Monday, January 31, 2011

What? No Peacock In the new NBC Universal Logo?

Chuck Ross writes the Open Mic column for TV Week. His commentary here is worth reading as he recalls iconic logos of the past and reports what Brian Williams remarked when he saw the peacock missing: “‘It’s our Coca-Cola. It’s our Apple. It’s our Ford Motor Company, that instantly recognizable thing.’

Here is the link.

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Official: Charlie Sheen Enters Rehab & Regis Vs. Today at 9 am

The always reliable and resourceful reports at approx. 3 pm Friday:

Following Charlie Sheen's hospital visit yesterday that allegedly followed days of heavy partying involving drugs, the Two and a Half Men star has checked into a rehab, while the hit CBS comedy has been put on a production hiatus. "Charlie Sheen has voluntarily entered an undisclosed rehabilitation center today," Sheen's publicist Stan Rosenfield said in a statement. "He is most grateful to all who have expressed their concern. "This is a sharp reversal from the statement issued by Rosenfield this morning, which stated that the Two and a Half Men star will return to work on Tuesday as scheduled.

In Regis & Kelly News, TV Newser reports on Regis at NATPE and the ABC vs. NBC ratings:

And speaking of the 9am hour, despite what Regis Philbin said at NATPE earlier this week that “LIVE” has beaten NBC at 9am, “Every day of every week of every year for 28 years,” the third hour of “Today” not only beat “Live with Regis & Kelly” for the 2009-’10 season, the Natalie Morales-Al Roker-Ann Curry hour is up +2% in Total Viewers and up +9% in A25-54 viewers so far this season.

The averages for the week of Jan. 17:

* Total Viewers: NBC: 5.60M / ABC: 4.92M / CBS: 2.83M
* A25-54 viewers: NBC: 2.60M / ABC: 1.94M / CBS: 1.19M

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's Next For Keith Olbermann? A Closer Look At The Man

My Orange County Register story takes a look at the broadcaster from a fresh perspective - based in part on an interview I did 10 years ago as a starting place.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fitness Guru, LA TV Personality Jack LaLanne Dies At 96 (Fox News)

Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne Dies at 96

NOTE: Jack LaLanne was a pioneering TV personality in Southern California, appearing for years on KTTV/11, often joined by his dog on fitness workouts.

The following appeared on Sunday evening.

MORRO BAY, Calif. (AP) -- Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru who inspired television viewers to trim down and pump iron for decades before exercise became a national obsession, died Sunday. He was 96.

LaLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay on California's central coast, his longtime agent Rick Hersh said.

Lalanne ate healthy and exercised every day of his life up until the end, Hersh said.

"I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for," Elaine LaLanne, Lalanne's wife of 51 years and a frequent partner in his television appearances, said in a written statement.

LaLanne (pronounced lah-LAYN') credited a sudden interest in fitness with transforming his life as a teen, and he worked tirelessly over the next eight decades to transform others' lives, too.

"The only way you can hurt the body is not use it," LaLanne said. "Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it's never too late."

His workout show was a television staple from the 1950s to the '70s. LaLanne and his dog Happy encouraged kids to wake their mothers and drag them in front of the television set. He developed exercises that used no special equipment, just a chair and a towel.

He also founded a chain of fitness studios that bore his name and in recent years touted the value of raw fruit and vegetables as he helped market a machine called Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Dan and Jon, and a daughter, Yvonne.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Did Olbermann Want Out? Has The Scoop

An "insider" tells about Keith Olbermann's departure from MSNBC Friday night

Read this, then go to for more insights and reporting on this story.

"This was all Keith's choice. He has several times over the years said that he wants out of his contract. He never meant it until this year. He started lawyers negotiating twice this year. He stopped them in the spring. Then, about a month ago with the guidance of his new ICM team and a new LA manager (who were making zero $ on his current deal), he once again said he wanted to leave and this time they negotiated the full package.

"Because of all the false threats in the past, it was impossible for the network to know if he was really going to sign the final document yesterday. That's why promos for his show were still running after he quit on the air. The network couldn't really believe it or act on it until he said it on TV. They couldn't tell the promo people to pull Keith's show out of the cycle until they were sure. His staff learned he was quitting when they heard him say it on TV.

