Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
April 6, 2004

Congratulations to WTXF news anchor Dawn Stensland, 39, and KYW anchor Larry Mendte, 47, who became the parents of Michael Lawrence Mendte on April 1.  Michael, who was born two weeks early, weighed in at 8 lbs., 5 ozs. and measured 21  inches long.

In a phone conversation, Mendte said that the plan is for Stensland to stay home with the baby until May sweeps, then she'll spend most of the summer at home.

Stensland's parents who were in town for a tea for Dawn thrown by Mendte's sister will also help out with the baby.

Congratulations also go out to WCAU reporter Joe Vazquez and his wife Jenni who became first-time parents with the arrival of Antonio James Vazquez born on March 26.  He also weighed in at 8 lbs., 5 ozs.  Maybe he and little Mendte will be in the same boxing weight class someday.

Philadelphia's Patti LaBelle and Eve will be two of the featured artists for VH1's annual "Divas" concert Sunday, April 18 in Las Vegas.  Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Ashanti, and Joss Stone will also perform in one of VH1's biggest events of the year.

WCAU morning news anchor Steve Levy is back on the air after being sick for over a week. 

Hopefully, the new liberal radio network "Air America" will get a Philadelphia outlet soon.  Reports have WHAT 1340-AM as the likely home for shows with Al Franken, Janeanne Garofalo, and more.   Before Garofalo got "serious," she was one of my favorite comics.  Now, it's Kathy Griffin, thanks to her hilarious special on Bravo.

Coincidentally, three shows that feature the children of Philadelphia weathermen are going off the air in May.  Peri Gilpin, who plays "Roz" on "Frasier" is the daughter of the late Jim O'Brien of WPVI.  David Boreanaz of "Angel," is the son of current WPVI weatherman Dave Roberts. And David Crane, one of the producers of "Friends" is the son of former WCAU weatherman Gene Crane. 

Here are some of my favorite shows currently on the air - "The Sopranos," "The O.C.," "The Apprentice," "Survivor," "Will and Grace," and "American Idol."  Let me know your favorites, and I'll print your picks in next week's column.