IMPORTANT NOTICE

Jake's DTV Blog ceased regular operations as of Oct. 1, 2013. Certain features on the information pages (accessible above) are still being updated, but news updates are no longer being posted.

For national TV news and information, visit TVNewsCheck. For radio information, visit All Access. For Indiana TV and radio info, see Blaine Thompson's Indiana RadioWatch.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BRIEF: NewWave to perform maintenance in Carmi overnight; brief outages possible

Just a heads-up, folks:  NewWave Communications will be performing maintenance in the Carmi area between 1:00 and 2:00 AM tomorrow morning.

The company reports that customers may experience brief service outages during that timeframe.

CORRECTED: 14WFIE to televise final Aces basketball game at Roberts Stadium

CORRECTION:  The pre-game show will air at 1:00 PM CT (2:00 ET) on the 26th.  Tip-off is set for 2:00 CT (3:00 ET).  I've updated the information below.

On Feb. 26, a golden era in Evansville history will come to an end as the University of Evansville Purple Aces men's basketball team will play their final game at Roberts Stadium, which has been the Aces' home since 1956.

Without a doubt, the venerable old homeplace for generations of Aces players and fans will be jam-packed, and I'd be surprised if it isn't a sellout.  You can also be sure that many thousands more will want to watch the action from home.

Fortunately, 14WFIE will be there to bring those home viewers across the Tri-State into the action.

Mike Blake and Joe Danneman will kick off the afternoon at 2:00 PM CT (3:00 ET) 1:00 PM CT (2:00 ET) on channel 14.1 (the station's main channel) with an hour-long pre-game show.  14WFIE news director C.J. Hoyt tells me the show will take us on a trip back in time through the rich and colorful 55-year history of the Stadium.  Bo McFall will have reports during the show and you'll see plenty of live interviews, too.

The game itself, which tips off at 2:00 PM CT (3:00 ET) should be exciting, too, as the Aces will face Illinois State, a team they defeated in Normal back on January 15.

One note for those of you who are PGA golf fans:  14WFIE will join the tournament in progress following the game and the post-game festivities.

CBS names new management team at CBS News; McManus named Chairman of CBS Sports

(COURTESY OF CBS)Jeff Fager, the Executive Producer of "60 Minutes," has been promoted to the newly created position of Chairman of CBS News, and David Rhodes, most recently the head of U.S. Television operations for Bloomberg, has been named President of CBS News.  The announcement was made today by Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation.

Fager and Rhodes succeed Sean McManus who, in a separate announcement released today, has been named to the newly created position of Chairman of CBS Sports.  McManus had served as President of both CBS News and CBS Sports since 2005.

In his new role as Chairman of CBS News, Fager will report to Moonves and guide the overall editorial direction, content and quality of all CBS News broadcasts, both on-air and online.  As President of the division, Rhodes will report to Fager and run the operations of CBS News on a day-to-day basis, taking charge of all coverage and staffing.  The appointments are effective February 22, 2011. 

"In these two great news professionals, we get the best of both worlds: the quintessential insider with deep knowledge of the business and all the moving parts at CBS News, as well as a dynamic young executive with strong news management experience and a tough, fresh point of view," said Moonves.  "They will inherit a proud and dedicated organization that has been well positioned for success in the future by their predecessor.  Together, they make the ultimate winning team."

For more on this story, click past the jump.

DLC Media's Princeton translator, W249BP, OK'd for lower power, WVUB simulcast

DLC Media's translator station in Princeton, W249BP (97.7 FM), will soon be back on the air simulcasting Vincennes University's WVUB (91.1 FM).

The FCC has approved DLC's application to relocate the station's transmitter and reduce its power from 10 watts to 2 watts.

DLC Media, which is owned and operated by former Indiana State Representative David Crooks, also owns Washington stations WAMW-AM 1580 and FM 107.9, along with other translators in Southwestern Indiana.

