Former Orlando radio personality Savannah is scheduled to appear tonight on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. You can see her with a really big snake.
Savannah tells Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell that she and her son left Orlando and headed to California. As Maxwell explains, “And she snagged a job working for a ‘prehistoric’ pet seller, which led to a shot at showing off a 350-pound snake with Conan O’Brien Friday night.” Read more here.
SOME QUICK HITS: More details are out about WOFL’s expansion of its morning news to 10 a.m. — scheduled to start Sept. 14. Station GM Stan Knotttold the Orlando Sentinel that the news from 8:30 to 10 a.m. will be called Good Day. Former morning anchor Amy Kaufeldt will helm Good Day and continue with her 5 p.m. anchor duties … WESH’s 10 p.m. news on WKCF-CW 18 debuts Monday night. … Knott says that despite WESH’s move — and WFTV’s programming of its news on WRDQ-27, WOFL has no plans to add news to its sister station, WRBW-My 65. … Chris Blanton at FLNewscenter.com explains how he came across an online for Central Florida News 13 — while visiting LATimes.com. He explains why.
WESH and WOFL will not press charges against the hoe-swinging grandma who attacked their news crews earlier this week. But if some folks had their way, there would be charges filed against the news crews.
First, the stations’ points of view. “While the incident and the woman’s actions are disturbing, and in my opinion criminal, our employees have at this time decided to not pursue charges against her,” WESH News Director Bob Longotold Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. Fox 35 GM Stan Knott told Boedeker, “Obviously, the lady was very upset. Fortunately, none of our guys was hit or hurt. It’s just a good reminder to keep your head up. It’s wild.”
Boedeker reported the story on his Sentinel blog. At least 40 comments were left on the posting — with a surprising number supporting grandma. A sampling of the comments: “Maybe some of these TV people should think about knock on someone’s door and shoving a camera in their face” … “Shows the intelligence of reporters and journalist in general” … “The news crews were out of line. Lucky she only had a hoe.”
It’s the news video everyone is still talking about: An angry grandmother attacks news crews from both WESH-2 and WOFL-Fox 35 with a garden hoe.
The incident happened on Monday when WESH reporter Gail Paschall-Brown and her videographer, along with Fox 35 reporter Holly Bristow and her videographer, visited a home in Cocoa. The news crews were there to follow up on a weekend story about two teenage girls who were found dancing at a strip club. The crews came to the home to seek comment from a relative of one of the girls.
The woman, later identified as a grandmother of one of the girls, takes one look at the television cameras and exclaims, “Don’t put that [f’ing] camera in my face!” Grabbing her hoe, she charges at Fox 35 camera then turns her attention to WESH’s camera, swinging the garden tool. She actually strikes the WESH camera, but fortunately the videographer is not injured.
As all of this is going on, Bristow is smartly trying to get out of the way, while Pascal-Brown — got to say, the woman’s got guts — tries to reason with the unreasonable, irrate grandma. It’s very, very bizarre — and was caught on tape by the two stations.
No word on whether either station will press charges against the woman.
Definitely a first for Orlando TV: Former reality show contestant Jason Guy is the new morning anchor for WESH 2.
In a news release announcing Guy’s hiring, WESH News Director Bob Longo said, “part of what attracted us to Jason is his fascinating and diverse career path.”
According to WESH, Guy started in broadcasting when he was 18 — hosting a weekly teen program on the Mobile, Ala., Fox affiliate as well as a highly rated morning radio show. He then headed to California, landing a role as a contestant on the third season of CBS’ Big Brother in 2002.
How excited is Fox 35 about getting its new $1.5 million Guardian dual pole radar? The station has set up a live cam so folks can follow along with the construction progress. The station broke ground for the Doppler tower on Aug. 5. At the time, chief meteorologist Glenn Richards said it would take about 45 days for “the most powerful radar system in Central Florida” to be operational. From the photos, looks like the foundation is finished and they’re starting to go vertical. Check it out yourself.
After an absence of nearly seven years, WKCF-CW 18 will resume a 10 p.m. newscast starting Aug. 31.
Hearst sister station WESH-2 will produce the 30-minute newscast, which will air seven days a week.
“WESH 2 News at 11 has developed a very strong following. We believe the time is right to offer a 10 p.m. newscast for Central Florida viewers who prefer an earlier news option,” Jim Carter, WESH/WKCF president and general manager, said in a news release.
Monday-Friday, the newscast will be anchored by WESH’s 11 p.m. anchor team: Martha Sugalski, Jim Payne, sports director Guy Rawlings and Chief Meteorologist Tony Mainolfi. The Saturday and Sunday news will feature Aixa Diaz and meteorologist Malachi Rodgers.
“At a time when some news organizations are cutting back on their coverage, we’re excited to provide Central Florida news viewers with even more options at a time they may find more convenient,” Carter said.