Friday, March 31, 2006

Please Make It Stop

I keep reading Michael Carrese's stuff in the TU's Capitol Confidential blog and trying to squeeze out out a laugh, but if I squeeze any harder I may have an accident. I think Carrese's OiNk (Only in New York) show is funny -it appears at the Egg tomorrow night- but his faux news bits from the TU blog and on Empire Page? Eh...Not so much. For example:
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings had a run-in with state troopers at the Capitol late last night when he was found hiding behind the statue of Gen. Sheridan holding what appeared to be an "Acme" brand dynamite detonator.

Or this:

GE says there will a further delay in the start of the Hudson River dredging project because a dog ate its master plan, and they have to start from scratch.
It's all like that. Maybe it's just me, but this stuff reads like what you'd get from a precocious high school junior ---or that annoying person in your office who tries way too hard to make everything funny.

Carrese will appear this morning at 10 on Live from the State Capitol with Fred Dicker on WROW. Go to their web site to listen live online.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What About Bob?

Great set of pipes. His brain ain't bad, either.I don't have satellite radio, so I'm missing two people I really enjoy: one is Howard Stern and the other is Bob Edwards. Edwards was the host of Morning Edition before being unceremoniously dumped by NPR in 2004. He since moved to XM ---but ironically, some public radio stations are now carrying PRI's Bob Edwards Weekend, a two hour program featuring the best of his satellite show.

Public radio groupies can see Edwards live this afternoon at Skidmore College, where he'll be interviewed as part of their ongoing Freedom From Fear series.

Endgame

The good news is that WRGB has buried the hatchet with NABET. The bad news is that they've buried it in the head of the company's union workers.

In a letter dated March 20, station lawyers notified NABET that WRGB will implement the terms of its December 7 contract offer. This means that CBS 6 gets to do what they've wanted to do all along: cut the salaries of the folks who shoot the news and keep the station on the air.

Meanwhile, the Spitzer campaign has joined the Turn off CBS 6 effort by pulling its advertising from the station. If other candidates follow suit this could start adding up to some real money. And why shouldn't they? You can deliver your message to the Capital Region without buying WRGB ---even if you don't have an Eliot Spitzer sized ad budget.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Early Shift

We need another morning newscast around here like we need another hole in the head. Or better yet, like we need a convention center. While we may not get a convention center, another morning news is on the way. Jeff Whitson, Fox 23 GM, told the Business Review that the station is planning to launch a morning news show, possibly in September. As we've pointed out before, news is the garden where TV stations grow more places to put commercials, so it's not surprising that Fox 23 would join the AM club ---but this has to make you wonder:
Whitson believes there is room for a new show that will offer "something different" for morning viewers.
I don't know what he means, but if Mr. Whitson wants to put on a show that's "different" from everyone else's, he's going to have to throw a lot of people at it.

Still the One

If elected, this album cover will return to haunt John Hall.I'm beginning to think I'd sooner chew off my own arm than allow my hand to cast a vote for John Hall. Hall, founding member of the band Orleans, is running against Sue Kelly in New York's 19th Congressional District. For the occasion, he's re-written his smash hit Dance With Me, which comes courtesy of the TU's Capitol Confidential:
Vote for Me -I want to be in Congress
Can't you see -the country's in a big mess
Katrina showed us, the emperor's new clothes, so just
Vote for me.
Wow. This guy should write for Michael Carrese.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On the Fly

To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, radio station contests can have a strong influence on the weak minded. But even if you think radio stunts are stupid, you have to kind of like FLY 92's $15,000 Fugitive contest. Listeners are given clues about the "Fugitive" who's running around the Capital Region somewhere. Find the mystery man (or woman), ask the special question correctly, and you win the cash. That's cool, but look at this creepy and ominous warning at the top of the station's four pages of contest rules:
DO NOT FOLLOW A PERSON WHO ANSWERS "YES" TO YOU, OR STATES THEY ARE THE FLY 92.3 FM FUGITIVE TO ANY LOCATION. ALWAYS STAY IN A PUBLIC AREA.
What the hell? That's almost as disturbing as that picture of the used condom in the sink of Candy and Potter's house. Yecch.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Return of the Knickerbocker Arena

Businesses aren't exactly banging down the door to buy the naming rights to the Pepsi Arena. And they're not politely knocking, either. In fact, nobody is interested in putting their name on the building, at least not at the price that's been set by Albany County. Friday was the deadline and $350,000 a year was the minimum bid on the ten year contract. County Executive Mike Breslin's right hand man, Michael Perrin, told the Business Review:
Clearly, we were hoping to get some competitive proposals, but the reality is there are only a small number of firms that would be interested and have the wherewithal to bid.
Correction, Mr. Perrin: There are no firms interested that have the wherewithal to bid.

