Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ernie Anastos Jumps From WCBS To WNYW
This was an offer I couldn't refuse'

Ernie Anastos is local television's new $10 million man.

Anastos is set to make a stunning move ? he's walking away from his anchor gig at WCBS, his home of the past four years ? for WNYW.

He's jumping ship to WNYW with a new five-year deal estimated to be worth a whopping $10 million, the Daily News has learned. The hush-hush deal was hammered out in secrecy during the past month, with only the top executives at each station and a few others aware of the change.

Until now.

Anastos confirmed the shift when questioned by The News last night.

"Fox made me an offer I couldn't refuse," Anastos said, declining to discuss contract terms. "I am honored and humbled by their enthusiasm and commitment."

It's a deal that will change the local television landscape, leaving WNYW's Len Cannon without an anchor slot and WCBS's Roz Abrams partnerless.

That's because Anastos will become the Fox-owned station's lead anchor. He's expected to be teamed with market veteran Rosanna Scotto on WNYW's 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

He also will develop specials for WNYW and the Fox Network, and he may have some ties with the Fox News Channel.

"This is a challenge, and a sense of renewal," Anastos said. "This is an opportunity to grow and develop. I enjoy what I do. ... I don't look upon my work as work."

WNYW's blockbuster deal to land Anastos is unusual, considering he still had two years to go on his pact with WCBS. WCBS officials granted Anastos' agent permission to talk with their rival.

And bagging Anastos is a major score for WNYW. He has been in the market since 1978 and is beloved by viewers and respected by colleagues.

Speculation is that he will start at WNYW later this year, meaning Cannon will be dropped as Scotto's co-anchor.

Scotto and Anastos have a history. They both worked at WABC in the mid-1980s, when he was an anchor and she a correspondent. They also have co-hosted telethons.

Pairing the two is the latest effort by WNYW News Director Scott Matthews to beef up the station's occasionally maligned news franchise.

WNYW has led the 10 p.m. news race for years but has not been as successful with its early-evening newscasts, which were launched in 2002. Under a previous news director, WNYW earned a reputation for going big on theatrics at the risk of credibility.

"I hope to bring all my years of experience in broadcast journalism to Fox and continue their tradition of quality, integrity and performance," Anastos said. "It's always humbling when someone wants you ? and shows you that respect."

Since Anastos arrived on the city's airwaves, he has generated a following ? and confidence ? with viewers. He has worked at WABC, WWOR and has done two tours of duty at WCBS.

"I love this city and the people who live in and around New York, New Jersey and Connecticut," Anastos said.

Anastos' departure leaves WCBS in a bit of a pickle. Anastos is currently paired with Roz Abrams on the station's 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, and there's no obvious replacement in house. Former WNBC morning anchor Maurice DuBois, now co-anchor on the 6 p.m. news, could make the shift, but he just got there.

Likewise, word of Anastos' new deal comes just as WCBS launched a major promotional campaign built around Anastos, Abrams and other recent hires, such as weatherman John Bolaris, DuBois and sportscaster Chris Wragge.

Indeed, Anastos has been the one constant during a few years of ongoing change at WCBS, including the high-profile firing of Warner Wolf.

On a larger scale, his exit comes at a time when CBS, the parent of WCBS, is under a dark cloud because of the mishandling of a story about President Bush's military career by "60 Minutes Wednesday" and a $550,000 Federal Communications Commission fine for Janet Jackson's Super Bowl stunt.

And now, the lead anchor on the network's flagship station is leaving.

"There's absolutely no connection between the two," Anastos said of the CBS News flap.

Also, Anastos is leaving just as the station's key 11 p.m. newscast is gaining steam in the ratings.

"I've had a wonderful experience at CBS, I have a lot of friends there," he said. "I'm proud of our work. But this was a wonderful offer from Fox."
CBS Mum On When Rather To Retire
By Jacques Steinberg
The New York Times - Via Gail DePoli

Dan Rather's acknowledgment that he erred in broadcasting a recent "60 Minutes" report about President George W. Bush's National Guard service has further complicated two of the most delicate questions in television news: When and to whom will Rather relinquish the anchor chair of "The CBS Evening News"?

CBS has never disclosed a timetable for replacing Rather, who will turn 73 next month and has been the anchor of the nightly news since March 1981. But executives atop the network and its news division had begun discussing a transition plan in the weeks before Sept. 8, when the Wednesday edition of "60 Minutes" broadcast its report based on documents that CBS officials now say cannot be authenticated, one of the executives said late last week.