NATIONAL NOTES: Olbermann finds new TV home, Beck rips NFL players, CW announces "Smallville's" end

There is some news of interest on the national scene today, so let's break it down in capsule form:

OLBERMANN GETS CURRENT:  Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann wasn't without a job for long.  He's joining former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV, where he will be the network's chief news officer.  Olbermann will also host a nightly, hour-long show starting this spring.  (Huffington Post)

BECK QUESTIONS PLAYERS' PATRIOTISM:  I honestly don't know why I bother reporting this, but it shows just how asinine Glenn Beck really is.  On his radio show, Beck criticized the players of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers for not showing proper reverence when Christina Aguilera butchered the National Anthem during Sunday's Super Bowl.  I guess the good news is that he refrained from calling them Nazis.  (Huffington Post)

GOODBYE, "SMALLVILLE" ...:  "Smallville," one of the CW network's most successful shows ― not that it takes much to measure up to that standard ― is going off the air after this season, its 10th.  The network has announced that the show will get a proper send-off, too, with a two-hour finale that will air on May 13.  (Deadline Hollywood)

Monday, February 7, 2011

There's more to a promo than meets the eye: WDRB unleashes the blooper reel for its Super Bowl spot

Sometimes making a promo is harder than reporting the news, even when it's a light-hearted spot.  Such was the case with the folks at Louisville's Fox affiliate, WDRB-Fox 41, when they made the Super Bowl promo for their new 6:30 PM (ET) newscast.

But unlike most blooper reels, the folks at Fox 41 don't mind sharing the fun they had in making this one ... the video is available on their site ... or you can watch it after the jump.  Enjoy!

NewWave closing W. Kentucky offices at 2PM due to weather conditions

NewWave Communications has decided to close its offices across Western Kentucky at 2:00 PM CT today.

With the exception of Ohio and Hancock counties, all of Western Kentucky is under a Winter Storm Warning through 6:00 this evening.

UPDATE: Super Bowl XLV is now the most-watched TV program ever, beating SB XLIV by 5.5 million viewers

UPDATE, 8:15 PM:  David Bauder of the Associated Press reports that, indeed, Super Bowl XLV is now the most-watched television program in history.  Some 111 million people tuned in, surpassing last year's event by 5.5 million viewers.

For the sake of comparison, the 1983 series finale of "M*A*S*H," which had held the record for 27 years, is now the third-most-watched show in history.


I'm not sure if people tuned in to watch the game itself (which was good), the commercials (also good), or if they wanted to see just how colossally bad the seating arrangements, halftime entertainment and other things were in North Texas (and just about everything Jerry Jones had a hand in was a complete mess), but there are two certainties -- well, one is nearly certain -- that have come out of Super Bowl XLV.

The first is that the Green Bay Packers are the champions.  The second ― which isn't a lock yet, but close ― is that XLV might pass XLIV as the most-watched television event of all time.

Media Life Magazine reports that the game itself hauled in some truly incredible numbers.  It averaged a 47.9 rating and a whopping 71 share ― up from 46.4 and 68 last year.  So it seems rather obvious to me that more people watched this year than last.  Of course, the numbers can (and probably will) change somewhat in the final analysis, but the NFL and Fox (which broadcast the game) have much to be proud of, at least from that standpoint.

Next year, of course, if there is a Super Bowl, it will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis ... and, should the league and the players reach a new collective bargaining agreement during the off-season, expectations will be high for an even bigger performance.  NBC will televise that game ... if it happens.

NewsTalk 1280 makes substantial weekday programming changes

Folks who tune in to Evansville's NewsTalk 1280 WGBF will notice some big programming changes starting today.  NewsTalk 1280's John Story reports that the moves have been made in response to numerous listener requests.

Here's a look at the new schedule ... changes are shown in bold orange print:
  • Midnight — 5:00 AM:  Coast to Coast AM – unchanged
  • 5:00 — 6:00 AM:  Doug Stephan’s Good Day – unchanged
  • 6:00 — 9:00 AM:  Dave Ramsey – unchanged – ("Live with Les Shively," which airs on Thursdays, moves into the 8:00 to 9:00 hour on Feb. 17)
  • 9:00 — 11:00 AM:  Glenn Beck – will now be live for 2 hours in this slot instead of delayed at 5:00 PM for 3 hours – (Laura Ingraham moves out of this slot)
  • 11:00 AM — 2:00 PM:  Rush Limbaugh – unchanged
  • 2:00 —5:00 PM:  Sean Hannity: – unchanged
  • 5:00 — 8:00 PM:  Mark Levin – all three hours of the show now carried live – (Glenn Beck moves out of this slot)
  • 8:00 — 10:00 PM:  Laura Ingraham – same-day delay of her second and third hours – (Mark Levin moves out of this slot)
  • 10:00 PM — Midnight:  Dennis Miller – unchanged
But the programming changes listed above aren't the only ones at 1280.  "We’re also making some additions to our news coverage from NEWS 25 and Fox News, and have added 'The Best of Laura Ingraham' to our Sunday schedule from 5:00 to 8:00 PM," Story explained. "(W)e’re always looking for ways to better serve our listeners and now believe that we can do that by adding more 'live' programming."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

FOLLOW-UP: 99.1 is back on the air in Mt. Carmel

I've received word this evening that W256AZ (99.1 FM, Mt. Carmel) is back on the air once again.

