Monday, December 29, 2008

So Long Angela...and---Mosey

Friday (December 26th) was Angela Russell's last day on the 4 o'clock broadcast at CBS-3. According to Marnie Hall of's short-term plan is to spend time with her family. Natasha Brown (from Philly 57's "Wake UP News") filled in on the broadcast today.
Another, whose contract was not renewed -- former Action News weather-caller Sally Ann Mosey who went on to New York's WNBC. Mosey was among four on-air types who are being shown the door. No word on whether Mosey has any irons in the fire.

1/9/09 UPDATE: If you're a frequent viewer of Eyewitness News at 4 p.m. you've seen Natasha Brown in the co-anchor seat next to Chris May. I hear Brown is a strong contender for the "promotion". Time will tell whether she's a permanent replacement for the departed Russell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Up-and-coming Uhler

Channel 10 has a sprouting blossom on their hands in Jameson Uhler. Uhler has been seen anchoring on a fill-in basis for the weekend evening broadcasts as well as pairing with the polished Lori Wilson of the "10 Show" for the early morning "NBC 10 News Today". Uhler has demonstrated himself to be an accomplished reporter and with his anchoring under his belt definitely has anchoring in his future in my opinion. Hopefully, Channel 10 will pair him on the ten o'clock "MY PHL News at 10" to give him a start.


This morning's freezing rain proved not only a challenge to area drivers during the overnight--but to FOX 29, NBC10 and Philly 57.
The area roadways began to ice over by 11 p.m. when early reports indicated icy conditions. By midnight--traffic reports indicated a handful of problem areas...however, by 1 a.m. the damage was done and major highways were seeing shut-downs due to numerous accidents.
FOX 29's morning team was unaccounted for by air-time at 5 a.m. for "Good Day Philadelphia". Street reporter Steve Keeley and new traffic reporter Jamie Shupak ended up carrying the show for John Anderson, Sheinelle Jones and Sue Serio, not doing a bad job either! The ice was "personal" for Steve Keeley who fell on his way out the door--injuring his left arm and elbow and feeling the pain during the broadcast. Serio, being the trooper she is, did her weather reports over the phone from her home in Media/Delaware county and reyling on an in-house producer to create the needed weather graphics for the broadcast. With the shortage of not having Keeley on the street, there must have been a shortage of behind-the-scenes staff as well as the show seemed to be airing more "fluff pieces" this morning than usual.
Over at NBC10--Jameson Uhler and Lynn Berry anchored "NBC10 News Today" for the vacationing Terry Ruggles. However, god-awful fill-in traffic reporter Jane Laychak was M.I.A., I'm told due to the road conditions as well. Uhler and Barry covered the traffic nightmare over PennDot camera shots of the various accidents and road closures. Street reporter Justin Pizzi was also trapped--on the westbound Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) from a multi-vehicle accident at I-476 that closed that portion down about 2 a.m. leaving Pizzi parked along with Penndot salt trucks ahead of him, unable to do their jobs. Pizzi did live reports from his cell phone for the morning broadcast.
Philly 57 wasn't spared either. "Wake UP News" didn't make it to air due to "technical difficulties" I'm told..."a combination of being Christmas eve--but mainly due to the fact that crews assigned to work the show were unable to make it to the TrafficPulse headquarters in Chesterbrook", according to a source I spoke with at KYW. The station ended up simulcasting "Eyewitness News" on channel 57. Liz Keptner and Lesley Van Arsdall (filling in for the vacationing Ukee Washington) held down the fort with Stephanie Humphrey filling in for the vacationing Bob Kelly.
Meanwhile, at Channel 6 during the 7:55 a.m. "Good Morning America" local cut-in, David Murphy was outside doing his usual weather break when directly behind him along City Avenue, an accident happened live on the air. One vehicle slid into another waiting at the traffic light at Monument Road. Murphy acknowledged the accident as a "live visual of conditions out-and-about". Otherwise, Channel 6 was pretty much unaffected by the road issues.
On the radio side--it's noted that on KYW 1060 "newsradio", traffic announcer Tom Collins, who goes on at 6 p.m. and normally ends his shift at 1 a.m. for overnight guy, Mike Lankford--was still on the air doing the 2:52 a.m. traffic report. Lankford must also have had difficulty getting in for his shift as well since it's noted he was heard on-air doing the 3:32 a.m. traffic segment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NBC 10 Review

NBC 10 debuted their new set and HD newscasts this past Wednesday (12/10). I've watched every newscast since and have a few thoughts.
*The set itself is great. Big improvement over the previous set they've used since 1999. Not sure what the big deal is about the "open anchor desk" and all the fuss made about that...but overall, "good stuff".
*I was disappointed the weather set wasn't overhauled. Looks good, think they could've done better by sprucing it up...
*Hoping the large "NBC10" boxed graphic to the side of the anchor desk mounted on the wall is temporary...much like when channel 6 debuted their set with a "Action News" graphic plastered to the front of the desk. What I'm getting at is I'm hoping we'll soon see a large plasma monitor in place of the graphic picture there now. Otherwise, this is a big mistake in my opinion. If there was a large monitor there--it could be used to toss to stories and live reports.
*Like how the background skyline duratrans goes from light orange in the mornings to blue for the rest of the day. Guess it would be asking too much for a dark shot with the skyline somehow hightlighted with light...
*Obviously, they don't yet have their field cameras lined up for HD yet. Guess that's on the way...
*Love the new weather graphics...hoping they can continue to be more creative in using them...
*The traffic set looks much outdated compared to the new set...
*SPEAKING OF TRAFFIC--they gotta dump this fill-in JANE LAYCHAK! This woman is god-awful...and not even worthy of being on-air in DES MOINES let alone PHILADELPHIA...she has no idea what she's talking about and is like a deer caught in head lights. AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!
*Love the new transitions and theme music too

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blast from the past...

There's a new voice anchoring the news on KYW 1060 these days. It's none other than former traffic guy John Valerio heard recently on the all-news outlet. Valerio called the traffic from SmartTraveler for Channel 6 up until early '07 when he was replaced by Karen Rogers. Until his KYW gig--Valerio had his hands in the real estate business.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Low Likeability + Difficult...

I'm hearing the real reason John Ogden at NBC-10 is out the door and it *wasn't* by his "own choice". He is apparently not an easy one to work with, I'm told; and over the past two years it's become an issue for management at TrafficPulse.
In addiiton, I'm told he was shown the door because he has a "low likeability quotient" the past year.
Channel 10 has been in the ratings basement behind 6 and 3 and are trying to revamp themselves on-air and give themselves a new start in the traffic department. Ogden is an employee of TrafficPulse but Channel 10 powers-that-be have the final say on whether he stays or goes. The decision was finally made that he go and December 19th is his last day.
Ogden was quoted in one of the local papers this past week as saying it is an ammicable departure for him to pursue other interests. Best of luck...

NBC10 Goes HD

NBC-10 has announced they will debut their new set and flip the HD switch on all newscasts beginning Wednesday December 10th (get it? channel 10--December 10th) on the 4 o'clock newscast.
During the 5 o'clock "All That & More" and 11 p.m. newscast yesterday--LouAnn Cahn of the NBC-10 Investigators did a clever "investigative report" on rumors of "some exciting things happening at 10 these days". She "made attempts" at interviewing News Director Chris Blackman and the station General Manager who "denied anything was going on". She "made an attempt" to enter the NBC-10 News studio but was "banned entrance by two security men". She then interviewed a "disguised source" wearing a bowtie, a large solid black circle superimposed over his face and his voice altered (sounding like one of the chipmunks) who fessed up that he had been moved to the hallway these last 4-1/2 months, that "it's crazy..." and that the new set would debut Wednesday. Cahn then "interviewed" Tim Lake from his newsroom desk who stated "you'll be able to see my legs now" (illustrating that the desk will be an open-type desk) as he lifted one pant leg to reveal his somewhat solid/hairy leg. Cahn seemed a bit taken aback and went on from there.
The report ended with a fast glimpse of the studio revealing at least one large stone wall...and the anchor desk positioned where the walls meet to form a corner of the studio...and a large backdrop of Center City behind.
All-in-all a creative and interesting way to present the debut date.

