British weatherman charms Tucson
While the ratings are not in yet for Tucson, Ariz., a diary market, KGUN-TV seems to have gotten some attention with Arizona’s only British meteorologist. KGUN General Manager Ray Depa hired Daniel Corbett about seven weeks ago, just before November sweeps. Mr. Corbett forecasts the weather and reports feature pieces for the station’s 90-minute 5:30 a.m. news show “Good Morning Tucson.”
Mr. Corbett earned his meteorology degree at the State University of New York at Stonybrook and is certified. He got his start at what is now WCFT-TV, Birmingham, Ala. He also worked at KWTX-TV in Waco, Texas, before going back to England, where he helped launch the weather team at BBC News 24. But he and his wife fell in love with Tucson while on vacation, and he returned to the States.
“We came here on holiday, and we had enough of the cold and rain,” Mr. Corbett said, adding he gets his share of fan mail. “Most of them find the [British] accent and my style refreshing, different, because there aren’t too many British weathermen. People listen to the weather, and you hear an accent, and it’s ear catching.”
KGUN General Manager Ray Depa says viewer feedback is 2 to 1 in favor of Mr. Corbett. “He’s incredible,“ Mr. Depa said. “We’re getting great unsolicited feedback about him. He’s so charming and different because of his accent. We’re getting very positive feedback from younger people.”
KEYE manager will report to Tampa GM
A CBS spokesman has confirmed that Patrick McGinley was let go from the general manager job at CBS-owned KEYE-TV, Austin, Texas, about two weeks ago and that the position has been eliminated. Now the station is run by J.C. Lowe, KEYE’s sales manager, who was promoted to station manager. Mr. Lowe will report to Mike Conway, general manager at Viacom-owned UPN affiliate WTOG-TV, Tampa, Fla. According to an article in the Austin American Statesman, a total of five jobs were eliminated, including that of Program Manager Rush Evans III, who had been at KEYE for 16 years. Per the CBS spokesman, Mr. Lowe is reporting out of state to Mr. Conway because the Tampa-based executive has only one station to run. The nearest CBS-owned station is in Dallas, but KTVT-TV General Manager Brian Jones has his hands full running the Viacom Dallas duopoly. CBS already has another similar setup in Norfolk, Va., where WGNT-TV General Manager Meg LaVigne has been running the UPN affiliate in another state, WUPA-TV, Atlanta, for the past several months.
KCAL to keep 4 p.m. newscast
Young Broadcasting-owned KCAL-TV, Los Angeles, launched its 4 p.m. newscast Sept. 17 in response to the need for wall-to-wall news coverage after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Now KCAL will make that hour-long newscast, anchored by veteran Jerry Dunphy and Sylvia Lopez, permanent: Its November sweeps performance came in at a 1.8 Nielsen Media Research rating and a 5 share. KCAL General Manager Don Corsini points out that there is an audience for KCAL news at that time, and the broadcast is taking some market share away from rivals. He points to KNBC-TV’s 4 p.m. newscast-which will go off the air next fall, replaced by “Dr. Phil”-scored a 3.3/8, down from last year’s 4.4/10, while the only other 4 p.m. newscast, at KABC-TV, pulled down a 5.1/13, down from last year’s 5.4/13. Mr. Corsini said KCAL’s 4 p.m. news also beat KNBC’s 4 p.m. news twice during the month: on Nov. 16, with a 2.4/6 vs. KNBC’s 2.3/6, and on Nov. 19, with a 3.1/8 vs. KNBC’s 2.5/7.
“The bottom line is KCAL is in the news business,” Mr. Corsini said. “We’re in the business of supporting our community, and we feel there is certainly an audience at 4 o’clock, and we’re going to position ourselves to capitalize on that news audience at 4 o’clock.” KCAL is also the only station in the market to have newscasts at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and in prime time at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
KCBS names Hair news director
Princell Hair will become the news director at KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, replacing Roger Bell and ending the buzz that KCBS General Manager David Woodcock would hire his former news director, KCOP-TV’s Larry Perret, for the post.