Mike Gonzalez, better known to WOWT viewers as "Mike Cronemeyer," is leaving the station to co-anchor morning newscasts at KXLY (ABC) in Spokane.
Cronemeyer/Gonzalez's name change is explained here. He had worked at WOWT 17 months.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Mike Gonzalez, better known to WOWT viewers as "Mike Cronemeyer," is leaving the station to co-anchor morning newscasts at KXLY (ABC) in Spokane.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Travis Justice has joined Matt Perrault on "The Big Show" on Big Sports 590. Justice's own morning radio show, which aired from 9 to 11 a.m., has been replaced by "Out of Bounds" from Fox Sports Radio with hosts Craig Shemon and James Washington... The "Average Joe Sports Show" on Lincoln's KLMS (1480 AM) from 3 to 6 p.m. is no more, to be replaced by a still-to-be-announced program which will beginning this Friday.
Omaha World-Herald Assistant Managing Editor Jeff Carney explained the problems the newspaper encountered Monday in a story in Tuesday's editions. Carney wrote that the newspaper's electrical troubles at its printing plant (the Freedom Center) first surfaced during routine maintenance and inspection of an emergency backup power supply. When the primary system was put back online, the computerized pagination automatization and data management system failed. The Kansas City Star and Lincoln Journal Star newspapers pitched in to print about 200,000 papers.
Omaha's KMTV and Lincoln's KLKN will broadcast the 42nd annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon this weekend. KMTV will begin its coverage of the 21.5-hour program at 7 a.m. Monday, while KLKN will begin its broadcast Sunday at 10:35 p.m. Last year's telethon raised more than $61 million.
Saturday's Nebraska football game against Nevada will be a regional broadcast on ABC. The team of Dan Fouts (play-by-play), Tim Brant (color) and Todd Harris (sideline) will handle the announcing. On the Husker Sports Network (radio), Jim Rose will handle play-by-play, Adrian Fiala and Matt Davison will provide color commentary and Sean Callahan and Lane Grindle will handle the sideline broadcasting duties.
Posted by Sean Weide at 5:50 AM
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
WOWT evening news co-anchor Tracy Madden is back from maternity leave. In an entry on her blog, Madden writes:
I wish I would have saved the email. I had dozens of chances. A Channel Six viewer sent the same message to six online dozens of times. Here's the gist of what it said. "While I like Tracy Madden, what is she doing anchoring the 6pm and 10pm newscasts? She's a mother and needs to be home with her children. It doesn't matter if her husband, mother, or a babysitter is watching the kids, it's not enough." The writer went on to say if Channel Six didn't make an anchoring change to honor my best interests, he would stop watching our news and encourage other people to do the same.
That message hurt more than all the comments on my lipstick, hair, and clothing combined. The focus on physical appearance goes along with the job, but this was the only time my parenting had come into question.
It's an issue top of mind as my maternity leave comes to an end. One week from today I'll be back at work, preparing to anchor newscasts. Part of me is excited to go back, see my co-workers, and tackle new challenges. The other part of me will have a hard time keeping the tears in check, realizing how much I'll miss my children. Thousands of parents go through it every day, and I doubt it ever gets easier.
Someone once told me just because you work doesn't mean you're a bad parent and just because you stay home doesn't mean you're a great parent. The truth is all parents work, whether it's at home or at a job. I refuse to debate which is "better or worse" because life isn't always an either/or situation. We love our children and do the best we can.
I explained those feelings in my reply to the man who emailed six online. I told him what I know is true. Whether I work outside the home or not, I will give parenting everything I have and give my children the greatest gift, unconditional love. Never did hear back from him. I guess he doesn't believe good manners are part of being a good parent.
WOWT morning co-anchor Malorie Maddox filled in while Madden was on maternity leave.
Posted by Sean Weide at 11:42 PM
Monday, August 27, 2007
The state's largest newspaper said "electronic problems" at its production facility (The Freedom Center) is delaying the distribution of this afternoon's editions. A recorded message at the Omaha World-Herald switchboard tells callers they could receive their paper as late as nine o'clock tonight.
According to a message on Omaha.com, some editions are being printed at an "alternative printing plant."
Posted by Sean Weide at 6:18 PM
Sorry about the lack of posts in recent days. I had some vacation time, but I’m back on the beat now. Here’s an item from this morning:
Mark Todd is leaving NRG Media.
It was announced Monday morning that Todd, operations manager for NRG’s Omaha stations – KKAR (1290 AM), Lite 101.9 FM, Power 106.9 FM, the Zone (1620 AM), Q-98.5 FM, La Bonita (1180 AM) and Radio Disney (1020 AM) – was being let go.
