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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

How Former TV Reporter Toan Lam Became a Social Activist

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In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do series, we interviewed Toan Lam, the founder of the nonprofit social-activism site GoInspireGo.com.

Lam began his TV career as a local news reporter in 2001 at an ABC affiliate in Wausau, Wis. He’s also worked as a reporter for NBC stations in Los Angeles and Midland, Texas; and then a CBS station in Fresno, Calif. While a reporter at an independent station in San Francisco, Lam got the opportunity to report for a syndicated show on Asian-American lifestyles called Pacific Fusion. Afterward, he hosted a PBS show called California Heartland. 

The journo had always loved storytelling, and being a reporter seemed like a logical step. And yet, it wasn’t enough. Lam, who looked up to Oprah Winfrey as a kid, had a desire to tell inspiring stories of people doing good. And that’s exactly what he ended up doing.

I didn’t want to do car chases and murders and political scandals anymore. What if, instead of bringing that into people’s living rooms, what if I brought good news into people’s homes? So I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to quit my job in a month.’ It was December of 2008. I’m going to take six months to a year, and I’ll live off of the little savings that I have and just go out and tell these stories. And it was a hobby. I thought it would be fun. My dream job would be going around and interviewing people that are doing awesome things, both big and small. I just wanted to inspire people to also then use their power to help other people. Guess what? Next day I go in [to work], I get laid off. [laughs] And I was like, ‘Whoo-hoo, this is awesome!’

To hear more from Lam, including details on the stories he’s now telling, read: So What Do You Do, Toan Lam, ‘Chief Inspirator’ for Social Activism Site GoInspireGo.com?

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WGN Hangs Up on Oprah: ‘We’re in Trouble Now’

Oops: Chicago CW affiliate WGN accidentally hung up on Oprah Winfrey during a phone interview this morning.

Oprah was WGN’s first guest on the expanded morning newscast. She was talking about the new OWN season when the call suddenly went to a dial tone. “This is so typical,” Robin Baumgarten said. “… How do we cut off the one guest we’ve had that people may be interested in watching?”

After a brief pause, Oprah was reconnected to the anchors in the studio. “Y’all got a few kinks to work out,” she joked. Watch the video after the jump. Read more

Bonnie Bernstein Takes Over Oprah’s Studio

Back in the day, Oprah Winfrey would give away new cars from her Harpo Studios in Chicago. Well, part of the iconic studio has turned a corner and was recently taken over by CampusInsiders.com, a site devoted to college sports. The face of the venture is Bonnie Bernstein, the veteran CBS Sports and ESPN reporter. Beginning next week, she’ll host a new daily show from Harpo Studios.

How will this sports show be different from everything else out there? In part II of our Media Beat interview, Bernstein tells us it’s all about the insiders.

Lori Greiner Talks About the Oprah Effect and What Inventors Need to Succeed

Lori Greiner knows firsthand the power of Oprah Winfrey to sell product.

In part two of our conversation with Greiner, the “Queen of QVC” and regular on ABC’s “Shark Tank” tells SocialTimes editor Devon Glenn what happens when one of your products makes the list of Oprah’s favorite things, how every inventor thinks they have the greatest thing in the world and what they need to do to make sure they’re right.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Katie Couric Makes Her Daytime Debut

After more than a year of planning and promoting, Katie Couric‘s syndicated talk show, “Katie,” debuts this afternoon.

“Katie” will air at 3 p.m. in all but two of the top 10 markets. The exceptions are Dallas and Washington, DC,  where ABC affiliates WFAA and WJLA will run “Katie” in the 4 p.m. timeslot, which was vacated by daytime fixture Oprah Winfrey last June.

The eight ABC O&Os — WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago, WPVI in Philadelphia, KGO in San Francisco, KTRK in Houston, WTVD in Raleigh-Durham and KFSN in Fresno — are sticking with a commitment to local newscasts, some of which launched in the wake of Winfrey’s departure, in the 4 p.m. time slot.

Oprah’s Departure Leads to Tighter Ratings Races

The departure of Oprah Winfrey from daytime television last summer has resulted in more competitive ratings battles in top markets across the U.S., Brian Stelter of the New York Times writes:

In New York, for instance, WABC’s replacement for Ms. Winfrey’s show, an hour of local news at 4 p.m., has averaged about half as many viewers as the talk show did. The decline has brought down the 5 p.m. hour as well; in May, WABC’s long winning streak at that hour was broken by WCBS. “We started our 5 o’clock newscasts here in New York in 1982, and this is the first time we are No. 1,” said Peter Dunn, the president and general manager of WCBS.

