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Posts Tagged ‘Russ Salzberg’

WNYW Makes a 10 P.M. Newscast Sports Switcheroo

Change has come to the Fox 5 News at Ten. No, we’re not talking about the anchors. This is about the sports, and the fact that WNYW has at long last given sports its proper placement.

Since March 2011, WNYW made the wacky decision to deliver sports at the end of the newscast. If you hadn’t seen this, it meant the anchors, Ernie Anastos and Dari Alexander (until July 2, when Greg Kelly replaced Anastos) did their sign off as they threw it to the sports anchor, usually Russ Salzberg at the WWOR studios in Seacaucus.

It also meant, inexplicably, that the sports anchor was the person charged with saying good night to viewers and telling them what program is coming on next.

On Monday, July 9, the change was complete. There is only a subtle difference , throwing it back to Kelly and Alexander, who quickly say their closing pleasantries. Of course, as the lead anchors that was supposed to be their job all along.

Likely the tweaking was connected to Kelly, who moved over to the 10 p.m. desk only a week earlier. But we’re left to speculate, as WNYW isn’t giving FishbowlNY any reason for the incidental change.

While Channel 5 refuses to tell this reporter, “You were right,” it won’t even acknowlege the change that puts sports back within the newscast, instead of as a separate entity.

At the time of the newscast nuance last year, a WNYW spokeswoman told FishbowlNY that it was ”just one of several new things the station is doing to shake things up and evolve, while remaining committed to give sports to viewers.”

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WFAN Sets Special Lineup to Mark Tomorrow’s 25th Anniversary

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The term “sports radio” made its way into New Yorkers’ consciousness with the arrival of WFAN. Other stations already had sports talk segments and play-by-play of sporting events, but WFAN was the first to make it an around-the-clock proposition.

FishbowlNY has been offering a week-long series in preparation for the ‘FAN’s big day. That day is tomorrow! WFAN turns 25, and to commemorate the occasion, the station is welcoming back former hosts for a day to remember.

The special programming lineup is listed after the jump.

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Schmoozing S-P-O-R-T-S for 25 Years, Steve Somers and WFAN Celebrate Milestone

A quarter-century ago radio execs took a chance on a new format–all-sports. Even more of an unknown was how Steve Somers would handle it?

The original WFAN sound took on more of a national flavor than heard on 660 today. The majority of the update anchors and hosts did not have any, or limited, New York experience, and many ultimately fell by the wayside.

And then there’s Somers.  He neither grew up nor worked in New York, and yet from his first shift on WFAN he was a quinnesstial New Yorker.

“That is the most flattering thing everybody can say to me,” Somers says.  ”When I was growing up out there [in San Francisco], people thought I was still from New York.”

There’s no mistaking that style. Somers sounds like your older Jewish uncle. He sounded old 25 years ago, and played up his Jewishness, making him a perfect fit for the Big Apple’s melting pot.

“New Yorkers more than anywhere, and more than anybody, can tolerate and accept diversity like no other people anywhere,” Somers says. “It’s the makeup of New York.”

Somers, unlike other hosts, will discuss any sport with callers or guests.

“I do shtick and I have fun,” Somers tells FishbowlNY. “I think I’m obviously the more creative one, or the more inventive one at the station. Everybody else is pretty much courting to talk show formula.”

He says that counter-balance has been one reason for his remarkable longevity.

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The Chernoff Chronicles: Celebrating 25 Years of WFAN

The nation’s first all-sports radio station is about to celebrate 25 years, and FishbowlNY is joining in the accolades.

Beginning today, we start a special, week-long series commemorating WFAN’s silver milestone July 1.

There are interviews with two charter members of the station, the first person on the air, and the signature voice a quarter-century later.

But we begin with a look back through the eyes of operations manager Mark Chernoff, who joined WFAN in 1993.

WHN owned the frequency at 1050 when Emmis suits, led by Jeff Smulyan, decided country music had run its course.

Smulyan, sales manager Joel Hollander, and others flipped the battle-tested country format in 1987 to sports. It was a mixed blessing, as WFAN was an untouched canvas on the radio easel.

“Its earliest incarnation was very different from what the ‘FAN eventually became,” Chernoff says.

Specifically, the programs were national in flavor, with many short-form features interspered within the shows. Original programming also consisted of 4 sports updates per hour, as opposed to today’s “20-20″ version. The Mets and WFAN have been perfect together since the station’s inception.

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Veteran Sports Anchor Len Berman Resurfaces at Channel 5

Len Berman had more than two decades as WNBC’s sports director. But in 2009, the high-profile sportscaster became one of the biggest cost cutting casualties at 30 Rock.

However, in the interim, this has been no hiatus for Berman. In the ensuing months and years, he maintained a strong work ethic. There were twice-a-week radio appearances on WOR, and a resurrection of his signature “Spanning the Globe” highlight package for a monthly segment at NBC’s Today Show.

Berman put another two children’s sports book on the shelf, with a third coming later this year, and has become a “go-to” media guest as a “Sports Anchor Emeritus.”

Perhaps his most consistent piece of work since leaving WNBC (though it started before that) is a daily Website: Thatssports.com. There, and in a subscribed email, Monday through Friday, Berman waxes about the Top 5 sports moments.

