Remember back in August, when "Dr." Laura Schlessinger told CNN's Larry King that she was quitting radio "to regain my First Amendment rights"?
Not surprisingly, she's not really quitting radio.
She is ending her syndicated radio show at the end of the month, and she'll be jumping over to Sirius XM Satellite radio in January, where she says in a statement she'll continue to "preach, teach and nag."
Back in August, she was reeling from criticism over her repeated use of the "N" word on her radio show. That led to some advertisers bailing on her.
In her world, criticism of the things she says is somehow a denial of her freedom of speech.
Her syndicated show had already been carried on satellite, but this version will be a satellite-only show airing from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays on Sirius Channel 102/XM Channel 155.
Her show has morphed over the years as the good "Dr." -- a title that comes from a Ph.D in physiology and is unrelated to her radio role except as a bit of marketing -- moved from simply giving out advice to callers to issuing moral pronouncements.
Schlessinger's announcement comes as the radio business awaits word on the future of Howard Stern, satellite's biggest name. His Sirius deal ends this month and there's still no word if he'll stick around, move back to old-fashioned "terrestrial" radio or, possibly, move to the internet.
The satellite radio service announced Tuesday that it had hit the 20-million subscriber mark. It also announced that it had extended its deal to carry every NFL game for five more years, expanding game coverage to on-line for subscribers starting next fall.
Frankly, it'll survive without Stern -- although it may take a hit in its subscriber base. And Schlessinger loyalists migrating to satellite will make up at least a piece of that.
On TV: CBS is blowing up its low-rated "Early Show," dumping Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and weather guy Dave Price. Their replacements are Saturday anchors Chris Wragge and Erica Hill, with "Good Morning America" vet Marysol Castro taking weather duties starting Jan. 3.
- Speaking of CBS, it's given two more years to "The Bold and the Beautiful," which airs at 12:30 p.m. weekdays on Channel 58. Meanwhile, "The Young and the Restless," which airs at 11 a.m. weekdays on 58, gets three more years.
- Mitt Romney visits Jay Leno tonight at 10:35 p.m. on Channel 4. Don't expect him to announce his presidential candidacy.
- HLN, the channel formerly known as CNN Headline News, is giving Dr. Drew Pinsky -- who, by the way, is a medical doctor -- a show starting next spring. It's likely to end up in the 9 p.m. weeknight slot.
- The second season of AMC's "Walking Dead" won't air until next October, but the first season DVD will be out next spring.
- In the weekly Nielsen Media Research measurement of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," the show had 3.5 million viewers Sunday, up from 3 million the previous Sunday, but down from 5 million for the premiere.
Seasonal TV for a different holiday: Hanukkah starts tonight and there are a few TV shows that mark the eight-day holiday:
- TV Land has a Hanukkah episode of "The Nanny," airing at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and and 2 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning, if you want to set your DVR.
- Sunday's "Cleveland Show" at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 6 has a Hanukkah theme, featuring the voice of Carl Reiner as an elderly man teaching Rallo about the holiday.
- On Monday, "A Yiddish World Remembered," airs at 8 on Channel 36, followed at 9:30 by "Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom," focusing on Hanukkah.
- Next Wednesday, "Shalom Sesame" airs a Hanukkah episode, "The Missing Menorah," at 7 and 7:30, and 11 and 11:30 on Channel 10.
On satellite radio, "Radio Hanukkah" airs on Sirius Channel 76/XM Channel 28 through Dec. 9 with a wide range of traditional, contemporary and children's seasonal music. Hasidic reggae musician Matisyahu will present nightly blessings and share personal stories.
For an immediate fix, there's Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song," as first performed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" back in 1994.
Here you go:
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.