In a memo to NRG employees, it was announced that the operations manager position was being eliminated as “part of a restructuring plan” and that the “decision to restructure and reallocate our resources has been made within the reality of today’s business environment, namely, resources have limitations and must be marshaled in highly focused plans which drive the desired business results. This sometimes requires very tough choices. Each of our stations has a Program Director. We can no longer support the extra layer of management in programming.”
Todd’s last day is to be August 31.
Posted by Jim Minge at 8:53 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Strong winds and dangerous lightning were part of a series of strong thunderstorms that rumbled through the Omaha metropolitan area Monday night.
Thousands were left without power. And some TV stations pulled out all the stops. Every station featured viewer-submitted photos (WOWT meteorologist Jeff Jensen took the one at right). One radio broadcaster pronounced Plattsmouth as "Platts-MOUTH" and one TV station encouraged people without power to e-mail news of the outage to OPPD.com. (OK, so Blackberry and iPhone users can, but what about the rest of us?)
What did you think of the media's storm coverage?
Posted by Sean Weide at 9:22 AM
Friday, August 17, 2007
When thinking about this week’s cover story in the City Weekly on the local tattoo craze, I remembered hearing WOWT morning news co-anchor Jim Siedlecki mention recently on the air that he had a couple of tattoos. Curious, I asked him about them.
Siedlecki said he had two, one that he could show – a New York Yankees icon on his shoulder. The other one is private, he said. Originally from Queens, N.Y., Siedlecki joined WOWT in 2005.
A die-hard Yankees fan, Siedlecki got the tattoo after New York won the World Series in 2000.
“They beat the Mets that year so it was extra special to beat the crosstown rivals,” Siedlecki said.
Surprised that Mr. Clean Cut Anchorman has tattoos? Well, that’s not all. Apparently, this Queens native was quite the party animal in college, complete with ear piercings.
“I was a pretty decent student, but nothing like my straight-A co-anchor Malorie (Maddox),” he said.
And for the record: “I don’t regret the tattoo. I wear my passion on my sleeve ... literally.”
Posted by Jim Minge at 8:47 AM
KPTM-42 kicked off a new Web site on Monday. Webmaster Brian Mattix is responsible for implementing the changes at KPTM.com.
There is a new “Community Correspondent” link that KPTM News Director Joe Radske says is easier to use now, with new photo and video posting options.
“You can also send stories directly to our assignment desk,” Radske said. “And you can be a whistle blower if you want to remain anonymous.”
Posted by Jim Minge at 8:35 AM
NRG Media’s Omaha radio stations have been unveiling new Web sites in recent weeks. Lite1019.com, Power1069fm.com, Q985fm.com, 1290KKAR.com and 1620thezone.com all have new looks. And they all have their own feel.
The Zone and KKAR’s come closest to appearing similar, but even they have their own unique extras.
“Bringing new Web sites to NRG/Omaha was my first priority after accepting the position of GM,” said Jim McKernan, general manager for NRG Omaha stations.
“Using Intertech Media – the same company doing all CBS Radio sites nationally – we designed each new Web site with its specific audience in mind.”
Podcasting, text messaging, social networking, streaming audio, video segments and local search capabilities are some of the elements of the new sites.
Posted by Jim Minge at 8:30 AM
Rock station Z-92 (KEZO FM) had an amazingly good showing in the latest radio ratings report from Arbitron. The station was No. 1 overall with people 12 and older in the Omaha metro, 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday-Sunday.
Z-92 just barely edged out news-talk station KFAB (1110 AM) and country station the Kat (KXKT 103.7 FM), which tied for second place. In at No. 4 was Q-98’s (KQKQ FM’s) modern hits format, and at No. 5 was the Brew (KQBW 96.1 FM), which plays rock hits from the ’80s, ’90s and present.
Z-92 also ranked No. 1 with people 18 to 34 overall, 6 a.m. to midnight Monday-Sunday, followed by Q-98 at No. 2 and modern hits Channel 94.1 (KQCH-FM) at No. 3. The Star (KSRZ 104.5), mixing hits from ’80s, ’90s and current, was tied for fourth with the Brew.
If you add a few older people to the mix (18 to 49 year olds) a couple of stations shift. Z-92 and Q-98 were Nos. 1 and 2 again, respectively, while the Brew moved up to No. 3. The Star was tied for fourth with the Kat.
Z-92 even topped all stations with the demographic of people 25 to 54, with the Brew at No. 2, Q-98 third, the Kat fourth and the Star again tied, this time for 5th place with classic rock outlet CD-105 (KKCD FM).
Ladies love Cool Q
When it came to women 18 to 34, the ladies love Q-98 (No. 1), Channel 94.1 (No. 2), the Star (tied at No. 3), playing “today’s hottest jamz,” Power 106.9 (KOPW, tied at No. 3) and the Kat (No. 5). Z-92 fell to No. 6.
