Monthly Archives: December 2018

Time’s Up for Lisa Mateo at WPIX

The versatile Lisa Mateo is leaving the station she’s called home for about two decades. TunedIn has learned WPIX and Mateo are parting ways. Her last day is Dec. 14.

Mateo, according to her PIX bio, started at Channel 11 in 2000 as a production assistant. She rose to on-air exposure, from traffic and weather duties to news anchoring and reporting. But she found her sweet spot covering features for several years on the morning show.

However, in recent weeks, news director Amy Waldman began moving in another direction, taking the popular personality off mornings, where she was a staple with viewers for at least 15 years.  Instead, she was put on the day shift, including weekends. Mateo refused comment to TunedIn on whether that impacted her decision to leave.

Her resume at Channel 11 has her reporting and producing for some of the most urgent stories, Superstorm Sandy and the 9/11 attacks among them.

Mateo spread her wings farther by hosting since 2012 Celebrity Taste Makers, where well-known guests discuss their passion for food and a recipe and/or eatery. She will continue as host once the show returns from hiatus.

Her work ethic isn’t just professional. She is such a strong advocate of personal conditioning that Mateo was appointed to the New Jersey Council of Physical Fitness and Sport by former governor Chris Christie.

There is no word on her future plans.

Heather Nauert Nomination as UN Ambassador “Reckless,” Says Former Colleague

The State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert is in line to become President Trump’s next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. However, the White House says the position will no longer be a cabinet post.

Nauert has no political or diplomat experience. She spent nearly two decades at Fox News, including a brief morning anchor stint at local affiliate WNYW.

A former Fox colleague tells TunedIn the feelings are mixed.

“She’s a very smart, responsible, capable woman and I really want her to blow the socks off every single critic.”

But her lack of experience is not something Nauert, 48, should to grow into.

“I cannot imagine a good outcome,” the former colleague admits.

Nikki Haley announced in September she was stepping down from the high-profile assignment. She came to the U.N. after two terms as South Carolina governor.

Before heading to Washington, Nauert was anchor on Fox and Friends.

“To expect a former TV host to easily segue into hammering out deals that have historic geopolitical significance is just flat out reckless,” the former colleague says.

The one-time colleague does expect Nauert will give 100 percent and do an incredible job if confirmed by Congress, but also thinks it’s a no-win situation.

“She is willingly being thrown into the lion’s den,” the former colleague says. “Many of these lions are bloodthirsty to see the U.S. fail.”

(Photo: Adweek)

Kevin Hart Out as Oscars Host; Who Should Get the Coveted Gig?

A firestorm took only 24 hours to topple Kevin Hart (left) as host of the Academy Awards. A string of anti-gay tweets resurfaced, putting Hart in an untenable position. He steps down to take the spotlight away from his vintage remarks about the LGBTQ community.

So, what happens next?

It was already a rather late announcement for the February awards telecast. Now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has to go back to the drawing board.

Who should emcee the star-studded event in 2019? Well, looking at the Hart pick, does the Academy want the “hot community,” “funniest person in the world,” and/or someone of color?

If they want to maintain a black host, they could cross all the boxes and, someone in movies, with Tiffany Haddish. Having just done a movie with Hart, I’m sure she would have had a decent presence with him directing traffic at the Oscars.

Maybe she hasn’t paid her dues yet to reach the entertainment pinnacle— and that’s definitely a fair point.

How about Dave Chappelle (right)? He resurrected his career in a big way, even taking a small role in A Star is Born, and who could forget his killer set on Saturday Night Live, the weekend after Donald Trump was elected?

Some suggest it should be someone at ABC as self-promotion for the network running the broadcast. Yes, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the past two years, but it’s certainly not a prerequisite. There was a five-year stretch in the 1970s-80s where TV’s biggest star–Johnny Carson—was hired for the freelance gig, despite his deal with NBC.

Granted, there’s no Johnny sitting out there to make Oscar producers salivate. If they want to take a more political tack, Stephen Colbert could fit that role. He has plenty of hosting experience —Emmys and Kennedy Center Honors— but both at his home, CBS.

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It’s Official; Tribune Sells to Nexstar

The financial struggles for Tribune Media hit the final hurdle, as Nexstar Media agrees to purchase the Chicago based company.

Nexstar is acquiring Tribune for more than $4 billion in cash, making it the largest regional television operator in the country. Once adding debt to the mix, CNBC reports the value is worth $6.4 billion.

Nexstar is expected to pay $46.50 per share to complete the media sell-off.

This ends a difficult saga for Tribune, where just three months ago Sinclair Broadcasting had a nearly $4 billion pact in place, but regulatory minefields caused it to ultimately fall through.

The Nexstar deal is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and needs a sign-off from Tribune shareholders.

The Irving, Texas, Nexstar is expected to take control of Tribune stations by the end of summer next year.

It remains to be seen how the takeover will impact programming and personnel at WPIX.