to the first-name-only celebrity clique - even though it's often "Hoda-woman!" Gifford's nickname for her, that truck drivers holler. Or "Hilda!"

"That's OK," Kotb says. "As long as it's close." (Not as appreciated: "You - with Kathie Lee! You!") Her leap from sober newswoman to Bad Romance-bopping Hoda-woman has been "a game-changer," she says. "Who would have thought?" Out this October is a memoir: Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and - she lowers her voice to a conspiratorial whisper - Kathie Lee.

"Part of the culture"

Media experts aren't surprised that Bell's "interesting experiment," as he calls it, has worked. "They have certainly made the show distinctive, and, ultimately, that's where success comes from: When something stands out and becomes more than just a show, it becomes part of the culture," says analyst Bill Carroll of ad buyer Katz Television Group.

The pair's complementary chemistry is key. Kotb is "a much calmer influence, and I think that balances the show," Carroll says. "It allows Kathie Lee to be, some might say, outrageous, and Hoda can be sort of the leveling (presence)." Others, like the 512 members of the "I Hate Kathy (sic) Lee Gifford" Facebook group, might describe her behavior as annoying.

Nowhere is the she said-she said, give-and-take "ping-pong thing," as Gifford puts it, more evident than in their repartee. Gifford is "funny and goes outside the box when she says things. She kind of pushes the envelope," says Teresa Lobosco, 43, of Las Vegas, one of dozens participating in today's round of the show's "Who Knew?" quiz segment. "She picks a little too much on Hoda, but it's all in jest."
Like the Valentine's Day during which Gifford mentioned to her co-host, "Hey, this is the day you met your husband and got divorced." Or how Gifford wanted to name her goldendoodle Hoda.

Kotb: "I took umbrage."
Gifford: "But (the puppy) has glorious long legs and feet!" - like Kotb. Gifford nonetheless finally settled for Lola.
"I'm lucky I'm confident enough not to get a complex" about the jousting, Kotb says.
"We have a great affection and respect for each other," Gifford insists. "Otherwise, the teasing comes off as mean-spirited. We really love each other as friends."

"It's true," chimes in Kotb, who, every Wednesday, lunches with Gifford and catches a Broadway matinee with her. She also has been a guest at Gifford's Nantucket house.

Still, "the alcohol helps," Kotb says. (Incidentally, the midmorning booze-fest began when Chelsea Handler showed up to promote her 2008 book Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, and "being good hostesses, we had some cocktails for her," Gifford says. The good hostess shtick continues today, as the pair continually offer a visitor a comfy chair and, once, a glass of, yep, wine.)

Gifford officially joined Today on April 7, 2008. Bell courted her after she appeared as a guest the previous November, "plugging something," he says. "I just remember thinking: 'Wow, it's sort of like seeing an athlete and, wait a minute, why isn't she still playing?' "

Back then, the fourth hour, which launched in September 2007 with Kotb, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales, "had no personality," Gifford says. She remembers watching a segment about which white shirt would hold up best in the wash. "I didn't make it to the fifth shirt."

Nowadays, forget something as mundane as a shirt. They've gone bra- - and makeup- - free. They've digitally added 100 pounds to their bodies. They've suited up as sumo wrestlers. "What is more humiliating?" asks Kotb, her face twisting in fright. "That was the bottom" - literally. Earlier this month, she bowed out of a booger-flavored ice-cream tasting. Gifford, however, was reluctantly game before declaring brightly, "I like the booger." ("You have to be willing to be a fool," Gifford explains.)

Things have gotten looser

Things have changed since Gifford bid adieu to daytime TV a decade ago, after 15 years as Philbin's protegee in playful patter. "Nothing's off-limits now," she says.

Back in the day, when Philbin and Gifford had on a guest connected to The Vagina Monologues, "Regis could not say the word" - the V-word.

Now, "it's really hard to rein in (the bawdy banter) because it's everywhere else," Kotb says.

