>Returning With WLWT Thoughts

>Our apologies for the absence in the early half of the week. Unfortunately, illness tends to be an issue right now… but we’re back with a couple thoughts, mostly about WLWT-TV 5/Cincinnati…

Jack’s Back – How’d He Do?: We’ve caught some of Jack Atherton’s first newscasts for what is currently the most powerful station in Cincinnati.

Our first comment is that it seems Atherton made an effort to lose some weight during a few months off from TV. He looked slimmer and trimmer. Some comments we heard haven’t really been too kind about his appearance. But he looked okay to us, not sick or dead.

Second, it’s clear that his folksy style is slightly different from the “Straight to the Point” idea. Not much – but slightly. Jack seemed more conversational in his tone. He did show he could talk sports or just about anything. (We hear that there was a quip by Sheree about Atherton being a cross-dresser – but we’re sure that he isn’t. He didn’t comment on the broadcast.)

We caught, barely, his introduction on Monday. He said when asked about his 9 month hiatus (his contract with WXIX-TV 19/Newport stated he couldn’t work for anyone else in town for 9 months), “My heart goes out to people out there who are out of work. It’s no fun. It really wasn’t.” That was a great heartfelt moment.

Then he said, “This is a great business, and I just hope we get to bring you good news every night.” There wasn’t very much good news on his first night. It reminds us of his standard tag line at Fox 19 which he ended every broadcast with: “We hope your news is good.”

Overall, we give Atherton’s debut a solid B. Good job by WLWT on the roll-out.

Live Blogging with Travis: Recall that earlier this year, WLWT live blogged the murder trial of Ryan Widmer, accused (and ultimately convicted at the time) of killing his wife Sarah. (For the record: Widmer is getting a retrial, but it’s unknown when. EDIT: And as we’re typing this, we get that date – March 15, 2010.)

Now, a popular web staffer is back and blogging again.

The “Travis” we refer to is Travis Gettys of WLWT.com. Gettys became popular following his exhaustive coverage of the Widmer trial. Now, he’s blogging from the trial of Mark Blankenburg, a Hamilton doctor accused of sexual abuse crimes. You’ll find the blogs on WLWT.com.

Again: We’re not a crime blog. We’re a media blog. This just happens to fall in our domain of media.

Letterman Thoughts: Finally, we diverge from the world of local media for a minute, and head for the national media.

Specifically, we’re talking about David Letterman’s revelations last week that he had sex with staffers on his show, and was blackmailed by a CBS producer, Robert Halderman, who is currently free on bond while awaiting trial on charges of extortion. You’d have to have been under a rock to not hear about it by now. Letterman’s show is seen nightly on WKRC-TV 12/Cincinnati and WHIO-TV 7/Dayton (11:35 PM Monday-Friday nights).

Our thoughts: That’s enough, Dave. Seriously.

You’re not really helping your case here. Apologizing for it is one thing and perfectly acceptable (actually, it was a good gesture). Joking about it ON A NIGHTLY BASIS is a whole other matter.

It won’t help your case in court. We’re pretty sure that a jury wouldn’t know whether you were joking, or serious.

Granted: You won’t be on trial for anything. But you could be called to testify. If we were you, we’d stop joking and treat this seriously. Don’t talk about it except under the advice of your private counsel. Wait til after Halderman goes through trial. Then, and ONLY THEN, should you even try to joke about it.

We won’t disagree about one thing: You have your work cut out for you…

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