Animotion Ain’t Got Nothing On Me

Yep, I’ll admit it, I’m a little bit of an obsessive person.

I’m sure that comes as a great shock to people who know me. When I do something, I do it all the way. There’s no half way, just jump in feet first.

I’m playing this travian game which is the worst for someone with an obsessive personality. Thank God they never had webkins when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure I would have never seen the sun.

I go through cycles. Music obsession (which never quite ends), TV obsession (talk to me about Charmed, Family Guy and Heroes), Working out (we won’t talk about that right now) and just relaxing (I hope that cycle comes around again soon).

I got obsessed by blogging. I love it but as of late have been a little less than loyal to my hobby. I went through the myspace phase. I have facebook but I’m not as interested in it. I love the twitter. Follow me if you aren’t already!

My place is a mess right now. I was supposed to have an inspection today but it was postponed. Good thing too!

I am loving life right now even though it’s doggone busy. I can’t believe tomorrow’s Friday already. I need a weekend like nobody’s bizniss.

Good point of the day, filling up my vehicle for less than $40! I even got a car wash. Yup, I know it was a gray day and rainy to boot but what the heck. Car washes (the no non-touch kind) are like a moth to a candle for me. I could sit in one of those little tin boxes all day and watch those brushes spin around.

taawd memory alert
: when I was a kid my parents would get their car washed at this one place that had what we called the “hula woman” at the end. It was big row of red strips of cloth that would dance back and forth. I think for a hot second I actually thought there was some fat woman up above shaking her moneymaker. I mean after all it was her job right?

Maybe that’s why I’m still obsessed with car washes. You didn’t see that ending to this post didja?

God Bless Betty White

Courtesy: CBS

Is woman not a national treasure or what?

I know this is a totally random post (what else would you expect?)

I’m watching Password via my DVR and Betty White is one of the celebrity contestants. She obviously has a special connection to the show because her late husband, Allen Ludden, was the host of the original version back in 60’s and 70’s. She’s appeared on every version of the show over the years.

At the age of 86, she’s still funny. She joked with Regis Philbin that she slept with the original host of the show. She wonder what he was doing after the show. Philbin responded he’d like her review of how he did after the show wrapped.

I remember her on Match Game, Pyramid and even To Tell The Truth & I’ve Got A Secret with the help of Game Show Network. Philbin called her the reigning “Queen of Game Shows”. She earned that distinction for all of her work over the years on all of the programs. I wonder how much money she’s helped contestants win over the years.

You can’t forget her work on Mary Tyler Moore, Mama’s Family and of course, Golden Girls. She even most recently played a role on Boston Legal.

White is also well-known for her work with animals and zoos.

I’m just happy she appears to be going strong after so many decades in the entertainment business. She’s sure made me laugh many times.

Hats off to ya,

My First Memories Of TV

I’m not talking about my childhood, I’m talking about when I actually got into the business.

We have a high school student “shadowing” Good Morning Cleveland this week. I wonder what’s going through his mind about the experience so far. He arrived bright and early this morning. You have to give him credit for that initiative. Actually, it’s part of his senior project so there’s a a reason he has to do it.

At any rate, it got me thinking about my first days in TV. Growing up in the Cleveland market, I was familiar with many of the people who were on the news. I remember walking by Judd Hambrick in the halls of Channel 3 when it was back on East 6th Street across from the Cleveland School Board of Education building. Judd is a tall man but he just seemed larger than life to me.

Some of the first people I met were Kim Brattain and Jim Hooley. My college professor worked as a weekend editor at WKYC and I got the chance to go up with her to Cleveland from Ashland. I was surprise how nice they both were. They were willing to answer my questions and even noticed me when I was getting dinner at the Galleria. This was back in the days of reporters like Joe Mosbrook and John Herrington. They were the veteran reporters who knew Cleveland like the backs of their hands. They’d been in television since before I was born. I worked with Mosbrook after I got hired at Channel 3. Oh, I can’t forget to mention Thor Tolo who was the most energetic person I’ve ever met. He was hopped up on hot cocoa. I think I saw him drink at least 4 cups myself.

I remember being mesmerized with the studio and the control room. I remember watching the robotic cameras zoom from place to place in the studio. It is still interesting to watch them. I remember the excitement of the producer, the editors and the assignment desk editor. I thought I want to be a part of this. It hooked me a little on this business.

