Friday, September 30, 2022

Media Friday


KYW radio rarely says it's on 1060 am, and that makes me sad.  I love am radio and that frequency carries a lot of history.  The station is pushing its relatively new 103.9 fm frequency really hard, and I get that.  On the other hand, you gotta dance with who brung you.

Kelly Ripa has said some unkind things about her ex partner, Regis Philbin.  Why?  Regis is gone.  It's over.  He can't defend himself.  She is only going to come across as mean, picking on a guy America loved.

Jeopardy! is considering bonus money if a contestant runs a category.  The money would NOT count toward the final score.  Purists are upset.  I don't have a big problem with it.

Speaking of games, it looks like ABC won't produce any new episodes of the $100,000 Pyramid.  It's a great game-- when done right.  I thought the latest incarnation was a little too easy.

Linsey Davis is now anchoring the 5 pm ABC Radio News.  It's good promotion for her prime time streaming show.  In the past, Charlie Gibson and Peter Jennings have been behind the radio microphone at ABC.  Back when NBC Radio was in business, it was not uncommon for TV people to do some radio.

David Letterman was on Jimmy Kimmel's show the other night.  Dave is still wickedly funny, great at winging it, fantastic story teller.

Cantore comes on the screen, and I reach for the remote.  Stephanie Abrams is outstanding.  She is information without the hype.

The New York Post reports CNN cut a few people from its podcast division.  CNN gave up on its radio network several years ago, and that was a bad move.  It was a good product and it expended the brand to hundreds of radio stations across the country.

I am lacking in the cheerleader department, but I thought out sister station, WTSP in Tamps, did an outstand job covering Ian.

Legendary CBS News correspondent Bill Plante died Wednesday.  84.  Most of his CBS time was spent at the White House.  Plante held their feet to the fire and he did it fairly.

Michael Kay and John Sterling are catching some heat for the way they called Aaron Judge's 61st home run the other night.  Sterling was his usual insufferable self.  Kay sounded rehearsed and way too wordy.

Trevor Noah announced yesterday he is leaving The Daily Show after seven years.  Any time I watched, I was underwhelmed.

Thursday, September 29, 2022



If roundabouts are such a good idea, why does Penndot continue to apply the full court press?

Our Penndot friends recently put out a news release.  It contained a barrage of statistics showing roundabouts are safer than the intersections they replaced-- fewer crashes, fewer injuries, fewer fatalities.

That's all well and good.

But, why do drivers still hate roundabouts?

I traveled through a couple last week-- the ones near Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Avoca.  It was my standard procedure-- crawl through the roundabout at the slowest speed possible.  Keep an eye out for other cars and trucks.  Breathe a sigh of relief when I hit a straight piece of pavement again.

Numbers and statistics can be manipulated many different ways, but I have faith that the Penndot numbers are what they appear to be.  I hope.

However, I'd be happy with more straight lines and well timed traffic signals.

I still have to wonder, if roundabouts are so wonderful, why do you keep trying to convince drivers?

Wednesday, September 28, 2022



My heart goes out to the people of Florida.  Beautiful state, but there is always that summer and fall danger of a visit from a hurricane.  This week, it's Ian.

As I've noted here just about every year, I can do without the TV hysterics and theatrics.

There is one aspect of hurricane coverage that continuously fascinates me and keeps me glued to my TV and computer screens, and that is the hurricane track maps and projections.  Updates from the National Hurricane Center come out four times a day, 5 and 11 am and pm.   

As the days pass, the cone of uncertainty becomes narrow.  The spaghetti models eventually come in to agreement, and people in the storm's path have ample time to get out of the way.

I still raise a skeptical eyebrow over super long range projections, but the hurricane people really can pinpoint a track, and we should be thankful for that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tuesday Scrapple


I don't understand how people despise raisins.

Watching a live, west coast college football game in the middle of the night is great fun.

Sleeping is much easier during cooler weather, and I'm enjoying every second.

I'm very happy for Albert Pujols.

I've watched very little NFL football so far this season, and I really don't miss it.

But, I will say it's nice to see Miami doing well again and New England struggling.

