Saturday, December 30, 2017

The LuLac Edition #3686, December 30th, 2017


1. WILK UPHEAVAL: It started in March during that huge snowstorm when nearly 10 year afternoon drive time host Steve Corbett was fired. Corbett told a local paper he felt his anti Trump stance did him in. Predictably, loud mouth listeners of the right wing took credit.
Right after that, l.A. Tarone was promoted to the afternoon time slot which his broadcast idol the late Bob Grant held. Sadly, Tarone’s cancer advanced and he was off the air in early May and passed away on June 25th.
In the interim, shortly after l.A.’s death, Rob Neyhard filled in during the time slot and applied for the position along with many others in what was reported to be by some, a disjointed and unfocused interview process. Neyhard who did yeoman's service during Tarone's illness was from reports, not even given an  interview.  
Neyhard was by passed over and the job was given to Frank Andrews, a talk show host on WEJL thirty five years ago,  anchor on both WYOU and WNEP, a one term state Rep and a Minister. 
Because the change took place in between a ratings book, no one will know the full effect of the hire for a while. 

2. FOX 56 NEWS DEBUTS: At the start of the year, Fox 56 launched a newscast set for 10pm. Previously WNEP and WBRE TV staffed the newscast. Led by former WBRE Producer Dawn Miller, the newscast has established a niche in the very important 10pm slot in NEPA. Miller as News Manager has grown the program tremendously since her arrival late last year.

3. WHERE DID I SEE THEM AGAIN? Local TV news continues to go national as part of “The Designated Survivor” series when more WNEP personnel appear on the show in the role of newscasters. Meanwhile, former WNEP TV anchor Marisa Burke (one of last year’s LuLac Women We Love) is seen on TV commercials with lawyers and bankers.
Kurt Aaron took over as Chief Weather guru at WNEP after Tom Clark retired while new reporters arrived at Channel 16.
Meanwhile at WBRE/WYOU Jasmine Brooks headed to Harrisburg, Dave Caufield  to Wisconsin and Kelly Byrne came north.

4. MEDIA PASSINGS It was a very bad year for veterans of local media. The aforementioned L.A. Tarone passed away after a battle with cancer. D.C. Day, long time mid day announcer on Rock 107 died, Kevin Fennessey who was on WFIL in Philly and spent time at Oldies 92, WQFM paaased at age 63 from cancer and long time reporter/anchor  John Perry of WDAU died in Florida. 

5. FROM ONE BANKRUPT OWNER TO ANOTHER........Cumulus broadcasting which bought Magic 93, WARM, BHT FM and the rest filed for bankruptcy. Ironic since Cumulus bought the group from the bankrupt Citadel chain of stations.
My good friend Brian Hughes headed out of there to do Traffic Full time and is doing well in that job where he is still heard on Magic.The financial issue should not significantly impact the stations survival in the market because it contains heritage stations that have been constants in this area. 



One significant note in social media this year was the ending, I like to call it a suspension because you just can't keep this group still for any amount of time, of the annual Blogcon seminar held in the fall since 2012. After this year's successful event, the organizers left this message.
In 2012, four women joined together with the intention of creating something new for our community. The aim was simple: make an event where bloggers could learn from and support each other. To do something good for our region. To make it accessible to all. To raise the level of conversation. To help others. To inspire, educate, and motivate.
And we did it.
For six years, NEPA BlogCon brought together nearly 1,000 people to learn about digital marketing, blogging, and social media. We helped businesses, nonprofits, students, and professionals. We raised more than $15,000 to benefit organizations that do invaluable work in our community. We gave dozens of children the opportunity to learn, play, and discover technology through Squirrel Girls Tech Camp.  And we did all of that with you, our friends, our supporters, our sponsors – our partners in success. The gratitude in our hearts cannot be measured.
You were all by our side at every step of the way. And now comes the time for us to take the next step in our journeys.
The women who began this, Michelle Davies, Karla Porter, and Mandy Pennington now take nepa blogCon to the next level. We wish them well and in our small way are here to help with their next endeavor.
A shout out also to our friends Harold Jenkins who still has the listing of all blogs here in NEPA alive and well with his and our good friend Gort 42 who now has become a roving Facebook/Social media photo blogger at area political events.


