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Showing posts from April, 2010

The WEEKENDER for April 26-30

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Could tomorrow's Kentucky Derby get rained out?

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It's not entirely unusual for it to rain on Derby Day in Louisville, but it's never been enough of a problem to postpone the Run for the Roses.
That's right, my friends:  The Kentucky Derby has never been rained out.
But this year could be different, sayeth Jonathan Erdman at The Weather Channel.
Like the Tri-State, Louisville is under the gun to get a deluge of liquid sunshine this weekend.  I've heard predictions that as much as 2-5" of the wet stuff will fall here, and of course Louisville's just a hundred-plus miles from where I am.
And it's supposed to rain there pretty much all day with a total of 4-8" of total rain by the time the deluge ends, from what I'm hearing.
No matter what happens, I'll be one of the interested viewers who tunes in to NBC (14WFIE, channel 14.1) tomorrow at 3:00 PM CT to see for myself.
It should be interesting!

Nicole DiDonato leaving 14WFIE

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I've received word from 14WFIE today that weekend anchor/reporter Nicole DiDonato has announced her upcoming departure from the station.
A native of Michigan, DiDonato has co-anchored WFIE's weekend newscasts with Brandon Bartlett since August 2009.
I'm told that she will be seeking some new opportunities in the health and fitness field, and since she is an avid runner and weightlifter, this would be a natural move for her.
Before joining 14 in September 2007, DiDonato worked as a writer, associate producer and production assistant at WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
News director C.J. Hoyt tells me that the search for Nicole's replacement will begin immediately.
We'll certainly miss Nicole's presence on TV, and I wish her the very best!

If it feels like Betty White is everywhere in May, that's because she will be

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She's the first lady of television comedy, and at 88, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Betty White will host next Saturday night's "Saturday Night Live" on NBC (14WFIE, channel 14.1), and on May 19, she'll guest-star in the season finale of ABC's "The Middle" (WEHT-NEWS25, channel 25.1) as the school librarian.
I've seen previews of her performance in the show, and let me tell you, it's going to be a classic!
This has been a busy year for White; she starred along with fellow comedy veteran Abe Vigoda in a Snickers commercial for the Super Bowl, and she's let fly with some hilarious statements at a couple of awards shows as well.
And then at the Oscars, she partied with none other than Sir Elton John!
Hey, when you're 88, you can get away with that sort of thing.  And it's why we love her.

Distractions!

I've been very lax in posting over the past couple of weeks, and for that, I apologize.  We've been remodeling our kids' bedrooms, a process that has been anything but entertaining.
Throw in my annual neurological tests, ample amounts of car and tractor trouble, and right there alone you'll find the trifecta that's been behind my inability to get anything else done!
Hopefully now that we're FINALLY getting things back to "normal," I'll be able to concentrate more on things here at JDTVB.  Well, I can hope so anyway ...

THIS WEEK'S COLUMN PREVIEW: What's coming your way in tomorrow's C&P

UPDATE, 12:49 AM THURSDAY:The column is now available.

In tomorrow's Courier & Press, you'll get some insight into the latest local broadcasting news.  Here's what I'm bringing you this week: The awards won by WTVW in the statewide "Best of the Best" journalism contest (For the full list of awards won by Fox 7 and WNIN Radio, clicky clicky)Your chance to see Owensboro's Executive Inn Rivermont imploded on TLCKET's new live webcastsBe sure to check it out online and in print tomorrow!

NEWS25 hires new morning anchor/reporter; Rose files her final report

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The Twitterverse is alight this evening with news of a new face coming soon to local morning TV.
Jordan Vandenberge has been hired by NEWS25 as the new co-anchor of Daybreak, and my understanding is that he will also do some reporting for the station.
Vandenberge comes to us from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.  He anchors and reports for the university-owned station KOMU-TV, which is central Missouri's NBC/CW affiliate.
Welcome to the Tri-State, Jordan!

In other news from Marywood Drive tonight, I'm told that this was Jamie Rose's last day at NEWS25; her final report for the station aired during the 5:00 newscast.

When it comes to her future plans, all I know is that Rose is "keeping her options open."

I wish her the very best.

