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D-FW's onetime "Lizard Man" burns some more bridges

Former NBC5 weekend anchor Michael Scott, whose youtube moment arrived when a little lizard jumped on him during a live broadcast, has been fired by his latest station after reportedly insulting a news producer last week.

According to the subscription service NewsBlues, Scott no longer is employed at WAAY-TV, the ABC affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama. He joined the station in September 2007 after a well-traveled career that had taken him through TV news departments in D-FW, Los Angeles, Denver, Omaha, Kansas City and Charlotte.

Scott's alleged spewing of racial slurs at the producer reportedly punctuated a series of incidents during his brief stay at WAAY. In somewhat happier times, he was anchoring NBC5's DFW Today in August 2002 when a gecko sprung onto his suit jacket and prompted a hysterical reaction from Scott.

The clip quickly made its way to the Tonight Show and many other venues. Scott retained a sense of humor about it, linking to the "Famous Leapin' Lizard Episode" on his WAAY Web site bio, now inoperative.

Color chart: Looking at the racial makeups of D-FW's television newsrooms

How diverse is the North Texas TV news universe? And how much should that matter? Post- May sweeps, unclebarky.com looks at some other newsroom numbers of interest. Also, the 2007-08 TV season officially is over, even though Lost's big finale is still coming Thursday (May 29th). Get our up-and-down report here.
Ed Bark

Art&Seek hopes to be found

KERA's new Art&Seek Web site launched Wednesday, May 28th, and it's in good hands with two former Dallas Morning News colleagues shepherding it.

Anne Bothwell, director of the new initiative, was a topflight editor for the paper's GuideLive section, which she helped to create. And Jerome Weeks, Art&Seek's producer-reporter, very knowingly covered theater and then books for the DMN during a 20-year stay. All three of us took the September 2006 "buyout" offered by Belo.

So in your spare time away from here, please give this worthy site a good look. And the very best of luck to two fellow expatriates who have landed firmly on their feet while Uncle Barky continues to walk a high wire of his own making.
Ed Bark

Local angles

Rockwall's Jason Castro, American Idol's fourth place finisher, will appear live on Fox4's Good Day Wednesday (May 28th), likely during the show's 8 a.m. hour.

The 21-year-old will relive his Idol experiences and also talk about Thursday's homecoming celebration in Rockwall.

Wednesday night on Fox, the second two-hour episode of So You Think You Can Dance will highlight auditions from Dallas and Salt Lake City, beginning at 7 p.m.
Ed Bark

Yo, Adrian: Fox4 investigative reporter leaving station, heading to Harvard

Paul Adrian hopes to rekindle state govt. coverage. Photo: Ed Bark

His ambitions are lofty, and so is his new venue. Fox4 reporter Paul Adrian is leaving the station in June to spend a year at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Upon returning to his native Texas, he aims to set up his own company with an eye toward reinvigorating lax broadcast coverage of the Texas state legislature. Get his full story on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: It's a wrap for the May sweeps

The May sweeps ratings race crossed the finish line Wednesday, with WFAA8's newscasts easily standing tallest. So cater another ice cream social at the aptly named Victory Park. Meanwhile CBS11 at least can throw a sweetened iced tea palooza after making significant year-to-year gains at 10 p.m. and slow progress in the other major time periods. There'll be no big parties at Fox4 and NBC5, though. Your complete unclebarky.com report is here.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Night 19 of the May sweeps

Vehicles crashed through residential homes in two separate mishaps in Arlington Tuesday night. No one was hurt but that doesn't matter. Launch those choppers and let the "Breaking News" begin on a night when crime and tragedy played even bigger roles than usual on late night D-FW newscasts.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Night 18 of the May sweeps

CBS already is cruising to a second place sweeps win over NBC5 in the 10 p.m. total homes Nielsens. Still, the station can't keep its hands off the February sweeps playbook of the Peacock's Brian Curtis. See what CBS11's been purloining of late.
Ed Bark

WFAA8's Greene makes a go for it (updated)

Spring has sprung another local TV reporter loose.

This time it's WFAA8's Bob Greene, who joined the station in June 2006 from New Orleans' WWL-TV, where he was part of the team reporting on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Greene, who will be leaving in early June after resigning Monday, has decided to pursue a law degree instead of chasing stories.