The options under consideration include having Rather step down sometime next spring, perhaps near the end of the prime-time season in May, giving his replacement the relatively low-profile summer months to find his bearings, said the executive, who requested anonymity out of fear of being fired at a time of turmoil at CBS News. But no date had been fixed.

Although the networks' evening newscasts have seen their ratings and influence whittled away by the rise of 24-hour cable news channels and the availability of news on the Internet, the anchor chair remains one of the most prestigious positions in television journalism. The two most likely successors to Rather, at least as handicapped by the network's rank-and-file correspondents and producers, have long been considered to be John Roberts, the chief White House correspondent for CBS News, and Scott Pelley, a correspondent for the Wednesday edition of "60 Minutes." Neither has strong name recognition among viewers, and the network has not ruled out looking beyond its own news division.

Now, however, whatever transition discussions were under way have been upended. Last week CBS commissioned two outsiders to investigate the journalistic breakdowns that resulted in the broadcast not only of the flawed report but of Rather's early, emphatic assurances that the documents were authentic, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Depending on how damaging the final report is to Rather, it could hasten his departure - or it could extend his stay at the anchor desk, particularly if network executives decide they cannot make a move until the controversy over the report has sufficiently cooled.

"Just dealing with this," the CBS executive said of the investigation and its fallout, "takes priority for the next one, two, three months."

The final decision on Rather's future is expected to rest with two people: Andrew Heyward, the president of CBS News; and Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS and the co-president and co-chief operating officer of Viacom, the network's parent company. In an interview on Friday, Heyward declined to answer questions about the most recent conversations surrounding any transfer of the anchor post, other than to say that "there is no timetable in place."

"We have always said that there would be an orderly transition at an appropriate time," Heyward said, "and any discussions we have had are part of that process."
A spokeswoman for Rather, Kim Akhtar, said Sunday that she would refer any questions about his future to Heyward.

The question of what to do about Rather - whose broadcast has languished in third place, behind NBC and ABC, for nearly a decade - began to take on greater urgency in recent months, as NBC has prepared to pass the baton of its nightly newscast from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams.

That generational change, which NBC announced more than two years ago and which represents the first shuffling of network anchor chairs in two decades, will happen in December.

The installation of Williams, 45, a former White House correspondent perhaps best known for anchoring newscasts on NBC's cable networks, is expected to touch off a period of anchor-shopping among viewers.
Rather's 'Memogate': We Told You So, Conservatives Say
Peter Johnson
USA TODAY - Via Gail DePoli

A two-man panel appointed by CBS is now looking into what went wrong in the "Memogate" scandal involving Dan Rather and his Sept. 8 60 Minutes piece, which questioned President Bush's military service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

But fueling recent anger toward the network is a decades-old complaint by conservatives that Rather and CBS News are pro-Democrat and liberal, and that both use any chance they get to bash right-leaning politicians and issues.

Issues of bias aside, observers say that Rather's personality and colorful history, mixed with recent editorial calls and CBS' initial strident defense of what turned out to be flawed reporting, have created a firestorm. And the controversy may be remembered as one of the defining stories of the 2004 campaign.

Last week, Rather, who'll anchor CBS' coverage this week of the first presidential debate, told USA TODAY that he respects both President Bush and his father and has no ideological ax to grind. He has long denied that either he or CBS lean left.

CBS staffers defend the anchor and the network. Veteran White House correspondent Bill Plante says detractors are approaching with biases of their own: "If you're predisposed to believe that, then how am I going to convince you otherwise? It's like nailing Jell-O to a wall."

Mike Wallace says that the liberal tag is bogus and that he has "nothing but professional respect" for Rather. Wallace and his longtime producer Bob Anderson say that no one at CBS ever tests the political winds before deciding on a story. "Liberal, conservative, it never occurs to anybody," says Wallace, who has befriended both Malcolm X and Nancy Reagan.

"We have always historically felt that if we catch hell from both sides on a given issue or story, then we've done the story right," says Anderson, who describes himself as a "Goldwater Democrat."

