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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP

Archive for August, 2010

Unemployed, recession-bit cast of upcoming ‘Apprentice’ includes a PR specialist from Fayetteville

The Fayetteville cast member Kelly Smith Beaty is the African American in the back by the tree pretending to be reading something.

The Fayetteville cast member Kelly Smith Beaty is the African American in the back by the tree pretending to be reading something.

I just received the cast of the upcoming “Apprentice” on NBC, the first in three years featuring non celebrities. It debuts Sept. 16 at 9 p.m.

The angle this time: everyone has suffered due to the recession and are seeking redemption. The cast is dubbed “economically challenged” in the press release. The show came to Atlanta a few months ago for casting, and I’m glad we ended up with at least one Georgia representative. Here’s the bio provided by NBC for Kelly Smith Beaty from Fayettevillle:

Born in North Carolina and raised in Georgia, she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Spelman College and her Masters in Public Communication from American University. Beaty worked in the press office for the Governor of Georgia and was previously employed in the Atlanta office of a global public relations firm, where she was laid …

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CBS Atlanta adds 5 p.m. news, drops ‘The 700 Club.’

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CBS Atlanta (WGCL-TV) is adding an extra hour of news on weekdays starting Monday, August 30 at 5 p.m.

But it also means Pat Robertson’s long-running “The 700 Club” is leaving the station’s 9 a.m. position. News director Steve Schwaid said he did not know where that program will end up. According to the WATL-TV schedule, the show is already airing a half-hour version at 9 a.m. there and will go to a full hour on Monday.

CBS Atlanta has been running “People’s Court” at 5 p.m., but that veteran court show will now move to the 9 a.m. slot.

Stephany Fisher and Kim Fettig will co-anchor the 5 p.m. show. Jaquitta Williams, who recently joined the station, co-hosts with Fisher at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Stations in this market have been aggressively adding more broadcast news in recent years. WAGA-TV has a relatively new 11 p.m. news program and an extra 9 a.m. “Good Day Xtra” show. All four local news stations recently added a 4:30 a.m. broadcast.

“There’s clearly a market for this,” …

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GPB resurrects CBS Atlanta’s old sports crew

Public broadcasting is not where folks normally think of sports. But Georgia Public Broadcasting is launching an upgraded weekly high school sports show co-hosted by two former CBS Atlanta broadcasters who lost their jobs when the station outsourced its sports department to 790/The Zone.

index“GPB Sports Central” starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. hosted by four people, including former CBS Atlanta hosts Gil Tyree (right) and Mark Harmon. It replaces “Prep Sports Plus” and is a major step up. “This is a total studio deal, ESPN quality,” said I.J. Rosenberg, executive producer and sports director at GPB. It encores on Fridays at 11 p.m. and Saturday at noon with final scores.

He runs Score Atlanta, a sports marketing company which also covers high school sports. (He also helps out the AJC.) “It’s the last horizon,” he said. College and pro sports are covered much more extensively but “high school is wide open.”

Rosenberg, whose kids attend Centennial High School and participate in sports …

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Atlanta’s T.I. taped ‘VH1 Storytellers’ last night for Dec. 10

t.iAtlanta rap star T.I., now out of prison after a weapons charge, is getting back to the business of his music.

Last night, he taped an episode of VH1’s “Storytellers,” which is set to air on December 10. Here’s the VH1 press release:

New York, NY – August 25, 2010- T.I, the proclaimed “King of the South,” got personal last night during VH1’s Storytellers taping saying, “Even when I lose faith in myself there is something in me that speaks through and says I am not finished yet” as he hit the stage of New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom and kept the capacity crowd on their feet the whole night as he blazed through a set of career hits. This exclusive performance, “VH1 Storytellers: T.I.” will premiere on Friday, December 10th at 11:00 PM*.

Between songs, T.I. opened up with candid stories about his redemption from the life of a drug dealer to the rap superstar he is today. He also entertained questions from the audience on topics ranging from his …

Continue reading Atlanta’s T.I. taped ‘VH1 Storytellers’ last night for Dec. 10 »

790/The Zone introduces its Young Guns

(l-r) Hunter Weeks, 26; Matt Baxendell, 26; Kirk Carter, 22; Matt Dagostino, 29 CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

(l-r) Hunter Weeks, 29; Matt Baxendell, 26; Kirk Carter, 22; Matt Dagostino, 29 CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Steak Shapiro introduced the new “Young Guns” team Tuesday during the 5 p.m. hour. Their show begins officially (minus Steak) from 7 to 9 p.m. August 31.

Culled from 250 applicants, the station picked an engineer, a would-be lawyer from UGA, a mixed martial arts expert and a Turner Sports freelancer. And two are named Matt so they go by shortened versions of their last names.

