Channel Surfing
By Laura Nachman
January 9, 2003

The big free agent acquisitions Kathy Orr and Marc Howard made their successful debuts for KYW Monday, leading KYW to victory in the 11 p.m. ratings.  Orr couldn't have asked for better conditions for her first night, since it snowed, a weather anchor's dream.  After his six-month layoff, Howard didn't miss a beat until the end of the broadcast when he signed off for "The Action News" team.  Since Orr will take over the money slots at 5, 6, and 11 p.m., Chris Dunn gets demoted to weekends, Paul Deanno gets promoted from weekends to weekday mornings and noon, and Tom Lamaine moves to weekend mornings.  Carol Erickson, who had been doing weather and news on the weekends, will just do news.  Howard only signed up for 11 p.m., so the station will need to find a 6 p.m. anchor to replace Larry Kane.

"Three Cheers for Freeze"

Meanwhile, WCAU's new evening weekend meteorologist, Amy Freeze debuts this week.  Freeze arrives from the ABC affiliate in Denver, Colorodo.  She is a graduate of Brigham Young University, which she attended on a cheerleading scholarship, so she'll have plenty to talk about with WCAU sports director Vai Sikahema, who also went there.  The weekday morning weather vacancy is still open. . 

"Auld Lang Syne for WPHL and Mummers"

       The "Mummers Day Parade" averaged a 7.3 rating for WPHL on Saturday, which was better than everybody except WPVI, which had a 7.4 rating.

"Danny Bonaduce Lives"

As expected, Dick Clark's "The Other Half" took over the 11 a.m. timeslot on WCAU Monday.  The male version of "The View" with Clark, Mario Lopez, Danny Bonaduce and Dorian Gregory replaces "Life Moments," which originally was narrated locally by Kathy Orr (oops).  In the November ratings period, "Life Moments" was a distant third to "The Price is Right" on KYW and "The View" on WPVI.  It suffered a 22% decrease from when "The Other Half" aired last year.

"Philly After Midnight" Reunion

WPVI's Wally Kennedy and Karen Rogers reunite to host the annual Philadelphia International Auto Show special "Philly on Wheels, 2003" Saturday at 7 p.m.
I wonder how "Good Day Philadelphia" co-host Kerri Lee Halkett feels about the promos for "Good Day Philadelphia," which are heavy on traffic reporter Dorothy Krysiuk, and barely include Halkett.

  "DVD Alert"

       Former KYW anchor and reporter Jerry Pennacoli, now of "Extra," appears in the 2002 DVD "Amy's O."  Pennacoli doesn't give Amy her "O."  He plays himself, a television reporter, in the film.

"Radio Raves"

There are a couple of cool new shows on the radio.  Tony Harris, the longtime producer for Bob Pantano's "Saturday Night Dance Party" on WOGL 98.1-FM, steps into the spotlight for "Boogie Nights" on WMWX 95.7-FM from 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.  Also, WPTP 96.5-FM hosts "Class Reunion Sunday," where every hour is devoted to a different year of the '80's. 
In other radio news, "The Jeff Katz Show" expands from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. on WPHT 1210-AM.  He'll work from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Friday.  Katz takes over for Jim Cramer's "Real Money," which moves to Saturday morning from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.  Last year, Katz took over the 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. slot, when Michael Smerconish had his spat with station management, but when Smerconish returned, Katz's slot was slashed to one hour.