Category Archives: WOFL-35

Blast from the Past: INN on WOFL-TV 35

Today’s “Blast from the Past” newspaper advertisement comes from the February 15, 1981, edition of the (Orlando) Sentinel Star.

It highlights the weeknight information programming on then-independent WOFL-TV 35. Like many independent stations, WOFL picked up the syndicated Independent Network News, produced out of WPIX-11 in New York City. For many small stations, including TV 35, this was the only newscast they carried. WOFL did air “News Capsule” updates in prime time, but I’m pretty sure they had not yet started when this newspaper advertisement appeared.

If you have trouble making out the type, here’s what it says: “Catch national and international news as it happens! Anchors Pat Harper, Bill Jorgensen and Steve Bosh keep you up-to-date on top news, sports and weather.

INN was followed at 10:30 p.m. on TV 35 with the short-lived syndicatesd show, World of People. “Tonight, Sara Edwards takes us out on the town with 80-year-old Disco Sally, to find out why she married a man 52 years her junior.” (Gee, I think I would like to know the answer to that myself.)

INN ran from 1980 to 1990. The start of Cable News Network and the birth of the Fox network make the need for a national 10 p.m. newscast on independent stations less important for viewers. That’s too bad.

Here’s a YouTube clip of Independent Network News.

And click here for previous entires in our Blast from the Past series.

Fran Drescher Tawk Show

Orlando is test market for new Fran Drescher show

Fran Drescher Tawk ShowFran Descher — aka “The Nanny” — is taking baby steps into the talk show world right through Orlando.

“The Fran Drescher Tawk Show” premieres Friday at 11 a.m. on WOFL-Fox 35 and five other Fox owned-and-operated stations. It’s a three-week experiment to see if the show generates enough audience to warrant a national rollout, and it’s the same way Fox started the Wendy Williams Show.

MediaWeek.com reported: Drescher said her show would “cover all my passions, everything from pedicures to politics.” As a rape and cancer survivor and author of Cancer Schmancer in 2002, she’s also looking forward to “sharing my life lessons.”

The show is based in Los Angeles. Besides WOFL, the other Fox stations carrying the show are WNYW-Fox 5 in New York, KTTV-Fox 11 in L.A., WTXF-Fox 29 in Philadelphia, KMSP-Fox 9 in Minneapolis and KSAZ-Fox 10 in Phoenix.

To see the show’s website, click here.

Another news channel for Orlando cable TV?

Between lots of travel for business (and some for pleasure), I’m playing catchup with the latest Orlando TV news…

Interesting — and unconfirmed — rumor passed on by a tipster: Bright House may be getting ready to add its Tampa Bay news channel, Bay News 9, to its Orlando channel lineup that already includes Central Florida News 13. Stay tuned. …

Former WKMG traffic reporter Secily Wilson returned to local television screens with a splash. She and her family were on the Orlando-based Family Feud game show. She had a bit of a slip in answering a question in the Fast Money segement — and it made her a YouTube star (with more than 940,000 views so far). Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker catches up with Wilson to see what she’s been doing and how she hopes to return to television beyond game shows. …

Have you noticed the changes at WOFL-Fox 35 during the November sweep? The station has rebranded its 4:30 a.m. to 10 a.m news block “Good Day,” added a news ticker to its newscasts and has seemed to be much more aggressive. Will it make a difference in the ratings? …

Speaking of Fox 35, anchor Cale Ramaker tweeted this update about a former co-anchor:  “Had a very nice lunch with my former co-anchor Corrina Sullivan, today. Very happy with her decision to be a full-time Mom.” …

GM Jim Carter is verrrrry happy with the performance of his Orlando duopoly, WESH 2 and especially WKCF-CW18. “Absolutely. They have got it going. Our prime-time ratings [on WKCF] this year in October were up 21 percent from last year,” he told the Sentinel. Read the full Q&A with Carter here.

Fox Sports Florida, Sun Sports reach deal with Dish

Dish Network subscribers who are fans of the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat can see the teams play this season. And they’ll also avoid losing WOFL-Fox 35 and WRBW-My 65.

Dish and Fox Networks on Friday announced a wide-ranging distribution agreement for continued access to programming from Fox Broadcasting and Fox local television stations in major cities, plus FX, National Geographic Channel, and Fox’s 19 regional sports networks. The channels were  restored for Dish Network viewers Friday.

Fox Sports Florida as well as Sun Sports had been blacked out on Dish since the old deal expired on Oct. 1.

“After prolonged negotiations to reach a fair deal, we’re pleased to enter into a long term agreement with Fox and to assure our customers that they can continue to enjoy these channels,” said Dave Shull, Senior Vice President of Programming for Dish Network, in a news release. “We thank our customers, our retail and channel partners, and our employees for their support through these negotiations, which we believe resulted in a fair deal that reinforces DISH Network’s position as the best value in television.”

According to the release, Dish will continue to provide programming from the local Fox and MyNet television stations in the following markets: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore (MyNet 24 only), Boston, Chicago, Cleveland/Akron, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Gainesville (FL), Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Tampa, and Washington D.C.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Orlando stations grab Emmy nominations

Five Orlando news outlets grabbed 30 nominations in the 34th annual Suncoast Emmy Awards competition.

Market ratings leader WFTV-Channel 9 pulled in the most nominations among the Orlando stations with 11. It was followed by Fox Sports Florida/Sun Sports followed with 10, WKMG-Local 6 with five, Central Florida News 14 with three and WOFL-Fox 35 with one.

Winners will be announced on Dec. 4 at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale. The Suncoast Chapter competition includes all the TV markets in Florida; the Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and New Orleans markets in Louisiana; the Mobile, Ala., market; the Thomasville, Ga., market; and Puerto Rico.

For the full list of nominees, click here.

WFTV Eyewitness News won’t be going earlier

A couple of quick midweek notes…

If you’re an early, early bird, don’t expect anytime soon to turn on your TV at 4:30 a.m. and find news on market leader WFTV-Channel 9. “It’s not something I’m doing this fall,” WFTV General Manager Shawn Bartelt told Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. “Traffic is worse in other places. People have to get up earlier. If I see a demand, we’ll meet that demand. I’m not seeing it.” …

Elsewhere, former Fox 35 morning meteorologist Doug Kammerer continues his industry climb. The newly installed chief meteorologist at NBC O&O WRC-Channel 4 in Washington, D.C., sat down for a Q&A piece with The Washington Post. I think we now know why Doug isn’t in the Sunshine State anymore. When asked, “What do you most look forward to covering weather in D.C., ” Kammerer said, “I look forward to covering the winters here. I love the winters in this area. Last winter was simply amazing as we saw storm after storm. I doubt we will ever see another winter like that one, but just give me one big storm a year and I will be happy. I love to forecast snow totals and I pride myself on getting them right.”