Monthly Archives: January 2007

WKCF doing well for the CW

After picking up the pieces from the failed WB and UPN networks, the CW is still trying to find its identity — and its viewers.

But Orlando’s WKCF-CW 18 has emerged as one of the netlet’s strongest affiliates. "The initial ratings were soft, we think, because of a lot of confusion surrounding the launch of The CW," station GM Bill Bauman told the Orlando Sentinel. "But we have seen growth every week."

Bauman, who also manages WESH, praised the CW management team, too. "We’ve had many conversations with the people running The CW, and they appear to me to be the most affiliate-friendly network ever," he said.

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6 fights subpoena, plus other stuff

Attorneys for Local 6 filed a motion on Monday to quash a subpoena seeking the Doug Guetzloe files from Problem Solvers reporter Tony Pipitone. WKMG GM Henry Maldonado said the station is fighting the subpoena to "protect our right to investigate." More from the Orlando Sentinel

>> Southeast Polk County TV viewers will be keeping WFTV-Channel 9 and WKMG-Local 6 on their cable systems. Comcast Cable wanted to drop the two Orlando stations to free up space for new digital channels. According to the Lakeland Ledger, the company argued that 85 percent of the programming on the two Orlando stations is duplicated by the Tampa stations that are required to be on the Polk cable system. …

>> Orlando’s WFTV tied for No. 8 nationally among ABC affiliates with the top prime-time ratings for 18-34-year-olds in the November sweeps. Channel 9 had a 5.7 ratings average, tying it with Cox sister station WSOC in Charlotte, N.C. Hearst-Argyle’s WISN in Milwaukee, WMBC in Kansas City and WOCO in Oklahoma City tied for No. 1 with a 7.9 rating. Details here

>> A tipster says Fox 35 freelancer Julie Kim has landed a full-time job at Fox’s WTFX in Philadelphia.

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Will Pipitone turn over Guetzloe files?

Local 6 Problem Solvers reporter Tony Pipitone has until 11 a.m. today to turn over the personal files he has for political consultant Doug Guetzloe.

Orange-Osceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar’s subpoena ordered Pipitone to turn over 80 boxes of Guetzloe’s business and personal records. The files were given to Pipitone by a man who bought them from a storage unit, where Guetzloe allegedly didn’t pay his rent for storing the items.

WKMG GM Henry Maldonado told the Orlando Sentinel late last week, the station had not decided what to do. "Right now it’s in the hands of our lawyers," he said.

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Going solo with Chioji — Will it work?

Is Wendy Chioji becoming the Katie Couric of Orlando?

She will be the first woman to solo anchor a 6 p.m. newscast in Orlando when WESH’s anchor reassignments take effect Jan. 29. Channel 2 hopes to make "WESH 2 News at 6 with Wendy Chioji" a showcase for one of the area’s veteran anchors.

"She is our most trusted and recognized anchor: she can get interviews others can’t," said WESH ND Barbara Maushard. "Wendy will put her years of reporting experience and community connections to work to present viewers with a one-of-a-kind newscast."

Said Chioji: "This is an opportunity few journalists ever get. I look forward to bringing Central Florida viewers important stories they won’t see anywhere else … and do it in a unique and different way."

The new format reminds us of an earlier era in television when anchors used to have their names as part of their newscast titles — as Chioji will at WESH. (Anyone remember "The Ralph Rennick Report" on WTVJ or "Wayne Farris and the News" on WCKT in Miami?)

So, WESH goes back to the past for its 6 p.m. news. Will the future bring more viewers to WESH, or will Chioji’s new newscast end up in the same ranking as Couric’s in the evening news ratings?

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Changes also in weather at WESH

Perhaps overlooked in the shakeup of WESH’s anchors are the changes taking place in the WESH WeatherPlus storm center.

Morning vet Tony Mainolfi is getting the prime evening newscasts, with Amy Sweezey shifting to the noon and 4 p.m. shows. Since longtime chief meteorologist Dave Marsh left in 2006, no one on WESH’s weather team was given his former title. Could this be a sign that Mainolfi will get Marsh’s old title now that he has Marsh’s old shows?

And, the WESH has added a fifth meteorologist to its staff to replace Mainolfi in the morning. The new met is Jason Brewer (right), who comes to WESH from Houston’s KPRC-NBC 2. Brewer has been doing the weekend weather at the Houston station since May 2006. Previous to that he was the chief met at KOSA in Odessa, Texas, and also worked at WTVD-ABC 11 in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

"Weather is one of the biggest reasons why our viewers watch local news. Therefore, our commitment to weather coverage will continue to expand," said WESH ND Barbara Maushard. "By adding Jason to our team, we will be able to offer our viewers even more team coverage of Central Florida weather on-air, on-line and on our digital weather channel, WESH 2 Weather Plus."

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Chioji confirms WESH anchor shakeup

WESH’s Wendy Chioji confirms the station’s reassignment of its anchors, including her role as solo anchor at 6 p.m. "I’m going to have a lot of creative control. I just love that," she told the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker about the 6 p.m. newscast. Chioji says she will have a say in the story lineup for the revamped 6 p.m. show, which will also offer longer stories and more issue reports.

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