Does Bell ever cringe while watching? "Frequently," he says. "You never know what you're going to get, but that is part of the deal. And you just have to hold on."

This morning the topics zip from cavity searches (Lohan's) to Brazilian bikini waxes to bikini trimmers. Regarding the last subject, "it's definitely a hairy situation," says guest beauty expert Rebekah George.
Gifford and Kotb - and the entire crew - groan loudly.

"Four-bladed (razor)?" Gifford says while Kotb doubles over in grimacing laughter. "What have you got going on down there? How about a lawn mower?!"
"Moving along," George says, ushering the hosts toward a group of bronzers.
"You don't want (the chatter) to be vulgar and disgusting," Gifford says later.
"That," ribs Kotb, referring to the razor riposte, "was vulgar."
After the segment - and the hour - is up, Gifford and Kotb get girlie over the products, picking up bottles and testing out potions.

No matter that they're wearing sleeveless sheaths and stilettos: The pajama party continues.

As "Who Knew?" contestant Courtney Gilpin, 44, of Boston says, explaining his relative lack of interest in the fourth hour, "We're guys." He gestures to his son Nick, 11. "It's more of a ladies' show."

Editor's Note: The 4th hour of today airs locally on WKYC from 11 am until Noon.

Promo: Pet Care Problems - Tuesday at 11pm on Channel 3 News

"The Investigator" Tom Meyer reports on allegations that the board responsible for disciplining mistake-prone veterinarians looks the other way when animal owners complain about the care their pets receive.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And Then There Was One As WKYC Brings Down Old Tower

By Frank Macek

As we mentioned several weeks ago here on the blog, WKYC had just lowered the old Channel 3 analog antenna and was in the process of rigging up the old Channel 3 tower to bring it to the ground.

The old tower was no longer needed after we put up a new stick last year to faciliate our switch from digital Channel 2 to digital channel 17. This change was necessary because of the difficult time viewers had in receiving our over the air signal at the lower channel assignment.

Many of you also know that WVIZ's digital antenna is now on our new tower, just above WKYC's antenna at the top.

WKYC Transmitter Engineer Dave Kushman tells us the old tower is finally down and passersby will notice only a single stick up in the air at our Parma site. This officially ends a long era in our television station's history and the history of the old WKYC/KYW radio at 1100 AM which was also part of the same tower when the stations were under the same ownership by NBC.

Only the base of the tower remains
The only part of the structure that remains is the base that is pictured to the right.

We had a chance to talk to Dave at the WKYC Digital Broadcaster Center this week about how engineers bring down a tower. It's pretty much the same way one goes up, Dave tells us. The process is a slow and deliberate one that puts safety first.

Dave says a gin crane is sent up the outside of the tower on a rail mounted to the side of the tower itself.  Once at the top, very daring engineers who climb the tower by hand will unbolt the upper piece, swing it to the outside of the tower and lower it to the ground.

This lowering process takes a long time since engineers must ensure the wind doesn't catch the section and send it spinning out of control and smashing into the side of the tower which could cause damage or weaken the integrity of the structure.

Dave tells us that the reverse process was used to build the new tower last year.

Once gain, Dave has been gracious enough to post a couple of pictures on his blog that you will find by scrolling to the end of the page at the following link:

Monday, July 19, 2010

NBC Announces Premiere Dates for Fall 2010-11 Primetime Schedule

NBC has announced the premiere dates of its new Fall 2010-11 primetime schedule. Beginning the week of September 20, the premiere week schedule features the debuts of the network's highly anticipated new series - including "The Event," "Chase," "Undercovers," "Law & Order: Los Angeles," "Outsourced," "Outlaw" and "School Pride."

This schedule will be adjusted to accommodate specials and holiday programming.

In addition, NBC again launches the NFL season with NFL Kickoff on Thursday, September 9 at 8 p.m. ET when the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints host the Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of last year's NFC Championship Game. "Sunday Night Football" and "Football Night in America" officially debut on Sunday, September 12 when the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys in one of sports' most storied rivalries.