As I reported on Thursday, the station, which simulcasts WVMC-1360 AM, was off for a short period because of equipment issues at another Withers Broadcasting station.

Crack open a cold, frosty one with your friends: Cardinals' radio broadcasters get new contracts

Rooney and Shannon in the booth ... right where they belong
For those of you who enjoy listening to John Rooney and Mike Shannon call the action on the radio during the St. Louis Cardinals' games, I have good news.

Rooney and Shannon each signed new contracts this week to continue doing their thing for several more seasons, The Post-Dispatch reported Friday.  Shannon's contract is for three years (as is his custom), while Rooney's is for five.

Mike Claiborne, who handles the team's pre- and post-game shows, also received a new one-year contract.

This year will be Shannon's 40th in the booth for the Redbirds.  John Rooney has been handling play-by-play for MLB games since 1983, and joined the Cards in 2006.

As most fans know, the guys will be broadcasting on a different flagship station this year, as the team returns to its longtime home, KMOX (1120 AM), after five years on KTRS.  In the Tri-State ― at this point at least ― it appears that the same stations which carried the games last year will do so again in 2011.

Of course, if there are any changes, I'll be sure to let you know.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Weekender ... Not Much Goin' On Around Here (Until This Evening, Anyway) Edition

Until this afternoon and evening, this has been one of the quieter weeks in recent memory.  (It didn't help that I was under the weather for most of it.)

That said, we do have a few things to look back on, so once again, here you'll find all the week's stories gathered up, and you can take another look at the week in broadcasting or catch up on anything you might have missed.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you back here again on Monday ... unless breaking news happens first!  (For all the latest news anytime, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.)
FRIDAY, FEB. 4 THURSDAY, FEB. 3
Public invited to help WSIU "Caption the Past"

BRIEF:  NewWave to perform maintenance in Madisonville overnight; brief outages possible

Living the High 'Life' ... new "Kentucky Life" programs celebrate life in the Commonwealth

I'm a guest blogger now!

WEBQ-FM transmitter move from Eldorado to Harrisburg approved by FCC
UE grad's show, "Chase," is given the ax by NBC

Evansville native Bob Griese retires from broadcasting after 29-year career

Mt. Carmel's 99.1 is off the air, but not for the rumored reason
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 2 TUESDAY, FEB. 1
Looking ahead to Thursday ─ Here's a preview of my column in the Courier & Press

It's finally official: Sinclair and Time Warner Cable ink multi-year carriage agreement

Too good to wait until tomorrow: WTSN will begin airing Joe Blair's morning show on TV

Former Fox 7 sports anchor joins Joe Blair to talk sports on Superhits 105.3

"Dancing with the Stars" to return for 12th season on March 21
Move to Fox Sports Midwest may mean better experience, not worse, for Cards fans
MONDAY, JAN. 31 SATURDAY, JAN. 29 & SUNDAY, JAN. 30
"Being asked to handle a radioactive dog turd ..." Networks, fans face possibility of NFL lockout

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

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

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

KET to offer special programming for Black History Month

Public invited to help WSIU "Caption the Past"

(COURTESY OF WSIU) – It's 2011 – and WSIU Public Television, a public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), is having a birthday. Later this year, on November 6, 2011, WSIU-TV will mark 50 years of service to the region.

WSIU will be celebrating this milestone throughout the year with 50th Anniversary messaging and events, beginning with a casual event this month that will take guests on a trip down memory lane.

The Friends of WSIU Advisory Board are inviting the general public to join them for “Captioning the Past: WSIU-TV at 50,” on Sunday, February 13 from 2-5pm. The event will be held in WSIU-TV Studio A, Room 1065 of the Communications Building, located at 1100 Lincoln Drive on the SIUC campus.

