Some notes to start the week …
ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson will air from Orlando on Thursday night. His visit to the Sunshine State is part of ABC’s “Battleground Bus Tour,” which will take Gibson to key areas around the country that could decide the presidential election. Other stops after Orlando, according to ABC: Valdosta, Ga., on Friday; Dayton, Ohio, on Monday, Oct. 6; Bowling Green, Ohio, on Tuesday, Oct. 7; Kalamazoo, Mich., on Wednesday, Oct. 8; Racine, Wisc., on Thursday, Oct. 9; and Davenport, Iowa, on Friday, Oct. 10. In addition to anchoring World News from Orlando, Gibson will also remain in Orlando to anchor the Vice Presidential Debate that will be taking place Thursday night in St. Louis.
More politics: Orlando’s TV stations are enjoying the political season and the infusion of cash those annoying political ads bring. According to the Orlando Sentinel, since the Aug. 26 primary, candidates and parties have spent nearly $3.5 million on O-Town’s local TV stations and Bright House cable. The Sentinel says the Democrats are outspending the Republicans locally by a 2-to-1 margin. To give you an idea of how the money piles up, a 30-second spot on WFTV’s top-rated Eyewitness News at 6 p.m. costs $1,650 — and Barack Obama has been buying 2-minute blocks for some of his ads.
Help wanted: Want to be the news director at Fox 35? Just click here. The job is the one formerly help by Bob Clinkingbeard (great name for a pirate ). He left WOFL earlier this month after about three years at the station. Jeff Zeller, assistant ND, is running the newsroom until a replacement is found.
WESH’s reach north is going to be diminished soon when Gainesville gets its own NBC affiliate. WNBW-DT 9 is scheduled to officially go on the air on Jan. 1 — but it has already been testing its signal (see the image to the left). Gainesville has had its own ABC affiliate, WCJB-Ch. 20, for a long time. It got a CBS affiliate a few years back — WGFL-Ch. 53.
According to the Gainesville Sun, Cox Cable in Gainesville must carry the new NBC station on its limited, basic lineup. But spokesman Rick Mulligan said there is still an agreement to carry WESH, so Gainesville cable viewers will have two NBC affiliates to watch. We’ll have to see how long that lasts.
“We’re certainly going to brand the station to the point where they would rather watch the Gainesville NBC than the Orlando NBC,” Michael Yanuzzi, president of New Age Media, told the Sun. New Age Media operates both WGFL and WNBW on behalf of owner MPS Media. Both companies are based in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Interesting footnote is that the WNBW call sign is pretty historic. It originally belonged to what is now WRC-NBC 4 in Washington, D.C. When WNBW began broadcasting in 1947, it was the second NBC station to go on the air after the network’s flagship New York City station. It’s call letters — which stood for NBC Washington — were changed to WRC in 1954.
Because all the coverage on local TV and the Web, Nancy Grace and 20/20 just aren’t enough, Dr. Phil will give his take on the Caylee Anthony saga on his show today. It airs at 7 p.m. on WKMG-Local 6.
According to Dr. Phil’s Web site, “Caylee Anthony’s face has been splashed across magazine covers and TV screens since July 2008, and her mom, Casey, has been named a person of interest in the case. Many fear that the worst has happened to the missing 3-year-old. Dr. Phil examines the psychological aspects of a story that continues to grip America’s imagination with its bizarre twists and turns.”
If you’ve been following the case — and who can avoid it — you’ll see lots of familiar faces. Plus, Dr. Phil brings in some new folks. Ernie Allen, president and founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, will answer questions about how come Caylee is getting such attention when other missing children — especially those who aren’t white — are not.
Get a full preview of the show by clicking here.
Some random notes from the weekend …
- WKMG’s Flashpoint public affairs show — which was bounced from its Sunday morning perch to replace Local 6′s canceled Sunday night sports shows — has returned to its former home. That’s a good thing. The Lauren Rowe-hosted show fits in well following CBS’ Sunday Morning and Face The Nation.
WFTV sent its Mobile Cam to Texas to record Hurricane Ike’s landfall this past week. The Channel 9 crew got an eyefull of Ike.
According to WFTV.com, the station’s crew was riding in its Hummer when the storm made landfall on Saturday morning. As the Hummer was going along Interstate 45, it was hit by debris from a dock. The impact into the side of the vehicle caused a tire to blow out — which the crew had to change during the storm.