Clocking the Anchors at CNN

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The New York Daily News says that CNN Anchors discovered that the hair and makeup staffers have been tricking them into arriving on the set earlier — by setting the clocks in the makeup room 10 minutes ahead so they aren’t so rushed.

A spy noticed a sign above a digital clock in the 7th-floor Columbus Circle makeup room reading, “Clocks have been set to actual time,” and inquired as to why.

“They explained that the anchors are arriving last-minute to set because they sit in hair and makeup, then rush out, but they need to look the best they can,” laughed our source. “Talent spends too much time in the makeup chairs and are arriving on the set too close to going live. Producers want talent in the chair on set at least 10 minutes before the show goes live. That gives them time to get (their) mic and earpiece and make sure everything is working.”

We hear the trickery was exposed last week when talent complained, after which the beauty crew was forced to post the sign. The plan had been working smoothly for seven months, we’re told.

“Everyone was frustrated,” says our source. “They’d look on the wall, then at their phone, and never know what the actual time was. And they’re going on live. So they found out, and now the clocks have been reset. They laughed about it at first, then a few felt like they were being treated like children.”

But because getting to the set has become a last-minute race, we hear, makeup is determined to inch the clocks forward again, even if it’s by just five minutes.

“Talent is so busy looking in the mirror, they leave no time to get their mic on. Ten minutes makes all the difference,” says our insider.

Where Was Ed?

Did MSNBC's Ed Schultz have a hissy fit that caused him to miss his last show.

MSNBC announced that they were pulling the plug on Schultz's 'The Ed Show" along with 'The Cycle' and Alex Wagner's show.

Wagner hosted her last show and even had a few laughs at the show's conclusion.

Schultz was nowhere to be found and Michael Eric Dyson guest-hosted the last show from Miami.

MSNBC claims that Schultz had a “pre-existing scheduling conflict” and that was the reason he was not on the last Ed Show.

Of course if you believe that I have some prime real estate here in a swap in Florida. 

Schultz is known to be a hot head and we're betting dollars to donuts that had something to do with him being a no show on Friday.

Just saying....  

St. Louis Anchor Heads into Politics

Longtime St. Louis Anchor Robin Smith just retired from KMOV last month, but she is already onto her next gig.

Smith is running for Missouri Secretary of State in 2016 as a Democrat.

Current Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander is running for senate. He is hoping to take Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat this November.

Smith says in a statement:

“What Missouri needs now, more than ever, is a public servant who checks their politics at the door. That has been my life’s work and my training. I look forward to giving Missourians straightforward, professional service as their Secretary of State.”

Smith currently has no Democratic opponents in the race. Republican candidates for the seat include St. Louis attorney Jay Ashcroft and state Sen. Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit.


That Was Fast

It used to be, before you could land a job in a big market like Chicago, you had to work your way up and pay your dues.

Often that meant years in a small market, followed by a jump to a medium market, then to a top 20 and then Chicago.

Audrina Bigos has skipped a bunch of those steps.Bigos has gone from her college station to Charlotte's WCCB to WBBM in Chicago. 

She will be a General Assignment Reporter starting on August 24th. 

Jeff Kiernan, WBBM-TV Vice President and News Director, said of his new hire: "I am thrilled to welcome Audrina to our news team. She is a talented reporter, who can work on multiple platforms to help tell original stories of what's happening in and around Chicago."

Bigos shared her excitement in today's announcement, saying: "Chicago is a reporter's dream city and I'm happy that CBS 2 has chosen me to help tell the stories that matter. I also look forward to becoming a part of this dynamic and diverse community and continuing my advocacy for girls."

H/T ChicagoLand Radio and Media

Big Easy Station Looks Back at Katrina

WDSU (New Orleans) is looking forward as it looks back on the 10 year anniversary.

Yep, it's been 10 years since former NBC Anchor watched bodies float down the street of the French Quarter. 

Starting tonight, WDSU will kick off their anniversary coverage with a  series of two- to three-minute stories will air during the 5 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts throughout the month, leading up to a week of half-hour specials beginning Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m., and then a one-hour special, "Chronicle: Children of Katrina," Aug. 29 at 6 p.m.

The coverage is branded "Katrina: 10 Years Forward."

"We're looking throughout the month of August at issues relevant to the 10th anniversary," said Jonathan Shelley, news director. "We made a conscious effort to acknowledge the past, but also look at where we are today."

The newscast pieces will explore "how Katrina changed the dynamic of the city," Shelley said. The nightly 6:30 p.m. specials will focus on specific topics, such as recovery progress in individual neighborhoods and the storm's impact on the local sports scene. The Aug. 29 special will look at subjects who were "children and teens at the time of the storm," Shelley said. "What became of them? How did it change their lives, and how are they faring today as adults?"

The organizing philosophy for the coverage, Shelley said, is that Hurricane Katrina and the effects of the federal flood are still an evolving story.

"We recognize that not everything we put on television is going to necessarily demonstrate complete success of the recovery," he said. "There are still some things we're exploring that are very much challenged. We're not going to sugarcoat it, but there's a lot of success out there."


Longtime Columbus Weatherman is Dead

If you grew up in Columbus, chances are you got your weather report from Joe Holbrook.

Holbrook, who spent 42 years reporting on the weather for WBNS-TV before retiring in 1992, died on Saturday. He was 87.

