Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Leadership, New Blood

Steve Tarter's column covers the rise of new leadership at WMBD-TV. Brent Lonteen can now take out the word "interim" as he is now the news director there. And Will Koch is moving behind the scenes to take over Brent's job as Assistant ND/Assignment Manager. In talking to both of them yesterday, they're both looking forward to new challenges. Of course, I pointed out to Brent that he now has a million jobs to fill.

Welcome also to two new reporters at at WHOI-TV, two new reporters are on the scene: Nishi Gupta from KSL-TV in Salt Lake City which also gave us Kimberly Houk (who continues to bring people to my blog weekly based on a check of search engines) and Ian Schwartz who comes to Central Illinois from Arizona State University.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

All Ahl... All The Time

For those of you, who like me, have great appreciation for the talents of WCBU's Jonathan Ahl... he's coming to a TV set near you. H. Wayne Wilson is taking a year sabbatical from "At Issue" on WTVP to work on other projects. This has opened the door for Jonathan to take over hosting duties for the upcoming season.

He says "I will always be a radio guy, but this should be a fun change of pace on the side for a while."

His first show is September 7th.

Best of luck, Jonathan!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Market 117 FFL

Hey TV types who read this:

We're at 12 people for the Market 117 Fantasy Football League. If you're interested in getting in, we need to add in increments of two people... up to 16. E-mail me if you'd like to play this year.

Just FYI... on July 12, 2006... a good six weeks before the draft and the first shot of smack was fired by Kevin "Jimmy" Thomas... congratulating me on "taking second this year."

Jimmy... in the imortal words of Ric Flair... to be the man, you've got to beat the man. Whooo.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Entourage

I'm a big fan of the show Entourage... mostly because of my love of the movie industry, but also the whole "young guy in LA thing" was a part of my life... although I didn't have a rich movie star buddy to live off of, but whatever.

Just found out recently one of my classmates from college is a staff writer for the show. Congrats to Tim Griffin... you've made it!

Airwaves Finish Season On High Note

Airwaves ended the Mossville soccer league with an 8-1 win. Not sure if we'll do this one again as there were some organizational issues I won't get into.

Peoria Park District league... our flagship if you will... starts up mid-August. Any of you TV folks who are interested in joining, shoot me an e-mail.

I'm suffering from an injury that I won't get into... thankfully we have some time off.

Catching Up WIth Troy

Caught the Saturday 10:00 news shows.... mostly stayed on WREX to watch Troy Kehoe. Troy was a hard working intern when Shannon and I were at WEEK. Not that I'm suprised, but he was solid... good inflection and pace... and flawlessly handled when his reporter's package went in the crapper.

Talked to him after the show. He's doing well... been there four years now, moving up the ranks starting as morning producer a few years back. Didn't get a chance to see him report, but if that's in line with the anchoring, he should be able to make a pretty decent jump when he wants to.

I Always Say We're Going To Go There One Day

Any of you who drive through Rockford... do you ever look at that water park on 90 and say, I'm going to go there someday? Someday was Saturday.

It was pretty cool... we went with some friends who also have small kids and made a day of it. Quite a few cool tube slides... although we didn't make it on the big one you see from the highway... line was too long. Big wave pool... buzzer goes off and everyone ooohs and ahhhs. Food was reasonably priced too. Had dinner at a really cool Mexican restaurant... Habeneros.

Suburban Rockford, what a pleasant suprise.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Under Their Nose

I found this kind of funny. The Pekin High class of 1991 is getting the word out about its upcoming reunion. They have, in tonight's Pekin Daily Times, a big long list of "missing classmates."

Included on this list is Josh Bradshaw.

For those of you who know Josh, you'll see why it's funny right away... Josh is a photographer at... the Pekin Daily Times and has been for I want to say since I moved here the first time in 1996, but don't quote me on that.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gee Leaves WCIA

Just heard through the grapevine today that former WMBD assignment editor Jim Gee left WCIA last month. Jim had been news director at channel 3 for the past couple of years. I copied his message from the INBA website for those of you interested in getting in touch with him.
Yup, still around for now. I have indeed left WCIA and am taking a few
weeks off before moving on to new challenges. I'm looking at possibilities both
in and out of broadcast news, both in and out of Illinois. This is as good a
place as any to thank the many of you who have called or e-mailed with your
support the last two weeks. I've had several career leads and even one offer of
temp work. It's flattering! As to my future with this organization, I notified
the board when I parted ways with WCIA. I intend to continue to serve as
vice-president until I make my next career move or the election in October.
Obviously, if I am not actively working as a broadcaster in October, I will not
run again. People are welcome to e-mail me at jimgee@intergate.com. Take care,
all! -- Gee

The Bizarro World Of MySpace

So recently through Josh, I get word from Lee that it's about that time again... I sponsor him for St. Jude each year.

