Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times

            Former KYW-3 anchor Jerry Penacoli is “loving life in L.A.” juggling two careers—he’s the Hollywood correspondent for “Extra” (seen on NBC-10 weeknights at 7 PM) and has the recurring role of radio station general manager Miles Malloy on “Days of Our Lives” on NBC-10 at noon.  Penacoli, at KYW-3 from 1982-1991, is also co-starring in the independent film “Separate Ways” with C. Thomas Howell.  Since moving to the west coast in 1992, Penacoli has reported and anchored for E! and “Hard Copy,” and acted in the films “Woman on Top, and “Galaxy Quest,” and the television shows “JAG,” “Ellen,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and “Santa Barbara.”  Penacoli has a home in the Hollywood Hills (with a swimming pool of course), and gets recognized by Philadelphians who always ask him if he’s found a good cheesesteak in L.A. yet.  “The answer is no, it’s all in the roll,” laughed Penacoli. Besides his burgeoning acting career, Penacoli is happy with “Extra,” hosted by Leeza Gibbons.  “I am immersed in the entertainment industry…things couldn’t be better.”  

 Philadelphia’s WB-17 News is the first station in town to give its full five day weather forecast in the show’s first ten minutes as “First Forecast,” debuted with Meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin Monday, March 12th.  WB-17 is hoping that “First Forecast” will attract more viewers to its program, as Fox-Philadelphia leads the 10 O’clock newscasts in the ratings.  Meanwhile, former Fox-Philadelphia weather anchor Frank Cariello has been released from his no-compete clause, which means he is free to work for any station in town.  Since WB-17 is looking for a full-time weekend weather anchor, could Cariello wind up there?  WB-17 news director Rich Scott said he would consider it, but added he was happy with fill-in Justin Berk who is a full-time weather anchor in Baltimore. “I don’t know how much longer we can expect Justin to work seven days a week though,” Scott said.  However, considering that former WB-17 weather anchor Craig Webber (now back in this second tour of duty with KYW-3) was an interim weekend weather anchor for three years there, don’t expect WB-17 to make an announcement soon.  Also reruns of “Cheers” replace “Mad About You” on WB-17 after the news.

            The “C” in CN8 can now stand for Colla, as fill-in anchor Connie Colla was signed to co-anchor the CN8 7 PM AND 10 PM newscasts with Arthur Fennell.  The former NBC-10 anchor originally was signed for February

            Maybe the NBC-10 victory at 11 PM wasn’t a fluke.  NBC-10’s morning news from 6-7 AM with Steve Levy, Bill Henley, and Sharon Reed beat 6ABC with Monica Malpass, Rick Williams, and Cecily Tynan in the ratings twice last week. 

            “Good Day Philadelphia’s” Janet Zappala was seen late night on HBO recently in the 1993 straight-to-video thriller “Dangerous Touch” with Lou Diamond Phillips.  Phillips asked Zappala to play a news anchor for the film after interviewed him while working for the E! Network in the early 90’s.  Zappala also played a news anchor in “12 Monkeys” which was filmed in Philadelphia and is working on the independent film “Casanova’s Demise,” playing…a news anchor.

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