Over the years, WSIU-TV has accumulated many photos that depict the station's growth since first signing on the air. Since many people in the area have grown up with WSIU, the station is seeking the public's help in identifying people, events, and the year in old photos. WSIU will use the information shared to help properly archive the photos as part of the station's history.

Beverages and desserts will be served. Guests also will enjoy a wide variety of music from the past 50 years.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Chester Hood by Friday, February 11 at (618) 453-6178 or chester.hood@wsiu.org.

Plans for other WSIU 50th Anniversary events throughout the year, including a culminating event in November, will be shared as details are finalized.

BRIEF: NewWave to perform maintenance in Madisonville overnight; brief outages possible

Just a heads-up, folks:  NewWave Communications will be performing maintenance in the Madisonville area between midnight tonight and 5:00 AM tomorrow morning.

The company reports that customers may experience brief service outages during that timeframe.

Living the High 'Life' ... new "Kentucky Life" programs celebrate life in the Commonwealth

"Kentucky Life" host Dave Shuffett (KET Photo)
(COURTESY OF KET) ― From the abundance of the natural world to the artistic beauty created by its citizens, the diversity of Kentucky is on display in new programs offered this month by KET’s long-running magazine series, "Kentucky Life."

In the first program airing this Saturday night, host Dave Shuffett explores the state’s streams in a segment devoted to colorful darters, fantastic-colored fish which rival those in tropical coral reefs for their beauty. One species, the Kentucky arrow darter, is being considered for endangered status; its sensitivity to pollutants has led to naturalists using its presence in streams as a marker for healthy waters.

Shuffett then plunges into another "Dave Does It" profession, this time learning to make brooms the old-fashioned way at Henson Brooms in Western Kentucky — the company that provided the authentic brooms for the sets of 1990s television drama Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

The show, premiering February 12, looks at the high-school basketball program at Mercer County’s tiny Burgin Independent Schools and travels to Highland House, a Carrollton inn at a restored 1920s mansion along the Ohio River. Finally, viewers can take a virtual sample of the chocolate fondues, rich chocolate espresso, and other chocolate creations at Coco’s Chocolate CafĂ© in Louisville.

Other programs airing in February pay tribute to black history, including a profile of abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, a stop by Russellville’s African-American Heritage Museum for a blues concert, and a special excerpt from the KET "Kentucky Muse" production on Louisville pianist Harry Pickens, who shares his ideas on music and its ability to bring people together.

Kentucky Life also delves into the state’s past — literally in the case of the profile of Lera Williams, who, at 110, is the state’s oldest living citizen. Viewers can also tour Northern Kentucky from the Ohio aboard World War II-era "duck" boats — as well as pay visits to Marion and Bowling Green’s Corvette Museum.

Kentucky Life airs on KET on Saturdays at 7:00 PM CT (8:00 ET) and on Sundays at 3:30 PM CT (4:30 ET). It also airs on KET2 on Sundays at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 ET).

I'm a guest blogger now!

Those of you who visit the websites of the various Townsquare Media radio stations may have noticed something different in the last couple of days.

Recently, I was asked if I would write some guest blogs for them, and my first posts went up yesterday on the 103GBF and Superhits 105.3 sites.

For the most part, my posts there will be unrelated to my column and this site.  Occasionally, there will be items from here which I'll share over there, as well as my take on the news of the day ... and possibly some humorous bits, as well.
I hope you'll check them out, and be sure to let me know what you think!

WEBQ-FM transmitter move from Eldorado to Harrisburg approved by FCC

Russ Withers' WEBQ-FM (102.3, Eldorado) will soon be broadcasting from a different tower, although most listeners probably won't notice any real difference.

The FCC approved Withers' application to move the station's transmitter  (which I told you about in early January) from its present location outside of Eldorado to the existing WEBQ-AM (1240) tower, which is located just south of Harrisburg near U.S. 45.

WEBQ-FM's move will be accompanied by an increase in power from 3,000 to 6,000 watts.  No word on when the move will be completed, but when I know, I'll pass the word along.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

UE grad's show, "Chase," is given the ax by NBC

It looks like University of Evansville graduate Kelli Giddish is going to be looking for another acting job.

Giddish's latest show, NBC's "Chase," has been yanked from the network's lineup after underperforming all season.  Last week's 1.2 rating apparently sealed its fate, as Inside TV's James Hibberd reports.

