Tuesday, April 15, 2014

May TV sweeps story ideas 2014

Some of these television sweeps stories have never been done before

I think by now you realize I enjoy spotlighting some cliched TV sweeps ideas mixed in with some more serious ones. It's an added bonus for overworked television producers and reporters. However, the stories I've collected from real news sites for May 2014 are totally over the top.

If that's not enough, here are even more ideas of over the top sweeps ideas THAT HAVE APPARENTLY NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE. These came from consulting with actual TV industry sources. We'll call it the dream file.

From the Chupacabra to the werewolf diet, these stories might have my readers rolling their eyes, but TV managers will probably eat them up. In fact, for February 2014 sweeps, some of my suggestions were used on Houston TV stations!

Child identity theft: Your child's ID is a big target
Child identity theft is a huge problem because it can go undetected for years. One study says 1 in 10 children have someone else using their Social Security number.

The Overprotected Kid
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
- Does a baby's name affect its chances in life?

Houston man claims he spotted Chupacabra
A true TV news classic! Man snaps several photos of animal in backyard of Doliver Point gated community. Is it really the chupacabra?

Adam Carolla, Podcasters Enlist Congress to Fight "Patent Trolls"
So why do I care about this story out of California? The lawsuit against podcaster Adam Carolla comes from Beaumont and could be very far reaching experts say.

Brazilian butt lifts top 2013 plastic surgeries
A list of 2013′s most popular cosmetic procedures shows that Brazilian butt lifts are quickly rising to the top. Could it be Kim Kardashian’s fault?

Women with persistent genital arousal disorder: 'People hear orgasm and they think it's a good thing'
Sufferers of PGAD can feel constantly on the brink of an orgasm. One thing they all share is pain, and distress at the way their condition is covered in the media

'Werewolf diet' attracts celebrities, critics
It's called the "Werewolf Diet." Celebrities such as Madonna and Demi Moore have reportedly followed it.

School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys
And efforts to re-engineer the young-male imagination are doomed to fail

Go Vegan For Your Sex Drive
6 Reasons Veganism Holds The Key For A Healthy Sex Life

New cosmetic cheek filler claims to last for years
Voluma XC, a Hyaluronic acid filler apparently lasts longer.

SkinPen Hailed as Newest Breakthrough in Anti-Aging Treatment
Step aside pricey wrinkle creams, and make room for the latest anti-aging product: the SkinPen.

Houston hookups
Hottest spots to find a fling - this one has never been done as far as I can tell.

Organizing your orgasm
The practical guide for sex and the busy mom - cannot find an instance of this being done yet.

Show us your dongle
For the techie types, how people are watching Internet TV using Google's Chromecast and other devices.

Houston's real Mad Men and Women
Who are the commercial mover and shakers in Houston [or insert your market]?

'Selfie' Trend Leads to More Plastic Surgery
The trend toward taking 'selfies' everywhere has resulted in an odd side effect, an increase in elective plastic surgery.

Is your child safe online?
Whether it's their cell phones or laptops, your child's favorite online apps could be putting them at risk.

- February TV sweeps story ideas 2014
- November TV sweeps story ideas 2013

Monday, April 14, 2014

From TV news to Houston parent news

KHOU 11's Len Cannon, Sasha & Bernadette Verzosa

When Bernadette Verzosa and her husband, KHOU 11 anchor Len Cannon, brought daughter Sasha, 6, into the world, the new mom did not expect to launch a parenting website.

"There was so much valuable 'playground chatter' information being passed from parent to parent that was not being recorded," Verzosa told mikemcguff.com. "There were so many amazing family programs and kids’ classes around town that were not being documented or credited with their important impact."

So two years ago, Verzosa launched ParentsPost.com - The Sharing Tree, to help empower Houston parents with knowledge of everything relevant to family life.

Verzosa's background as a New York City TV special projects and news producer came in handy when creating a new website. But instead of covering the US military presence in the Philippines or travelling to Brazil to report on Carnival in Rio, this time her news gathering focused on parents and their kids.