"It's a decision that I feel will be best for me, my family and my future," Green said Monday in an email reply to unclebarky.com. "It's been nearly a year in the works. I am ultimately looking to do either entertainment/media law or family law. You just see so much in the news business and you want to do more than just tell their stories. You want to help them more."

WFAA8 executive news director Michael Valentine said in a statement, "We wish Bob the best as he moves to the next phase of his life."

Before his stint in New Orleans, he reported for KXAN-TV in Austin.

Up-close and objective: Night 17 of the May sweeps

Legitimate live breaking news presented a challenge on two fronts Friday. Also, former "Ticket" standout Greg "The Hammer" Williams took his opinions and rehab program to Fox4's Sports Sunday program. And after a brief stay at WFAA8, weekend early morning meteorologist Meghan Danahey opts for more visibility at Belo's Austin station.
Ed Bark

WFAA8's Hansen, Delkus power their way through fifth Uncle Barky Show

Saturday's Uncle Barky Show appearance by WFAA8's Dale Hansen and Pete Delkus netted a $1,000 donation from Stratos restaurant to the guests' designated charities. Left to right: John Dittrich representing the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation; Hansen; Stratos owner Nick Rizos; Wendy Carter of the American Cancer Society and Delkus. That a total of $3,500 to various charities. Photo: Ed Bark

Many, many thanks to all who attended Saturday's fifth Uncle Barky show at Stratos Greek Taverna.

Our biggest turnout to date watched a very lively interview session with WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen and weatherman Pete Delkus, who regularly rib each other on the station's weekday newscasts.

Among many, many things, Hansen said he's never liked his first name, has always wanted a nickname and doesn't think there's much of a long-term future for sports segments on local TV newscasts. Hansen said it greatly surprised him when WFAA8 signed him all the way through 2013, which will give him 30 years at the station as he turns 65.

Hansen also said he remains on speaking terms with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones despite ripping him in a number of "Unplugged" commentaries, most pointedly for the team's recent signing of oft-jailed cornerback "Pacman" Jones. He compared owner Jones to an inflatable bop toy that keeps coming back for more.

But Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, another regular target, won't do interviews with him, Hansen said, because he's become wary of his "trick" questions.

Delkus, who spent ample time listening to and laughing at Hansen's riffs, recounted how longtime WFAA8 weatherman Troy Dungan personally laid the groundwork for his move three years ago from Cincinnati to D-FW.

He said that WFAA lately is trying at all costs to restrict severe weather cut-ins to commercial breaks even though this hits the station directly in its pocketbook.

Delkus, previously a pitching prospect in the Minnesota Twins minor league system, also recounted how he blew out his elbow while foolishly trying to match the speed of Nolan Ryan, who at the time still had a blazing fastball despite being as old as Delkus' father.

There's much, much more from both of them. And the entire interview session, in easily digestible chapters, soon will be available for viewing on pegasusnews.com. We'll keep you posted.

The guests' designated charities received another generous contribution from Stratos. On Hansen's behalf, $500 went to the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation. And in Delkus' name, the American Cancer Society received a $500 donation.

We'll likely have at least one more show this summer before taking a break until fall. Stay tuned for guest announcements.

Up-close and objective: Night 16 of the May sweeps

WFAA8 investigator Brett Shipp walks into another buzzsaw while stations greatly differ in their interpretations of the Cowboys' new ticket prices. Also, deposed "Ticket" personality Greg "The Hammer" Williams returns with a one-night stand Sunday.
Ed Bark

Last pitch: WFAA8's Dale Hansen, Pete Delkus get their games on at fifth Uncle Barky Show this Saturday

Here's our final reminder for this Saturday's (May 17th) fifth Uncle Barky Show at Stratos Greek Taverna, 2907 W. Northwest Hwy.

Admission is free, show time is 4 p.m. and our guests are WFAA8's high-powered duo of Dale Hansen and Pete Delkus, respectively the sports and weather anchors on D-FW's No.1-rated nightly newscasts. It's the first time they've done something like this "off-campus."

Representatives of their designated charities -- the Bobby Bragan Foundation for underprivileged kids (Hansen) and the American Cancer Society (Delkus) -- also will be on hand to accept generous donations from Stratos at show's end. A total of $2,500 has gone to charities during the first four shows.