Q-98 also was tops with women 18-49, ranking first, followed by the Star and the Kat (both tied for second) and oldies station KGOR (99.9 FM) and Power 106.9.
And the boys?
The guys, those ages 18 to 49 anyway, picked rock powerhouse Z-92 at No. 1. Next was the Brew, followed by news-talk KFAB (1110 AM) and CD-105. In at No. 5 was Q-98.
Omaha’s longest running morning show, Todd and Tyler on Z-92, scored big once again, coming in at No. 1 with adults 18 to 49. In at a distant No. 2 were Mookie and Michelle (at right)on the Brew, followed by Pat & J.T. on Q-98 (at left).
With men 18 to 49, the Z-92 duo was No. 1 with a 29.1 percent share of that audience. No. 2 was Mookie and Michelle with 11.4 percent and No. 3 was the KFAB team of Jim Rose, Gary Sadlemyer, Scott Voorhees, Roger Olson and Lucy Chapman with 6.6 percent.
The ladies in the morning, 18 to 49-year-old females, went with Pat & J.T. on Q-98 at No. 1. But coming in at a close second was Todd and Tyler, who are surprisingly popular with female radio listeners. At No. 3 in the mornings with the ladies were Steve Lundy, Gina and Craig at the Kat.
Sports radio in the Big O
Omaha’s two full-time sports stations made the top 10 with men 18 to 49. At No. 8 in that demographic was the Zone (KOZN 1620 AM), Omaha’s ESPN radio affiliate.
Omaha’s Fox Sports affiliate, Big Sports 590 (KXSP AM) tied for 10th with men 18 to 49.
Posted by Jim Minge at 8:15 AM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Be sure to pick up a free copy of the City Weekly newspaper this week. Among the Media Watch items:
The latest Arbitron radio ratings report for Omaha is out. You saw the ages 12+ numbers on local Web sites, now see the demographic breakouts. Who is No. 1 with women radio listeners? Who is No. 1 with male radio listeners?
Who launched new Web sites this week?
Also, WOWT-6's morning co-anchor Jim Siedlecki has tattoos -- see one, and read the story behind it, in this week's issue of the City Weekly.
Learn more in this week's City Weekly, featuring a cover story on the boom in tattoo parlors in Omaha in the past year.
Posted by Jim Minge at 5:35 PM
Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based NRG Media – which owns or operates 20 radio stations in Nebraska (seven in Omaha) – is adding to that total.
NRG announced Tuesday that the company has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Triad Broadcasting’s five station cluster in Lincoln. The stations are: KFGE-FM, KBBK-FM, KLNC-FM, KLIN-AM, and KWBE-AM. The LMA starts on August 16.
“Triad Broadcasting has been operating in the Lincoln market for the past eight years and has done an incredible job of putting together a group of dedicated, hard working people,” NRG President/CEO Mary Quass (pictured) said in an memo to NRG employees on Tuesday.
“This acquisition is a terrific addition to the company and will help us to grow and better serve our communities in the Midwest.”
Incidentally, Quass was recently named by Radio Ink magazine as one of the “40 Most Powerful People in Radio.”
NRG Media consists of 83 radio stations throughout 7 states in the Midwest.
Posted by Jim Minge at 11:17 AM
Steve Wexler, Executive Vice President of Television and Radio Operations at the Journal Broadcast Group, as well as Vice President and General Manager of the Omaha Operations, is headed to Milwaukee to
According to a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wexler will replace WTMJ-TV general manager Mark Strachota, who has been at the station for 25 years.
This will be Wexler's third tour of duty in Milwaukee. He worked on air at both WTMJ radio and WISN-AM (1130 AM), where he was program director. After stints in Portland and Seattle, he returned to WTMJ as program director and moved up the Journal Broadcast ladder.
Posted by Sean Weide at 7:52 AM
Larry the Cable Guy – who will be inducted into the Omaha Press Club’s “Faces on the Barroom Floor” on Friday, Aug. 17 – told Z-92’s Todd and Tyler this morning that actor Will Ferrell will be a guest in his skybox at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium for the NU-USC football game on Sept. 15.
USC alum and mega fan Ferrell is one of the Trojans’ biggest cheerleaders. On the Husker side, Pawnee City, Neb., native Larry the Cable Guy (raised Daniel Lawrence Whitney) is one of NU’s biggest supporters.
FYI: The public is invited to attend the Press Club event. Dinner reservations are required. Call 345-8008 for reservations. Cost is $40 each for members and $50 for nonmembers.
An autograph session will begin at 5 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5:30 p.m. The roast and toast begins at 7 p.m. followed by dinner.
