Saturday, January 28, 2012

ABC News Celebrates 50 Years (TV Newser)

ABC News Celebrates 50 Years
By Chris Ariens on January 27, 2012 4:19 PM

No one can put a precise date on when ABC News started. But it was in 1962 that the network established an assignment desk and news gathering capabilities: the guts of a TV news organization. And so today, ABC Newsers celebrated 50 years of providing news and information to American homes (and now workplaces and mobile devices).

Employees packed ABC’s TV Studios 1 (former home of “Who Wants to Be Millionaire” and 2 (current home of “The Chew”) which were festooned with images of ABC News anchors and reporters past and present. In addition to hundreds who packed the studio, employees from bureaus around the country and the world were patched in for the celebration.

ABC News president Ben Sherwood was the emcee and was joined by two former ABC News presidents: Bill Sheehan (1974-1977) in Washington, DC and David Westin (1997-2010) in New York. Kaycee Freed Jennings, widow of Peter Jennings, also attended.

The celebration included a video lookback, as well as the first (and probably last) Meatball Awards, presented by Lara Spencer. (The award for tightest t-shirt worn during a natural disaster was a three-way tie going to David Muir, Jeffrey Kofman and Matt Gutman.)

The highlight, insiders say, was John Berman‘s “50 Ways.” With his own lyrics, set to the tune of Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Berman belted out the best of ABC News.

“I think the opportunities at ABC News for our youngest and brightest are nearly limitless and our best days are ahead of us,” said Sherwood at the close of the event.

CNN Draws 5.36 Million for Jacksonville GOP Debate

CNN Draws 5.36 Million for Jacksonville GOP Debate

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Johnny Otis Dies At 90; Was Early TV Favorite on KTLA Ch. 5 in LA

'Godfather of Rhythm & Blues' Dies
NY Times (via TV

A legendary music figure who was a bandleader, songwriter, impresario, disc jockey and talent scout -- who became known as the “godfather of rhythm & blues” -- has died. Johnny Otis was 90.

Otis died Tuesday at his home in Altadena, Calif., The New York Times reports.

(Editor's note: The Johnny Otis Show was a popular favorite on KTLA Channel 5 in the 1950s. To see a clip from a 1959 show with Lionel Hampton, go to this site:

The Times reports: “Leading a band in the late 1940s that combined the high musical standards of big-band jazz with the raw urgency of gospel music and the blues, Mr. Otis played a key role in creating a new sound for a new audience of young urban blacks, a sound that within a few years would form the foundation of rock ’n’ roll.”

Otis was instrumental in launching the careers of many artists, including Etta James, Jackie Wilson, Esther Phillips and Big Mama Thornton, the story notes.

The story adds: “Despite being a mover and shaker in the world of black music, Mr. Otis was not black, a fact that as far as he was concerned was simply an accident of birth. He was immersed in African-American culture from an early age and considered himself, he said, ‘black by persuasion.’”

Among his many talents, Otis played piano, vibraphone and drums. He played on a string of seminal R&B records, including Johnny Ace’s “Pledging My Love” and Charles Brown’s “Drifting Blues,” and also performed on jazz cuts by Lester Young and Illinois Jacquet, the story reports.

“As a bandleader and occasional vocalist, he had a string of rhythm-and-blues hits in the early 1950s and a Top 10 pop hit in 1958 with his composition ‘Willie and the Hand Jive,’ later covered by Eric Clapton and others,” the story reports. “His many other compositions included ‘Every Beat of My Heart,’ a Top 10 hit for Gladys Knight and the Pips in 1961.”

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Char, John Edward On Dr. Phil Tuesday - In LA, 3 pm KCBS/2

Char is a remarkable intuitive medium and author of the new book "LOVE Karma." She had personal appearances Jan. 7 in Glendale and Los Angeles, and will appear with John Edward on Dr. Phil, 3 pm Tuesday, Jan. 10 on KCBS/2. I was at that taping and it was a fun and knowledgeable experience for the audience as well as for Char and John Edward. Here is the Dr. Phil release

Psychic Investigations

Can the living really communicate with the dead? In a daytime television first, world-renowned intuitive mediums John Edward and Char Margolis team up on Dr. Phil’s stage and pull back the curtain to the other side! Watch as the mediums perform LIVE in-studio readings on audience members. What messages do their loved ones have from beyond the grave? Then, a skeptical Dr. Phil sits down for his first-ever psychic reading from Char. Will he become a believer? Plus, the spirit world reveals something Robin would rather keep secret! Then, numerologist Glynis McCants explains how numbers can lead to a love match. Whether you’re already a believer or still on the fence, you won’t want to miss this spirit-filled show!