Pardon the interrpution, but…

If you think Louisville’s own Rick Bozich and Pat Forde can be half as entertaining as the guys on ESPN’s Pardon the Interrpution, then a new show on cable might be worth watching.

Bozich and Forde will host a new bi-weekly program, Page One Sports, on Insight Cable’s ICN2. The first one, airing July 31 at 9 p.m., is likely to feature a look at the upcoming college football season. Bozich says he and Forde, who have known each other 20 years, will adopt the style made funny by Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on the ESPN show.

Last year, the duo faced off in a few entertaining bits on WHAS-TV newscasts in a segment called “The Last Word.” And both have extensive TV cred: both Forde and Bozich have done guests spots on ESPN’s lineup of sports talk shows featuring sportswriters.

Bozich adds there will be guests on each show, and have landed Cards’ QB Brian Brohm for the first one. They’ll answer e-mail from viewers and spout some strong opinion.

There’s no shortage of sports talk on TV and radio these days, even on a local basis. Most of it isn’t worth the time it takes to flip the switch. But in Bozich and Forde, you’ve got a couple of guys who know what’s what around here in sports, and are comfortable enough in front of the camera to deliver an entertaining half-hour. Maybe not to the level of Kornheiser and Wilbon, but it’ll be worth checking out.

When What Freezes Over?

This whole Louisville Arena issue has been a fiasco from the start, and as I write this, the Committee is meeting, hearing chairman Jim Host report on how wonderfully received his group’s efforts are going with the NCAA. In fact, I’m sure he’s talking about all the really cool NCAA championships lining up to compete in the new arena in a few years.

Late last week, there were news reports on the committee’s efforts to attract six future championships to Louisville because of the great new arena. And just to make sure we’re all paying attention, the group, led by Greater Louisville Sports Commission chair Diane McGraw, claimed NCAA representatives took them seriously when they brought up the 2013 NCAA Ice Hockey Championships, known as the Frozen Four.

Seriously. Ice Hockey. In a town that has failed to support several minor league hockey franchises. In a sport that has scheduled its growing final competition exclusively in National Hockey League cities like Denver, Washington, Detroit and Minneapolis. In a city where the university doesn’t even have a team. Not surprisingly, no NCAA officials were available to comment on the organization’s interest in Louisville.

Read moreWhen What Freezes Over?

Speculating on Smith’s Successor

Tonight, Al Smith is back at the helm of his baby, “Comment on Kentucky” on KET. He’s announced that he’s leaving the show this fall, and John David Dyche wrote his C-J column this week on the candidates to succeed him. Among those candidates is my pal Mark Hebert, who wrote some insightful words about the popular political program on his blog Thursday.

Smith should have an interesting show tonight, with a discussion of the ongoing political feud in Frankfort and John Edwards’ visit to the state as hot topics. Smith started the show back in 1974 (that would be during the Wendell Ford administration) and has hosted dozens, if not hundreds, of guests. The list of those who have appeared might be as interesting to political junkies as the list of pitchers who have given up homers to Barry Bonds (he’s only been playing since 1986).  Everyone, even those who find humor in Smith’s style, respects Smith’s accomplishments and stewardship of the show.

Read moreSpeculating on Smith’s Successor

Miller’s Double Duty Questioned

This week the Kentucky Enquirer’s Pat Crowley made some state Republicans happy by writing about the heatjonathanmiller.jpg Jonathan Miller is taking for working one political job (Democratic Party Chairman) while holding one political office (State Treasurer).

In doing so, Crowley gave Republican Party Chair Steve Robertson a soapbox on which to needle Miller, especially after Robertson gave up his own job in the Fletcher administration to run the party’s political operations. Robertson thinks Miller should give up his cushy treasurer’s post if he’s going to spend all his time helping get Steve Beshear elected governor.

Read moreMiller’s Double Duty Questioned

Where are those NBA Backers Now?

Will Wolford is looking for a little love and a little money, and if he doesn’t get it, he’ll take one of the city’s only hopes for a long-term professional sports tenant for its big new downtown arena elsewhere.

Wolford wants Louisville to embrace his team the way the community of Green Bay loves its Packers. He wants citizen ownership and corporate sponsorship, and he wants the Louisville Fire on the short list for expansion for the Arena Football League, where his co-owners would include folks like John Elway, Bon Jovi and Deion Sanders, and where there’s a lucrative ESPN TV contract and sponsors lined up to get in on the action.

So why does he have to hold a press conference to ask someone from the city to step up and support the team? Why isn’t the Louisville Arena Authority, or at least a few of its members, campaigning with Wolford to support the Fire’s hopes of raising $500,000 and doubling its season-ticket sales.  Why isn’t the Mayor standing tall with Wolford to encourage corporations to support this native son’s attempt to keep a pro franchise in town?