Todd and Tyler are hosting the event, with talk-show host Chris Baker of KTRH in Houston among the roasters. Baker was formerly the morning show host on the Edge (101.9 FM), now Lite 101.9. He also had a talkshow on KKAR (1290 AM) before moving to Houston. Incidentally, Scott Voorhees, who hosts a talkshow on KFAB (1110 AM) was Baker's producer on the the Edge and KKAR.
Posted by Jim Minge at 7:31 AM
Friday, August 10, 2007
We wanted to post a quick note here on the response portion of this blog. You might have noticed a slight delay in your responses being posted. That's because we arranged so that the responses come to us first so that we can decide whether or not to publish them.
The only reason we did this was because there were some personal attacks, which we don't want here. And some people have been using naughty language.
It's a pain in the butt to do it this way, so we'd like to go back to the old system.
Can we trust all of you not to make personal attacks and to use responsible language?
If not, we can just eliminate the response portion, which we would hate to do because it's a cool part of the blog.
Thanks for your cooperation and please keep enjoying the City Weekly Media Watch blog.
Posted by Sean Weide at 8:44 AM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
What is it about local TV news people and auto dealerships? They seem to go together like Omaha and daily shootings.
The latest local personality to join the TV car pitchman clan is Second City grad Matt Geiler, former host of the cult hit “news” program on KXVO-15. Geiler can be seen in recent ads for Reagan Buick, where he promises that we’ll be seeing a lot of him.
Geiler brought his improv skills to KXVO and made the show an underground hit in Omaha. But those who live in the underground don’t tend to show up in the ratings reports, and thus the show was cancelled earlier this year.
Since leaving KXVO, Geiler has been honing his comedic skills with periodic performances with one of his improv groups, the Weisenheimers, and trying to get a new show on TV.
“In May I took a bunch of tapes and demo reels that I had done at KXVO to Los Angeles for a couple of weeks and I hooked up with a group out there called Rebel Entertainment,” Geiler said. “They’re an agency, but they also have a production wing that packages shows and sells them to different media buyers, so I signed with that half of the company and we’ve been working on getting a sketch and improv pilot together. They want to sell it to high cable sometime in the fall.”
The show – titled “Voila!” – will be a combination of original sketches and pre-taped segments such as “Congratulations,” which Geiler has been filming in Omaha with Second City members this summer.
“We were down in the Old Market this summer and we would roll up on people in this van and pile out of it – we had confetti and balloons and sparklers – and we’d run up to them and be like, ‘Congratulations! You’re the winner!’ And kind of dance around them,’” Gieler said this week.
“It was interesting, because we had every reaction under the sun. We had a little old lady who was very thrilled that she had these balloons. And then there were these two chicks who were outside of Drastic Plastic that were just like, ‘Get away
Geiler hopes to hear if the show gets picked up in the coming weeks. In the meantime, he’ll continue to hawk cars for Reagan to “fill the coffers.”
“It’s fun,” Geiler said. “These guys called and wanted to talk to me about doing these car ads and I’m like … OK, it’s good; they’re nice people. And hey, you know what, I’ve got a kid and a wife so I need to pay bills.”
Posted by Jim Minge at 2:21 PM
Speaking of car pitchpeople, former KETV-7 traffic reporter Veronica Todd has been burning up local TV screens with her ads for Huber Chevrolet. You can even check out some of the commercials at her Web site, VeronicaSpeaks.com.
“It’s been really fun,” she said this week. “I tell you, it was 100 degrees yesterday and we were out there. I’m kind of afraid what they’ll look like, because I was sweating like crazy. I turned on a Trail Blazer and sat in the air when I could.
“But it’s fun and they treat me really good. They had a lot of people audition for this job, and I was the lucky chosen one. And they’re doing well with this campaign.”
And that cute little dog licking Todd’s face in the Nebraska humane Society/Huber commercial promotion – that was Todd’s Britney Spaniel Tess.
Todd has appeared in ad campaigns for several companies and products. Among those listed are the Upstream Brewing Company, Pamida, Oriental Trading Company, Ameritrade, Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau and Kawasaki Motorcycles.
(She also was a model for the City Weekly’s first Fashion Guide in 2004, and again in the CW’s Holiday Fashion Guide in 2006.)
Among her talents, Veronica lists: “Ear prompter proficient, voiceovers, magic illusions, training and industrial videos, game show hostess, corporate spokesperson.”
Posted by Jim Minge at 1:58 PM
KPTM-42 is joining the 4 p.m. newscast race in the coming weeks. KPTM, the local Fox affiliate, will join WOWT-6, previously the only local station to offer a 4 p.m. newscast.