Friday, December 5, 2008


...Harry Martin from WPVI-TV's "Action News"? Martin served as a general assignment reporter and weather anchor back in the mid 80's and went on to WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT. Martin didn't settle in Connecticut, however. He went on to the big leagues at ABC's flaship station--WABC-TV in New York, then to WNYW-TV the FOX affiliate in New York and finally settled in his current weekday anchor post at WWOR-TV the My Network TV affiliate there. Martin began his career in Lancaster, PA at WLYH-TV.
For fun--I've dipped into the video archives for a look at a weathercast from New Year's eve 1986 on the 11 p.m. "Action News".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One More Christmas Station

WOGL-FM flipped the "jolly switch" this morning at 6:08 to debut their "Christmas Classic Station" format through Christmas day. The weekend specialty shows will continue to air as scheduled, however. B-101 and 97-Now both air all-Christmas, all the time and KYW 1060 is streaming the Christmas hits online. Also, WHAT-AM has jumped into the well as Wilmington's 99.5-WJBR as one poster has informed me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reporter Nearly Struck During LIVE Shot

CBS-3 newcomer/reporter--Dray Clark was nearly hit by a car tonight on the 6 p.m. newscast. He was doing a stand-up for his live shot from Chestnut Hill, coming out of his package, and was wrapping things up when he was within two inches of being hit by a car. Clark threw it back to Chris May who asked, "you okay out there Dray"? Clark reported the car ended up on the curb. Close call for Clark who arrived here in September from Cleveland where he was an anchor/reporter. Clark is a Chester, Delaware county native.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mendte Coverage on FOX29

FOX-29 covered the Mendte story again last night on their 10 o'clock broadcast reporting his trial begins Monday. Also, that his attorney is requesting Mendte serve no prison time. As the story unfolded the first three minutes at the top of the newscast--I couldn't help but think how uncomfortable it had to be for anchor Dawn Stensland, wife of Larry Mendte. Thomas Drayton led the newscast with the story -- handing off to Joyce Evans for the toss to her package. It was reported how Mendte is a "Jekyl & Hyde"-- the good guy we all saw reporting the news everynight...the bad guy by the acts he committed. Was Joyce Evans not uncomfortable standing on-set a mere several feet away from Stensland at the anchor desk? All I can say is, "wow". Tense moments!
On the other hand--as I digested the report--I couldn't help but think "how dare Mendte wish not to serve prison time!" His attorney basically feels his time spent performing charity work along with his admission and remorse for his deed makes him a good candidate to not sit in prison BUT to possibly serve house arrest or community service. To this--I think, "unbelievably incredible!". What he did was plain wrong. By apologizing and displaying remorse does not take away the humiliation, the pain, the betrayal of human decency and the damage done to Alycia Lane and the reputation to CBS-3. I normally would keep my opinions to myself and not blog them here. However, this story simply amazes me as each detail surfaces. I ask myself how Stensland can forgive what this man did. Yes, we are to forgive -- but -- wow...the betrayal in this story makes it difficult! This man's insecurity got the best of him and in the process he put the final touches on destroying another's career and broke every privacy act in the process.
It will be interesting how this pans out after Monday November 24th.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Look Back...

With the upcoming changes just a few weeks off at Channel 10 (an improved set and graphics package as well as going HD) -- I thought it would be fun to reach into the video vault and share!
Let's take a look back at the "Channel 10 News at 6" from twenty-one years ago. The year was 1987. The anchor team was Stan Stovall and Alan Frio...and the reporters in the clip are Dennis Woltering and Stephanie Stahl.
Stovall is now at WBAL-TV in Baltimore; Woltering is back in his hometown of New Orleans at WWL-TV and Alan Frio is at WSMV-TV in Nashville. Of course, Stahl has been at KYW's CBS3 since leaving Channel 10.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bonaduce Philly-bound

Michael Klein and Dan Gross report today, what was rumored a few weeks now. Danny Bonaduce relocates this week to Philadelphia to head-up the morning show on WYSP beginning Monday November 10th--6 to 10 a.m. Bonaduce worked at Eagle 106 in the late 80's.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

NBC 10 M.I.A.

As the Phillies wrapped things up last night during the World Series -- beating the Tampa Bay Rays, local stations went on-air with "Breaking News" of the coverage of local reaction. Channels 3 and 6 went LIVE with reporters out-and-about as well as their choppers hovering over the city. Once FOX Sports were completing their coverage -- FOX29 joined 3 and 6 in covering the hoopla.
Where was channel 10? They were MISSING IN ACTION...and opted to continue business-as-usual with NBC's "Lipstick Jungle". This was a HUGE story and "NBC 10 News" dropped the ball! Yes, Channel 10 did get on-air with the usual broadcast of "My PHL-17 News at Ten" with about ten minutes of coverage.
While the city was bursting at the seams with excitement, revelry and celebration of its "everlovin' Phils", creating crowds along Broad Street not seen except for Mummers parades, Channel 10 was nowhere to be seen with LIVE coverage.
I have to wonder about the logic of the powers-that-be running that news division. This station has taken a landslide in the last several years and placed themselves in the backseat to Channel 3.
Whatever happened to the days under the Doerr regime? Those days are definately gone under Chris Blackman's lame regime, that's for sure! The station has lost its edge...its aggressiveness...and has become unwatchable.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Radar When You Need It!

The heavy rain this past Saturday made one wonder whether the World Series Game would see its first pitch! As the day wore on the rain became heavier. It was later after the rain delay when I saw John Bolaris break into FOX programming to let viewers know the back edge of the storm was slowly moving through and that radar predicted the rain would end by 9:30. Well, it wasn't exactly 9:30 but the rain ended shortly thereafter. THIS is when television weather is at its best and when all of these weather tools are important. MLB officials were watching the latest weather radar and forecasts knowing there would have to be a rain delay. Sure enough, the first pitch went off at 10:00 for another Phillies win!

Friday, October 24, 2008

BEAT to the punch

I emailed Laura Nachman to let her know she beat me to the punch on her post today about Dorothy Krysiuk at FOX-29.
The more accurate story in Krysiuk's departure from FOX 29 is that management have been pressing for her to add the 5 o'clock newscast to her daily duties. Currently, Kerri-Lee Halkett has been handling traffic on the 5 o'clock newscast. Krysiuk has resisted and made it clear she wanted no parts of a split shift and having to return in the afternoon. When push came to shove--her contract was not renewed and she chose to exit. Adios to Krysiuk! Her last day is Friday October 31st.
Krysiuk began at Channel 10 doing traffic on their morning newscast and prior to that--was a producer for Metro Networks.
According to Michael Klein's column yesterday--Jamie Schupak will temporarily fill in until a permanent replacement is decided. Schupak has been a fill-in for Bob Kelly at CBS-3 and is probably the "better of" the replacements that fill in from TrafficPulse.

NBC Philadelphia

WCAU-TV debuted their new address on the web today -- NBCPhiladelphia. The site is less cluttered and busy than was According to the NY Daily News, the new NBC-launched website is intended to downplay the local station "in an effort to pursue a different breed of Web user than the ones relying on TV for news". You will notice the homepage does not include the typical station logo and talent images.
Speaking of NBC10--still awaiting the debut of their new set. As you know if you're a viewer, they've been doing their newscasts the past two months from the set of "All That & More".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Jacqueline Boulden...who reported and anchored at FOX-29? Jacqueline was on staff at FOX from 1988 till 1999 at which point she left the "TV biz". Jacqueline's efforts now are in her own video production/graphic and web design company, "Boulden MultiMedia", in Philadelphia. Jacqueline worked upstate until 1984 at WNEP, the ABC affiliate. From there, she went on to anchor in Orlando for four years before coming to Philadelphia.
Here is a clip of her anchoring at WNEP New Years eve--1981

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Look For Seacrest Here

Word from Q-102 is that Philadelphia listeners will be treated to Ryan Seacrest's radio show here anytime now. The station has been without a Program Director until recently. Now that he is in place--word is the next step is to reprogram afternoons with Seacrest in the midday. "On-Air with Ryan Seacrest" was just recently added in New York at Z-100. In Pennsylvania, Seacrest can be heard on Harrisburg's Kiss-FM and in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area on Variety 97.7-FM.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rob Guarino Lands in Albuquerque

Former FOX-29 meteorologist has landed at KOAT-TV, the ABC station in Albuquerque, New Mexico as weekday morning weatherguy. Guarino was let go from FOX late last year and has been off the airwaves since--except for a few fill-ins for a station in Seattle.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NBC's Weather Plus

Word from "TV Week" is that NBC has decided after four years to pull the plug on its Weather Plus network. The phase out will happen over the next two months and Weather Plus will be just a memory by years end. I'm sorry to see this happen as not only will there be job loss--but another network to go belly up. NBC's minority stake in The Weather Channel not long ago made it pretty obvious that Weather Plus would not last. This of course will make NBC 10's digital 10.2 go dark. The story is HERE.