So what now? The county will do what salespeople have been doing for as long as things have been difficult to sell: They will drop their pants. And what if there are still no takers? Then there's the question of what the arena will be called ---and who pays to change the name.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My Big Fat Sunday Newspaper

It may not be the golden age of newspapers, but they're still the only local media with the resources to do big things. If you don't believe me, have a look at the TU's Capitaland Quarterly in your Sunday paper. They used to publish this look at the local economy once a year under the title Capitaland Report, spreading out the massive amount of content over three Sundays. As the name indicates, it will now come four times yearly, which makes for something more manageable, and I would guess, more marketable.

An editor's note says that "We've remade Capitaland into a magazine-like publication," but I'd say that's not quite right. If they want to make this into something that won't be tossed in the Sunday newspaper pile, it needs to be not just magazine-like, it needs to be a magazine. This would give it some lasting value ---and possibly a second life as an economic development tool. But as usual, it always comes down to the money. There are plenty of advertising and production issues at play, and printing things like that may have to wait until they put in those new presses.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Odds n' Sods

How Would You Like Your Coffee?
State Senator Ada Smith is facing criminal charges after her alleged hot coffee assault of a staffer this week. This is said to have come after the employee made a remark about Smith's progress at Weight Watchers. From the New York Times:
The staff member, Jennifer Jackson, charged in a complaint that Senator Smith threw the coffee and pulled a hairpiece from her head on Tuesday morning, causing injuries to her eyes, shoulder and back, according to court papers.
It's time for someone to teach Smith a lesson: City Court Judge William Carter should order her into the Times Union's Weight Loss Challenge. Now that would be punishment ---and I believe that Team Flava Unit is short one member.

Radio Waves
Clear Channel announced that Kristen Delaney will head the media giant's radio operations in the Capital Region. She replaces Dennis "No Beverages in the New Building" Lamme, who was sent to clean things up in St. Louis. They sent out a press release containing not one, but two exclamation points in a single paragraph:
"In just the first few minutes of meeting Kristen, I knew she had the natural talent to lead the team! Then in examining her background and her accomplishments, it was easy to see she was right for the post!" said Regional Vice President of Eastern/Central PA & Upstate NY, Richard Lewis.
So that's what happened to Richard Lewis. He used to be so funny.

Letter of the Week (so far)
Regarding our item about Albany County health inspections, a regular reader wrote:
If I absolutely HAD to eat a cockroach, I'd want it prepared by Dale Miller and the crew at Jacks.
Good news: Downtown Albany's Restaurant Week begins April 3 and Jack's is on the list of places offering $16.09 meals.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Shrinkage

Gadzooks! My Metroland has gotten smaller! There's suddenly less to love of the alt-weekly, which showed up in it's newly redesigned format yesterday. I don't know the money side of publishing, but it seems to me that less paper equals lower cost. It's hard out there for a pimp, isn't it? The real highlight in this week's Metroland, however, is the letters.

Metroland's letters are usually tedious, but this week's were outstanding. First, Jeanine Wisniewski of Sand Lake took some wicked shots at the paper's resident intellectual Jo Page. Ms. Wisniewski was responding to a recent column Page wrote about all her high minded reading. She begins:
Why is that intelligent people who write about being "readers" feel compelled to mention they read The New Yorker? Why do they want us to know, or more accurately, why do they want to be known as New Yorker readers?
Indeed! The second letter comes from none other than Soccergirl. Maybe you read about the Columbia County internet celebrity here in Albany Eye; she was recently featured in Metroland's Sex Issue ---which made the mistake of calling what she does "tubcasting". She set them straight:
When I first carried my boyfriend's Powerbook G4 from his nice dry room into the nice wet bathroom, risking both electrocution and getting dumped (i.e. my future happiness), disrobed, slid into the soapy water, pressed record, and announced my new invention to the Internet. I called it Bathcasting. You get to hear me naked.
By the way, that Soccergirl link? Not entirely work friendly ---but not as risky as taking your laptop into the bath.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Whither the Anchormen?