So don't miss this chance to meet Hansen and Delkus, support unclebarky.com and feel good about helping two worthy charities with your mere presence. Great food and drink and a good time are guaranteed. Spread the word and we hope to see you there!
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Night 15 of the May sweeps

What's gotten into unclebarky.com? For the second straight day, there's ample reason to praise rather than pan the late night efforts of D-FW's major TV news providers. Feels kinda good, actually.
Ed Bark

Traffic reporter Todd Carruth calls it a Good Day

FrontBurner's Tim Rogers first reports and unclebarky.com confirms that traffic reporter Todd Carruth will be leaving the Fox4 building after four years of early morning duty.

Before posting, it was best to make sure that playful FrontBurner wasn't spoofing its readers or getting punk'd, which happened yesterday when it bit on a fake story about a Newark, Texas teen's alleged prostitute-juiced spending spree with his dad's stolen credit card. Fox4 had a story on the hoax and thoughtfully showed viewers the since-retracted FrontBurner post on Wednesday's 9 p.m. newscast.

"No spoofin' here," Carruth said in an email, "and I don't really want to leave. But those long days are killing me."

Carruth, as he notes in his official Fox4 Web site biography, has been rising before 4 a.m. weekdays to be in position for Good Day, which airs from 5 to 9 a.m. He's also had a full-time day job to make ends meet. So he's decided to leave at the end of May to "help put together a multimedia department for a company in Irving that works with trade shows and exhibits," as he told FrontBurner.

Fox4 news director Maria Barrs also confirmed Carruth's departure -- with a caveat.

"He's not one of our employees, though," she said in a brief telephone conversation Thursday. "He's an employee of Metro Traffic."

As previously reported on unclebarky.com, Fox4 reporters Jeff Crilley and Jason Overstreet also are getting out of TV news and starting new careers at the end of May.

The station also has lost weathercaster/reporter Maria Sotolongo and reporter Rebecca Aguilar in recent months. Aguilar, as has been exhaustively reported on this site and others, was the only Fox4 news staffer who didn't leave voluntarily.

Another possible future departure is Good Day co-anchor Megan Henderson, who's being wooed by Fox News Channel. She's scheduled to meet with its chairman, Roger Ailes, early next month while in New York for a second guest-anchor stint on Fox & Friends Weekend.

Add the pregnancy of Fox4 9 p.m. news anchor Heather Hays, who will be going on maternity leave shortly after the May sweeps. So there obviously will be some big gaps to fill in the coming months.

Up-close and objective: Night 14 of the May sweeps

Some solid, non-flashy reporter grunt work characterized Tuesday's late night local newscasts. Those marauding killer snakes must still be biding their time.
Ed Bark

Picky Picky (Vol. 14)

Does Tony Romo need an intervention?

His recent take on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" probably has Jerry Jones again wondering whazzup with his once level-headed QB. But TR has some strong competition in this field -- namely from Ozzy Osbourne and William Hung.

OO's Wrigley Field rendition is still the gold standard on many levels. And Hung, performing at a Toronto Blue Jays game, seemed to be singing, "Buy me some penis and Cracker Jack."

But you'll be the judge after reliving their performances via the miracle of youtube. It'll only take about three minutes. Then you can cast an informed ballot (via your comments) for the reigning world's worst. It might be, it could be, it is:

A. Tony Romo
B. Ozzy Osbourne
C. William Hung

Let's go to the videotapes.

Up-close and objective: Night 13 of the May sweeps

At least one D-FW station is shocked to find a dinky little nude picture in a German textbook. Gasp, it's used to study the language in some North Texas high school classrooms. And if NBC5 traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck's "hourglass" figure is fodder for a "sweeps" story, then how about some equal time for the station's rotund male anchors? Also, the latest D-FW ratings are in.
Ed Bark

Fox News Channel reportedly trying to entice Fox4's Henderson -- but not to her knowledge

Fox4's Good Day co-anchor, Megan Henderson, reportedly will be meeting soon with Fox News Channel chieftain Roger Ailes after impressing him with a recent guest stint on the network's Fox & Friends Weekend.

But Henderson says that's news to her.

Quoting an unnamed "insider," the reliably accurate TV Newser Web site reported Monday that Ailes is "very impressed with her skills as a morning anchor." Therefore, Henderson will be "returning to New York to meet" with him, the Web site contended.

