Category Archives: television

The Radio Carousel: Big changes at The Mountain and over the mountain

The Mountain - official logoThere are several fans of Scott Register and Birmingham Mountain Radio (BMR) who no doubt had no trouble changing the presets in their car as they prepared for their commute home on Tuesday. That’s because BMR confirmed earlier in the day to their new home on terrestrial radio at 107.3 FM. The station, launched online in December 2010, became the first of its kind to start as an internet-only outlet securing an over the air signal afterward when it started its partnership with locally owned media company SummitMedia at 12 p.m. CT.

It was also a busy first part of the week  just over the mountain at Samford University, where officials revealed the creation of Samford Sports Properties on Monday. The new marketing arm of the university’s athletics department also announced multi-year agreements with Birmingham radio stations 99.5 The Vibe and AM 690 The Fan (both owned by Cumulus Media). One of the most important parts of the partnership is the ability for Samford sports to reach a wider audience due to the signal strength of the stations.

lass_ken_squareFinally (though we realize it’s not a radio story), fans of Ken Lass should be happy to learn he’s not only returned to Alabama’s 13 as a host of Daytime Alabama, but he’s once again teaming with his former morning co-anchor Wendy Garner. Monday was his first day.

Where’s Ken Lass? (and other changes at CBS 42)

42changesUPDATE: Ken Lass is back on television, effective July 1, at Alabama’s 13.

Ken Lass, the popular Birmingham news anchor, is no longer with CBS 42, and according to the reactions still being posted on their fan page on Facebook,  there are many upset with the decision. He’d had been with the station since late 2009.

The station also recently released one of their morning show co-anchors, Brooke Smith Weaver. Weaver, known nationally for her appearance on the second season of The Bachelor and locally as one of the original hosts of Alabama’s 13’s Daytime Alabama, announced her departure via her Facebook profile back on March 29. She’d been with the station since 2011.

There will soon be at least one more departure from the station, though this one is voluntary (and it’s been known about in some circles since mid-March). Morning meteorologist Kalee Dionne will be leaving the station this month to join Kansas City, Missouri’s KSHB 41 Action News team. She’ll be the NBC affiliate’s weekend meteorologist.

Aereo announces expansion into Birmingham

aereo_antennaThere was a lot of buzz Wednesday afternoon as folks in Birmingham learned New York-based TV tech start-up Aereo was including The Magic City in a 22 city expansion this spring. It’s the result of the company receiving a $38 million infusion of financing from IAC/InterActiveCorp and Highland Capital Partners – a development made public on Tuesday and announced at CES.

It does seem to be a viable solution for those in the metro area who aren’t able to easily receive over-the-air digital signals who don’t want to consider cable TV or satellite as replacements. Customers will also be able to access Bloomberg TV, where Aereo’s CEO, Chet Kanjolia, spoke about the legality of the service yesterday morning. But if you want to watch, let’s say a BCS championship game on ESPN, you’re out of luck for right now.

But back to legality…

Shortly after it launched in New York City last year, many of the broadcast networks filed temporary injunctions against the company on the grounds of copyright infringement. Their workaround involves the digital antenna you’re paying to lease from them (that’s what’s pictured up above, alongside a dime). Incidentally, The New York Times points out that Aereo doesn’t currently pay for the content. There are also concerns about what legally constitutes digital video recording, and how the service will affect revenue for the networks.

Prices for the service range from $1 a day to $80 a year in addition to a one hour per day free trial option, with DVR storage options available from 3 – 40 hours. It works on PC and Mac platforms, with plans for an Android version to be introduced later this year.

Why yes, that is Chris Pollone…

It’s hard not to use a sports cliché when talking about Chris Pollone‘s return to Alabama’s 13 this (Monday) evening. He’ll be doing so as one of the hosts of Alabama Tonight, the NBC affiliate’s new weeknight sports program, for the month of September. Pollone left Birmingham and Alabama’s 13 back in December after 11 years. News of his return was first shared via YouTube earlier this month:

Alabama Tonight is also the name of a blog already being regularly updated on the station’s website. The show plans to be “your source for SEC and High School Sports,” as shared in the bio section of the show’s Twitter account. It’s probably a lot more fun to hear Chris talk about it himself though, so watch that video up there – and then tune in at 6:30 p.m.

He seems excited about it too

Two chances to vote Birmingham this week

Birmingham has at least two chances to use their well-known voting prowess to help catapult two individuals into the cable television spotlight in the coming weeks.

Last night Martie Duncan became one of the final four for the current season of The Next Food Network Star. You can vote up to 10 times a day by phone or online via the show’s website (with a Facebook account). As pointed out in today’s Birmingham News article by Chanda Temple, you’ve got until 4 p.m. CT tomorrow (Tuesday, July 16).

The folks at 106 & Park on BET are asking viewers to vote for who they want to see as the next hosts of the long-running show via The Search. We’ve found one person currently campaigning online in Birmingham to be considered for one of the slots, Wondrea Gilmore (known on Twitter as @Dree_GotU). Her YouTube video’s up and her requests on Twitter for help have gotten a nice response so far. Of course, if you’re a DirecTV subscriber, watching every day to see if it comes on TV is just a little harder than it used to be. Just saying

If you know of any other metro Birmingham area people considering submitting for The Search, let us know in the comments section.

Why did you miss Rock Center last night?

rock-center-with-brian-williamsDid you happen to miss last night’s (the December 19th) episode of Rock Center with Brian Williams?

If so, you missed a piece filed by correspondent Harry Smith, (“Laughing Matter: Comedy from Dean Obeidallah“), complete with an albeit brief national television appearance by Birmingham’s own Christopher Davis and the stage at downtown’s Urban Standard. By the way, we’re talking about the comedian Christopher Davis of View of the City and Extemporaneous Theatre Company fame and not the Woodlawn High School football standout.

Chris served as the emcee for the Muslim comedy troupe’s free performance in Birmingham back in mid-August as part of their The Muslims Are Coming tour that took them through the South and Midwest sections of the country.

The tour also doubled as the basis of a road movie that they’re currently back in New York working on as fast as possible. That big Rock Center logo can take you to the video (as will this link since we couldn’t embed it on the site – at least, not easily…).

UPDATE: Reports suggest We Have Signal may cease production

We Have Signal logoUPDATE 1 4:35 p.m., 6/28/2011: The show’s producers have posted a note on Facebook this afternoon announcing that next season will go ahead as planned starting in October. For those not on Facebook, we’ve published the note over on Timetable.

Early this morning the Montgomery Advertiser posted a piece to their website that announced the pending closure of Alabama Public Television’s Montgomery bureau at the end of July due to budget cuts at the state level. The report points out that APT will be making reductions statewide to deal with the $1.3 million lost in funding.

One of the losses of significance to folks here in Birmingham is the announcement that “We Have Signal” will potentially cease production. The musical performance series launched in late 2008 and is recorded here in Birmingham exclusively at The Bottletree in Avondale. The show has won Southeast Emmys in 2009 & 2010 and had been nominated again this year.

According to the show’s fan page on Facebook, episodes were shot this spring and scheduled to air this fall. We’re looking into whether these new episodes will be aired. We’re also waiting to see an official statement from the show’s producers about their plans for the future. According to a tweet earlier today and an email exchange with the show’s producers, the first they learned about the potential situation was from this morning’s story in the Advertiser.