Vote for Erin.It's not too late to go to FHM magazine's web site and vote for former CapitalNews 9 reporter Erin O'Hotty O'Hearn as TV's Sexiest Newslady. Capital Region native O'Hearn, whose first job was at CN9, now works at the ABC affiliate in Philly. Nice.

No, there's no shortage of toothsome young reporters and anchors in America's newsrooms ---what there's a shortage of is men. Research done by the RTNDA recently found that male anchors are a vanishing breed. Less men are going into broadcast journalism, and a lot of those that get in don't stay in. And as evidenced by Ms. O'Hearn, a woman with smarts and right look can get to the bigs incredibly fast. Men? In a Boston Globe story, Bob Papper, Ball State professor of telecommunications says,"If you dress up the average woman coming out of college and put on makeup, she looks like an adult. The average man coming out of college looks like he's going through puberty."

Just look at the trouble WRGB has had keeping that male anchor seat filled since Ernie Tetrault left in 1993. Maybe now with Greg Floyd they'll have somebody who doesn't have one eye on the camera and the other eye on the door.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Departure

The buzz on the street is that Paul Conti, longtime news director at WNYT, is leaving the station. People who would know say he's taking a teaching position at an area college, but will remain at NewsChannel 13 for a number of months. While this is news, the real news will be when a replacement is named ---which could take some time from the sound of things.

What Not To Eat

Mmmmmm...Crunchy.Before heading out to lunch today, you might want to stop over at Albany County's web site and check out the online restaurant inspection results. It's not absolutely complete yet, but it has data on all inspections that have taken place since October. Many of the violations are highly technical, and not the sort of thing that would keep you from eating somewhere, but now and then you'll find one that's truly revolting. For example, one very old and famous downtown eatery on lower State Street was cited in November for an Item 14A, and found to have "Insects, rodents present". Just remember, if you find something crunchy in your Manhattan Clam Chowder, one man's pest is another man's protein. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

High Fiber

It's Spring, and the lawns are a mess ---but it's not moles that have been doing a job on the grass in some area neighborhoods, it's Verizon. Contractors in Bethlehem have been busy laying the groundwork for the company's FTTP (fiber to the premises) service. With FTTP you have a fiber optic cable running right into your home instead of copper wire, which means lightning fast internet ---and sooner or later, video services. This will mean you can not only "ditch the dish," you can ditch Time-Warner.

Several communities in New York State have already franchised Verizon to provide its FiOS TV service, and the company is going after more big roll outs, particularly on Long Island. If you think Time Warner's ubiquitous ad campaign against satellite is aggressive, wait until you see what they unleash against Verizon. But while they have lots of arguments against the dish, what can they possibly say about fiber? That gophers will chew through the cables?

Monday, March 20, 2006

You Gotta Know When to Hold 'Em

The Glens Falls Post-Star had to pull the plug on it's charity Texas Hold 'Em tournament scheduled for April 1. Why? Because it's illegal.

After advertising the event and receiving dozens of entries from players, the paper thought it might be a good idea to check with the state Racing and Wagering board. Apparently, while some games of chance are allowed for charitable fund raising, games where people bet against one another are forbidden. Does that mean March Madness brackets are OK?

Juggernaut

February sweeps produced another killer rating book for WNYT. Sales types from other stations will be on the street saying that it was the Olympics, but I'm not so sure. While the Olympics may be a good promotional springboard, in every other regard it's a disruption. The station lost its Oprah lead-in at five, and on most nights the late news ran really late, like at 11:30 or midnight.

And speaking of the Olympics, the advances we were shown indicate an unbelievable 20 rating/37 share average for primetime Olympic coverage. NBC may have had a hard time with Torino nationally, but around here folks can't get enough of the ice and snow.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Outage

My apologies to those unable to read Albany Eye on Friday. Blogger, the free service we use that's owned by Google, experienced a wide-ranging outage late Thursday night that made many sites inaccessible. Interestingly, the words Blogger, Google and blog all appear as errors when you use Blogger's spell check function.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Face of Troy

Brenda Ann KenneallyTroy has a seamy side that you can practically taste. You don't need to go far from the Music Hall and the galleries and the colleges to find it ---and if you've ever been to the Flag Day Parade, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It really is different from Albany and Schenectady, and in a strange way, the people living on the gritty fringes of Shirley Jackson's Troy are as unique as the city itself.

Photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally's award winning series, Upstate Girls, is a gut wrenching look at the cycle of poverty and desperation in Troy ---particularly its effect on women. There are 40 photos in the online exhibit. Another of her projects, about crack use in a Brooklyn neighborhood, may be seen here. Kenneally's pictures are intimate and powerful; when you see them you'll wonder what kind of person it takes to gain this sort of trust from her subjects.

Happy St. Stewart's Day

News folks who are on the road love Stewart's. Hot coffee, sandwiches, maps ---and bathrooms that are clean on a consistent basis. Today, pop into any Stewart's and get a free single scoop cone if you're wearing the green. You could also pick up some beer for later, but I don't recommend toting that around in a company vehicle.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Get Out

A couple of weeks ago, we told you how Libby Post was working a PR campaign to get the gay and lesbian Logo network added to Time Warner cable. Now her firm, Outmarketing.biz, has landed another significant client, the 2006 World Outgames, to be held this Summer in Montreal. The event welcomes everyone, seeking to be the:
Largest and most magnificent gathering of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transvestites, transsexuals and heterosexuals coming together in a festive spirit of celebration in North America's City of Festivals.
Outmarketing.biz has found the right niche at the right time. Smart businesses know that the gay and lesbian community represent an attractive, affluent, and influential market. Finding a way to get them to connect with your brand is striking gold.

One thing about the Outgames, though: I'm a little confused about what this "Bear Programme" thing is all about. Oh, what the heck, it's Canada.

The Secret Lives of Dentists

Should you ever find yourself in jail, please remember not to argue over the TV. No good will come from it. This from Warren County sheriff Larry Cleveland:
On March 14th, 2006 an altercation between two inmates took place in the Warren County Correctional Facility resulting in one male being transported to the Glens Falls Hospital for treatment. The inmates involved were 30 year old Jesse F. Dupont of Glens Falls and 41 year old Adrian Wizes of Lake George. An argument started between the two over usage of the television set within the facility. The dispute got physical when Dupont pulled the cable and electrical cords from the television set and struck Wizes in the side of his head.
Wizes is well known in the Lake George area for losing his dentistry license after he was found "guilty of willfully physically abusing several female patients." According to CapitalNews 9, he's now being held on charges of first-degree sexual abuse in a case involving a ten-year-old girl.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Alan and the Pirates

An IRS filing shows that WAMC President and CEO Alan Chartock received a $48,000 raise during the fiscal year ending in June 2005. Including other benefits, that brings his total compensation in at over $165,000.

This all came up when Berkshire County gadfly Glenn Heller posted the form on WAMC Northeast Pirate Network, a web site devoted to attacking Chartock. The Post's Fred Dicker, another long-time Alan Chartock antagonist, joined the fray on his WROW radio show Monday.

Is Alan Chartock really worth $166,101.00 a year? I say no. He's worth more. WAMC has grown into a powerful and influential force in regional broadcasting ---a force that arguably does more good for the community than any other radio or TV station. Chartock's leadership and charisma are no small part of their success. According to a member of the station's board of trustees, the raise came only after an examination of compensation at other public radio stations. Hearing the board explain this process -and how they found that Chartock was underpaid- isn't as interesting as listening to people bash him. Maybe that's why it didn't make its way into Mark McGuire's story yesterday.

Two Hours of Free Joe

MMMMMMM...Coffee.Starbucks will be handing out free 12 ounce coffees between 10am and noon today. To be on the safe side, go to the actual Starbucks stores, not one of those mini-Starbucks like they have in Barnes and Noble and Price Chopper. Don't you need some new pictures of the Wellington, or something?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

6 Degrees of Separation

Liz Bishop: Long-time favorite of area Lizbians.It was CBS 6 Day on Capital Region radio yesterday morning. On WROW, Paul Vandenburgh was going on and on about how much he loves Liz Bishop. Newscaster Heidi Kelly agreed, saying that their affection for Bishop must make them "Liz-bians." That's the first intentionally funny thing I've heard on that show since...uh...well..that's the first funny thing I've heard on that show ever.

Meanwhile, over at The Bone, J.R. Gach played host to a couple of representatives from WRGB's NABET 21 unit. As you know, the union is fighting GM Bob Furlong's plan to cut wages for NABET employees by 15%. You know, if things over there are so bad, maybe Bob Furlong (pictured here with the giant inflatable rat) should take a 15% cut, also.