In an email reply Monday afternoon, Henderson said, "This is TOTAL news to me! I had not heard about the article. My contract isn't up until February. It's a standard Fox contract, which officially means, no outs."

The TVNewser item contended that Henderson has an "out" in her pact this summer.

Whatever the case, the expiration date on Henderson's contract might be largely irrelevant anyway. Fox4 is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which also is the parent company of FNC. So if Henderson wants to make the move to New York, her current home station may well be powerless to stop her.

"Honestly, I don't know what's going on either!" Henderson said in a second email. "This is the first I've heard of any of this. As for the contract, there are no 'outs.' But within the Fox family, technically you're correct."

Fox4 news director Maria Barrs declined to comment on any aspect of the Henderson situation when reached earlier by telephone Monday.

Good Day, the defending early morning champ after narrowly winning the February "sweeps" competition, currently is in a tight three-way battle for first place with WFAA8 and NBC5. Through 12 of the May sweeps' 20 weekdays, the three stations remain closely bunched at the top.

As previously reported, Henderson traveled to FNC's New York studios in early April to sit in with Fox & Friends Weekend for two days.

It was characterized in some accounts as an "audition," but Henderson said otherwise in an email to unclebarky.com.

"I've read the trades, too," she said at the time. "However, I have not been told anything about an 'audition.' At some of the other network morning shows, they'll bring folks from their affiliates in every once in a while, just for fun. I think this is a similar deal. I appreciate the opportunity."

Henderson joined Fox4 in August 2003, and has co-anchored Good Day with veteran incumbent Tim Ryan since her arrival at the station.

Up-close and objective: Night 12 of the May sweeps

Dallas is under attack by deadly snakes in a story you saw only on NBC5 Friday night. Also, Back Channels revisits the day -- 25 years ago -- that lippy sports anchor Dale Hansen got a new lease on life via his firing from Channel 4. And a new TV Bulletin Board shamelessly drops Britney Spears' name a few times to test her alleged ability to still drive Web site traffic. But there's lots of other news, too.
Ed Bark

Another ex-local TV reporter takes a new career path

Dan Ronan with a Lone Star Emmy last fall. Photo: Ed Bark

Former WFAA8 reporter Dan Ronan has decided to leave television news behind to become corporate communications manager for the Irving-based American Automobile Association of Texas.

"I said in November things would work out, and they have," Ronan said in an email to unclebarky.com. "The TV news business is going through a transformation right now, and it seems like an excellent time to put my communication skills to use in a different medium."

Ronan, 48, had spent just over four years at WFAA8 before the station abruptly terminated him without explanation last November. Neither side will talk publicly about the matter.

For the past few months, Ronan worked as a freelance correspondent for the CBS network's Dallas bureau. He had spent a total of 20 years in TV news.

"I had a great career, one I'm very proud of. The nice thing is, I finished on my terms," he said in the email. "As for my former colleagues at WFAA, many have called me and I'm very grateful . . . The great thing about the AAA is they really like my transportation knowledge and ties to the community."

Ronan said he'll also try to work with Fox4 reporter Jeff Crilley and his impending new Real News PR firm, but only on a temporary basis at best.

As previously reported, Crilley is leaving Fox4 at the end of May to launch his own company. He recently named Ronan and three other former D-FW television reporters -- Robert Riggs, Clif Caldwell and Susan Risdon -- as part of his ground floor nucleus.

Other local TV newspeople who have opted for new careers of late include Sarah Dodd (CBS11), Jason Overstreet (also leaving Fox4 at the end of May) and Chris Heinbaugh (WFAA8).

Up-close and objective: Night 11 of the May sweeps

What are D-FW's late night newscasts up to lately? Quite a bit, as you'll see here in our latest May sweeps compendium. And boy, those Dallas Stars ratings on Versus were nothing to shake a hockey stick at in these parts.
Ed Bark

Coming soon: Episode 5 of The Uncle Barky Show with guests Dale Hansen and Pete Delkus

No, they're not actually scheduled to box. Let's make that clear. But if anyone wants to send me a striped referee's shirt . . .

This much we do know, though. WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen and weatherman Pete Delkus, who regularly jab at each other on the air, will be the featured guests at the fifth Uncle Barky Show. It's just over a week away now, on Saturday, May 17th, 4 p.m. at Stratos Greek Restaurant and Taverna, 2907 West Northwest Highway. (Click on the above banner ad for further details about the restaurant and its location.)

