Monthly Archives: February 2007

Time for a lot of local TV goodbyes

Goodbye, Sports Jam. The WKMG Sunday night sports highlight show is apparently getting the ax. According to a Local 6 insider, a memo was circulated saying the 10-plus-year-old show will end after its Sunday, March 4 broadcast. As you may know, WKMG is not renewing the contract of sports anchor Todd Lewis — and now with Sports Jam being canceled, I think sports fans can see the writing on the wall about the future of sports on the station. And if you can’t see that writing, how about this, from the memo that went to the staff from News Director Susan Forbes: "As many of you know, we are reviewing our sports franchise with the goal of focusing and redefining it for our viewers. It is our belief that the strengths of our franchises belong in our newscasts and that we keep our resources focused on our main product."

Goodbye, Jim and Wendy. With all the anchor shuffling going on at WESH, the latest casualties are Jim Payne and Wendy Chioji. Oh, and Sally Schulze. And Tom Schaad, too. No, they’re not going off the air — only off the building. The massive posters of the WESH anchors on the station’s tower next to I-4 are expected to come down this week, making way for new CW 18 branding now that WESH owns WKCF.

Goodbye, Jim Van Fleet? We’re hoping this isn’t a goodbye, but WOFL is advertising for a morning weather guy. That job is currently filled by singing weatherman Jim Van Fleet. I haven’t been able to track anything down on this but perhaps Van Fleet wants to focus on his growing county music career. Or — again, pure speculation on my part — with WOFL adding an 11 p.m. show, maybe Fox 35 is moving Van Fleet to Fox at 5 so Glenn Richards can do the 10 and 11 p.m. shows? Stay tuned.

Continue reading Time for a lot of local TV goodbyes

Local 6 wins appeal to air Guetzloe files

A week later than planned, WKMG on Monday night was able to air a report relating to "The Guetzloe Files." Those are the documents that once belonged to political consultant Doug Guetzloe — files handed over to Local 6’s Tony Pipitone from a man who bought them from a storage facility after Guetzloe didn’t pay his bill. Guetzloe went to court to block the story — and succeeded until WKMG won an appeal on Monday. So, after all the hub-bub, what did the files show? That Guetzloe accepted money from Casselberry strip clubs to try to keep anti-strip club commissioners from being elected in the city. Guetzloe has denied ever accepting such money — but Pipitone produced the canceled checks to prove it and an interview with a strip club owner who confirmed the whole thing. More to come, we’re told. …

6 may not get to show Guetzloe’s files

If you’ve watched Channel 6 during the past two weeks, you couldn’t have missed the promos for Tony Pipitone’s report about what’s in the personal files of political activist Doug Guetzloe.

Since the station obtained the files, it’s been the most-hyped sweeps story — and it’s supposed to air on Monday’s 11 p.m. newscast. But it may not happen.

An Orange County judge is barring the station from airing any of the material it obtained from the personal files of Guetzloe, according to the Orlando Sentinel. WKMG plans to appeal the decision. "I’m confident we’ll prevail, and I’m confident the First Amendment will prevail," Local 6 GM Henry Maldonado said.

So, will the report air? You’ll have to tune in at 11 — which is just what WKMG wanted all along, files or no files.

Continue reading 6 may not get to show Guetzloe’s files

Stations deliver with storm coverage

All of the area media outlets did an outstanding job with coverage of Friday’s deadly tornadoes. They alerted viewers overnight about the tornado warnings and then went wall to wall with more than 12 hours of coverage of the storms’ destruction.

Even before their regularly scheduled 5 a.m. newscasts Friday, the meteorologists at WESH, WKMG and WFTV were providing weather cut-ins before and after midnight. All those stations stayed with coverage from 5 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. WOFL-Fox 35 was also in storm-coverage mode, but returned to regular programming long before the other Big 3 did. CFN 13 also did well providing coverage during its regular 24-hour news schedule.

WESH not only pre-empted programming on Channel 2 for storm coverage, but also ran its news for hours on sister station WKCF-CW 18. Much of WESH’s coverage was also broadcast on MSNBC, and CNN was taking feeds from WESH, WFTV and WKMG. WESH and WKMG closed out Friday night with extended editions of their 11 p.m. newscasts.

Continue reading Stations deliver with storm coverage

iVillage Live gets renewed through 2008

iVillage Live!, the daily NBC-Universal TV show based at Islands of Adventure, has been given a green light through June 2008. The Orlando Sentinel reports that the 10 NBC O&O stations that have been airing the show since it began in December are apparently pleased enough with its performance to extend their relationship with the program. And, another two TV stations are picking it up — in Seattle and Oklahoma City.

The show is broadcast live from Islands each Monday-Friday from noon to 1 p.m. If you want free tickets to attend a show, call 1-866-448-5360 or e-mail a request to

Continue reading iVillage Live gets renewed through 2008

At home with the news (from 1982)

Twenty-five years ago in Orlando TV was a much simpler time. You could conduct a standup at the airport with your main anchors and bump into a sailor. You could talk about weather with a group of people who happen to all have yellow umbrellas to protect you when a sudden rain starts. You could walk by the space shuttle. And you could wear really weird looking pants while watching WCPX’s News Watch 6 with your family. Here’s a classic news promo clip from 1982 — "Heart of Florida, We’re at home with the news." (Click here to watch the clip)


Continue reading At home with the news (from 1982)