|Among the collector items to be offered in the Scottsdale auction is this four-cylinder, |
1929 Indian 401 motorcycle from the Otis Chandler collection. Photo, Barrett-Jackson.
Friday, December 19, 2014
|Jay Thomas, left, and David Letterman taking shots at the meatball atop the tree. Photo by John Filo/CBS.|
It's the last time around for former Charlotte radio host Jay Thomas on David Letterman's Christmas show.
Friday night, Thomas will make his annual appearance on the show to tell a funny story about driving around with Clayton Moore, the actor who played "The Lone Ranger," and to throw footballs at a meatball on top of Letterman's Christmas tree.
Both are rituals on the Yule show and date back to 1998 when Thomas was on the show with Vinny Testaverde and they got to hurling footballs at the tree-topping meatball. Testaverde's skill was exceeded by Thomas'. You may remember Thomas as the hilarious DJ on the old Big Ways in the '70s who went on TV roles on "Mork and Mindy" and "Murphy Brown" and later found work on Sirius/XM radio. You probably don't remember that he also played quarterback in the day for Central Piedmont Community College.
Anyway, he's back tonight for the last time. Letterman retires next year. It's on at 11:35 p.m. on WBTV (Channel 3).
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
WBTV (Channel 3) has hired Lyndsay Tapases for one of its forecasting openings. Tapases, who was at the ABC affiliate in Roanoke, Va., for four years, grew up in Westfield, Mass., and graduated from Penn State.
At WBTV, she'll work with fellow Penn State alum Eric Thomas, Channel 3's chief meteorologist. Tapases will start the last week of December at WBTV, which recently lost Kelly Franson to the CBS affiliate in Seattle and Ashley Batey to the CBS affiliate in Tampa, Fla.
Meanwhile, WJZY (Channel 46) has named Karen Koutsky news director beginning in January. Koutsky succeeds Geoff Roth, who returned to Fox’s Houston station in September after launching the news department at the Fox-owned station last January.
Koutsky has been the news director at WGHP (Channel 8), the Fox affiliate in High Point and has worked as a TV news executive in Indianapolis, Toledo and Atlanta. In High Point, she worked under Karen Adams, who is now the general manager of WJZY.
"She’s a successful news manager in broadcast and digital media and the ideal person to lead our solid coverage of the Charlotte region,” Adams said in a statement.
"We have created strong news teams together in the past and we are both passionate about creating a news product with integrity and high journalism standards," Koutsky said in statement.
A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Koutsky will be responsible for taking the station's new news division to a higher level on its morning, evening and 10 p.m. newscasts. WJZY currently is running last in all time periods and the 10 p.m. news has lost more than 40 percent of its audience from year-ago levels when the station broadcast a newscast created by Channel 3.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Friday, December 5, 2014
Mark Washburn's analysis
November’s sweeps saw the entry of Fox affiliate WJZY (Channel 46) into the early morning and the 6 p.m. news races for the first time and showed how much work is left to do to become competitive for the news operation, which has been without a full-time news director since September when Geoff Roth returned to Fox’s Houston station.
Fox Charlotte's morning show, launched in August and the most polished of its daily newscasts, averaged fewer than 1,000 viewers at 6 a.m. Some infomercials get better numbers. Its 6 p.m. newscast, launched in July, attracts 1 percent of the region’s news audience watching the four local news channels at that hour. It has lost half the audience it had at 6 p.m. when it ran reruns of “Two-and-a-Half Men,” though that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been profitable – political advertisers in the pre-election cycle were buying commercials avidly in local newscasts regardless of the ratings.
More concerning to Fox is that the Time Warner Cable News Channel attracts more viewers by nearly a third in the hours it goes head-to-head with WJZY newscasts, and Time Warner’s penetration in the city is only about 50 percent of households and does not go to many of the 22 counties that WJZY’s broadcast signal reaches.
WJZY has been tinkering with its formula. It de-emphasized the anchor role at first, but has now teamed Anthony Flores with Barbara Pinson. It once ignored routine crime, a prime staple of Charlotte TV news, and now features it. On its 10 p.m. broadcast on Nov. 6, for example, all but two stories in the first 12 minutes were crime or public-safety related (including one that was billed as a “car-jacking gone wrong”).
WBTV crested 100,000 in average viewers in its 6 p.m. newscast in November, the first time I can ever remember it getting that many without days of severe weather driving ratings.