But the label has managed to stick all these years precisely because "there is some reason for it," says New Yorker writer Peter Boyer, a veteran CBS watcher. He notes that Rather also "has been uniquely prone to incident in his career" ? from being assaulted in Midtown Manhattan as his attacker chanted "what's the frequency, Kenneth?" to Rather's bizarrely signing off from The CBS Evening News in the '80s by saying "courage."

Two famous video clips ? Rather jousting with President Nixon at a Texas broadcasters convention in 1974; and he and the senior George Bush, then vice president, going at each other in 1988 over the Iran-Contra scandal ? have been repeatedly used by conservatives as evidence that Rather has it in for Republicans. (It's hard to imagine Rather's competitors, NBC's Tom Brokaw or ABC's Peter Jennings, acting similarly, Boyer says.)

Then in recent months, 60 Minutes scored a number of interviews with former members of the Bush administration who have turned critical of the White House. It culminated in June when the newsmagazine talked to the right wing's biggest foe: Former president Bill Clinton, promoting his memoir, was granted an unprecedented full hour.

Finally, at a time when "even the most casual and moderately informed viewer" knew that John Kerry, tarred by conservatives in the "swift boat" ads, planned to make an issue of Bush getting special treatment during Vietnam, "lo and behold, in the middle of this comes the 60 Minutes story," Boyer says. "It was kind of a perfect storm for those inclined to believe that CBS News is the repository of biased, anti-conservative, anti-Bush evil."

Conservative cartoonist Bruce Tinsley says several studies have shown that the media are overwhelmingly liberal, and he doesn't buy their claim to be unbiased.

"They say, 'OK, so we're liberal, but it doesn't affect our jobs. We put on our objective journalist's hat when we walk through that door.' That's like me saying, 'Yes, I do sit on the board of Halliburton and several logging companies, but when I go in there to cover environmental issues I put on my other hat and I'm objective.' I don't think it is human nature to be able to do it, but somehow most journalists get away with saying that," he says.

So his syndicated King Features strip, Mallard Fillmore, will wade into the Rather-CBS fray starting Oct. 4. The first strip paints Rather as paranoid, envisioning the scandal surrounding the memo story as some sort of Nixonian plot.

"I was trying to get across something of Dan's personality, but also the idea that he really does seem, when confronted, to go off the deep end a little bit and make himself look really silly."

Has CBS historically ducked the question of its supposed liberal bias? No, says Wallace, who will host a small dinner party for Rather this week in New York. "We are what we are. We have a reputation still for objectively covering the news."
...and how strange to use the night to announce the way they decide to get Conan O'Brien to not jump to ABC, but promise him Jay's job 5 years in advance?? Gail DePoli

NBC Blows A Golden Opportunity
New York Daily News

Everything that's wrong with television these days, and with NBC in particular, is reflected in tonight's stunning disregard for TV history, tradition and quality.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the "The Tonight Show" - and NBC isn't bothering to mount a retrospective special in prime time.

Instead, while it could be celebrating one of the most durable and influential entertainment series in network history, Jeff Zucker's NBC proudly presents another first-run edition of "Fear Factor."

To be fair, NBC hasn't turned its back on its past completely. "Today" started showing anniversary "Tonight Show" clips on Friday, and features special retrospective segments today. Also, this evening's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" features Garry Shandling and musical guest Hilary Duff in what it's describing as "a special show paying tribute to NBC late-night's 50th anniversary."

So even though Leno famously failed to thank his 30-year predecessor, Johnny Carson, the night he took over "The Tonight Show," there will be some form of homage tonight on "Tonight" - presumably not only to Carson, but to Carson's equally pioneering predecessors, Jack Paar and Steve Allen.

Even so, there are two horrendously misguided aspects to this.

First, if NBC is choosing tonight to celebrate, in its own words, "NBC late-night's 50th anniversary," it's throwing the party about five years too late.

Any true golden-age anniversary of NBC late-night should be keyed to "Broadway Open House," which aired weeknights on the network from 11 p.m.-midnight beginning in May 1950.P

Jerry Lester was the live program's host three days a week, with a company that included the statuesque Dagmar, TV's first sex symbol. Morey Amsterdam, later of "The Dick Van Dyke Show," was the other host when "Broadway Open House" launched. NBC late night, for the record, started there.

The other ghastly aspect of NBC's treatment of its own history is the absence of a prime-time special tonight. The network is planning a major "Seinfeld" reunion special this Thanksgiving, fondly remembering a show that left the air only six years ago.

