Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
June 3, 2003

WPHT 1210-AM is the latest station to jump on the "American Idol" bandwagon, as it is having a contest "Reality Radio," to find a new talk show host.  A special phone line - 610-617-1210 will be open until June 5th for people without any previous broadcast experience to convince "The Powers That Be" at the station that they should be a talk show host.  Five finalists will get to audition on "The Michael Smerconish Show," the week of June 9, which airs from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. The finalists will return for a final "talk-off" in front of three judges on the Smerconish show Monday, June 16.  The judges are national talk show host Glenn Beck, CN8 talk show host Lynn Doyle, and me!  The winner will get a one-month contract to do a show from 4 - 5 p.m. on Saturdays in July on 1210, plus one guaranteed appearance as a panelist on "It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle."

WPVI was mentioned on the Fox News Channel program "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" Thursday night. The topic (as it is practically every night) was the Laci Peterson case.  Van Susteren said, "WPVI television in Philadelphia reported that Amber Frey (the woman who had an affair with Scott Peterson) was offered a half-million dollars to pose for "Playboy" magazine.  Gloria Allred, who represents Frey, said that report was erroneous and that WPVI never contacted her.  At press time, we did not get a response from a WPVI spokesperson.

With Larry Mendte's future up in the air at Channel 10, could he end up across the street at WPVI to co-anchor the 5 p.m. news if and when Lisa Thomas-Laury returns from medical leave?  Don't bet on it.  According to industry sources, WPVI never hires talent that has worked at another station in town. 
Another question is whether WPVI would let a former employee return such as Dave Frankel.  Since Frankel's no compete clause expired recently from his KYW days, it would be interesting to see if WPVI would take him back.  Another intriguing scenario would be if somehow, WTXF could get Mendte to anchor with his wife Dawn Stensland.  Or how about Frankel at WCAU?  And will Tim Lake get Mendte's job at 10?
Many are expecting Mendte to join Marc Howard and Kathy Orr in making the jump from a rival station to KYW by September.  If Mendte moves to an early evening newscast, the next question is who will become his co-anchor - Denise Saunders, Ukee Washington, or Pat Ciarrocchi?  Stay tuned.  Where have you gone Trina Robinson?

WCAU meteorologists Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz and Amy Freeze will be cooking up a storm (pun intended) at the Celebrity Barbeque at the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank on Thursday afternoon.  Proceeds will benefit the food bank.

John DeBella of WMGK 102.9-FM is providing "Movie Trailer Reviews" every Thursday on "10" on WCAU at 10 a.m.  He'll be doing what every movie-goer does, give an opinion on an upcoming movie based on the trailer.

KYW meteorologist Kathy Orr will anchor her 5 and 6 p.m. weather reports live from a different mystery shore point each Thursday this summer.  During her reports she will supply viewers with clues about her location on air, then reveal the shore town later in the newscast.  Sounds like Channel 3 has been watching "Good Day Philadelphia" on WTXF, which has been doing "Sue's Clues" with weather anchor Sue Serio for months.

Congratulations to husband and wife team CN8 founder Michael Doyle and talk show host and producer Lynn Doyle of "It's Your Call," who were honored with the "International Association of Business Communicators' 2003 Distinguished Communications Award for Excellence in Journalism" at a gala dinner last night in Wilmington, DE.   CN8 recently expanded to New England and is now seen in over six million households.
Former "Good Day Philadelphia" entertainment report Molly Mayock will be seen in the season premiere of "Project Greenlight" on HBO June 22 at 9:30 p.m.  Mayock's screenplay was one of the ten selected by show producers which include Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.