In the 25-54 age demographic that advertisers aim for, WSOC (Channel 9) and sister station WAXN (Channel 64) won all the key newscasts except for noon, when WBTV was No. 1.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Two former WBT-AM (1110) talk show hosts have landed daily shows at Greenville, S.C., talk-news station WYRD-FM ("WORD" 106.3).
Vince Coakley and Tara Servatius, both of whom held the afternoon drive-time shift at WBT, will start Monday at the Greenville station.
Servatius, a graduate of Charlotte Catholic High School and the UNC Chapel Hill journalism school, started her career writing for alternative weeklies in Charlotte as "Citizen Servatius." She joined WBT as late-night host in June 2007 and replaced Jeff Katz in the afternoon slot when he left in December 2008.
Coakley had been doing a Sunday afternoon show at WYRD after leaving WBT in 2012.
Beginning Monday, Servatius will do the morning show on WYRD and Coakley will follow her in the mid-mornings. Before the move to the Greenville station, Servatius had worked in Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
“We are energizing morning radio with the launch of these vibrant, live, and local talk shows,” Steve Sinicropi, market manager for Entercom Communications' Greenville radio cluster, said in a statement. "Both Tara and Vince will deliver fresh and thought-provoking commentary on the issues and news our community cares about most."
Monday, December 1, 2014
|Richard Keil as the maneating alien on "To Serve Man"|
Fans of the old "Twilight Zone" series remember them as some of the best episodes ever of the Rod Sterling science-fiction series that ran for five years on CBS beginning in 1959.
On Monday, the Syfy network announced it will air a "Twilight Zone" marathon beginning at 8 a.m. Dec. 31 and continuing through New Year's Day.
Syfy also announced it will air its original movie "Christmas Icetastrophe" at 9 p.m. Dec. 20 about an asteroid strike that threatens to freeze the planet during the holidays.
At AMC, there will be marathons of the network's popular "Breaking Bad" beginning at 10 a.m. Dec. 28, followed by a marathon of "The Walking Dead" beginning 9 a.m. Dec. 30.
At the National Geographic Channel, it will be nostalgia for the new year. An 18-hour marathon of its "'80s: Decade That Made Us" and "'90s: Last Great Decade?" will air beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 31. And to start the year with a bummer, National Geo will air a marathon of "Locked Up Abroad" beginning at 9 a.m. Jan. 1.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Thomas came to Charlotte in 2010 as program director and afternoon host on WLKO-FM ("Lake" 102.9) and left that job last year. Before that, she worked in Tucson, Omaha and Seattle.
She replaces Anthony Michaels, who left WLNK-FM this fall after 13 years. Her first job will be to find a new midday host to replace Kelly McKay, who is departing in December after five years to run her own business.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Maxwell, a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, has spent the last five years at the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Miss. Earlier in her career, she was an anchor and reporter in Greenville, S.C., and New Bern. Maxwell is a native of Cincinnati and grew up in Atlanta.
Friday, November 14, 2014
|Woody Durham records a segment in a studio at WNCW.|
Longtime Charlotte radio personality Al Gardner is leaving WZGV-AM ("ESPN" 730) after a year, and leaving Charlotte as well.
Monday, November 10, 2014
|Claire Danes in "Homeland"|
Also getting a renewal is the freshman drama "The Affair" starring Ruth Wilson, Joshua Jackson, Dominic West and Maura Tierney.
Charlotte stood in for Washington for the first three seasons of "Homeland," then it moved away when Claire Danes' character was moved to the Mideast. Her CIA assignment takes her to the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Showtime expects to make 10 to 12 episodes of "Homeland" for the next season.