This is a free event, as always. But you're of course encouraged to enjoy some of the restaurant's renowned food and drink.

Also, as always, a very generous contribution will be made by Stratos to the guests' favorite charity. Hansen has chosen the Bobby Bragan Foundation, which serves underprivileged children. Delkus' charity is the American Cancer Society.

Stratos already has donated $2,500 to the charities chosen by previous Uncle Barky Show guests Gordon Keith, Tracy Rowlett, Tim Ryan and Megan Henderson, and filmmakers Mark Birnbaum and Manny Mendoza.

Hansen and Delkus have never made an off-camera appearance like this before, so this is a great chance to see and meet them in person. You can ask questions, too, after our interview is finished. Pegasusnews.com again will record the show for a later webcast.

So if you regularly read this site and would like these events to continue, please show your support with your presence. And to those who have been faithful audience members, please spread the word and come again.

Overall modesty prohibits me from saying that there's nothing else quite like this anywhere in North Texas. Oops, that slipped out.

Hope to see you there!
Ed Bark

Fans and players survive The Ticket's first "Great Game"

Happy warrior: Team Hardline potentate Mike Rhyner before Thursday's big game at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.

Sports radio 1310 ("The Ticket") staged its first-ever "Great Game" Thursday night, pitting Team Hardline against Team Musers. In pictures and prose, unclebarky.com highlights the errors of their ways and the players who made a difference during this up-and-down charity event.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Night 10 of the May sweeps

Gunfire broke out behind a CBS11 reporter as she did her live standup from a Fort Worth neighborhood. But no one knew it at the time. Also, the May sweeps have hit the halfway point. See where the hot races remain.
Ed Bark

Son of station's top gun to report for planned CBS11/TXA21 entertainment series

Steve Mauldin, son Michael Mauldin and Teresa Frosini

A new locally produced entertainment series projected to premiere in June on CBS11 and TXA21 will have at least one unique twist.

Its two-person reporting team includes Michael Mauldin, son of CBS11/TXA21 president and general manager Steve Mauldin.

A power point presentation of the program, obtained by unclebarky.com, also names and pictures CBS11 traffic reporter Teresa Frosini as host of Red Hot Tickets.

The show's other reporter is Texas Christian University graduate Hilary Kennedy, who lately has hosted the "Just Fun TV" segments for KFWD-TV (Channel 52). No further biographical information could be found on Michael Mauldin, listed as one of Steve Mauldin's four children in his cbs11tv.com biography.

Hot Tickets is scheduled to run twice weekly on TXA21 on Thursdays at 11 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 p.m. It also would bump the last half-hour, from 8:30 to 9 a.m., of CBS11's Saturday morning news program.

Red Hot Tickets is pitched as "an innovative and refreshing local half-hour entertainment program that takes viewers on an energized ride to the hottest tickets in town." It also will have a companion webcast.

The show's producer, Steve Kirk, recently sent a letter to TCU's broadcast journalism department seeking students to help create and produce Red Hot Tickets.

"It is a unique opportunity for selected students to be hands-on involved in real-world multi-media production and distribution," the letter said in part.

In late March, CBS11 and TXA21 laid off more than 50 staffers as part of a corporate-mandated downsizing that affected most of CBS' owned-and-operated stations. Evictees included on-camera personnel Robert Riggs, Maria Arita, Kaushal Patel and Chuck Fisher.

Up-close and objective: Night 9 of the May sweeps

Just what was "Lurking in the Sewers" on WFAA8's Tuesday, 10 p.m. newscast? It's time to pan reporter Brad Watson's story -- literally -- while also looking at how WFAA8 sports reporter Ted Madden turned into a hockey puck.
Ed Bark

Pocket pool with NBC5's Grant Stinchfield

NBC5 reporter Grant Stinchfield, in response to unclebarky.com's "Night 8" late night newscast analysis, has blogged a nice 'n' cheeky, in-depth story on jock itch. It's thoughtfully dedicated to this Web site and its friendly content provider. Thanks for that. It means a lot.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Night 8 of the May sweeps

CBS11's latest cellulite-reduction story prompts unclebarky.com's suggestions on how news directors also could pander to those hard-to-reach male viewers with stories of equal dubious import. New rule: male reporters would be required to assume the position and do every last one of 'em. It's only fair.
Ed Bark

Soon-to-be-ex-Fox4 reporter enlists four former D-FW TV vets to launch envisioned new breed of PR firm

TV news vets Clif Caldwell, Dan Ronan, Susan Risdon, Robert Riggs

A quartet of veteran D-FW television reporters, three of them dropped in the past year by their stations, will form the nucleus of a new public relations firm being helmed by Fox4 reporter Jeff Crilley.