Storm Clouds Over 10

Those storm clouds that loomed over Channel 3 have seemed to move west and have positioned themselves over Channel 10 these days.
Shortly after Vince DeMentri filed suit against CAU as well as former co-anchor Lori Delgado comes word from Michael Klein at the Philadelphia Inquirer that Delgado resigned from NBC10 effective immediately. Word is--"to spend more time with family".
As one poster put it on one of the industry boards, "Larry Mendte, CHECK; Alycia Lane, CHECK; Vince DeMentri, CHECK; Lori Delgado, CHECK". The controversy just seems to go on and on and on. A web poll on asks who has more drama, channel 3; channel 10 or "just sick of all the drama, period"...and the masses voted channel 3, followed by "sick of the drama" with channel 10 limping in last.
The story is HERE.

Friday, October 3, 2008

KYW *WORST* TV Weatherman!

Here's a video clip from KYW back in the 80's of what HAD TO BE the *worst* weather person I've ever seen. He was Melvin Epps and not sure how long he was at KYW...but this clip is good for a laugh. Also notice the *typo* on the wording of the weather map graphic.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NBC 10 News

Look for NBC 10 to debut a new set anytime now in October as well as to turn on the High Def button--so to speak. WCAU is the last of the major stations in Philadelphia to go High Def. All of the newscasts have been done the last month from the set of "All That & More" which is nothing exciting visually. I hear the set will be "gorgeous" as I'm told and pretty high tech. The station has been on the same news set now for years so it is time for a re-do! I'm told it has been a pretty exhaustive procedure of dismantling the old set and constructing/bringing in the new set to put together. No definite debut date, though...guessing maybe October 6th or October 13th so be sure to DVR channel 10.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lane Files Civil Suit/DeMentri Speaks

According to the Philadelphia Daily News' John Morrison, former CBS-3 anchor, Alycia Lane, filed a civil suit yesterday against a laundry list of defendants. They include: KYW's parent company, CBS Broadcasting; Michael Colleran, President/GM of KYW-TV; the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News--Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC; Philadelphia Newspapers LLC a subsidiary of Media Holdings as well as former co-anchor Larry Mendte and Philadelphia Daily News columnist Dan Gross.
The entire story is HERE
In other Daily News "news"...Dan Gross is taking a lashing on the "Comments" section of his column today regarding his coverage of the Alycia Lane story. Check out the comments HERE
Lastly, Dan Gross also reports today that Michael Klein sat down yesterday with former NBC-10 anchor Vince DeMentri for HIS side of the story of his termination from WCAU-TV in July. Apparently, he dissed Gross because he reported on the relationship between DeMentri and Lori Delgado plus a past report about DeMentri's divorce proceedings. I reported September 19th of "the other side of the story" concerning DeMentri's firing as reported by website NEWSBLUES in late August. Klein's article should be good for interesting reading if nothing else.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pulling Out Glenn From the Archival Vault

I found some funny video of Glenn Schwartz of NBC10 in my old video and thought you might enjoy seeing it. Here's Glenn, in all his bearded glory, from his earlier days at WNYW channel 5 in New York.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The REST of the DeMentri Story

According to a post in late August on NewsBlues, it explains the motive behind the accusation of Vince DeMentri vandalizing not only fellow anchor Lori Delgado's car, but also a news photographer's vehicle as well.
Apparently, Delgado and DeMentri became involved in a nine month romance from late 2005 into 2006. Both were also married at the time. However, Delgado cooled things off once the rumor mill kicked in. A month later, she was reassigned to the Dawn Patrol anchor chair next to Terry Ruggles and DeMentri was given the 4 p.m. anchor slot. By late June of this year, the story goes, DeMentri became jealous of a relationship Delgado had with the photographer and allegedly vandalized both cars -- all of which was documented on station surveillance video! Station management were alerted by Delgado who subsequently went to police. However, when management told Delgado they had the culprit on security video "in the act" and it was DeMentri, she refused to press charges fearing their affair would put herself in a bad light. She asked management to deal with it discreetly which they did. DeMentri was confronted with the taped evidence by management and removed from the anchor schedule in July. He was never formally announced as being terminated but was also removed from the bio section of the NBC10 website several weeks ago. DeMentri now advertises his "talents" online looking for the next anchor gig in TV land. DeMentri and wife, Pat, a QVC host are in the midst of divorce proceedings. No word on the marriage of Delgado these days.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Old Commercials

As we take another look at some old video from the archives--this clip was from a show in 1982 called "America's Greatest Commercials". If you grew up in the 60's or 70's you remember some of these very commercials. This piece was done pretty creatively, with the classic Aretha Franklin song "R-E-S-P-E-C-T". Check it out:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Fall of the Chopping Block at Metro Traffic

Friday September 12th was not a good day for some at Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcast Services as several full-time and part-timers were let go in a company wide cost cut of labor. Philadelphia's operations lost two news writers as well as a producer who had been with the company over twenty years! Additionally, Tom McDonald was let go from the news side of the operation. You probably have seen Tom in many news shots on the local airwaves holding the Metro Networks microphone capturing that sound bite. Rumor is Metro will soon terminate their news service all together at all Metro operations nationwide. This could mean the demise of lone news guy Paul Periello who worked previously at WWDB.
Also, traffic anchors Deborah Byrne, Matt Tacha and Mary Cantell were among those laid off. Byrne and Cantell at one time served as back-up on Channel 10 and Fox 29.
If that isn't enough, traffic veteran Rod Carson was also let go. Carson began the traffic service, "Sunoco Go Patrol", back in the 70's with several others. He provided the very first television traffic report on KYW-TV's morning news in the mid 70's and it was his idea right here in Philadelphia to install a video camera on a building for the use of capturing traffic shots. WPVI-TV was the first television station in Philadelphia to use that camera, SKY 6, at Route 1 and the Schuylkill expressway. On top of his service with Sunoco Go Patrol and Shadow traffic, Carson has been with Metro Networks almost twenty years alone and has been on every radio station in the region. His latest full-time shift was handling the overnights on KYW newsradio the last several years.
As of now, the traffic schedules on KYW handled by Sam Clover, Pat Winters, John Brown, Tom Collins, Eric Herr, Brian Ramona, RJ McKay and Cindy Graham still stand. Metro Networks no longer handles traffic services for any of the Philadelphia television stations -- losing Fox-29 to Traffic Pulse in late Spring.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists was voted into Metro Networks operations several month ago by employees who have tired of the poor management and broken equipment the past several years. Reports also include poor working conditions and little training for new-hires. Apparently, AFTRA had no intervention in the lay-offs on Friday and a meeting is scheduled for Tuesday between AFTRA negotiators and Metro management.
Metro Networks calls the move a "restructuring of its traffic operations" and plans to consolidate its traffic resources from 60 operations centers across the U.S. into just 13 regional centers. What this might mean for the Philadelphia operations center is that Philadelphia would also be responsible for handling one or two other markets which is the way Traffic Pulse has operated since its inception.
The restructuring is intended to improve the operating and financial performance of Westwood One and resulted in a staff reduction of 15 percent nationwide as well as a few relocations of operations centers planned by the end of this year. By the summer of 2009, the remaining markets will be relocated into the 13 operations centers mentioned above.
According to a Metro press release, the restructuring, as well as addressing underperforming programming, is expected to result in a $25-$30 million annual savings. Westwood One will host a conference call to its employees next week to discuss the reengineering of the company.

Monday, September 8, 2008

KYW Innovations

As I continue to go through my old video I found a segment aired on KYW's Eyewitness News back in 1986. It was a segment inspired by "NBC's 60 Year Anniversary of Broadcasting" special (remember, KYW was an NBC station initially).
Jerry Penacoli intro'd the piece while Judy Barton reported the segment of KYW "firsts". KYW-TV was initially licensed as W3XE and was granted permission to broadcast in 1932. The station was the FIRST television station in Philadelphia and the FIRST to sign on as an NBC affiliate. Founded by the Philco Corporation -- the first broadcast went to the homes of Philco employees.
By 1939, the station broacast the FIRST evening college football game -- Temple University played the University of Kansas.
By 1940, another FIRST. The airing of the Republican National Convention. That same year the station got their commercial license and the call letters changed to WPTZ, the first commercial station in the state and the second in the country (behind Pittsburgh's KDKA). The FIRST TV soap opera aired in 1942, "Last Year's Nest".
Other FIRSTS included: The first in the country to air a program from Walt Disney in color (1952); The Mike Douglas show which relocated from Cleveland to Philadelphia in 1965 and was later syndicated and moved to L.A. Former News Director, Al Primo, who went on to New York's WABC-TV, created the "Eyewitness News" format which began here in 1968. Lastly, KYW created the talents of Jessica Savitch, Tom Snyder and David Brenner. Check out the video segment:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Philadelphia Loses SMOOTH JAZZ Station

