Television: February 2011 Archives

There will be no shortage of coverage of the big winter storm that's moving over the southern Lower Peninsula on area radio and television stations. From the weather forecasters to technicians, camera operators, anchors, reporters, and radio program hosts, few outside of essential public service jobs (like snowplow drivers!) will have tougher assignments the next few days. Many will go without sleep, and those working the early shifts tomorrow with likely either try and sleep at their station or hope to grab a room at hotel close enough to minimize the commute.

Viewers and listeners at home will be treated to extensive coverage of the event, which some analysts are saying could result in one of the all-time top storms across the region in terms of snowfall totals and impact on travel and commerce. Several television stations from Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint/Saginaw, and Lansing have already announced to viewers that their morning newscasts will begin as early as 4 a.m. with the latest on the storm itself, school closings (all of em?) and travel conditions.

Radio won't be left out either. Although legacy all-news station WWJ AM 950 in Detroit doesn't plan on adjusting its normal anchor schedule, they will be devoting a lot more resources than normal to provide coverage to this big weather event, providing around the clock information on what's going on with the storm including school and business closings and traffic updates. It's not clear yet if Detroit's WJR AM 760 plans on changing its normal daytime schedule that normally includes talk shows from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to instead focus on storm impacts.

It wasn't all that many years ago that many normally music-focused radio stations would interrupt their normal routines during morning drive in order to provide long lists of school closings. While the Internet and school district initiated robo-calling has helped alleviate some of the demand for the reading of closing lists, it's a pretty safe bet that any radio program that's live and local tomorrow will spend a lot more time than normal on providing community information.

While there will always be those that complain that coverage of these kinds of events is nothing more than hyperbole, the bottom line is having radio and TV being able to react and report on these kinds of regional events is a great opportunity for them to shine and display the kind of professional community involvement that can never be duplicated.

The hard work that will be put in the next couple of days by those working in under-staffed TV news rooms and radio stations is duly noted and appreciated.


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 5, 2011



Chicago Tribune: reports that Bob McBride has died this week at age 83. Chicago old-timers will remember McBride (pictured right), who reportedly died Tuesday, as the WBBM-Ch. 2 weeknight newscaster succeeded by the then-unconventional anchor team of Walter Jacobson and Bill Kurtis back during the CBS-owned outlet's 1973 overhaul under station boss Bob Wussler and news chief Van Gordon Sauter. WBBM probably did McBride no favors by heralding his October 1971 arrival from Detroit's WJBK-TV to compete with WLS-Ch. 7's Fahey Flynn and WMAQ-Ch. 5's Floyd Kalber with a tongue-in-cheek two-page newspaper ad. As described by Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, it touted McBride's "Chicago television debut as something akin to the Second Coming."

"If you watch Fahey or Floyd," the ad said, "you'll miss one of the most important events in WBBM-TV's history. The Chicago television premiere of Bob McBride."

The ad went on to talk about how McBride's hire was "the result of a lengthy search for a news broadcaster who could go up against Fahey and Floyd without getting his brains beat in" and noted "Bob was throlling thousands every night on Detroit television. Since he left, people have been walking around Detroit with their heads down, muttering, the thrill is gone. The thrill is gone"... Bob McBride, WBBM anchor preceded Kurtis and Jacobson in '73 (Thu, 2/3)


WDIVNBC affiliate WDIV-TV's "Local 4 News" is claiming ratings victories for its 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts during the January 2011 Nielsen ratings period in the Detroit television market. The station's morning offering is claiming a second place finish at 6 a.m. behind WJBK-TV "Fox 2 Mornings".

Channel 4's 4 p.m. newscasts in January outpaced the Oprah Winfrey Show (which offered several reruns during January) on WXYZ-TV, Channel 7, posting a 6.2 Household Rating and 14 Household Share versus Oprah's 5.0 / 11.