Following are the premiere dates for NBC's Fall 2010 primetime schedule (all times ET):

Monday, September 20
8-9 p.m. CHUCK
9-10 p.m. THE EVENT
10-11 p.m. CHASE

Tuesday, September 21
10-11 p.m. PARENTHOOD

Wednesday, September 22

Thursday, September 23
8-8:30 p.m. COMMUNITY
8:30-9 p.m. 30 ROCK
9-9:30 p.m. THE OFFICE
9:30-10 p.m. OUTSOURCED

Friday, September 24
9-10 p.m. DATELINE
10-11 p.m. OUTLAW

Saturday, September 25
8-9 p.m. LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES (Repeat)
9-10 p.m. CHASE (Repeat)
10-11 p.m. LAW & ORDER: SVU (Repeat)

Thursday, September 9
8-11:30 p.m. NFL KICKOFF - Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints

Sunday, September 12 (regular day and time)
8:15-11:30 p.m. SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL - Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins

Friday, July 16, 2010

Director's Cut Alert: Gannett Teaming Up With Yahoo! For Local Advertising Partnership

Gannett (parent of WKYC) and Yahoo! today announced a local advertising partnership that brings together Gannett’s strong local media organization brands, sales capabilities, and leading website audiences with Yahoo!’s high quality audience and display advertising leadership.

All of Gannett’s 81 local publishing organizations and seven of its Broadcasting Division sites will sell Yahoo! advertising inventory as part of Gannett’s local advertising solutions. As a result, local advertisers will benefit from expanded digital reach and audience targeting capabilities based on geography, user demographics, interests, and more against that expanded audience. In addition, Gannett will be leveraging the targeting and ad ordering capabilities of the APT from Yahoo! platform for local sales.

This partnership will extend Gannett’s local media organization reach to cover as much as 80% of the total digital audience in each market.

“This partnership builds on the strength of Gannett’s growing digital business and powerful local brands,” says Gracia Martore, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Gannett. “Working with Yahoo! will allow us to offer targeted advertising messages with unmatched local audience reach.”

As part of the agreement, Gannett may also provide select local content for programming across Yahoo! properties in the U.S., including the Yahoo! homepage. A phased rollout will begin this quarter and will continue into 2011.

“Local advertising continues to be an important area of focus for us, and Yahoo! is committed to helping local businesses reach high quality target audiences,” said Hilary Schneider, executive vice president, Yahoo! Americas. “This partnership significantly expands our local offering and gives advertisers the technology and scale they need to reach online consumers.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Former WKYC East 6th Studios Get New Tenant, Finally

The Old Channel 3 Studios at E. 6th & Rockwell Avenue
By Frank Macek

The Director's Cut Blog has learned Tuesday evening our former studios at E. 6th and Rockwell will have some new life.

Our partners at are reporting that the Cleveland Law Firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP has signed a 20 year lease on the property.

They will move in next year once construction is completed on the interior of the building which has sat empty since WKYC-TV left in January 2001.

The firm will move 300 employees into the building and take up all 115,000 square feet and 7 stories. The law firm currently leases space in KeyBank Center at 800 Superior Avenue.

Before WKYC moved into the building, the site was home to the East Ohio Gas Co.
Good luck to the new tenants as our old home, with many tv memories, finally will have new life.

WKYC will celebrate its 10th anniversary in our "new" building at E. 13th and Lakeside Avenue in January 2011. Today, we are home to WKYC Channel 3, Sportstime Ohio and WPVX, Channel 23.

To read more on the move, click for the article.
Photo Courtesy:

Program Note: WKYC Airs Lake Erie Special Saturday at 7 PM

As part of our on-going project to bring attention to the plight of Lake Erie, WKYC-DT presents the sixth in a series of important specials called "Lake Erie: Beyond the Surface" this Saturday, July 17th at 7 p.m. on Channel 3.

The disaster in the Gulf has spurred an intense passion to save our precioius waters and restore our Great Lakes with the greatest recovery effort ever launched.

