Regular readers know that "Stormageddon" is my standing term for TV's over-coverage of weather, mostly the wintry variety – something Milwaukee TV gets wrapped up in even with a few flakes.
And the word popped into my mind the other day when I saw Channel 12 promoting a report for a long-term regional forecast that says the Midwest is in line for a potential big blast of snow.
That brought me to Monday's 10 p.m. newscast expecting new ground to be broken in Stormageddon coverage coming at a time of unseasonably balmy mid-October temperatures and sunny skies in Wisconsin.
Instead, I got a pleasant surprise.
"Don't believe the hype," said Kathy Mykleby in introducing Portia Young's sit-down with Luke Sampe, one of the ABC station's weather guys.
Sampe explained that while we're facing a second "La Niña" winter – a cooling in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, that doesn't necessarily mean a second rough winter.
In fact, two such winters in a row could mean a milder second winter.
"If you want the snow, a second La Niña winter in a row could be a bad thing," said Sampe.
It was a cautionary note about the hyped seasonal forecast.
And while it was an excuse to roll some old video of drifting snow, Channel 12 didn't turn it into some big scary story about disaster around the corner.
I forecast that other stations will be offering plenty of scary stories once the snow starts to actually fall. But at least we haven't broken new ground in Stormageddon coverage.
Thanks to Channel 12 for that.
On TV: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is scheduled to make an appearance on ESPN's "E:60" at 6 this evening on the sports channel.
- Postseason baseball, including the World Series, is one of the reason Fox is pulling Zooey Deschanel's "New Girl" from the schedule until Nov. 1. The successful sitcom has already been picked up for the full season.
- Discovery Channel has added a one-hour special on the contributions of the late Steve Jobs. "iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World" airs at 7 p.m. Sunday.
- Tim Allen's new comedy, ABC's "Last Man Standing," premieres at 7 on Channel 12.
- Hank Williams Jr. has recorded his response to the controversy that led to him being dumped from ESPN's "Monday Night Football" telecast. You can download it at his website.
A weepy Cher: She promised she'd be in the audience for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" on Monday, and Cher was there, the weepy mom cheering on Chaz Bono.
Here's the video:
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.