Showing posts from January, 2011

"Being asked to handle a radioactive dog turd ..." Networks, fans face possibility of NFL lockout

Over the past few years, professional football has become the most popular sport on television.  This season alone, week after week, new highs have been reached in total viewers, and that means more money for the broadcast television networks and more enjoyment for fans.
But it seems possible ― even likely ― that next Sunday's Super Bowl could be the last time we get to watch an NFL game on television this year, as the current collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players will expire on March 4.  Both sides refuse to budge on the issues, and it's looking more and more likely that a lockout will happen.
Most of us are old enough to remember the baseball strike of 1994.  It took years for Major League Baseball to recover from that, as disgusted fans turned elsewhere for entertainment.  A similar situation could be in the offing for the NFL.
Fans won't long tolerate such utter foolishness.  That much we know.
But the fans aren't the only ones who would be…

Betty's on a roll! White wins SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

I've said it before, and I will gladly say it again:  Betty White is a national treasure.
At the tender age of 89, White is one of the last living links to television's early days, and it seems like once she got on the air, she's never been off.  That's remarkable in and of itself, but even more remarkable is the fact that she appeals to viewers both young and old.
Last year, the comedy legend starred in a hilarious Super Bowl commercial for Snickers, and once that hit the airwaves, her popularity soared to new and amazing heights.
A highly-publicized Facebook campaign led to her first-ever turn as the host of NBC's "Saturday Night Live."  She's been the toast of late-night, with appearances on "The Tonight Show," "The Late Show with David Letterman, "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," and more.
And then came a new hit series on cable's TV Land called "Hot in Cleveland," in which she portrays Elka Ostrovsky, th…

"Hometown radio" returning to Tell City as Cromwell prepares to open new downtown studio

Tell City hasn't had a true hometown radio station for some years.  If my memory serves me right, it's been since WTCJ (1230 AM) was sold to the Cromwell Group, and that has indeed been quite a while.
That's about to change.
WTCJ-FM ("Classic Hits CJ105.7") is getting new downtown Tell City studio.
I don't yet know where it will be or when it will open, but for those interested in being part of the action, tune to 105.7 and listen for details.  The station reports via Facebook that the public will be invited to stop in and check it out when the new studio opens.

WEEKEND BRIEFS: Sheen in rehab, "CHiPs" star gets probation, and it's Pro Bowl time

While I normally don't post much news on the weekend, because there's usually very little going on outside of sports, there are a few national notes to tell you about this Sunday, so let's go:
SHEEN ENTERS REHAB; "MEN" ENTERS HIATUS ― Troubled actor Charlie Sheen, 45, whose list of personal problems is longer than most Hollywood limousines, entered rehab in an undisclosed location on Friday after yet another round of problems this month, including a brief hospitalization for an undisclosed ailment.  (Lots of "undiscloseds" there.)  With one of its three stars now sidelined, CBS' hit series "Two and a Half Men" will discontinue filming indefinitely.  That puts a pretty sizable number of folks out of work ... all because Sheen can't get his act together.
"CHiPs" STAR GETS PROBATION IN FRAUD CASELarry Wilcox, who played California highway patrolman Jon Baker on the 1977-83 NBC series "CHiPs," was sentenced to three ye…

KET to offer special programming for Black History Month

(COURTESY OF KET) ― Throughout February, KET will present programming celebrating Black History Month, from military history to concert specials.

First, "For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots" looks at the largely untold history of African-American participation in America's armed forces, from the earliest days of the Revolutionary War to the conflict in Afghanistan. Introduced by General Colin Powell and hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, the film uses letters, diaries, speeches, historical texts, and military records to document and acknowledge the profound sacrifices of African-American service men and women. It airs Wednesdays, Feb. 2 and 9, at 8:00 PM CT (9:00 ET) on KET2.

Then, "Gospel Meets Symphony: Let Freedom Ring!" offers a unique and uplifting concert experience. The Akron Symphony Orchestra and a 200-voice choir blend two time-honored musical genres — soul-stirring gospel and classical melodies. Maestro Ch…

WUEV adds third audio stream for men's basketball games

(COURTESY OF EVANSVILLE ATHLETICS)University of Evansville men's basketball fans have spoken, and WUEV has listened.