In many local markets, the “Oprah” time slots were filled not with talk, but with local news, continuing a cost-effective expansion of news that has been happening for several years in many cities. But ratings declines, in many cases, have been precipitous there, too. Read more

Newscasts Finding Success in Post-Oprah World

With Oprah Winfrey‘s resignation from daytime television last spring, some local stations filled her former timeslot with a newscast, hoping to find an appetite for more locally-produced content. So how are they doing? TVNewsCheck takes a look today at the ratings in the top 25 markets, finding that while most newscasts can’t match Oprah’s audience, the programs are still advantageous to large-market stations:

Steve Riley, WSB’s creative services director, says the newscast is performing well among coveted demographics, placing No. 1 in the time period with adults 25-54 during October to date. In addition, the news audience is more evenly divided between men and women, with women making up 46% of the newscast’s audience compared to 76% of Oprah’s.

“We did our homework,” Riley says. The station added reporters, photographers and writers along with its news hour, he says. “We are bringing in that much more content.” Read more

KGO Expands Weekend Newscasts To a Full Hour

KGO, the ABC owned-and-operated station in San Francisco, is expanding their 11 p.m. weekend newscast to a full hour beginning this weekend.

KGO’s Alan Wang (pictured), the current 11 p.m. anchor, will remain at the helm for the new 60-minute broadcasts. He will be joined by meteorologist Leigh Glaser and sports anchor Mike Shumann.

KGO will be the first San Francisco station to offer an hour of news in the 11 p.m. timeslot. KTVU, the Fox affiliate, does not have an 11 p.m. newscast; CBS affiliate KPIX and NBC affiliate KNTV have a 35-minute and 30-minute newscast, respectively.

This is the second expansion of news programming for KGO this year. After Oprah Winfrey signed off from daytime television in May, the station replaced her talk show with a 4 p.m. newscast.

WKYT Plans to Add Half-Hour Newscast at 10 a.m.

WKYT will become the first station in the Lexington, KY market to have a 10 a.m. newscast beginning September 12.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that station management at WKYT, which is the market’s CBS affiliate, has been planning the additional newscast for two years, since Oprah Winfrey announced she would depart from daytime television. Several stations have chosen to fill the Oprah timeslot with news, but WKYT — which will replace the daytime queen with Anderson Cooper‘s syndicated show this fall — wanted another timeslot for an additional newscast.

“We do very well at noon, and we’ve constantly improved in show growth in the mornings, so we’re wanting to bridge those time periods,” news director Robert Thomas told the Herald-Leder.

The new show will be staffed by the midday news team: anchors Bill Bryant and Barbara Bailey and meteorologist Todd Borek. The station will slide “Regis & Kelly” from the 10 a.m. hour to the 9 a.m. hour to accommodate the half-hour newscast.

Bill Kurtis, Tom Skilling Reflect as Chicago Newsers Gather at Broadcast Museum

WMAQ's Paula Faris and Dick Johnson attend the gala opening of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Chicago’s TV news anchors and reporters were out in force for a sneak preview open house at the city’s new Museum of Broadcast Communications Thursday night. Joined by Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Museum President Bruce DuMont, the event officially marks the end of major construction of the 62,000 square foot, stand-alone facility.

Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Dave Garroway, Paul Harvey - the broadcast history of this city is just amazing,”  legendary WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling tells TVSpy. “We really have a story to tell here.  I think [the museum] is going to be of great interest. Bringing together the stories of these amazing broadcasters who have influenced broadcasting on a national scale is well worth telling.”

Local journos on hand included WBBM’s Bill Kurtis and Rob Johnson, former WBBMer Donna LaPietra, WMAQ’s Dick Johnson and Paula Faris, WLS’s Valerie Warner, former WLSer Andy Shaw, and former WMAQer Chet Coppock.

Mayor Emanuel noted that the museum is fitting for a city that hosted the nation’s first televised presidential debate, between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960.

Party attendees got a glimpse at historic TV artifacts, including one of the cameras used during the JFK-Nixon matchup, an original Charlie McCarthy puppet, and the doorway that Oprah

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