But "The Tonight Show," in prime time, is old news. Even "Today," when it turned 50 two years ago, celebrated in prime time. So why not "Tonight"? The current NBC regime is either too young or too unappreciative, or both, to comprehend what a stupendous, stupid snub this is.

When "Tonight!" was launched on Sept. 27, 1954, Steve Allen warned his audience at the start, "This program is going to go on forever!" So far, it has, and each incarnation has made an indelible mark on TV and popular culture. The current host has given us "Jaywalking" spots, real-life ad and headline blunders - amusing variations on bits that can be traced to the original "Tonight" show, but are part of NBC's late-night continuum.

Allen's "Tonight!" (1954-57) gave us "Stump the Band" and the "Answer Man," the desk-and-couch arrangement for guests, and lots of freewheeling comedy and stunts that David Letterman still echoes today. "The Jack Paar Tonight Show" (1957-62) elevated conversation, candor and the unpredictability of live TV to new, still unchallenged heights. "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962-92) gave us just about everything. Leno, just the other night, frolicked with zoo animals the way Carson used to do, and with equal delight.

What a legacy: Art Fern and Aunt Blabby, Carnac the magnificent, the monologues, the guests, the great times, from Ed McMahon screaming "Heeeeere's Johnny!" to Bette Midler serenading Carson goodbye with her own lyrics to "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)."

Midler knew how to honor a legacy with taste and class. Too bad NBC doesn't.

Seven years from now, though, NBC probably can be counted on to present a prime-time 10th anniversary special - of "Fear Factor."


It appears that Express Scripts has raised their prescription prices considerably!
I was shocked to find that one of my prescriptions which was a generic, cost $12 at the pharmacy, and has now DOUBLED in price. A second prescription which was not generic, was capped at $50 and is now $75!
These are monthly prescriptions. On checking with Express Scripts, I find that if these are mailed in to them, the $24/month rx is $12 for THREE MONTHS, and the $75/month rx is $100 for THREE MONTHS!

Make sure that you can get your prescriptions filled for three months and have enough time to mail them in.
If not, Express Scripts charges $18 to overnight your prescriptions, so in an emergency, you can get them quickly.

I am waiting for a call back from Viacom Benefits, to see what they have to say about this situation, and if there is any further clarification, I will post it as soon as I know.
Update for the last post:

John Taddei's direct hospiltal phone number is 914-681-1503

Monday, September 27, 2004

Just got off the phone with John Taddei who asked me to forward the
info that he has been in White Plains Hospital since Wednesday,
undergoing tests. He has a blood pressure problem in which his
pressure drops when he rises. Sorry I wasn't thinking fast enough
to get his phone/room number.
Am still awaiting antenna shipment ti be able to join you all. Miss
the contact but am just back from Dayton and leaving for a few days
in the Catskills at Villa Roma to reunite with some other Western
Electric alumni. Talk to you next week.

Bob Maickel, KC2EMG

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Holy Cow, Batman! The current newsletter is now available for your perusal.
Take note of the new location for our New Jersey Luncheon.
Our intrepid scouting team, Ted Perzeszty and Tony Casola, have come up with what looks like a winner!
You can reach the Newsletter via the Home Page, or you can click here --->Current Newsletter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Hi Members,
The luncheon notice has been mailed yesterday, Monday, September 20th, it will be posted on the website sometime this week. I will send out e-mails soon. Please notify us of any e-mail address changes. By this coming week I will list the e-mails that have been returned undelivered.

Tony Casola
516 541-2263

Sunday, September 12, 2004

( 2-Stories. 1st from Hollywood Reporter. 2nd from local paper in CT)
Submitted by Gayle DePoli

Sep. 11, 2004
Joan Snyder dies; CBS News veteran
By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK -- Joan Snyder, a pioneering female writer, producer and correspondent for CBS News, died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital after a long illness. She was 69.

Snyder had a nearly 30-year career at CBS News, where she wrote and produced for many of the network's stars, including Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Charles Kuralt. In 1967, she was one of the first female TV journalists to travel with a camera crew, covering elections, political conventions and the space program. She became an on-air correspondent for the weekend "CBS Evening News" and, later, "Sunday Morning."

"She was one of the pioneer women reporters who opened new opportunities for women at CBS News and throughout American journalism in the 1960s and 1970s," Rather said in a statement. "She did it by hard work, talent and adherence to the highest standards.

