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Posts Tagged ‘Shiba Russell’

NBC May Be Poised to Finish Fifth, But WNBC is ‘Staying the Course’ with Prime Time Lead-In

The February sweeps period, which helps determine ad rates for local stations, ends next week. But reports already show a dubious distinction for NBC. For the first time in its history, Comcast’s newest property will be dead last. Actually to clarify, that’s not third place among the “Big Three” networks, or fourth with Fox. NBC dropped to fifth, behind Univision.

That means the key coveted demographic of 18 to 49 year olds, would rather watch those shows than English-language broadcasts on NBC.

That also means having such a weak lead-in has to be more than a slight distraction to affiliates.

While the official numbers won’t be released until Thursday, it doesn’t take an M.I.T. graduate to figure how this will really hurt all levels of 30 Rock. But the station is more hopeful.

“As you know, sweeps continue for another week,” a WNBC spokesperson tells FishbowlNY. “We are holding 100 percent of the prime time lead-in audience, which is what we did last year, so we are staying the course.”

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Stations Begin Storm Mode as Blizzard Closes In

Let the hunkering begin!

With a blizzard warning blanketing New York, area stations are treating the impending storm with necessary seriousness.

This afternoon, ahead of the snow, WCBS started its wall-to-wall coverage. Anchors Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson led the team into action at 3 p.m., with reporters stationed throughout the tri-state area. Joining Lonnie Quinn in the “Weather Center” was John Elliott, who was seen shoveling the icy, snowy mix on the roof. A WCBS spokesperson tells FishbowlNY that the same group will be in place starting tomorrow at 6 a.m.

WABC also got a 3 p.m  start with Bill Ritter and Lori Stokes at the desk. Weekend meteorologist Jeff Smith assisted Lee Goldberg.

WNYW did not offer extended coverage until its 5 p.m. newscast. Channel 5 did give viewers hourly updates with Nick Gregory. Sister station WWOR also broke in for top-of-the-hour reports with Audrey Puente. Channel 9, like most stations, ran a live press conference by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 3:45. Harry Martin briefly did a recap.  WNYW skipped the governor’s news conference to stay with The People’s Court.

WNBC ended the Christie remarks from Trenton by sequeing into the start of its “Severe Weather Coverage” at 4 with Tom Llamas and Shiba Russell.

NY1 and NY1 Noticias were in non-stop mode for the blizzard. On Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., NY1 will present a special half hour with the latest storm information.

MSG Network Tops the List with 2013 Emmy Nominations

Looking to add to their totals: WCBS colleagues Lonnie Quinn and Chris Wragge show off Emmy gold at 2012 event

Award season is in full swing! It culminates with the Oscars later this month. But not so fast. The New York Emmy Awards announced its nominations today.

MSG Network leads the pack with 67 nominations. WNBC has the most among over-the-air outlets with 58 nominations.

There are dozens of award categories and here’s a brief rundown…

WCBS’ Chris Wragge, a multiple winner, has been nominated for Best Evening Newscast (under 35 minutes). He was tapped for anchoring the East River helicopter crash in October, 2011. He also received three other nominations, including coverage of a sportscast/series for the Giants Road to Super Bowl 46. He is also a nominee for the prestigious Best Anchor.

Among those joining Wragge in that category are WABC weekend morning anchor Phil Lipof, Tom Llamas of WNBC, and Sukanya Krishnan from WPIX.

Veteran WNBC anchor Chuck Scarborough is in the running for the News Special category, hosting a 9/11 10th anniversary broadcast.

Scarborough’s new nighttime partner, Shiba Russell got a couple of nominations for her 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchoring.

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Sue Simmons, Candid in Rare Interview, ‘Came Within Two Weeks of Being in a Wheelchair’

There are broadcasting legends, and there is Sue Simmons. FishbowlNY caught up with the iconic anchorwoman for a rare one-on-one interview, as she was being named a Black Media Legend at the Plaza Hotel Friday.

Simmons left WNBC in June after more than three decades at the anchor desk. Three months earlier, word broke on what many considered an unthinkable story—Simmons would not get a contract extension.

Related: FishbowlNY, Sue Simmons Ends Historic Run at WNBC

“I already knew my contract was up and I got threatened with suspension,” Simmons says. “I didn’t say a word until after I left.”

Once Simmons’ future status was published it caused her nothing but angst.

“The last several months from March to June was pretty much a nightmare for me,” Simmons admits. “Because after you’ve worked with your teams and your friends for that long it’s very difficult to come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to be anymore.”

Simmons adds that there was no bitterness as she began the “farewell tour” at WNBC.

“How would you complain about 32 years at one job, in television, in New York City, and being part of the longest running anchor team in New York’s history?”

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2012: The FishbowlNY Year in Review

It was a year that featured the FM band being rediscovered like the progressive music era of the late 1960s.

ESPN took the lead in April by moving (after simulcasting) WEPN/1050 to 98.7. The 1050 position has since become New York’s only 24-hour Spanish sports talk outlet.

It was a surprise to no one, that CBS Radio expedited its quest for an FM station, when Merlin’s ill-fated news operation, turned Alternative Rocker, became available in October. WFAN is now simulcast on 660 and 101.9.

As for Merlin, it yanked the 24-hour FM news attempt (WEMP) in July–less than a year after it started. Merlin returned to its previous format held by Emmis, and continuing the “Bobby Ewing shower scene” theme, management even resurrected the WRXP call letters.

