Channel 4's "Morning Blend" is a hybrid of advertising and entertainment that has aired in the 9 a.m. hour for four years now.
With two likable hosts, Tiffany Ogle and Milwaukee TV veteran Molly Fay, it hasn't been as dependent on ratings as a conventional talk show would be, since it brings in revenue for many of its segments, in addition to traditional commercials.
But "Morning Blend" clearly isn't immune to the trends in daytime television targeting women viewers. On Tuesday's "Blend," there was a diverse panel of women sitting around a table talking issues.
It looked very much like the conversational crowds you see gathered around tables on "The View," CBS' new "The Talk" and Channel 6's recently launched "Real Milwaukee."
"Let's go ahead and expand the circle a little bit and welcome some new faces to our chats," said Fay in introducing "mom, blogger" Esther Crawford, life coach Berni Xiong and poet Dasha Kelly.
The round-table went on for the first segment of the show, a full 14 minutes, before Ogle and Fay went into their regular round of sponsored interviews.
Executive producer Kim Buchanan tells me that the round-table began this summer, and is a nearly weekly feature, drawing from a pool of guests.
Tuesday's example seemed more an interview conducted by Ogle and Fay. It takes time for members of such a large group to relax into the chatty coffee klatch they're supposed to be.
Get yourself some Gokey: Milwaukee's "American Idol" finalist, Danny Gokey, greets fans from 4 to 6 p.m. today at Wisconsin Vision's Glendale store, 5530 N. Port Washington Rd.
In addition to Gokey, his Sophia's Heart Choir and Pulse Dance team will perform from 5 to 6 p.m. Here are details.
On TV: Word that Channel 6 is resuming the weekend morning newscasts it "suspended" in March 2009 is a clear sign that things are looking up in the local TV business. There's no word on how will anchor the newscasts. The Fox affiliate is starting a search for on-air and behind-the-scenes personnel.
- The latest thing for Time Warner Cable viewers to worry about is the possible loss of Channels 18 and 24, as station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group's contract with southeast Wisconsin's biggest pay TV provider is set to expire at the end of the year. I'll be shocked if this one isn't settled by the deadline.
- Channel 6 is making a change in its digital subchannel 6.2 at the beginning of the new year, trading Retro TV for the Tribuned-owned Antenna TV digital channel, which launches Jan. 1.
- The next installment of PBS' "Pioneers of Television," looking at science fiction TV,premieres in January. The series comes from Milwaukee documentary filmmaker Steve Boettcher.
- ABC's Barbara Walters is taping a White House interview with Barack and Michelle Obama on Tuesday to air the day after Thanksgiving at 9 p.m. on Channel 12.
- Fox News has re-signed Chris Wallace to a multi-year deal to continue hosting "Fox News Sunday," currently airing at 8 a.m. Sundays on Channel 6.
- Next year's scheduled royal wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton is already shaping up to be a huge TV event, thanks to a quarter-century in TV advancements since the last big royal wedding. NBC already has a "Dateline" special replacing "Undercovers" tonight at 7 on Channel 4, and network morning show anchors were in place this morning to begin the matrimonial marathon.
Something funny to look forward to: I wasn't a fan of Matt LeBlanc's "Joey" spinoff from "Friends." But based on this three-minute trailer, I am looking forward to LeBlanc's new "Episodes," coming to Showtime in January.
LeBlanc plays himself, and there's plenty of chances to make fun of his TV persona. Check it out:
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.