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Category Archives: Television

Former Erie weatherman leaves live set for son’s birth

Former WSEE weather man Dave Price, who is currently on Fox 5/New York as co-anchor of Good Day New York, got an e-mail on his phone Wednesday (12-12) in the 9:00 hour of his newscast. It was telling Price that his wife was in labor, and to go to the hospital right now.

The interview with “Homeland” star Mandy Patinkin would have to wait…

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This clip is making the rounds on Inside Edition and the entertainment news shows.

We wish Dave and his family all the best.

Thomas to leave Nexstar

Kim Thomas

Kim Thomas

WJET/WFXP News Director Lou Baxter tells P&T that he’s on the lookout for a new primary anchor to partner with Sean Lafferty. Kim Thomas will leave at the end of the month to join the office of State Senator-elect Sean Wiley.

Lou continues:

Kim has done a great job for us the past 6 years ago, having spent the last two of them on the anchor desk with Sean Lafferty. We wish her the best of luck. We have launched a nationwide search for her replacement. In the interim, Sean will solo.

Tapes and resumes to lbaxter@wjettv.com.

Erie news goes HD

Lilly Broadcasting has broken the High Definition barrier for daily local news in Erie.

WICU 12News Open Graphic

WICU and WSEE are producing and broadcasting their news products in HD. In addition, on Monday WICU debuted their new 16:9 aspect ratio designed news set, complete with both a news desk and interview station. A brand new HD graphics package accompanied the transition, which looks big market.

Watching over a couple days you can really get the sense of what a huge undertaking this is. A month ago we began to see the beginnings of local HD origination with some syndicated programming broadcast in HD. All of the field cameras and editing equipment, studio cameras, new switchers, production suite, weather computers, and all the minutia has now been converted to the new system.

Cummings to lead Lilly newsroom

TV News headhunter Rick Gevers is reporting that Pennsylvania native Bill Cummings returns to the Keystone State to become News Director of WICU & WSEE/Erie.

Bill Cummings

Cummings replaces Lisa Adams, who steps down from the ND role after 18 months. Adams will continue to anchor newscasts at the duopoly.

Bill Cummings comes to the Snow Belt from the significantly warmer market of Yuma, AZ where he directed the news efforts of KSWT-TV, since February. Before that he worked in Tallahassee and Tucson. The Erie gig will be his third set of call letters in 2012.

Editors Note: HT to Sylvester for the head’s up.

Edinboro native to appear on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ Monday

A dozen summers ago, the family singing trio Westbrook, based in Edinboro, was a headlining act at the very first Kingdom Bound By the Bay music festival that I was part of producing when managing WCTL radio. The group had released a CD and received some national airplay for their tight familial harmonies.

Fast forward to the fall of 2012, and a member of the new generation of Westbrook’s will make a national splash on NBC Monday night on “The Voice.” Celica Westbrook, Edinboro native and 16-year old budding pop star now based in Nashville, will most likely appear on Monday’s blind auditions that air locally on WICU at 8:00 PM.

Celica has been working with Nashville producer Keith Thomas, and has several songs released on YouTube and iTunes, yielding over 420,000 views of her music. Now she’s going for a chance to work with a world-famous singing coach and the ultimate possibility of scoring a major label deal.

Celica’s older brother Graham is back in Erie, attending Mercyhurst University pursuing an Intelligence degree. He’ll be watching, and you can cheer for Celica too, by watching “The Voice” Monday night on WICU.

More on Celica:

West Coast pipeline continues for JET/FOX with addition of Truong

The TV business casts a wide net, and in the past several years Erie’s TV newsrooms have been inhabited by journalists and meteorologists from across the country. It’s not a universal trend, since there are many Erie and western PA natives on-the-air. But WJET/WFXP has a new addition to their weather team, and she booked some major air miles to get here. News Director Lou Baxter explains in an e-mail to P&T:

Linh Truong

Meteorologist Jason Berry left us last month, and is now working for Weather Central, our weather graphics provider, in Madison, WI.   He is training TV station meteorologists around the country in the use of their weather graphic systems. His replacement will be Meteorologist Linh Truong.  She joins us off the air this week, and will likely make her debut on the air in a few weeks.

Linh is originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but is coming to us from Sacramento, California.  She has two degrees from San Francisco State University; BA in Radio & TV, and a BS degree in Meteorology.  She has also completed all of the work necessary for her CBM designation. Linh previously worked as a meteorologist at a TV station in Redding, CA (KRCR~Ed.). She is a member of the AMS and the Asian American Journalists Association. We are excited to have her join our team. And we knew she’d be a great fit for Erie when she told us her favorite thing to do when not working….bowling!

Meanwhile, meteorologist Tom Atkins is currently away on company business, so meteorologist Amanda Gabeler is filling in for us. Amanda is from Rochester, NY and was formerly chief meteorologist at a station in Utica, NY. She will be with us until Tom returns.

Thanks to Lou for clearing up some of the confusion about the personnel changes on upper Peach.

Can we celebrate New Year’s without Dick Clark?

I let out a loud gasp at the news of Dick Clark’s death Wednesday, at the age of 82, following a massive heart attack. There are only a few true icons of broadcasting from my youth whose talent and energy caused me to want to follow their path. Frank Martin was one, Dick Clark was certainly another.

As a preteen and teen I never missed a Saturday afternoon of American Bandstand. I wanted to know the top songs and who would be “live” (often lip-synced), and I knew the opening jingle by heart. The network where he dominated the programming schedule, ABC, did a fitting tribute.

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Dick Clark was a radio guy’s radio guy. From his beginnings in Utica, NY to the career-clinching move to Philly and WFIL and then to Bandstand, Clark knew his audience, and had that gut level sense of what’s a hit. He gave many their big break, and tore down racial barriers.

Since my childhood, he made the changing of the calendar into a major musical event. Before Dick Clark it was champagne and Guy Lombardo. It’s hard to imagine celebrating New Year’s Eve 2013 without the legend.