After both of WUEV's audio streams reached their maximum capacity during Wednesday night's men's basketball game at Indiana State, the radio station has added an additional audio stream in conjunction with the UE athletics department and

Using the streaming capabilities of, WUEV will provide an additional audio stream embedded on for fans to listen to.  Click here or click on the "Extra MBB Audio Stream" link on the men's basketball home page or under "Live Events" across the top of the screen to access the audio.

"We sincerely apologize about the audio issues our fans have experienced this season," said WUEV general manager Tom Benson.  "The demand to listen to UE men's basketball games on-line has been at an all-time high this year, and even after tr…

The Weekender -- I Really Did Melt the Keyboard (Kinda, Sorta ...) Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I jokingly called The Weekender the "My Keyboard is Melting" Edition.  It turns out that my joke was actually closer to being true!
I've been using the same little MSI Wind netbook computer for nearly two years.  It arrived here on Feb. 5, 2009, and in that time, I've written over 2,300 entries on this site, 105 entries on my license plate collection's website, 72 columns for the Courier & Press, over 22,200 tweets, countless Facebook status updates, and countless other items ... and that's in addition to "normal" use!  So you can imagine that, if the keyboard could talk, it would be screaming for mercy!
And, to be honest, for the past few months, I've been holding the poor keyboard together with super glue and sheer determination.  Many of the keys are so worn that you can almost see through them.  I've decided it's not because it was made of inferior material, but rather because I just use it so much!  (Indeed,…

CW pushes "Smallville," "Supernatural" return back one week

The CW television network has decided ― at the eleventh hour ― to push back the return of its two relatively popular sci-fi series, "Smallville" and "Supernatural," one week.
WAZE-CW19 (yes, the station still exists ... for some reason) airs the shows in the Tri-State, and originally, they had been set to make their comeback tonight, but the network instead thought that replaying last night's winter premieres of "The Vampire Diaries" and "Nikita" tonight is a better idea.
The reason, according to Deadline Hollywood's Nellie Andreeva, is to give "Diaries" and "Nikita" more exposure ... because they're facing Fox's "American Idol" for the first time.
You know, like they have a prayer against "Idol."
Gotta admire their spunky attitude, I guess.

COMMENTARY: Comcast plucks NBC's peacock!

"It seemed kind of busy."
Those were the words of new NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke used to explain why Comcast, which is taking over the company, has removed the nearly 55-year-old peacock mascot from the corporate logo.
The multicolored bird, which debuted in May 1956 to highlight NBC's push into color television, will remain for the NBC, MSNBC and CNBC television networks, at least for now.
The new identifier, which mashes NBC and Universal together like a train wreck (and that may be fitting!), is shown above, with the old NBCU logo inset.  Burke and his Comcast buddies might like it better, but I'm not fond of it.
Besides, the last time NBC dumped the peacock ― replacing it with the stylized "N" logo in 1976 ― the company was sued for trademark infringement by the Nebraska ETV Network, which had a very similar logo.  Not only that, NBC found itself in a ratings slump (not unlike the one it's in these days) at that time.
The rebirth of the peacock in 1…

Happy Birthday, Sunrise! 14WFIE's morning newscast turns 17 on Monday

The folks at 14WFIE will mark the 17th anniversary of the Tri-State's #1 morning newscast, 14 News Sunrise, on Monday.
Anchored these days by Dan Katz and Beth Sweeney, the show had humble beginnings ― it was just a one-hour program from 6 to 7 AM called Newswatch Sunrise when it debuted on Jan. 31, 1994 ― but it's grown steadily over the years, and these days, it's a 2 1/2 hour show.
One reason for Sunrise's success is its stability and the experience of its team.  Katz has been there since the beginning, Sweeney has been there since 2005, and meteorologist Byron Douglas has been telling you what the weather's going to do since the fall of 1995.  That adds up to nearly 40 years of experience.
And that wealth of experience also extends behind the cameras.  Longtime 14 News producer Mitzi Morris recently transitioned to the Sunrise staff as the show's executive producer.
Congratulations to the whole Sunrise crew ― and here's to many more years!