NBC tried a two-hour block of "Minute to Win It" last night, and that brought in a 3.0 rating ... well more than double what "Chase" was averaging.

Going forward, expect to see more "Minute."

Oh, and expect to see less of "The Cape," too ... NBC has decided to trim its original 13-episode order back to 10.  You'll hear no complaints from me on that!

Evansville native Bob Griese retires from broadcasting after 29-year career

ESPN PHOTO
(COURTESY OF ESPN) ― Evansville native and Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese has decided to retire from broadcasting after 29 years, including the last 24 on ESPN and ABC.

“I’ve had a wonderful career and now it’s time to experience new things,” Griese said. “I’ve had many highlights along the way, from working the NFL’s Super Bowl and college football’s championship games to covering many of my son Brian’s games during his undefeated season in 1997. I want to thank ABC, ESPN and the fans for their support and all the men and women on our TV crews for their patience and support thru the years.” 

Griese, a member of both the Pro Football and College Football Halls of Fame, joined ABC in 1987 where he provided fans with in-depth analysis and direct commentary on top Saturday afternoon games. For the past two seasons, he worked ESPN’s Saturday noon telecast with commentator Dave Pasch and analyst Chris Spielman.

While at ESPN and ABC, Griese called many top regular-season and bowl games, including the Rose Bowl Game, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl. He also called his son, Brian’s, final college game in the 1998 Rose Bowl Game. In the game, Brian, who now works as an ESPN college football analyst, led the undefeated Michigan Wolverines to a victory and a share of the national championship title. Griese started his career at NBC, where he served as the top analyst on NFL telecasts from 1982 to 1986 where he called the Super Bowl.

In a special moment for father and son, Bob and Brian worked a game together for the only time when they called Minnesota at Purdue this season on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production, said, “Sports fans have greatly benefited from the insights of Bob Griese. After a Hall of Fame playing career, he made the transition to become an elite broadcaster at the top of his field for three decades. We wish him continued success and enjoyment as he begins the next phase of his life.”

Keith Jackson, the legendary college football play-by-play voice for ABC who worked with Griese for 12 years, added, “Bob is a great analyst and an even better man. We liked each other, became very good friends and remain so to this day seeing each other throughout the year. I’m terribly fond of him. I like to think he learned to enjoy it and laugh a little more as time went on. We had the ability to play off each other which isn’t always the case with announcer teams. It worked for us.”

Griese was a two-time All-American at Purdue and runner-up for the 1966 Heisman Trophy. He was the top draft choice for the Miami Dolphins in 1967, and fourth pick overall.

In the 1970’s, Griese led the Miami Dolphins to nine winning seasons, three AFC Championships and two consecutive wins in Super Bowls VII and VIII. His greatest accomplishment came in 1972, when he returned from a mid-season injury to lead his team to an undefeated, 17-0 championship season.                                                

In his 14-year professional football career spent entirely with the Dolphins (1967-1980), Griese threw for 25,592 yards, 192 touchdowns and had a career passer rating of 77.1. He was a six-time Dolphin MVP, four-time All-AFC and a two-time All-Pro. He played in two AFL All-Star games and six NFL Pro Bowls.

Mt. Carmel's 99.1 is off the air, but not for the rumored reason

A rumor has been circulating in recent days that Withers Broadcasting's W256AZ-99.1 FM (Mt. Carmel), which simulcasts WVMC-1360 AM, is off the air because the station caused interference with aircraft communications in Tennessee.

That would be bad news ... if the rumor had any truth to it, that is.

Last night, I received word that the Federal Aviation Administration did touch base with the folks in Mt. Carmel in recent weeks seeking the source of interference.  However, it was determined that the Withers stations (WVMC, WYNG and W256AZ) weren't the source of the problem, and that was that.

So if interference isn't the reason why 99.1 is off-air, what is?

It turns out that the reason is equipment-related.  Another Withers station, specifically WMIX, needed to borrow an important piece of equipment from the WVMC/W256AZ side of the family on an emergency basis, and my understanding is that the station should be back on the air within the next couple of days.

That's what I know to be the true story, and if anything changes, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Looking ahead to Thursday ─ Here's a preview of my column in the Courier & Press

In this week's column (which will run in tomorrow's Courier & Press), there's plenty to keep you occupied on a cold morning ─ and by golly, it's gonna be cold tomorrow!