Laura Nachman and Dan Gross have both reported what's been rumored now for the last several weeks--this past Friday evening Greater Media broadcast group dropped the jazz format (WJJZ-Smooth Jazz 97.5) after an unsuccessful attempt to gain listeners the past two years. The format originally aired on the 106.1 frequency--and was resurrected at 97.5 much to the appreciation of loyal listeners.
"Something new - Something now" is the new tag, for now. The website says to listen Monday morning at 9 a.m. for the new format and posted this letter:

Dear Listener,
After much consideration and review, our company has decided to make a change to 97.5 FM. As many people in the market know, we share a passion for this wonderful music, the smooth jazz format, and all the good people that made the special things happen for all of us.
For nearly two years we have committed substantial resources to this program. Unfortunately, we have had limited success with smooth jazz as judged by the marketplace. We are grateful for your loyalty and support, and we appreciate your understanding.
Like our other top tier FM radio stations in the market, we are committed to serving the largest population possible, and we are excited to offer our listeners a powerful new choice. We will reveal our new vision on Monday at 9am.
Again, we appreciate what you have done with us in the past, and look forward to a bright future together. Stay tuned, because the feedback we received from listeners tells us you will enjoy the new adventure!
Thank you for your continued support,
The WJJZ Family

Update/ 9/8/08: At 9 a.m.--the station formally announced the format as "soft rock". I listened over the weekend and love the music so far--which they've continued on into the new format!! Great station!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tracking Hannah

CBS-3's Kathy Orr will be putting in some extra hours with the arrival of Hurricane Hannah on our heels tomorrow (Saturday). Look for hourly updates on the storm's impact in the region as well as up-to-the-minute forecasts and livecasting...check in with as Kathy hits the web hourly with updates.

LaRosa Baby Watch

CBS-3 loses a member of the Eyewitness weather team after today when morning weathermeister Maria LaRosa begins her maternity leave. LaRosa is expected to return in time for Christmas. In the meantime, however, Doug Kammerer will step up to the plate for the dawn patrol shift beginning Monday. He'll hold down the fort Mondays through Thursdays with Carol Erickson filling in on Fridays. LaRosa is expecting "another boy".
UPDATE/September 9, 2008: Congrats to Maria and her family on the arrival of another bouncing baby who was born yesterday.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Hire At FOX-29

Dan Gross from Philadelphia Daily News reports the hiring is close for the anchor chair vacated by Dave Huddleston. Information points to Sacramento California's FOX affiliate and weeknight anchor Thomas Drayton as being the likely replacement. Huddleston was let go a few months ago and the vacancy has been filled up to now by Kerri-Lee Halkett.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Some Video Fun On The Way

My intention with this blog is to make this a place for not only some scoop from the industry...a little gossip here and there...a look back at previous on-air talent...but also for a place to come to see some old video clips of Philadelphia TV news from years past! Let me explain.
I purchased my first VCR in 1981 for about $800.00 and recorded constantly! This became a hobby of sorts for me. I recorded everything from local and network newscasts and promos, clips from TV shows, TV Guide's special anniversary shows, the network yearly "year-in-review" segments aired each New Years eve, noteworthy news stories (such as deaths, marriages, plane crashes, earthquakes, weather phenomena, etc.) and even clips from ABC TV's "One Life To Live". My video collection consists of probably 300 video tapes!
Prior to the age of the internet--I attempted to come up with a way for others to enjoy this material and made the mistake of advertising my collection for purchase. I made nothing. I only charged for the cost of the tape itself and postage. Needless to say, I became deluged with orders to the point I could not keep up! Each tape ended up costing me hours of time to transfer/edit and I gave up that venture after about six months.
On a side note, I was even able to make tapes of all the news events that occurred and were missed by one Iranian hostage--Joseph Ciccipio of Norristown Pennsylvania. I spent months creating these tapes...transferring news events at my disposal from the period he was held hostage. I then mailed him the tapes to "general delivery/Norristown". A month or two later, I received a personal phone call from Mr. Ciccipio thanking me for my effort and told how much he enjoyed and appreciated the tapes. He said Dan Rather did something similiar for him but he "enjoyed mine much better". Who knows...maybe he was just being overly kind.
As the years went on, I got older and had less time and my hobby of recording went by the wayside. However, as I mentioned--I have this "endless collection" of video and what do I do with it?
I've contemplated the last several years how to put some of this material online for others to enjoy. These videos mean nothing to anyone in my family except me and a very good friend of mine who is also a news phenatic. As the years go on--I'm sure the video quality of these tapes will continue to deteriorate. So, the time finally arrived and I purchased the necessary software to transfer this video onto the hardrive and to "youtube" for you.
My plan is to create a new hobby in transferring alot of this great stuff to video files to post on youtube. I will share some HERE as well.
So--after a week of trying to learn how to work with this new software and without fanfare--let me share with you my first video clip I created today. It is a promo from the Fall of 1986 for KYW's Eyewitness News and Linda Gialanella's weather.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Fox 29's "The Last Word" debuted last night at 11 p.m.. "News at Ten" ended without the usual closing music or credits. Dawn Stensland introduced the show directly out of the last segment of the news saying "now politics takes center stage and for that--we go to Kerri-Lee Halkett".
Kerri-Lee stood on-set and introduced the top three stories which were:
*Hurricane Gustav Upstages The GOP
*A Low-Key Republican National Convention Comes To Order
*McCain's Running Mate's Pregnant 17 year old Teenage Daughter
These three stories became the top stories of segment 1's "Today On The Trail". Next, John Bolaris was brought in live from Lafayette Louisiana reporting on the impact of Hurricane Gustav. Kerri-Lee then finished up the hurricane coverage with some FOX video and promoted's photo gallery of images of hurricane damage from Mississippi to Texas.
From there, it was on to the Republican's revamped convention plans and a four minute live interview with New Jersey Senator Bill Baroni from the floor of the convention in Minneapolis MN.
John McCain's campaign budget was the next story--$10 million dollars raised since announcing Alaska Governor Palin as his Vice Presidential choice last week.
Kerri-Lee then reported John McCain overnighted in our city's Rittenhouse Square with video of his plane arriving at PHL International. She commented how she had a couple of friends text message her saying they saw him dining in Devon and the press corp waiting for him at ROUGE. McCain's "Straight Talk Air Tour" was in the city today as he made more appearances in the area. A soundbite of Senator Joe Biden also aired, commenting on curtailing their campaigning plans due to the Hurricane.
Next, the story was supposed to be the pairing off of campaign chemistry between Cindy McCain and Governor Palin's husband. However, the control room punched up the sound bite again from Biden as Keri Lee reminded us "hearing again from Senator Joe Biden".
Kerri-Lee then jumped the gun to go to a segment about political polls. The control room bailed from her and went into the five second "FOX 29 News The Last Word" intro. The first commercial began ten minutes into the show.
Segment 2 began with that political poll segment -- asking "how important are the DNC and the RNC"? This opened a three minute live discussion on-set headed by Kerri-Lee--with reporter/political guru Bruce Gordon and an author/speaker from Temple University discussing, in general, conventions for the Republicans and the Democrats.
From there, it was on to "other news" of the day: the murder/suicide of five people in Camden; teachers walking the picket line in the Souderton School District and vacationers flocking to the Jersey shore for the last hurah of summer.
Segment 3 was one minute each with Joe Staszak's sports segment and John Krasting with the weather forecast. Kerri-Lee did a quick voiceover of Mayor Michael Nutter rapping to the SugarHill Gang on stage at a concert in the city.
The show wrapped up by more shameless promotion: John Bolaris being live in Louisiana as well as radar, maps, slideshows, 2008 convention coverage, blogs and the "Palin Baby Drama" on the myfoxphilly website. More promotion of topics for tomorrow's show then followed.
Finally, the "last word" of the night was a video piece from Louisiana as Governor Jindal reacted to the hurricane hitting his state.
Initial reaction? No biggie..."same ole same ole presentation"...and meaningless political coverage in that I didn't learn anything NEW. Not a show I'd stay up to watch. Just MY opinion.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Changes at Action News Mornings

"The Gossip with Marnie Hall" at reports some changes on the horizon at 6ABC. Sarah Bloomquist is expected to replace Tamala Edwards on the 5-7 a.m. anchor chair sometime soon. Of course, channel 6 does not acknowledge anything. Personally, everytime Sarah subs for Tamala I say to myself how much more pleasant and bubbly she seems. Though, I have to wonder about this change when the current morning team are winning the ratings race and the new morning news promos currently airing.

In addition, Amy Buckman moves from "reporter" to "web producer". Sources say Buckman is thrilled with the move. However, this would be considered a demotion in the industry. Watch the entire story HERE.

