Regular readers know that I firmly believe that the future of local TV and radio is local.
With the explosion of choices on cable TV, satellite radio, our iPods and the rest of the Internet, we have plenty of "national" choices. To save money, you hear and see lots of syndicated or network programs on local broadcast outlets.
That's why Channel 6's decision to give another hour of its schedule -- 9 a.m. weekdays -- over to local programming is good news. And the best part is that it won't be another hour of "news."
General manager Chuck Steinmetz says, "in a way, it's going back to the roots of television."
Local television once hosted a variety of programs. In recent decades, it's been almost all news, of some sort.
Channel 6 already has one of those shows, Gus Gnorski's "Ask Gus" at 8:30 a.m. Saturdays.
Channel 4 does the daily "Morning Blend," at 9 a.m. weekdays, itself a blend of chat show and advertising content.
Just what Channel 6's new 9 a.m. hour will be is still a mystery. We don't know for sure when it'll debut, although Steinmetz is shooting for the show to be up and running by the end of the year.
"Our goal is to make this really good local television," Steinmetz says.
It's a fine goal to shoot for.
Brett heads to the Northwest: WXSS-FM (103.7) 7 p.m.-to-midnight voice Brett Andrews is heading to Clear Channel's KKRZ-FM in Portland, Ore., to do afternoons and take on assistant program director duties.
Andrews has been on the night shift at Kiss FM for the last three years.
"To be honest, I'm in my late 20s and sick of working until midnight every night," Andrews told me. But it's more than just that. He's done some programming before, and wants to hone those skills.
"It's kind of a strategic step towards making myself more long-term career-oriented, rather than just talking up the latest Miley Cyrus song," he jokes. "Not that I have anything against Miley Cyrus songs."
The Mequon native will sign off from Kiss FM on May 7. He starts his new job May 17. Milwaukee fans will be able to listen to him on his new station's website.
On TV: Milwaukee Public TV will launch "Arts Digest," a 30-minute magazine-style show looking at arts and culture in southeastern Wisconsin at 8 p.m. May 17 on Channel 10. It's the pilot for a series hosted by Jon Anne Willow and Tom Strini of Third Coast Digest. A second installment is in production to air this summer.
- Channel 4 morning co-anchor Susan Kim has participated in I Am Korean American, a web project that's collecting profiles of Koran Americans from all walks of life. "Only as a wife and mother, have I started to appreciate what it means to be Korean-American," writes Kim, who came to the U.S. as a toddler.
- Speaking of Channel 4, after some prompting from me, the station's "Morning Blend" hosts Molly Fay and Tiffany Ogle have freshened up their new blogs, Good Golly It's Molly! and The Morning Blonde. There, that's more like it. Keep the good stuff coming.
- HBO has ordered a second season of "How to Make it in America."
- Cartoon Network is planning an animated series based on Mad Magazine.
Another chance to Vogue: Fox is repeating its Madonna-themed episode of "Glee" at 8 p.m. Friday on Channel 6, after the show ran over its normal time on Tuesday, cutting off the end for folks who recorded it without building in some extra time.
Or, you could watch in here:
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.