Here's a sneak peek at what's coming your way:
  • A brief look at local radio rankings:  While WIKY and WKDQ are still #1 and #2, respectively, some other stations have made big moves (both up and down) in the latest Arbitron ratings.
  • Hide your silver, hide your jewels:  Two cable company subcontractors were arrested after pilfering valuables from at least four Vanderburgh County homes.  We'll discuss it.
  • The Aces aren't just crashing the boards this season:  WUEV's live audio streams of Purple Aces men's basketball are so popular this season that another stream at GoPurpleAces.com had to be added to handle the load.
  • And finally, a correction:  I goofed when I told you that two new shows are being tested on CBS44 WEVV.  They're actually on My44.

It's finally official: Sinclair and Time Warner Cable ink multi-year carriage agreement

At long last, the deal between the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Time Warner Cable is finally done.

The two companies have signed a multi-year agreement that will keep 28 of Sinclair's stations on Time Warner Cable's systems throughout the country.  In the Tri-State area, that includes Cape Girardeau, Mo. Fox affiliate KBSI-Fox 23, which is carried by TWC in Shawneetown and Junction, Ill.

Interestingly enough, according to the most recent channel lineup, TWC added Louisville's Fox affiliate, WDRB-Fox 41, for those communities, presumably to keep two affiliates available in case the deal couldn't get done.  I wouldn't be surprised to see that station removed soon, if it hasn't been already.

Too good to wait until tomorrow: WTSN will begin airing Joe Blair's morning show on TV

I was going to wait until tomorrow, but this news just can't be held back:  Starting on Monday, you'll have the chance to not only hear Superhits 105.3's Joe Blair on the radio, but you'll also get to see him on your teevee.

How's that?

WTSN 36 (ch. 36.1 and also in analog on ch. 41) will begin airing the show live from 5:00 to 10:00 AM each weekday morning.

I'll have more details on all of this tomorrow, but until then, head over to WTSN's Facebook page to find out how you can win a free one-night stay at the Comfort Inn East ... it's related to the show, just take my word for it.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  WTSN is available over the air on the channels listed above, and is also on the following cable systems:  Insight (ch. 186), Time Warner (ch. 3 & 306 in Owensboro, 14 & 306 in Newburgh).  And special thanks to Blaine Thompson of Indiana RadioWatch for the tip!!!

Former Fox 7 sports anchor joins Joe Blair to talk sports on Superhits 105.3

Rick Peltier's name is familiar to many who used to watch him as a sports anchor on WTVW-Fox 7, where he worked for eight and a half years before moving on to St. Mary's, where he now works as the hospital's media and public relations coordinator.

But now he's coming back on the air ― as his schedule allows ― with Joe Blair on Superhits 105.3 (WJLT), to talk about what's happening in the wild, wonderful world of sports.  Blair reports on his blog that the goal is to get Rick in the studio every Wednesday morning.

"We have a sports crazy area and it will be fun pulling Rick out of his 'sports retirement' and tap his knowledge on the morning show," Blair wrote.

And speaking of Joe Blair, I'll have a story on him tomorrow that should be of great interest.  Be sure to stop back in here then for that!

"Dancing with the Stars" to return for 12th season on March 21

If you hate the show, you'll hate this bit of news.  If you love it, well, you'll love it.

ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" is returning for its 12th season on March 21 with a two-hour premiere episode, the UPI reports.  Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke will again host the popular dance series.

The celebrity contestants (celebritestants? contestrities?) will be announced during "The Bachelor" on Feb. 28 ... and that, my friends, is just 26 short days from today.

Get your popcorn ready.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Move to Fox Sports Midwest may mean better experience, not worse, for Cards fans

In last week's column (as well in various places here on the site), I've told you about my displeasure with the St. Louis Cardinals' decision to move all the team's games this season to cable network Fox Sports Midwest.

I'm still not completely thrilled about it, but Geoff Goldman of Fox Sports Midwest Media Relations told me via e-mail today that what they're doing will be good news, not bad, for the vast majority of fans.

I'll let you decide, but I will tell you now that there are positives to the move that I just didn't see before.

"The vast majority of fans in Evansville will continue to receive all Cardinals telecasts," Goldman explained. "According to Nielsen Media Research, more than 89 percent of households in the Evansville market have cable or satellite service and thus receive Fox Sports Midwest."

