By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Nov 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM

John Jagler isn't saying much about his coming departure from WTMJ-AM (620).

That's understandable. He's on the air through the end of the week, and wouldn't mind the opportunity to come back some day.

He hasn't been shown the door, despite some silly Internet chatter to the contrary. This was his decision, and clearly a tough one for a guy who loved his job, and has been part of the station for more than 15 years.

Like other folks facing changes in what used to be their dream job -- he's moving on.

At 41, Jagler may have to leave radio altogether -- at least for a while -- with few broadcasting opportunities these days. It's looking like he'll go to a non-radio job in Madison, at least until another door opens.

I think it's safe to declare Jagler the second big-name victim of the new system that's measuring Milwaukee radio listening: Arbitron's portable people meters.

Although it's not so cut and dried, you can call Jonathan Green the first victim. WTMJ management is refocusing the news part of its format to fit with the new system, which measures listening in a different way. Green is retiring as his contract ends, but there was no effort to keep him in the afternoon drive slot.

The 3 to 6 p.m. weekday slot will be more defined as a news show and, despite the addition in the New Year of a guy who has been a big personality on Milwaukee TV, John Mercure, it will be less personality-driven.

That's the new model for the 5 to 8:30 a.m. shift, with word that Jagler's role was being changed from co-host to more of an old-fashioned news reader. He clearly has fun in his current role, alongside partner Gene Mueller.

Reading news copy would clearly be a lot less fun.

Jagler says he told Mueller about his decision with the "Wizard of Oz" line, "I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow."

Based on the situation in radio markets that already have had longer experience with portable people meters, news stations need less personality and more information to score with listeners. And, yes, in morning and afternoon drive time, WTMJ is a news station.

It's easy to dump on Jagler's bosses for letting him slip away. But the media world is changing on many levels, and radio station management has to deal with that.

It's a shame to lose Jagler, one of the nicer guys in Milwaukee radio, from our local airwaves.

But Jagler's a victim of changing times, not of evil or clueless management. And he's a guy who's taking his future in his own hands, rather than waiting for a dream job to turn into a chore. He deserves applause for that.

On TV: Variety reports that DirecTV won't be resuscitating any more canceled shows on its 101 Network. It's kept "Friday Night Lights" alive several seasons longer than it would have lasted on NBC alone, and has picked up "Damages" from FX.

  • Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, which owns Channel 58 and its Milwaukee sister channels, is going national with its ME TV channel, with details set to come out today at its Web site.
  • The last time Whoopi Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly were on the same set, Whoopi walked off "The View." Now she's visiting his Fox News Channel show tonight at 7.
  • Teri Hatcher took to her Facebook page to deny tabloid rumors that she's quitting ABC's "Desperate Housewives." She writes: "I meet many people who still find so much joy in watching it and I want everyone to know I'm joyful to be involved to this day and that's not going to change."
  • Warner Brothers is remaking the big-screen "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Joss Whedon won't write the script.
  • CMT's "Singing Bee" will return for a third season of karaoke.

"The Cleveland Show" laughs at America's Dairyland: Fox's "The Cleveland Show" took an imaginary visit to Wisconsin on Sunday's episode, making fun of the state's penchant for dairy products and deep frying.

Here's the full show, with the side trip to Wisconsin starting at about 17:20 into the episode.

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.