Friday, December 24, 2010

KNBC Reporter Attacked at Polo Lounge (

Robert Kovacik is a top reporter at KNBC. Here is an account of what happened as posted on

Media melee at the Polo Lounge
2:15 PM Friday December 24

KNBC reporter Robert Kovacik was attacked last night at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel by a drunk man who had been bothering Lisa Vanderpump, the star of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Vanderpump and her husband, Kenneth Todd, were sharing a booth with Kovacik when the drunk came up and continued pestering her. After Kovacik told the man to get lost, the reporter and Todd were apparently attacked. Kovacik required medical treatment and is asking that charges be pressed against the assailant. From TMZ:

We've learned Robert spent the morning at the office of Dr. Paul Nassif -- a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and husband of Lisa's co-star Adrienne Maloof. It appears the drunken assailant was wearing a heavy ring, because Kovaciks lip was not only split open, the gash went into the muscle tissue. Kovacik received 5 deep sutures and 2 dozen stitches.

Vanderpump tweeted just now: "Last night at the Polo Lounge my friend, Robert Kovacik was viciously attacked by an aggressive drunk...I am shocked and upset, merry Xmas." KTLA reporter Wendy Burch was there too and posted to Facebook:

My dear friend Robert Kovacik was attacked last night defending @LisaVanderpump. My 6'5" boyfriend was there to "man-handle" the drunk guy who cold-cocked Robert until security arrived. Oh Vey! Not a very merry Christmas Eve Eve

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My New OC Register Radio Column Online Now

The top stories of 2010 and what's happening on the local scene....

Is It Just Me? (an occasional commentary column)

Is it just me....

This is the first in an occasional column offering some commentary on TV, local and nationally. Agree or disagree, or have another thought, email me at

LATE NIGHT: Maybe just coincidence, but twice I have seen on local TV news clips of Conan trailing Jay or Jimmy on some comedy material. The Charlie Sheen-Mermaid line was on Leno the night before, and other writers point out the Rudolph-Sarah Palin comments were on Kimmel two weeks ago. Maybe a coincidence?

LOCAL NEWS THOUGHTS & STORM COVERAGE: Who did best on the local scene?

KABC/7 Eyewitness News with Phillip Palmer and Leslie Sykes was the front-runner with the Laguna Beach flooding story from the start on its (on early) 4 a.m. newscast Wednesday. Also kudos to Indra Petersons, who is always chock full of weather information and knows how to communicate it quickly and compellingly. And is it just me that sometimes - coincidence probably - the top-billed weather people Garth Kemp and Dallas Raines are away during the biggest weather story of the year.

Channel 2 - good to see Rich Fields on the weather beat. Kent Shocknek is a re-assuring presence given his years in local TV. Happy to see Dave Lopez still on the OC beat after all these years.

Channel 5 - good local coverage, Henry DiCarlo is doing excellent work on weather (and sometimes traffic) and, OK, I love seeing anchors who bring their pets to work. Thanks, Wendy Burch and Sophia.

Channel 11 - I know New York dictated the style changes for local Fox news shows across the country, but it doesn't really work here and I hope Carlos Amezcua and Christine Devine and the news team can drop the current format and return to what worked in the past.

Oh, and Channel 11 in the morning - I love GDLA - Steve, Jillian, Dorothy,etc. - but I really do miss the camera people who vanished in the layoffs months ago. A lively crew adds just that extra spark to a morning show. BTW, GDLA WILL HAVE ON my friend, psychic Char, in the 9 a.m. hour on Monday, Jan. 3.

Channel 4 - Great to see Kathy Vara back on the air in the morning. And I enjoy watching Carl Bell, whether weekend weather or reporting from the field on the storms.

So who do you think does the best local TV news in the morning?

