Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where Are They Now - UPDATED

Hey, it's been years in the making, but I'm finally updating the "Where Are They Now" pages. Please note as it says within some of the posts, these are not exhaustive lists. I don't have the time or patience for that. The lists are of of on-air folks who I worked with or knew from across town, plus those who have come and gone since I started this blog.


As always, please feel free to share an update in the comments section, especially if you were a producer, photographer, director or engineer. I need to figure out a new post for those friends... hopefully before soccer season.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

WMBD-TV celebrates 50 years on air

Congratulations to everyone at WMBD-TV on the station's 50th anniversary. I was part of the team for about two years in the mid-90's and documented my time there when I first started this blog. I have so many wonderful memories of that place and the people have continued to be a part of my life.

It's where I met my wife... Shelli and Rusty introduced the wedding party at our reception.

Whenever I get to Chicago or New York or Orlando, I'm sharing a meal with TOB, Steve, Aimee or Marc.

My buddy/former 31 co-worker Aaron is the one who first made the call that eventually led to me getting into the corporate world, where I work with a number of other former 31ers.

It was a great place to start, and during my time there, a really fun place to work and learn.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Leaving Cheeseland

Matt Kummer, formerly a reporter at WMBD is leaving his EP job in Green Bay for the same job at WISH in Indianapolis. He starts later this month.

Congrats, Matt!

Three Former Market 117ers Doing Well In Mickey's World

Got to talk to or exchange e-mail with Steve Gehlbach (formerly of 25), Jessica D'Onofrio (formerly of 19) and Kimberly Houk (formerly of 31). All three are reporting in Orlando with Steve at the Fox station and the other two at the CBS. Got to see live shots/packages from all of them. Steve's got his own blog by the way.

In terms of presentation, all three are strong. Steve has continued with a very creative approach to the on camera as he did the impending iPod release story (which coincidentally, I saw former 19er Brendan Conway do live in Milwaukee on Friday). Jessica was solid in her coverage of a protest story and I think Kimberly is going places. She looks quite a bit different than when she was here (for the good), but I think her voice/delivery were especially strong.

And Baby Makes Three

On Wednesday, I had dinner with former WMBD photographer and Bradley alum Marc Bujnicki, his wife Lisa and the newest addition to their house, baby Ella who is 10 weeks old and incrdibly cute. Her parents seem to be adjusting well and embracing the change... although Marc looked at me like I'm from another planet when I suggested cloth diapers.

Up until Friday, Marc was a producer with the show iVillage Live, but declined to move from Orlando to Chicago where the show is moving this fall.

Belated congrats to the Bujnicki's on their life changing event.

And Baby Makes Four

Not us. Congrats to former WMBD anchor/reporter Aimee Nuzzo. Now at WNBC, Aimee gave birth to her second child.... Michael Robert Cantwell... on June 13th.

On Topp Of her Game

Congrats to former WEEK reporter (and member of the Airwaves) Kathy Topp. As you may know, Kathy has been working as special projects producer at KVBC, the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas. Last month she took home two Pacific Soutwest region Emmys... for specialty reporting: education and best single story or series.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Congrats Dubbs!!!

A belated congrats to Don Washburn of WEEK-TV on his retirement after 40 years at the station. Shannon and I both worked with "Dubbs" during our stint at 25. He's definitely seen it all many times over and while most people will know him for his "You Gotta Eat" segments (which he'll apparently continue to do), my thoughts of him are for a side of the guy most don't get to see... one who cares so deeply for his grandsons and does his best to give them the world.

Enjoy your retirement, Dubbs. You've earned it!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thanks To HOI

Thanks to Jim and Donnie for covering the inaugural Pekin Girls Soccer Lady Dragon Invitational. We won our second game in as many days... an 8-0 victory over Woodruff.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dueling Pianos To Help Kids With Cancer

For those of you who don't know, WEEK's Josh Simon does a lot of work with Camp Rainbow, a camp for kids who are living with cancer.

He's helping organize an event, this Saturday April 14th... a dueling pianos show Neumiller Lecture Center which is in Bradley Hall. It won't be in a bar setting so no alcohol (the show will be PG-13). Tickets are $10 for asults and $ 6 for students. There are also $25 VIP seats which include prefered seating and a dessert recption after the show at Hillel. You can purchase tickets at the door.

All the money raised goes to Camp Rainbow. Please come out and help some really great kids.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

February Peoria TV Ratings

I've been a little behind on TV stuff... here's how the February book broke down in Market 116 in terms of overall numbers.

WEEK 8 rating/36 share
WMBD 1/3
WHOI 2/11

WEEK 13/33
WMBD 6/14
WHOI 2/6

WEEK 14/29
WMBD 8/17
WHOI 3/5

WEEK 13/28
WMBD 10/23
WHOI 3/8

Some thoughts... WEEK continues to dominate overall. WHOI is number two in the mornings, but a distant third everywhere else. WMBD is up two points at 10:00 from the November book.

2006 Illinois Associated Press Awards

Here's a list of the 2006 Illinois Associated Press Awards... congrats to Market 116 winners (in bold).


BEST REPORTER: WAND-TV, Decatur, Scot England.

