Looking back, I wonder if it was a clue? When the stations issued their news releases from the Novemeber sweeps, Bill Bauman’s comments were not in WESH’s release. Instead, it was VP and station manager Bob Fein who was quoted as saying, “in May we saw significant growth for WESH 2 News over the previous year. It’s now very gratifying to see that viewers are continuing that vote of confidence and helping us build on that momentum.” But it’s what he didn’t say — about year-over-year ratings — that also stood out.
In the end, that’s what most people will remember. Bauman unexpectedly leaving WESH by announcing his immediate retirement at the company Christmas party. But there is more to remember about Bauman.
After hyping it as “big news” throughout the weekend, WKMG announced on its Morning News show Monday that meteorologist Larry Mowry is leaving to head to CBS O&O KTVT in Dallas. Anchor Erick Weber said in announcing Mowry’s departure, “We want to let you know about our secret. Just learned about it, what, about a week ago.” (Well, actually it was back in November, but we digress.)
In addition to Mowry telling viewers how much he will miss Central Florida and that his last day is Jan. 3, he announced his successor: meteorologist Eric Wilson from Post-Newsweek sister station WDIV-NBC 4 in Detroit. Wilson was introduced via live shot from his snow-covered front yard in Detroit — which featured a huge Mickey Mouse Christmas ornament.
Wilson said his wife is a huge Disney fan — every Christmas ornament they have has something to do with Disney — so they are looking forward to coming to Orlando. According to his bio, he is the primary met on WDIV’s NBC WeatherPlus channel and does the station’s noon show as well as appearances on other newscasts.
Want more morning news? This week WESH began a six-week experiment simulcasting the 6-7 a.m. hour of its Sunrise newscast on CW18 — leading into the two-hour block of local news it airs on WKCF.
According to a WESH news release, “The goal of the simulcast is to expand the reach of WESH-TV’s morning news while strengthening the lead-in to WKCF-TV’s morning news block.” Said WESH/WKCF GM Bill Bauman: “This is a great opportunity to use the power of both stations to build our morning news audience. If the simulcast experiment is successful, we’ll consider expanding it or making a permanent programming change.”
In the Novemeber sweeps, the WFTV-produced Eyewitness News This Morning on WRDQ-Channel 27 jumped past WESH 2 News on CW18. One reason could be that WRDQ started airing The Daily Buzz from 6-7 a.m. as a lead-in to its news.
The irony is that WESH booted The Daily Buzz from its 6-9 a.m. slot on WKCF to make way for its local news show.
WOFL will launch its oft-discussed 11 p.m. newscast on Jan. 7, Florida Today reported. News about the late newscast was first revealed nearly a year ago, with a then-projected launch date of sometime in April. But the project never got off the ground. In the meantime, Fox 35 did launch its 6 p.m. newscast.
Cale Ramaker, who has been co-anchor of the 6 p.m. show, will leave that post to helm the 11 p.m. newscast as well as continue as the 10 p.m. co-anchor with Corrina Sullivan. Station newcomer Mike Dunston inherits Ramaker’s anchor chair on the 6 o’clock show.