When I got my internship, I couldn’t get enough of the station. I came in on days where I wasn’t scheduled. I thought it was so cool that I was an intern for a Cleveland station. I remember being so determined to get a job there. I interned in the promotions department under Dan Klintworth initially before he left the station. His secretary, Marcia, helped get me saavy to the business. She told me go down to the first floor and memorize the photoboard so that I could see a face and know the name. I did what she said and probably surprised a lot of people who didn’t know who I was.

So I can kind of imagine what my high school job shadow student is experiencing although, TV probably isn’t as big of a deal now as it was then. Now, it might be more interesting to tour the YouTube offices.

The Traffic Dance

Okay, it’s Friday morning and there’s no traffic to talk about. I mean, you’re in Cincinnati. There’s almost as little traffic there as there is in Cleveland. If you want traffic, go Motown.

This is how you fill the time and get people pumped up in the process.

C’mon Frank Marzullo, why didn’t you think of this? I’m disappointed!! And to think, I thought you were the newly crowned king of the Queen City.

The Young & The Restless

Things are heating up in Genoa City and behind the scenes of my favorite (and only) soap. It celebrates 35 years on the air. I think I’ve watched it for at least 23 years. God, that’s amazing.

Singer/Actor Michael Damian is coming back to reprise his role as Danny Romalotti. You’ll see his first episodes later this week. There’s also talk on the Internet of the show’s creator’s daughter, Lauralee Bell coming back again. If you watch the show, you know the history between Damian and Bell’s characters, Danny and Christine Williams. Their relationship forms more than a love triangle. Danny was married to Phyllis and they have a son, Daniel, who’s already had his own troubled past. Christine divorced Danny to marry Paul Williams. Of course, I could keep going but you get the picture. However, Soap Opera Digest says Bell is telling the show “no thanks!”.

There’s also been a big shake-up in the shows writing and production ranks. The executive producer and head writer of the show has been let go. That move makes many fans of the Y&R happy because they didn’t like the direction she was taking the show. They’re not the only ones either, apparently, Victoria Rowell (Drucilla Winters) is happy she’s gone as well and discussing a possible return to the show. When Rowell left the show, she’d fallen off a cliff and everyone presumed her dead. Everyone knows no one ever really dies for good in the soaps. John Abbott died but Jerry Douglas keeps coming back in cameos as the Jack’s father’s ghost.

I hate reading more about my favorite actors, singers and entertainers. I did a wikipedia search on Sharon Case (Sharon Abbott) and this is what it lists:

Personal life
Co-star Melody Thomas Scott has said that Case is her closest friend from the show.[1]
Case has been married to Sandy Corzine since April 2007.
Case is a member of the Church of Scientology.

I’m glad she’s friends with Thomas Scott and happy she’s married but the last part is what gets me. I guess she’s friends with Tom Cruise as well.

TV Show Marathons

There’s something I’ve come to like, watching marathons of old favorite TV shows. I will have “Friends” for a long time to come. I’m only about halfway through the series. Recently, I got the third season of “The Wild Wild West”. My dad would always watch it in reruns on WUAB-Channel 43 back in the day. I liked watching it with him. He loves the westerns. “The Wild Wild West” was a little different than “Gunsmoke” or “Big Valley”. James West and Artemus Gordon always had some way to get out of a tight situation in order to escape certain death. I just finished watching it today so now my father can have it. I know, I’m horrible for having watched it first.

Now, I’m watching season 3 of “Happy Days”. Right now, it’s the episode where “Laverne & Shirley” are introduced. Their guest star appearances on “Happy Days” ended up leading to a spin-off. Apparently, Cindy Williams has a mean punch because she just knocked Ron Howard on his butt. I’d forgotten how much I really liked the show. It really takes me back to my childhood. I remember telling people to “sit on it” and then getting yelled at for doing so by my parents. Ah, the memories!

Writers’ Strike

Television could soon get very boring. You might be already noticing it. Letterman, Leno and O’Brien are all repeats. Their writers are on strike. Soon, you’ll notice soap operas in repeats and then your favorite shows.

At least six sitcoms won’t be in production because of the strike. ABC’s hit “Desperate Housewives” won’t film any new episodes after Wednesday because they don’t have any new scripts.

Both sides are in it for the long haul.

