Is WPHL newsroom yesterday's news?
Bucks County Courier Times

According to a newsroom employee at WPHL, "everybody is looking to get out," amid continued rumblings that owner Tribune may pull the plug on the 10 p.m. newscast by the end of the year. The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, "The station has not gone out of its way to deny the rumor that the news is going under. Ratings are down. There is no promotion for the news. Photographers and producers are applying at other stations in town. Reporters are sending tapes all over the market."

In recent weeks, weekday news anchor Mike Dardis and weekend news anchor Karen Jordan announced their intentions to leave the station. According to a newsroom insider, Jordan will not be replaced as weekend co-anchor Jim Sinkovitz will anchor alone. Other prominent personalities who have left WPHL (Channel 17) within the year include sports anchors Mike Missanelli and Jenna Wolfe, and reporter Brad Sattin.

When reached by phone, WPHL general manager and vice president Leslie Glenn-Chesloff refused to comment before any questions could be asked about the status of the news.

A few years ago, KYW used the slogan "Beverly's Back" when anchor and reporter Beverly Williams returned to the station. The slogan can be used again, as KYW announced that Williams, who hasn't been on the air since the end of April, will host a current affairs program called "Sunday with Beverly Williams" beginning in the fall.

A station spokesperson said that Williams is no longer an employee of KYW, but is working for the station as an independent producer. Williams filed an age discrimination suit against KYW after she was demoted from anchor to reporter more than a year ago. The KYW spokesperson said the lawsuit was resolved amicably. This seems to be the compromise.

Williams worked for KYW from 1975-1981 and again from 1989-2003. There is no word from KYW on whether Williams' new show will affect the tentative plans for a Marc Howard public affairs show similar to his WPVI show "Inside Story."

WCAU has finally filled out its Earthwatch team since Kathy Orr and John Bolaris left the station at the end of last year. Meterologist Doug Kammerer from WOFL-TV in Orlando, Fla., will start in August. Also, weather producer Dave Warren, a Havertown native, will get air-time as a fill-in.

They'll join Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz, Bill Henley and Amy Freeze.

There are two more new hires at WCAU. Ted Greenberg is the newest general assignment reporter. He makes a big jump from producing at Atlantic City's WMGM-TV. Denise Nakano of WCPO-TV in Seattle, Wash., will become the new weekend news anchor next month.

WCAU reporter Lu-Ann Cahn, a breast cancer survivor, is recovering from surgery that removed part of her kidney, not part of her liver, which was reported in another publication. Her husband Phil Housman, a WCAU photographer, reports that although Cahn's surgery was serious, it is unrelated to her previous battle with cancer, and no chemotherapy or radiation are needed.

The sold-out "Oprah Live Your Best Life Tour" hits the Pennsylvania Convention Center Saturday. Philadelphia is only one of four cities that Oprah Winfrey is visiting. Maybe she has a soft spot for Philly because she filmed the movie "Beloved" here a few years ago. Oprah trivia: CN8's Lou Tilley worked with Winfrey in Baltimore in the early '80s.

WPHT 1210-AM weekday host Jeff Katz is now being represented by the "The Weiss Agency" of Pacific Palisades, Calif. Katz, whose hours were significantly cut after Michael Smerconish returned to the station, is on the air weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

Kelvin Beckwith, 40, of Philadelphia won the Reality Radio contest on WPHT 1210-AM. Beckwith will host his own talk radio show every Saturday in July from 4-5 p.m. Maybe if Beckwith does well, he can sign with "The Weiss Agency."

Joan Jones is out as the co-host of "Chris and J.J. in the morning" on B-101. Contract talks failed.

Here is the answer to last week's trivia question - the WCAU "Hot Hits 98-FM" classic lineup of the early '80s was Scott Walker, Rich Hawkins, Glenn Kalina, "The Nearly Famous" Billy Burke, "Motor Mouth" Terry Young and Christy Springfield (who is still with 98-FM, which is now WOGL.)

Laura will be discussing her Web site and the hot television shows of the summer on "Your Morning" on CN8 today sometime between 9-11 a.m.

June 24, 2003 5:18 AM