With Vice President Joe Biden due to visit Orlando on Wednesday, Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker revived the discussion about WFTV anchor Barbara West’s controversial interview with Biden during the 2008 campaign. Boedeker asked WFTV News Director Bob Jordan if West would cover Biden’s visit for Eyewitness News.
“Just for old time’s sake? That’s a great idea,” Jordan told Boedeker with a laugh. Turning serious, Jordan said, “I saw a brief e-mail that he’s coming. I haven’t discussed how we’ll cover him. We certainly will cover him.”
One of the issues that West sparred with Biden in her interview was health care. On Monday night at a town hall meeting by Rep. Alan Grayson to discuss President Obama’s hot-button health care plan, West’s husband was on hand. According to Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell, who was live blogging from the event: “Wade West, husband of WFTV anchor Barbara West, just stormed out, yelling ‘Shame on all of us!’ at the entire room. West was reacting to Grayson saying he wasn’t going to be able to take questions from everyone – and complaining about the number of Democrats front-ended loaded into the forum.”
After the jump, why one local TV web site has closed, plus more notes
Courtesy Orlando Weekly
WKMG broadcast fascinating recollections of Hurricane Charley — and the other storms of 2004 — on Wednesday night. Reporter Donald Forbes had a particulary moving tale of riding out the storm in Port Charlotte crouched next to a wall, finally reaching the safety of the station’s satellite truck only after the storm’s eye arrived with an eerie orange glow.
A reminder that on Thursday — the fifth anniversary of Charley — WKMG-Local 6, WOFL-Fox 35 and Central Florida News 13 are teaming up for a daylong telethon to benefit the Red Cross. The stations will be providing coverage of the telethon, which runs from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. To donate, you can call 1-888-288-9279.
Finally, I couldn’t let the Charley anniversary pass without another look at one of my favorite Orlando Weekly cartoons from 2004. Tom Terry and Tom Sorrells became the most popular people in Central Florida for their endless hours of on-air work during Charley, Frances and Jeanne — but, no offense guys, we don’t ever want to see that much of you two again!
The Orlando Sentinel’s fun summer online contest, the Orlando Celebrity Smackdown, has its championship match up.
The winner among all the local television personalities is WKMG chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells. He reached the finals by knocking out fellow Channel 6 weatherman Eric Wilson in opening round, then dispatching Fox 35 morning meteorologist Jim Van Fleet in the second round, upsetting WFTV chief met Tom Terry in the third round, then rallying late to defeat WESH-2 anchors Jim Payne and Martha Sugalski in the semifinals.
Facing Sorrells from the radio side of the contest bracket are Doc and Grace, morning DJs on K92FM. They made it to the finals by upsetting the Monsters of the Morning from Real Radio 104.1.
On Wednesday night, Doc and Grace were leading Sorrells. Voting concludes this week. You can make choice for ruler of O-Town airwaves by clicking here. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The fine readers of Orlando Magazine have once again selected the choices for “Best of Orlando” in a number of categories. Alas, RogerSimmons.com didn’t place among best local Web sites this time, but here are the results for the television categories:
Best Local TV Station: (1) WFTV-Channel 9, (2) WESH-Channel 2, (3) WOFL-Channel 35
Best TV News Team: (1) WESH-Channel 2, (2) WFTV-Channel 9, (3) WKMG-Channel 6
Best TV Sportscaster: (1) Pat Clarke, WESH; (2) David Pingalore, WKMG; (3) TIE: Phil Burton, WFTV; Stuart Scott, ESPN
Best TV Forecaster: (1) Tom Terry, WFTV; (2) TIE: Tom Sorrells, WKMG; Danny Treanor, Central Florida News 13
Check out the full list of winners at OrlandoMagazine.com
WKMG is living up to its “Local” 6 moniker Wednesday night, taking an hour of prime time to focus on something that impacts Central Floridians nearly every day: Lightning.
“Lightning Strikes,” which airs at 8 p.m., is a program that looks how we cope with living in one of the world’s lightning hot spots.
“We do stories about victims, survivors, myth vs. truths, explain how lightning starts, how best to avoid it and how to protect your home and your family,” WKMG chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells explained via e-mail. “The first story out of the gate is a tragic piece out of Titusville. I covered the story, and I’ve seen the finished product. I feel it may be the most important story I’ve ever done.”
More from Sorrells after the jump …
The WESH duo of Jim Payne and Martha Sugalski dispatched WKMG’s main anchors to move into the third round of OrlandoSentinel.com’s Celebrity Smackdown game. Also advancing to face the Channel 2 Cinderellas — the anchors of WFTV’s top-rated Daybreak show, Greg Warmoth and Vanessa Echols. Earlier, Payne and Sugalski upset WFTV evening anchors Bob Opsahl and Martie Salt.
More on the other big O-Town TV matchup after the jump …