“Back in the day, he was everything to folks in central Ohio,” said WBNS meteorologist Mike Davis, who worked with Holbrook for five years. “He took them through the tornado of ’74, the blizzard of ’78. He was the one people turned to.”

Even after more than two decades off the air, viewers still ask about Holbrook.

Raised on a farm in Pike County in southern Ohio, Holbrook created his career without a college education, his son, Pat, said.

He worked in radio for several years in Portsmouth before moving to WBNS in 1950.

“My mom used to tell the story that when he left to go to Channel 10, the TV was a big box with a small screen and at the time radio was king,” said Pat Holbrook, a sports copy editor for The Dispatch. “My mom said, ‘You left radio for that?’  ”

But his father always saw the potential in television, he said.

After two years at WBNS, the business had matured and reporters developed beats. Holbrook, an avid amateur pilot since 1947, chose weather.

H/T Columbus Dispatch

Stick a Fork in AJR....It's Done


The American Journalism Review quit printing their magazine in 2013 and went to an online only edition.

Now, they are going to stop that as well and shutdown. They have run out of money. 

“Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the resources needed to keep AJR the vibrant, innovative online publication it deserves to be,” said Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, which produces the digital news service.

AJR says that they will not produce new content, but online archives will remain available. 

More Troubles for Former Texas Anchor

Former KENS and KSAT (San Antonio) Anchor Karen Gallagher was arrested again.

Gallagher was busted late Wednesday evening on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

This is the second arrest in four years for Gallagher.

Gallagher was arrested in 2011 for prescription drug fraud.

According to her arrest affidavit for that arrest, Gallagher stole a prescription for Hydrocodone from a woman's party.

The arrest warrant went on to say that Gallagher called in a refill on the prescription and could be seen on surveillance video picking up the refill at the pharmacy.

Gallagher was given a $2,000 fine and probation after she pleaded no contest to two counts of obtaining drugs by theft.

According to the crash report for this latest arrest, a witness reported seeing Gallagher's vehicle speeding down Roger's Ranch before it lost control, jumped a median and hit a curb.

The report states Gallagher continued driving northbound in southbound lanes and hit a curb several times before sideswiping a car. She allegedly tried to continue driving the wrong way but the driver of the other car was able to grab Gallagher's keys from the ignition.

The investigating officer noted that Gallagher appeared disoriented, confused and smelled of alcohol.

Gallagher was a popular news anchor in the 1980s and 90s. Gallagher was booked into the Bexar County Jail. Her bond was set at $1,000.


What's the Future of "Person E"?


When Federal prosecutors indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah on charges on racketeering, they also claimed that "Person E" fraudulently sold her 1989 Porsche Carrera to a Florida-based lobbyist for $18,000.

"Person E" is WCAU Anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah and she is currently off the air while he husband deals with his legal issues. 

Chenault-Fattah has not been charged and in a letter to her newsroom yesterday, she claims the sale of her car was on the up and up. 

The Philly Daily News writes that Chenault-Fattah has gone on voluntary leave, an WCAU source told the Daily News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

WCAU spokeswoman Shawn Feddeman did not return calls seeking comment, but a station source said execs will be monitoring ratings with Chenault-Fattah off the desk and will have more information available next week. 

Chenault-Fattah claimed in the letter that she sold the car around January 2012 so that the proceeds could be used to purchase a $425,000 vacation home in the Poconos. "Two weeks before the close, the mortgage said a new law went into effect (this was Jan of 2012) and we were required to put $18,000 in reserve. It could not be a gift or a loan," she wrote.

"A family friend agreed to buy it last minute and we sold the car for its blue book value," she wrote. Herbert Vederman, a deputy mayor under former Mayor Ed Rendell who now lives in Palm Beach, Fla., wired the $18,000 to the Fattahs, the indictment alleges, and later received a bill of sale and title transfer.

Chenault-Fattah, however, held onto the Porsche, stored at their East Falls home. "The car stayed at our house (we have 3 garages and the friend lives in a apartment)," she wrote.

Chenault-Fattah claimed that she continued to pay insurance on the car and towed it in the spring so that it could be serviced. She wanted to keep the Porsche in "good shape" for the buy "since this transaction had happened so hastily in the dead of winter," she wrote.

The car, Chenault-Fattah added, "has remained undriven in our garage for 3 years now because on advice of counsel . . . we were instructed to do nothing with the car."

Except for that one time on Aug. 21, 2012, when former Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross reported that she was seen fueling up the Porsche Carrera convertible at the Sunoco station on Wissahickon Avenue and Rittenhouse Street in Germantown.

Scott Jones of Jacksonville, Fla., a former TV executive who started the website, said he didn't think her letter "was a good move."

Still, he added, "she wouldn't be the first person to try the case in the media. She definitely has an inside track, knowing how the media works."

In the meantime, be prepared for Chenault-Fattah-less newscasts at 4 and 6 p.m.

"NBC cannot let her go on TV while this thing is working its way in the courts," Jones said yesterday. "If she didn't take herself off the air, I'm positive that station management would have done it."

  • The anchor, who began at NBC10 in 1991, "can absolutely come back," he said. "If Brian Williams can tell a bold-faced lie on national news, she can absolutely come back."