I talked briefly with each:

Matt Dagostino: He wasn’t picked just because he’s bald like Nick Cellini, Chris Dimino and Steak. Rather, “Dags” is considered more structured than the others, said Matt Edgar, who will be their producer. “He’s got great pipes and seems a little more mature.” Living in Atlanta for 12 years, he’s freelanced at Turner Sports hosting  a baseball show and has done some work for the PGA and Major League Baseball. He’s more a baseball and basketball guy but knows enough …

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Fox 5 GM Gene McHugh steps down, looks back

Gene MchughGene McHugh last week officially retired after 14-plus  years as general manager at Fox affiliate WAGA-TV.

The 63-year-old television executive can look back with pride. The station held its own as a solid No. 2 behind perennial leader WSB-TV the entire time he was there while carving out more news hours than any local news operation.

“It’s been one of the more stable environments,” he said, in a business notorious for turnover.”I count myself among the lucky ones.”

WAGA-TV has been one of the strongest Fox affiliates in the country. Shows tend to do better here than they do nationally across the board, from “The Wendy Williams Show” to “House” to “American Idol.” And its 10 p.m. news show, especially after “Idol,” often draws 300,000 or more viewers.

In recent years, the station has increased the number of broadcast news hours on air including an 11 p.m. news show and an extra 9 a.m. hour in the morning. But it hasn’t increased on-air staff very much. “It doesn’t change …

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AMC’s Atlanta-shot ‘The Walking Dead’ to debut Oct. 31, trailer out now

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AMC announced ts scripted zombie series “The Walking Dead” will debut on Halloween night at 10 p.m.

That’s no coincidence.

The creepy six-episode run was shot in Atlanta in the late spring. It’s based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, who bases the series in Atlanta. Frank Darabont (”Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile”) is an executive producer and directed the 90-minute first episode.

The subject matter in this series is far different from those of AMC’s three other scripted series (”Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “Rubicon”) but it’s clearly going to focus on character as much as gore.

Here’s the trailer where you can see downtown Atlanta prominently:

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Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ holds for a fourth week on top of Atlanta radio

Mike Posner - Cooler Than Me mp3 downloadWith 95.5/The Beat gone, the Atlanta radio market top 10 has shifted a bit. Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” remains on top but it was spun only 205 times, about 100 times fewer than a week earlier minus the Beat.

Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” is only 15 spins behind at 190 and could potentially take over next week. Chris Brown’s “Deuces” is a fast riser on both V-103 and Hot 107.9

The Beat used to have a very tight playlist, usually only about 130 songs at a time (vs. 180 to 200 for Q100 and Star 94). It would play its top 5 songs about 100 times each, or once every hour and 40 minutes or so. That formula generated oodles of mostly younger listeners but they seldom hung around very long. (In radio parlance, that means high cume, low time spent listening.) The station was often a person’s third choice, behind the likes of Q100, V-103 and Hot.

The top gaining song in terms of airplay was Train’s latest “If It’s Love,” which is up 39 spins, much of the gain due to 92.9/Dave …

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Agnes Scott College student enjoys burst of fame via YouTube & TV-themed songs

41629_518056862_7148_nTally Deushane, a 20-year-old student from Agnes Scott College, might have a ukelele-backed tune she sang on YouTube land in the upcoming “How I Met Your Mother” DVD package.

She sings from the perspective of the tired daughter who has been listening to her dad drone on and on about his life before he met her mom. The show has yet to reveal who that mom is after five seasons.

My colleague Bo Emerson wrote about her in Saturday’s print paper. Here’s the video (with 13,000-plus views), which is most amusing only for die-hard fans of the show and probably befuddling for folks who don’t watch it:

She has fairly eclectic taste in TV, having done songs about “Dexter,” “The Office,” “Ace of Cakes,” “Castle,” “The Simpsons,” “Buffy” and “Glee.” One of her most popular ones (27,000-plus views) is this one based on “The Big Bang Theory.”

Continue reading Agnes Scott College student enjoys burst of fame via YouTube & TV-themed songs »

Curt Smith (Tears For Fears) sings Justin Bieber, talks about being a possible ‘American Idol’ judge in interview to promote Aug. 26 Chastain show

n7675932741_525178_9851I’m stretching this TV and radio blog a bit by interviewing Curt Smith of Tears of Fears, which is making its first appearance in Atlanta with Smith and his band mate Roland Orzabel in 20 years.

But here are my justifications: Though Tears For Fears hasn’t had a hit in 17 years, the British band was played on Dave FM and B98.5 a combined 27 times this past week, or nearly four times a day. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Shout” and “Head Over Heels” are staple 1980s songs. The band’s “Mad World” was sung by Adam Lambert last year on “American Idol.” And Curt Smith plays a farcical version of himself on an upcoming episode of “Psych” on USA Network.

I also managed to get Smith to sing a snippet of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” (And no, I didn’t ask. He just did it!) And he was actually interviewed to be an “Idol” judge though he doubts he will be seriously considered.

Here are excerpts from my Q & A with Smith, 49, earlier this month by phone while he was on the road before a …

Continue reading Curt Smith (Tears For Fears) sings Justin Bieber, talks about being a possible ‘American Idol’ judge in interview to promote Aug. 26 Chastain show »