At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I was one of the only people upset by Corbett's axing. I wasn't that familiar with Tarone, but gave him a listen - and was very surprised. I did't care for his opinions, or many of his "inaccuracies," but I loved his show. He really seemed to enjoy what he was doing, that joy was infectious and didn't use his position for personal vendettas, as became apparent his predecessor had done.
But, perhaps, the most telling difference was the outpouring of grief with which Tarone's loss was met.
From colleagues, to listeners, to comments on blogs/newspaper sites, to a LA Tarone tribute site, it is obvious the genuine love that was there for Tarone was overwhelming and unmatched.
Personally, I realized after about of week of listening, my mood was much lighter, and much of the anger I had on my afternoon drives home was replaced by outbursts of laughter and smiles
Tarone is missed, and the hole he has left can never be filled.

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay.....let's to to the text and see what opinion I can have.
Rob, Jason Barsky, you, whoever the hell else applied got boned for that WILK job.
A text for Tarone was a way to either validate or debate that opinion, Andrews uses it as a crutch.
WILK went from left wing 60s era hippies to Alex P. Keeton conservative and then ends up with the Polish Grandpa from the Legion spouting everyone else's opinion.

At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The financial issue should not significantly impact the stations survival in the market because it contains heritage stations that have been constants in this area. "

Don't be so sure, perhaps you are not aware of an upcoming FCC rule repeal. Station will no longer be required to have a physical studio in the market in which they air. Kind of like FOX 56 10pm newscast. Yes, they have a local stringer or 2, but the anchors are located somewhere in Ohio, doing newscasts for several out of market stations.

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what you most likely won't print but here goes anyway.
WILK has sunk so low with their hosts. My God Baski can't even give out the phone number without asking his producer, then he plays the fool by acting like a know nothing.
Donnelly alone is dangerous. Kyle at least knows what he's talking about.
Then the other day ALL I heard was how sick the producer was because he was out chasing a dog.
The incompetent fill ins are nothing but job security for the regular folks.
I listened to Magic Christmas Carols since the damn beer buzz and I'm Jewish.
Can you imagine if North Korea attacked? Baski would be playing the fool, Donnelly would be talking about how she can't remember where she was in 1990s and Shimmy Shimmy Shimkus would be yammering about crap.
I got me some serious Sirius and I'm done with the lot of them.
Last year you were on with Rob and did a hell of a showcase of your year end work. Anyone even think to call ya there from this stellar back up crew?

At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tarone bless him is spinning in his grave if he knew a three time loster like Shimkus was replacing him.
As for Corbett, the fact that a lying politico who couldn't even tell people where he lived is doing what he did must be intolerable.

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I predict next year's year end will feature the demise of most WILK programming. With the CBS merger now complete, there will be cost cutting across the board, and there is no reason to keep so many local programs, with their expense, in such a small market.
I think Sue will be the sole survivor.

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 11:19 listening to Kathy and Kyle is listening to a competition in which worst life wins. The 2 of them do nothing but complain about their lots in life. They are depressing as hell

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopped listening to WILK completely after Tarone passed away. From the comments here it seems I made a good decision.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Corbett told a local paper he felt his anti Trump stance did him in. Predictably, loud mouth listeners of the right wing took credit."

The only person who got Corbett fired was Corbett. A sharp drop in ratings followed by an even sharper drop in advertisers.

Corbett fell victim to a one issue show in the same exact way "The Big Vopper" did way back when. Talk radio is first and foremost about entertainment, issues and political change are a distant second and third.

At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WILK had a good run, but they have done absolutely nothing to expand their audience and their existing one is aging and has less disposal income.
Tarone's untimely and very sad passing presented an opportunity to hire either a younger or minority host (or both), yet some executive with lack of vision opted for another old white person.

At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it a coincidence or something more real that Lenahan and Dempsey starts to advertise on WILK once Shimkus gets the gig.
Just saying......

At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shimkus may have a contact there and brought them on as an advertiser. I'm sure yonk would have had some sponsors lined up. Whether they are still advertising six months from now will be more telling.

At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, I know they're your friends but I'm done with WILK.
Today Webster said he never heard of the Cleveland Clinic. Wow!
So sad. And to even admit it was sadder. It was like saying, "hey I'm really dumb".

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss WILK's Karel on the Street segment, which was heard on the morning news with Webster and Nancy. She did a great job as a gumshoe out in the field with the most unusual cirmstances and interviewing some pretty interesting people and celebrities. Won 2 broadcasting awards too, although her series was there only for a brief time, it was well lauded and still can be heard online. I am sure you have not heard the last of this talented lady for sure.


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