However, while WOWT has a 30-minute offering, KPTM will present a one-hour 4 p.m. newscast, according to News Director Joe Radske.
“We’re building a new set, and that set was to be installed the first week in September,” Radske said this week. “As these new sets go, sometimes the installers take a few more days than they anticipated. We want to make sure we get on the new set and rehearse on it and make sure we’re all in line before we launch the show.”
KPTM’s 9 p.m. news anchors, Taylor Wilson and Amanda Mueller, will also anchor the 4 p.m. newscast. Radske said meteorologist Tyson Pearsall will also be part of the 4 p.m. newscast, with some limited sports from J.J. Davis.
Posted by Jim Minge at 1:55 PM
Big Sports 590 afternoon sports talk show host Matt Perrault's rant about his ex-girlfriend, which occurred on sister station Z-92 during the "Todd & Tyler" show, made headlines in the Philadelphia Daily News.
Columnist Dan Gross shares with readers how Perrault dissed WCAU sports reporter Jade McCarthy while filling in for Travis Justice on TNT's show.
Though he never mentioned her by name, Perrault has made occasional references to her on his show, particularly during his annual "Hottest Local TV News Chick" contest.
"She got her job because guys want to have sex with her," Perrault said, echoing the unfortunate sexism that has long plagued women in sports broadcasting.
"She got her job because she's a hot blonde," Perrault continued. (Watch video of her here.)
He said McCarthy resented him for knowing more about sports than she did and she felt he was "an unsupportive jerk."
McCarthy told Gross that she thinks Perrault is just jealous.
"It's ridiculous, it's insulting and it's disappointing what you learn about people after the fact," she said. "I work really hard, and by no means do I think I have my job because of the way I look."
Gross writes that the pair broke up four months ago after dating several years.
Meanwhile, Perrault blogs about a leggy blonde who was wearing a "pink teddie" at the first Nebraska football press conference earlier this week.
Posted by Sean Weide at 6:04 AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
We don’t want to scoop ourselves too much here, but I thought I’d give you blog watchers a taste of what will be published in the City Weekly, hitting the streets Wednesday afternoon. (The entire column from the print edition will be published here soon.)
Matt Geiler of KXVO-15 10 o’clock “news” fame is back on local TV. This time he’s a pitchman for Reagan Buick. Find out what else Geiler’s been up to in our print edition.
And speaking of TV pitchers, how about Veronica Todd, former traffic reporter for KETV-7? She’s still appearing in TV ads for Huber Chevy, but what else is Todd, who also goes by the last name of Tevelde, up to?
Also in this week’s print edition of the Media Watch, another local TV station is about to begin offering a 4 p.m. newscast, joining WOWT-6, who has had a 4 p.m. newscast for the several years.
And more on Kay Kriss, Jack Swanda and Lite 101.9 FM.
Posted by Jim Minge at 9:36 AM
Friday, August 3, 2007
Kay Kriss’s exit from Lite 101.9 was her decision, according to Program Director Billy Shears. Kriss is co-host with Jack Swanda on the soft rock station’s morning show.
“She (Kriss) is going to be leaving but we don’t have a date on that at this time,” Shears said. “She’s getting out of radio. She’s still going to be on the staff and filling in, part time, so it’s not like she’s leaving-leaving. But she’s not going to be doing the day to day anymore.”
Shears said the station will find a replacement for Kriss to join Swanda. For his part, Swanda – who was half of the popular “Jack & Fred Show” – just signed a new contract. Shears wouldn’t give any more details on Swanda’s new contract.
Look for more on this story in next week’s issue of the Omaha City Weekly.
Posted by Jim Minge at 12:35 PM
Thursday, August 2, 2007
The blog is back!
We promised a return, and here it is. The City Weekly Media Watch blog – as well as the print edition – is now back in business. So look here each day for updates, and each Wednesday in the City Weekly for the print version of Media Notes. Both will have their own little surprises.
We’re kicking off our grand re-opening with this week’s City Weekly cover story on local media. We hope you enjoy it, and if you have any comments, tips or questions send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Sean Weide at 7:24 PM
Former Lincoln Journal Star newspaper columnist Randy York is going to work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic department in a newly-created position, according to Athletic Director Steve Pederson.
York will be the school's associate athletic director for strategic communications and chief communications officer. He spent 15 years at the Journal Star and 22 years in corporate communications at Sprint.
The person most affected by York's hiring will be Chris Anderson, the school's assistant athletic director of communications. Associated Press sports writer Eric Olson reports that an athletic department spokesman said Anderson would remain with the athletic department. Her title is expected to change to "assistant athletic director for community relations."
