Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
January 23, 2007


While other news organizations were outsourced (WB17) or shut down completely (CN8), Fox29 added two new shows this year – the 11 a.m. news and the 5 p.m. news that debuted yesterday (Monday).


Despite receiving over two-hundred audition tapes from around the country, according to news director Holly Gauntt, the best person for the job was in her own newsroom – morning news anchor Kerri Lee Halkett.


“Kerri Lee is the perfect person for this job, because she is exactly like the viewer we are trying to attract – busy women, who are 35-years-old and over who are pulled in different directions,” said Gauntt. 


Halkett, who arrived in Philadelphia in 2002 after stops in Washington D.C, and Boston said she considers Philadelphia “home.” 


“I love it here.  My son (Van, 2) was born here and I’m at peace with who I am now,” said Halkett, who went through a divorce with former station information systems manager Jim Liott last year.


The 5 p.m. show will be competing with the ratings leader “Action News” on 6ABC,  “Dr Phil” on CBS3, the newly revamped news on NBC10, “Girlfriends” on Channel 17, and “One on One” on CW57.


Freezed Out?

According to industry sources, NBC10 weekend weather anchor Amy Freeze might be leaving the station.  Freeze, whose contract is said to be up, referred questions to her agent, Rob Jordan, who would only say he would have an answer about her status sometime this week.  Meanwhile, NBC10 news director Chris Blackman was seen escorting a possible replacement for Freeze around the newsroom last week.  Freeze, a graduate of Brigham Young University, joined the station four years ago.  Station spokesperson Eva Blackwell said the station does not comment on personnel issues.


In another station note, industry sources are saying that Dawn Timmeney recently signed a new deal with the station.  Timmeney, who was the morning anchor until a few months ago, signed as a reporter according to the sources. As with Freeze, NBC10 would not comment on Timmeney’s contract status.


Though NBC announced that beginning in the fall “The Today Show” will air from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m., it won’t mean the demise of the locally-produced “10” show according to NBC10 spokesperson Eva Blackwell.  Luckily for “10,” there will be a timeslot available since the daytime drama “Passions” was just canceled, but it is unknown where “10” will move.  The other daytime shows on NBC10 are “Martha,” at 11 a.m., “iVillage Live” at noon, “Days of Our Lives” at 1 p.m., “Ellen,” at 3 p.m. and “All That and More” at 4 p.m.


Do the names Clubber Lang, Tommy Gunn, Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago mean anything to you?  If so, then you should enter “The Ultimate Rocky Trivia Challenge” at the Broadway Pitman Theatre in Pitman, New Jersey Thursday night.  First prize is $500.00.  Fans can study by catching all five “Rockys” under the “Free Movies” option on digital cable.  Here’s a question.  Name two hit songs from the “Rocky” films.   The answer appears at the bottom of the column.


I Changed My Mind

At the beginning of the television season, I wrote that “Brothers and Sisters” was annoying and that “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” was good.  Let me amend that.  Since Rob Lowe joined “Brothers and Sisters,” it’s been much better, and “Studio 60” has been a disappointment.


Trivia answer

Of course, the biggest hit from the “Rocky” films is the “Theme from Rocky” by Bill Conti.  Other songs that hit the charts were “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “Living in America” by the late James Brown.