Monthly Archives: August 2013

WABC’s Carolina Leid Reports on Death of Singing Great Eydie Gorme as ‘Eddie Gome’

wabc_bio_carolinaleid_160x200One-half of the famed nightclub team “Steve and Eydie” died over the weekend. But Eydie Gorme, who was 84, was apparently not well-known to WABC weekend anchor Carolina Leid. Filling in for Michelle Charlesworth yesterday morning, she called the Bronx native “Eddie Gome.” The embarrassing moment was caught on cell phone video.

While the Channel 7 graphic behind and below was accurate, Leid, known for accentuating her first name with the Latino pronunciation, didn’t just make the error once. She also referred to the songstress as “Gome” in the second reference.

One station insider understands the scrutiny.

“It’s unfortunate, but I could easily make the same kind of mistake on a story about a reality TV star.”

Clearly, there’s an age gap between Leid, and the generation that knew Gorme. Perhaps Leid misread the teleprompter. Still, it is no excuse, especially in New York.

Obviously, if you aren’t familiar with a name, ask someone in the newsroom. If that fails to yield results, check the Internet. There are plenty of entries for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme performing together, or from her solo career.

Despite the faux pas, the insider says, this far from tarnishes her at WABC.

“I think she is well-regarded here. Carolina works hard.”

Good Day Hosts Mulling Election Campaign

WNYW130812070159Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto weren’t just reporting about the election season today. The anchor team is looking to parlay their popularity into a possible run for political office. Kelly and Scotto told Good Day New York viewers about the stunt at the start of today’s show, as they debuted modest campaign signs with their names.

“We’re very close to announcing our candidacies for citywide office,” Kelly said on the WNYW show.

That office wasn’t disclosed, if Kelly and Scotto have even made that determination.

Kelly pointed out that with enough signatures on a petition they could be on the ballot as Independents by August 20.

“We have no agenda yet,” Kelly said.

“Do we have a platform?” Scotto questioned.

“We’ll get to that,” he joked.

They spent a chunk of the “more-relaxed” 9 a.m. portion trying to woo voters on the street, and even guests, to sign their petition.

Scotto suggested going for the “whole gusto” and a run for Mayor.

“That opens us up to all kinds of charges and investigations,” Kelly warned.

He recommended an office that “nobody really cares about.” Asked by Scotto which one, he replied, “You name it. There are plenty to choose from.”

Kelly and Scotto were planning to meet people at a subway station today to gauge interest.


Breaking: Vickie Burns to Assume Major Role at WPIX

Vickie_BurnsThe mystery of Vickie Burns at WPIX is about to be revealed. Tuned In has learned exclusively that the former WNBC news director will officially be put on payroll at Channel 11. All indications are she’ll be named a consultant alongside news director Mark Effron. As we reported, it’s a role that the veteran news executive has held since earlier this summer.

There is also a possibility that Burns could assume a newly created station manager position.

As late as yesterday, there was additional buzz that Burns would take over for Steve Charlier on the corporate level at Tribune. That rumor was squelched by this morning. Therefore, Burns, known for her demanding personality, will in based in New York.

For several weeks, as we’ve reported, Burns has become a presence in the PIX newsroom. We’re told she’s had a hand in the station’s anchor audition process.

Burns’ last TV job was as KNBC news director in 2012.

“Whatever role Burns will play it’s obvious her job is to monitor PIX11. In the past four months,
Effron and company have made some mistakes to further alienate viewers,” the insider says, referring, in part, to a format change and failed anchor pairings. “November will be critical. Not only for managers but anchors. Burns has a rolodex of New York City anchors and reporters to look towards.”

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Pat Battle Shines in Rare Weeknight Fill-in Role on WNBC

Pat BattleFor those who missed Shiba Russell last week, veteran anchor/reporter Pat Battle proved a strong alternative. Battle, who has been a weekend co-anchor on WNBC for many years, got some much needed wide exposure. She was called in from the bullpen to join Tom Llamas for the 5 p.m. newscast last week.

The significance of the rare weekday early-evening fill-in was not lost on the professional Battle. She gave something extra to the newscasts, showing she is not just a weekend anchor.

And her colleagues responded. The always likable Battle was a welcome change.

“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” an insider says. “It’s like night and day.”

That is a reference to Russell, who apparently has some critics in the newsroom, while Battle has been a popular member of Channel 4 since she arrived on the scene in 1996.

This was a one-week stint, but it would not be, the insider says, if many people could have their choice.

“It’s clear [that] people want her to be the 5 p.m. anchor.”

Her popularity may also be connected to successfully battling breast cancer in recent years.

“The reception she receives in the newsroom is spectacular,” the insider says.

Not only does Battle bring a renewed energy to the broadcast, the insider claims, it helps her colleague.

“I think she helps Tom too,” the insider says. “She has good command of that show.”

No Change in the July Arbitron Ratings: WLTW Take First, WCBS-FM Keeps Second

wltw_2010_200x90If the familiar is boring, then WLTW/LITE-FM is the most boring station. Of course, WLTW is also the most popular, winning the overall (6+) Arbitron ratings for July. WLTW did see a slight drop from June (6.8 to 6.6), but its nearest competitor WCBS-FM also made an about-face. The classic hits station took a .4 nosedive for the month, after closing within a tenth of a point behind the Clear Channel juggernaut.

