OnMedia: Live from New York ... it's Betty White
NBC has made it official, 88-year-old Betty White will headline the May 8 edition of "Saturday Night Live."
The announcement came from NBC-owned WNBC-TV, and it's not a solo hosting gig. Instead, White will be part of a team featuring former "SNL" cast members Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey, Anna Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannan.
It will be a Mother's Day edition of the comedy show. The former SNLers are all moms, and Lorne Michaels termed White, who has no children, "the mother of us all in comedy."
Coming during the May ratings sweeps, White's sure to be a big ratings draw after the Facebook campaign to get her the host slot. That page collected nearly half a million fans.
Add Tina Fey (and a likely Sarah Palin impersonation), and that could collect an enormous audience for SNL.
White, by the way, has been a network TV fixture since the 1950s. Her first series, "Life with Elizabeth," premiered in 1952.
On the radio: If you're wondering what you're missing by not subscribing to Sirius XM radio, how 'bout Howard Stern's beauty pageant yesterday for Tiger Woods' former mistresses? Jamie Jungers "won."
- The new program director at WYMS-FM (88.9) is Mark Keefe, with a couple decades of experience in commercial and non-commercial. His most recent gig was as operations manager / program director for a cluster of four stations in Reno, Nev. The position had been open for a while, ever since the departure of Dave Cowan. The best line in the announcement of Keefe's hiring from 88 Nine Radio Milwaukee was this quote from Keefe: "They had me at cheese curds."
- Morning radio behemoths Bob Madden and Brian Nelson are adding another station to their state syndication network. Green Bay's WNFL-AM (1440) signs on March 22 as the newest Bob and Brian affiliate. Their home base, of course, is WHQG-FM (102.9), better known to listeners as "The Hog."
- Congrats to Mark Belling, who marked his 21st anniversary in the p.m. drive-time slot on WISN-AM (1130) on Tuesday afternoon.
- Rob Feder blogs that Tribune CEO Randy Michaels has issued a list of 119 words or phrases banned from newscasts on Chicago's WGN-AM (720), such as "authorities," "best kept secret," "killing spree" and "manhunt." It's a ham-handed attempt to get news-folks to sound like they're not reading news stories to listeners. Oh, "folks" is another banned word, so sorry about that, Randy.
- Pioneering syndicated talk show host Bruce Williams ended his long-running night-time show last week. The sometimes cranky Williams, who started in the radio nearly 35 years ago, hadn't been on Milwaukee radio for the past few years. But his program was easy to listen to on the Internet or satellite radio. You can hear archived shows at his Web site.
- As long as we're talking radio, here's the audio of my Tuesday night chat about TV with Steve King and Johnnie Putman on Chicago's WGN.
A good reason to look scruffy: Milwaukee Public TV is hosting a "Red Green" lookalike contest at this weekend's Journal Sentinel Sports Show at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park, with reserved-seat tickets to public TV's hosts May 8 appearance in Cedarburg.
Contestants will be photographed at the Milwaukee Public TV Booth (#2028) and the photos will be posted at mptv.org.
If you need a little help in putting together your winning costume, this clip may give you some ideas.
TosaJim, please tell me your 55 or older. Seriously? Have you ever watched those roasts before? THEYRE ALL LIKE THAT! and it is funny to see an older 'grandma' type be out there...you just have to open up and have a sense of humor
I saw Betty White on a Roast show....roasting Andy Dick and she was really gross....I was actually shocked by her attempt to be funny and gross like the rest of the roasters. I was a little disappointed in her.
Steve Smith aka Red Green is definatly underappreciated with his work over the years. Extremely creative and original who never really pushed to be a network star. I remember reading a piece that offered Steve Smith and Rick Green the oppertunity to bring their Red Green show to America on network television but turned it down for the sole reason that they didn't want to lose it feeling. For years it was was a major draw for local public broadcasting's telethon as it held one large live show. Smith is great! If you get the chance to see him in Cedarburg please do.
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