The Bloomsburg Fair's ability to draw huge crowds amazes me.

Can we leave the Royal Family alone for a while?

The boss at Saturday Night Live promises a year of "reinvention."  I wonder if that means it will be funny again.

I know people who bet on sports, who have no business betting on sports.

My desire to travel disappeared a long time ago.

For a kid who grew up during the Gemini and Apollo days, all the recent rocket launches are great fun.

I can do without the hysterics, but the hurricane track updates fascinate me.

I always sing along when Billy Joel's "Anthony's Song" comes on the radio.

Monday, September 26, 2022

The Elder Statesman


I've been around a long time and I'm proud of that.  I've been lucky.  I realized what I wanted to do at an early age, and I had a chance to do it for decades.

Occasionally, my experience forces me to explain some things-- like George Banks, blizzards, major political events and elections, writing scripts on steno pads and legal pads, manual typewriters, cassettes and tape reels, records, pagers and pay phones...  It's a very long list.

Somehow, giardiasis and contaminated water was the newsroom topic on a recent morning.  According to the water company at the time, (NOT the current one), beavers under stress were on the move and doing their business in reservoirs.  The water company didn't have filtration plants, so that bug infested water was piped in to homes across northeastern Pennsylvania.  The state forced the water company to build filtration plants, and it gave you the privilege of paying for it.

As I was explaining this to a coworker, I was struck by the absurdity of it all-- how we were forced to pay for water we couldn't drink, how the water company was asleep at the switch in the first place, and how it hoped chlorine would take care of the problem.

We've come a long way since then.  Still, looking back on that period reminds me of how we survived, in spite of ourselves.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Andy's Angles: 759

 It is said, according to the Steamtown web site, that this was one of the last steam engines to compete with the diesels.

We all know how that ended.  The diesels won, but you can't deny that this is one fine looking engine.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Andy's Angles: D&L Diesel

 This beauty is a familiar sight at Steamtown and on tracks here in our area.

Even though it's been featured here before, the shot works for me-- the colors, the sun, the sky, the clouds...

Friday, September 23, 2022



Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the day George Banks went on his rampage in Jenkins Township and Wilkes-Barre.  He killed 13 people.

Banks was tried and sentenced to death.  He is still in jail today, proving how the system can be manipulated.

I was a part timer at WARM back in 1982, the low man in the operation.  The morning of the 25th, I was sick in bed with a terrible cold.  The phone rang.  It was my co-worker, Terry McNulty.  I was trying to sleep my illness away and I had no idea as to what had happened.  Terry quickly got me up to speed and asked me to come in early to lend a hand.  I was scheduled to be on the air as a DJ at 7 pm anyway.

When I arrived at the office in Avoca, Terry decided to divide our duties like this.  He would be on the air at WARM, while I would answer the phones and handle the other news of the day.  It was fine by me.  Terry also asked that I help all the other stations around the country that wanted our interviews, and someone to be their local voice.  Remember, this was long, long, long before the internet.  I remember doing stories for stations in Cleveland, Atlanta, and a few other places.  Even though the situation was horrible, it was a kick for a 20 year old.  Major market exposure.  While it was interesting, I made sure to remain grounded in the moment.

There was an opportunity for a quick break after the 6 pm news.  I hopped in my SUV to find a fast dinner.  I also picked up a couple of newspapers that had put out special editions that afternoon.

At 7 pm, I turned from news person to DJ, relieving the great Jim Gannon behind the microphone.  Jim gave me the quick rundown of some unusual things happening.  One of the newspapers that didn't publish on Sundays at the time decided to put out a special edition, and the newspaper bought some commercials to let people know about it.  There was no time to produce a "spot" so it was a live read, as we say in the business.

I do remember my DJ shift passing fairly quickly.  There was just so much going on, and that always makes the time fly.

My ride home back then, as it is now, is a quiet and alone time to decompress and reflect.  That's when the horrors of the day really hit.  It became worse when we learned what happened and why, especially concerning the children who were brutally murdered by their father.

It's still as sickening, 40 years later.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Signed, Sealed, Delivered


Tuesday was National Register to Vote Day, and that's a good thing.  Anything that fairly allows people to become part of the process is wonderful.  I hope the new and renewed registrants take the privilege seriously, and they take part in every election, now and forever.