That is true.  The overwhelming majority of viewers here do have cable or satellite, but as usual, I like to stand up for the little guy who doesn't.  Sometimes that colors my judgment.

Goldman also says the fans who do get FSM will experience the best Cardinals coverage ever.  "We try to 'superserve' Cardinals fans with our coverage," he continued, "delivering for each game a 30-minute pregame show and full hour of postgame coverage as well as a superior production that includes Fox's award-winning graphics and additional cameras such as the super-slow motion 'Fox-Mo' cam."

Those are great improvements over what those of us watched over the past few years over-the-air on WAZE, so perhaps it isn't all bad news.  I greatly appreciate Geoff's efforts to explain what's happening and what enhancements will be available to those watching the games this year.

Monday, January 31, 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 hurt by a lockout; so would the TV networks.  In their contracts with the NFL, the networks are on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars this year ... whether any games are played or not.  They still have to pay.

So it's understandable, as Mediaweek's Anthony Crupi wrote yesterday, that as they face this potential financial disaster, the networks do so "with all the enthusiasm of someone being asked to handle a radioactive dog turd."

It's really a no-win situation for everyone.  With no games to watch, viewers will find other entertainment options.  With no viewers, advertisers will pull back from what would have been substantial ad buys (Crupi estimates a wipeout in the neighborhood of $3 billion).  And without that revenue, the networks have to cough up a combined $4 billion to the NFL, which means they'll have to take that money from somewhere ... probably from funds set aside for other programming.

If the NFL and the players' union are smart, they'll clean up this mess before it has a chance to go radioactive.  But at this point, I don't hold out much hope.

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, the foil to characters played by Jane Leeves, Valerie Bertinelli and Wendie Malick.

It was for her role as Elka that White was awarded this year's Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series last night.

"We could not be more proud of Betty and our entire cast," said TV Land president Larry W. Jones. "Betty is a true legend and brings her magic to the set day after day. She is an amazing comedy actor. I am so thrilled that she was recognized for her work on 'Hot in Cleveland.'"

Most Americans would agree with Jones on that!

"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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

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 years' probation, 500 hours of community service and a $100 fine Friday for his role in a conspiracy to commit securities fraud.  Wilcox, 63, had faced up to five years in prison, but received a lighter sentence in exchange for his cooperation with federal investigators who rounded up his cohorts in the Florida stock scheme in which the onetime TV star was accused of trying to profit from an employee pension fund through kickbacks.

PARTY HARDY WITH THE NFL IN THE ALOHA STATE ― The NFL's last big party before the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl, is tonight, and it'll be broadcast live from Hawaii.  So, if your team isn't in the big game next Sunday, your last chance to see some of your favorite players on the field (or the sidelines) is tonight.  It's not the usual hard-hitting game, but it is a lot of fun.  You'll find the action on WTVW-Fox 7, WFXW-Fox 38, WDRB-Fox 41, KBSI-Fox 23, WBKO-Fox 13.2 and WZTV-Fox 17 beginning at 6:00 PM CT (7:00 ET).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

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 Christopher Wilkins leads the combined orchestra and choir from more than 50 churches in performances from Verdi's "Nabucco" to "When I Rose This Morning" and "Ride on King Jesus." The concert airs Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 PM CT (8:00 ET) on KET2.

Next, from slave cabins on the plantation, through the minstrel era, into Appalachia and eventually into the hands of Pete Seeger, "Sojourn of the Strings" traces the evolution of the banjo Monday, Feb. 28 at 9:00 PM CT (10:00 ET) on KET.

And, "In Performance at the White House 'Motown 50th Anniversary Celebration'" premieres Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 PM CT (8:00 ET) on KET. The East Room of the White House will be the setting for this all-star tribute to the legendary Motown sound as President and Mrs. Obama host musical stars from the label's golden age as well as young performers influenced by Motown and its powerful legacy. The Motown record label launched a historic cultural shift, wtih cross-over hits and artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, The Four Tops, and many others.

Finally, stay tuned to weekly KET productions "Kentucky Life," "Louisville Life," "Connections with Renee Shaw," and "One to One with Bill Goodman" for highlights celebrating Black History Month.

Friday, January 28, 2011

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 GoPurpleAces.com

Using the streaming capabilities of UStream.tv, WUEV will provide an additional audio stream embedded on GoPurpleAces.com 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 tripling our streaming capacity earlier in the year, we still ran into issues on Wednesday night.  It is our hope that offering this additional stream, as well as another stream on our main website, wuev.org, will help fans be able to listen to Purple Aces' men's basketball games.