Channel 3 News Today anchor Mark Nolan takes a look at what is being done to help Lake Erie remain an important economical engine for northeast Ohio and how far the project will go to save our waters from threats from within and beyond.

Join us this Saturday evening beginning at 7 p.m. "Lake Erie: Beyond the Surface."

From the Wires: Court Tosses US Fleeting Expletives Policy On Broadcasters

Special to the Director's Cut Blog
By Larry Neumeister, AP Writer

NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court has tossed out a Federal Communications Commission policy that can lead to broadcasters being fined for allowing even a single curse word on live television.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Tuesday found the policy to be unconstitutionally vague. It says the policy violates the First Amendment.

In 2004, the FCC adopted a policy that profanity referring to sex or excrement is always indecent.

The court says the policy "chills speech, because broadcasters have no way of knowing what the FCC will find offensive."

The policy was put in place after a January 2003 NBC broadcast of the Golden Globes awards show, in which U2 lead singer Bono used the F-word.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Channel 3 Sails Aboard The Flagship Niagara

Betsy Kling & videographer Barry Wolf aboard Niagara
CLEVELAND -- The Tall Ships made a return to Cleveland Harbor on Wednesday. This is the first time they have been back since 2006.

Before they sailed into port this afternoon for the "Parade of Sail," Meteorologist Betsy Kling (pictured left) and videographers Barry Wolf (pictured right) and Steve Pullen boarded the flagship, Niagara, in Erie and sailed into Cleveland all night aboard the ship.

It's an interesting tale that Betsy has blogged about our website,, and posted a ton of pictures about the experience.

Click to view the story and photos

Promo: "The Investigator" Tom Meyer - AP Honored Reporter

Channel 3 News' Tom Meyer was recently recognized by the Associated Press for the Best Investigative Reporting in Ohio as we reported earlier in June (click to read)

Click on the video to see why:

From the Wires: Broadcast Viewership Hits Record Low

NEW YORK -- The biggest television networks have a new
record they'd probably like to forget.

Together CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox had the smallest number of viewers in prime-time last week in two decades of record-keeping by the Nielsen Co. You'd probably have to go back to the early days of television to find such small numbers for the big broadcast networks.

The first week of July tends to be among the slowest weeks of the year in television anyway, with families more engaged in barbecues and fireworks. The problem was magnified because July Fourth came on a Sunday, taking more people away from TV on what is typically a big night for viewing.

It was a good week for the Spanish-language network Univision, fueled by their popular telenovelas.

Source: The Associated Press

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

From the Wires: Leno's "Tonight Show" To Host Joe Biden

BURBANK, California -- Vice President Joe Biden is headed to Jay Leno's stage.

The Friday appearance will be Biden's first stop on NBC's "The Tonight Show" since he took office in January 2009. He was a guest in 2007, and stopped in after he accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination in 2008.

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and White House senior adviser David Axelrod also have made appearances on the late-night show.

Biden's visit could signal that he doesn't hold grudges.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Leno joked that Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was going off script and making embarrassing statements so often that "her Secret Service code name is now Joe Biden."

The "Tonight Show" airs on Channel 3 weeknights at 11:35 p.m. following Channel 3 News at 11 p.m. with Romona Robinson.

Source: The Associated Press

WKYC To Air Tall Ships Festival Special Wednesday, July 7th

The Tall Ships are back in Cleveland on Wednesday, July 7th and Channel 3 will bring you all the action with a live webcast of the "Parade Of Sail" on from 4 until 6 p.m.

Just log on to our homepage to watch the majestic ships sail into Cleveland.

The ships will be sailing around the breakwall and you can watch it all live from your desktop if you can't make it downtown in person.

Then at 7 p.m., news anchors Monica Robins and Eric Mansfield will be live at the Port of Cleveland to bring you a special edition of Channel 3 News at 7 p.m. to get you ready to visit the ships which open to the public on Thursday.

The special will be produced by Dan Stadler and directed by Frank Macek.