By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jun 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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The TV weather folks have been working overtime in recent days as storm follows storm, complete with dramatic lightning, high winds and even, a couple nights ago, tornadoes.

The weather, combined with a summer cold and a leaky roof, is getting me down, and making me ponder a few different matters in radio and television.

Unexpected radio silence: The jokes were flying on Twitter and Facebook this morning when weather put WTMJ-AM (620) out of commission, along with sister station WLWK-FM (94.5) for about two hours. OK, I even participated a little.

But the fact is that WTMJ remains the place to go on Milwaukee radio when there's water in your street and the power's off. It's most dependable spot for local weather, news and traffic.

That will be true until we all get smart phones, and download apps from local TV stations. It's difficult to write anything about media these days that doesn't involve dramatic change.

I was going to start that last sentence with "Have you noticed how ..." but it sounded far too Andy Rooney-esque for a guy my age.

My "Treme" final report: I wrote in Friday's column that even though there was much to like in HBO's "Treme," I had gotten backed up in watching the New Orleans drama because it lacked the narrative drive that made me watch other HBO series as soon as possible.

That led to comments from regular viewers urging me to watch the rest, which, of course, I had always planned to. I finished watching the final four episodes on Wednesday and my assessment hasn't changed: good, not great.

I'm willing to bet now that season two will be far more focused, or there won't be a season three. It was an elaborate, expensive project and while better than network TV, it just didn't pay off in the end. The central mystery of the missing young man ended without surprise. It was clear from the first episode that he was dead.

And while we're talking "Treme," there's early word that Kim Dickens, who played chef Janet, will be back for season two despite her plans to head to New York City. 

Start thinking about weekend TV: One way to get through the bleakness of this rainy week is to get ready for one of the summer's least-demanding TV experiences, the annual run of HBO's "Entourage."

The first episode airs at 9:30 Sunday night, after "Hung."

Here's a little preview clip of season seven:

Lyra O'Brien is signing off: Channel 12 confirms that weathercaster Lyra O'Brien has decided not to renew her contract and is leaving the station. No other details are available.

Her last day will be July 4.

Some hyper-local TV nostalgia: A Facebook page has launched to keep alive the memory of Racine's Channel 8 cable newscast that aired from 1975-81.

Frankly, it's before my time (I moved to Milwaukee in 1986 and never lived in Racine). But it's clear the participants enjoyed the experience, which, in some ways, prefigured what may become the newest media model.

Among the items on the Facebook page, is this Channel 4 report on Channel 8's demise, and its replacement by something called "the national cable network news service."

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.