At 5 p.m., WDIV scored a 7.6 rating / 15 share, followed by WXYZ at 6.8 / 14 and WJBK at 5.8 / 11. Similarly, Channel 4 finished ahead of both Channels 7 and 2 at 6 p.m with its 9.4 / 17. Ch. 7 scored a 7.2 / 13 and Ch. 2 a 5.1 / 9.

WDIV had the most-watched late evening newscast with its 9.7 rating and 17 share at 11 p.m. WJBK was second in late evenings with its 7.8 rating and 12 share at 10 p.m. and 4.6 / 8 at 11 p.m. WXYZ's 11 p.m. newscast had a 7.0 rating and 13 share. Local 4 News at 11 p.m. had the highest ratings of news on any station, in any time period in the Detroit television market during January 2011.

NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno was also #1 in the 11:35 p.m. time period with a 4.9 household rating and an 11 share.



Channel 4 scheduled to show Valentine's Day special

On Thursday, February 10th at 8 p.m., WDIV's Chuck Gaidica is scheduled to host a whole new kind of 'Cuddle Alert' in a primetime Local 4 special, "All 4 Valentine's Day", from inside the sweetest place of all - a local candy factory. Gaidica will take viewers behind the scenes at a popular local florist, present celebrity jewelry fads at affordable prices, and share touching love stories of metro Detroiters.

Other features include finding out which strange bsmells actually attract the opposite sex and romantic secrets from Nate Berkus, host of The Nate Berkus Show.


WXYZThe Detroit Lions and ABC affiliate WXYZ TV Channel 7 will be partnering for 2011 NFL season, featuring year-round programming and marketing initiatives that include the broadcast of preseason games in High Definition, one-hour weekly pregame shows, an NFL draft special in April, and regular interview segments with head coach Jim Schwartz on Mondays and Lions' players on Thursdays.

The Lions had previously been working with CBS/Detroit for a number of years in similar a agreement that included preseason television game coverage and a weekly coach's show.

"We're thrilled to offer Detroit area viewers the opportunity to experience Lions football in new and exciting ways, especially as the team builds upon the momentum of last season," said WXYZ Vice-President and General Manager, Ed Fernandez. "We understand the passion that people have for Lions football and we're pleased to join the Detroit Lions organization in this exciting new programming and marketing partnership."

"It is important to connect with our great fans through a wide variety of mediums," said Lions President Tom Lewand. "Throughout the entire year, our new venture with the WXYZ team creates the right partnership that will provide valuable broadcast platforms and deliver in-depth Lions' content. We look forward to our work ahead with WXYZ."

In addition to the preseason and weekly programming offerings, there will be initiatives that will highlight the history of the Lions and the team's commitment to serve the community through numerous outreach efforts, as well as the team's non-profit charitable foundation, Detroit Lions Charities. There will also be Lions-oriented digital elements on and


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 10, 2011




Syma Chowdhry has been named morning news anchor for First Forecast Mornings, the daily live program on CBS owned-and-operated WWJ Detroit (DMA 11). Chowdhry is anchoring the news segments during the weekday morning program between 5 and 9 a.m., joining First Forecast Mornings meteorologist Lori Pinson and traffic reporter Randy Bhirdo. Chowdhry officially joined WWJ today, Jan. 10. First Forecast Mornings airs from 5 to 7 a.m. on WWJ and from 7 to 9 a.m. on co-owned CW affiliate WKBD. Chowdhry comes to WWJ from the Morning Show and Weekend Edition on regional cable news channel News 12 New Jersey... WWJ adds Syma Chowdhry to morning news (Thu, 2/10)


Metro Detroit: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2011



News/Talk/Sports MediaOnline interviews former WKRK/WCSX host Jeff Deminski

Al Peterson spoke at length with Jeff Deminski on how changes in his personal life have impacted his radio career since leaving WCSX. Check out the interview in the latest NTS MediaOnline Weekly Edition.