I registered as soon as I turned 18,  a long time ago, and I've never missed an election in which I've been eligible to vote.  As an independent, I have to sit out the primaries, unless there is a referendum or something similar.

Register to Vote Day touched off that controversy again.  It's the one that changes Pennsylvania law to allow independents to vote in primaries.

Let's take a closer look.  A primary is for members of a party to choose their candidates.  If you are not a member of a party, why should you have a say?

On the other hand, we are all citizens in this democracy, and therefore,  everyone should have a vote.

Clearly, the fall elections would look a lot different if independents voted in the spring.  Candidates would have to make a pitch to appeal to the indies, many of whom are moderate.  Conventional wisdom leans toward more moderate candidates winning in open primaries.  We wouldn't see the extremes, on both sides, that we experience now.

Professional skeptic.  Pennsylvania is slow to change, and I'd be surprised to see open primaries any time soon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Sunday Morning


The Washington Post had an interesting story this week on the Sunday morning network talk shows.  The bottom line is that the networks are tweaking formats to bring back some of the luster the shows once had.  Talking heads are out.  Remote locations are in.

Mixed feelings.

Talking heads are good-- if they are the right talking heads.

Roone Arledge and David Brinkley invigorated Sunday mornings when "This Week" launched in 1981.  It was a simple, yet interesting format:  a quick review of the news since the Sunday newspapers went to bed, a story that set up the day's topic, a major interview, and the roundtable discussion.  Brinkley wrapped it up with a quick and wry essay at the end.  It was simply a fun show to watch and Brinkley made it work.

Bob Schieffer had that folksy charm at CBS and Tony Snow was razor sharp on FOX.

Snow and Brinkley are gone.  Schieffer retired.  The replacements on all four networks, plus cable are OK, but they don't have the charm and charisma of their predecessors.

It's not the formats.  It's the people.

Maybe the formats have to be tweaked because there are no replacements for the giants.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday Scrapple


My friend and former co-worker David DeCosmo turned 80 over the weekend.  He is the walking, talking history of NEPA news media, and I'm glad I know him.

Money isn't everything, but the British royal family has more money than they know what to do with.  Why can't they get along?  If they can't get along, at least shut up publicly.

"I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles still brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it.

The new Tostito's hearty dippers taste just like Frito's.

I know Puerto Rico is poverty stricken, but can't they put people in housing that can handle a hurricane?

Late night Sunday sports talk radio used to be among my favorite listening time, especially during the NFL season.  I tried this week, and just couldn't get interested.  I flipped to the 70's channel on satellite radio.

Highs in the 60's late this week?  Bring it on!

Corn flakes is an under rated cereal.

It's sad that some gas stations produce better food than some restaurants.

One of the great joys of life is watching a butterfly flutter.

Chris Russo got it right.  NFL games on Amazon is simply a money grab by the NFL owners.

Pat Sajak is said to be considering retiring from "Wheel of Fortune."  I guess working four days a month is too much.  

People don't talk about NASCAR the way they once did.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Calendar Boy


The people at the $1.25 store, formerly the $1 store must have read my mind.

It was around this time last year that I bought a 2022 calendar, and it was the kind I like.  Even though the paper stock is, well, paper thin, the print is huge.  I love that.

I had a scant few minutes for a shopping trip the other day.  It jumped out at me when I entered the store.  The new calendars are in, including the ones with the big print!

By the way, I should add that the big print is nice, but there is also plenty of room in each calendar day block to write in important information.

I should also add the more expensive calendars have some great photos and art work, but I buy a calendar for function, not decoration.

I won't lose it before the start of 2023.  It's hanging up on the hook right behind the one currently in use.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Andy's Angles: The Elk


I love animals and you can't miss this guy as you drive on Second Street in Berwick.  He is the Elk that sits, or stands, in front of the Elks Club.

Thank you to all the local service organizations for all they do.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Andy's Angles: Berwick Sunrise


The Berwick/Nescopeck area had a horrible and rough August.

