Milwaukee TV news viewers have come to know Katrina Cravy as a reporter and an anchor.
Starting next Tuesday, we'll have the opportunity to get to know more about the person behind that television journalist as she joins the team of co-hosts of Channel 6's new "Real Milwaukee," a non-news show that will air at 9 a.m. weekdays.
She's part of a team that includes co-hosts Nicole Koglin, Rob Haswell and Cassandra McShepard. There's also a roving reporter, or "rover," Tony Clark, better known to Milwaukee radio listeners as "Tony Zamboni" from his days at WXSS-FM (103.7).
And if the show has a prime directive from Channel 6 management, it's to be "fun."
Take a look at this video made of a promo shoot for the new show:
"This is just a new venue to showcase how fun I've always been," Cravy told me with a laugh. "It's not so hidden to my friends and family and the people I work with. We've always been having fun in the newsroom, now we just get to bring it out in the set -- which is a little dangerous."
And the new show?
"To me, it's a hyper-local mass conversation with the viewers and with us. It's going to be topics that we think are important to us and our families," she said. "We're hoping they'll be important to other people."
The goal is to have a lot of audience interactivity.
"We really want to hear from our audience," she said. "We have an 'Ask The Host' segment where they can ask us anything they want," and there will be a strong Twitter and Facebook component.
"We're opening up our lives for the first time," Cravy said during our Wednesday afternoon conversation on the set of the new show. "I just had a camera in my house this morning, at 6:20 in the morning on my son's first day of school.
"As a mom, anybody knows, it's an emotional time. At the same time, we have our family out there having breakfast with a camera there. It's a little bit like a reality TV show.
"It is frightening, especially when you have a child, you're like, 'how much do you give away?' Obviously, you want to keep him safe.
"And then you think ... 'Did what I just say about myself, does anyone really care about that?'
"You just go with it, have fun with it. People understand, like, the first day of school. I put that on Facebook and I have so many moms and other people going, 'I remember my first day of school ...'
"It's one of those universal moments and now I'm just going to be sharing it with the audience, and they're going to be sharing it back with me," Cravy said.
By the way, she'll continue to do "Contact 6" reports that will air on regular Channel 6 newscasts.
And "Real Milwaukee" will repeat at 8 p.m. weeknights on Channel 6.2, the Fox affiliate's digital sub-channel, which is available on Time Warner Cable Channel 991 and Charter Cable Channel 967.
You can see the rest of my conversation with Cravy on the weekly TV version of OnMedia, available Friday on Time Warner Cable's Wisconsin On Demand Channel 411.
On TV: There's an organized campaign for a Stephen Colbert "Restoring Truthiness" rally in Washington in the wake of Glenn Beck's successful Lincoln Memorial event.
- HBO will air a third 10-episode season of "Hung" next year.
- "Walking Dead" doesn't debut on AMC until Halloween, but there are unconfirmed reports that the cable channel has already ordered a second season.
- The Hollywood Reporter says Jason Lee's "Memphis Beat" has been picked up for a second season by TNT.
- The resurrected "Futurama" ends its sixth season tonight at 9 on Comedy Central.
The Milwaukee market has 901,100 TV households, down from last season's 901,790, according to Nielsen.
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.