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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Channel 58 has unveiled a new news set as part of its transition to HD. (PHOTO: WDJT-TV)

OnMedia: Channel 58 adding noon news, moving to HD newscast


Channel 58 is going through some major changes, as it makes the technical upgrade to HD newscasts.

It began with the unveiling of a new set for its newscasts, a necessary step as Milwaukee's affiliate moves toward the state-of-the-art high-definition news programming. HD robotic cameras are in place, but general manager Jim Hall says, in laymen's terms, the hard drive of the station has to be upgraded for HD broadcasting.

"I'd like to have it happen now," Hall tells me, but he expects HD to launch in eight to 12 weeks. "It'll happen when we're ready. This is a marathon, not a sprint."

He's right, Channels 4, 6 and – most recently – 12 have already made the upgrade. While it's not a race, adopting the latest technology is necessary for Channel 58 to maintain what Hall calls "production and technical parity with the competition."

In addition to the HD transition, Channel 58 is adding a noon newscast in September. The exact date hasn't been announced, but he confirms that the morning team of anchors Tom Durian and Jennifer Tomazic, and forecaster Lance Hill will staff the new half-hour of news.

It will take advantage of the lead-in available from CBS' "Young and the Restless" at 11 a.m., one of the dwindling number of remaining network soap operas. The noon hour now features the syndicated "Insider," which will move to another time slot, or sister channel WMLW-TV.

Speaking of WMLW: Hall was just as excited to talk about the September launch of syndicated reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" in the 6 p.m. hour in September on WMLW.

Hall says he thinks the comedy will bring a large audience to the station, taking viewers from cable and some from his local broadcast competitors.

"We expect it to make a big bang," he said, swearing he had just come up with that line.

WMLW is available over the air as Channel 58.2 or 41; and is Channel 7 and digital 982 on Time Warner Cable, 7, 8 or 21 on Charter; Channel 5 on AT&T U-Verse; and Channel 41 on DirecTV and Dish Network.

A new program director at WBWI-FM: West Bend's WBWI-FM (92.5) has named radio veteran Ken Kohls as its new program director, replacing Fuzz Martin, who has left the business.

You may have heard Kohls on the air at WMIL-FM (106.1), and he's worked around the country in a 28-year radio career, including a stint as program director at KKRQ-FM in Cedar Rapids/Iowa City.

The country music station continues to look for a morning drive-time host, with AJ Randall – a familiar voice to listeners of the old Matthew Blades show on the station formerly known as WKIT – filling in until a permanent host is found.

Milwaukee Film venue expansion: The 2011 Milwaukee Film Festival, which runs Sept. 22-Oct. 2, has announced that the Landmark Downer Theatre and the Marcus Ridge Cinema in New Berlin will screen films for the entire festival, joining the existing venues – the Landmark Oriental Theatre and Marcus North Shore Cinema in Mequon. Three of the four venues will have two screens showing festival films this year. The Downer will have one screen devoted to the event's screenings.

On TV: MTV is marking the death of Amy Winehouse by airing a 2007 Winehouse concert today at 5:30 p.m.

  • ABC says it's enforcing a new policy not to pay subjects of news stories, according to The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz. In the past, it's paid for the use of video or photographs, a way round the general rule of not paying for interviews.
  • Kaley Cuoco of CBS' "Big Bang" theory will host the Aug. 7 "Teen Choice Awards" on Fox.
  • John Goodman is joining NBC's "Community" as a vice dean at Greenfield Community College.
  • TNT has ordered a second 10-episode season of "Franklin & Bash."

That wacky Danny Pudi: The G4 cameras were rolling when Marquette grad (and "Community" star) Danny Pudi visited Comic-Con 2011. Here's the video:

Talkbacks

InTheView | July 28, 2011 at 12:20 p.m. (report)

Wow, they updated their look and technology to that of the early 1990s.

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nomorecrackpipes | July 27, 2011 at 12:22 p.m. (report)

Nice to see DJT finally update their set. It's been the same since before I interned there ... in 1999. Their over the air picture quality should see a large improvement, it's always appeared out of focus and dated.

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Jeff | July 27, 2011 at 11:43 a.m. (report)

At least 58 has a current photo for its backdrop; for some bizarre reason, 12 is using a 10-year-old shot for its new set that has some recent buildings MIA. BTW, the angle for both photos is about the worst possible: It looks like downtown has one giant building (U.S. Bank) and a few other little ones. If the stations would spend a few bucks on an aerial shot, they'd get spectacular views from 1) the McKinley marina looking south, with a sweeping view of the Prospect high-rises and more of downtown; or 2) the McKinley/43 intersection looking east, with an all-inclusive view of downtown.

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