"I wanted to create a website that was editorially driven - that means helpful articles and substantial information," Verzosa told me. "What I found in Houston were advertising-driven publications that looked like directories – they weren't publicizing some of the best family programs because the programs were not advertising with them.

"ParentsPost is in the style of old-fashioned newspapers with regard to valuable information and integrity. The articles are objective and well researched with interviews with parents and experts and sociological statistics and perspective. It’s not a personal blog - I write about everyone else’s opinions and family experiences – I rarely write about my own opinions or family experiences!"

Verzosa and Cannon met in New Orleans in the early 1990s. They later reconnected at the Atlanta Olympics. She was working at a local TV news station, he was covering the Olympics for NBC. They got married in 1997.

As you might imagine, having a former Dateline NBC correspondent and current Houston TV anchor nearby is a big plus.

"Len is Head Proof Reader of ParentsPost," Verzosa told me. "I’m always calling him to check articles for typos. But really, he helps me in all ways possible – with feedback, suggestions, and by sharing ParentsPost with the people he meets. Also, he takes care of our daughter when I have to work on weekends."

Having journalists for parents is also starting to rub off on the youngest Cannon.

"Sasha has told us she wants to run her own website when she grows up, and she wants to call it LoveMyMommy.com," Verzosa admits. "Of course, she amused us with these words, but as a journalist I’m especially glad Len was there and can corroborate my story!"


Mike McGuff talks H-Town parenting on KUHF's 'Houston Matters'

Friday, April 11, 2014

'Draft Day' works in cameo for Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Costner is back in Draft Day which opens today. I saw an advanced screening thanks to Summit Entertainment, Levenson Group and Houston Cinema Arts Society.

On the day of the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. He must quickly decide what he's willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.

Think FOX's 24 without Kiefer, explosions, gunshots and torture. It stars Costner, Houston's own Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary in full jerk glory as a former Dallas Cowboys coach (go figure). And if you've ever dreamed of seeing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell act, then this is the movie for you.

Oh, and I should mention, no one loses an eye like in Any Given Sunday.

Houston Texans fans will be excited that H-Town makes an appearance with Reliant (soon to be NRG) Stadium having a cameo.

Naturally football fans will probably like the movie, but even non-sports fans can find something to like. So if you want a fairly family friendly flick, I suggest Draft Day.

Film buffs might be interested in an odd split screen effect director Ivan Reitman used throughout the film.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

R.E.M. & Green Day's Record Store Day 2014 releases

R.E.M's Unplugged: The Complete 1991 And 2001 Sessions and Green Day's Demolicious to be released on Record Store Day 2014 April 19th

Record Store Day 2014, which falls on April 19th, will see two iconic bands release some unheard goodies for vinyl loving fans.

 photo REM-Unplugged-cover-art_zps70e364e2.jpgWho could forget R.E.M.'s performances on MTV's seminal series "Unplugged?" The Athens, Georgia band was the only group to headline the series twice - once in 1991 and then again in 2001.

The songs from the performances were never released, but Rhino is changing that. The record company is releasing Unplugged: The Complete 1991 And 2001 Sessions containing every performance from the original broadcasts, as well as 11 songs that never aired.

Drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and singer Michael Stipe recorded their first “Unplugged” session in 1991. Much of the performance spotlights songs from R.E.M.’s then-current album Out of Time, which sold over 18 million copies worldwide and was the band’s first #1 album in the U.S. From the album, the band performed “Radio Song,” “Low” and its biggest American hit, “Losing My Religion.”

The remainder of the set list spans eight years of music and touches on five different albums, mixing “Perfect Circle” from R.E.M.’s 1983 debut Murmur and fan-favorites like “Fall On Me” and “Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” with a cover of The Troggs’ “Love Is All Around.” Five songs that never aired can be heard on this set for the first time, including two tracks from the multi-platinum Green – “Get Up” and “World Leader Pretend.”

