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Debate Time in New York; NY1, WCBS, and WNBC Get Selected

WNBC new logoBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Election season is upon us, and that means we’re about to be inundated with debates. The New York City Campaign Finance Board yesterday made its debate sponsors official. Actually the stations were announced exclusively by this reporter in April.

The confirmation and schedule is now available. NY1, WCBS/Channel 2, WNBC/Channel 4 will participate in up to 15 citywide debates, of course led by the mayoral campaign. A Democratic mayoral runoff is planned as needed. But there will be a four primary debates, two for each party.

WNBC will host one of each. The Democratic debate is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3 at 7 p.m. The following Sunday at 11:30 a.m., the Republican hopefuls spar about the issues. Both debates will also be broadcast by WOR Radio.

A WNBC spokesperson tells Tuned In that anchor David Ushery and political reporter Melissa Russo will lead the questioning. They will be joined by journalists from sister station Telemundo Nueva York/Channel 47 and the Wall Street Journal.

NY1 and WNYC broadcast the other Democratic primary on August 21 at 7, while WCBS-TV and WCBS 880/1010 WINS air the other Republican debate.

As for the general election, there are two debates on the docket. First up is the Channel 2/WCBS 880-WINS triumvirate on October 22 at 7 p.m. Sister station WLNY airs the debate in Spanish.

The next Tuesday, October 29, also at 7 p.m., WNBC and WOR 710 have the final mayoral debate.

Election day is November 5.

Ken Auletta and Gawker Named Year’s Best in Journalism at Mirror Awards

Clark_Dick_048_c_MOA.jpgBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications has distributed its 7th annual Mirror Awards for journalism.

One highlight was a special honor bestowed upon the late Dick Clark, a 1951 Syracuse graduate. His widow, Kari Clark was at the Manhattan event. She announced a lead gift from the Kari and Dick Clark Foundation that will be used to rename the currently renovated studios at the Newhouse complex. Dick Clark Studios will open for students in the fall of 2014.

Among the handful of winners, veteran writer Ken Auletta was recognized in the Single Article: Traditional/Legacy Media category for a piece in The New Yorker called Citizens Jain.

Gawker’s Adrian Chen took home the prize for Best Profile: Traditional/Legacy Media for Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web.

Photo: biography.com

Auditions Begin for WPIX New Co-Anchor as Ratings Continue to Falter

By JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

UngerThe process is underway at WPIX. Executives are in search for that perfect on-air tandem to combine with Tamsen Fadal on evening newscasts.

As we reported earlier this month, news director Mark Effron told staffers that he wants to find a co-anchor for Fadal at 5 and 10 p.m.

Tuned In has learned exclusively that WPIX has auditioned several would-be candidates, male and female, for the position. Also of note, it was a second try for the female anchors, who also were brought in to succeed Jodi Applegate.

One of the most bizarre candidates is actor/comedian Brian Unger (top). Insiders say the charter correspondent on The Daily Show from 1996 to 1999 auditioned for the anchor role on the real newscast earlier this month.

One source cracks, “You have a station tanking and this is the best they can come up with?”

Unger, who has appeared in several TV shows and movies, does have some minor news experience. He was a fill-in host for Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

Unger, who hosts How the States Got Their Shapes on the History Channel, provides commentary for NPR’s All Things Considered.

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Game 6 of Islanders/Penguins Coming to WFAN Tomorrow Night

WFANNewLogoFinalBy JERRY BARMASH
(@jerrybarmash)

The New York Islanders are about to get a giant boost in listeners. Tomorrow night’s Game 6 of the NHL first round playoff series with the Penguins will be heard on WFAN 660 and 101.9 FM.

The Isles need a victory at the Nassau Coliseum to force a decisive seventh game Sunday night.

Veteran Islanders announcer Chris King and color analyst Kevin Dexter call the action.

The game will not only be simulcast on WFAN AM and FM, but it will also be heard on the Isles regular radio home on Long Island.

“The New York Islanders are an incredible story this year,” Mark Chernoff, WFAN and CBS Radio New York Vice President of Programming, said.  “Led by their Hart Trophy finalist John Tavares, this team has all of New York excited about the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  We’re excited to team with the Islanders and Hofstra University, 88.7 WRHU, to broadcast such a crucial game.”

The Islanders were founded in 1972, and won four straight Stanley Cups in the 1980s.

“We’re pleased to work with WFAN Sports Radio and our broadcast partner at Hofstra University, WRHU, to broadcast this pivotal Stanley Cup Playoffs game to our fans throughout the tri-state area,” New York Islanders Senior Vice President, Michael Picker said.

WFAN’s regular NHL occupant, the New Jersey Devils failed to make the playoffs. The New York Rangers, broadcast on ESPN 98.7 FM, are tied at 2 with the Capitals.