By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Mar 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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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

If you need a little help in putting together your winning costume, this clip may give you some ideas.

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.