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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Jesse Ritka is the new forecaster on Channel 4.

OnMedia: A change in the weather


I sensed a little confusion from some viewers of Channel 4's morning newscasts over the weekend, when an unfamiliar face popped up doing the weather.

Let me explain.

That new face is Jesse Ritka, and she's the official replacement for Craig Koplien, who left the NBC affiliate late last year, and has been blogging for us at OnMilwaukee.com for the past few months.

Koplien explained his own voluntary departure in a blog post that provides an interesting insight into TV news and weather.

Blogged Koplien: "I was told I would spend much of my time being a news reporter. I would also be the weather guy on the Saturday and Sunday night newscasts. With all due respect to news reporters and weather guys on Saturday and Sunday night newscasts, it wasn't my dream job anymore."

Ritka's job description includes doing the weekend morning weather, filling in for other forecasters and some reporting duties during the week.

She comes from KDLT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she spent the last three years and was most recently worked the morning shift.

She's a native of suburban Minneapolis, but her grandparents live in Manitowoc, and she claimed on Saturday's newscast to be a life-long Packers fan.

But didn't Channel 4 replace Koplien with Lance Hill? After all, he's been doing weekend morning weather and had a lot of on-camera time during the Groundhog Day blizzard.

Actually, no.

From the start, Channel 4 made it clear that Hill -- who left Channel 12 when his contract ended in November 2009 because his job was changing to hybrid weather/general assignment reporting position (much like Koplien's situation) -- was a freelancer.

In other words, he was just filling in, although his professionalism was clear as he blended in easily. He's obviously passionate about the weather -- a trait among TV meteorologists.

Just as that freelance gig ends, Hill is back doing the weather regularly, doing mornings on Channel 58. He started this morning.

On TV: Milwaukee "American Idol" finalist Naima Adadepo is on Twitter, if you want to follow her. Her first tweet: "Blessed Love beautiful people! Thank you for all of the support! Brand new to the twitter joint, forgive me for my lack of communication!"

  • Speaking of "Idol," Thursday night's results show was up against reruns elsewhere on the dial, and that gave Fox the highest Thursday ratings for any network in four years.
  • NY Magazine is reporting that CBS has signed up "How I Met Your Mother" for two more seasons. There's nothing official yet.
  • ReelzChannel will have a pretty complicated schedule for its airing of the eight-part miniseries "The Kennedys." It premieres Sunday, April 3, when the first two parts will air. Episodes three through six will air the next Tuesday through Friday, with the final two parts airing Sunday, April 10. The schedule was adjusted because the NCAA Men's Basketball championship is April 4.

The Tiger Blood update: If you missed Sirius XM satellite radio's all-Charlie Sheen channel that ran over the weekend (seriously), there are still plenty of chances to sample some of that Sheen magic.

VH1 is going the serious route at 7 tonight with one-hour special. Drew Pinsky hosts "Charlie Sheen: Winning … or Losing It? with Dr. Drew."

A far less serious offering comes from Spike TV at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. "Charlie Sheen's Winningest Moments," will consist of animated segments on Sheen produced by the Taiwanese production company, Next Media Animation. The countdown of Sheen's "most outlandish moments" will be hosted by two Taiwanese female characters dubbed "The Goddesses."

No deal is done, but Mark Cuban tells RadarOnline.com that his HDNet channel talking to Sheen about a possible show.

Meanwhile, Funny or Die is offering Jerry O'Connell in an over-the-top mock audition to replace Sheen on "Two and a Half Men."

And when I say over the top, consider that a strong warning for the squeamish among you.

Talkbacks

lizzymilw | March 8, 2011 at 7:04 p.m. (report)

thank you sandstorm...his comment was snarky...he should just be happy people are reading his blog

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lizzymilw | March 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. (report)

it was a tongue in cheek comment timmy...if i went to those "other websites" i would only find people that looked like you

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speakthetruth | March 8, 2011 at 8:17 a.m. (report)

TMJ4 has talent, but they don't want to pay people. Fish looks like a circus clown with his stage makeup, but he's a lot better than Scott "I've Never Had a Good Haircut and Don't Own a Suit That Fits" Steele. This new Ritka character annoys me to no end. I'm sure that she's nice, but that accent is a deal killer. Why don't they get rid of Susan Kim and just put Melissa McCrady and Caitlin on as the anchors in the morning? Who wouldn't watch that?

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sandstorm | March 8, 2011 at 7:45 a.m. (report)

kind of a simple question Tim. not sure why you had to answer Lizzy all snarky. and will those websites actually help Lizzy get a date specifically with Fish (if that was even her intention by asking that question)?

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cuprisin | March 7, 2011 at 6:23 p.m. (report)

Sorry, Lizzy. There are other websites that can help you find a date.

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