A press release said York's hiring is part of a reorganization that will increase the efficiency of the athletic department. Pederson also announced promotions for Dennis Leblanc (to senior associate athletic director for academics, compliance and planning), Pat Logsdon (to associate athletic director for administration), Keith Zimmer (to associate athletic director for external operations, Josh White (to assistant athletic director for compliance and planning) and Kim Schellpeper and Katie Jewell (to associate director of academic programs).
Posted by Sean Weide at 3:10 PM
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
When Sean Weide “retired” from writing his City Weekly Media Watch column and blog a couple of weeks ago, one local message board was abuzz with speculation and questions.
Why was Weide leaving – did he get canned? Who will take his place? What about the daily blog? Who is going to tell us when the latest TV anchor is pregnant? Does Travis Justice still drive a Miata? And what’s going on with that new radio station at 107.7 FM?
Weide didn’t get canned. The column and blog will continue as of today. Haven’t heard anything on the local TV baby patrol. I’m pretty sure Justice still drives that Mazda Miata (but it’s black, not pink). And when will the new format at 107.7 launch? Soon, I’m told. Me? I’m the one who is going to keep the Media Watch torch lit. After all, I covered the local broadcast scene for many years as a columnist at the Omaha World-Herald.
With Weide as an ongoing consultant and columnist at large, you can continue to turn to the City Weekly for your fix on local media news – from TV to radio to print. And beginning later this week, the daily blog will be back. Stay tuned to OmahaCityWeekly.com for more details on that. And if you have a tip, send me a note at email@example.com.
Now, let the media orgy begin.
A New Deal
Todd Brandt and Mike Tyler, Z-92’s prized morning duo, signed a new four-year contract last week. They are being represented by Paul Anderson, a Seattle-based agent who also counts Danny Bonaduce and Ryan Seacrest as clients.
On the air in Omaha at rock station Z-92 since 1993, Todd and Tyler have consistently hosted the No. 1-rated show for the past several years. Last November, T&T went into syndication in two markets: Springfield, Mo. (KZRQ 106.7 FM) and Wichita, Kan. (KICT 95.1 FM).
With syndication came the need to renegotiate new contracts, the details of which are being kept under wraps by all parties involved. But because everyone likes numbers, here’s a guess: Considering that Todd and Tyler are responsible for about $400,000 in advertising revenue each month on Z-92, and since they are now producing their show in three cities, and since they have been No. 1 with adults 25 to 54 for numerous ratings periods, my guess is $1 million between the two annually. That guesstimate was derived by adding base salary, bonuses based on ratings and stock options with the Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group, which owns Z-92. But it’s just a guess, mind you.
The only thing Anderson would say was that Todd and Tyler are “very happy with Journal. And their syndication will continue to expand … I think Journal’s plan is to do it sooner than … sooner than later.
“There are also going to … there’s also some exciting elements that will be revealed later this year about their expanding partnership with Journal.”
As for the next market to syndicate Todd and Tyler? No comment.
T&T Break Out
I sat in the studio last week with the duo and had a chance to catch up with them in their “Jock Lounge” after the show. I hadn’t seen the morning hosts since they went syndicated, and like many new morning shows, it took some time to build audiences in new markets Wichita and Springfield.
“They had no idea who we were,” Tyler said.
About three months prior to going syndicated longtime T&T listeners could hear some of the changes, such as a noticeable absence of Omaha news and fodder.
“We eliminated a lot of local talk ahead of time, and no one really noticed it.” Tyler said. “Then we went on the air and said it, and there was a little listener backlash, some but not much. And now our ratings (in Omaha) are higher than they were a year ago.
“I think it’s a better show now. I think it’s a funnier show now. When you get stuck on car accident dead baby sh** that you always here on the local news. And we get stuck in that rut every once and a while, a local horror story that we’d have to address and it became, eh, kind of a downer. Not that we don’t want to address serious subjects; but we also want to do more of a national thing, more of a regional thing.”
Added Todd: “We don’t have to be completely generic, because it’s still a regional show.”
What does that mean for such people as Husker fans? It means the duo won’t be bashing the state’s beloved college football team as they often did with much zeal in the past.
“If you’re a Husker fan, and you quit listening to us, we’ve stopped bagging on your team a little bit, so come on back,” Todd said.
“A lot of people miss that,” Tyler said. “And I’ll kind of miss it, but it got old for us because it became like a whining. And you have to remember that for every non-Husker fan, there are 30 Husker fans. And a lot of those Husker fans didn’t like it.”
Last week, Todd and Tyler visited Wichita for the first time since being syndicated there. In radio market size, Wichita ranks 98th. Omaha, meanwhile, is ranked 72nd while Springfield comes in at 142nd.
Lincoln, by the way, is ranked 174th, and Des Moines is 92nd.