"I think there's something really cool about these former competitors coming together," Crilley said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "In some cases we used to bump heads almost nightly."

Crilley's new company, dubbed Real News PR, is scheduled to launch in early June after he leaves Fox4. He initially plans to work hand-in-hand with:

***Former CBS11 and previously NBC5 reporter Clif Caldwell, who was let go by CBS11 in January after his contract expired.

***Former WFAA8 reporter Dan Ronan, abruptly terminated by the station last November for reasons that neither party will discuss.

***Former CBS11 and previously WFAA8 investigator Robert Riggs, axed in March by CBS11 as part of mandated budget cuts by the network's owned-and-operated stations.

***Former NBC5 reporter Susan Risdon, who opted to leave the station last June to start her own Austin-based marketing/media firm, Red Media Group. She'll continue to run that company while also throwing in with Crilley's new venture.

As previously reported on unclebarky.com, Crilley, 44, is positioning his journalist-driven PR firm as an alternative to companies that "are trying to sell snake oil most of the time."

"We won't pitch B.S.," he said Tuesday. "We hold our names in such importance that we can't do what other PR agencies do. We're not spin doctors. I've always bristled at that."

Crilley cited a recent initiative by Risdon's company as an example of what Real News PR hopes to do repeatedly.

During the polygamist compound crisis in West Texas, one of her clients, who runs a Dallas-based family violence hotline, was told to "pack some bags" and head to San Angelo, Crilley said. Risdon then went door-to-door through a nearby "media compound" and said, "News conference in half an hour with a domestic violence expert."

"The client was a great 'sound bite' and by that evening was on Larry King Live," Crilley said. "That's the kind of thing that only a former reporter could see," he said of Risdon. "I think it's a great example of some real street smarts. And in the end you serve the client, serve the media and serve the public."

Real News PR at first will be run out of the respective homes of its staffers, Crilley said. "We'll all be independent public relations people basically. And initially I think we need to do this on a budget."

Crilley, a staple of Fox4's late night newscasts, joined the Dallas-based station in fall 1992 and informed management in March that he wouldn't be signing a new contract.

Up-close and objective: Night 7 of the May sweeps

Fox4 excelled on Friday, a night when it's also been content on occasion to mail in its 9 p.m. newscast. Also, what a night -- ratings-wise and otherwise -- for the Dallas Stars in their dogged pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

There's this, too. If you care to comment on the story below, you can do so at the end of this little tease. For some reason, embedded video used from NBC sites tends to erase the "Comments" option for that particular post.
Ed Bark

CBS11 reporter "honored" by Keith Olbermann

CBS11 reporter Jay Gormley attracted further unwanted national notice last week when MSNBC Countdown anchor Keith Olbermann awarded him the bronze medal during his nightly "Worst Person In the World" segment.

Gormley was cited for a since-retracted report last Monday (April 28th) that said the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright had branded Texas Christian University a "Godless Christian College" during a stop in Dallas. In fact he had said "Jarvis Christian College," which is located in Hawkins, TX.

"He (Gormley) went to the campus in Fort Worth and got suitably angry reactions from TCU students and folk," Olbermann said.

It would help if Olbermann got all of his own facts right while attacking others for screwing up. He told viewers that Wright made the comments at "Monday's news conference." Not quite. He made them during a Sunday (April 27th) sermon at Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas.

After noting what Wright actually said, Olbermann added, "Well, May 'sweeps' started on Monday."

Actually, they started on the previous Thursday (April 24th), which a guy who anchors a national TV news program should know. Gormley was grouped on last Wednesday's "Worst Person In the World" with frequent winner Bill O'Reilly and runnerup John McCain.

Gormley has declined to comment on the mistake, although some colleagues, speaking on condition of anonymity, say he questioned newsroom management on the story's veracity before eventually following orders to do it.