By the way, who saw the giant spread in the Sunday Gazette showing off Liz Bishop's posh condo in Saratoga Springs? I hope she takes the time to thank those NABET workers who make her look good every night.

Harvard on the Hudson

Got a high school senior at home? Hudson Valley Community College is offering a course for parents this weekend titled My Baby's Going to College. The two hour session is designed to prepare folks "to help your student with the transition from high school to college." The press release points out that the session is for all parents, not just those with kids going to HVCC. Otherwise, they would have named the program, My Baby's Going to Hudson Valley: What the #*@% Did I Do Wrong?

Monday, March 13, 2006

A Night in Heaven

A reader wrote:
Sure, you may have been named best blog in Metroland's Reader's Poll, but Alan Chartock topped the list of Local Celebrities You'd Like to Have a One-Night Stand With.
The truth is that the list appears to be arranged alphabetically, not in order of preference, but as I've said in the past, those fund drives are powerful stuff.
Alan Chartock is a regular, and someone's had a powerful yearning for Liz Bishop for as long as I can remember. John Gray and Judy Sanders (separately, not together) are always on there, too.
As I strolled around the office Thursday, this much was clear: that list is again the most popular item in one of Metroland's biggest issues of the year. But you can't help but wonder, is much of the voting actually done by newsroom folks? This year's appearance of Albany Public Safety spokesman, Detective Jimmy Miller cements that impression. After all, they all call him "Super Cop," don't they?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Leftovers

Breaking Maiden
On Wednesday we got this release from the Albany County DA's brand new press person Rachel McEneny. It contained this hilarious quote from David Soares:
Do we really believe that we are providing the support that young people need to negotiate the trials of teenage hood?
We're going to have trials of teenage hoods? Now your talking, Soares.

The Reviews Are In
Here's a post that was kicking around the TV Spy Watercooler this week. Maybe there is something good going on at WTEN:
Author: newscherub Date: Mar 7, 2006 5:12 PM EST
Dana Dieterle filled the news director position. I like him a lot, he just left WHDH in Boston. Great guy and good leader!

Double Dipping
College of St. Rose flack Ben Marvin wants you all to show up for this:
WHO: Students from The College of Saint Rose who have spent their Spring Break in Louisiana and Mississippi helping rebuild communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
WHAT: They return to Albany tomorrow(Saturday), March 11
I guess it's not enough that they had CBS 6's Greg Floyd along for the trip with a photographer. Maybe you could get some nice shots of him stepping off the plane.

Thanks!
Thank you to the people who voted for Albany Eye as Best Blog in Metroland's Reader's Poll. I should take you both out to lunch, or something.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ask the Boss

Attention WTEN folks: Want to ask the boss a question about what's going on at your station? Or just scream out something crazy to the stockholders? Here's your chance:
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 8, 2006--Young Broadcasting Inc. ("YBI") (NASDAQ:YBTVA) has scheduled a conference call for Friday, March 10 at 11:00 AM (ET) following the release of its fourth quarter earnings report.
You may participate in the conference call by dialing 888-552-9135 (Passcode: YOUNG, Leader: Vincent Young). This will enable you to listen to the presentation. At the end of the presentation you will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with Vincent Young, CEO of Young Broadcasting Inc. and with James Morgan, the company's CFO.
You may want to do this from someone else's extension.

Life of Pi

Another brilliant move by a radio station owner puts a hard working man on the street.Galaxy Communications owner Ed Levine rolled into town Wednesday and fired J.R. Gach's Bone morning show sidekick Pi. Why? Because Pi called someone a "big pussy" on the air. While not exactly a polite term, pussy is hardly firing material, especially since it was used to mean wimp, not to describe female genitalia. That might be firing material. How many newspapers and magazine's have printed the name Big Pussy in stories about the Sopranos? In just the last week? Anyway, in the world of morning radio, what Pi did hardly ranks as even a misdemeanor.

Usually when radio people suddenly vanish their names are never spoken again. J.R. didn't play that game Thursday morning, and openly talked about Pi's abrupt and unexpected termination. Said Gach later in the day, "What people don't know about Pi, was his tremendous work ethic, his tireless efforts on production and imaging, his gung-ho attitude and never-ending willingness to work. I could see that in Pi the first time I met him."