Gaining More Pull
The added audience power has given Todd and Tyler more leverage when it comes to booking national guests on the show.
“The guests are better,” said T&T producer Big P, who replaced former producer Jeremy Campbell around the same time as they announced their syndication deal.
“We’re making inroads with booking agents and publicists,” Big P said. “If you can give them three cities and say their combined possible listenership is the same as a market size 38, it’s a lot easier.”
As for why Campbell was replaced, Tyler said: “That didn’t coincide with the syndication, that was just a move that was made here at the station. Jeremy moved on, and Puss is simulated into that job now.”
Big P interned at Z-92 in 2000 and has hung around since, filling in wherever needed. Before taking the producing reins for the T&T show, Big P handled overnight duties at the station.
Newsreader Craig Evans and sports reporter Travis Justice remain part of the Todd and Tyler show. Justice has been on the show for several years. In addition, he is the sports director at KMTV-3 and sports talk show host on Big Sports 590, both of which are owned by Journal.
Now under the umbrella moniker of the “Todd and Tyler Radio Empire,” the show goes back to local from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., after the program has signed off in Wichita and Springfield. It’s during this time that T&T discuss Omaha issues and news.
The Journal Broadcast Group, which owns and operates 36 radio stations and nine television stations in 12 states, owns the stations in Wichita and Springfield that are carrying T&T. But that doesn’t mean that the show will be exclusive to Journal-owned stations, the jocks said.
“We’re hiring outside help to help syndicate the show, along with our head of syndication, Tom Land,” Tyler said. “This is not just going to be a three-market deal. We’re looking to get as many possible – and that includes east and west.”
As to whether or not they can still keep their popularity intact after 14 years on the air in Omaha, T&T said it’s all about challenging yourself.
“That’s why we wanted to go with syndication. We were growing weary of being local because we had big plans for ourselves, which included either syndication or moving,” Tyler said.
“Another reason the show has lasted 14 years – it’s not the same. We don’t do bits, got rid of the street stuff. The bottom line – everyday things change because there’s always new stories to talk about.”
As far as people who read the Omaha World-Herald know, Todd and Tyler don’t even exist. The duo has made their ire for the state’s largest daily quite clear, especially after the paper ignored such happenings as T&T being syndicated or signing new contracts.
“Us signing that contract would have been entertainment front-page news in any city that we lived in except this one,” Tyler said.
“They go out of their way … when we got our faces inducted onto the Faces of the Ballroom Floor at the Press Club – they mention every other one of those, and they didn’t have a sentence devoted to us,” Todd added.
“So we wear that as a badge of honor that those pricks will go out of their way just to ignore us.”
KETV Is King Of Blogging
There are many local members of the media who blog on a regular basis, but KETV has to be the blogging king.
On the station's Web site, KETV.com, there are blogs from anchor Julie Cornell, sports reporter Matt Schick, weekend meteorologists John Campbell and Roger Schwartz, as well as Chuck McWilliams, who is blogging from Iraq where he is serving as a lieutenant in the Army National Guard.
And then there is "Elictia's Baby Watch," blog written by KETV morning co-anchor Elictia Hammond, who is 8-months pregnant with twins.
A post from last week:
Well, I had my doctors appointment yesterday and it's official, it'sa week to week event at this point. I'm meeting with both doctors each week now, one at the beginning and one at the end.
My cervix has continued to thin so God only knows how much longer the two little bundles will be held in. My high-risk doc says both of the babies look really good and both weigh almost 4 lbs as of yesterday. (that's cool) I, on the other hand, have tipped the scale at a whopping 161.
Senators Get Morganized
Longtime Omaha radio jock Roger W. “You’ve been Morganized!” Morgan made the front page of the Wall Street Journal on July 13. Morgan is in the center of a brouhaha in the Virgin Islands, where he now resides.
Omahans might remember Morgan from his days making KOIL-AM one of the hottest Top 40 radio stations in the 1960s and 70s. He’s also had a run on KGOR (99.9 FM) playing the oldies he first spun on KOIL before moving in 2003 to the Virgin Islands, which include St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John in an unincorporated territory of about 110,000 people.
Morgan started as the morning host on WYAC-FM, then became the station’s general manager and president. Now, with FCC approval, he hopes to purchase the station.
But after a little free speech on the radio station, it seems a few Virgin Island senators are asking the FCC to block Morgan’s purchase of WYAC.
A few months ago, Morgan’s 9 a.m.-noon show, “Free Speech,” led an unsuccessful recall effort of four St. Croix senators after they voted themselves a 31 percent pay increase. At least one senator has accused Morgan of trying to overthrow the Virgin Islands. And another has suggested that Morgan is a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
“Senators here are everyday citizens, as likely to be seen at the supermarket as on TV,” the Wall Street Journal piece said. “Most everyone seems to know one of them. There are 15 senators in the Virgin Islands Legislature.”
