Time for a Beer Summit

I’m with the cop – a Blue Moon, please.

Where Rudeness Rules: Treating elected officials poorly is a big sport at Fancy Farm, where up to six U.S. Senate candidates may speak to the 10,000 folks sweating themselves over barbecue dinner. WAVE and WHAS will be there, so reward them for making the trip by watching their reports. Here’s a link to Ronnie Ellis’ preview. [Ellis]

Therefore, On Comment: Back in the studio, it’s John Stamper of the Herald-Leader and Debby Yetter of the C-J on Comment on Kentucky. They’ll chat by phone with Paducah’s Bill Bartleman down at Fancy Farm. But you’re probably doing something else. It’s on KET at 8.

What’s Up With That?: Suddenly Anne Northup is an expert on consumer products and safety. That must be why Mitch McConnell got the President to pick her as a new CPSC commissioner. [Courier]

Sypher News: Some poor schmuck attorney is getting Karen Sypher as a new client today, courtesy of the government. Another round of Sypher footage on TV news. How do you feel about paying for her defense?

Vietnamese Cuisine Back on Bardstown: Cafe Mimosa, which burned down in January, is making a comeback at a new location. [Eats]

Your Lead Story Tonight: They convicted the crazy Indiana woman who shot a guy on a motorcycle just ‘cuz she was filled with road rage.

Those Controversial Listings: The Kings of LEO have heard enough of the complaining. Starting with the Aug. 19 issue, they’ll bring back the Plugged In listings they cut earlier this year.

And Go Back for More Poo: When you have some time this weekend, take a lot at some of the great responses we’ve gotten for our Golden Poo awards. [Golden Poo]

Trouble for Tandy

Yesterday we linked to the LEO Weekly story about Metro Council Majority Caucus Director Kenya McGruder. She “directed” Barack Obama’s non-existent campaign in Kentucky and was brought to Louisville by Carolyn Tandy and her husband, now-Metro Council President David Tandy, during Eleanor Jordan’s congressional race in 2000. They’ve been joined at the hip ever since.

LEO wrote about McGruder receiving a mysterious five-day suspension from the personnel committee instead of getting fired.

But what’d she do that was so mysterious and unworthy of being mentioned in public? Well, it’s not so much what she did.

Read The Rest at Page One.

Arena’s Big News Ahead

There’s big news coming from the Arena Authority next Tuesday. Already, we know that Gov. Beshear and Mayor Abramson will be there, together, to take credit for whatever it is.

GLI’s Joe Reagan has issued an invitation to the Tuesday press conference to his Board of Directors.

All we’re promised is that there will be two MAJOR announcements related to the arena. Here’s what it won’t be:

  • a source who should know says it’s not a major convention
  • another source says it has nothing to do with naming rights or an NBA Team
  • it’s not the final results from the concrete accident investigation

Arena chair Jim Host has been hinting about the August 4 announcement for more than a month, intimating during arena tours that it would be, well, BIG. He’s been courting NCAA events, so it could be something like that. Or maybe an arena football team? Indoor soccer?

It will be related to economic development, and we wrote in June that Host was happy about bringing something to the city that’s been gone for 30 years.

So anybody want to take a guess as to what it is?

Day 5: Inaugural Golden B.S. Awards

Welcome to Day 5 of the Golden B.S. Awards in honor of Page One’s second birthday (August 13th!). Ten lucky (unlucky?) winners will receive a fancy pile of golden b.s., pictured at left. You know the drill.

Which elected officials, public officials, candidates, reporters, public figures, et al are absolutely full of it? We need your input!

Each day for the next eight days we’ll announce a new award category for which you may submit an unlimited number of nominees.

Previous Categories:

So make sure you nominate someone for those categories.

After all nominations are received for all announced categories, we’ll announce the winners and promptly send along golden piles of poo to recipients. Let’s make this as scandalous and appropriate as possible.

Today’s category is:

Worst Example of Total Incompetence From a Local or State Official in an Appointed Post

Submit your nomination – along with your reasoning – by CLICKING HERE. Keep it funny!

Hilarious Notalgia Day at WAVE

Some of these video tributes to Tom Wills at WAVE have been downright funny.

Who knew that former Fox41 anchor Don Schroeder, who previously worked with Wills at WAVE,  was capable of such hilarity? Schroeder, who’s grown a full beard, taped his segment in front the White House, though he’s retired to Alabama. First time I’d ever seen him not wearing a tie. On the back of his t-shirt, the sign read “Will Read News for Food.”