R.E.M. made an extremely rare second appearance on “Unplugged” in 2001, but this time without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the band in 1997. For the show, the band focused mainly on its 12th studio album Reveal – which came out that year – with performances of the singles “Imitation of Life” and “All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star).” The song selection draws from eight different albums with “So. Central Rain” from 1984’s Reckoning, “Cuyahoga” from 1986’s Lifes Rich Pageant and “Find The River,” the elegiac album closer from the 1992 classic Automatic For The People.

This collection uncovers six songs from the session that were never broadcast, including tracks from Reveal and Up (1998), as well as a haunting and tranquil re-imagination of the band’s breakthrough single, “The One I Love” from 1987’s Document.

Rhino will release both performances as a limited edition, four-LP set for Record Store Day on the 4/19. Following their vinyl debut, both “Unplugged” performances will be released on CD and digitally on May 20.

Green Day is also releasing a collection of 18 demo songs for Record Store Day 2014. Demolicious was recorded at Jingletown Studios in Oakland, CA, in 2012 during sessions for the group's Green Day ¡Uno!, Green Day ¡Dos!, Green Day ¡TrĂ©! trilogy.

The two-disc set will be released on red or clear vinyl, and will also be available on CD and cassette.

In addition to the demos, Demolicious includes a previously unreleased track, "State of Shock," and an acoustic version of "Stay The Night" from Green Day ¡Uno!.

For a list of participating stores, please visit www.recordstoreday.com.

Zahid Arab joins Fox 4 KDFW

Zahid Arab joins the KDFW FOX 4 from KING Seattle

Zahid Arab
Zahid Arab
Zahid Arab joins the KDFW FOX 4 news team as a general assignment reporter, announced Robin Whitmeyer, Vice President and News Director for the station. Beginning April 25th, he will contribute to various station newscasts.

Most recently, Arab served as a reporter for KING-TV in Seattle. Prior to that, he was a reporter for KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. Earlier in his career, Arab was a nightside reporter and anchor for KHNL/KFVE, in Honolulu, HI and a reporter and photojournalist for KCAU-TV in Sioux City, IA. He began his career as an investigative intern for KPHO-TV in Phoenix.

Added Arab, "When it comes to engaging and responsible reporting, KDFW sets the standard. It's an honor to join a team that reflects the community it serves."

A graduate of Arizona State University, Arab holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications.

(This post taken from a release sent to me by FOX Television Stations)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Alice Barr joins KHOU 11 from KCTV5 Kansas City

Alice Barr leaves KCTV5 Kansas City to report for KHOU 11

Alice Barr
Alice Barr
Alice Barr is joining KHOU 11 as a reporter from KCTV5 in Kansas City where she has been since April 2012.

"I can't wait to get started at KHOU," Barr told mikemcguff.com. "I'm thrilled to be joining a team of journalists with a reputation for uncovering the big stories and telling them well.

"I'm also looking forward to exploring Houston and the Lone Star State. I'll be taking recommendations for any hidden treasures to visit, as well as story ideas. I know there is so much happening in the news, and in the city, in Houston and I'm excited to dive in."

Barr previously served as a reporter for KGAN and KFXA, the CBS and FOX affiliates in Cedar Rapids, IA, from 2009 to 2012. Before that she was as an MMJ Reporter for WIFR, the CBS affiliate in Rockford, IL, from 2006 to 2009.

A quick detour to the network took Barr to Washington DC where she was a desk assistant at ABC’s Nightline in the fall of 2006. She got her start in local television news as a reporter for KULR-8 News, the NBC affiliate, in Billings, MT, in 2005.

While earning her degree as a student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Barr interned at CNN's The Capital Gang, ABC's Nightline and National Geographic.

In her KCTV5 bio, it stated Barr was trying to learn to like running. Did she ever cross that finish line while in KC?

"I still have a love/hate relationship with running," Barr admitted to me. "We're working on it and I'm hoping the Buffalo Bayou can help!"

Barr starts with the Gannett Houston station later this month.