I'm sure Mr. Levine knows what he's doing; after all, he's screwing around with the only thing he has going for him on that radio station.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Put Your Hand on the Radio

This could be a good job for somebody out there:
Crawford Broadcasting Company in Albany is currently looking to add to our On-Air Lineup. We play the latest and best Christian rock music on Pulse 96.7 (WPTR), and the best Christian talk on Life 1540 (WDCD).
Take a look at the station's hiring policy and you'll notice something missing: No person is discriminated against in employment because of race, color, national origin or sex. So if somebody wants to get hired, it might help if that somebody is a Christian. And by Christian, we're probably not talking about you Catholics.
Maybe you didn't know this, but religious broadcasters are exempt from the FCC's EEO rules in regard to religion. That means that they can exclude you on the basis of your faith ---or your lack of faith. You could be the best salesperson or engineer in the world, but if you happen to be a Jewish salesperson or a Muslim engineer, or an agnostic, you aren't working there.

How about that? A licensee of the Federal government given free rein to weed out job applicants based on their beliefs. And you think what the FCC did to Howard Stern was bad.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

.14 From the Guilderland Judge

If you work in the business, this story about WNYT's Andrew Catalon should be enough to wake you up and wake you up good. Everybody says that they would never drink and drive, but the truth is that many of us have gotten behind the wheel when it could get us in trouble. And it doesn't mean you were wasted. Under the right circumstances and the mysterious workings of body chemistry, a couple of glasses of wine or a few beers are all it takes to get you arrested.
Believe me, it's bad enough getting your name in the local weekly rag over this. When you work in the media, that's usually not the end of it.

Family Business

Patronage is as old as politics, but now and then one comes along that's really worth noting. I'm talking about the appointment of Rachel McEneny as the PR flack for Albany County DA David Soares. McEneny is the daughter of Albany Assemblyman Jack McEneny. Though apparently more interested in theatre than politics, she ran several of her father's campaigns, and headed up one of Mike McNulty's re-election bids ---as if McNulty's slam dunk campaigns require management.
If you need more proof that politics makes strange bedfellows, McEneny's father-in-law is former Yonkers Mayor and Senate candidate, Republican John Spencer. You really should read up on "conservative" Spencer.

We wish Mrs. McEneny Spencer the best of luck, and hope she'll refrain from the flamboyant nonsense that her predecessor, Richard Arthur, seemed to crave so dearly. And get the DA's office on the web, for goodness sake. It's hard to believe that someone as politically ambitious as David Soares doesn't have a home page.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ugly Dog Story

Anya Tucker: She likes the weird dogs.That's not just any dog you're looking at, that's Maya, a champion Mexican Xolo belonging to WTEN's Anya Tucker. A champion, you say? Absolutely. The hairless and unusual looking Maya (large photo here) has taken home the gold in numerous "ugly dog" contests, including three victories in the prestigious Portland Michigan Riverfest. Tucker, reporter and weekend anchor at WTEN, moved here from Michigan a few months ago ---so if you know of any local event where Maya might compete, you might want to shoot her an email.
And by the way, if you're considering shaving your dog, please don't do it; the Xolo (Xoloitzcuintle) is bred that way. It's funny how even if you're bald, you still have lots of hair coming out of your ears, isn't it? (No, that isn't a jab at Jack Aernecke.)

Hooked on Classics

Bach that rocks, all day long.Today's the day that WMHT flips the switch and turns on Classical 97.7 WBKK. This new upbeat alternative to the public broadcaster's own WMHT-FM will provide classical programming tuned to the ear of regular folks. Let's face it, old school WMHT-FM is not what you'd call accessible ---in fact, most people can't stand listening to the station. The new WBKK will be to WMHT what Adult Contemporary is to AOR. What do you think people will pick? Some bouncy Mozart number on WBKK or Vagner Vednesday on WMHT?

So if this new approach works, what then? What then is that WBKK's stodgy old uncle takes a back seat. And with three radio stations, you've got to wonder if WMHT might use one of them to take a run at the public radio area that's growing, not shrinking: news and information.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Don't Know Art...

Free condom with every large popcorn. Unlimited re-fills.The raid at Troy's Cinema Art Theatre pried open a bottomless cesspool of tawdry stuff for reporters yesterday. Since stories like this bring out my inner seventh grader, my favorite line was this from Friday's Record:
Rensselaer County District Attorney Patricia DeAngelis arrived later with a handful of aides.
Amid all the descriptions of spent condoms and random sex, CapitalNews 9's Sean O'Grady talked to a woman who says her boyfriend prostituted himself at the theatre:
Sean: Do you know what the payment was for certain sex acts?
Tipster: He would get $200 to $400 for oral sex.
I'm not knowledgeable about the rates for that service, but I watch Cops, and I'd guess it's more like $20 to $40.