Post on Facebook or email at

Question for the week ahead: what's missing on local TV that you would like to see?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CBS Mid-Season Changes Announced (Vulture,

Says our good friend Joe Adalian at "The most interesting move? New half-hour comedy 'Mad Love'-- starring the awesome Judy Greer and Sarah Chalke, along with Jason Biggs-- is getting the plum 8:30 p.m. Monday timeslot behind 'How I Met Your Mother,' starting Feb. 21. Rules of Engagement will shift to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays on Feb. 24, mercifully ending the shortened first season run of '@#*! My Dad Says.' Meanwhile, CBS has pretty much given up on 'The Defenders': The Jim Belushi legal dramedy will give up its 10 p.m. Wednesday slot and move to the death zone known as 8 p.m. Fridays on Feb. 4, replacing the canceled 'Medium.' Then, on April 1, CBS will take 'The Defenders' off the air altogether and fill its Friday timeslot with the new CIA drama 'Chaos.' "

Tom Selleck's "Blue Bloods" will get an upgrade to Wednesday nights at 10 p.m.

Now, from CBS, here's its mid-season lineup:

Wednesdays, Effective Jan. 19

8:00-9:00 PM LIVE TO DANCE


10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS (ntp)

Fridays, Effective Feb. 4

8:00-9:00 PM THE DEFENDERS (ntp)

9:00-10:00 PM CSI: NY

Fridays, Effective Feb. 11


9:00-10:00 PM CSI: NY

10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS

Wednesday, Effective Feb. 16




Monday, Effective Feb. 21


8:30-9:00 PM MAD LOVE (Series Debut)


9:30-10:00 PM MIKE & MOLLY

10:00-11:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0

Thursday, Effective Feb. 24


8:30-9:00 PM RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (ntp)

9:00-10:00 PM CSI

10:00-11:00 PM THE MENTALIST

Friday, Effective April 1

8:00-9:00 PM CHAOS (Series Debut)

9:00-10:00 PM CSI: NY

10:00-11:00 PM BLUE BLOODS

MeTV - another Retro TV Channel introduced

MORE RETRO TV: Another service to offer favorite TV shows of the past - MeTV - Dobie Gillis, Gomer Pyle, Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, Rawhide, The Big Valley, Dick Van Dyke Show, bob Newhart Show, Mary Tyler Moore - call your cable provider.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Barney Miller Series Star Steve Landesberg Dies


LOS ANGELES – Steve Landesberg may have been best known for his role as the intellectual and sometimes annoying Detective Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the long-running 1970s cop comedy "Barney Miller."

But younger audiences knew him too — for a slew of recent parts such as the doctor on the 2008 hit movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

The veteran actor died Monday at age 65, his agent, Jeffrey Leavitt, told The Associated Press. The cause of death wasn't released.

Landesberg appeared in dozens of TV shows, his curly haired, bespectacled face easily recognizable. Recent credits included "Everybody Hates Chris," "Just Jordan," "That 70s Show" and "American Dad."

"He was a wonderful comic and superb actor who gave so much of himself in every performance," said Shirley Jones, who appeared opposite Landesberg in what was one of his final appearances, an episode of "The Cleaner" last year.

His most successful role was that of Dietrich on "Barney Miller, which was set in a New York City police station populated by oddballs and eccentrics. It aired from 1975 to 1982.

Landesberg's Dietrich was noted for his endless knowledge and expertise on seemingly every obscure subject imaginable, which was coupled with a sometimes patronizing attitude. He once refused to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to a fellow officer, explaining he was an agnostic and wouldn't know who to thank.

In "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," he listened patiently as Marshall's former boyfriend described a sexual tryst, then revealed he was really a pediatrician.

Landesberg also played a doctor in the TV series "Head Case," which aired from 2007 to 2009.

Other TV credits included "The Rockford Files," "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," "Cosby," "Law and Order" and "The Golden Girls."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

KTLA/5 Adds More Retro TV with Antenna TV on 5.2 Starting Jan. 3

Tribune launching Antenna TV to supply digital subchannel programming for local TV stations, beginning Jan. 3. The new service will deliver a round-the-clock slate of vintage TV series reruns and movies from Sony and DLT Entertainment to a secondary digital channel of KTLA/5 - it will be on 5.2 THIS TV, also showing retro TV and movies, relocates to 5.3.

