By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Nov 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM

If you're unhappy with the switch to all-Christmas music at 5 p.m. Thursday on WRIT-FM (95.7), remember back two years ago, when the oldies station went all-Christmas at 3 p.m. on Halloween, on a sunny day with the temperatures in the 70s.

Last year it was Nov. 13.

It's important to keep that in perspective when you complain about how early it is to hear Christmas music coming from your radio.

So far, only one station has made the flip. There's clearly enough of a holiday-obsessed audience to make money for a single all-Yule station. But in past years, its been WRIT and WMYX-FM (99.1).

WMYX announced this morning that it's going all Christmas on Monday, and it's certain to have a more contemporary feel than WRIT's holiday play list. WLDB-FM (93.3) says it won't be playing holiday music until the day after Thanksgiving.

Around the country, nearly 50 stations have already gone all-Christmas.

Other stations will start playing some Christmas songs as we get closer to the actual holiday, but WRIT has the jump on everybody. It'll be interesting to see how it plays in the December ratings under the new portable people meter ratings system.

In its first evening of holiday music, the oldies station resurrected some artists who only get airplay at Christmas time: Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Burl Ives, and Andy Williams.

I don't voluntarily listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but if you're an early adopter, here's a little video to put you in the mood:

Keith Murphy's passing: Former WMCS-AM (1290) and Milwaukee Public TV personality Keith Murphy, who died over the weekend, apparently suffered a head injury.

Richard Prince reports in his Journal-Isms column that the 56-year-old Murphy had fallen Saturday in an apartment in Baltimore that he had just rented.

Services are tomorrow in Landover, Md., for Murphy, who did a couple stints at WMCS before moving to the East Coast four years ago to do a daily show for XM Satellite Radio.

On TV: The first Simon Cowell-less season of Fox's "American Idol" will cut its pool of finalists in half to 12. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe tells that finalists will come up with music videos and other new challenges. It returns in January.

  • Channel 6 will air the Milwaukee Holiday Parade live at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in high-definition.
  • CBS has formally canceled "Medium," with the series finale schedule for Jan. 21. The show jumped from NBC, where it's first five season aired, to CBS in fall 2009. 
  • David Letterman has snared Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living person to earn the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, for Wednesday night's show.
  • Jay Leno is welcoming back his former band leader, Kevin Eubanks, on Tuesday's "Tonight Show." Eubanks has a new album out.
  • If you're already planning your Black Friday viewing, TBS is planning a nine-hour "Seinfeld" marathon starting at 10 a.m. next Friday with "The Contest." It wraps up at 6:30 with the Festivus episode.
  • Showtime is trying to bring Claire Danes back to television in a terror-themed show called "Homeland." If the pilot gets picked up, it'll be her first TV series since "My So-Called Life."
  • NBC has released a list of "Saturday Night Live" hosts for next month. Robert De Niro hosts for the third time on Dec. 4, Paul Rudd hosts Dec. 11, and Jeff Bridges hosts Dec. 18. The Dec. 11 musical guest will be Paul McCartney.
  • I'm on Chicago's WGN-AM (720) around 12:30 a.m. Sunday night to talk television with Steve King and Johnnie Putman.

It's that time of the year: Deer hunting season starts Saturday in Wisconsin, and Milwaukee Public TV has already aired its annual deer hunting special hosted by Dan Small.

If you didn't catch it and are interested in this annual Wisconsin ritual, put on your blaze orange and watch it here:

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.