WBLS held third place with a 6.0 (down .2 from June).

No change for Z100/WHTZ. Fresh off celebrating its 30th anniversary last Friday, it maintained a 5.5.

The first gains of the month are registered by Spanish station WSKQ in fifth position. The SBS-owned station jumped .9 to 5.1.

Status quo for rocker WAXQ/Q104.3 at 4.5, while sister station WKTU made a modest improvement to 4.6.

WINS took a step back to 3.9 (down .4 from last month). WCBS 880 kept pace at 3.6.

Emmis’ lone New York entry Hot 97/WQHT saw a nice .5 boost to 3.1.

WFAN, with its dual AM-FM simulcast, dropped slightly to 2.9. However, ESPN 98.7/WEPN also took a step back to 1.4.

New York’s Country home: NASH-FM/WNSH-FM landed at 2.0, losing minimal ground from June.

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Breaking: Frances Rivera Accepts Buyout from WPIX

WPIX130806062959The anchor winds are blowing at WPIX.

While the focus of most people’s attention at Channel 11 has been evenings and Tamsen Fadal, Tuned In has learned exclusively that morning is about to get a makeover.

Frances Rivera, the PIX Morning News co-anchor, has accepted a buyout. Insiders say she will stay on the air until the end of the month.

Tuned In attempted to reach the station for comment.

Rivera teamed with the popular Sukanya Krishnan for the three-hour morning program beginning in August 2011. It could be that viewers never warmed up to Rivera. As in the evening, the ratings have been poor opposite powerhouse Good Day New York at WNYW, although Channel 11’s best numbers have actually been in the a.m.

“When it comes to news anchor teams, good chemistry is the hardest thing to find.  And here’s proof positive,” an insider says. “Frances was liked as a person, but you didn’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to notice the lack of, or existence of, any chemistry between her and Sukanya. I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did.”

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Farewell to Lloyd Moss, a WQXR Classic

MossHe was an announcer at classical station WQXR for 53 years until his retirement in 2006. Lloyd Moss died Saturday, the station confirmed to Tuned In. He was 86 and had Parkinson’s disease.

The Brooklyn-born broadcaster started his long association with ‘QXR in 1953. He left a staff position in 1971 to concentrate on acting and his voice-over work. But even during the sabbatical from WQXR, he hosted two shows.

The longtime afternoon announcer, Moss returned to the station on a regular basis in 1989.

“I never had the privilege of meeting Lloyd in person, but most certainly loved listening to him on WQXR when I moved to New York in 1995,” said Graham Parker, the Vice President and General Manager of WQXR, said on the station’s website. “His was a voice of a golden generation and his perspective on music and New York so utterly captivating.”

Moss added author to the resume, with the 1995 Simon & Schuster book Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin.  

A paid obituary in today’s New York Times said Moss requested donations should be made in his name to The Innocence Project.

Photo: WQXR

Scott Shannon Relives Z100’s Debut 30 Years Later

shannonBill Cosby helped rejuvenate the sitcom genre in the 1980s. It was in the same era that Scott Shannon gave a much-needed boost to Top 40 radio in New York. Shannon was charged with turning an inconsequential signal at 100.3 FM into a flamethrower frequency. WVNJ was playing a mix of beautiful music by day and jazz by night, when Cleveland-based Malrite Communications purchased the station. Studios were in Secaucus, New Jersey, and licensed to Newark, but to make it attractive to listeners across the Lincoln Tunnel, a transmitter was built atop the Empire State Building.

Related: “Never Say Never” for WPLJ’s Shannon Staying with Morning Show

Thirty years ago today, Z100/WHTZ was born. But Shannon knows any birth needs a gestation period.

Tuned In sat down with Shannon recently at his office high above Madison Square Garden. The Hall of Fame broadcaster was initially reticent to discuss the early days of Z100.

“You still have to be respected for what you’re doing today, not what you did yesterday,” Shannon says. “I really don’t spend a lot of time looking in the rear view mirror. If I have a sucky show today, then I feel sucky. I don’t care if I had a great show at Z100 28 years ago. It’s not going to help me.”

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WABC Holds Comptroller and Mayoral Debates Next Week

wabc2Despite being shut out of this year’s citywide debates by the Campaign Finance Board, WABC-TV has taken matters into its own hands.

Channel 7 will host the first debate in the Democratic battle for New York City Comptroller. Anchor Bill Ritter leads the debate against Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and former governor Eliot Spitzer. The debate, at the WABC studios, will stream live Friday, August 9 at 10 a.m. It will air on WABC, Sunday, August 11 at 11 a.m.

As part of the debate doubleheader, Channel 7 gathers the Republican candidates for New York City mayor August 11 at noon.

“WABC-TV and Eyewitness News are proud to continue our tradition of providing viewers with the most comprehensive information necessary to make a thoughtful and confident decision when they enter the voting booth,” said Dave Davis, president and general manager of WABC-TV.

WABC already broadcast a Democratic primary debate in New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race last weekend.

Channel 7 is a co-sponsor of the debates along with Noticias 41 Univision, the Daily News, and the League of Women Voters of the City of New York.