Although she had been at CBS News for 11 years, first as a news writer and then as a producer, it wasn't until a chance interview in 1972 that she got in front of the camera. It was an interview segment that she produced for the "CBS Evening News" with singer-songwriter Don McLean, who was then riding high on the pop charts with "American Pie."

One of her most noted pieces was more than just a workaday story for Snyder. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1980s and was successfully treated with a surgical procedure that was controversial at the time -- a lumpectomy. Snyder reported a series for "CBS Evening News" to educate women about the procedure. In 1987, she became a producer and correspondent at "Sunday Morning" and filed features and profiles. She left CBS News in 1991 to become a freelance producer.

Snyder, who grew up in Kentucky and the Bronx, graduated from the City College of New York in 1957. After working at a trade publication and United Press International, she became a news writer at CBS News.
She is survived by two half brothers, Robert and Kenneth Snyder, and her stepmother, Catherine Snyder, all of whom live in New York.
Joan Snyder, CBS News producer and correspondent, dead at 69
September 11, 2004

NEW YORK -- Associated Press

Joan Snyder, who wrote and produced for Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace and Dan Rather during her decades-long career at CBS News, has died. She was 69.

Ms. Snyder died Thursday after a long illness, according to a statement from CBS News.

Ms. Snyder, a 1957 graduate of City College, started her professional career at a food trade magazine, then moved to United Press International before joining CBS News as a writer in 1961. From that position, she moved to producing the weekend evening newscasts, and became a producer/correspondent in 1972.

She moved to CBS News Sunday Morning in 1987 before leaving the company in 1991. As a freelancer, she worked for a number of organizations including Time Warner and Fox.

Ms. Snyder is survived by two half brothers, Robert and Kenneth Snyder, and her stepmother, Catherine Snyder.
Copyright © 2004, Southern Connecticut Newspapers, Inc

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Isaias Rivera
Robert Pattison

Lord, let us never forget the tragic events that led to the death of two of CBS’s finest employees. May their families find the peace in their hearts that strengthens their resolve. We ask, Lord, that this treachery never again befalls onto any one, anywhere that freedom lives.
I felt that sentiment later in the month of the treacherous attack on our nation. But, now, with the death toll climbing of our military forces in the fight for the freedom of people in the oppressed countries of the world, I don’t want to become complacent and accept the higher body count with a blasé attitude.
We at CBS lost two coworkers who became the first casualties of the war on terrorism. They are not listed in the daily body counts, nor are they considered “Killed in action,” along with the military.
We will never forget them. As the innocent victims of such a cowardly act they become symbolic heroes, in the fight against evil.
There are other members of the broadcast industry that lost their lives on that memorable day of infamy. They too, should be eulogized along with our own family members. And it goes with out saying, that all those who died in that holocaust showed the fight-back-courage that is inherent in our American system of freedom of choices.
September 11th, 2001 should not be the catch phrase for the politicians to gather votes, but a day for all Americans to realize that the battlefield is now at our doorstep and to be ever on guard for the evil of terrorism to fester in our midst.

Once again, we pray for their immortal souls and hope that there is a softening of the pain their families felt because of their loss.

CBS Retirees Staff

Tony Cucurullo
From: Clement, Maria K
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 1:49 PM
To: CBS Sports
Subject: Regina Arazosa

It is with the deepest sadness that I have to tell you all that Regina passed away today. Regina worked at CBS for over 30 years and made friends every step of the way. I know so many of you were thinking of her and praying for her during her long fight with illness. Some of you spoke with her and many more of you sent you messages through Sue and I. She got them all and appreciated all of the kindness sent her way. She will always remain the greatest example to us all of remaining cheerful and positive under the most trying circumstances. We will all miss her.

Thursday, September 9, 2004
2:00pm - 5:00pm and 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Frederic's Funeral Home
192-15 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, Queens 11368

Friday, Sept. 10 (Time to Follow) Funeral Mass
St. Vincent's Roman Catholic Church
Flushing, Queens

Monday, September 06, 2004

Two new images have been added here from Dave Minott's visit with George Smith at his place in Chatham, NY--->Assorted Pictures #3

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Here is an electoral vote predictor.
Click on the icon to get more detailed information.

I have added eight new pictures to the "Jack Katz Collection" for your perusal and enjoyment!
Here is the quick way to get there --->The "Jack Katz Collection" - Page 2