By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Dec 09, 2009 at 11:00 AM
Watch Tim Cuprisin's On Media on Time Warner Cable's Wisconsin on Demand Channel 411, with new episodes posted Fridays.

"We certainly dodged a bullet here in Milwaukee," reported Channel 58 weathercaster Chris McGinness several times this morning.

Over on Channel 6, Sarah Platt was standing out in the weather in Glendale, where it was raining, rather than snowing.

"We're kind of waiting for the white snow to come," she said. "It would be a lot prettier if it was snow instead of rain right now."

By 8 this morning, Channel 4 traffic reporter Caitlin Morrall was calling it "eerily quiet out there on  the roadways today.

"We are accident free right now," she said. "For the most part, we're delay-free."

Maybe it was all those closings that had been moving across the screen for hours and hours that kept the roads clear. Maybe it was the lack of a killer storm.

Stormageddon hype stretched back to the weekend. Tuesday night's snowy, rainy windy conditions -- which caused problems for some Milwaukee TV stations and power outages -- added to the anticipation that we'd wake up to a mess.

And, yes, some areas away from the concentration of Milwaukee TV viewers did get a healthy snowfall.

But for the bulk of the Milwaukee market, the first big snowstorm of the season was hardly worth noting, although all four news operations were on the air at 4 a.m. to note it for us.

There aren't any new lessons to be learned from all this coverage. It's been happening for years.

The four TV stations with news operations really have one major product to sell to advertisers: their news viewers. And one way to bring big audiences to regular newscasts is to cover the weather as if it's a huge story.

As long as that equation works, you'll continue to see this kind of coverage -- whether it ends in a real storm, or just the kind of weather you're likely to find in Wisconsin in December. 

On TV: CBS says "As the World Turns" will end its 54-year run on the network next Sept. 17.

  • Syndicated talker Bonnie Hunt will end her two-year run at the end of this TV season. Her show airs at 8 a.m. weekdays on Channel 41 (Channel 7 on Time Warner Cable).
  • TNT says Dylan McDermott will be back in "Dark Blue" next summer.
  • Speaking of TNT, Monday night's premiere of "Men of a Certain Age" -- with Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula -- pulled in a strong 5.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers.
  • Danny Cahill, 39, of Broken Arrow, Okla., lost more than 200 pounds, but gained a $250,000 prize as winner of the latest season of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," which wrapped up Tuesday night.

Dave's first tweet: Late night talker David Letterman took a little time between Tiger Woods jokes this week to join the modern era with his first tweet on CBS' "Late Show" this week.

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for 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

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.