Full list of area winners in the Indiana SPJ "Best of the Best" contest

Last Friday night, as I told you last weekend, WTVW-Fox 7 and WNIN brought home some awards in the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists' "Best of the Best" contest.
The list of winners was released today, and here are those who won locally:
WTVW-Fox 7: Michael Chesney -- Third Place/Feature -- "Life Flight - Help from Above"Fox 7 News Team -- First Place/Documentary or Special -- "Matthew Wrinkles Execution"Michael Chesney -- Second Place/Newscast -- "Matthew Wrinkles Execution"WNIN Radio: Micah Schweitzer -- Second Place/General News -- "Ice Storm Cleanup"Steve Berger -- First Place/Coverage of Children's Issues -- "Preventing Childhood Sexual Abuse"Jessica Naudziunas -- Third Place/Coverage of the Environment -- "Superfund Cleanup"Congratulations to all the winners!

With everything now settled, Regent exits bankruptcy protection

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It's official:  As of today, Regent Communications has officially exited bankruptcy protection.
The company was under the court's oversight for less than two months.
Former shareholders will get a payout of about 13 cents a share by mid-May, and while all of the company's radio stations are currently held in trust, those will be transferred back to the company soon, with the exception of two stations (one in Colorado and another in Louisiana) that will be sold.
Operations at Regent's seven Tri-State radio stations will, as they did while the company was in Chapter 11, continue to be unaffected.

Conan to be on Sunday's "60 Minutes"

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While Conan O'Brien will be returning to TV this fall with a new show on TBS, it won't be his first post-NBC face time on the ol' tube.
CBS' "60 Minutes" will feature the ex-Tonight Show host this Sunday night at 6:00 as he talks to Steve Kroft.
O'Brien's treaty with the Peacock network keeps him off of TV until May 1 ... and by golly, Sunday is May 2.  Surprised?  Don't be.
And don't be surprised when Coco doesn't say anything bad about NBC in the interview, either.  That's another term of the contract.
Still, it should be an interesting interview.
"60 Minutes" airs each Sunday evening at 6:00 PM on WEVV-CBS44 (channel 44.1).

We'll catch up later ...

UPDATE, 6:05 PM:  I am finally finished and back home, tired but glad I have an excellent neurologist.  He's very thorough and explains EVERYTHING, so I know I'm in good hands.  I'm very tired from the trip, though, so there will be no regular updates today.
I'm heading out the door for the last round -- I hope -- of medical tests for this year.  We'll just have to see.
Anyway, because of these tests, I'll be away from my desk until later this afternoon.
Between all this and remodeling, it's a wonder I get anything done ...

Christian broadcaster with two translators in SE Illinois expanding radio network

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Illinois Bible Institute, which owns two low-power FM radio translator stations in Flora (96.5 FM) and Mt. Carmel, Ill. (99.1 FM), is looking to add another station its WIBI radio network.
The Carlinville-based religious broadcaster -- which also owns and operates stations in Springfield, metro St. Louis, Mt. Vernon, Vandalia and Granite City -- is seeking FCC approval to purchase WCBW-FM in East St. Louis.
WCBW is currently owned by New Life Evangelistic Center, Inc. of St. Louis, which owns seven low-power TV stations and -- once the sale of WCBW goes through -- twelve radio stations, mostly in Missouri, although they also have a presence in northern Arkansas and eastern Kansas.

Holiday World to be mentioned on tomorrow's "Rachael Ray" show

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I'm pleased to share with you that a true Tri-State treasure is going to get national TV exposure tomorrow.
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, the world's first theme park, will be featured on tomorrow's "Rachael Ray," which airs locally on WEHT-NEWS25 (channel 25.1) at 3:00 PM CDT. 
The park, which is located in Santa Claus, Ind., is getting ready to open its 64th season, and will introduce the new Wildebeest water coaster this year.
For the full story, check out Inside Indiana Business.

Congratulations to the folks at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari!!!
EDITOR'S NOTE:  For those of you on the fringes of the Tri-State who may not be able to see WEHT, "Rachael Ray" also airs on the following out-of-market channels: LOUISVILLE:  WDRB-Fox 41 (channel 41.1), 1:00 PM EDTTERRE HAUTE:  WTWO (channel 2.1), 3:00 PM EDTNASHVILLE:  WTVF-NewsChannel 5 (channel 5.1), 9:00 AM CDT

Getting things done today

My lovely wife and I are working feverishly to finish the facelift of our kids' bedrooms today -- paint dries slowly when the weather's lousy! -- so there will be no updates until later this afternoon at the earliest.
I apologize for the inconvenience.