Detroit Tigers

All but one contest of the Tigers' 162-game regular-season schedule will be broadcast on television. FSN Detroit on Thursday announced its Tigers broadcast slate, which, combined with nine FOX Saturday baseball broadcasts, will cover nearly the entire schedule. The lone Tigers game not currently scheduled for telecast is a Sept. 17 matchup at Oakland. The 4 p.m. ET start falls within the exclusive Saturday afternoon broadcast window for FOX. That could potentially change if the Tigers are in playoff contention in the season's final month.

FSN Detroit is set to broadcast 152 games this regular season, plus four Spring Training broadcasts. All of them are scheduled to be shown in high definition. The regular-season slate begins with Opening Day, March 31 at Yankee Stadium, a game that will be broadcast locally on FSN Detroit and nationally on ESPN. The broadcast tandem of Mario Impemba and Rod Allen returns this season -- Impemba's 10th, and Allen's ninth. Also returning are the pre- and postgame Tigers Live shows, plus Tigers Weekly, beginning April 15.

FSN Detroit will also broadcast four Spring Training games March 16, 22, 24 and 27. All of them are 1:05 p.m. ET starts except for the March 24 game against the Nationals, which begins at 6:05.

"FOX Sports Detroit continues to deliver innovative and insightful coverage of Tigers baseball, enhancing the viewing experience for our fans," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. "We view our partnership with FSD as an extension of the Tigers organization"... Tigers' television slate includes 161 games (Thu, 2/10)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 11, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

Tim Doty claims he didn't watch Super Bowl XLV. It's tough to know whether WXMI-TV's resident Renaissance man was being serious or facetious, but Doty said he wasn't one of the 111 million viewers who tuned in for the big game. That means he missed everything from Christina Aguilera's muffed national anthem to The Black Eyed Peas' awful halftime show and all the commercials in between -- even his own heralding the station's new show.

"I was watching golf and didn't even see the commercial air," Doty said, somewhat mischievously. "I wasn't watching the Super Bowl."

Come on, really?

"You've seen one game, you've seen them all," he said.

Whether or not Doty was joking, he managed to make his presence felt during the telecast -- at least in West Michigan, where thousands of viewers were treated to a humorous ad that also featured Michele DeSelms and touted their new afternoon show, "The One Seven"... WXMI sports director Tim Doty to get new weekday show, exit sports scene (Fri, 2/11)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 22, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

"Wheel of Fortune" fans may never know if someone won the bonus round, and "Jeopardy" fans have no idea which contestant set the tone on "Teen Jeopardy." WWMT-TV (Channel 3) lost power about 7 p.m. and had trouble getting back on the air. A representative from the newsroom said the station lost power about 7:15 p.m. and station technicians were having a difficult time getting a backup generator to work.

After a blank screen and dead air, the station returned briefly to air the end of "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric," followed by promos for daytime TV show "The Talk" and colon cancer PSAs featuring Couric. The station regained power about 7:45 p.m., just in time for final jeopardy. However, just as contestants were getting ready to answer the question, the station's power went out again. The station regained its power, but still had difficulty with commercials and airing the final minutes of "Jeopardy"... WWMT-TV Channel 3 having technical difficulties tonight (Tue, 2/22)


West Michigan: Newsmakers Feb. 28, 2011



Grand Rapids Press:

DISH Network subscribers who enjoy watching WOOD-TV and WOTV-TV may lose access to the NBC-TV and ABC-TV affiliates. An impasse in contract negotiations between DISH Network and LIN Media, the parent company of WOOD-TV, WOTV-TV and WXSP, led officials for the West Michigan-based television stations to announce broadcasts could end at midnight Friday.

"If we can't reach a negotiation deal by Friday at midnight, WOOD TV and WOTV may no longer be available to DISH subscribers," said Diane Kniowski, general manager of WOOD, WOTV and WXSP, this afternoon.

Money appears to be the main issue. In a statement posted on its website, WOOD-TV said its parent company is seeking "fair compensation"... DISH subscribers in danger of losing WOOD-TV and WOTV on their satellite TV (Mon, 2/28)







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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Television category from February 2011.

Television: January 2011 is the previous archive.

Television: March 2011 is the next archive.

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