"Comcast has had no impact at all on MSNBC [yet]. Phil Griffin has complete authority. He makes deals without having to consult with anyone. He has made proposals over the years on the fly and in high-speed contexts where he is acting alone and with full authority. MSNBC is Phil Griffin's network and no one at NBC thinks they have a better idea than Phil about what to do next."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Breaking News: Keith Olbermann Out at MSNBC (TV

Breaking News: Keith Olbermann Announces At End of His Show Tonight That He's Leaving MSNBC, Effective Immediately TVWeek

Viewers were shocked Friday evening when Keith Olbermann announced he was leaving MSNBC at the end of his show "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" this evening, Friday, Jan. 21, 2010. He said it was his last show and he thanked some of the people he worked with. He did not say why he was leaving the show, nor the sudden nature of the announcement.

MSNBC then issued the following statement: " MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

It's the second major development involving TV made since Comcast gained government approval of its NBC Universal deal earlier this week. The first development was yesterday's announcement by the President of NBC Primetime, Angela Bromstead, that she was leaving the network.

An NBC source familiar with the situation claimed that though Comcast was informed about Olbermann's leaving MSNBC, Comcast had nothing else to do with the move. This source also claimed that this was not a sudden decision, and that discussions about Olbermann's departure had been on-going for some time.

The controversial Olbermann's program was MSNBC's top-rated show.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My New OC Register Radio Column - KLAC, KTWV Wave at Spaghettini

Read about Petros and Money, The Women of the Wave, Bill Dudley, Dave Koz, Debbie Reynolds, Manny Pacheco, and more....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Debbie Reynolds Talks About OC Radio, Coach House Appearance

My new radio column is online now - Debbie Reynolds, KSPA, Coach House, KSBR, Manny Pacheco, Dr. Laura...and more

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MGM-TV Moves On Its Own Retro TV Channel Me-TV (

TV News posted Jan. 4 at Nikki Finke's excellent website. There is also THIS TV and Antenna TV, both of which air on KTLA/5 digital channels in Los Angeles. THIS airs a mix of retro shows and movies, but it may move to movies-only if Me-TV gets carriage on stations and cable systems. (As long as someone keeps airing the fun Highway Patrol reruns) -- Gary

From Deadline.Com --

In one of its first moves as it is emerging from bankruptcy, MGM is making a play in the digital world, teaming with Weigel Broadcasting for the launch of Me-TV, a television network offering classic television sitcoms, dramas and classic commercials, which is targeted for digital broadcast stations.

Me-TV, which stands for Memorable Entertainment Television, has already been tested on a local level. A local version of the network has been airing on Weigel Broadcasting's WWME in Chicago. WWME and Weigel's station WBME, which covers the Milwaukee/Racine metro area, have become the first affiliates of Me-TV, whose classic TV lineup consists of "Cheers," "M*A*S*H," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," and "The Bob Newhart Show." Me-TV's national distribution will be handled by MGM's domestic television sales division. Me-TV follows MGM and Weigel's collaboration on the 2008 launch of Thistv, a free movie service for viewers

John Roberts Leaving CNN for Fox News (TV Newser)

Fox Confirms journalist John Roberts joining Fox, to be based in Atlanta.
From TV Newser:

CNN, Fox News, Revolving Door
John Roberts To Join Fox News Channel

By Alex Weprin on January 3, 2011 10:02 AM

Former CNN “American Morning” anchor John Roberts is expected to join FOX News Channel as a senior national correspondent, based in Atlanta.

He will be reporting on major domestic and international stories for the network.

Update: FNC has made it official. Says FNC senior VP Michael Clemente:

“We are excited to welcome John to FOX News — his reputation as a skilled journalist with years of notable experience in the field will be a valuable addition to our news programming.”

In December, CNN announced that Roberts would be departing “American Morning,” and would instead be moving to the network’s Atlanta headquarters to be closer to his fiancee, CNN dayside anchor Kyra Phillips.

While Roberts will be in Atlanta, he will not be with CNN.

Roberts joined CNN in 2006 after spending 14 years at CBS News. At CNN he served as senior national correspondent before taking his slot behind the anchor desk at “American Morning” in 2007.

Roberts started his career at City TV in Toronto, Canada.

“American Morning” had a rough year in 2010, down 31% in total viewers and 25% in A 25-54 compared to 2009. All told, 2010 was the morning program’s worst year on record.

While Roberts was behind the anchor desk during the program’s ratings decline, he has always been regarded as a top-notch journalist.

For Fox News, he brings a ton of credibility and experience to the network’s news programming. For Roberts, he gets to join the top-rated news channel, albeit without his own program.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's Your Report on Dick Clark's New Year's Eve (Popwatch)

If you were out partying or sleeping in, here's the report on the Rockin' New Years Eve with Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest. I wonder if any of this was bleeped for the West Coast?