Friday, October 10, 2014
|STATION||FORMAT||% OF AUDIENCE|
|1. WSOC-FM, 103.7||Country||7.7%|
|2. WPEG-FM, “Power 98” 97.9||Hip-hop||7.6%|
|3. WLKO-FM, “Lake” 102.9||Variety||7.4%|
|4. WRFX-FM, “Fox” 99.7||Rock||6.8%|
|5. WKKT-FM, “Kat” 96.9||Country||6.4%|
|6. WBAV-FM, “V” 101.9||R&B||6.0%|
|7. WKQC-FM, “K” 104.7||Hits||4.9%|
|8. WOSF-FM, “Old School,” 106.1||Urban oldies||4.7%|
|9. WNKS-FM, “Kiss” 95.1||Pop||4.3%|
|10. WPZS-FM, “Praise” 100.9||Gospel||4.2%|
|11. WHQC-FM, “Channel” 96.1||Pop||4.1%|
|12. WLNK-FM, “Link” 107.9||Contemporary||3.6%|
|13. WEND-FM, “End” 106.5||Alternative||2.9%|
|14. WFAE-FM, NPR 90.7||News/talk||2.6%|
|15. WBT-AM, 1110||News/talk||2.5%|
|15. WRCM-FM, “New Life” 91.9||Christian||2.5%|
|17. WDAV-FM, 89.9||Classical||1.0%|
|17. WFNZ-AM, “Fan” 610||Sports||1.0%|
|19. WMIT-FM “Light” 106.9||Christian||0.9%|
|20. WNSC-FM, NPR 88.9||News/talk||0.3%|
In news/talk, WBT-AM has rebounded from a historic low in August but finishes a hair behind WFAE-FM for the second month in a row as both stations rise out of their annual summer troughs. Sports stations WFNZ-AM and WBCN-AM remain flat as the Panthers season opens.
Market share by company: CBS Radio 32%; iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) 28%; Radio One 9%; Greater Media 6%.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/06/5224635/60-minutes-looking-into-duke-coal.html#.VDMrfPldUfU#storylink=cpy
Charlotte’s contemporary Christian radio station WRCM-FM (“New Life” 91.9) is to be taken over by a California religious broadcaster under an agreement announced Monday.
Columbia International University, which holds the license for WRCM and sister-station WMHK-FM (89.7) in Columbia, said it agreed to transfer the stations to Educational Media Foundation, a Rocklin, Calif., non-profit which operates the K-LOVE Radio Network serving about 450 stations across the country. Price of the transaction: $10.5 million.
WRCM's entire staff of nine will be laid off later this fall as will seven in Columbia and the stations will carry the K-LOVE syndicated programming, said Joe Paulo, "New Life" general manager.
Columbia began operating WRCM in 1993 as a non-profit station dependent on donations from listeners. Earlier this year, Columbia added a transmitter for the station, WRZM at 88.3 FM, in Boiling Springs.
“K-LOVE has partnered with and been supportive of WMHK, WRCM, and WRZM for years and has seen their impact in the communities they serve,” Educational Media president Mike Novak said in a statement. “We look forward to working hard to continue the tradition, while bringing what we have to offer to listeners throughout the Carolinas.”
In the Charlotte area, K-LOVE also broadcasts its nationally syndicated format on WWLV-FM (94.1) in Lexington.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Kenny Smith, a standout for the UNC Tar Heels in the 1980s, will be the star of a new TBS reality series called "The Smiths."
Smith and his wife, Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith, will be the focus of the series that chronicles the hectic lifestyle of their household, TBS announced Tuesday. It will be shot in Atlanta and Los Angeles and is expected to debut in the spring.
|Gwen and Kenny Smith with their five children.|
In announcing the series, TBS said that Kenny and Gwen Smith "probably never would have guessed when they got married that their conflicting parenting styles, whirlwind schedules and family chemistry would turn their quiet home into an absolute mad house – albeit a loving one."
Osborne-Smith, who was born in the UK and works as a model on "The Price Is Right," married Smith in 2006 and they share a family of five children ranging in age from 2 to 20.
Smith, a native of Queens, N.Y., who played for the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks after college, works as a television basketball analyst mostly for Turner Sports.
TBS has ordered six episodes of "The Smiths."
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Raycom Media and DirecTV reached an agreement over the weekend on the rates the satellite provider will pay to carry the company’s local stations, restoring the signal of WBTV (Channel 3) Sunday to thousands of viewers in the Charlotte area.
Neither side revealed the terms of the agreement, expected to be signed this week.
DirecTV viewers had been without the Charlotte CBS affiliate since Sept. 1 when the satellite provider pulled the plug on Channel 3 because its contract with Raycom had expired. Each side blamed the other in the dispute – Raycom saying that fees for network programming increase every year and DirecTV saying that it was working to keep the cost to its subscribers in check.
Such disputes have become common in recent years as stations try to raise ever more revenue from retransmission fees, or the money charged to cable and satellite services to carry their signal.
This dispute, coming at the beginning of fall programming and with the resumption of the NFL season – traditionally the most-watched programming on television – brought frustration to viewers and broadcasters.
