Monthly Archives: May 2007

Did O-Town stations stage news?

All the stations in town picked up on the story about a 9-year-old boy who called 911 when his mother fell unconscious on the floor. But when area stations showed the "first meeting" between the Alex Swee and 911 dispatcher Matt Nicotra — it was actually staged for two local stations who showed up late.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, "crews from WESH-Channel 2 and WFTV-Channel 9 were on time to film the exchange of hugs when Alex and his mom met Nicotra for the first time. But WOFL-Channel 35 showed up late and asked the three to do it all over again so they could tape it. Then in the middle of the second ‘first’ meeting, a WKMG-Channel 6 crew arrived and asked the three, ‘Can you do it one more time?’ "

The paper wryly pointed out, "The ‘first’ meeting ended up taking almost as long as the six-minute 911 call between Alex and Nicotra."

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WFTV’s Egert heading to Seattle

Anchor-reporter Chris Egert from WRDQ/WFTV is heading to the Pacific Northwest. reports that Egert is going to become the weekend news anchor at Cox sister station KIRO-CBS 7 in Seattle. It’s a jump up the market ladder for Egert, from O-Town’s No. 19 to Seattle’s No. 13. Egert, who arrived in Orlando in 2002, anchors the weekday Eyewitness News at 10 on WRDQ-Ch. 27 and is a fill-in anchor and reporter on WFTV-Channel 9.

But what kind of station will Egert be heading to? Talk on the Watercooler is that KIRO’s affiliation with CBS is up, and that the Eye Net may want to move its programming over to the station it owns in the market, KSTW-CW 11. It happened before in the 1990s, when CBS took its affiliation from KIRO and moved it to KSTW, only to move it back again a few years later.

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Traffic and hunks on Local 6

Some quick notes to start off your week …

Kim Sanders, who works at a voice-over production company, was introduced as the new WKMG traffic reporter on the Local 6 Morning News on Monday. Click here to see her audition tape. …

Central Floridians think WKMG has the hunkiest hunks in local TV. That’s the message from the Scott and Erica Show’s Orlando TV’s Hunkiest Hunk contest. Local 6 weekend anchor Todd Jurkowski edged out main anchor Bob Frier for the award, given by Mix 105.1 (WOMX-FM). Others in the top 5: WOFL’s Jim Van Fleet, WFTV’s Brian Shields, WESH’s Tom Schaad. The Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell has more info, including how the silly contest actually turned into a way to benefit local charities. …

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The Daily Buzz is heading to WRDQ

The Daily Buzz is moving to a new home — and a new station.

WRDQ announced Friday that the Buzz is moving to TV 27 from WKCF-CW 18 starting May 28. According to the press release, "TV27 is taking The Daily Buzz back to the roots of where the show previously aired, and enjoyed its largest audience, at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday leading into Eyewitness News This Morning. A second hour will be tape-delayed and presented at 10:30 a.m."

The Buzz has been sort of a red-headed stepchild at CW18 after the station was acquired by WESH parent Hearst-Argyle. WESH expanded its morning news to CW18, bumping the Buzz to 9 a.m.-noon and running the show on a three-hour delay.

"The Daily Buzz has created a distinct brand that fills a void in the morning. It’s the perfect lead in to Eyewitness News This Morning, which will continue to air from 7-8:30 a.m.," said Shawn Bartelt, General Manager for WFTV/ WRDQ. "We recognize that there has been a longing in the community for The Daily Buzz to return to its original time period, and we are excited to give the audience what they are looking for."

As we reported earlier, The Buzz is currently broadcasting from the Disney-MGM Studios until its new broadcast facility at Full Sail is completed.

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Former WESH anchor coming back?

A South Florida tipster says that former WESH anchor Shannon Hori may be headed back to the Sunshine State. According to the tip, Hori is on the list of possible replacements for anchor Maggie Rodriguez at CBS O&O WFOR in Miami. Rodriguez is leaving to anchor the Saturday Early Show on the network. Hori left WESH in 2004 for her current home, CBS O&O KTVT in Dallas. …

The voting begins today for the finalists for WKMG traffic reporter job. But, if you’ve been listening closely to the rules on Local 6, your voting means practically nothing. Station management will make the decision on who to hire … but they will "consider" the voting when making the decision. So, if you still want to vote, go for it. ….

Internet Broadcasting Systems, which runs the Web sites for WKMG, WFTV and WESH in Orlando and more than 70 other stations nationwide, is moving its headquarters to St. Paul, Minn. Here’s the full story.

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Weird stories? It must be sweeps

Sorry for the lack of posts this week — it’s been very hectic. In addition to everything else, a new puppy has joined our family after our 17-year-old pomeranian died two months ago. "Butch" is a 2-pound ball of wonder who loves to chew and who is requiring a lot of attention. Anyway, more posts to come soon …

> The Sentinel’s TV Guy is keeping tabs on the sweeps stories going on O-Town, including the ghostly hoax that WKMG used as part of its Haunted I-4 package. Read all about it here.

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