I had recently seen what I thought was Lee's myspace page and left him a message there saying of course I'm more than happy to contribute again and I ask Josh to have him respond to my message.

Only, I come to find out that Lee doesn't have a myspace page. Apparently someone has assumed his identity on myspace and has a Lee Hall page. The real Lee has apparently sent an e-mail to myspace for help, but as of today, the Bizzaro Lee Hall page is still up and running.

How bizzare.

The Doctor Is In

Just catching up on a few things... here's the latest on Doc Watson.

Doc just started as a media consultant position with a group called ShareBuilders in suburban Peoria. ShareBuilders is a company that former WMBD sales manager Don Locke started up about five years ago. According to Doc, they help TV and radio stations, along with cable groups and networks, decide what they should charge their advertisers and have 100+ TV stations coast-to-coast and plenty of high profile radio stations too.

He'll also continue to do high school games on WOAM and some writing on the side,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Anchors Make A Difference

Steve Tarter covers the May ratings book in his column this week. His lead is:
Never underestimate the power of personality when it comes to television.

I've been saying this for years. Hopefully viewers who may have left HOI will give Tim McGinnis a chance. Having three stations that people will watch is good for everyone and pushes each news department to be better.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bon Voyage

Those interested in saying good bye to Josh Brogadir, some friends are throwing him a party this Thursday, 9:00 PM at Katie McButts on Knoxville in Peoria.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Oh Donna

Congrats to Donna Pitman. She has recenly been promoted from weekend morning anchor to weekday morning anchor at KMBC-TV in her hometown of Kansas City. Donna used to anchor weekends at WHOI.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Peoria Pundit On The Air

Billy Dennis, The Peoria Pundit made an appearance on the WEEK My59 news at 9 program. He is the first of several bloggers they'll be featuring with in studio interviews.

Go West Young Man... Well Not That Far West

Congrats to Justin Sacher, formerly weekend weather anchor at WMBD as he moves on to a new job. He's headed to the same job at WHO in Des Moines (market 73). This is the same station where former 25er Patrick Dix anchors the morning show with Trisha Shepard who some of you former 31ers might know from her time at WCIA.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Making Mom Proud

People ask me all the time about former co-workers... here's an update on one. Former WEEK anchor Christine Zak-Edmonds is spending lots of time on the summer hoops circuit. Her son Josh is a solid basketball player who is attracting some D-I interest.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

HOI Moves

I've heard through the grapevine that HOI's Josh Brogadir is moving on to a job in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre market (54). Don't have a lot of details yet, but he'll be moving closer to family. As I've mentioned on several occasions, I'm a big fan of Josh's reporting and think he'll continue to do well as he moves up the market ladder. He'll be missed.

This comes as Brock Spencer replaces Nick Stroman on the assignment desk as reported by Peoria Pundit.

Congrats to both!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

You Really Can't Go Home Again

You Can't Go Home Again... the title of a book by Thomas Wolfe. It means you can't recover the past. I feel that way every time I physically do go home to Milwaukee.

Took our oldest golfing at the public course across from where my parents still live. I'm not much for golf, but when the holes are as short as they are it's fun for everyone. Still it felt different. Not the same place where I, a soccer player with no golf lessons, spent a chunk of one summer trying something different. Not the same place I fell for one of my cousin's best friends after meeting randomly at Summerfest.

Shannon and I took the kids to the playground where I spent much of my childhood, only the old school metal swings have been replaced with the wood play systems you see in every park across the country. Same spot, different feel. Maybe it was the sense of horror we felt when our daughter slipped away to the bathroom and didn't answer when we were yelling her name. When I was growing up... kids wandered off... kids came back. Today, that innocence is hard to come by.

The myspace thing has me looking for old friends from grade school thru college. Reconnected with a buddy of mine that I rode the bus with from kindergarten through eighth grade. He went on to high school where we went... I transferred to the Catholic school in town. But he and the same group of guys he ran around with in high school get together for Summerfest every year.

It was pretty surreal. One of them owns a bar across the street from two of the places I used to work in high school (two places that no longer exist, I might add) and I joined them for drinks. I hadn't seen these guys since eighth grade, but it was easy enough to pick back up and catch up on people. Neat to see these guys still together.

Everytime I go home something is different. On the east side... it's condos. I swear, all the cheap places that people had to choose from are all being replaced by high end condos. Even the office building where my mom works... it and its parking deck have great views of the city's big fireworks display. But even it is going to be torn down in the next year or so.

And eventually, when my parents retire and sell the house I grew up in, home I think will cease to be home... and while I don't look forward to that, the more I look around, the more I realize I'm almost there...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Behind The Wheel

Kudos to WHOI and their Behind the Wheel campaign. Steve Tarter highlights their program in his weekly column. On a personal note, as a coach at Pekin High I really applaud the effort.