Time Warner Cable profits rise as basic video subscribers continue to jump ship

Time Warner Cable, which serves a number of Tri-State communities including the Owensboro metro area, has announced its fourth-quarter results, and they're mixed, but mostly good, for the cable giant.
While the company saw a nearly six percent increase in revenues (to $4.8 billion) and a 22% spike in profits (earning $392 million), it's doing so with fewer subscribers for its video products.
The company lost 141,000 basic video subscribers in the last three months of 2010, which could be construed as bad news, although the company added 94,000 internet and 72,000 phone customers, as well as 72,000 who subscribe to all three services (TV, internet and phone).
For his part, TWC chairman, president and CEO Glenn Britt is satisfied with the results.  "We made great strides financially and operationally in 2010," Britt said. "We achieved record free cash flow and continued to deliver on our shareholder-oriented capital allocation strategy. At the same time, we enhanc…

KET’s 2011 legislative coverage includes governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address

(COURTESY OF KET)Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will deliver his State of the Commonwealth Address before a joint session of the House and Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 6:00 PM CT (7:00 ET) on KET. The speech will also be available live online and archived at

Renee Shaw and Bill Goodman co-anchor KET’s coverage, which includes interviews with political leaders and analysis from a political observer.

Also, as the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives meet, KET offers extensive online and on-air coverage.

During legislative sessions, Senate and House chambers and committee meetings are streamed live at

Legislative Update, a report on the most significant activities of the day’s legislative meetings, including committee testimony and actions, and debate and votes on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives, is scheduled to air every weekday the legislature meets throughout February and March at 10:00 PM CT (11:00 ET) on KE…

From Fox 7 News: Employees of local cable TV subcontractor charged with theft

Some of you might think your cable company is run by crooks and thieves, but this is ridiculous.  And we should all be glad they were caught.
Fox 7 News reported this evening that two cable television workers were arrested by Vanderburgh County sheriff's deputies and charged with four thefts after a customer reported items missing after Kevin Leep and Jonathan Daniel departed.
Leep and Daniel were working as subcontractors for a local cable company, and while the story doesn't name the company, if you think you might have let these men into your home recently, you're advised to make sure your valuables are where they should be.
Read the whole story at

Comcast launches on-demand "Missing Kids" initiative to help bring missing children home

Comcast has launched a new public service initiative that the cable company hopes will help reunite at least some of the hundreds of thousands of children who go missing each year with their families.
The new Missing Kids program, which is the result of a partnership between Comcast and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is available to Comcast customers on their TV sets via the On Demand features.  It is available to all ― not just the company's subscribers ― online.
"This effort is not the first public service initiative that we launched on our platforms," explained Diana Kerekes, vice president for entertainment at Comcast. "Over the years, we have had a strong track record of helping raise awareness for issues On Demand and online. Initiatives such as Police Blotter, Stand Up To Cancer and the Pink Ribbon Campaign are just a few examples."
Kerekes, in a blog post today at ComcastVoices, wrote that the company's ultimate goal is to…

IHSAA Girls Basketball Pairings Show to air Sunday night on NEWS 25 Sports Channel

Fans of area girls high school basketball will want to tune in to the NEWS 25 Sports Channel this Sunday evening to find out who's playing where in this year's sectional tournaments.
The sectional pairings show will air at 6:00 PM CT (7:00 ET) on channel 25.2 over the air, and the following cable channels in Southwestern Indiana: Avenue - ch. 135 Comcast - ch. 208Insight - ch. 524pscTV - ch. 6 Time Warner - ch. 311WOW! - ch. 111You'll want to mark your calendars, too:  This year's state finals for the girls will be broadcast on the NEWS 25 Sports Channel on March 5.

CORRECTION: "Double or Nutin'" and "Atomic City" will air on My44, not CBS44

In today's column and also recently on this site, I told you about two new shows, "Double or Nutin'" and "Atomic City," that will be tested here in the Tri-State by WEVV next month.
Unfortunately, I mistakenly reported that the shows, which will air on Feb. 5 and Feb. 26, will be broadcast on CBS44.  That is not the case, as WEVV general manager Tim Black told me just a short while ago.
The shows will air on My44 (ch. 44.2).
I'd like to thank Tim for clarifying this for us, and I also apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

NEWS BRIEF: ESPNU HD coming to NewWave on Friday

There's a new high-definition sports channel coming for those of you who have NewWave Communications' HD cable service.
ESPNU HD will be added to the lineup tomorrow.
In the Tri-State, NewWave's HD service is available in all markets except Wadesville and portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.

