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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Horowicz’

Vin Scully Laps KFWB

VinScullyDodgerStadiumLiving legend Vin Scully was born in 1927. Two years after the launch of Los Angeles AM radio station KFWB, originally owned by a group that included Warner Bros. co-founder Sam Warner.

All these years later, there was on the west coast the equivalent of a media “safe” call for Scully and a base-path-umpires-appeal “out” verdict for KFWB. While the 86-year-old broadcaster announced Tuesday that he is returning for another glorious season of radio and TV work in 2015, KFWB indicated last Friday that it will be switching to a mostly syndicated all-sports format in September. (The radio station, currently owned by CBS and held in a FCC-rules related trust, adopted its current all-news approach in 1968.)

We’re a bit surprised that at press time, neither the LA Register or LA Times appear to have reported on the KFWB switch. Although both papers rely mostly on freelance radio columnists now, this is media news that merits a scheduled editorial calendar pre-empt.

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Remembering the Quest for Tom Snyder’s First Guest

TomSnyderOn this date seven years ago, Tom Snyder passed away in San Francisco. To honor the broadcaster’s life and legacy, longtime friend and producer Michael Horowicz likes to annually at this time share a fond Snyder anecdote.

Adding to the significance of this anniversary is the fact that July 29 is also the date that Horowicz himself was born.

“Much has been made recently about a new talk show’s ‘first guest,’” Horowicz tells FishbowlNY. “There was excitement over Jimmy Fallon’s first guest on The Tonight Show (Will Smith), as well as Seth Meyers on his first show (Amy Poehler). It was the same in December 1994, as we prepared to debut The Late Late Show with Tom on CBS the following month.”

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Tonight Show Chatter Has LA TV Producer Remembering Carson’s Killer Extra 15 Minutes

David Steinberg, whose many appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson during the show’s New York heyday were surpassed only by those of the late Bob Hope, was recently reminiscing with Jimmy Fallon (in the very same 30 Rock studio) about some of his 140 guest spots. Clips like this take on added resonance in the wake of Wednesday’s bombshell NYT report by Bill Carter that NBC is planning to move the program back to Manhattan in 2014 with Fallon as host.

Three thousand miles away from Studio 6B, our pal Michael Horowicz also couldn’t help but reminisce about some Carson lore anchored to Fallon’s studio. During a trip to New York in the mid-90s, Horowicz and Late Late Show colleague Tom Snyder had dinner with former WNBC weatherman Dr. Frank Field at Bello on Ninth Avenue. Field, to the amazement of his dinner companions, explained that when The Tonight Show was done in New York, it actually started around 11:15 p.m. At the time, NBC affiliates aired only 15 minutes of evening news and so, from 11:15 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. – or so Field claimed – it was him, Johnny, Doc and the gathering band, hanging out on-air to fill the nightly gap.

“Tom and I didn’t believe him,” Horowicz tells FishbowlLA. “We both considered ourselves great students of late night TV, and we’d never heard about this extra 15 minutes. Furthermore, we’d never heard of any NBC affiliate that didn’t do a full 30-minute late news. We honestly thought Frank was full of sh*t, or at least full of sherry.”

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Another Memorable Dorothy Lucey-Critter Episode

Our coverage yesterday of WeHo News editor Ryan Gierach’s reaction to the launch of Dorothy Lucey’s blog has turned out to be the FishbowlLA item that keeps on giving.

First came some additional email correspondence between FishbowlLA and Gierach (added as an update to the bottom of the Thursday item). Followed by a classic reminiscence from Michael Horowicz, who has known Lucey personally for a long, long time. She was a bridesmaid at his wedding, but in this case, he’s jumping back to the early 1990s when the two worked together at KCBS.

With Horowicz’s permission, here’s a cat yarn to go along with yesterday’s pooch item:

“The building, known as Columbia Square, had a terrible rodent problem. And nothing the exterminators did worked.”

“So Dorothy and a few others adopted a cat and named it KC. (When I asked her why KC, she replied, “Better than BS.” She had a point.) The cat slept in the prop room just behind the news set.”

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Tom Snyder Producer Remembers His Trailblazing, Angels-Hating Boss

In honor of this weekend’s doubly momentous anniversary date of July 29, which is both the article author’s birthday and the date his beloved former boss Tom Snyder passed away in 2007, Michael Horowicz has penned a wonderful remembrance at tvweek.com. As the reader comments bear witness, Snyder left an indelible mark.

From 1993 to 1998, Horowicz worked with Snyder in LA for CNBC and CBS. There’s a funny story in the article about how he would accompany the talk show host to the Bel Air Country Club every Thursday night for dinner, but only so Snyder could meet his monthly required minimum member spending limit. We thought it would be fun to hear a few more anecdotes about the legendary media figure’s wide-ranging LA career.

“In 1960, Snyder was fired from his reporter’s job at KTLA,” Horowicz, who recently left WNBC in New York to pursue his own projects with business partner Susan Winston, tells FishbowlLA. “He was crushed and out for revenge. There was only one thing he could do, which was place a curse on the Los Angeles Angels, set to premiere a few months later in the American League. Both the Angels and KTLA were owned by Gene Autry.”

Horowicz says he learned about the curse many years later, in 1995, while watching an Angels game in the CBS conference room with colleagues. Snyder noticed and mentioned the curse that night during his monologue.

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