Antenna TV offerings will include "Three's Company," "Good Times," "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "Benny Hill," "Maude," "The Nanny,""Too Close for Comfort," "The Monkees," "Married with Children," "NewsRadio," "Dennis the Menace," "The Donna Reed Show" and Three Stooges shorts.

Previews are running this weekend (Dec. 18-19) Father Knows Best, Burns & Allen, etc. The next preview weekend is Sun., Dec. 26 - 1 to 5 pm with Rin Tin Tin, Wild Bill Hickok, and the rarely seen Iron Horse with Dale Robertson.

More info: go to and click on Antenna TV at the top of the home page

Los Angeles Magazine Covers Online (

Anyone who loves entertainment history will appreciate this item from

50+ years of Los Angeles Magazine covers now online
4:37 PM Thursday December 16 This is cool. The magazine has been celebrating its 50-year anniversary and has now put up an image of 600+ issues, back to its origins under various names in 1958. It's amazing how many years in a row featured a celebrity woman on every cover, most of them actresses. I liked this one from November, 1963, when the topic of the time was the future of Downtown — before Bunker Hill was finally scraped clean of Angeleno life and the office towers were erected, creating a separate second Downtown. The cover asks: "Is downtown worth saving?" Also prescient: "the coming crisis in local TV." Click the cover to see it bigger. Cover archive
History | Magazines
Share and print

Thursday, December 16, 2010

KFWB Adds McCormick, Les Brown In Jan 3 Line-Up Changes


KFWB/980 AM announced Thursday it is adding consumer expert Bob McCormick and life coach Les Brown to the line-up Jan. 3 as part of changes following the departure of Laura Schlessinger to Sirius Radio.
McCormick will be on 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays with “Money 101” featuring content from The Wall Street Journal. His current “Money 101” segments will continue to air on sister station KNX/1070 AM.
Dave Ramsey will host “Total Money Makeover” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. KFWB cited increased ratings since Ramsey started on 980 AM in September, 2009, adding that Ramsey’s earlier sold-out appearance at an event in Los Angeles has prompted another appearance, March 24 at the Alex Theatre.
Brown will be on from 2 to 4 p.m. weekdays. The station announcement said, “Brown has risen to national prominence by delivering a high-energy, positive and empowering message which advises people how to shake off mediocrity and live up to their greatness.’’
Penny Griego and Phil Hulett will continue to anchor news from 6 to 9 a.m.; Maggie McKay and Michael Shappee will anchor the afternoon news from 4 to 7 p.m.
No changes were announced in weeknight programming. Steve Carver, senior vice president and market manager for CBS radio stations in Los Angeles, said,
“Airing Dave Ramsey’s program entirely live will give Southern Californians a much bigger opportunity to call into the show. And like Dave, Bob McCormick and Les Brown are all about helping people live better lives with information many people are seeking out in today’s challenging times.”


Yule Log to be Available in 3-D This Year

Traditional Holiday 'Yule Log' Telecast Gets an Upgrade UPI

A big change is in store this year for the annual holiday telecast of the “Yule Log.” For the first time since it began its annual broadcast in 1966, the "Yule Log" will be available in 3D, reports

The traditional holiday programming will be carried on Comcast, Cox Communications, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems.

In a statement about the new 3D version of the "Yule Log," the producers said, "Cable raised the bar a few years ago with the first high-definition crackling fire. Now this year for the first time, many systems are also showing the 'Yule Log' in 3D, in addition to high definition and standard definition."

For viewers to see the 3D "Yule Log," they will need a 3D TV with compatible 3D glasses and an HD set-top box connected according to their system's specs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jeopardy To Pit Players Against Machine

Match On: 'Jeopardy' to Pit Two of its Most Successful Players -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter -- Against a Machine NY Times' Media Decoder blog

"Jeopardy" will match-up human wits against artificial intelligence when it pairs the show's two most successful players ever, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, against "Watson," the IBM supercomputer that uses artificial intelligence to understand human language, reports the New York Times' Media Decoder blog.

