There's an increase in the demand for foster families in five Wisconsin cities, thanks to aging foster parents and a slight rise in children in the system, and Milwaukee-based Serve Marketing is responding with a TV campaign in those cities.
The effort on behalf of Adoption Resources of Wisconsin to find 1,000 foster families launches at 10 p.m. Tuesday in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Eau Claire and La Crosse with the one-minute public service announcement.
So far, Channel 58 is the only definite host for the spot in Milwaukee. But efforts are continuing to get airtime on other TV news outlets during the flagship 10 p.m. newscast.
And the airing of the spot elsewhere in the state is something new for a Serve campaign.
"This is the first time we've ever tried to get stations in other markets to air things at the same time," reports executive director Heather Aldrich. "They haven't been asked before to do anything like this. I'm moved by the philanthropy of the station managers."
At least one station has said it will air the spot through the year, including during a holiday special on adoption.
The campaign also has a social media aspect, with a Facebook-promoted flash mob in the five Wisconsin cities where the spot is airing. Aldrich says it's just the second time Facebook has been used in a Serve campaign.
On TV: Fox says Simon Cowell will be judging alongside Paula Abdul on his new Fox music competition, "X Factor," when it launches of Fox this fall. It's clearly an attempt to recapture the magic of "American Idol," where the frequently shaky Abdul was sometimes the most fascinating thing to watch. Fox also announced that the show will be hosted by singer Nicole Scherzinger and British TV personality Steve Jones.
- As expected, Meredith Vieira announced she's leaving NBC's "Today" show. She told viewers this morning she'll be ending her five-year run in June, with Ann Curry taking her spot.
- Sisters Kisha and Jen Hoffman, originally from Chicago, won CBS' "Amazing Race" in Sunday night's season finale, picking up the $1 million prize.
- In another one of those signs that everything in the media world is changing, CBS has announced it's dropping the "Hallmark Hall of Fame," leaving the landmark TV movies without a broadcast network home after six decades. Of course, when it began, there was no Hallmark Channel.
- The New York Daily News says there's no truth to the rumor that Robin Roberts is being shown the door on ABC's "Good Morning America."
- More proof that Oprah Winfrey's TV channel isn't doing well, the channel's chief executive, Christina Norman, has been shown the door. Winfrey's partner, Discovery Communications, has given up its chief operating officer, Peter Liguori, to take the job. He was former entertainment president at Fox.
Tina's best line: The third hosting effort by Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live" wasn't memorable. But her latest portrayal of Sarah Palin did give her a great line that reflects Palin's relationship with the news media: "I just hope tonight that the lame-stream media won't twist my words by repeating them verbatim."
And she offered this on Palin's relationship with Fox News Channel: "It's so nice to be back on Fox News, a network that both pays me and shows me the questions ahead of time."
Here's the video, which features a funny Fey/Palin jab at outgoing CBS News anchor (and Palin nemesis) Katie Couric:
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.