Childhood Actor Now Miami TV Reporter

Did you ever wonder what happens to childhood actors when they grow up?

Well, at least one is a TV News Reporter in Miami.

Turns out Auntie Mame’s little nephew Patrick is all grown up and now reporting the news for WSVN.

Even Mame composer Jerry Herman, who lives in Miami Beach, had no idea one-time Broadway child star Roshi Handwerger is the same person as WSVN general assignment reporter Rosh Lowe.

“For three years I have watched newscaster Rosh Lowe, never knowing he was my young Patrick grown up,” says the legendary composer, who also wrote the scores for Broadway’s Hello, Dolly!, Mack & Mabel and La Cage aux Folles. “Mame would be so proud!”

Lowe, 41, grew up in Rye, New York, the son of an orthodontist with a passion for theater. “The first time I ever performed was when I was 5 years old at the Rye Community Synagogue for a production of Noah’s Ark,” Lowe says. “I fell in love with connecting with an audience. I had this love for connecting with a room of people, which is what I do today. Part of being a TV news reporter is being able to connect with an audience.”

In 1982, Lowe’s dad, Edmund, took him to audition for a Central Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “Joseph Papp discovered me and gave me a role,” Lowe recalls. “The next year, I got my big break,” he continues, recalling an open audition for the 1983 Broadway revival of Mame starring Angela Lansbury.

Reporting has also brought him back to his Jewish faith.

Reporting also led to a newfound Jewish spirituality. 

“I grew up beyond Reform. Not observant at all,” Lowe says. “One of the first stories I covered in Naples was a gruesome murder. … I saw body bags coming out of this apartment and I thought to myself, ‘What is life all about?’ Albert Einstein said either nothing’s a miracle or everything’s a miracle. I decided to look at life as if everything is a miracle.”

Now Orthodox, he is an active board member at the Shul of Bal Harbour. “I may be the only reporter in the country that is Sabbath observant. I do not work on Saturdays,” says Lowe, adding he is “forever grateful” to WSVN station owner Ed Ansin for always giving him the time off. “I have become in the Jewish community a very big role model. Young people look at me and say, ‘Wow, it’s possible to be both observant, true to your beliefs and have a job in the secular world.’ I’m very proud that I can inspire other people.”

Here's Rosh on Broadway as a child actor in 1983:

Brian Who?

NBC Anchor Lester Holt is on a roll.

“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was #1 across the board for both the last week of July and the July sweep period, marking the broadcast’s sixth straight total viewer win and fifth demo victory in six weeks.

For the 2015 July sweep period, Nightly drew its biggest total viewer audience in 10 years and best demo average since 2013. This marks Nightly’s 8th consecutive July sweep win among total viewers and 7th demo victory in 8 years.

Week-to-week, Nightly posted the largest gains among the evening newscasts in total viewers (+2%, or +170,000), A25-54 viewers (+5%, or +86,000), and A18-49 viewers (+3%, or +45,000).

Nightly has now won among total viewers for 11 of the last 14 weeks and 299 of the last 306 weeks.

Season-to-date, Nightly is #1 in total viewers, A25-54, and A18-49.


Don't Drink the Water at One Indianapolis Station

WISH in Indianapolis has a baby boom going on.

Daybreak Anchor Kylie Conway announced yesterday she is the third member of the Daybreak team to announce she’s expecting in recent months.

Nina Criscuolo, Lauren Lowrey and Kylie are each 11 weeks apart as far as their due dates are concerned.

“I was actually a month pregnant when Lauren made her on-air surprise announcement. I was in shock. I was so incredibly happy for her and at the same time I wanted to scream, ‘Me too!’ and give her a huge hug,” said Kylie.

About a week ago, Kylie pulled WISH personalities one by one into a room. They thought they were answering the question, “What is one big highlight of your life?” Instead, Kylie dropped the news and caught their candid reactions.

Longtime WISH Anchor Dave Barras had the most animated response.

“You’re (bleep) me!” he yelled.

WISH General Manager Les Vann said this is a first for him.

“It’s been 38 years I’ve been in television stations. I don’t remember three women in the building at the same time being pregnant, let alone three women on the same show. That’s why even I am drinking bottled water,” Vann said.

Atlanta Station to Expand News to Midnight

WAGA in Atlanta says they are going to expand their late newscast to one hour.