"The Talk" to get second season on CBS

CBS has picked up its afternoon gabfest, "The Talk," for a second season.
The show, which premiered last fall and airs locally on CBS44 WEVV each weekday afternoon at 1:00 PM CT (2:00 ET), is hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete and Leah Remini.
While some consider "The Talk" to be nothing more than CBS' version of ABC's "The View," it has drawn a fairly sizable audience, averaging about 2.2 million viewers a week since replacing "As the World Turns," and it continues to draw new eyes to the screen.
"After only a few months on the air, 'The Talk' has delivered creative and ratings growth and established a strong profile in daytime," said Nina Tassler, president, CBS Entertainment. "The co-hosts have clicked together, the topics have connected with the audience and the show has added a new dimension to our top-rated daytime lineup. We're excited about its current success an…

WKU's School of Journalism and Broadcasting wins Ultimate Newscast Makeover contest

Despite some voting difficulties during the process, Western Kentucky University's broadcasting program has won the Ultimate Newscast Makeover contest I told you about earlier this month.
WKU's School of Journalism and Broadcasting will receive a new studio set, new music and new graphics, all of which will improve the already fine product which the students create.
Representatives from the university commented that the new set "will energize the students and will motivate them to continue their tradition of excellence," according to FX Design Group, which sponsored the contest. Work to install the new set will commence next month, with completion scheduled for sometime in March.
Congratulations to the students and faculty!

In Thursday's column: A little of this, a little of that ... even some baseball

This week's column (in tomorrow's Courier & Press) is sort of a hodgepodge of news and notes, but I think you'll find something to catch your fancy.  Some of you might be curious what's in there, so here's a preview: CARDINALS ON CABLE:  You'll find out about the St. Louis Cardinals' move to cable TV for 2011 (with the exception of nine games that Fox will air), and why that should bother sports fans.WTSN WANTS TO "WOW" YOU: Evansville's WTSN-LD (ch. 36.1) isn't available to WOW! cable customers, but there's a way you can help.  I'll give you details.CBS44 WILL TEST TWO NEW SHOWS:  Next month, two new television shows will get a tryout in late-night on WEVV (ch. 44.1).  You'll read about my thoughts on those."NIGHTLINE" IS GETTING SQUEEZED:ABC has decided Jimmy Kimmel needs five more minutes of nonsense each night, so "Nightline" will therefore lose five minutes starting Feb. 4.  Is ABC biting the hand th…

WSIU to present "Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know" live at Shryock Auditorium on March 26

(COURTESY OF WSIU)WSIU Public Radio, a public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), will present a live broadcast of "Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?" on Saturday, March 26 at 9:30am at Shryock Auditorium, located at 1050 S. Normal Avenue on the SIU campus in Carbondale. Produced by Wisconsin Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International, the weekly comedy quiz show airs on WSIU Radio on Saturdays from 10am-noon.

Host Michael Feldman will lead the live March 26th taping of the show, along with cast and crew members Jim Packard, Lyle Anderson, John Thulin, Jeff Hamman, Clyde Stubblefield, Todd Witter, Tom Blain, Aubrey Ralph, Brad Kolbert, and Michele Gerard Good.

Tickets are available for purchase at, a service of SIU Event Services. Prices are $50 for seating in the Director's Circle, $40 for Orchestra seating, $32 for Side/Rear Orchestra/Lower Balcony seating, and $26 for Upper Balcony seating.


WKMS news director elected chairman of Kentucky Public Radio editorial board

(COURTESY OF WKMS)Chad Lampe, news director for WKMS, is the newly-elected chairman of the Kentucky Public Radio editorial board.
Lampe is a Murray State University graduate and has worked at WKMS since 2005. Originally a student reporter, he has served in his current position as news director since 2007. Notably, Lampe has received many Kentucky Associated Press awards including first-place recognition for coverage of the 2009 ice storm.

Kentucky Public Radio (KPR) is a consortium of seven partner stations* that employs state capitol reporter Tony McVeigh in Frankfort, provides free story exchanges and training opportunities for public radio reporters and student interns. The KPR editorial board meets quarterly in Frankfort. The board consists of five elected members representing the partner stations.