Adding to his various endeavors, Berman, 64, is back on local TV. Under the radar, he joined WNYW/Channel 5 three weeks ago as a contributor. The taped 60-second Top 5 segment airs every Thursday on the Fox 5 News at 10. Berman is assured of getting a great lead-in through May, thanks to American Idol.

“Hopefully that’s why they put it there,” Berman laughs.

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One Year Later, Scott Clark Has No Regrets About Leaving WABC

Today marks one year since the popular Scott Clark completed his farewell tour at WABC/Channel 7. The sports anchor says the decision to leave was solely his—with a major assist from his wife Heather. 

“The station was fantastic about it,” Clark tells FishbowlNY from his Michigan lakefront house.

So instead of taking the proverbial gold watch at 25 years of service, Clark retired, a decision that he contemplated for several years. 

“In the beginning of my career, I had always thought of 50 [when] I’m going to retire,” Clark admits. 

But, once Clark hit the big 5-0, he was still under contract. By the time that deal expired, Clark was 52. However, the veteran sports anchor wasn’t mentally prepared to step away.

“There was another deal on the table, and it was a very good deal,” Clark says.

As the five-year pact was winding down, Clark didn’t have the cold feet. He was ready.

“I was getting pretty good thoughts…my mind, body, and soul were officially saying ‘I think this is it. We’re done,’” Clark recalls.

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WWOR Unveils 10 p.m. Newscast Monday

As we reported last month, WWOR/Channel 9 is making the move to 10  for its weeknight newscasts. Now we have new details on the Ten O’Clock News with anchors Brenda Blackmon and Harry Martin.

The 30-minute newscast will be divided into three segments. First, the ‘Nine at 10″ starts the broadcast with the top news stories in 9 minutes. Sound familiar?

Over at WPIX/Channel 11, management runs the “11 Stories in 11 Minutes” at the beginning of their newscast.

Back at WWOR, segment two is “Take it On” –an issue-oriented debate featuring guest contributors and in-depth discussions about the day’s headlines.  

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Co-Anchor Harry Martin Calls WWOR Bringing News Back to 10 p.m a ‘Great Opportunity’

After two years, My9/WWOR is returning to its longstanding 10 p.m. news slot, The Ten O’Clock News beginning June 27. WWOR had moved its evening newscast to 11 p.m. and sliced it to 30 minutes.

Now the veteran news team consisting of anchors Harry Martin and Brenda Blackmon, meteorologist Audrey Puente, and Russ Salzberg on sports get the earlier start. The broadcast remains at 30 minutes, half the length of the original Channel 9 10 p.m. newscast.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Martin tells FishbowlNY. “Lew Leone, our general manger, said there’s an audience that really wants to watch us at that time.”

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Sports Changes Come to WNYW and WPIX 10 p.m. Newscasts

The changes are subtle, but if you look carefully they scream at you. In recent weeks, WPIX and WNYW viewers have noticed something different when it comes to how the sports portion of the newscast is produced.

On the PIX News at 10, the latest in a series of changes has news director Bill Carey dropping its sports department.

Instead, news anchor Jodi Applegate (Jim Watkins on weekends) spends a minute in the control room reading the scores and narrating a few highlights.

Carey says PIX (which carries Mets’ games) has never been a destination for viewers seeking sports information.

“Our station doesn’t have a sports profile … We never did a sportscast in the 6:30 news while it was on the air,” Carey tells FishbowlNY. “We don’t do sports in the morning show.”

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Lunch: A Heaping Helping of the Usual Suspects

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— DIANE CLEHANE

We’ve been spoiled by the steady stream of A-listers we’ve come to meet during our weekly Wednesday visits. So you can imagine our disappointment when we heard we missed Gabriel Byrne, who was in the dining room a week or so ago on a Tuesday. (We know more than a few folks who are obsessed with his portrayal of the tortured but tender shrink on HBO’s In Treatment.) But timing is everything, isn’t it?

There weren’t any stars of the big or small screen at Michael’s today, but the place was packed with plenty of movers and shakers to keep things interesting. I was lunching with public relations guru Tom Goodman, president and CEO of Goodman Media. Tom is one of the busiest — and nicest — guys in the business. He started his firm in 1996 after toiling in PR for CBS and ABC (where he traveled with Peter Jennings). British Airways “put us in business,” says Tom, and NBC, who tapped him to help launch MSNBC, soon followed. Tom is gearing up for a jam-packed summer promoting The World Science Festival in June (Harrison Ford is expected at the gala), Joe Torre‘s Safe at Home Foundation celebrity golf tournament at Trump National Golf Course in July and the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock with a weekend-long celebration in August at The Museum at Bethel Woods. Next month, the museum will also premiere an exhibit of photos — many never before seen — by photojournalist Gerry Deiter of John Lennon‘s and Yoko Ono‘s famous 1969 bed-in for peace. Sounds groovy…

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

2. Gerry Byrne and two well-dressed gents …

3. Nicki Haskell and pals

4. Harper’s Bazaar editrix Glenda Bailey and Evelyn Lauder. I’m told that Mrs. Lauder was making her second appearance of the week at Michael’s, having hosted the First Lady of Panama for lunch yesterday.

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