Thursday, December 27, 2007

Holiday Irony

Some more random thoughts post-Christmas holiday:

- is it just me or did the fact Fox News was still running the death-and-destruction ticker while airing Rick Warren's religious hour-long A Purpose Driven Life holiday program sort of counter the reason for the season? I mean, I know the consultants say the 24/7 ticker is an important part of news branding but even during the hug-my-family program aimed at showing the power of positive energy? WWJD if He was the technical director?

- Also on Christmas Day: Instead of running their 7:00 news block WKYC opted instead for Christmas With the Stars which included Lou Rawls, who not only has been dead since January 6, 2006 but his widow's home in Green was burglarized over the holiday weekend and among the items stolen was his passport. I could have overlooked Susan Anton and Erik Estrada among the "stars" but dragging out poor Lou? He was the best voice of the holidays (well, second only to Nat King Cole but we can discuss that one later) but two years after he passed away? At least we can tell the Bing Crosby and Perry Como specials date back to TV's Stone Age...

- Nice headline on Drudge Report on how rotten this holiday shopping season has been for retailers: they reported only a 3% and change increase from last year. Now that's not big stuff according to the bean counters because they want 5% increases but note they never seem to have any problem with salary increases bumping up only 3% -- that's called "normal".

- State Senator Kevin Coughlin is weighing in with an email warning of "false" notices from his New Summit Republicans, now waging war on the Arshinkoff faction of the county party. With slates needing to be assembled for the full assault on the membership of the county committee (literally hundreds of folks) underway communicating the message just stepped up a notch. Add to it the stories from Stephanie Warsmith in the Akron Beacon Journal on expected costs allegedly OK'd by the Summit GOP Executive Committee to defend Alex ($350 grand) and the tough no-holds-barred fight ahead this'll be a gem to watch. Stay tuned...with the early primaries culling the Presidential herd the races for local party faithful in Summit County's GOP ranks may be the most compelling political lesson in the March primary.

- We tape the NewsNight Akron "Top Newsmakers" special this afternoon at Northside...sort of a return to the crime where we last led off with the best and worst of the year. I'm excited Eric Mansfield is at the helm for this one -- especially since he's kept plenty close to the vest so Jody Miller, Steve Hoffman and I are still in the dark. Note: this NewsNight Akron program airs on PBS 45/49 on Friday, January 4, 2008 at 9:00 p.m.

- had the occasion to visit with former WKSU PD and News Director Vince Duffy just prior to Christmas at his new (and impressive) digs at Michigan Radio in the Free Republic of Ann Arbor. He looks well -- I'd opine even younger now that he's back in the solid news trenches and out of the grind of program management. His stations stretch their signal from west to east coast and just about all of the lower half of the "mitten" in Michigan, with a heavier dose of news delivered (each hour) and the challenges obviously invigorate.

- speaking of WKSU these are the final days for Daniel Hockensmith, AKA Dan Taylor from his Akron Radio Center days. Dan's been hosting "Your Way Home" on WKSU but leaves broadcasting behind for a new gig with Plastics News. I'll miss him on the radio but look forward to his work covering such a huge beat that literally extends around the world -- good luck Dan!

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