Back in 1988, the writers went on strike for 22 weeks, a walkout that cost the industry more than $500 million.

p.s., there’s always “Nightline” and your local news! 🙂

Tube Time

It’s premiere week and that means the new shows are debuting on the networks. What am I watching?

Heroes: The show continues to twist and turn beyond anyone’s expectations. During the second season’s premiere, Hiro’s father is killed, we find out Peter is alive and the cheerleader attracts the attention of a new hero. No specific cliffhangers to mention but you have to wonder

How I Met Your Mother: Ted and Robin are split up. We learn Robin didn’t get over the break-up easily. She found a boyfriend Gael (Enrique Iglesias) to cope. Lily & Marshall both swoon for him. Ted makes out with a wild girl with tattoos. Mandy Moore plays the character who takes on Barney with a barrage of one line zingers.

The Big Bang Theory: Great first episode. Hally Cuoco plays Penny, the new next door neighbor for Leonard & Sheldon. They’re both geeks who aren’t good with women. I like what I saw but I can’t wait to see where else this show can go. You have my attention so far…

Two & A Half Men: The show wins me again. Great comedy, guaranteed laughs. It’s an overall great comedy.

Ugly Betty: I can’t wait to see where they will pick this show up. The previews show Betty racing around her office concerned about her “boyfriend”, her dad, her job and her boss.

Finally, it’s not the premiere but I’m enjoying “Coupling” on BBC OnDemand. It’s hilarious. The BBC does comedy right. “Mile High” was a great comedy/drama before they ended it.

What are you watching? Jennie, I know what you’re watching…

Todd’s listening to: Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes

TV Times They Are A-Changing

I’ve been in the television news business going on 14 years. It’s hard to believe that because it seemed like just yesterday as a college graduate I pestered the Human Resources Coordinator at WKYC for a part-time job on the news assignment desk at the old building at 1403 East Sixth Street in Cleveland. It was one of Bob Tayek’s last duties as Managing Editor to hire two desk assistants. Pat Kilkenney and I got the nod to fill the positions at “the desk”.

We didn’t have computers with Windows. We did have BASYS, a newsroom computing system that NBC bought for all of its “O & O’s” (owned and operated stations) back in the 1990’s. You had your choice of colors for monitors, blue on black or amber on black. There were no flashy graphics, just text. Don’t worry about a mouse, there wasn’t one. No Internet at all. If you wanted a fact, you had to look it up in the “factsheets” section of the computer or call someone on the phone. Yes, I’m talking about just 14 years ago.

We talked via a two-way radio for basic communication with the reporters and crews in the field. We were lucky to have an encrypted signal so our competition couldn’t listen to what we were saying or where crews were going. Forget about cell phones, some people had them but they weren’t mobile. They were car phones at this point because they certainly weren’t something you wanted to carry with you. Most people mainly carried their pagers and if you were lucky, you had one that was alpha-numeric . This was the advent of the technology age for television newsrooms. Of course, technology was running rampant in the production departments but the news departments were still awaiting what Microsoft and the Internet would bring to newsgathering.

Now, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the technology. At WDIV in Detroit, each newscast producer has two monitors so they can see the rundown (the schedule of what’s happening during each newscast), the news wires and the Internet. They also have the ability to edit video from their desktops. When I was there, it was beneficial to have that ability. Sometimes it was simply helping out editors who were crashing a package (a reporter’s story) or just because you knew the video and wanted to make sure you got the shots you wanted.

Gone are the days of storing big and bulky video cassettes, they are bigger than VHS in some cases. Now many stations are transferring that video over to DVD’s. They are easy to catalog, take up so much less space and you don’t have to worry time taken its toll on them. At WEWS, we’re even close to doing away with DVC Pro tapes. They aren’t that big at all but the next generation has almost arrived. Soon our photographers will shoot on cameras with internal hard drives. After coming back from a story, they’ll copy over the video much like you would a file on your home computer. That video will be accessible from any other computer and multiple users can use it at the same time.

Reporters and photographers will have their own laptops that they’ll be able to access the newsroom software, currently iNews, from the field. No more calling a producer and dictating a script by cell phone. Now, they can type their script directly into the rundown just like they were at the station. Photographers can take their video in the field and ingest it into their laptop, edit it, then send it back to the station for the newscast. I know there’s been the prediction of one man bands but I still think you need two people to do this correctly.

Coming soon, the Internet’s effect on newsgathering and producing newscasts.

Todd’s listening to: The Smiths – How Soon Is Now