Good news from Carpenter Street as WTVW, Chesney (and WNIN radio) pick up awards from Society of Professional Journalists

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WTVW-Fox 7 and Fox 7 News reporter Michael Chesney brought home some hardware from Indianapolis tonight, and it brings me great pleasure to be able to share the news with all of you.
The Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists bestowed awards upon the station and Chesney for their hard work putting together coverage surrounding the execution of Matthew Eric Wrinkles: The entire news team won the first place award for Documentary or Special for the midnight special  report that the station aired as Wrinkles was executed.Chesney won awards for Feature Reporting and also in the Daily Newscast category, as he produced the 6:00 PM newscast on the night of the execution.As I told you after Wrinkles' execution, both here and in my column, I personally felt at the time -- and still feel -- that the folks at Fox 7 did the best job of the three local news stations of covering it from every possible angle, and they did so not only thoroughly, but also with compassion and sen…

CBS gets Daytime Emmys back, will air from Vegas

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If you enjoy watching the Daytime Emmy Awards, you'll be saying "Viva Las Vegas" this year.
CBS will air the program (locally on WEVV-CBS44, channel 44.1) on Sunday, June 27 at 8:00 PM from the fabulous (isn't everything in Vegas?) Las Vegas Hilton.
Nominations for this year's awards will be released on May 12.
Last year, the Emmys aired on the CW network (and local CW affiliate WAZE), but evidently that didn't work out as well as the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences had hoped, since the show drew its lowest number of viewers in its history.
But, hey, at least this year it's on a channel most of us can watch!

Have you read this week's column?

In today's Courier & Press, you'll find a lot of broadcasting information in my column!
You'll get all the details on: Debbie Bush's move from WFIE to KOLD in Tucson, Ariz.Jamie Rose's impending exit at WEHT-NEWS25NEWS 25 meteorologist David Heckard's new certificationWIKY's Crystal Radio AwardRegent Communications' approval to exit bankruptcyIf you've got a few minutes, be sure to read up and get the latest scoop!

MARCH MADNESS STAYING ON CBS, ADDS TURNER CABLE NETWORKS: 14-year deal worth $10.8 billion

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OK, now we know how far the NCAA will expand the men's college basketball tournament:  The feared 96-team nightmare has been shunted aside in favor of a 68-team format.
CBS is predicting that the #16 and #17 seeds in each of the four regions would play for the right to face the #1 seeds, although nothing will be finalized until this summer.  (Image of proposed bracket linked above courtesy of WEVV.)
Speaking of CBS, the network will retain rights to the tournament as a new 14-year agreement with the NCAA, although the Turner cable networks -- TBS, TNT and truTV -- will also air first- and second-round games beginning next year.
The deal will cost the networks $10.8 billion over the life of the contract.
Regional semifinal games will air on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, but CBS will have all four regional finals and the Final Four through 2015.
Beginning in 2016, regional finals will be split between CBS and Turner, and the Final Four and championship games will alternate between CBS and TB…

THE REGENT SAGA CONTINUES: Resilient Capital Management settles claims with broadcaster for $125K

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The ongoing bankruptcy saga of Regent Communications appears to finally be drawing to a close.
Resilient Capital Management, which owned 2.8 million shares of Regent stock, has agreed to drop all of its claims that Regent continued to have "significant" value, in exchange for a cash settlement.
The cost to Regent:  $125,000.
Resilient had sought to force the formation of a committee to represent the interests of the company's shareholders.  After being rebuffed by the court, Resilient had expressed its intent to seek a stay of the court's ruling.
That won't happen now, and Regent's reorganization will continue as approved.
Regent owns seven area radio stations.  In Evansville, they are: WKDQ (99.5 FM)WGBF (103.1 FM and 1280 AM)WJLT (105.3 FM)WDKS (106.1 FM)In Owensboro, Regent owns: WBKR (92.5 FM)WOMI (1490 AM)

SCHEDULES FOR TITANS & BEARS FANS:

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As promised, here are the 2010 NFL schedules for those of you who are Titans and Bears fans:

HEY, COLTS FANS: 2010 schedule released, Colts to play five primetime games

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EDITOR'S NOTE:  I'll add Titans and Bears schedules later for those of you who may be interested.