After The Strike

FOX 29 and Action News both went live on the 5 o'clock newscasts today for another report on the effects of Hurricane Gustav.
6ABC's Nydia Han reported live on the phone from Houma Louisiana for the noon-cast. She made her way to Morgan City for the 5'oclock cast...but reported via phone again stating that due to the fierce winds and rain she and her photographer had to put their satellite dish down. A producer and cameraman were also stationed in Houma Louisiana for coverage there and all documented their experience on the internet via TWITTER.
Meanwhile, over at Fox 29 News at 5--John Bolaris had to report via a streaming web feed via SKYPE from his hotel room in Lafayette Louisiana. They were in Morgan City this morning -- then -- due to go outside to report from the Cajun Dome in Lafayette. However, because of the winds and danger...they were sent indoors and forced to report directly from his hotel room.
John Krasting covered the local weather story from Olde City.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav Coverage

I caught FOX 29's News at Ten tonight (Sunday) and was impressed to see they sent John Bolaris to Louisiana to cover Hurrican Gustav's landfall which should be Monday late morning to early afternoon.
Channel 6 also sent Nydia Han . Both were stationed in Morgan City Louisiana which is southwest of New Orleans and is predicted to be pretty close to the "direct hit" of Gustav. Nydia's live report was pretty quick as she spoke of being under a tornado watch while John Bolaris led the newscast. He was followed by John Krasting with a detailed look at Gustav's progress on Ultimate HD Doppler. Bolaris went live again at 10:30 interviewing a man who decided he and his family were staying put.
A website promoted on is a website hosting the New Orleans and Houston stations covering Gustav in one central web location. You will find the CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX affiliates' coverage housed on this site as well as FOX hurricane tracker and other stations. Check out LIVENEWSCAMERAS.COM here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Mendte Story

In yesterday's Philadelphia Daily News, Dan Gross reported about Larry Mendte and his "Summer Apology Tour" this past Sunday. Mendte spoke at a fundraiser for the Irish community in Mt. Airy to save Sunday Irish radio shows also attended by wife, Dawn Stensland. READ THE STORY HERE. During Mendte's speaking engagement he once again asked for forgiveness and getting a "rousing hand" from those in attendance.
Additionally, Gross also reports that the relationship between John Bolaris and Dawn Stensland at FOX are a bit tense these days. Apparently, Bolaris and Alycia Lane are buddies. Bolaris has lobbied management to consider hiring Lane as an anchor at FOX! Is THAT a slap in the face to Stensland? (even I feel the sting on that one...) Can you imagine Stensland having to co-anchor a seat next to Lane? Bolaris is the same person who, at one time, was friends with Stensland and Mendte and celebrated the birth of their son. He was also instrumental in connecting Lane's attorney, Paul Rosen, with reporter Dave Schratwieser for his live interview Friday on the 5 o'clock cast. READ THE DAN GROSS STORY HERE and LAURA NACHMAN'S STORY HERE. This was the interview where Rosen slammed Mendte calling him "a sick man". You might remember, when this story broke, Bolaris was quoted in the newspaper as basically saying Mendte should get what he deserves.
I revisit this story because of the enormity of the act Mendte committed as a co-worker, as a husband and as a father.
Think about it. Put yourself into this picture for a moment. Think of a person in YOUR life you trust implicitely. Someone you would trust to leave your open wallet or purse, your unopened mail in their presence. Then, you hear the news that that person premeditated a plan to purchase a keystroke piece of hardware to access (spy) on someone's email and personal conversations with friends, family, attorneys, etc. NOW THINK--how would you digest this? How would you forgive?
Mendte says he did what he did because Lane was "undermining him" and he felt his career and family were in danger. Add to the mix the "improper relationship" Mendte admitted. There's still something about his motive that doesn't add up to equate to his end result of accessing Lane's email over 7,000 times at all hours of the day and in various locations including his office, his home and his shore home. This goes to the level of obsession. And even after Lane was fired from CBS-3 he continued to access her email 500 more times!
As I look at the story as we know it I think about how Stensland can accept and forgive the "improper relationship", the betrayal, the humiliation when Mendte was arrested. How difficult this this have been since that News Years eve 2005 when she confronted Mendte and he admitted his relationship with Lane which was a bit more than a co-worker type friendship? Then, fast forward thirty-two months later only for Stensland to have to relive this again. If she has truly forgiven her husband I have to hand it to her.
Personally, I think the man should serve some jail time for his actions. Not only did he illegally commit a felony by tapping into Lane's email, he also broke the attorney/client relations between she and Rosen. If that's not enough he also contributed to the termination of Lane and her career! As I've said before, yes--Lane's own actions contributed to her consequence, mainly; the incident in New York of slapping a police officer and calling Governor Rendell on her way back home to "tell her side of the story". She denied ever actually asking for his help. Rendell also stated she did not ask for his help. Nevertheless, she overstepped the boundries of every journalist at that point. CBS-3 was justified in her firing in my opinion. However, Mendte's actions also contributed highly to Lane's outcome.
How does one put a dollar figure on Mendte's actions or a jail term? It takes alot of arrogance, in my opinion, to tap into someone's personal life as he did. A complete mistrust of the co-worker relationship to say the least! All the "asking for forgiveness" in the world does not erase what he did.
It amazes me in reading some of the TV industry blogs and boards out there from those who basically say "Larry didn't do anything Lane didn't do herself" and who rally for Larry to once again return to the airwaves. One poster even said "give it a few months to die down and you'll see Mendte back on air. Game shows and reality shows are always eager for someone of his talent". Where are people's heads?
Lastly, what has this debacle done for channel 3? Notice that in the last month or so they've been airing their "you can trust us" promos with Ukee Washington and Susan Barnett proclaiming how they take that trust seriously and they are the ones to turn to..."the people of CBS3 you can trust". Coincidental? Highly doubtful. I would suspect the average viewer doesn't really care but there is a fair share out there who follow this type story and very well could feel their trust factor with channel 3 has been severed. Who knows whether Chris May will be Larry's permanent replacement. Who knows if Ukee Washington's killer schedule this week -- and next -- is possibly an informal rehearsal of sorts for the main anchor chair? He's not only doing his normal 5 - 7 a.m. newscast but also the 4, 6 and 11 p.m. as well! When does the guy sleep? It is obvious they need someone to cover with May covering the conventions and with their trust factor in jeapordy they need to put a recognizable face in that chair. Now is not the time for throwing in an experienced anchor or a reporter into the primo weekday slots. Who eventually becomes channel 3's main talent remains to be seen for now.
Mendte is sentenced in late November and we'll see how the final chapter to this story plays out.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vince DeMentri Hitting the Pavement

Former NBC-10 anchor, Vince DeMentri, is hitting the pavement looking for another position as reported today on "Philly TV and Radio" by Laura Nachman.
I reported July 29th that DeMentri was "bye bye" and this confirms the information given me then. DeMentri has his video resume posted on Medialine. You can check it out here.
NBC-10 continues to confirm or deny DeMentri's termination with the old stand-by "we do not comment on personnel matters".

NBC 10 News Today Promos

Channel 10 has begun airing their own promos for NBC 10 News Today as well, centered around the fact that they've dumped the news crawl they aired for years--replacing it with a crawl of current traffic conditions.
One promo starts with an announcer saying "NBC 10 presents better ways to spend your precious time than waiting around for a traffic report. IDEA #4, make breakfast easy to digest"...cut to video of a guy in shirt and tie, putting a waffle, syrup and milk into a blender. The announcer comes back on and says "or, turn to NBC 10 News Todaybecause now your traffic reports are on-screen all morning long. No more waiting. So YOU won't have to resort to this!". Cut back to the video --and the guy is now drinking his waffle breakfast. "NBC 10 News Today, weekdays from 5 to 7 a.m."
There's another promo out there that focuses on Lori Delgado looking down and pointing out that the crawl across the lower third is now continuous traffic conditions. Bill Henley also chimes in as well.

The Last Word

FOX-29 began their promo campaign on this morning's "Good Day Philadelphia" for the debut of "The Last Word" next Monday September 1st at 11 p.m. The show will run Monday - Friday through November 3rd and will be anchored by Kerri-Lee Halkett. The 30 minute broadcast will concentrate on local, state and national political developments of the day. There will be some non-political stories as well as weather (from John Bolaris) and a sports segment. An online segment involving will encourage viewer participation.

Friday, August 22, 2008

NEW Mendte Developments!