Some neighbors say they'd like to see the 1920's vintage movie house turned into a place like Albany's Spectrum. This would be a good copy line for their ad campaign: ALL NEW SEATS.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cold War

That's it. We finally reached the point where there can not possibly be any more weather on TV. It's everywhere, and I'm just not buying that there's any difference whatsoever in the forecasts. And Doppler? Nobody understands it. So, now that we have parity, how will we decide who wins the weather war? I propose we stage some sort of Fight Club thing between the weather teams. My money is on WNYT. Think about it:
WRGB
Steve Lapointe? Prepare to have that smug little smile wiped off your face. And Mailey? C'mon, can you really imagine Tom Mailey popping somebody?

WTEN
Steve Caporizzo isn't as big as he looks on TV and Andy Gregorio will not fare well ---but on the other hand, this Jeff Smith kid could be a problem.

FOX 23
Noah Francis. Possible trouble here, because he looks like he might be a little crazy.

WNYT
I'm not sure Kovachick is quick, but if he gets hold of you, he'd probably rip your head off. Jason Gough appears formidable and he's got that Texas thing going on. Caiano? A well known scrapper who's taken his lumps on the mean streets of Albany. Will not back down.
Unlike another 24 hour weather channel, this is something that I'd like to see. How long will it last? Consult rule seven.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bamgoogled

No, don't click THIS. Click the ad on the right side of the page. Thanks.So...You won't take NABET's ad money(see post below), will you? In a real sign of the times, the union's Turn Off CBS 6 campaign has gone to the web. What you're looking at on the left is an actual Google ad that popped up on this very web site today. By the way, it wouldn't hurt if you clicked on those now and then...

Roadblocked

NABET 21 reports that their TV spot for the Turn Off CBS 6 campaign has been rejected by WNYT, WTEN, WXXA, WNYA and Time Warner Cable. Sales at the WNYA are handled by WRGB, so no surprise there. Says union spokesman Jim Felitte:
Despite our willingness to revise the spot to make it acceptable to them, the general consensus was that they would not touch it.
TV stations don't have to take your advertising, but they've got to feel pretty strongly to say no to a cash customer. I guess this leaves WB45 ---or underwriting on WMHT. The union has been more successful with radio; we've heard their spot a number of times on WROW. What we haven't heard is Paul Vandenburgh talking about the issue on his morning show.

The Show Before the Show

So, who's going to see The Capitol Steps at Proctor's on Saturday? The Washington based political satire group is rolling into town for one show only, and according to the Proctor's web site, there are still some tickets available. Plan on arriving early and catching the pre-show Theatretalk event featuring Times Union editor Rex Smith. Smith will be leading a discussion titled Pols, Hacks and Flaks: Who's Laughing At Whom? It is the mark of a true grammarian to know the difference between who and whom, wouldn't you say? His presentation is described as:
A conversation that explores some of the highlights and lower moments of encounters between officialdom and the Fourth Estate.
If you've ever heard Smith speak, or just listened to him on The Media Project (where Alan Chartock calls him as Sexy Rexy), you already know this should be pretty good.

6:30 Saturday at Proctor's. Capitol Steps ticket holders only. Seating limited.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Eternal Sadness of the Alleged Lizard Stomper

Jerome Green: The saddest alleged perpetrator ever.The cops like to show off mug shots the same way mothers like showing off pictures of their kids and fisherman like shots of the big one that didn't get away. Mug shots are about as interesting as those other pictures, but now and then you get a real doozy ---like this one. It's hard to look at this picture (here's a large version) and not feel bad for the guy.
Jerome Green was arrested by police in Amsterdam for allegedly killing a pet lizard that belonged to his roommate's son. We may never know if he was overcome with grief over being arrested, or for the violent death of the reptile in question. According to the Times Union, police say that Green:
Threw the animal onto the kitchen floor, repeatedly stomped on it, and then threw it on the roof of the building.
The suspected lizard stomper is charged under Buster's Law, the only thing Jim Tedisco has ever accomplished in the State Assembly. Before getting elected minority leader, that is.