"The advantage of this additional stream is that it is independent of our other streams, so bandwidth should not be an issue.  As long as the campus has power and the internet is running, this stream should be up and running for every men's basketball game the remainder of the year."

The additional embedded stream on GoPurpleAces.com will begin approximately two hours prior to every UE men's basketball game and run until the conclusion of the postgame show.  Should fans still experience issues with the audio streams, they are encouraged to contact WUEV directly via email at either wuev@evansville.edu or tb39@evansville.edu.

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, few netbooks that I've tried seem to be as rock solid as this one has been.  I have no complaints about its durability.)

But all good things must end, so, reluctantly, I am retiring the original keyboard and, as I write this, I'm awaiting its replacement, which was ordered earlier this week.  It should arrive this weekend, and I think it'll put me in good shape for another couple of years!

But enough about that; you're here to catch up on what happened this week.  I've got all the week's stories gathered up, and now you can go back and take another look at the week in broadcasting or catch up on anything you might have missed.

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you back here again on Monday!

FRIDAY, JANUARY 28 THURSDAY, JANUARY 27
WUEV adds third audio stream for men's basketball games

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

COMMENTARY: Comcast plucks NBC's peacock!

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

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

KET’s 2011 legislative coverage includes governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address
From Fox 7 News: Employees of local cable TV subcontractor charged with theft

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

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

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

NEWS BRIEF: ESPNU HD coming to NewWave on Friday

"The Talk" to get second season on CBS
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26 TUESDAY, JANUARY 25
WKU's School of Journalism and Broadcasting wins Ultimate Newscast Makeover contest

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

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

WKMS news director elected chairman of Kentucky Public Radio editorial board

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

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

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

Another Tri-State broadcasting pioneer is gone: WFIE's "Uncle Dudley," Chet Behrman, dies at 86
Townsquare Media, City-County Observer and Community Observer form cross-promotion and content partnership

Olney Voice of Christian Faith donates WPTH to VCY America Ministries

State of the Union address is tonight
MONDAY, JANUARY 24 SATURDAY, JANUARY 22
NewWave customers can keep tabs on service, get questions answered via Twitter & Facebook

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

Raycom's "America Now" going into daily syndication

"Kentucky Tonight" to take on proposed statewide smoking ban
UPDATED: Olbermann's exit means schedule changes for MSNBC

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!

Will NBC Universal regret nixing the 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 1979, it can be argued, heralded NBC's resurgence of the 1980s.

So if Burke thinks shunting it aside now will help bring NBCU back from the brink, he may want to think again!

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 enhanced our products and services, increased the sophistication of our marketing and accelerated the growth of our commercial business."

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 www.ket.org/legislature.

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 www.ket.org/legislature.

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 KET.

In addition, several hours of live daily coverage can be found on the Kentucky Channel (KET KY), available statewide via digital broadcast. This service can be accessed directly by viewers who have antennas for receiving over-the-air digital broadcasts and is available free to Kentucky cable and satellite systems who wish to provide it to their customers.

The Governor’s State of the Commonwealth Address and Legislative Update are KET productions, produced by Carl Babcock and Renee Shaw. More information about KET programming and education services, as well as how to support KET, can be found at www.ket.org.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

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 tristatehomepage.com.

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 increase awareness.  "Our hope is that this offering helps raise awareness for this important issue and provides customers and consumers with tools to help support the efforts by National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and law enforcements to help bring missing children home."

It's a great program, and one I hope will be a great success.  The more efforts that are placed on finding lost children, the better.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Comcast serves residents in three counties in the Tri-State area ― Richland County, Ill.; Perry County, Ind.; and Muhlenberg County, Ky., including the cities of Olney, Tell City, Cannelton, Central City and Greenville.

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. 208
  • Insight - ch. 524
  • pscTV - ch. 6
  • Time Warner - ch. 311
  • WOW! - ch. 111
You'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 and the potential to grow and evolve 'The Talk' even further."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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 that feeds them in late-night?
Finally this week, I'm plugging the poll you see on the right side of your screen, asking the question, "Which station do you most watch for local news?"  You have voted, haven't you?  If not, you've still got time ... and you ought to tell your friends about it, too!