The hardest chore for Channel 6's new "Real Milwaukee" morning show is to look nothing like the "Wake-Up News" that fills the earlier hours on the Fox affiliate.
"Real Milwaukee," which debuted Tuesday at 9, uses a colorful set to begin that effort. Three of the faces are familiar: Rob Haswell, Nicole Koglin and Katrina Cravy.
The fourth member of the host crew, former WMCS-AM (1290) radio voice Cassandra McShepard, is the newcomer to Channel 6.
The opening show featured video introductions to each of the co-hosts, the first attempt to connect viewers to the personalities.
Cravy seemed to be the driving force -- at least on Tuesday's debut.
"There's going to be a fifth host -- you didn't think we had enough seats, didja?" Cravy asked. "Well, you're sitting in it, you are part of 'Real Milwaukee.' We want to include your ideas in the show."
Tuesday's show opened with the video packages on the four hosts.
Cravy was shown getting her son ready for the first day of school; it was a similar scene over at the Haswell household. Koglin's video focused on preparation for her upcoming wedding. McShepard's daily routine included a workout and clothes shopping.
These or other video reports were differentiated from news packages by a bouncy music score.
Day one of "Real Milwaukee" was pleasant, without any notable gaffes. It's too early to rate the chemistry between the co-hosts -- although four people at that desk every day may be a bit overpowering.
In addition to appearing different from its newscasts -- which still feature Koglin, Haswell and Katrina -- "Real Milwaukee" is competing with Channel 4's 9 a.m. show, "Morning Blend."
The difference is that "MB" is a hybrid of paid advertising content and unpaid guests, while "RM" is an old-fashioned morning show.
Both shows are an example of what has become one of my media maxims: the future of local TV stations is in local programming.
If you're wondering how "Real Milwaukee" mascot, Chuck the fish, got his name, be aware that the general manager of Channel 6 is Chuck Steinmetz.
No one, of course, will confirm that connection.
On TV: Fox waited 'til Friday night of the Labor Day weekend to formally announce that Kara DioGuardi is "stepping down" as an "American Idol" judge, which we've all known for weeks.
- ABC has ordered a second season of Emmy-winning "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." The second run will focus on Los Angeles.
- The Hollywood Reporter says A&E is returning "Steven Seagal Lawman" to the schedule on Oct. 6, after sexual harassment accusations against the star were dropped.
- Suite Milwaukee has released the date of "Jersey Shore" character "Snooki." Nicole Polizzi will be at the club on a Friday night, Sept. 17. Tickets are on sale today. Call (414) 270-9653 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
He never walks alone: The weekend's 45th Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon pulled in $58.9 million in pledges, down from last year's $60.5 million, and 2008's record $65 million.
The 84-year-old comic ended this year's telethon on the usual emotional note (sorry for the audio being out of sync):
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.