Larry Mendte is holding a press conference as we speak here in Philadelphia to explain HIS actions behind WHY he tapped into co-anchor Alycia Lane's email. Keep in mind that in my post on 8/20, I stated that there were rumors of being MORE to this story and sure enough...there is. In the press conference, here's what Larry said: "For thirty years, I have reported stories here in Philadelphia and across the country, and, now, I have become one through no one’s fault but my own. My actions have hurt and disappointed my family, colleagues, friends, and viewers who trusted me, and for that, I am truly sorry. My family has been incredibly strong and supportive. You will notice, however, that Dawn is not here with me today at this podium. She wanted to be, but I asked her not to. Although the image of my loving wife standing by my side may have helped me, I think it would hurt her. She still has to anchor the news, which she has done with remarkable personal strength and grace right through this process. Having her here with me now would have pulled her directly into this intense media spotlight, and I will not do that to her. I have already done enough to her. Let me explain".
"This whole episode started five years ago when Alycia Lane came to Philadelphia", Larry said. Almost immediately, Dawn began hearing rumors that Larry and Alycia's relationship was "a little too close and to watch out".
The rumors were true, Mendte confessed. "Our relationship was improper, flirtatious and unprofessional. Dawn found proof of that relationship when she waited in my office on New Years Day 2005 and read emails that I had left out on my desk, emails between Alycia and me that confirmed her suspicions. Dawn confronted me with the emails. I told her the truth", he said.
Larry admitted their relationship was "a bit too close" (long dinners with Alycia, out late with Alycia and allowing her to put on her make-up in his office everday). He apologized to Dawn and told her he loved her. Larry then backed off from Alycia. The relationship that was once close quickly turned into a feud.
"Alycia Lane then became friends with others in the building, including the new General Manager. Suddenly, I had shows and responsibilities pulled away from me without explanation. The GM angrily confronted me one day and said that I was bad mouthing him. I was not. But, clearly, I was not on the list you want to be on with the new GM. I found proof that it was Alycia who was undermining me when I saw an email she sent to management that she left up on the computer she uses on the set. I then started looking at other emails with passwords I learned when Alycia asked me to help set up her work retirement account, a private stock account, and when she showed me personal emails. I did this without her permission, and it was wrong. I saw more emails bad mouthing me".
Larry confronted her, asked her to stop and she said she would not. He complained to management of this but felt they ignored him. His role was being diminished at the station. During an argument on-set, Alycia told him she was the "rising star", that "he was 50 and on his way out". THAT made the newspers.
"During a meeting the next day, the General Manager acknowledged that he had checked my contract and he really couldn’t move me. We were the fastest growing newscast in the country. We were winning local and national awards. And, my GM was checking my contract to see where he could move me? I felt I was in trouble. My career, my future, my family's future and this is where I got into more trouble, federal trouble".
He stated he used a "key catcher" available on the internet, began looking into all of Alycia's email accounts by illegally gaining access. He started seeing things of interest to the press and passed them along. He stated he wasn't the sole source on some things, not the only source on others. He admits it was wrong, tells us the motivation and makes no excuses for his behavior which he said is why today he plead guilty and has cooperated. He said he's offered to give speeches to colleges, corporations and community groups on internet security and "publicly makes that offer now". He went on to say his father used to say "that everybody serves a purpose in life if only as a bad example". "I am now an example who can help others. Many employees and students are cavalier about missuse of the internet and emails, they don't know that it is a federal crime and that you can and you will be prosecuted. I am now living proof of that. I know that pleading guilty and cooperating defies the new world order that teaches us to deny, deny, deny at all costs. Many people have told me, 'maybe they'll never find out the whole truth...with a good lawyer you might get away with it'. He said he has a good lawyer and "that's not the point". I just cannot do this to my family and allow this to drag on any more". "Most importantly I did it" he said. He said he often tells his children "if you don't take responsibility nothing will ever change. I am taking responsibility and I am seeking help to change", he said. He went on to say "I appologize to Alycia Lane for what I did and ask that this long mutually, self destructive fued now end. We both paid a high cost and others have been hurt as well. I am sorry to all. My wife also is owed apologies. I will forever be in Dawn’s debt for her forgiveness and her loyalty. I will work every day to deserve her love, and I love her more everyday. The rest of my family also has been strong and loyal for me during this time. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I want to apologize one more time to the viewers, the people who kept us on the air with their loyalty and their trust. I let you down. I hope the day will come when I will once again be worthy of your trust. I do want to stay here in Philadelphia. I realize that I may never anchor here again, but I love this city far too much to move. This is where I grew up; this is where I want to raise my children. I don’t want to take this city from them because of my mistakes.There is one last thing I would like to say. Many of you know I attended Catholic schools in the area. Confession is a big part of my faith. So is forgiveness. It is something we have all asked for at one time or another in our lives. I do so now, and, as always, I put my life in God’s hands. On the advice of counsel, I regret to say, I will not be taking any questions. Thank You".
So there it is, Larry Mendte's side of the story.

As Expected, Mendte Pleads Guilty

Larry Mendte, the former anchor at CBS-3, pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of intentionally accessing the private email account of his former co-anchor Alycia Lane. READ THE FULL STORY
Michael Schwartz, Mendte's attorney, plans to hold a press conference at some point this afternoon in his Center City office.
Mendte's sentencing is scheduled for November 24th.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

48 Hours And Counting!

Former CBS-3 anchor, Larry Mendte, is expected to plead guilty this Friday to one felony count for allegedly accessing the email account of his former co-anchor, Alycia Lane, without her consent. Though sources say Mendte most likely will not serve time he most assuredly has at least temporarily ruined the career of Lane who has filed a lawsuit against her former employer as the result of being released from her contract at KYW-TV.
The fact that Mendte will plead guilty is little consolation to the fact that what he did goes deeper than just "accessing Lane's email more than 500 times". In the process, he leaked personal information about Lane to the gossip column reporters in newspaper-land. In that process, Lane's personal life became the news and contributed to her dismissal from KYW. Yes, Lane's actions in New York contributed greatly to her dismissal. She was arrested for slapping a police officer but later--those charges were dropped.
Unless Mendte explains HIS side of the story and WHY he did what he did, we'll never know. My question is, what gives a person the right to ruin another's career? Was Mendte THAT insecure in his own position at KYW? Was there MORE to this story than any of us know? Only Mendte knows that answer for sure, though; there are industry rumors that there is more to this story. Obviously, Mendte ruined his OWN career in the process, at least for now.
Those following the story have lots of opinions of their own as recently posted on's comment board. "Shame on you Larry, I hope it was all worth it", said one--while another said "He's a sick, disturbed man...sad little man". There are some out there who don't care what Larry did -- and say "...can't wait till he returns to the airwaves!". Others send their concern and well wishes to wife, Dawn Stensland, who anchors at FOX-29. Dawn apparently has been the tower of strength through this ordeal and has alot of support from her FOX-29 colleagues. However, one can only imagine how difficult it must have been these past months to hold her head high and get through the day. Obviously, everyone has an opinion on this story. We'll see how it pans out once Friday comes and goes as to what is Larry's payback through all of this.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ever Wonder Whatever Happened to...

Ken Matz? Ken anchored WCAU-TV's 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts but actually began his career in radio as a jock and newscaster on WIBG from 1969 to 1976. He also spent a short stint at KYW newsradio before going on to a few other stations, followed by the television news route. He started at a station in Miami before coming back to Philadelphia in 1992 to replace the departing Larry Kane as anchor of "News 10". He co-anchored with Jane Robelot (watch a clip HERE of the anchor duo, courtesy of You Tube) until her departure to CBS then was paired with Renee Chenault (now Chenault-Fattah). Matz continued at WCAU until 1998. Larry Mendte, who arrived from "Access Hollywood" in September '97 to anchor the 11 p.m. and a new 4 o'clock newscast, eventually replaced Matz to also anchor the 6 p.m. show. Ken is now retired and resides in Florida doing an occasional voice-over and repairing his neighbors computers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

LIVE TV at its best!

You have to hand it to Dan Cuellar at Channel 6 for at least an "A" for he went LIVE during the newscast to interview an Indian couple who were residents of the Riverwalk apartment complex fire in Conshohocken last week. Check out this video courtesy of YOU TUBE and see how much YOU can understand? Of course, you have to have the ole TV news reporter question of "what went through your mind as your apartment burns?"....Watch the clip here

Friday, August 15, 2008

6ABC's Erica Grow

While surfing I came across Erica Grow's facebook homepage. Good stuff! Check it out HERE.

NEW Action News Mornings promos...

I just saw seven new promos for "Action News Mornings" that are cute. The first one shows Matt O'Donnell sitting at his desk with one of those homemade paper fortune teller "thingies" we all learned how to make in high school--when Karen Rogers and Tamala Edwards walk up behind him. Karen comments to Tamala, "He's been at it all morning". Tamala asks "at what?" and Karen replies "the fortune teller...".

"Hey Matt, you still trying to see if you're going to become a news anchor?", says Karen. Matt tosses the thing onto his desk as if he's been nabbed.

