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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Douglas’

Jim Cantore Caught in the Middle of DirecTV-Weather Channel Dispute

CantoreJim Cantore got bumped from Dan Patrick‘s show because of the Weather Channel carriage dispute with DirecTV. DirecTV owns Patrick’s show (which also airs on NBC Sports Network) and the company didn’t think it was a good idea to have on one of the Weather Channel’s biggest stars in the middle of the carriage fight. Cantore was booked to give a Super Bowl forecast this week. The show will instead use Paul Douglas, a former local news meteorologist in Minneapolis who created WeatherNation, which DirecTV now carries in place of Weather Channel.

“We like Jim and thought, under the circumstances, that it may be a bit awkward for him to appear on a DirectTV-owned show so we let him off the hook,” a DirecTV spokesman tells the LA Times’ Joe Flint.

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel took out more full-page ads today, this time taking a shot at DirecTV CEO Mike White who said late last week, “I can assure you 99.9995% of our current customers have voted to stay on the DIRECTV platform.”

That would be about 100 customers. The Weather Channel figures about 190,000 DirecTV customers would commit to switching services over the loss of TWC.

DirecTV subscribers are entering their second week without the Weather Channel.

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Behind The Weather Channel’s DirecTV Replacement WeatherNation

WeatherNationTVThe Weather Channel remains off DirecTV with no return in sight. In fact, TWC chief David Kenny says the network may never return to the satellite service, cutting off TWC to 20 million homes. DirecTV replaced TWC with WeatherNation. What is WeatherNation? NewsBluesMike James spent an hour yesterday watching the network along with “a top TV weather professional.”

The company, the brainchild of former WCCO-4-CBS Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas, originates from a small studio in Excelsior, MN, a southwestern suburb of Minneapolis. The studio is tiny, made to look larger by occasional drop-in shots of a larger “virtual studio,” which exists only on a computer hard drive.

WeatherNation appears to use the Omni weather graphics system from Baron Industries of Huntsville, AL. The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel, controls the two other primary weather graphics companies: Weather Services International and Weather Central.

WeatherNation does indeed seem to operate on 15-minute programming loops, some of which appear to be pre-taped and repeated during the day. On-camera talent, all of whom are degreed and highly qualified meteorologists, rotate in and out on staggered eight-hour shifts. Talent appears to control the switching of graphics and studio cameras, which are locked down.

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CBS News London Bureau Cuts Staff

In another example of international downsizing by American networks, TVNewser has learned CBS News is letting go four longtime camera/sound crews from the London bureau.

CBS News EVP Paul Friedman made the trip to London earlier this week — to a CBS News operation once headed by Edward R. Murrow — to deliver the bad news.

Gone are cameraman Siphiwo Ralo, a South African who, in the early ’90′s, helped the network get access to the ghettos as apartheid was coming to an end. He’d been with CBS since 1985. Also gone, Nick Turner, who learned of the changes via phone. He is undergoing cancer treatment and not working at the moment. Cameraman Massimo Mariani and sound man Andy Stevenson are also being let go. The men have covered war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia and beyond.

While two photographers will remain on staff, London producers will be doing more shooting for correspondents Mark Phillips and Elizabeth Palmer. Separate from this week’s news, correspondent Richard Roth, who has been in CBS’ London bureau since 1998, is leaving the network.

The CBS News London bureau was shaken to the core on Memorial Day 2006 when camerman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan were killed in Baghdad while on assignment with former CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier.

The crews are being given a year’s salary and could freelance for CBS in the future, but sources tell us they don’t expect much work.

And CBS is not alone when it comes to international downsizing.

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Kimberly Dozier Returns to Iraq for First time Since 2006 Attack

KD_12.21.jpgOn Memorial Day 2006, CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, her cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan were reporting with the Army’s 4th Infantry Division when a five-hundred pound car bomb exploded near them. Douglas and Brolan were killed. It would take months for Dozier to recover from her physical wounds, and a year later was running 10K’s.

But it would take three-and-a-half years to get back to Iraq. Dozier returned last week for the first time since the attack.

Now based in CBS’ Washington bureau, Dozier traveled to Baghdad, Talil and Ramadi. On she writes:

This time, we arrived with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, admittedly under heavy security, to Camp Victory outside Baghdad. I saw purposeful troops, but it didn’t have the same sense of the barely controlled frenzy I saw during the three years I spent there – with soldiers, civilian contractors and Iraqi tradesmen rushing back and forth, a steady stream of helicopters buzzing in and out, the roads choked with humvees and supply vehicles rushing to their next task.

Now, Camp Victory has the hum of a well-oiled machine-like they’ve got this down. The phrase that kept coming back to me was “on a glidepath.” Admittedly, one still studded by the occasional bout of horrific violence, but momentum for now seems to be in their favor.

Dozier’s reports were featured on as well as CBS Radio News. There was no video crew this time around. CBS News gave Dozier the time to go as a private citizen at Adm. Mullen’s invitation. The trip is also providing Dozier material as she completes a paperback edition of her best-selling “Breathing the Fire” with a new chapter on her injuries and recovery. The author profits from the book are going to Fisher House, TAPS and other wounded warrior charities.

(Photo: CBS/Jim Garamone)

Journalists Pedaling in the Name of Two CBS Newsmen

PaulJames_5.22.jpgThree years ago, on Memorial Day, CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, her cameraman Paul Douglas (left) and soundman James Brolan fell victim to an insurgent attack in Baghdad. Dozier was critically wounded. The attack killed Douglas and Brolan.

Now, friends of London-based Douglas and Brolan are pedaling their way to raise money and awareness for freelance journalists everywhere.

On Monday, journalists Andy Clarke, Mark Ludlow, and Andy Stevenson will set out on a 200 mile bike ride from London’s Fleet Street to the Reporters Without Borders memorial in Bayeux, France.

The trio hope to arrive in Bayeux on Friday, the third anniversary of the attack. The money raised will benefit the Rory Peck Trust for freelance journalists and Reporters Without Borders.

The guys are just £1,000 short of their £18,000 goal. Among those who’ve given, Christiane Amanpour who was donated £500 and Dan Rather who has donated £600. “Honor to our fallen and a salute to those who are reminding us never to forget,” Rather writes.

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