Friday, December 3, 2010

Media Notes

CBS News is blowing up its "Early Show" again.  An entirely new team starts work January 3.  One of the people being reassigned is Harry Smith, and I'm a big fan.  He's smooth and likable.  He can be serious and lighthearted.  The current version isn't a bad show, but the numbers aren't great, so the network wants changes.

There are on-line petitions aimed at saving Harry and the rest.  Save your time.  It's too late.

I really miss the old "CBS Morning News."  It was a solid, hard news broadcast.  The network morning shows are way too fluffy for my tastes.  Cable is even worse.  CNN is the best of a bad lot.  Unfortunately, hard news, in the morning, on the network level is a tough sell.  CBS gave up on hard news in the morning in the early 80's.

Can someone please explain Anne Hathaway to me?  She's pretty and talented, and will co-host the Academy Awards next year.  I just don't think there's enough star power and acting chops to bestow the title of Hollywood's current "it" girl.  Anne Hathaway is adequate, at best.

Speaking of adequate at best, Ryan Seacrest just signed a $60 million, three year contract with Clear Channel radio.  I can use an explanation for that, too.

Al Masini died this week.  80.  He created "Entertainment Tonight."  When I first saw it, I thought it would never last.  That was 30 years ago.

I know it does well in the ratings, but all-Christmas music stations get on my nerves, and good luck to the staff who has to listen to that stuff all day.

Jon Miller, fresh from being booted off ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, has turned down an offer to do the Sunday night games on ESPN Radio.  It's our loss.

I attempted to watch "Cougar Town" again the other night.  It's almost as un-funny as "The Office."

The Capital One series of commercials featuring the Vikings continue to be among the best on television, and the Christmas version is especially well done.

A friend shipped me an internet item that says Billy Bob Thornton is interested in doing a "Bad Santa" sequel, as long as it's as dark as the original.  I love that movie.

Don't forget about Julie Sidoni and Scott Schaffer on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?!" this afternoon at 4:30 on WNEP.

I've pointed out bad reporting in this space, and in the interest of equal time, the Times~Tribune did an excellent story the other day on Scranton's useless surveillance cameras.  $220,000 wasted on a system that isn't monitored and doesn't work.  It's a shame.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" never gets old.