Embedded below is a story Barr did while at KCTV5.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

KTRK knocks its policy, Rock 101 stars return to Houston radio, plus more

- Wyman Meinzer talks photography tips with mikemcguff.com
- Scuffle Breaks Out On-Air When Protester Interrupts CBS Reporter
- ‘The Wind Just Blew Me Over. We’re Gonna Throw it Back to You Guys’
- KARE Anchor Walks Off Set After Hearing Snow in Forecast
- David Letterman Announces His Retirement from the Late Show
- After Jimmy Kimmel Makes Makes Fun of Him, KTLA Reporter Fights Back
- Unicorn Appears in Jacksonville Reporter’s Live Shot
- KCEN Waco’s Unfortunate Fact of Life: Tragedies
- KWTX Goes Long With Promo For News Special
- 2014 Texans Cheerleader Tryouts (Video/Photos)
- Dale Hansen Bobblehead

Former KLOL jock plans return to radio from home in Cypress
Former Rock 101 KLOL radio jock and current gun store owner Jim Pruett announced on Facebook Sunday that he and Colonel St. James will be returning to the airwaves within the month on a small FM station based near Cypress.

No-knock policy bars TV station staff from rapping on crime suspects’ doors
KTRK abc13 is telling its staff not to knock on the doors of crime suspects.
- Houston News Director adopts “no knock” policy for reporters chasing criminal suspects

2013 Texas APME Awards List
The Texas Associated Press Managing Editors presented its 2013 journalism awards

WFAA documentary 'Rise Up, West' debuts almost a year after blast
Around 1,000 people attended the debut of the WFAA documentary "Rise Up, West" on Sunday afternoon.  The 66-minute story chronicles the journey of the West High School football team in the months after the April 17, 2013 fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people in the Central Texas town.

Radio's Donna McKenzie joins UH performance
Audiences are used to hearing Donna McKenzie's voice precede songs by rock n' roll legends. Soon, her silky vocals will narrate a special concert dedicated to the founders of American popular music. McKenzie is teaming up with the University of Houston's Moores Jazz Orchestra to present "The Great American Songbook" on April 16. The concert will celebrate the works of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen. McKenzie will deliver narration in between numbers to offer insight on each composer and his work while projected images will transport audiences back to the early 20th century for a glimpse at America's past.

Astros file another appeal in CSN Houston case
The Astros are appealing a second case to U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, this time involving the civil lawsuit filed against Comcast and former Astros owner Drayton McLane.

Univision to host two new English channels this fall
Katz Broadcasting will be launching two new channels, female-skewed Escape and male-oriented Grit, this summer on Univision 45 KXLN.

Former Fox 7 anchor joins PR agency
Former Fox 7 anchor Keri Bellacosa has landed a new gig.

Zack & Jim extension
The popular Zack & Jim radio team on “Waco 100” will have another three years to keep morning motorists entertained.

Texas’ Waco Tribune-Herald names editor
Steve Boggs has been named editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald.


Edd Hendee is leaving KSEV 700.

Kristen Guilfoos joins KBTX in Bryan, Texas, as morning anchor.

- Jennifer Reyna Gives Winter The Boot In Houston
- Katherine Whaley Springs In To Action
- Box Top Boots For Rita Garcia In Houston
- Amanda Guerra Wears Black Suede In Big D

- Natasha Barrett joins KTRK abc13 from WJLA Washington DC
- Mary Benton returns to KPRC feeling 100%
- Simon Gutierrez exits KTRK abc13 for KPTV Portland
- Brian Collister exits KTRK abc13 for KXAN
- Where is Fox 26 KRIV's Andrea Watkins?
- Adela Uchida joins News 92 FM KROI
- KWTX and KBTX team up for Afghanistan war coverage
- Telemundo Houston signs with the undead

Friday, April 04, 2014

Telemundo Houston signs with the undead

Houston Zombie Walk teaming up with Telemundo Houston

The Houston Zombie Walk is thrilled to announce that it has signed an exclusivity contract with Telemundo Houston to boost its fundraising efforts for charities that assist abused and abandoned children and animals. The Zombie Walk and the Houston Halloween Festival is Houston's most unique charity organization, involved in dozens of events year round, and now Telemundo will help raise awareness, too. Telemundo is now the official Spanish network of the Houston Zombie Walk and the Houston Halloween Fest.