The voiceover then picks up with "Action News Mornings, getting back to school and getting YOU back to business..."

The second promo has David Murphy wrapping up one of his meteorology books in a brown paper cover at his desk (similiar to how many of us would do with our text books in high school) when Karen, at the next desk over, says "covering the meteorology books again Dave?". Murphy replies "yep, protection Karen--protecting the knowledge". At that point, he gives a tug on the scotch tape from his dispenser when all of a sudden--a foot of tape comes off the spool.

The voiceover picks up with "Action News mornings, getting back to school and getting YOU back to business..."

The others are also high school themed...very creative I must say!


On the same facebook page you can also watch other promos such as "Make a Date with Action News", a 10-minute inside look at the making of "JUST SIX MINUTES" as well as all eight "JUST SIX MINUTES" promos, the "there goes that Action News van" promos including a classic--when WPVI was initially WFIL-TV showing "the news jiloppy driving through the WFIL parking lot" as well as "action news van on Mars" promo.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Local Fire Brings out the Choppers

Yesterday's massive fire at the "Riverwalk at Millenium" complex, Conshohocken-Montgomery county, was a $51 million complex in the final stages of construction. The inferno (an 8-alarmer, though labeled as an "all points fire" by fire officials) was covered en-masse by the local affiliates and smoke could be seen along I-476, I-76 as well as streets and highways in the area causing headaches for drivers.
Chopper 3, Chopper 6, Chopper 10 and SkyFox (29) hovered overhead as the fire raged out of control during yesterday's rush hour. The heat was so intense (6,000 degrees according to a reported posted on it even melted some of the interior seats and outer plastic housing of fire trucks working the fire, 300 firefighters in all from four counties. PennDot even got in on the credit by providing stations with a live shot of the fire from a PennDot camera along the Schuylkill expressway in Conshohocken that was almost due south of the fire scene. The picture above was taken by a photographer and posted with a story on All the stations went to "breaking news" mode during their newscasts using a live Penndot shot of the out-of-control fire, initially. One by one, as stations could react, they went to live chopper shots over the fire followed by on-the-ground reports by reporters on-scene--Leslie Van Arsdall from CBS-3--Dan Cuellar and Chad Predelli from channel 6 to name a few. Channel 6 covered the fire non-stop as it became obvious the fire was going out-of-control and spreading to two nearby apartment complexes forcing evacuations of residents. CBS-3 broke into "Dr. Phil" with breaking developments using Chris May in the newsroom and Bob Kelly covering traffic. By 5:30, Chris May was back on the set (with Angella Russell subbing for the vacationing Susan Barnett) and the station continued LIVE with the story until the 6:30 network news. Channel 3 provided a LIVE update at 7 p.m. while Channel 6 did the same. Channels 10 and 29 stuck with normal programming from 6:30 p.m. until their late night newscasts. When all was said and done, 400 people are now left homeless. The wrecking ball arrived this morning to begin tearing down the two destroyed structures. Damage reports at this point is estimated at $10 million. Injuries have been reported to be two along with several pets who could not be rescued.

A Whole New "TV World" Come Feb. 2009

Although this isn't directly related to the PHL television scene--I read an interesting article in today's USA TODAY about the world of digital transmission. The article states come February 2009 when the law says stations can no longer transmit analog--and go all-digital, we will surely see some noticeable changes in those digital multi-cast channels out there on the local stations. For example, those digital stations on NBC10, 6ABC and WHYY. Executives at MGM's "This TV", "Retro Television Network", "The Variety Channel" and "Local Accu-Weather channel" among a few will take huge advantage of the all-digital age. Eventually, when all stations begin transmitting two, three, even four additional program channels on their digital tier--classics will hit the airwaves again like "The Lone Ranger", "McHale's Navy", and "I Married Joan" to name a few. There are tons and tons of old TV series, movies and variety shows out there just waiting for a new audience. READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE -- USA TODAY.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"THE Paid Programming Station"

FOX-29 should now begin calling themselves "THE Paid Programming Station" and drop "THE Weather Station" moniker, immediately. During yesterday's early-afternoon severe weather Action News was the only station I saw who covered the tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings issued for the region. Several funnel clouds were spotted in South Jersey which prompted the tornado warning alert and Action News was still in the midst of its noon news broadcast. I flipped over to 29 several times over the next two hours only to see their paid programming continuing with not so much as a mention of the severe weather outside our window. What gives? I think I get it! I see a promo being written now--"FOX-29 is THE weather station in the Delaware Valley! You can depend on US like no-one else's business...if severe weather strikes weekdays between nine and five--WE'RE THERE! It's the power of our Ultimate Doppler which scans the skies weekdays from nine till five to tell YOU to beware! If severe weather strikes outside of those times and ANYTIME ON WEEKENDS...don't turn to us...turn to ACTION NEWS...FOX-29 is YOUR part-time WEATHER flop!"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ever Wonder Whatever Happened to

Dennis Woltering from WCAU-TV? Dennis was a reporter at the "then-owned" CBS station, WCAU's "News 10", from 1984 till 1994 covering stories from Africa to L.A., San Francisco and everywhere in between. However, his BIGGEST story was the confrontation between M.O.V.E. members and city police that resulted in police dropping a bomb from a helicopter that eventually burned the entire West Philadelphia block of sixty-one homes. Woltering was the reporter on the scene that day along with his cameraman and was the only station to capture the actual bomb drop and resulting fire. The footage was shown worldwide. Although Woltering had some exciting story coverage under his belt, his true passion was to return to his native New Orleans where he is today and where he began--WWL-TV. Woltering anchors the weeknight 5 & 6 p.m. newscasts.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Watching CBS-3 Ratings...

There's some interesting thoughts out there on the internet about the current Eyewitness News anchor pairing of Chris May and Susan Barnett. All the posts I'm reading indicate Chris and Susan "ain't doing it", that Susan is no draw, Chris is too new and definitely not a local and that ratings for CBS-3 have taken a nose dive fifty percent since Larry Mendte was terminated. Most feel they are in the perfect position to start with a clean slate. The consensus also feels Kathy Orr isn't cutting the mustard either with no real draw for viewers to want to watch -- and that Dave Kammerer actually fits the bill for more face time.
One poster finally said what I'VE BEEN THINKING FOR MONTHS! Management should also be held responsible for the whole fiasco involving Larry hacking into Alycia's email. No one has really written about THAT angle. Reports are out there that Lane suspected this and went to management, to no avail. If Larry was terminated and being held accountable for HIS actions why hasn't there been any repurcusions to management? What does it say for CBS-3's I S department that one can install keystroke spyware without being detected! I'd love to see a story written about that angle. Fair is fair. Personally, between the Lane and Mendte debacle I find it incredibly hard to believe that the chopping block hasn't fallen on management yet!
Back to the ratings side of the story though. Some think the solution is to bring back Larry Kane or Marc Howard to at least anchor one broadcast to bring some credibility back to the station. It's been reported neither are interested. Another suggestion is to promote Ukee Washington to the 6p/11p anchor chair but it's also been reported that Ukee is content with his current post. One poster, however, hit the nail on the head by pointing out "good writing, good story selection and decent research" is ACTUALLY the secret to increasing ratings. It's widely felt that, although Chris May and Susan Barnett are probably "good people"--they are not Philadelphian's and viewers recognize it. Yes, Susan is from the area but -- just bland. Also, that Susan might have been promoted prematurely for a position she wasn't quite ready for I would agree wholeheartedly. I don't agree that the answer is to steal away another talent or two from a competing station. They need to think this through slowly, like channel 6 does, and bring in at least a replacement for Burnett or May who has some buzz and good experience about them. What could happen immediately is Orr should switch places with Kammerer who has much more appeal than Orr. That is an easy fix that could happen NOW. Once new talent is in place -- promote the hell out of it and one poster even suggested CBS-3 should copy what channel 10 did back when..."weather, weather weather". The main reason most viewers watch local news is for weather. FOX-29 is trying to be the weather leader with their new "THE Weather Station" moniker with John Bolaris while "EarthWatch" seems to have taken a back seat lately at NBC-10 with Glenn Schwartz. There always could be room for a station to focus on weather. Nevertheless, the next six months will prove to be interesting to see how CBS-3 plays its cards.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More FOX news...

Michelle Williams, FOX-29's "Real Deal" reporter was married July 4th at a simple ceremony with friends and family during an Independence Day picnic. In the midst of the festivities, she and her beau sprung the news on eveyone that she was getting married! The town Mayor arrived in the midst of the picnic to officiate while the two changed into informal clothes. Michelle has begun using her married name, "Buckman", online and on FOX-29. You can read the story HERE.