Read moreWhere are those NBA Backers Now?

Next Man Out at WHAS – Tim Seymour

The challenge facing new WHAS-TV general manager Mark Pimental got a little bit tougher the day after he was announced as the new G.M. — reporter and part-time anchor Tim Seymour accepted an anhoring job in Cedar Rapids.

Seymour, who has been at WHAS-TV for four years, had seen his anchoring duties cut back when Andy Treinen was hired to anchor Good Morning Kentuckiana. The station moved Joe Arnold to weekends, and Seymour was literally out on the streets — reporting.  And apparently that was enough to get Seymour to look for a way out of a bad situation. Seymour had previously worked at WLKY-TV before moving from there to Minneapolis, then came back for the WHAS-TV job in 2003.

Seymour’s departure is the fifth in the station’s newsroom since March. Reporter Jenny McLendon left for law school in May, followed by the sudden retirement of anchor Jean West late last month. Reporter Kerri Richardson took a job with the Mayor’s office, and last week assistant news director Caroline Imler took a news director’s job in Harrisburg, Pa.

It’s also clear that Seymour’s wasn’t the only newsroom resume making the rounds. This is not the last of personnel changes at WHAS-TV.

Categories TV

R.I.P. – The Lip is Zipped

News that LEO, the city’s alternative weekly, is pulling the plug on its blogging experiment is disheartening. In a final post dated July 18, Stephen George blamed “other priorities” for the demise of the entertaining blog, in which George almost singlehandedly broke stories and provided some entertaining prose. Add in the efforts of editor Cary Stemle and random contributions from resident wit Jim Welp, and I’ve got to believe The Lip had the editorial chutzpah to gain some attention. It at least was an outlet for some good local journalism.

But the fact that The Lip got no support from LEO management kept it from becoming a regular read, even for the mag’s most devout fans. While each of its entries was well-written, it often went a week or more without being updated.

Read moreR.I.P. – The Lip is Zipped

WHAS Taps Lexington station for new GM

Mark Pimental is being introduced today as the new general manager at WHAS-TV, and will begin his new job Aug. 9. Pimental is currently the GM at Lexington’s WTVQ-TV, also an ABC affiliate. Pimental has been in Lexington four years, and before that was a GM in Richmond, Va. and Huntsville, Ala.

Pimental appears to be a news guy. Prior to his ascension into station management, he was a news director at stations in Atlanta, Balitmore and Charleston, S.C. and served in various stations as a news producer before that.

The previous GM at WHAS, Bob Klingle, left in March. Pimental takes over a newsroom that has been rocked with recent departures, including veteran anchor Jean West, reporters Jenny McLendon and Kerri Richardson and an assistant news director.   It won’t be surprising if there are additional departures in the near future.

Categories TV

The Last Kentucky Post Coming Dec. 31

More bad news for the newspaper business.

In a lengthy press release today, the E.W. Scripps Co. announced it will cease publication of the afternoon newspapers — The Kentucky Post and the Cincinnati Post — at the end of the year.

The demise of the paper put 52 newsroom employees out of a job. Scripps owns TV station WCPO-TV, an ABC affiliate, but will no longer compete in the newspaper business. It had been in a 30-year joint operating agreement with the Cincinnati Enquirer, owned by Gannett, but Gannett did not renew the agreement. The Enquirer is the area’s morning newspaper, while the Post is delivered in the afternoon. The papers maintained separate editorial staffs, but other departments of the newspaper were combined with the Enquirer.

The Post’s subcription rolls have been falling for years, down from 188,000 in 1977 to just 27,000 daily customers today. It reaches just 4 percent of Greater Cincinnati’s population.

Beshear Maintains Big Margin in Latest S-USA Poll

The assumption that Gov. Ernie Fletcher has been closing the gap in the Governor’s Race with Democratic challenger Steve Beshear is not true, according to the Survey USA poll released today. Beshear maintains a 59-36 lead over Fletcher among 560 likely voters, with 5 percent undecided. That’s just slightly less than Beshear’s lead in a Survey USA poll released May 25.

The bad news for Fletcher covers all fronts. He trails Beshear by at least 16 points in every region of the state, and the poll shows that 24 percent of Republicans would cross over and vote Democratic.

The poll was conducted July 14-16, and the best news for Fletcher is that 3 1/2 months remain for him to catch up before the election. Beshear leads by 35 points among women, 12 points among men.

A poll released July 10 by the Southern Political Report showed the race significantly tighter. It showed Beshear ahead just 41-38, with 21 percent undecided.