Monthly Archives: September 2009

Estrella now set to launch Monday on WKCF

estrellaThe debut of O-Town’s newest Spanish-language offering has been pushed to Sept. 14. 

Back in July, WESH-2,  WKCF-CW 18 and parent Hearst Television announced a partnership with Liberman Broadcasting to offer its Estrella TV to Central Florida viewers on WKCF’s digital sub-channel 18.3. The original start date was sometime in in mid-August; now Estrella will go live on Monday.

According to Broadcasting and Cable, Orlando is one of 17 markets nationally where Estrella is launching. Among the other Florida markets are Miami, on Sunbeam’s WSVN-Fox 7, and West Palm Beach, on Hearst’s WPBF-ABC 25

Estrella is giving partnering stations an opportunity to cash in with Hispanic-targeted advertising. According to B&C, “The affiliate model sees the stations keep 40 percent of the commercial inventory, according to Liberman, with Estrella retaining the other 60 percent. Stations will have the opportunity to put local touches on the programming lineup, such as a Spanish-language newscast produced by station talent to air on Estrella.”

Said WESH/WKCF GM Jim Carter in a news release: “We are always looking for ways to better serve our large and growing Hispanic population, and with LBI’s Spanish-language broadcast experience reaching back to the 70’s, we know we’ve found the right partner.”

O-Town Tweeters make news, plus other notes

twitter2Some quick notes for midweek: is noting how Twitter has become popular in TV newsrooms, and it called upon two of O-Town’s top TV Tweeters to explain the craze. “I thought the social networking sites were strictly a phenomenon of teenagers and young kids. I thought it was meaningless chatter, but it’s not,” WFTV News Director Bob Jordan told the site.  “It’s now the primary way a lot of people communicate, share and obtain information. Not to be in that space would be just the dumbest thing anyone could do, if you’re in the communications business.” WESH ND Bob Longo — another Twitter fan and occasional target of Jordan’s Tweets — told TVNewsCheck,  “I like it for a few reasons: It’s a little bit town crier, a little bit police scanner and another news monitor on the assignment desk wall.” You can read the full story here. …

Former WKMG anchor Bob Frier is back on the air. You can catch him in the mornings this week filling in for vacationing Erica Lee on Mix 105.1 FM’s Scott and Erica Show. As you are probably aware, Frier and DJ Scott McKenzie are part of the band Simulcast. It’s good to hear Bob again. Maybe radio is in his future? That’s what happened to former Channel 6 anchor Leslye Gayle when the station dropped her — she popped up on Magic 107.7 and has been doing mornings there since. …

Fox 35 is gearing up for next week’s launch of its expanded morning news. The 8:30 to 10 a.m. segment is being branded as “Good Day.” Amy Kaufeldt, Heidi Hatch, Jacquie Sosa and Christine van Blokland will helm the show. Promos have started airing. You can check one out below:

Meet the man who really delivers the news

Bob Cross
Bob Cross

No, we’re not talking about an Orlando anchor. We’re talking about Bob Cross. Never heard of him? Not many outside the TV biz have, but you if you watch any of Orlando’s TV newscasts, you’ve almost certainly seen his work.

Thirty years ago, Cross got into the TV news business as a hobby — setting up a stringer service to shoot and sell news video to the area TV stations plus the Orlando Sentinel. WFTV News Director Bob Jordan helped Cross get a loan to buy a camera and set up the business. “It’s been cost-effective to be able to buy video,” Jordan told the Sentinel. “We don’t have to call somebody in the middle of the night.”

Fires, car crashes, you name it — Cross and his crew have covered it. As the Sentinel notes, “Cross and his 14-member team have repeatedly heard one thing from grateful reporters and assignment editors: You saved us.”

Read the full Orlando Sentinel story hereAnd you can check out Bob Cross’ Web site here.

Judge: Doctor not at fault for McEwen’s stroke

Mark McEwen
Mark McEwen

A Maryland doctor will not be held liable for failing to diagnose the pre-stroke symptoms of former CBS and WKMG  anchor Mark McEwen.

The Associated Press reports that Monday’s ruling in U.S. District Court in Baltimore is a setback for McEwen, who was diagnosed by the doctor with stomach flu two days before he suffered a massive stroke while flying home to Orlando in November 2005. McEwen and his attorneys claimed the stroke could have been prevented if McEwen had been given drugs including aspirin and anti-coagulates when he was examined by Dr. Michael Bond at Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

“I was very disappointed,” McEwen told The AP. “When you’re up against something that’s kind of murky, it tends to throw a person who’s used to knowing the difference between right and wrong.”

McEwen’s stroke and his recovery have been documented by WKMG  as well as the networks. Despite an amazing recovery, McEwen was never able to return to the anchor chair.

Read the full AP story here.

Information sharing creates new problems for TV

tvnotesYou may have heard about the latest blowup between O-Town stations. This one involved WFTV’s video inteview with religious runaway Fathima Rafqa Bary.

Channel 9’s exclusive video was posted on — then WESH and WOFL broadcast portions of the clip obtained from the video-sharing Web site. Neither station credited WFTV with the interview.

“You can’t steal someone else’s work and pass it off as your own,” WFTV News Director Bob Jordan told Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. “They will make a fair-use claim under the copyright law. But this is pretty transparent theft. They knew it was our work. They could have acknowledged that it was WFTV’s work.”

It reminded me of the recent Walt Disney World monorail accident. WKMG obtained exclusive video shot minutes after the accident by a tourist, but the video was quickly posted on YouTube. After other TV stations and Web sites aired the video from YouTube, Local 6 ND Steve Hyvonen sent emails to all O-Town media outlets, warning them to respect the station’s exclusive or face legal action.

On the Web, aggregation is an accepted form of sharing information. Web sites — like this one — typically summarize information, pull out a couple of paragraphs or quotes for context, then link directly to the source of the material so readers can see the full report on the originating site

This works well on the Web — sending traffic from aggreator sites to the originator sites. But this doesn’t work on television — where no station wants to credit its competitors on air.

As Jordan told Boedeker, “There are some things we as journalists should be talking about. The new rules of engagement are being driven by new technology. But fundamental is ownership of original work product.”

WKMG really wants advertisers

wkmgad2Here’s a clip posted on YouTube of WKMG anchor Laura Diaz and weatherman Eric Wilson taking part in a pitch to an advertiser. WKMG really, really wants attorney Dan Newlin to air his spots on Local 6. Dan hasn’t responded to emails and the station has been after him this past year, says sales guy Mike Oliver. So Mike “interrupts” the morning news last Friday with a special message: