Monthly Archives: April 2009

WESH blames WFTV’s Jordan for swine flu report

Reports of swine flu in Orlando are raising the temperatures of some folks running the local news stations.

On Tuesday, WFTV-Channel 9 reported that there was a confirmed case of swine flu in Orlando. The report turned out to be false. WFTV blamed the error on an email it received from a doctor at Florida Hospital; WESH-Channel 2 blamed WFTV News Director Bob Jordan.

“Hospital Denies Report of Swine Flu in Orlando” was the headline on The report detailed a news conference at Florida Hospital about the incident. Channel 2 reported: “The news conference was held in response to a media report that a tourist from Mexico who was at the Disney attractions had swine flu. The report, first posted on the WFTV news director’s Twitter account at 10:35 a.m., quoted an e-mail sent by Florida Hospital’s chief medical officer Dr. Loran Hauck.”

Continue reading WESH blames WFTV’s Jordan for swine flu report

Check digital channel 26 for “Local 6”

If you’re not getting WKMG on your HD receiver, you need to rescan you local channels. WKMG changed digital channels last week. After broadcasting on Channel 58, WKMG is now airing on Channel 26. Sure, thanks to remapping your receiver should always show WKMG on Channel 6, but that’s not really the case with most Central Florida stations. Here are the digital channels the local stations are broadcasting on:

WESH (NBC)               2                              11
WKMG (CBS)               6                              26
WFTV (ABC)                 9                              39
WKCF (CW)               18                              17
WMFE (PBS)              24                              23
WRDQ (Ind)               27                              14
WOFL (Fox)                35                              22
WRBW (MNT)            65                              41


Some other notes ….

Just in time for May sweeps, WFTV has tweaked its graphics. A splash of gold and some curves have been added to the HD graphics that debuted back in June 2006 when Channel 9 became the first station in the state — and 10th in the nation — to produce the news in high definition. ….

Fox 35 had added a couple of new additions to its weekend anchor team. Talitha Vickers co-anchors with Keith Landry on 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows. She previously worked at WWOR-My9 in New York, WBOC in Salisbury, Md., and WCCB in Charlotte. University of Miami grad Sabrina Fein is the weekend meteorologist. She’s worked at KSPR in Springfield, Mo., KCBD in Lubbock, Texas, WPBF in Palm Beach and WFTX in Fort Myers before joining Fox 35.

Live from space: It’s the Earth

Unlike most Central Floridians, I don’t have access to Bright House Networks cable where I live. It get my television via satellite — Dish Network, to be precise.

Dish has added a new channel called Dish Earth, and I must admit it’s pretty cool. It’s a live video stream of the Earth — taken with a camera mounted on Dish’s EchoStar 11 satellite — orbiting about 22,300 miles above our planet.

Dish says the camera is the world’s first Earth-directed camera mounted on a commercial communications satellite. “Six years in the making, the Dish Earth camera offers a 30 degree x 22.4 degree field-of-view that includes fascinating live full-disk views of the planet,” Dish said in a news release. “The regular night/day cycle, weather patterns, and seasonal changes in the western hemisphere are clearly visible via the ‘eyes’ of the camera, which observe objects in the visible spectrum, similar to the human eye, with a resolution of about 20 km per pixel.”

I wonder if the camera will pick up the next space shuttle launch in May, as its rockets into obit from Kennedy Space Center? That would be pretty cool.

Dish Earth is available on Dish Channel 212 — right next to the NASA channel on 213.

Continue reading Live from space: It’s the Earth

Andrea Jackson leaving The Daily Buzz

Andrea Jackson, one of the original Daily Buzz anchors, is leaving the Orlando-based morning show. Her last day is Wednesday.

In a note to Sentinel TV Guy and More blogger Hal Boedeker, Jackson said, “It’s been a great experience being a part of ‘The Buzz’ since the very beginning. After being on the air for seven years, it’s the right time for a change. … Stay tuned.”

The nationally syndicated show moved to Orlando in the summer of 2004 from Dayton, Ohio. It originally aired on and was headquartered at WKCF-Channel 18 in Lake Mary. Once WESH parent Hearst-Argyle bought WKCF, it booted the Buzz so it could air local news on the station. The Daily Buzz found a new home on the dial at WRDQ-Chanel 27 — and new studios at Full Sail University in Winter Park.

The show still airs on 145 stations natioanlly. After Jackson’s departure, only weather guy Mitch English will remain from the original hosts — which also included Ron Corning.

Here’s a clip from The Daily Buzz web site feature Jackson:


Continue reading Andrea Jackson leaving The Daily Buzz

Former Orlando anchor retiring

Wayne Bennett, a former anchor at Channels 2 and 6, is retiring after 34 years in the news business.

Bennett began his career as a reporter for WESH in 1975, and  he eventually became an anchor at Channel 2. He then switched over to Channel 6 as the early evening and late anchor, replacing Ben Aycrigg.

Since 1989, he’s been anchoring at WTVM-ABC 9 in Columbus, Ga. Bennett will continue anchoring the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts at the station until May 15.

“The Wayne you see on television, is Wayne off-screen,” WTVM News Director Anne Holmes told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “Everyday when he walks in the newsroom, it’s almost a moment from the TV show ‘Cheers.’ Everyone says, ‘Hi Wayne.’ His arrival is anticipated every day.

“He’s certainly made an impact on the younger newsroom employees, and I know he’s made an impact on Columbus.”

Bennett’s retirement plans include traveling and living overseas.

Continue reading Former Orlando anchor retiring

Florida’s early TV station history

I love history and — as is evident by this site — broadcast history. So, I’ve been compling a list of Florida’s first television stations. You’ll likely notice some familiar call letters as well as some you may never seen before.

Those lesser-known stations are Florida’s early UHF stations, such as Miami’s WGBS-Ch. 23, Fort Lauderdale’s WITV-Ch. 17 and Jacksonville’s WJHP-Ch. 36 (all of which predated WBDO-Ch. 6, Orlando’s first TV station).

Despite high hopes and a market ripe for television programming, these stations suffered the same fate as many other early UHF stations that competed with VHF stations: they ceased operations after a brief period. UHF stations had a very hard time getting viewers because early TV sets didn’t even have UHF tuners — they had to be bought separately. Plus, those early UHF signals didn’t reach as far as VHF signals and were also very difficult to tune-in, even with those add-on UHF receivers.

Still, one of the very first UHF stations in the state managed to hang on for 17 years — WSUN-TV Channel 38 in St. Petersburg.  Click the read more button for the list of Florida’s first 21 stations.

Continue reading Florida’s early TV station history