Ex-meteorologist Craig Edwards, now in Nashville, chimed in along with country music personality Charlie Chase.

Then there was a live shot, on Skype, with former morning co-host Chris Parente, who appeared in pancake makeup with a towel on his head. Which was bizarro TV. Parente, now in Denver, recently won a vote to guest host the Regis and Kelly show next Wednesday. He asked Wills if he wanted to go on with him.

Wills is taking it all in stride, even the excessive alarm clock jokes.

Let’s hope WAVE has the sense to collect all the tributes and post them — might do some good for their Web traffic.

They’re Not Rubber Stamps

Mention the phrase “rubber stamp” around certain Metro Council members, and you get a strong negative reaction.

That’s the charge being leveled by opponents of the bridges tolling authority, who saw the Metro Council’s approval of the authority as a formality pushed by the Mayor and economic development interests. To fight that perception, the Council bickered over terms of the agreement for three hours last night, injecting a bunch of provisions that the Council wants the Mayor to abide by.

So when Abramson picks his four appointees, the Council wants them to drop by for some questions. And the Council wants to hold some public meetings, though it’s unlikely anything that comes out of them would be considered by the authority.  And if there’s ever anything actually built, the Council wants the project to abide by its labor standards ordinance. Not that they would have to.

But at least the Council avoided the “rubber stamp” tag by taking a bunch of time to put in some new language.

Wills’ Proper Sendoff and the New Gal in Town

This seems to be a year of departures on local TV, but none can match the sendoff WAVE-TV has given Tom Wills after four decades as the city’s senior meteorologist.

WAVE has given Wills an entire week of tributes, bringing back former personalities (this morning it was ex-anchor Julie Nelson, now in Minneapolis) to record memories. Names like Pia Cummings and Nell Taylor, who we haven’t seen on TV in a long time, recorded Wills tributes. WAVE’s taken us back to the major weather events Wills has covered, starting with the 1974 tornado and then the snowstorms in 1978 and 1994.

It’s certainly classier treatment than WHAS-TV gave its weather icon, Ken Schulz, when he retired early this year.  Of course, Wills wasn’t pushed out the door, either.

But regular viewers of the station may have had enough nostalgia, and today they get their final chance to say good-bye on WAVE3 Listens at 10.

And those who watched this morning’s show got a look at things to come — Wills introduced his replacement on the Sunrise show. There’s plenty to like about Christie Dutton, who grew up in Nicholasville, is a UK graduate and has worked in the Lexington and Cincinnati markets. She’s not hard to look at, and she’s got a meteorology certification at Mississippi State. So she must know her weather, and she knows what to expect in the Ohio Valley.

Dutton spent six years at WTVQ in Lexington before moving up to the Fox affiliate in Cincy, WXIX, in 2007.  However, Dutton’s tenure in Cincy was just over a year, as she was let go a year ago. On the air this morning, she said she’d be starting on the Sunrise show late next week.

All The Golden Poo You Want to Know

Two Words — Golden Poo: Who do you think is most likely to run afoul of the law? Just look at the possibilities. [Golden Poo]

And to Think They Want to Play a Media Team in Hoops: Check out this photo of the Metro Council contingent touring the arena site. David Tandy told me this morning the Councilcritters are gearing up for a little basketball game against media types next month. We’re not intimidated. [Metro Council]

Pants Up!: At tonight’s Metro Council meeting, Judy Green’s baggy pants ordinance comes up for a vote. Republicans, and me, think it’s a pretty silly thing to spend time on. Word is the measure may go back to committee, wasting more time. I predict a Golden Poo category for this kind of thing. If it does come to a vote, expect some Republicans to vote Present.

The Big Item: Two measures on bridges come up tonight, and they seem to be mutually exclusive. One supports the creation of a bi-state authority for bridges, the other calls for more community discussion of bridges. Vicki Welch is a sponsor of both. ???  The Tandy-Kramer ordinance, with 17 sponsors, is more likely to pass, much to the disappointment of the 8664 crowd.

New Favorite Column: We’re loving LEO’s weekly Jerry’s Kids column, where we learned that Dem. Caucus Director Kenya Magruder got herself suspended for a week for some secret screw-up.  And no one’s saying why, so all us media types get to speculate. Was it incompetence, as the column suggests? [LEO]

All About Timing: Republican council members took exception to another aspect of the LEO column — its assertion that Kevin Kramer dominated a recent 45-minute meeting on the bridge thing. So Steve Haag of the GOP caucus got a tape and timed the remarks, which showed that Tina Ward-Pugh spoke longer that Kramer in the meeting.