The NFL released the 2010 regular season schedule yesterday afternoon, and the Indianapolis Colts -- who made it to the Super Bowl this past season, only to completely blow it against New Orleans -- will play five primetime games in the coming season.
Peyton Manning & Co. will open 2010 against the Texans -- in Houston -- on September 12.
In Week 2, it's Manning vs. Manning as the Colts will take on the Giants on NBC's Sunday Night Football.  That game will air on Sept. 19 (on 14WFIE, channel 14.1 locally).
Also on SNF this season: Oct. 17:  At Washington against the RedskinsNov. 28:  At home against the ChargersThe Boys in Blue will travel to Foxboro, Mass. on Nov. 21 to play the BelicheatersPatriots; interestingly, it will not be a primetime game, as the Patriots just aren't that big of a draw nowadays.  (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)
That game…

"Cops" to return for 23rd season on Fox

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Nearly 800 episodes.  Over 2,000 arrests.  140 U.S. cities.
I'm talking about Fox's "Cops," which has been picked up for a 23rd season by the network, and with the renewal, it becomes one of the five longest-running series in primetime TV.
Only CBS' "60 Minutes" (42 seasons), ABC's "20/20" (32 seasons), CBS' "48 Hours" (23 seasons) and Fox's own "America's Most Wanted" (23 seasons) have run longer than "Cops."
Some 5 million viewers a week tune in to the Saturday night arrest fest, according to The Hollywood Reporter, making it one of the few primetime shows to maintain its ratings this season.
"Cops" airs each Saturday night at 7:00 PM CT on WTVW-Fox 7.

Kelsey Grammer getting behind new right-wing TV network

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If Fox News Channel is just too liberal for you (and that sound you hear is my eyes rolling), there's about to be a new channel for the true, hardcore right-wingers among us.
And it's got the backing of Kelsey Grammer.
The new "Right Network," which is set to launch this summer, is being portrayed as "pro-America," with "pro-business, pro-military sensibilities."
Whatever that means.
I mean, seriously:  Are the other networks anti-America?  I can't say that I think they are, because I don't. Of course, since Grammer's involved, I give it ... maybe a month.
Tops.
We'll just have to wait and see.
If you really must see what this is all about, the New York Daily News has all the info.

Executive Inn Rivermont implosion to air May 6 on TLC

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports this evening that the episode of the TLC series "The Imploders" which will feature the implosion of the Executive Inn Rivermont will air on Thursday, May 6 at 8:00 PM CT.
In what will probably be unwelcome news to the mayor and city commission, who seemed to believe that the grandiose demolition of the hotel and its filming for national television would bring a boost in tourism, Karen Miller, the director of the local Convention & Visitors Bureau, doesn't think the episode will draw people to visit Owensboro.
"I think people will want to watch and some of them will wish they had been here," said Miller. "But as far as pulling people into Owensboro, I don’t know. It’ll remind people that we no longer have that hotel, but I don’t know if it will make them want to come to Owensboro."
I tend to agree with Ms. Miller.  I mean, seriously:  Who wants to come here to see an empty lot?
Still, it might well be an inte…

KET now live webcasting certain programming

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For the first time, KET is now offering live webcasts of certain programming produced by the network.  If you're not able to catch the shows on TV when they air for the first time -- but you do happen to have access to the web -- you can check out the following programs:

Kentucky LifeLouisville LifeKentucky TonightComment on KentuckyConnections with Renee ShawOne to One with Bill GoodmanNews QuizSo, if you're online, check these out!  You can see them at www.ket.org/live.

Reporter Jamie Rose leaving NEWS25

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UPDATE, 4:40 PM THURSDAY 4/22:  I'm now hearing that Corey Allan may not be reporting on weekends, but would instead continue to hold down the fort here in Owensboro.  This is still a fluid situation, of course, and when I know more, I'll be sure to share it.

UPDATE, 1:55 PM MONDAY 4/19:  I'm hearing that with Jamie Rose's departure, NEWS25's Western Kentucky reporter, Corey Allan, will move to weekend reporting and will work out of the station's Owensboro bureau part-time.  In addition, rumors are circulating that Rose may not be the last to leave NEWS25.  I'll keep you posted.