The New Weather Guy at FOX

John Krasting has been freelancing the weekend shifts at Fox 29 the past eight weeks, replacing Jim Nichols who was signed on by NBC Weatherplus. Krasting, a Rutgers University grad is now working on his doctorate in atmospheric science. Prior to coming to this market he worked in New York.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Ever wonder whatever happened to former KYW-TV weatherguy David Rogers? David left Philadelphia in the early 90's after six and a half years as Chief Meteoroligist at KYW. He went on to Cleveland's WKYC-TV after his contract here was not renewed and later grabbed a better offer from New York's WCBS-TV where he was the main weeknight weatherguy there in the mid 90's.

In March 2004, you may recall, Rogers pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated vehicular assault after he acknowledged he hit two construction workers on a Cleveland OH interstate in the wee hours of the summer of 2003 after losing control of his SUV. Both workers were injured, one critically. Rogers fled the scene--leaving both men laying on the ground. He refused a breathalyzer but admitted driving drunk according to Rogers was working at WCBS at the time of the incident and was pulled off the air as a result.

Rogers is now at Charlottesville Virginia station, WVIR-TV (NBC 29) where he serves as morning weekend meterologist, a BIG DROP from market #1 to market #178. He is a Philadelphia native, is married and has one son and one daughter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Speaking of Metro Traffic...

The announcers and producers at Metro Traffic (a division of Westwood One) recently voted to become a part of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Metro Traffic, also known as "Shadow Traffic", came to Philadelphia almost twenty years ago and has a presence in major cities across the country supplying news, weather and traffic information to television and radio stations as well as web clients. AFTRA in Philadelphia represents members from KYW radio, WMMR, WIP, WIOQ, KYW-TV and WCAU-TV.

According to the July 2008 issue of Philadelphia Sessions, AFTRA's newsletter, Metro Traffic staff had various reasons for voting to go union. An article in "Sessions" states that concerns over work loads, quality of product, lack of merit increases and the deterioration of company equipment as just a few concerns. Additionally, better training for new hires and employee safety were also strong concerns voiced by employees. KYW morning traffic anchor, Sam Clover, is cited as saying "regular cutbacks and lack of effective maintenance of crucial resources for basic traffic information gathering have seriously strained and diminished our ability to accurately provide our stations the product they've come to demand". Apparently, the crew at Metro haven't been too proud of their product lately and have lost several stations recently to Traffic Pulse "offering a better product", according to the article. (Read both articles HERE as well as view several pictures of Metro Traffic staff, including Rod Carson and Sam Clover)

No Traffic Cams on FOX-29

Has anyone else noticed that you haven't seen any traffic cam shots during any of the traffic segments on FOX-29 in weeks? It's not your imagination. Several weeks ago the station ended its relationship with Metro Networks, the traffic service who provided them with their traffic data and access to the "metro cams" and penndot cameras. FOX used Metro Networks for the last nine years or so. FOX-29's traffic information now comes from the folks at Traffic Pulse, also known as "Traffic dot com". However, since the camera feed was cut by Metro Networks several weeks back, engineers have been unsuccessful in bringing in the new traffic camera feed out of Traffic Pulse's headquarters. Poor Dorothy only has her fancy graphics and smiley face to rely on for now.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

CBS-3's Robin Mackintosh signing off...

CBS-3 veteran, Robin Mackintosh, signs off tomorrow--July 30th--after more than 38 years of loyal service. Robin joined KYW-TV in 1970 after three years at KYW newsradio where he served as a news writer. His journalism career began in 1968 at the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin before transitioning into radio -- followed by television. Robin says goodbye tomorrow and I'm told we can expect the same classy send-off as was given for Marc Howard and Dick Sheeran's retirements.

So long DeMentri...

Not that you will get the "official word" from anyone at NBC-10 but those in the know say "bye bye DeMentri". Don't expect to see Vince DeMentri back on-air at 10 after an incident earlier this month knocked him off the air for good. DeMentri allegedly keyed the vehicle of morning anchor Lori Delgado over a squabble the two had. Lower Merion police were involved and later issued a statement that it was a non-issue. DeMentri joined WCAU August 11th 2003. Wow, we're only less than two weeks shy of "August 11th" too. DeMentri anchored the 10 p.m. "my phl news at ten" as well as the 5:00 newscast. It just recently was replaced by "All That & More" which moved from its 4 p.m. timeslot. Previsouly, DeMentri anchored in New York at WPIX and WCBS.

Godspeed Edie

NBC 10's Edie Huggins has died of cancer at the age of 72. Edie was a 42 year veteran of the station (pretty much unheard of today to survive at a station that long) and was one of the first African-American women to report on a television news broadcast in this market. She began her career as a features reporter in 1966 for "The Big News" with John Facenda. In the 70's she co-hosted "What's Happening" with Herb Clarke and several years later hosted her own one hour infotainment show, "Morningside". She is survived by a son and a daughter. Read the full story HERE -- along with other stories about her long career in Philadelphia.

Monday, July 28, 2008

FOX-29's Dorothy Krysiuk

Sources close to Traffic reporter, Dorothy Krysiuk over at FOX 29, say she is back in the single world again after giving marriage a fair shot. Observant viewers noticed several months ago that Krysiuk was no longer wearing her wedding ring.

What's with the phoney lashes?

Did anyone else watch Action News today (Mon 7/28) at 5:00 and see the everchanging Monica Malpass? She wore what obviously were false eyelashes today that looked pretty ridiculous. You may have noticed Malpass began lightening her hair about five to six weeks ago and just went one more shade lighter last week. NOW--the false eyelashes. Just wondering "what gives"?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Week 2 for DeMentri

We're in the midst of week two for the "MIA DeMentri" over at channel 10. DeMentri was due to return to his air shift Monday July 14th after a planned vacation the week prior. The 5 p.m. show came and went and "no DeMentri" ... same for the 10 p.m. "my phl 17 news at ten" that he co-anchors with Denise Nakano.

So, what gives? Has he been fired or suspended? There are alot of tight lips inside the newsroom and "no one really knows" is the word. His bio remains on the website. However, no mention has been made on any of the 10 p.m. shows as to his whereabouts. Denise Nakano anchors solo.

DeMentri was accused in early July of keying co-worker/morning anchor Lori Delgado's car. Lower Merion police investigated and issued a statement that it was "a non-issue".

Word is that DeMentri isn't easy to work with and often-times his ego gets in his way. He was suspended in '06 for a week following an altercation with Glenn Schwartz. While a reporter in the Big Apple, Mendte was arrested for impersonating a federal officer while gaining access to the World Trade center site in September 2001. That charge was later dropped.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Ongoing "Mendte case..."

Unless you've been under a rock today -- everyone has been all over the new development in the Larry Mendte case. The U.S. attorney formally announced charges today in Philadelphia, charging Mendte with one count of intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and thereby obtaining information in furtherance of a tortious act. You can read the entire story at

It does make one wonder WHY? Initially when this story came out Mendte's attorney simply said Mendte was cooperating fully...and never really stated whether he was or was not guilty of anything. Of course, one wouldn't expect anything less. However, I was surprised today to hear Mendte is expected to plead guilty to the charge. For some reason I thought he would go to his grave denying the charge, not that there was or was not anything in the media that stated this. It was just my impression at the time. WHY would someone of his stature and success go to such lengths to sabotage a colleague's reputation? If you think about it--it's pretty scary. Then there's his wife, Dawn Stensland at FOX-29. Imagine how she must feel having to face HER colleagues? Surely one would expect her to fully support her husband. I have to admit I was shocked Dawn was NOT absent from tonight's Fox 29 News at Ten broadcast! Wow, what kind of courage THAT had to have taken! This story led their newscast and was handled by Nefertiti Jaquez.
Kerri-Lee Halket tossed the big story and afterwards stated: "This coverage note now. Along with our committment to covering this story fair and balanced -- we also acknowledge that Mendte's wife, Dawn, is a very important part of our news team. From the beginning, Dawn has not taken a part in our reporting or coverage of this story and we completely support Dawn during this difficult time. She's a trusted co-worker and a very good friend".
If he's admitting guilt how does one forgive such a mean spirited act? Then, there's also his children. Quite the example to set for the two youngest. Reports today state he can get zero to six months in prison. I'll guess he will serve no time and instead pay a fine and serve time on probation is all. BUT, will any other television station ever hire him again? Would YOU want an employee who did such a thing as read a co-worker's email? Would you want that kind of liability on your payroll? Obviously we're all innocent until proven guilty and if this was YOUR loved one or YOUR family does one forgive? I'm simply posing questions. If it were my spouse the first thing that would come to MY mind would be counseling is needed first and foremost! A person who would be so jealous of another has serious psychological issues. Obviously, time will tell how this all plays out...Mendte is expected to turn himself in within the next two weeks.