Some quick thoughts on recent Orlando TV News:
Put me down as not a fan of WFTV’s revamped weather channel, 9.2. Sure, Severe Weather Center 9 has forecasts, temperatures and a radar — but just give me the radar. The former 9.2 had the live WFTV radar almost 24-7 — and in HD — making it convenient to check anytime (especially during storms). It also ran the audio from whatever was running on the main WFTV channel, so when you flipped over for a minute, you didn’t missing anything. Now, the station is streaming audio from Cox radio station WMMO. Sorry, I liked the old channel better. …
Speaking of WFTV’s digital channels, I suspect part of the reason behind the change on 9.2 has to do with what’s coming on 9.3 — the future home of Spanish-language station WAWA. There’s likely not enough bandwidth for two HD channels and a third. WKMG (LATV) and WESH/WKCF (Esteralla) already have deals for Hispanic programming on their sub-channels, so it only seemed like a matter of time and company for WFTV to add one. Still, the FCC lists WAWA has being assigned Channel 47 in the Orlando market. Is there really a WAWA on channel 47? …
One question. All the local stations have multiple digital channels — except’s Fox’s duopoly of WOFL-Fox 35 and WRBW-My 65. What’s the deal there? …
WESH debuted its new HD camera on Chopper 2. Very cool. …
WKMG anchor Jacqueline London was married over the weekend to former NFL player Tony McGee. Saw a couple of folks Tweet about the wedding and reception — sounds like it was quite the bash. Best of luck to the new couple. …
Former WFTV sports anchor Zach Kline was also Tweeting some important news on Sunday. Kline, now at Cox mothership WSB in Atlanta, was among the lucky few media members to win the Masters lottery and earn the opportunity to play the Augusta National course on Monday. He Tweeted: “Who says dreams do not come true. Just found out I’m playing Augusta National tomorrow at 11:10 am. Anyone know the course record?”
Something is up at WKMG — and it’s not the ratings.
That’s one likely reason the station is playing musical anchors. GM Skip Valet told the Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker that morning anchor Lauren Rowe will now anchor the 11 p.m. newscast — displacing Jacqueline London, who will still anchor at 6 p.m. Moving into Rowe’s morning spot opposite Erick Weber is Laura Diaz, who has been WKMG’s weekend morning anchor.
Boedeker obtained an email Valet sent the WKMG staff: “You will notice some different anchoring assignments over the coming weeks. We are simply trying some new things over the long, hot summer. We feel we are now producing the most comprehensive and interesting newscasts in town, and we want our viewers to be exposed to all of the members of our strong team.”
So, from the sound of the email, it appears the changes aren’t permanent. Of course, there’s nothing permanent in TV news, right? Read more from Hal here.
Do you think the moves will move the ratings needle in the right direction for WKMG? Sound off with your comments below….
Bob Frier is out as anchor at WKMG-Local 6. This last newscast will be tonight at 6.
Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker reports the station and the longtime anchor have “mutually agreed to part ways.”
New arrival Mike Garofalo will become the main anchor along side Jacqueline London. Garofalo came to the station in December and has been anchoring at 4 and 6 with London.
Read Bob’s bio here.
More to come.
It’s been a good, long while since I’ve blogged about anything. Buy my resolution for 2009 is to write more — so I’m getting an early start. Here’s some of the stuff that’s been going on recently in O-Town’s TV Land …
Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera has left WESH. Cabrera’s agent, Rob Jordan, told Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker, “He signed a confidentiality agreement and is not commenting. It was all very amicable.” According to Boedeker, WESH space reporter Dan Billow — who has a meteorology degree — may be helping out with the weather now that Channel 2 is down to just four mets. Cabrera had been with WESH since May 2006, but what’s next for him? Well, he is doing voiceover work. He has a Web site where you can hear some of his samples.
Is Bob Frier getting pushed out at WKMG? We hope not, but it sure looks suspicious over at Local 6. The station has brought in Mike Garofalo from KOAT in Albuquerque to anchor the 4 and 6 p.m. newscasts with Jacqueline London. Frier will now co-anchor the 5 and 11 p.m. shows with London, and Garofalo will report for the 11 p.m. show. There is an O-Town connection with Garofalo. Back in New Mexico, working with Garofalo at KOAT was former WOFL-Fox 35 anchor Shelly Ribando.
Do you realize that as we head into 2009, the only news director who started 2008 with an O-Town station and is finishing the year is WFTV’s Bob Jordan? Bob Longo at WESH is the newest ND in town, coming from WTAE in Pittsburgh to replace Barb Maushard, who took a corporate job with Hearst-Argyle. WOFL-Fox 35 brought in Gavin Maliska in November to replace Bob Clinkingbeard, and in February WKMG hired Steve Hyvonen from WEWS in Cleveland in replace Susan Forbes.
Some random notes from the weekend …
- WKMG’s Flashpoint public affairs show — which was bounced from its Sunday morning perch to replace Local 6′s canceled Sunday night sports shows — has returned to its former home. That’s a good thing. The Lauren Rowe-hosted show fits in well following CBS’ Sunday Morning and Face The Nation.