Word has reached me here in Indianapolis this evening that NEWS25 reporter Jamie Rose is leaving the station.
Rose, who has been with the station since March 2008, is the fourth on-air personality to leave NEWS25 in as many months: Jon Chrisos left in January and is now reporting for WAVE-3 in Louisville.Jennifer Cahill left in March and is now Director of Major Gifts for EVSC.Courtn…

NEWS25's Heckard earns Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation

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(COURTESY OF NEWS25/MELISSE MARKS)
NEWS25 (WEHT-TV) Meteorologist David Heckard has earned the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation, a professional recognition of the quality of his weather broadcasts. NEWS25 is the only station in the Evansville television market with two Certified Broadcast Meteorologists on staff. In 2005, NEWS25 Chief Meteorologist Wayne Hart earned the first CBM in the Evansville market. Among radio and television meteorologists, the CBM designation is sought as a mark of distinction and recognition.
The AMS grants the CBM designation to broadcast meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations.  The CBM is a new program, launched in January 2005 as an upgrade to the Society’s Seal of Approval program.
“The Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation clearly recognizes that the holders have the educational backgro…

Earth Week programming to air on KET next week

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With this year marking the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, KET is devoting next week to programming that focuses on the environment.
On Sunday night, the life of the late environmentalist Rachel Carson is featured as she battled cancer and critics after her 1962 bestseller, "Silent Spring," was released.  "A Sense of Wonder" airs on KET2 (channels 31.2 and 35.2) at 9:00 PM CT.
"kyGREENtv" is an Earth Day special geared toward Kentuckians, and you'll get a full picture of how Kentucky is "going green."  The special airs on KET (channels 31.1 and 35.1) at 9:30 PM CT Sunday.
On Monday night's "American Experience," "Earth Days" looks at the origins of the environmental movement from its beginning.  It airs at 8:00 PM CT on KET (channels 31.1 and 35.1), and again Wednesday -- also at 8:00 PM Central -- on KET2 (channels 31.2 and 35.2).
"Food Inc." -- Robert Kenner's Academy Award-nominated documentary …

This week's column is ready to go!

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In this week's column in the Courier & Press, you can find out which station had the most-watched newscasts in February -- and at 10:00, the winner may just surprise you.
Also, you can find out more about WNIN-FM's Murrow award, how the Easter Seals Telethon did last Sunday, and, finally, who's building the new Catholic radio station in southern Illinois.
It's all there -- so check it out!

Bush leaving WFIE for Raycom's Tucson CBS affiliate

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WFIE general manager Debbie Bush is leaving the Tri-State after two and a half years at Channel 14's helm.

Bush, who came to WFIE in August 2007 from Kansas City NBC affiliate KSHB, is moving to Tucson, Ariz. to become the general manager of KOLD-TV, Raycom's CBS affiliate there.  (Raycom also owns WFIE.)

Most TV viewers don't often see the general managers of the local TV stations on the air, but Bush has been very visible during her time here, most notably for doing the station's "Taking A Stand" editorial series.  Whether I agreed with her or not, I always found her commentary thought-provoking and insightful.

Bush also recently wrote an excellent article on innovation in local TV advertising sales for TVNewsCheck, an online magazine that covers the TV industry.
Our loss here in the Tri-State is certainly Tucson's gain.  Best of luck to you, Debbie!

WEVV-CBS44 posts Marathon recap show online

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In case you missed Sunday night's airing of the Southern Indiana Classic Marathon & Half-Marathon recap show on WEVV-CBS44, the station has now posted the show -- broken down into seven segments -- on its website.
Also, the Marathon was such a huge success that it will be back next year!  It's great news, because this is a great event to have here in the Tri-State.

WIKY wins NAB award for community service

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Here's another tidbit from this year's NAB Show, and I know you'll be as happy to know about this as I am.
It gives me great pleasure to tell you that 104.1 WIKY has received a Crystal Radio Award from the NAB for its "outstanding year-round commitment to community service."
WIKY is one of only ten radio stations in the country to receive this award.  There were 50 finalists.
For the list of all the winners, see Radio Ink's story here.
Congratulations to WIKY!!!

Twelve station groups team up for Mobile DTV joint venture; Courier & Press and WFIE owners involved

Cooperation appears to be the name of the game in the newest form of DTV, as evidenced at this year's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show.
Twelve TV station groups have partnered up to bring more content and bandwidth to the Mobile DTV field, forming a company called Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC.
Pearl will offer all sorts of programming from news and information to sports and entertainment, according to Broadcasting & Cable.  It's a sort of partnership that's never been seen in broadcasting, and I hope it's a real winner, because I think Mobile DTV is going to be a very big thing ... in a very small package!
Of local interest, the owners of the Evansville Courier & Press and WFIE (Scripps and Raycom, respectively) are  involved, so I personally hope we here in the Tri-State will be right on the leading edge of this.
Stay tuned ... this will get interesting!
Here is a list of the parties involved: Belo (owner of Louisville's WHAS-11)CoxFoxGannett Broa…