Another colleague -- or at least someone who identified him/herself as a "CBS11 Insider" -- said in this Web site's comments section that two separate unclebarky.com postings on the Wright mistake and the station's on-air correction amounted to piling on.

"Get over yourself and the CBS11 mistake," the commenter wrote. "We blew it and owned up to it. The ND (news director) shared e-mails with us today from viewers thanking us for our integrity in doing that. A reporter who was at the speech heard 'Godless' and reported it that way. He convinced producers, anchors and managers that was the word. No one had even heard of Jarvis Christian College until viewer emails came in Monday night. We've moved on. You need to do so, too."

CBS11 removed the Wright story from its Web site without explanation sometime last Tuesday. A correction was posted several hours after the station received an email and a phone call about the story from unclebarky.com. Anchor Doug Dunbar then read an on-air correction, sent earlier to this Web site, during last Tuesday's 10 p.m. newscast.

"Writing this crap and sending it to ShopTalk (a widely read TV industry Web site) to be seen nationwide might help WFAA and your Belo pension and any stock you still own," the "CBS11 Insider" said. "But it does nothing to help your credibility with this site. You do good work. Don't fall into a trap."

For the record, the reporting on CBS11's big gaffe also noted that Gormley is a generally credible reporter.

Also, I've never sent anything written for unclebarky.com to ShopTalk or any other Web site in hopes of drawing national attention. Whatever "crap" they link to is their doing.

As for improving my Belo stock portofolio, well, I don't own any. It was sold long ago. And an earlier pension accrued during my almost 27 years at The Dallas Morning News is fixed at a set amount per month no matter what's written in these spaces.

Here's video of Olbermann's Gormley-flavored "Worst Person In the World" segment:

Up-close and objective: Night 6 of the May sweeps

This time we look at the respective merits of four decidedly different, late-night lead stories on Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11. Your latest D-FW ratings snapshot also is readily available.
Ed Bark

Lane change: Fox4 reporter Jason Overstreet to become bowling kingpin

Fox4 reporter Jason Overstreet, a frequent and valuable contributor to the station's 9 p.m. newscasts, will be taking a unique career path after six years of chasing stories.

Overstreet, 34, has accepted a management position with the United States Bowling Congress, which is relocating its national headquarters from Milwaukee to Arlington, TX this summer.

A competitive bowler as a teenager, Overstreet said in a telephone interview that his biggest achievement was being crowned California's American Bowling Alliance all-events champion in 1988 as a 14-year-old.

He then bowled competitively throughout high school before finding that his college of choice, Northwestern University, didn't have a bowling team. So he's a little rusty at this point, but the sport remains in his blood.

In an earlier email to unclebarky.com, Overstreet said he'll be leaving "with mixed emotions" at the end of the ongoing May sweeps ratings period. Colleague Jeff Crilley, also a regular contributor to Fox4's 9 p.m. news, likewise will be exiting at that time to launch his own public relations firm.

"I have found the environment at Fox4 to be terrific throughout my time here and feel extremely fortunate to have enjoyed such a great situation in local news," Overstreet said.

Still, "the overall economic landscape of television news" prompted him to change careers, he said. Joining the management team of the USBC "is something I cannot let pass me by."

The imminent departures of Overstreet and Crilley, and the station's recent termination of reporter Rebecca Aguilar, will leave Fox4 short-handed and in need of rebuilding its 9 p.m. news reporting staff.

"There are a lot of good people still there," Overstreet said. "I'm sure things will work out."

Amazing grace: James Woodard on 60 Minutes

James Woodard of Dallas, freed from prison this week after serving 27 years on a wrongful conviction of murdering his girlfriend, tells his story to the nation on this Sunday's 60 Minutes.

Woodard is interviewed by Scott Pelley, who worked for KXAS-TV (Channel 5) and then WFAA-TV (Channel 8) before joining CBS news in 1989. Asked why he didn't plead guilty as a means of showing remorse and getting paroled, Woodard tells Pelley, "I wasn't guilty. I mean, a man has to stand for something."

Woodard was freed on the basis of DNA evidence that showed he could not have committed the crime. Dallas county district attorney Craig Watkins has spearheaded such efforts in partnership with the Innocence Project of Texas. Woodard, 55, had been the longest-serving, falsely convicted inmate ever to be released with the help of DNA evidence.

Here's an excerpt from the 60 Minutes interview:
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Night 5 of the May sweeps

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Ed Bark