Local callers to the “Free Speech” show “gripe about everything from driving on the left side of the road to chatty bank tellers. Local politics, and the characters in office, are a frequent topic. But because Mr. Morgan and many of his callers are mainlanders (identified by their lack of an island accent) the nagging tone of ‘Free Speech’ offends some listeners.”
I caught up with Morgan this week and the jocular on-air personality was as upbeat as ever. Mostly, he’s excited to finalize the sale of WYAC and become the owner of his first radio station.
“I made the decision to buy the station at about the same time I became general manager and president of the company,” Morgan said. “I didn’t have the ability to put up the $300,000 that I negotiated as a price, so I borrowed the funds from a supporter who agreed to let me manage the station and then, to buy it when I was able. What I didn’t anticipate was that he would ask me to finalize the purchase so soon after he purchased the station. I really wasn’t prepared to buy it so quickly, but was able to come up with the money.”
Usually, buying a radio station like this is a fairly straightforward deal, Morgan said, especially considering Morgan’s 50-plus years in the radio business.
“The issue of opposition to the senators came about at just about the same time as the final approval for the purchase was to come down from the FCC,” Morgan said. “The senators, four of them, are absolutely focused on blocking the sale.”
The Daily News, the Virgin Islands’ largest newspaper, recently voted WYAC “Best in the Virgin Islands,” and Morgan was named “Best Radio Personality.”
So, how do the Virgin Islands compare to the Big O?
“You gotta’ be kidding!” Morgan said. “I’ll always consider Omaha home, although it was one of a number of homes I had over the years.
“Omaha was a very special place to me and nothing could ever replace the memories I have of the great times on KOIL back in the late ’60s and early ’70s.”
Morgan, who has children and grandchildren in Omaha, says he gets back as often as he can.
“I had some of the best friends I ever made in Omaha,” Morgan said.
Knight Gets Rolling
Chriss Knight, who joined KMTV-3 in June, is one of the new faces on Omaha TV.
According to her station bio, Knight previously was a reporter/fill-in anchor for two years at KLKN-TV, the ABC affiliate station in Lincoln.
She won a Nebraska AP award while there for her 10-part series that raised awareness on the need for volunteers at the Heartland Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization.
Another New TV Face
Kristi Andersen, who replaced Mike Sigmond at KETV-7, has been on the air since July. It’s not her first run here – she worked in Omaha briefly after attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Andersen took over as KETV’s ConsumerWatch reporter after spending the previous five years at a Michigan station where she was an anchor and reporter.
According to her KETV bio, Andersen has won awards from both the Michigan and Nebraska Associated Press and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
Muñoz Back On Oct. 1
Jose Muñoz, longtime popular morning host on Spanish-speaking Omaha station KBBX 97.7 FM, will return to the airwaves on Oct. 1 when he debuts on La Bonita (1180 AM) as the station’s morning host.
“He’s terrific. He was extremely instrumental in building that Spanish radio station (KBBX),” said Jim McKernan general manager of La Bonita.
“He’s like a rock star in the Mexican community.”
New Newspaper Debuts
The Prairie Fire newspaper debuted recently. You can find free copies around town, and at PrairieFireNewspaper.com on the Web.
“We are Prairie Fire newspaper. We are the progressive voice of the Great Plains,” it says at the Web site. “Our goal is to engage our readership with thoughtful, bipartisan discourse on public policy matters complemented by compelling analyses and critiques of the arts and humanities.
“Our newspaper will be neither reactionary nor radical, nor will it ascribe to a particular political philosophy or creed. Instead, we will provide our readers with thoughtful discussion and civilized dialogue, in hopes of bringing forth the products of progressive thought, which have the potential to enrich our daily lives. Progressive thought has brought us unicameralism, public power, natural resources districts, progressive taxation, center pivot irrigation, public broadcasting, jazz, the Nebraska State Capitol, free public education and universal suffrage. It has the power to continue to enhance our lives today.”
W. Don Nelson is listed as the publisher, with Rod Hutt acting as managing editor.
World-Herald Names New Board Member
Larry King, executive editor of the Omaha World-Herald, was elected last week to the board of directors of the Omaha World-Herald Co.
According to a story in the World-Herald, King, 58, joined the newspaper as a reporter in 1975 and has been executive editor since 1998.
Ingram Making Omaha Appearance
Nationally syndicated talk-show host Laura Ingram (8-11 a.m. weekdays on KKAR 1290 AM) will be in Omaha in September to make an appearance. Stay tuned for more details.
Posted by Jim Minge at 12:55 PM