Christian broadcaster may get permit to build new TV station

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EICB-TV East, LLC, a Cedar Hill, Texas-based Christian broadcaster that carries programming from Atlanta-based Global Christian Network, has made its way onto the Commission's list of proposed construction permits for new low-power digital TV stations.
It is the only one of many recently-filed applications on the list released today that would serve the Evansville market.
What that means is this:  The FCC is considering granting EICB -- which is an acronym for "Excellence in Christian Broadcasting" -- permission to build a new television station for the Evansville area.  If approved, it will broadcast on channel 19, a frequency vacated by WAZE last year when it turned off its analog full-power signal (WAZE's digital signal is on channel 20).
The new station would share tower space with KET's Owensboro station WKOH (channels 31.1-31.3), using a directional antenna that would beam to the west-northwest toward Evansville and Henderson (away from Owensboro).
The Commiss…

ALL CLEAR: Bankruptcy court OKs Regent reorganization

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After hearing arguments on Friday from Resilient Capital Management and other objectors telling him why he shouldn't allow Regent Communications' reorganization plan to go forward, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey has now approved the plan as proposed, according to Radio Ink Magazine.
Regent CEO Bill Stakelin says that the company should be able to emerge from bankruptcy protection soon, and that the company will emerge stronger.  "This new capital structure will allow us to continue to invest in our operations and maximize our growth potential in the recovering advertising marketplace," Stakelin explained.
Existing shareholders of Regent, whose shares now have no value, will get 12.8 cents per share by the middle of May.
Regent owns seven radio stations which are widely heard in the Tri-State; in Evansville, they are WKDQ (99.5 FM), WGBF (1280 AM & 103.1 FM), WJLT (105.3 FM) and WDKS (106.1 FM).  The company also owns WBKR (92.5 FM) and WOMI (1490 AM) in O…

AROUND THE COUNTRY: Keeping tabs on news of interest

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WE WERE WORRIED FOR A MINUTE THERE ... BUT THANKS, TBS!Broadcasting & Cable reports that Conan O'Brien's decision to put his new show on TBS has made at least one constituency happy -- Fox affiliates!
Most Fox stations have programming in late night that they obtained on their own accord, and by most accounts were not too thrilled with the idea that they might have to give it up for the network.  O'Brien's move to cable makes their concerns moot.  Good for them.
SPEAKING OF LATE NIGHT, THERE'S A BANDLEADER POSITION COMING OPEN:  This was reported some time ago, but last night on "The Tonight Show," longtime bandleader Kevin Eubanks announced that he would be leaving the show in late May.
Rumors were flying late last week that Max Weinberg -- who was Conan's bandleader on "Late Night" and "Tonight" -- wants the gig, but nothing concrete has been announced.
AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR:  Dick Wolf has reached into his bag of TV tricks an…

One giveth, the other taketh away: MyNetworkTV loses WWE to Syfy

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Yesterday I told you that MyNetworkTV picked up USA Network's popular series "Burn Notice," but this morning I found out via the L.A. Times that WWE's "Friday Night SmackDown" is leaving MNT -- and, thus, local affiliate WEVV-My44 -- for Syfy.
Vince McMahon & Co. apparently got a better deal from Syfy than they did from MNT ... of course, if I could go elsewhere for 50% more money, I'd probably go too.

"Burn Notice" coming to MyNetworkTV

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USA Network's popular series "Burn Notice" is coming to MyNetworkTV beginning this fall.
Broadcasting & Cable reports that two episodes of the show will likely air each Wednesday night.  The popularity of the show on cable means that local MNT affiliate WEVV-My44 (channel 44.2) should pick up some new viewers.

Conan heading to TBS

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Word on the web this morning is that Conan O'Brien will have a new late-night show beginning in November on TBSThe Marquee Blog has more information.

The Associated Press reports that O'Brien's as-yet-untitled new show will air Monday through Thursday nights at 10:00 PM CT, which means that George Lopez's show will move to 11:00.

Easter Seals Telethon raises over $941K

This year's Easter Seals Telethon raised $941,840 to help the Rehabilitation Center in its quest to make life better for those in the Tri-State with disabilities.  Kudos to everyone who pitched in to help out and also to the folks at NEWS25 for hosting and putting this year's telethon on the air!

EARLIER:  Don't forget to tune in and support this year's Easter Seals Telethon to benefit the Rehabilitation Center!  It started at noon and will run until 6:00 PM this evening on WEHT-NEWS25 (channel 25.1).
It's a worthy cause and we should all pitch in to help!!!