As chairman, Lampe plans to work closely with all board members to expand service to suit the needs of the new media consumer, while maintaining the network's reliability. Additio…

New NBC entertainment chief wants to push the envelope with racier programs

In an effort to revive NBC's faltering primetime fortunes, new boss Bob Greenblatt can be expected to call some of the plays he used while running the Showtime cable network, the New York Post reports.
That means you can expect to see more "racy" material in the future ... more gay and lesbian-themed programming, shows with sexual situations, and so forth ... not necessarily shows like "Will and Grace," but shows with more of an edge to them.
In all honesty, this may be a good thing.  NBC's fallen so far behind its competitors in entertainment in recent years that some question if anyone or anything can bring it back.  Indeed, if it weren't for the sports and news divisions' successes, the peacock would be on its deathbed.
Some question how far down this path Greenblatt will be allowed to tread, given the relatively conservative leanings of Comcast's management ― the cable giant's takeover of NBC Universal is set to close within the next few da…

For you northern folks: Tonight's UE-ISU basketball game will be televised on WTWO-NBC2

If you're able to pick up Terre Haute's NBC-2 (WTWO-TV) over the air or on cable (and it is available in the northern part of the Tri-State), you'll get the opportunity to watch the University of Evansville Purple Aces men's basketball team take on the Indiana State Sycamores live tonight beginning at 6:00 PM CT (7:00 ET).
WTWO reports that, due to the game, "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy" will not be seen tonight, and "Minute to Win It" will air at 2:00 AM CT (3:00 ET) tomorrow morning.
Of course, if watching the game isn't an option for you, you can always tune your radio to WUEV (91.5 FM) or listen online at

Fall Arbitron ratings released; WIKY, WKDQ still command top spots in Evansville radio

The numbers have been crunched, and while a number of radio stations have moved around in the Arbitron ratings, the top two remain the same ― as usual.  WIKY-104.1 FM and WKDQ-99.5 FM held down those two positions, although WKDQ lost some ground to the leader.
WSTO (96.1 FM) finds itself, as before, in third place, but instead of having WJLT (105.3 FM) on its heels as it was last year, now WABX (107.5) moves up to fourth. 
It appears that the strong performance of K-Love, which airs on WKVN (95.3 FM), was a fluke in 2009.  The station tanked this year, falling from a tie for fifth to a tie for eleventh place.
The other big mover was WEOA (1400 AM), which jumped seven spots on the list from the bottom (sixteenth) to a solidly mid-pack ninth place finish, tied with WGBF (1280). 
Here's a look at where things stood in the fall of 2009 versus the fall of 2010, and for full numbers, you can see those at Radio Online.
Fall 2009Fall 20101WIKY (104.1 FM)
AC1WIKY (104.1 FM)
AC2WKDQ (99.5 FM)

Another Tri-State broadcasting pioneer is gone: WFIE's "Uncle Dudley," Chet Behrman, dies at 86

There is sad news to report today, as we have lost another pioneer of Tri-State broadcasting.  Chester "Chet" Behrman died yesterday at the VNA Charlier Hospice Center in Evansville.
Behrman, who was 86, served as program director at WFIE from 1956 to 1978, but he is perhaps best known for his years as the host of the station's lunchtime children's show, "Lunch with Uncle Dudley."
Prior to his stint at WFIE, Behrman served as the first operations manager at WEHT, which started its life in September 1953, broadcasting on channel 50, and before that, he worked at radio station WLW in Cincinnati.
After leaving WFIE, Behrman (pictured above in 1978, shortly after leaving the station) started a computer programming business called "The Program Manager," which he operated for 11 years.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ruth, former operations director at WNIN, and by his second wife, Helen.  Behrman is survived by two children, two stepchildren, a…

Townsquare Media, City-County Observer and Community Observer form cross-promotion and content partnership

(COURTESY OF TOWNSQUARE MEDIA)Townsquare Media, the City-County Observer, and the Community Observer are pleased to announce that they have entered into an exclusive agreement for cross-promotion of radio and digital properties. In addition, the City-County Observer will provide content for Townsquare Media websites in Evansville and Owensboro.
Joe Wallace of Hadannah Business Solutions, business advisor and a frequent contributor to the City-County Observer, offered the following comment regarding the agreement: “The volume of internet traffic and the rise in national traffic rankings obviously caught the attention of the management of Townsquare Media. The rapid growth in readership of the City-County Observer can be attributed to the integration of its feature column, “IS IT TRUE,” that tackles local politics with an edge into the daily reading routine of greater Evansville’s population.” Wallace went on to say that “a population that is starved for frank opinion articles on tab…

Olney Voice of Christian Faith donates WPTH to VCY America Ministries

The FCC has approved the license transfer of WPTH (88.1 FM, Olney, Ill.) from Olney Voice of Christian Faith, Inc. to VCY America, Inc., a Christian radio broadcaster with stations in a number of Midwestern states.
According to the application, VCY America provides educational, religious and family programming, which means there will be little change in philosophy from what WPTH has broadcast in the past.
VCY is getting a good deal on the station, too.  Olney Voice of Christian Faith is donating the station and all related property.  This is likely due in no small part to the fact that Thomas Benson, the president of OVCF, is also a vice-president of VCY.
The station will be VCY's first full-power FM station in Illinois; it also owns and operates a low-power translator station, W213AW, in Charleston.

