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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Media Notes

Welcome to the first Media Notes of 2016...

Wayne Rogers died just before the start of the new year.  His first three years of MASH were among the funniest ever on television.  I understand why he left.  Alan Alda's Hawkeye became the dominant character and there wasn't much for Rogers' Trapper to do.

MASH ran for 11 years, which was about five years too long.  I watched an episode from the later years the other night.  Klinger imported items from home to decorate his office.  Beyond awful.  I will say the serious episodes from later years were well done.

Richard Libertini passed away January 7.  He was in a ton of things, but I will always remember him for a few Barney Miller episodes.  Producers were fond of a salon of actors, who played many different roles, throughout the series run.  Libertini played a loon who believed he was from the future, and a man who fought to change his name to a number.  A funny man.

I'm really glad the Powerball thing is over for a while.  By far, the most interesting report during the frenzy was one on CBS that showed exactly how the numbers are drawn and the precautions taken to ensure fairness.

Al Jazeera America disappears in April.  It lasted two and a half years.  One of the ABC overnight anchors called it "the end of an era."  I'm sorry.  30 months is not an "era."  In what universe did owners, in Qatar, believe Americans would watch a news channel called Al Jazeera?  It produced some good journalism, and some talented people will lose their jobs.  I'm sorry.

The Yahoo Sports Radio network now begins its programming right at the top of the hour.  It's one more nail in the coffin of traditional network and local top of the hour news broadcasts.  It appears there is a slot for something local about four minutes before the top of the hour.  There's a FOX Sports Radio station in Harrisburg that wedges a network news update in there.  I'm not going to apologize for being old school, but top of the hour news is what made radio great, and I'm sorry it's now an afterthought.

ABC is working on a Pyramid series for the summer.  Michael Strahan hosts.  Strahan is a likable and charismatic guy.  It's probably a good fit, but I can't say I'm thrilled.  There are clips floating around on YouTube.  It's an old Pyramid pilot with Andy Richter, and he's really good.