R.I.P. Dixie Carter

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Dixie Carter, the beautiful yet feisty Southern belle who charmed millions of viewers  as Julia Sugarbaker on CBS' "Designing Women" has died at age 70.
Her husband of nearly 26 years, actor Hal Holbrook, announced Carter's death this morning in a statement released this evening, according to the Associated Press.
Carter's death, it was reported Sunday, was attributed to endometrial cancer.
Dixie Carter was born May 25, 1939 in McLemoresville, Tennessee, and made her acting debut on stage in 1960 in Memphis.
Her television debut came in 1974, when she briefly portrayed Dorian Cramer (now Lord) on ABC's "One Life to Live" while Nancy Pinkerton, who originated the role, was on maternity leave.
Carter then moved to "The Edge of Night," and from there to primetime TV, where my first experience as a Dixie Carter fan came when she joined the cast of "Diff'rent Strokes" in 1984 as Maggie McKinney, who eventually became stepmother to Kimb…

The WEEKENDER for April 3-10

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It's coming ...

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Nathan5603 sends in this screen capture of Insight's tease for the new Commonwealth Network, or "cn2" for short.  I'm told it will launch by the end of this month, so stay tuned!
< Click to see it full size.

Delay

Due to an unexpected trip to Hopkinsville last night -- everything is fine, just had to rescue a friend in need whose car broke down on the side of the Pennyrile Parkway -- the Weekender will be delayed until later today. 
Additionally, things should get back to a more normal pace on Monday when my kids go back to school.  I appreciate everyone's patience with me as I've moved JDTVB to the back burner to spend time with the young'uns.
Have a great weekend!

(COMMENTARY) IN JAY'S DUST Letterman losing to Leno ... again

The return of Jay Leno to the "Tonight Show" was widely panned by critics and viewers alike for the way that Conan O'Brien was treated, but it seems NBC may have had the right idea.
And that's putting it mildly.
Leno has managed to regain a solid lead over David Letterman's "Late Show" over at CBS -- indeed, Letterman's program has even fallen behind ABC News' "Nightline" during the 30 minutes when the shows are in direct competition, according to Media Life Magazine.
Leno is averaging 4.2 million viewers a night, which is down from the 5 million + that he had before moving to 9:00 PM, but it's well ahead of what Conan was averaging.
Even NBC's primetime programming is improving, with Jerry Seinfeld's "The Marriage Ref" doing especially well on Thursday nights.
Things are looking up for the Peacock Network, which bodes well for its future.  It couldn't have come soon enough.

Clarification on the pre-sunrise rulemaking petition

Reader Steve Mussett checked in with me this evening to clarify what I posted yesterday about the possibility that the FCC would allow certain AM stations to power up to 500 watts an hour earlier than they do now.
It turns out that it's a little more restrictive with regard to stations locally -- and elsewhere -- than I thought. Here's what Steve wrote:
Thanks very much for posting the news regarding the petition for rulemaking before the FCC regarding pre-sunrise service authority for AM stations.  I had not yet seen a mention of this anywhere else.

This seems to be a very sensible petition, especially for communities in the Tri-State counties observing Eastern Time, which experience very late sunrise times in the winter.

Unfortunately, it's not quite as far-reaching as it might seem at first glance, because the petition states that it seeks to start PSRA at 5:00 a.m. only for those class B and D stations operating on REGIONAL CHANNELS.  Eleven of the twenty-three st…

Number of public radio stations in Indiana falls by two as Fort Wayne broadcaster sells full-power station and translator

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If you've ever visited the website of the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, you know that Indiana has eight public television stations and 20 public radio stations (including translators).
However, the number of radio stations is falling to 18 as Fort Wayne-based Northeast Indiana Public Radio has sold its Orland station (WCKZ 91.3 FM) and Fort Wayne translator (W204BF 88.7 FM) to Star Educational Media Network for $225,000.
Fort Wayne will still have two public radio stations (WBOI 89.3 FM and WBNI 94.1 FM) after the sale.
The other public radio stations around the state are: WNIN-FM (Evansville)WVUB (Vincennes University/Vincennes)WFIU (Indiana University, Bloomington, with translators in Columbus, Kokomo and Terre Haute)WFYI (Indianapolis)WVPE (South Bend/Elkhart)WLPR (Merrillville)Indiana Public Radio (Ball State University, WBST Muncie, WBSB Anderson, WBSW Marion, WBSJ Portland, WBSH Hagerstown)WBAA AM & FM (Purdue University, West Lafayette)

Cutting back a little today

I'm spending time today with my kids -- they're on Spring Break this week -- so updates will be few and far between until later this afternoon.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Column is online -- have you checked it out yet?