Ratings Debate: In response to today’s post about news ratings, we got some feedback, as usual.  While everything in our post was true, there’s more to the story. Like the fact that most stations’ overall viewership is down in most time periods, with the exception of WDRB. And year-to-year, every station is down in late news numbers. Fact is, the ratings gap between the four stations is narrowing, it seems, in every book.

Restaurant Town or Not?: Check the Eats reaction to whether we should really care about Anthony Bourdain. [Eats]

Today’s Unconfirmed Rumor: Tomorrow is Tom Wills’ last day at WAVE, and the station is set to introduce a new female weathercaster on WAVE Sunrise. The mystery woman will debut at the end of the show. No, it’s NOT Ken Schulz.

Summer Ratings Sunny for WLKY, WHAS

Today staffers at WLKY got a congratulatory memo from GM Glenn Haygood.

The big news — WLKY is declaring a victory in the July ratings sweeps. Haygood’s memo notes that in all competitive time periods for local programming, WLKY and WHAS won every one. So WAVE doesn’t win a single time period, nor does WDRB.

So let’s try to figure out why this keeps happening, outside of the possibility that more people enjoy the WLKY and WHAS local news product.

WLKY’s dominance in late night is easy to explain. The CBS primetime lineup has delivered dominating numbers both during the week and on weekends. But WLKY has won late-nights for the last six years, according to Haygood, and it’s hard to give all that credit to the CBS lead-in.  WHAS loses some of its 11 p.m. audience to its 10 p.m. broadcast on WBKI, and when you combine those two ratings numbers, more people watch WHAS late nights.

But this is an argument waged between WHAS and WLKY every sweeps period.

And the numbers also point to another TV watching fact — where the competition is between local news programming and almost anything else, viewers go for anything else.  How else to explain how WLKY’s afternoon soap, The Young and Restless, delivers an audiene nearly a third larger than Fox’s 4 p.m. news or even Oprah. That helps explain the WLKY 5 p.m. news victory, which wins the time period before falling behind WHAS at 5:30.

Then there’s the 7-8 p.m. hour, where viewers in droves turn to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy over WAVE’s news and the syndicated Extra. WHAS airs ET and Inside Edition, both of which finish second. Sitcom reruns on WDRB finish fourth.

One of the most competitive time periods, and one that has little to do with lead-ins, is the 6-7 a.m. weekday hour. WHAS wins that one, followed by WAVE, WLKY and WDRB. At 7, when the top three networks go to national broadcasts, NBC’s Today show takes over the top spot, and Fox41, with the only local program at that hour, slides ahead of WHAS and WLKY.

Haygood’s WLKY memo points out that the station’s programming in prime time, fringe and prime access time periods were dominant. So other than improving newscasts, other stations might want to find something to beat The Young and the Restless, Jeopardy and shows like CSI and Big Brother.

Arena Parking Talks Limited

By now, the arena traffic and parking study is underway. When the study was announced in June, the company doing it, Louisville’s QK4, promised a series of public forums, and claimed that all interested parties would have input.

At our July 13 ‘Ville Voice Breakfast of Champions event, Jim Host said that while parking is a big issue and is the topic most often asked about, he was confident the number of parking spaces around downtown will be sufficient to handle crowds of 20,000 or so attending events there. Besides, he said, this parking study would bring solid recommendations to avoid problems.

That’s not too hard to believe. But still, we’re wondering why there have been no announcements of public forums on the study, which will end Oct. 1. In fact, the arena authority is only allowing comments from the public through its website, which it’s not publicizing very much. And if you choose to make a comment, you can’t see any of the issues other citizens bring up, stifling any sort of online discussion.

Arena spokesperson Vicki Glass defended the online procedure. “We feel like it’s a better opportunity for people to provide information,” she said. “We can get a variety of information from different people.”

She said it’s still possible that the arena committee will have face-to-face opportunities in a public forum, but none are scheduled.

But restricting public comment to an obscure section of a website sure doesn’t seem like a path to open dialogue on parking and traffic. The decision, as it stands now, is to not release any of the comments for public discussion or view. Which seems a little sneaky to me. It’s certainly not an action in the spirit of transparency. Why not let the public see what other citizens are concerned about?

I’m wondering if there will be any policing of what lot owners charge for event parking, or if it will be a free-for-all like the area around Churchill Downs at Derby time. If there’s one thing that will keep locals away from downtown, it’s knowing that it’s going to cost $10 to park.

Maybe at some point we’ll find out why the Arena Authority isn’t willing to talk about issues in a public forum.