State of the Union address is tonight

President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address tonight, and all major network television affiliates in the Tri-State will, of course, carry the speech and the Republican response.  That message will be delivered by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
You'll be able to tune in beginning at 8:00 PM CT (9:00 ET) on WTVW-Fox 7, 14WFIE, WEHT-NEWS 25 and CBS44 WEVV.
Radio coverage will also be available on WNIN-88.3 FM.
If, however, you would prefer another program option, WNIN, KET and other public television stations will carry their regular Tuesday evening programming, as will most cable networks.  You can use my TV Guide listings tool on the right side of your screen to find what you'd like to watch.

NewWave customers can keep tabs on service, get questions answered via Twitter & Facebook

I deal with a fair number of cable companies in the process of writing for this site and my column, but I'm aware of only one ― NewWave Communications ― that's started going the extra mile to keep its customers up to date on what's happening.
Recently, NewWave personnel began posting updates on new services, service outages, and other various and sundry bits of information on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also ask questions and get quick answers using those social media tools.
If nothing else, it's certainly innovative, and in this writer's opinion, other cable companies would be wise to follow NewWave's lead.
EDITOR'S NOTE:  NewWave, which is based in Sikeston, Mo., serves a number of Tri-State communities in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.  For a full list of communities and links to channel lineups for each one, visit the Cable TV page and scroll down to NewWave.

Nearly 55 million viewers watched last night's AFC Championship game

Last night's AFC Championship game between the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers managed to win not only the night for CBS, but it was also the most-watched AFC Championship game in history.
CBS44 WEVV reports via Facebook this afternoon that nearly 55 million viewers tuned in, and Media Life Magazine reports that the game pulled in a 17.3 average rating among viewers 18-49, which would make it the most-watched primetime program of the season.  If so (and there's little doubt that it is), that's not likely to be touched by any other show again this year.
Prior to last night's game, the most-watched AFC Championship match-up was in 1982, when San Diego and Cincinnati squared off for the title.

Raycom's "America Now" going into daily syndication

TVNewsCheck reports today that "America Now," the new magazine show that premiered this past fall on 14WFIE, WAVE-3 and KFVS, is going into national syndication ... and it'll become a daily show.
The show, which airs locally on 14WFIE each Sunday night at 10:30 PM CT (11:30 ET), is produced by Raycom and features news clips from the company's 47 stations, with a focus on human interest stories as well as those geared toward health news and lifestyles.  It's hosted by Bill Rancic, who will be remembered as the winner of the first "Apprentice" season on NBC.
No timeslot has yet been announced, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the show replace "Dr. Phil," which Raycom is dropping at the end of this season (late this summer), or even "The Oprah Winfrey Show," where it would serve as a direct lead-in to the evening newscasts, at least on WFIE.
I'll keep you posted.

"Kentucky Tonight" to take on proposed statewide smoking ban

(PORTIONS COURTESY KET) ― Whether you like it or not, a statewide smoking ban is a possibility in both Indiana and Kentucky this year.
Personally, as a smoker, I think it should be up to individual business and property owners to determine whether or not to allow smoking on their premises, but I know my status tends to color my judgment on this issue.
That's why it's good to see that on tonight's edition of "Kentucky Tonight,"host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss Kentucky's proposed statewide smoking ban.
The program airs at 7:00 PM CT (8:00 ET) on KET (chs. 31.1, 35.1 and 53.1 in the Tri-State) and live online at
Scheduled guests are State Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington; State Rep. Jim DeCesare, R-Bowling Green; Amy Barkley, an advocacy director with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; and Jim Waters, vice president of policy and communications with the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions.
Viewers with questions and comments…

Updates coming later

I'll be away from my desk for a while this morning, so there will be no updates here at Jake's DTV Blog until later.  I apologize for any inconvenience.

UPDATED: Olbermann's exit means schedule changes for MSNBC

UPDATE, 3:55 PM:  Bill Carter of The New York Timesreports in the NYT's Media Decoder blogthat Olbermann's exit was indeed planned by MSNBC, and had been in the works for several weeks.  The agreement between NBC Universal and Olbermann is said to be similar to that given to Conan O'Brien almost exactly one year ago, which means it'll be a while before KO can give his side of the story ... which I hope he does, in full and unfettered detail.