If you're a regular reader of my weekly column in the Courier & Press, you'll want to check out today's edition.  Here's what we'll take a look at: The new Commonwealth Network from Insight CommunicationsFox 7's new little live truckTell City's newly-approved FM radio stationI hope you'll check it out either online or in print!

COLUMN PREVIEW: Take a look at what I've got in store for you in tomorrow's C&P

UPDATE, 1:15 AM THURSDAY:  The column is now online and can be found by clicking here.

If you're a regular reader of my weekly column in the Courier & Press, you'll want to check out tomorrow's edition.  Here's what we'll take a look at: The new Commonwealth Network from Insight CommunicationsFox 7's new little live truckTell City's newly-approved FM radio stationI hope you'll check it out either online or in print!

FCC considering rule change to allow class some AM radio stations to increase power an hour earlier each morning

UPDATE:  I've added the list of stations this proposed rule change would affect.  You'll find it below.

The FCC is taking public comments right now on a proposed rule change that would allow class B and D AM radio stations to increase their power to 500 watts an hour earlier than they can now do so.
If enacted, the new rule would let them crank things up at 5:00 AM -- the time most morning-drive programming on TV and other radio stations starts -- according to Radio Ink.  As things now stand, they have to wait until 6:00 AM, which gives other stations an hour's advantage.
Here in the Tri-State, if the rule comes into play, there are a good many stations this would impact; once the weather situation improves, I'll post the list of those which operate at different power levels during the daytime and nighttime hours.

Comments on the new rule are being accepted by the FCC through April 26.

TRI-STATE CLASS B & D AM RADIO STATIONS ILLINOIS:WVLN (740, Olney), WAKO (910, Lawr…

TVNewsCheck ranks WFIE and WTVW owners among the top 30 station groups in the country

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UPDATED/CORRECTED thanks to C.J. Hoyt @ WFIE and also to Trip Ericson.  The corrections are much appreciated!

Raycom Media and Nexstar Broadcasting are among the top 30 TV station groups in the country, according to new rankings released by TVNewsCheck today.
The report lists the station groups by the percentage of households in the country that each company's stations reach.
Raycom, which owns local NBC/ThisTV affiliate 14WFIE, was ranked 15th on the list.  The Montgomery, Ala.-based company owns 46 full-power stations in 36 markets, reaching 12.4% of all households in the country.
Raycom also owns Louisville NBC/ThisTV affiliate WAVE-3, its only other holding in the region, as well as Cape Girardeau, Mo. CBS affiliate KFVS and Paducah CW affiliate WQWQ.  (I forgot about those earlier.)  Up in Cincinnati, the company owns WXIX, the Fox affiliate.
Nexstar, owner of WTVW-Fox 7, came in at 23rd on the list.  Based in Irving, Tex., Nexstar owns 34 full-power stations in 34 markets, with…

IMPORTANT NOTE about JDTVB Weather Coverage

Weather information on JDTVB is provided for informational purposes ONLY.  It is not intended to, nor do I have the capacity to, replace what you get from local TV and radio and elsewhere on the internet.
Whenever warnings are issued, it is VITAL that you tune to local media for the latest and most detailed information.  Do not depend on JDTVB for info to make life-saving decisions for yourself or your family -- I'll be getting my information from the TV, and you should be as well.
Any and all warnings that I receive from local media outlets will be retweeted on Twitter as I get them, so if you are a follower, you'll get them.
I also recommend that you follow them, too!

TORNADO WATCH for western half of Tri-State in effect until 7:00 PM CDT

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THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, WESTERN AND NORTHERN INDIANA, WESTERN KENTUCKY AND SOUTHEAST MISSOURI,  EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 1:25 PM UNTIL 7:00 PM CDT.   TORNADOES...HAIL TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.
In the immediate Tri-State area, the following counties are covered by this WATCH:
IN SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS:  CLAY, EDWARDS, GALLATIN, HAMILTON, LAWRENCE, RICHLAND, SALINE, WABASH, WAYNE, WHITE
IN SOUTHWESTERN INDIANA:  GIBSON, KNOX, POSEY
IN WESTERN KENTUCKY:  UNION
Stay tuned to local TV, radio and the National Weather Service for more information!