“Telemundo Houston is dedicated in supporting local events that enrich the lives of Houston families,” said JC Perez, Telemundo Houston's Marketing Director. “We are very excited to partner up with Houston Halloween Festival in October as the Hispanic media partner.”

HZW founder Darren Tompkins stated, “This type of mass media communication is something we’ve always been looking to score. We cannot wait until you see our commercials running on the network! Be on the lookout as Telemundo will be pushing us at every major festival and sporting event throughout the year!”

The next major event is the annual Halfway to Halloween Pub Crawl on May 3rd. More information on that fun-filled event will be coming in the near future!

(This post is from a press release sent to me by The Houston Zombie Walk)

Thursday, April 03, 2014

KWTX and KBTX team up for Afghanistan war coverage

With Fort Hood in its coverage area, KWTX teamed up with sister station KBTX to cover soldiers in Afghanistan

During Wednesday's Fort Hood shooting, Waco's KWTX was a constant presence on television screens across the nation as its coverage was picked up by local stations and cable news channels.

With Killeen in its coverage area, the CBS affiliate is constantly covering the largest active duty armored post in the United States Armed Services.

This is why in a time when the War in Afghanistan doesn't get as much coverage as it used to, KWTX and Gray Television sister station KBTX in Bryan/College Station are still reporting from the Middle East.

The army invited KWTX to report out of Afghanistan, and news director Virgil Teter opted to bring in support from KBTX, since Texas A&M has a high presence in Fort Hood's Afghanistan deployment.

Steve Fullhart
Steve Fullhart
KBTX anchor/executive producer Steve Fullhart and KWTX Bell County Bureau Chief Rachel Cox embedded themselves with the army and shot their own footage without the help of a photographer.

"Steve is a tremendous story teller and photographer," KWTX and KBTX general manager Mike Wright told mikemcguff.com. "The combination greatly improve achieving our goals for being there."

Wright says this was the perfect opportunity to bring local stories back home to Texas.

Rachel Cox
Rachel Cox
"The intent was to not be a media entity that simply goes to post pictures from there 'just because they are there,' or to use technology to say 'hey - here we are live in Afghanistan,'" Wright told me. "The goal was to find stories that as closely as possible accurately reflect what is happening there as the US prepares for a draw down in that region."

The duo shot for their respective newscasts and then produced a half-hour special called Assignment Afghanistan. You can watch it here plus see their other daily stories from the trip.

"We are proud of the joint effort between KWTX and KBTX and seek to do more of these types of things in the future," Wright added.

Adela Uchida joins News 92 FM KROI

Former KTRK abc13 weekend anchor Adela Uchida dumps TV for radio at News 92 FM KROI

Adela Uchida
Adela Uchida
Adela Uchida is joining News 92 FM KROI as a reporter the station confirms to me.

This morning Uchida tweeted "It's official..." which I guess references the new gig. Her Twitter followers seemed to be confused by this.

As you probably know, Uchida was the weekend anchor at KTRK abc13 for nearly six years until early January.

She came to Houston from WILX (Channel 10) in Lansing, Michigan where she was the 6 and 11pm anchor. She also worked in Colorado and Arizona.

She starts for the all news Radio One station today.


From news92fm.com:

“We are thrilled to have Adela on our team, and believe she will add to our bench strength and social media presence,” News 92 FM Program Director Alan Furst said.

“I’m really excited to join a fast-growing news organization,” Adela said. “And I’m super excited to stay in Houston.”

“Adela’s hiring adds to our unwavering commitment to delivering Houstonians in-depth coverage,” Radio One Regional Vice President Doug Abernethy said.