With Keith Olbermann's sudden exit from MSNBC after Friday night's edition of "Countdown," things are obviously changing at the cable news network.
Of course, with no Olbermann, there's no "Countdown," which was one of the most-watched -- if not the most-watched -- show on MSNBC's schedule.  It was the cornerstone of the network's more liberal counterpoint to Fox News Channel and its band of troublemakers conservative voices.
So, now that Olbermann is out, the MSNBC schedule is getting some twea…

The Weekender -- It'll Warm You Up Edition

So, is it cold enough for you yet?  When I woke up this morning, it was all of SEVEN degrees here in Owensboro, but I went on and did things as I normally do them.  It's January, and it's supposed to be cold, right?  And besides, we're less than 60 days from spring.
It's been a relatively quiet week, but there's enough to pull together into one place to catch up on this weekend, so here is your look back at the broadcast happenings covered here over the past seven days.

We'll see you on Monday ─ sooner if there's breaking news!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 21THURSDAY, JANUARY 20Fox 7's "Road to the Championship" special to feature Jay Cutler and the Bears

Fox Sports Midwest announces Cardinals broadcast team

ABC squeezes "Nightline" to 25 minutes; "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to start at 11PM beginning Feb. 4

COMMENTARY: Other stations should follow WEOA's leadWMSK replacing studio equipment; brief program interruptions possible over next couple …

Fox 7's "Road to the Championship" special to feature Jay Cutler and the Bears

WTVW-Fox 7 will present "Road to the Championship" this Saturday night at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 ET).  It's a special program that will take an in-depth look at football's oldest rivalry, the Chicago Bears versus the Green Bay Packers.
Of course, as most of you know, the Bears have a Tri-State connection in their quarterback, Jay Cutler, who hails from Santa Claus, so of course a big focus of the show will be on him.  You'll hear from Cutler's high school football coach, Bob Clayton, too.
Fox 7 news director Bob Walters tells me that "Road to the Championship" is a collaborative effort between Fox 7 and Nexstar's other stations in the region.

The matchup between the Bears and Packers airs this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 PM CT (3:00 ET) on Fox.
Additionally, with Super Bowl XLV fast approaching, Fox 7 ― which is airing this year's big game in the Tri-State ― will begin doing special coverage on-air and online at next week.

Fox Sports Midwest announces Cardinals broadcast team

(COURTESY OF FOX SPORTS MIDWEST)Dan McLaughlin, Al Hrabosky and Rick Horton will return to the broadcast booth as the TV voices of St. Louis Cardinals baseball in 2011, when Fox Sports Midwest becomes the exclusive local TV home of the Cardinals.
Fox Sports Midwest will televise more than 150 games in 2011. As part of a three-man rotation, each announcer will call roughly 100 games with McLaughlin on play-by-play, Hrabosky as analyst and Horton calling games in both roles. On opening day, March 31, McLaughlin, Hrabosky and Horton will team for a three-man booth.  McLaughlin is entering his 13th season of Cardinals TV broadcast, Hrabosky his 27th year and Horton his 8th.

On the Cardinals Live pregame and postgame shows, Jim Hayes and Pat Parris will continue as hosts and reporters. Cal Eldred, in his third season as part of Fox Sports Midwest’s on-air team, will return as pregame analyst and add postgame duties after many games. Horton and Hrabosky will also provide postgame analysis.

ABC squeezes "Nightline" to 25 minutes; "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to start at 11PM beginning Feb. 4

ABC's "Nightline," which regularly beats both David Lettermanand Jay Leno in the ratings, is going to have five fewer minutes to do that each night starting Feb. 4.
The time sacrifice for "Nightline," which airs in the Tri-State at 10:35 PM CT each weeknight, will benefit "Jimmy Kimmel Live," which will see its start time moved from 11:05 PM CT to 11:00, against competing shows like TBS' "George Lopez."
The Associated Press reports that Kimmel's show has posted a whopping two-percent increase in viewership this season, although its numbers are nowhere near that of "Nightline."
One could be forgiven for thinking that "Nightline," which averages 3.9 million viewers a night, will suffer with just 25 minutes to tell its stories instead of 30.  It's been threatened with cancellation before, as ABC considered different late-night options.  However, newly-installed ABC News president Ben Sherwood says that's not goi…