This morning, it's a beauty shot from Berwick.  This is the view to the east, up Second Street.  First United Methodist Church is on the left and the plumes from the nuclear power plant are at the center.

This is a good area with good people and I'm sorry you had to experience such tragedy and heartbreak.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Let's Review


Another vacation week is in its final hours, and here is a short review.

I read a little, slept a lot, did a wee bit of shopping, hit the gym, hung with old friends, said good bye to a friend and took a few photos.  I received a flu shot and a hair cut, in separate locations.  

Productive?  Yes.  Fun?  At times.

It's back to work tonight.

I still have another full week and several scattered days left to burn off.  Check the calendar.  There isn't much time left to fit it all in.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Nothing to Say


I'm at the tail end of a vacation.  There is a lot to talk about, but because I'm an impartial broadcaster, I won't.

Let's drop a photo in while I think of something at least semi interesting.

Here are a couple of berries on a backyard dogwood tree, shining in the morning fall sun.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Wednesday Scrapple


Underrated song:  "Sideshow" by Blue Magic from 1974.  See the girl who's collected broken hearts for souvenirs.  

Mike Tirico is no Al Michaels.

I've always had  mixed feelings over the British Royal Family.

Even a rainy day is a good day in September.

How about that forecast for a busy hurricane season?

I dreaded haircuts as a kid.  Now, I look forward to them.

I didn't recognize any of the big Emmy winners Monday night.

Supermarkets might change affiliation, but they look the same to me.

I remember when the new fall TV season was a BIG deal.

Does gambling exist for the NFL, or does the NFL exist for gambling?

I've become addicted to those old Casey Kasem shows from the 70's that Sirius/XM runs on weekends.

Please, just one 50 degree day!

Tuesday morning:  There is nothing like the frustration experienced when the TV station cuts to a commercial just before the Final Jeopardy! round finishes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022



 I recently mentioned that a September vacation is one of my traditions.

There is another-- a flu shot.

I could have received one in seconds by walking in to any one of a number of drug stores in my area.  I chose to take my usual route-- make an appointment with the giant McMedical group.  It was easy to set up.  Getting the shot was equally as easy-- in and out.

Knowing I have some protection is a nice way to start a vacation and head in to the fall/winter flu season.

Monday, September 12, 2022



I know I should have published this entry earlier, but there were more pressing items to discuss...

September 4 was the 50th anniversary of CBS putting three new game shows on its schedule.  Sitcom reruns were out.  The games were back.

Yes, I do remember watching that day.  My impressions then were just about the same as they are now.

"The Jokers' Wild" was first.  Good game and the giant slot machine was a great visual.  However, even though I was too young to know about Jack Barry's involvement in the 50's game show fixing scandal, I thought he was a bit creepy.  "The Jokers' Wild" had the key elements of a good game show-- a game that was simple to understand, and easy to play along at home.

"The New Price is Right" was next.  I was too young to remember the original.  I was familiar with Bob Barker's work via "Truth or Consequences."  This was my favorite of the three.  It was never the same show twice, thanks to all the different pricing games.  Barker effortlessly guided contestants through the half hour.  It was simply a fun time-- good games, visually interesting, and once again, a game you could play along at home.

"Gambit" was the final new offering, and my least favorite of the three.  Host Wink Martindale was a little too slick.  Even though this was another easy "play at home" game, and everybody loves blackjack, I didn't like the pacing.  The games took too long, and the matches were two out of three.  There had to be some way to speed along the play.

NBC and ABC had had game shows on the air long before CBS returned to the fray, and honestly, the other two had better stuff than CBS.  ABC had "Password" and "Split Second."  Concentration" plus "Hollywood Squares" and "Jeopardy!" were on NBC.  I can't forget the "Who, What or Where Game" and "Three on a Match."

It's sad when you think about it.  The games are gone from network TV, except for "The Price is Right" and "Let's Make a Deal."

It was fun while it lasted.

It's also the 50th anniversary of the "MASH" debut.  It died its first season, with a weak Sunday night lead-in.  The series didn't take off until CBS moved it to after "All in the Family" on Saturdays.

Outrageously funny, a little bawdy, occasionally touching.  It was one of those rare series that can induce laughter and tears in the same episode.

