It's been three years and two jobs since DeMarco Morgan last signed off from Channel 12.
But the talented TV anchor was back in town last week on one of his regular visits, keynoting a fund-raising event for Sharp Literacy Inc., a group that pushes reading among young urban children. Morgan also spent some time last week at area schools, talking to kids at Rogers Street Academy and the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee.
It's not unusual for a famous face to be active in his community, but Morgan's now an anchor/reporter at New York City's WNBC-TV.
He left Channel 12 -- where he was the weekend morning anchor alongside Portia Young -- in 2007. After leaving Milwaukee, he spent a year at Miami's NBC outlet, WTVJ-TV, before landing at New York City's NBC affiliate in 2008.
And, no, Morgan isn't from Milwaukee.
But the three years he spent here were clearly important to him.
"It feels like home," Morgan told me in a phone conversation. "A lot of people think I'm from Milwaukee, but I'm not, I'm from Tulsa, Okla.
"Milwaukee's been better to me than my hometown. Milwaukee holds a special place in my heart," he said.
The desire to help out young people goes back to Morgan's own success -- which came after he finally started applying himself at Jackson State University. His high school career hadn't been stellar, and he was lucky to get into college at all.
"It wasn't because I had problems with literacy or anything like that," he said. "I wasn't applying myself."
That changed in college, as Morgan began to pursue his dream.
"I've always known that I wanted to be a TV reporter," he said.
Morgan's hard work in college paid off, "I was blessed to even go on to Columbia University's graduate school of journalism.
The message that Morgan spreads to children is that reading is the key to everything. He suggests that if school books aren't working for them, they find books and magazines about their own personal interests.
"That's what turned it around for me. I really had to read, read, read."
It all turned out well Morgan, and that's what he preaches in his adopted home town of Milwaukee.
"I feel like I have to do it, because I've been blessed," he said.
On TV: Travel Channel "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern will be at the Alterra Coffee on Prospect on Oct. 30 for the conclusion of a competition for two tickets to Riviera Maya in Mexico. Here's where to find details on the contest.
- ABC's "V" will be back Jan. 4 in the 8 p.m. Tuesday slot on Channel 12.
- Speaking of ABC, it's working on remakes of "The Incredible Hulk" and "Wonder Woman."
- Fox is playing hardball again in contract negotiations, pulling its broadcast network from Cablevision cable systems in the New York City area, affecting some 3 million subscribers.
- PBS' "Nova" has been filming for weeks in Chile, and plans an Oct. 28 episode on the rescue of the 33 miners.
- CBS' "The Talk" daytime show debuts today at 1 p.m. on Channel 58 with Christie Brinkley on the guest list.
Favre is now his own comedy genre: Since Brett Favre's sexting scandal finally crossed over to the old-fashioned media, he's quickly morphed into something of a national joke.
Bill Maher made a string of Favre jokes at the end of his most recent "Real Time" on HBO, the latest animated "news" story out of Hong Kong/Taiwan tells the tale of Fare's sexting and David Letterman made him the focus of one of his top 10 lists last week.
Check out Letterman's take on Favre:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. 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 OnMilwaukee.com.
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.