Monthly Archives: April 2010

Who’s calling people, asking them to watch WFTV?

Interesting item posted on WFTV.com this morning…

“WFTV has received several reports of Lake County residents receiving automated phone calls encouraging them to watch a story that aired Thursday night on Eyewitness News.

“The story involved a Mount Dora doctor who posted signs on his office door asking people who support President Barack Obama’s health care plan to seek care elsewhere. The doctor is performing a non-FDA-approved procedure overseas; he is not doing anything illegal.

“Thursday afternoon, calls began to go out regarding the story. WFTV did not originate or participate in the calls. However, WFTV is investigating. If you got a call, please send an email to WFTV.”

Not sure what this is all about, but I suspect we’ll be hearing more soon. Sure looks like some political group may be involved.

WFTV’s Eyewitness News tops April’s ratings race

April’s ratings are over. The May sweeps have begun. And Orlando TV stations are searching (and researching) for viewers.

First, back to April. WFTV-Channel 9’s Eyewitness News was once again the king of the hill in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at night. WESH 2 News was No. 2 most of the time. WKMG-Local 6 and WOFL-Fox 35 battled it out at the bottom in most news time periods.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that in the advertiser-coveted 25-54 age group, WFTV was tops at 11 p.m.  Monday-Friday with 39,400 viewers. WKMG’s 26,000 edged out WESH with 25,500, and WOFL was the choice of 14,400. WESH and WKMG swapped positions in the Monday-Sunday tally.

For more on the April ratings, click here.

Meanwhile, a tipster reports that one O-Town station is apparently conducting telephone research, focusing a lot on their morning show competition. In addition to asking about viewer tastes when it comes to news, researchers wanted participants to rate all of the morning talent on Channels 2, 6 and 9. Interesting.

Former Orlando anchor Rondinaro: ‘I’m a budget cut’

Steve Rondinaro
Steve Rondinaro

Former longtime Orlando anchor Steve Rondinaro has a new assignment: finding a job.

Rondinaro, the former WESH and WFTV anchor who in 2007 became the lead anchor and managing editor for WWAY-ABC 3 in Wilmington, N.C., was dropped by the station earlier this month. 

“By now you may have noticed that I’m no longer doing the evening news on WWAY. April 8 was my last night on television. I’m a budget cut,” Rondinaro wrote in an article for the Wilmington Star News. “It’s business. I’m simply another in an ongoing series of budget cuts at Channel 3. Like our local governments and about every other media business, revenue is down at WWAY, too. My contract was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“The writing was on the wall several months ago. With the ax having officially fallen, I’m now part of a huge news story that I had been reporting on. I’ll be in the next round of unemployment numbers. I’m not happy about that, but I’m not ashamed either. I’m now in the same boat as a lot of you. It’s one scary boat.”

Read his full story here.

Check out his RondoWorks.com website here.

Sam Champion’s underwater forecast at Epcot

We told you yesterday about Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion’s plans to give his forecast underwater at Epcot for Earth Day. And that’s just what he did. It’s one part cool, one part distracting. Until you have to listen to someone giving a weather forecast in scuba suit, you don’t realize how much a person has to breath when they talk. If you missed it, here’s video from ABC News.

GMA’s Sam Champion at Epcot for Earth Day

Getting ready to dive at Epcot! on Twitpic Good Morning America’s Sam Champion was Tweeting Wednesday about his arrival in Orlando and visit to Walt Disney World’s Epcot. The ABC News morning weatherman is at the theme park for Earth Day, and he’s taking a dive in the Living Seas exhibit. (That’s a Twitpic he posted Wednesday afternoon.)

If you tune in Thursday morning on WFTV-Channel 9,  you just might see Champion do the weather underwater, he tells Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker.

Despite that silly gimmick, Champion said he takes the 40th anniversary of Earth Day very seriously.

“Our passion about environmentalism can come and go,” Champion told Boedeker. “You can’t be Mr. or Ms. Planet 24 hours a day, but deep down, we care about the world around us. We care about clean water, clean air, clean beaches.”

Champion calls Earth Day “a reminder to take care of the place we live — it’s like a reminder that pops up on your BlackBerry.”

Click here to read the full interview with Champion.