It’s back. The Orlando Sentinel’s annual ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas video has been posted. In addition to Sentinel staffers, it also includes prominent Orlando TV newsers, politicians, athletes and theme park characters reading the famous holiday poem. (I even make a cameo — see me waving my hands like an idiot in the background while Greg Dawson is reading his part.)
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 becamethe 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 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
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 …
We all know how competitive weather is around here — i.e. my Doppler is bigger than your Doppler. So, I thought it was interesting that WFTV brought in chief met Tom Terry and WKMG brought in chief met Tom Sorrells on Sunday to cover Hurricane Dean. WESH and WOFL stayed with their regular weekend forecasters. ….
Also, WFTV has sent morning meteorologist Brian Shields to Cancun to cover the approach of Hurricane Dean. …
Now confirmed … features reporter Candice Coleman is indeed leaving Local 6. That’s too bad. As our local newscasts continue to focus on crime, cars running into houses and dogs biting people, the type of feature stories Coleman reported certainly helped the story mix and gave a nice respite from the relentless pounding drumbeat of “breaking news.” …