Monthly Archives: July 2002

Here’s A Cool Cat: Original Channel 9 logo found

July 31 — Thanks to an exhibit at the Orange County Historical Museum, the unique original logo for WFTV-Channel 9, the former WLOF, has been uncovered. When the station went on the air on Feb. 1, 1958, its "9" logo was created by a cat’s tail. Check out a newspaper ad from the week of the station’s debut, touting that it’s the only ABC affiliate in the middle part of the state — no "duplication" of coverage like CBS and NBC had from stations in Tampa and Jacksonville. It took several weeks for all the ABC shows to move over to Channel 9 from Channel 6, the CBS affiliate which was also showing some ABC shows before WLOF went on the air. WLOF (which stood for We Love Orlando, Florida) made movies a staple until all the ABC shows were in place.

Continue reading Here’s A Cool Cat: Original Channel 9 logo found

More of a ‘Good’ Thing: WOFL expanding GDO


July 29 — While it has not been officially announced, reports are that WOFL-Channel 35 will expand its morning news program, Good Day Orlando, to three hours for the new fall season. The year-old program, anchored by Michael Brooks, Melissa Ross and Doug Kammerer, now airs from 7 to 9 a.m. It’s not immediately clear where the extra hour is being added, but it probably will be from 6 to 7 a.m., putting it in direct competition with the local morning news shows of Orlando’s other main network affiliates for the first time.

This Bud’s For You: Vintage Clips of 6 News, Hedinger
July 29 — The clock keeps counting down to Friday, Sept. 13 — the day WKCF-Channel 18 pulls the plug on veteran Orlando anchor Bud Hedinger and The Original 10:00 News. But if you need a Bud fix, check out the Channel 6 area among the CFTV Channels. Four vintage clips from the 1994 "Orange Era" of 6 News (where graphics, logo, set and seemingly everything else had to be a shade of orange) have been added to this site. Bud was one of three anchors of WCPX’s 6 News in these clips. Check out his popular promo clip, where he’s shown charging through the newsroom supposedly barking orders. By the way, rumors are swirling about where Hedinger will end up after he signs off on WKCF, with Channels 9, 6, 2 and 35 all being mentioned. Bud is a popular guy.

Anchors Away: WFTV makes weekend change
July 29 — Kathy O’Neill is being replaced as anchor of WFTV-Channel 9’s weekend morning and noon newscasts. Her replacement is Cynthia Demos, who comes to Channel 9 from WPTV-Channel 5 in Palm Beach. That’s where new Channel 9 news director Bob Jordan previously worked. Demos is a grad of the University of Florida with a major in journalism and a minor in mathematics (thus dispelling the old notion about journalists and math!). O’Neill, a UCF grad, has been with WFTV since 1991 with a good many of those years anchoring Eyewitness News’ marathons known as Daybreak Saturday (a 4-1/2 hour newscast) and Daybreak Sunday (3-1/2 hour newscast), plus 30 minutes of weekend noon news each day. Whew! The switch takes place in August.

Continue reading More of a ‘Good’ Thing: WOFL expanding GDO

That’s a fact, Jax: Stations swap networks in Jax

July 15 — The big network shuffle occurred today in Jacksonville, a move that has Orlando ties. Longtime CBS affiliate WJXT-Channel 4 decided earlier this year to leave the net after a 50-something year relationship. It was all about money — the network previously paid the station to air its shows; now CBS wants reverse compensation, where stations pay it to air network shows. Going independent is a risky move for WJXT, which has been the No. 1 station in the Jacksonville market for years. CBS, meanwhile, slides its programming over to Clear Channel-owned WTEV-Channel 47, which was previously Jax’s UPN affiliate. Former WESH anchor John O’Connor (shown with new co-anchor Paige Kelton and CBS’ Dan Rather) is heading CBS47 News’ 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. But the real Orlando tie to this story is corporate. Post-Newsweek owns WJXT and Orlando’s CBS station, WKMG-Channel 6. WKMG’s affiliation agreement with CBS isn’t up for renewal for a couple of years, but what happens in Jacksonville with WJXT will affect "Local 6." If WJXT has success as an independent, that might be the way Channel 6 goes when its deal with CBS is up. If WJXT tanks as an indy, Post-Newsweek will likely pay CBS whatever its wants to keep WKMG with the network.