Other radio doings during 2012, include Geraldo Rivera turning to the medium early in 2012 at WABC. By summertime, the veteran TV host was syndicated to Cumulus stations nationwide.

In August, Clear Channel acquired WOR. As the FCC signed off on the deal, two shows were canceled last week, Dr Joy Browne and Governor David Paterson. This remains a fluid story heading into 2013.

TV also had its share of shakeups. In certain instances you could say this was management’s version of “Out with old and in the new.”

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Tracking Hurricane Sandy; Kaity Tong, David Ushery Shine

Forced to evacuated, I had plenty of time to monitor television coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

You probably woke up this morning to stations locked in ”wall-to-wall” mode, but that was not the case last night. Unlike last year’s Hurricane Irene (when I was holed up in a hotel), Sandy did not lead to an all-nighter by the area stations.

Here is how they took to the air this time.

Kaity Tong was a calming presence, anchoring a two-hour edition of the News at Ten on WPIX.  As was the case with Irene, WPIX’s coverage did not include Jodi Applegate.

Tong, as a solo anchor, was given an assist by reporter Dan Mannarino, who handled some phone interviews and other information for viewers. WPIX double-teamed the audience with veteran experience from Mr. G and Craig Allen.  WPIX was the only game in town until 11 p.m., as WNYW/Channel 5 was televising the final game of the World Series.

While the storm moved closer to New York, the other channels opted for prime-time network scheduling. At 11 p.m., WCBS/Channel 2 anchors Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson, first appearing at halftime of the New York Jets game, led the station’s one-hour special Sandy newscast. Thereafter, WCBS kept a crawl on the screen until the morning team resumed coverage at 4 a.m.

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WCBS Brings in “A” Team for Hurricane Sandy Coverage

Hurricane Sandy is churning in the Atlantic, and approaching New York. Preparations for the serious storm have caused the area TV stations to cover the impending destruction.

Most of the city stations took Mayor Bloomberg’s briefings live and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie‘s comments. WCBS/Channel 2 left wall-to-wall mode at 1 p.m. to join the New York Jets game. However, sister station WLNY TV 10/55, anchored by Cindy Hsu, broke into the Munsters Marathon for the latest Christie press conference.

Channel 2, though, was first to bring in the main team. At halftime of the Jets game, viewers got another sense of the severity as Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson assumed the coverage with Lonnie Quinn tracking the potentially deadly storm.

“I’ll be with you all night, guys,” Quinn said.

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Sue Simmons in First Interview Since Leaving WNBC: ‘I Cried Every Day’

Joy Behar lined up an exclusive interview with exiled former WNBC anchor Sue Simmons. In the interview that aired last night on Current TV’s Joy Behar: Say Anything!, Simmons talked about her reaction to WNBC management not renewing her contract after 32 years.

“Somewhere along the line there were mixed signals and I didn’t think it was going to end,” Simmons says. “I think I cried every day.” (see the Current TV clip after the jump)

Simmons, one-half of the legendary team with Chuck Scarborough, left the air for the final time June 15. She was replaced by thirty-something anchor Shiba Russell at 11 p.m.

“Does she realize she has only three more years to go before they give her the boot?” Behar ponders.

“I haven’t discussed it with her,” Simmons laughs. “I just wished her well and moved on.”

Asked by Behar why Scarborough, who joined Channel 4 in 1974, remains with station, Simmons said,”they viewed him as being more engaged then I was.”

Scarborough keeps a full plate each day, anchoring at 6 and 11 on WNBC, and a one-hour newscast on digital channel New York Nonstop.

As for Simmons, fans won’t have to wait long to see the beloved anchor again. As we reported last month, she’ll appear as a reporter on tonight’s season premiere of Law & Order: SVU.

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New York Reporters Hunker Down in New Orleans for Hurricane Isaac

Seven years ago today, after nearly being swallowed up by Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans area is being assaulted by Hurricane Isaac and New York reporters are on the scene.

WNBC/Channel 4 anchor Tom Llamas reported live from New Orleans during last night’s 11 p.m. newscast with Chuck Scarborough and Shiba Russell as the storm was about to make landfall.

WABC/Channel 7 had the only other local presence in the Big Easy. Reporter Jim Dolan also handled the impending fury at 11 p.m. with David Navarro (in for Bill Ritter at the Republican National Convention) and Sade Baderinwa at the anchor desk.

At WCBS/Channel 2, Drew Levinson reported live with Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson. Levinson, though, is a national correspondent for CBS Newspath, an affiliate news service.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene hitting our area.

Where in the World are WNBC’s Chuck and Shiba?

A rare sighting

If it seems like WNBC’s 11 p.m. anchor team of Chuck Scarborough and new partner Shiba Russell are barely together on the air, you’re not dreaming!

FishbowlNY examined how often the anchors sat side-by-side since Russell’s official debut at 11 p.m. one month ago last night. The number is incredibly low–try four. Just four times for Chuck and Shiba.

There were those first three days, including the infamous “Sue Simmons” identifying graphic for Russell at the start of the second newscast. Night-three was only a slight improvement, with no anchor names shown on the screen, although everyone else’s was displayed correctly.

The duo had one more night together, but not until July 11.

But if you are looking for some insidious, gossipy reason for the pair being conspicuous by its absence on a nightly basis, think again. A WNBC spokeswoman says this is simply the talent, especially Scarborough from his 38 years with the company, taking summer vacation.

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