Jennings and Rutter will play against Watson in three episodes that will be broadcast Feb. 14, 15 and 16th, the story says. If the computer beats the human champs, it will be a huge leap for artificial intelligence -- and a boon to charity, since IBM plans to donate the $1 million pot to charity.

The story notes that if one of the humans wins, only half the money will be donated. The computer is coming to the match prepared: it passed the test that people must master to get on the show, and it's also been sparring with former contestants for practice. IBM plans to place some of the highlights from those sparring matches on its Website, the story notes.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life on TV Sat Night

A family film favorite, It's a Wonderful Life airs at 8 p.m. Saturday on NBC4.

To read more about the movie:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

OC Register Radio: Ashley, Laura, Stern, Buhler....and more

My new OC Register radio column is online now

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mark Kriski Back In Hospital (

Mark Kriski back in hospital
11:15 PM Tuesday December 7

KTLA's Mark Kriski has been off the air for some time for treatment of what the station calls viral pneumonia. He went home from the hospital for Thanksgiving, after 3½ weeks, but tonight his girlfriend and colleague Jennifer Gould posted on Twitter that Kriski has been forced back into the hospital.

@jennifergould setback4 @markkriski. back in hospital w infection re pneumonia/fluid buildup. WILL B OK...but again will need more time to heal...

Kriski had apparently been hoping to get back to work in a couple of weeks, but with the setback it isn't likely now until after the first of the year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

KMET News Report on Lennon To Be Part of KSWD 100.3 FM

KSWD/100.3 FM - The Sound - will devote most of its Wednesday (Dec. 8) programming to music and memories of John Lennon, who was fatally shot on Dec. 8, 1980. According to the station , it will "be playing John's songs - both solo and with the Beatles - and sharing other memories, too. We'll replay the shocking announcement of his death as it was heard on LA's legendary KMET-FM."
The station website also tells visitors how to change their Facebook profile picture to a commemorative 30th anniversary portrait of the late entertainer.

TV Academy Hall Of Fame Names New Inductees: Cloris Leachman, Diahann Carroll, Peter Jennings, Bill Todman

From the Highly Recommended Nikki Finke site

 Cloris Leachman, Diahann Carroll, Peter Jennings And Tom Freston Inducted Into TV Academy's Hall of Fame

Nellie Andreeva
North Hollywood, CA – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Committee has selected two iconic actresses, a ground-breaking comedy writer, an innovative cable executive, a trail-blazing TV game show producer, a universally respected journalist and television’s most beloved composer as the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame, announced Television Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner.
Actresses Diahann Carroll and Cloris Leachman, cable executive Tom Freston, composer Earle Hagen, writer and producer Susan Harris, broadcast journalist Peter Jennings, and game show producer Bill Todman will be honored in the 20th Annual Hall of Fame Induction ceremony held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on January 20th. The event will be produced by Lee Miller. Earle Hagen, Peter Jennings, and Bill Todman will be inducted posthumously.

Monday, December 6, 2010


One of the Big Reasons 'Monday Night Football' Became Not Only Popular, But a Cultural Touch Point in the 1970s, Was The Banter Between Howard Cosell and Don Meredith; 'Dandy' Don Dead at 72 AP, relayed on

Don Meredith, early Dallas Cowboys quarterback and an original member of ABC's "Monday Night Football" team, died of a brain hemorrhage Sunday in Santa Fe, N.M., according to the Associated Press. He was 72.
"Dandy Don," as he came to be known, played for the Cowboys from 1960-1968, becoming the starting quarterback in 1965.
Two years after retiring unexpectedly before the 1969 season, Meredith joined Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell on ABC's "Monday Night Football" commentator team, his folksy sayings and country humor quickly endearing him to sports fans , the report says.
Jackson was replaced after the first season as the play-by-play announcer by Frank Gifford.
Meredith left ABC for a three-year stint at NBC after the 1973 season but returned to "MNF" in 1977 before retiring in 1984, a year after Cosell's departure from the team. Cosell died in 1995.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jay Coffey Out at KKGO

Morning personality Jay Coffey is out at KKGO Go Country 105.  Here is Orange County Register story. Jay Coffey Out at KKGO