I loved the first four or five years.  After that, "MASH" became slightly dumb, silly (not in a good way) and a tad preachy.  It should have been off five years before that unforgettable final episode.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Andy's Angles: So Sad


I did something on an afternoon last month that I hadn't done in a few years.  I walked around the Wyoming Valley Mall.

It was a sad experience.    More vacant space than open stores.

Look, I know all malls are struggling, some more than others.  Still, there are things you can do to enhance the experience.  Clean the floors, fixed the broken and mismatched tile, clean up the vacant space, and make sure the vending machines are filled.  It was nearly impossible to find a cold drink.

No, I didn't make any purchases.  The men's department at the remaining stores were disorganized and poorly stocked.

It's a horrible cycle.  Mall suffered because of on-line shopping, and on-line shopping flourishes because the malls have deteriorated rapidly.

I wonder what will be here in the years to come.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

About the Cover: On a Clear Day


One day, I will write a book about my adventures at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Plains Township.

Today's entry is dedicated to the sights.  This shot was taken late last month from the third floor.  The view is to the south and the west.  That is downtown Wilkes-Barre at the center.

Clearly, I did a few things to the header photo.  I cropped it.  I also made sure to put my name on the grass at the lower left so I don't muck up the sky.  The light line in the center of the uncropped photo is the reflection of a light on a window in the hospital hallway.  PhotoShop helped me get rid of it. 

Friday, September 9, 2022

Bernard Shaw


News reporter and anchor Bernard Shaw died Wednesday.  He was 82.

Local TV, CBS, ABC and then CNN.

Shaw was just what CNN needed when it made its debut in 1980.  He brought instant credibility to the young network.  He was in the chair when President Reagan was shot in 1981, and he was in Baghdad when the first Gulf War started.

Bernard Shaw was as solid as they come.  He was one of those anchors you instantly trusted, and there aren't many of them around.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Small World


Back on August 19, I had a blog entry complaining about what a simply awful time I had in 6th grade.  I hated the town, the school, and I didn't care much for my teacher.

Well, a week later, I happened to be at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Plains Township.  While waiting my turn with my dad, I heard the "check in" person call the name of a man who happened to have the same last name as my 6th grade teacher.  It's not a common name, but it isn't incredibly uncommon, either.  I said to myself, "that's interesting" and I let it go.

A short time later, this gentleman and I wound up in the same section of hospital hallway.  Unlike the rest of the place, it was rather quiet because it was at a dead end.  I said "You have the same last name as my 6th grade teacher."  I also mentioned the borough in which I went to school.  The man replied "That was my uncle."

We had a short chat, in which I accentuated the positive.  The nephew was very proud of his uncle's accomplishments, in education, the military, and in athletics.  He lived to be 95.

Small world, as they say.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022



A friend and a former radio coworker died last week.

Gordon Weise came to WARM in 1985, one of the new employees after a passing through manager, who wanted to make a name for himself, needlessly fired three people.

Of course, there was some mistrust at the beginning, fearing Gordon was the mindless stooge of an evil master.  While his loyalty was never in doubt, Gordon became Gordie, and he developed in to a friend.  He was a big man, with a big voice, and he was simply a nice guy.  Gordie was very easy to work with, and a fine broadcaster.

After learning of Gordie's September 2 passing, I checked out his LinkedIn page.  I knew of his stops in Harrisburg before and after WARM, but I was surprised to see that he had been with WARM for only two years.  Gordie's last job was at a station in Lebanon.  He had been doing the news there for more than a quarter century when new owners came in, changed the format, and escorted Gordie to the door.  He deserved better.

We'd exchange an occasional email or direct message.  I authored a couple of references way back when.   I dropped in one day for lunch and a tour of one of his stations.   I do know there were some health problems over the years.  There were some unhappy personal times in there, but it did seem that he was eventually satisfied with where life took him.

Gordon Weise, Gordie, was 66 years old.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022



It's been a tradition of mine since the early 80's-- a vacation week in September.

September is a great month for time off.  The weather is a touch cooler.  The kids are back in school.  Nothing is crowded.