One of DirecTV’s biggest competitors, Dish, took advantage of the dispute for market gain. It took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Charlotte Observer reminding readers that it still carried WBTV and offered same-day installation. About a third of households in the 22-county Charlotte market are believed to be served by satellite services.
“We appreciate our viewer’s patience,” Paul McTear, Raycom’s president, said in a statement Sunday. “We apologize for the inconvenience and thank them for their loyalty to their local stations throughout this process.”
Raycom, based in Montgomery, Ala., operates 53 TV stations in 18 states as well as Raycom Sports based in Charlotte. In the Carolinas, Raycom also operates stations in Wilmington, Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Paul Schadt, longtime morning host on WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9), has been nominated again for Country Music Association honors, only this time he's been nominated twice, a rare feat.
When the CMA announced its finalists for this year's broadcast awards Wednesday morning, Schadt was a nominee on two lists: Broadcast Personality of the Year and Major Market Personality.
In the first category, for syndicated personalities, Schadt is nominated with partner Cathy Martindale for their work on "ZMAX Racing Country," which is carried by the Concord-based Performance Racing Network.
In the second category, he is nominated for his "Kat Country" morning show, "Paul Schadt & Meg In the Morning" with partners Meg Butterly and Geof Knight.
Winners will be announced when ABC broadcasts the 48th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 5.
In other Carolina connections, Raleigh powerhouse country station WQDR-FM is one of five nominees as Large Market Station of the Year and Asheville's WKSF-FM is one of five nominees for Small Market Station of the Year. WQDR's Lisa McKay is nominated for Large Market Personality of the Year.
Schadt had a harvest of industry honors in February. In a single day, he was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame and his morning show won the Academy of Country Music's national radio award.
He's been nominated before -- repeatedly, in fact -- for the CMA's top market personality award.
"I am 0-for-6 with the CMAs," Shadt said Wednesday, though maybe getting nominated for two will change his luck.
Schadt has been WKKT's morning host since he joined the station in 1998. He has been a country mainstay in Charlotte radio for decades, marking his 33rd year last month.
I've profiled Schadt a few times over the years. Here's the most recent story, from August 27, 2011:
This month, WKKT-FM ("Kat" 96.9) is celebrating a milestone in Charlotte broadcasting -- the 30 years of Paul Schadt being on the air.
In a town where a decade on the air is considered a long run, Schadt has been at it for three decades, longer than WKKT -- 14 years old next week -- has existed.
"It comes from being somewhat successful from time to time, being nice to people and being a little bit lucky," says Schadt, 51.
WKKT is replaying some classic Schadt bits this month and a website, www.paul30.com, has been created with pictures from over the years and video from recording artists wishing him a happy anniversary.
Schadt took a right turn into radio. In the late 1970s, he was taking law enforcement courses at CPCC, hoping for a spot on the Charlotte police force.
One day, driving up Independence Boulevard and listening to Jeff Wicker on the old WBCY-FM, he was struck by an odd thought - it'd be cool to be in radio.
He pulled into a shopping center and called the station from a pay phone. He got Wicker and asked for advice for breaking into the business.
Wicker said he had gotten into radio by working at the station at UNC Charlotte, then got a job at a Salisbury station, then got a gig in Charlotte. Schadt figured that was a good blueprint and followed it, step by step.
He volunteered at WFAE-FM (90.7), which the university ran at that time, doing a jazz show. Then he got a weekend job at WSTP-AM (1140) in Salisbury. Then he landed a part-time job at WSOC-FM (103.7) in Charlotte.
A year later, at age 21, he got a full-time job on the overnight shift. By late 1997, Schadt had the morning show at WSOC and was in negotiations for a new contract. Talks with the station didn't seem to be going anywhere, and the newborn WKKT began wooing him aggressively on the side.
On Christmas Eve 1997, Schadt told his bosses at WSOC he made a difficult decision: After 16 years with the station, he wouldn't be returning after the new year. He had accepted a job at rival WKKT.
It immediately gave WKKT a boost and kicked off the long-running battle for country radio in Charlotte, now the No. 1 music format in town, with 16 percent of the audience. WKKT currently leads over WSOC, the city's No. 2 station.
Among those Schadt has been paired with over the years are Bill Dollar, Cindy O'Day, Claire B. Lang, Sarah Waters and most recently Meg Butterly and Geof Knight.
Does he ever regret not going into police work? "Not at all," says Schadt. "I'm having too good a time."