Continue reading That’s a fact, Jax: Stations swap networks in Jax

Sweeps News: WESH on top in May


From the Orlando Sentinel: WESH-Channel 2, which soared in February with the Winter Olympics, proved in May that it could give a gold-medal performance without the Games. The NBC affiliate cemented its hold as the No. 1 station at 11 p.m. by adding nearly 23,000 households from a year ago during the sweeps period. The station was watched in 109,500 households. CBS affiliate WKMG-Channel 6 was second with 84,900 households, up 4,300. Former powerhouse WFTV-Channel 9 was third with 74,600 households, down 5,700. … In the 10 p.m. news, WOFL-Channel 35 drew 46,300 households, outpacing WKCF-Channel 18 (40,200) and WRDQ-Channel 27 (13,100).
Good night, David: GM Lippoff leaving WFTV
July 12 — In an announcement that surprised some and but was expected by others, WFTV-Channel 9 General Manager David Lippoff announced he is leaving the station. Lippoff, who has been WFTV’s GM for six years and also managed WRDQ-Channel 27, has accepted a broadcasting job at KOIN in Portland. During his tenure, Channel 9 went through five news directors and saw its once dominant position as "Central Florida’s News Leader" erode to the point that it now finishes No. 3 at 11 p.m. and has WESH nipping at its heels in other time periods. While Lippoff’s move surprised some observers, other media analysts theorized that station owner Cox quietly urged Lippoff to find employment elsewhere. News director Bob Jordan, just 10 weeks into his second go-round at WFTV and a former GM of WPTV-Channel 5 (NBC) in West Palm Beach, says he’s not interested in Channel 9’s GM post.
Where the News Comes First: Kilgore departs WESH
July 12 — Russ Kilgore, who has been with WESH-Channel 2 for eight years, resigned from his post. Kilgore leaves at a time when WESH is coming off one of its best books ever, leading the market in sign-on to sign-off, in early morning news and in 11 p.m. news. There was no immediate word on what prompted his decision. WESH assistant news director Ed Trauschke, former longtime reporter at Channel 6, will serve as interim news director.

Continue reading Sweeps News: WESH on top in May

Cancelled: WKCF says goodbye to Uncle Bud

WKCF-Channel 18 said it will pull the plug on Bud Hedinger and the 11-year-old “Original 10 O’Clock News” on Sept. 13. Hedinger first started in the market in 1986 when he was the 6 and 11 p.m. anchor at WFTV-Channel 9. After leaving in 1989, he returned in 1993 as the main anchor at WCPX (now WKMG) before moving to the WKCF newscast. WCPX previously produced the newscast for WB18. WKCF cited increased competition for its decision, but the newscast finished a close second to WOFL’s “Fox 35 News at 10” and 27,000 households ahead of “Action News at 10” on WRDQ-Channel 27.

New On CFTV Channels: Classic news, new “others” page

July 2 —
Digging though the videotapes, more classic Orlando newscasts have been found. Among them is a 1993 weekend opening for WESH’s "2 News" at 11, with a very young Wendy Chioji. She’s now the main 5, 6 and 11 anchor on WESH. Also among the WESH finds are a 1997 noon opening for "NewsChannel 2," just before they changed their graphics. A preview of those new graphics can be seen in a promo hyping WESH’s new 4:30 newscast, which launched in September 1997. It bounced around from 4:30 to 4 before being canceled a couple of years later for "Judge Judy."     Not to leave out the other stations, there’s a 1994 11 p.m. promo for WCPX’s "6 News" with David Wittman (now in Cleveland). Also, there’s a historic 1990 opening to WFTV’s "Eyewitness News Tonight" at 11, the first newscast in Orlando to feature two women as the main anchors. The arrangement didn’t last very long, and Bob Opsahl went back to the 11 p.m. newscast with Marla Weech. You can find all the videos in each station’s channel area here on the site.
Must See Orlando TV: Current newscast videos
Current openings for the Big 4 news stations in Orlando — including WOFL’s Good Day Orlando and WKMG’s rebranded morning show, Local 6 First News — have been added to the site under each channel’s area below. Still on the site are the "classic videos" from Central Florida’s newscasts of the past. By the way, the most popular of these classic videos — based on the number of times they have been viewed by visitors to this site — is WESH’s 1991 "2 News" at 5 p.m. opener. The big concrete tower in the opening, for those outside the Orlando area, is a landmark at the station’s studios next to Interstate 4. SuperDoppler 2 sits atop it.
Fox and Friends: Fox takes control of WOFL
WOFL-Channel 35, the longtime Fox affiliate for Orlando, got closer to the network on Monday, June 17, when ownership of the station passed into Fox’s hands. It’s part of a three-station swap involving WOFL, Ocala Fox affiliate WOGX-Channel 51 and Portland UPN affil KPBT. Meredith Corp. traded WOFL and WOGX to Fox Broadcasting for KPBT. The move gives Fox a duopoly in Orlando, with WOFL and UPN outlet WRBW-Channel 65. Expect to see changes, including dumping Channel 35’s cool palm tree logo for a bland Fox corporate ID.

Continue reading New On CFTV Channels: Classic news, new “others” page