BEST NEWSCAST: WICS-TV, Springfield, "ABC NewsChannel 20 - 6 p.m. News," Rebecca Clark, Amy O'Conner, David Christopher and Gary Darigol.

2nd Place: WEEK-TV, Peoria, "June 29, 2006 - News 25 Nightside," Chris Coplan, Tom McIntyre, Mike Dimmick, Lee Ranson, Lee Hall and News 25 Team.

OUTSTANDING NEWS OPERATION: WICS-TV, Springfield. David Christopher, Gary Darigol, Rebecca Clark and Amy O'Conner.

2nd Place: WEEK-TV, Peoria. "News 25 in 2006," News 25.

BEST NEWSWRITER: KWQC-TV, Davenport, Iowa, Gary Metivier.

BEST INVESTIGATIVE SERIES: WICS-TV, Springfield, "Purse Bacteria," Julie Staley.

2nd Place (tie): WEEK-TV, Peoria, "Sergeant Pelo," Eric Shangraw and Larry
WICD-TV, Champaign, "Rawhide," Jennifer Copeland and Jack Larson.

BEST SPOT NEWS: WSIL-TV, Harrisburg, "House Fire," Clint Misselhorn and Drew Hansen.

BEST SPORTS: WSIL-TV, Harrisburg, "Cheerleading Changes," Rickey Thein and Drew Hansen.

2nd Place: WSIL-TV, Harrisburg, "Harness Racing Training," Drew Hansen.

BEST SERIES/DOCUMENTARY: KWQC-TV, Davenport, Iowa, "Meth Moms," Gary Metivier and Drew Jones.

2nd Place: WHOI-TV, Peoria, "Behind the Wheel," Jolie Alois, Jessica Wheeler, Brent Hortsmann, James Kerr and Louis Linder.

BEST LIGHT FEATURE: WAND-TV, Decatur, "Pumpkin Chuckin'," Scot England and Erik Darelius.

2nd Place: WICD-TV, Champaign, "Witch's Séance," Natalie Bomke.

BEST HARD NEWS FEATURE: WHOI-TV, Peoria, "Officer Storm Funeral," Laura Michels and Brent Hortsmann.

2nd Place: WHOI-TV, Peoria, "It's Not A Tumor," Jen Christensen and Jon Reidy.

BEST VIDEOGRAPHY: WSIL-TV, Harrisburg, "Harness Racing Training." Drew Hansen.

2nd Place: WSIL-TV, Harrisburg, "Cheerleading Changes," Drew Hansen.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Back To School

I get it. I get why teachers teach.

I spoke to a broadcast journalism class at Illinois State on Tuesday night. My former co-worker Maria Henneberry is the instructor and she was gracious enough to have me in to speak to her class and I had a blast.

The title of my talk was: "Making a bucket of Avanti's spaghetti last for a week: getting and surviving your first job in television news."

I covered everything thing from building a really strong resume tape, to the 30 second rule regarding those tapes... to networking and road trips to get jobs. I shared the honest truth about hiring in TV... about race and gender and looks... thoughts that may have sounded a bit jaded or not-PC... but things that I wish people had shared with me when I was a senior.

Hopefully I gave them a taste for all the good and bad that they might go through in the next six months. I got some really good feedback from some of them afterwards, but in the end, I think I was the one who got something out of it. On my way home I was flooded with memories of that time in life... and called two of my best friends to reminisce.

Maybe what I said was just blah, blah for some... I got the feeling that most of them took it to heart. I really hope they took something out of it... even just an awareness of how prepared they need to be come May. I may post more detail about this when I'm less exhausted... but you get the idea.

Congrats Fischers

A belated congratulations to Gina and Bill on the birth of baby number three... Vanessa Claire on March 15th. I'm sure Noah and Kylie are thrilled.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Will YouNewsTV Play In Peoria?

Hat tip to Bill Dennis for this.

WEEK's parent company, Granite Broadcasting, will be "inviting 'citizen journalists' to produce anything from online news footage to complete reports. The coverage could find its way onto local news broadcasts as well." This according to an article in Broadcasting and Cable.

Specific stations haven't been decided, so we don't know if WEEK will be one of them. I think the value (whether it's here or not) will be mostly for breaking news. Outside of that it feels like something that would be pretty suspect without solid guidelines and enforcement of those guidelines.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Green Jacket Is Heading South

Those of you who know Dave Dahl know the green jacket. Kurt Pegler used to ask him about winning The Masters which he always took well.

The green jacket is moving along with Dave as he embarks on a new adventure in Springfield next month. After 11 years, the "hated one" as he liked to be called (inside joke) is leaving 1470.

Dave will be reporting from the State Capitol for the Illinois Radio Network. They provide news (largely from the Capitol) to affiliates around the state... including WBBM in Chicago, KMOX in St Louis, and WDWS in Champaign.

Dave is sharp and fair and a very good reporter. I learned a lot from him during my time at WMBD-TV and I'm really sorry to see him go.

His first day is March 19th. Here's wishing the best to Dave, Corrina, Clifford and Isaac.

Update: Jonathan Ahl posts a tribute to the hated one.