As you are likely tired of hearing, I have no plans-- just some small projects.  Maybe I'll get some camera time.  Catching up on sleep is a must.

I'll be around.

The weekend morning newscasts are in good hands.

Call you back later.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Labor Day


I hated Labor Day as a kid.  It meant the end of summer vacation and the start of the new school year.

The "warm up to Labor Day" process started in high school.  I actually looked forward to the start of the new school year because it meant it was one step closer to the end of that soul crushing process.

While college wasn't soul crushing, it was nice when Labor Day rolled around.  The fall semester always started during the prior week, and it was nice to see old friends return from their summer breaks.  Once again, the start of a new semester meant it was one step closer to that diploma.

I worked in downtown Scranton for many years, and working on Labor Day never bothered me.  The main reason-- La Festa Italiana was literally right outside the back door of the office.  Pizza followed by canoli.

Working at WNEP was a little different.  I always volunteered to help staff the newsroom while the rest of the gang was at the Jerry Lewis telethon.  The overnight shift was my specialty.  The morning news was preempted by the telethon.  I used all those overnight hours to write scripts for a project I was involved with at the time.  The night, late Sunday until Monday morning, flew by.

I still work Labor Day, even though duties have shifted a bit over the years.  Plus, as soon as I hang up my microphone for the day, a vacation begins.  We'll climb that mountain when we get there.

As I say on every holiday, please be safe, and please remember what the day is all about.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Andy's Angles: Nuts!


One of my 2022 goals was to improve my macro photography.  I've tried the technique several times this year with mixed results.  I'll keep trying.

I love chestnut trees.  This one is a horse chestnut and what you see here is inedible.  It's a great tree.  Big green leaves that turn brown in the fall.  The chestnuts make a racket when they burst from their green jackets and fall to the ground.

I wish there were more chestnut trees still around.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Andy's Angles: Holiday Weekend


Labor Day weekend is finally here, and I thought it would never arrive.  It's been a long, hot, dry summer and I'm happy summer is coming to an end.  Let's go out on a colorful note.

These are some flowers from a neighbor's yard.  Yes, there is a down side to fall.  These flowers won't be around much longer and it will be winter.

Enjoy while you can.

Friday, September 2, 2022

Media Friday


NBC is said to be kicking around to pull a FOX and only program two hours of prime time, stopping at 10 pm.  Presumably, the affiliates would move up their late news.  Jimmy Fallon would start at 10:30 or 11, saving him from that nightly beating by Stephen Colbert.  It will be interesting to see what happens, and if ABC and CBS follow.

By the way, "Gutfield" on the FOX News Channel has better numbers than the broadcast networks.

Speaking of NBC, it dumped the executive producer of "Meet the Press."  It leaves moderator Chuck Todd twisting in the wind, and that's unfair.

I know ownership and executives have changed over the years, but why does NBC struggle with transitions?






And I'm sure there are others I haven't thought of.

The Big Ten conference has a new deal with FOX, CBS, and NBC.  ESPN is out of the mix and that's a mistake.  Historically, ESPN spends more time covering leagues and conferences that are on its network.

The "CBS Evening News" updated its graphics this week, and went back to its old theme music.  It works.

Sirius XM has parted ways with foul mouthed lout Pat McAfee.  It's a good thing.

Rich Eiusen does an entertaining radio show, but it's impossible to find a list of affiliates.

Thursday, September 1, 2022



I've always had mixed feelings on the Little League World Series.

First, my regards to the fine people of SOUTH Williamsport.  You never get the attention.  ESPN and everyone else always say "Williamsport," even though the games are in your borough.

It's nice to see the young athletes get some recognition, but I can't get over the nagging feeling that we put too much pressure on them.  Taking the contrary opinion, even if a team is unsuccessful, the players and families get a trip and an experience that most people can only dream about.

The games are a big deal, and that attracts major league players, past and present, to Lycoming County.  While I never played organized sports, meeting big leaguers, when I was a kid, would have been quite the kick.

Money talks.  The LLWS pumps millions in to the local economy, and in this recession, every dollar counts.

The Little League World Series will always be one of those events where you have to look at the big picture.