That means the station's 11 p.m. newscast will run till midnight starting September 14. The station claims that “Fox 5 News Edge,” will become the first one-hour 11 p.m. news program in the top 50 markets.

With WXIA having the Tonight Show, WGLC is getting a new Late Show with Stephen Colbert and WSB has NightLine, it is not likely that the competition will follow WAGA's lead. 

It's an easy call for the station, since it is replacing a repeat of “Access Hollywood” at 11:30 p.m.

News Director Mike McClain said this is a way to give people more choices in local news, as fewer and fewer people work traditional 9 to 5 jobs. He noted that in recent years, local news has begun airing as early as 4:30 a.m. as well.

According to the press release:

This expansion will utilize the station’s interactive news stage to present Atlanta’s trending stories. Social Media Producer, Natalie Tejada, will share stories that are “Trending Live.” A new opinion segment, “Like It or Not,” will provide a fresh take on the traditional news editorial, allowing viewers to engage directly with topics that are important to the Atlanta and North Georgia regions.

The “Like it or Not” sounds a bit like WGCL's recently instituted “Just a Minute,” where a rotating crew of former TV reporters offer their take on the news. In this case, McClain said he will cull from a broader array of Atlanta experts to do editorials.

H/T Atlanta Journal Constitution 

BriWi to Return with the Pope Visit

Next week ends the six-month suspension of lying NBC Anchor Brian Williams. Although the suspension is almost over, it is likely that you will not see BriWi on the air until September. 

Ironically, the untrustworthy Anchor may return with coverage of the Pope.

The AP writes that MSNBC hasn't announced a start date for Williams. The tentative target for his return is for the network's coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the United States, scheduled for Sept. 22-27, according to an executive there who spoke on condition of anonymity because plans aren't fully set.

Williams won't have a regular time slot at MSNBC, but will work during daytime hours on busy news days.

The pope's visit offers a relatively predictable news event for Williams to start back with.

Williams' representative, Robert Barnett, declined comment on Monday.

DA Will Not File Charges Against Bakersfield Anchor

The district attorney's office has decided not to file charges against KBAK Anchor Kurt Rivera or his girlfriend Mindy Morrow.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Pafford said that there is insufficient evidence in the case and it was unclear who was the primary aggressor.

Pafford said that without knowing who the primary aggressor was, they weren't confident that they could get a conviction. 

On July 26, Kern County sheriff's deputies arrested Rivera on spousal battery charges.

Officials said that at about 10:18 p.m. Kern County sheriff’s deputies were sent to an alarm call of a woman screaming she was being assaulted at a home in Bakersfield.

Deputies said they found 50-year-old Kurt Rivera and 36-year-old Mindy Morrow inside the residence.

Based on information and evidence deputies were able to determine both Rivera and Morrow had physically assaulted each other.

Morrow also reported that Rivera had damaged the alarm keypad to prevent her from calling law enforcement and refused to allow her to leave the home.

As a result of their investigation, deputies arrested Rivera on charges of spousal battery, damaging a communication device to prevent a person from calling law enforcement for assistance, and false imprisonment.

Morrow was arrested on charges of spousal battery.

Rivera and Morrow both sustained minor injuries and were booked into the Sheriff’s Office Central Receiving Facility.

So far, station management have not commented on the matter, on the station's website, they posted this statement:

We at KBAK take this matter very seriously, and hold our employees to a very high standard. We will be dealing with this internally as a personnel matter and we'll have no further comment at this time.


Philly Anchor's Husband Speaks Out about Racketeering Charges Against Him


WCAU Anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah's husband, Congressman Chaka Fattah is speaking for the first time since being indicted on racketeering charges. 

The 11-term Democrat said Monday he is "innocent of any and all of these allegations,'' telling reporters that he hasn't been involved in the misappropriation of funds as an elected official.

Fattah referred to other members of Congress accused of wrongdoing who were later exonerated and also criticized prosecutors for what he called "efforts to attack'' his family. Fattah's wife, Renee Chenault-Fattah, who is an anchor at WCAU News in Philadelphia, hasn't been charged but was accused by prosecutors of involvement in a sham transaction involving a Porsche that she maintains was "a legitimate sale.''

She remains off the air since the indictment was handed down. 

Here's how her station covered the Congressman's comments:

Fired Anchor Sues Fox Sports For Religious Discrimination

On August 30, 2013, former SMU Mustang and former ESPN college football analyst Craig James was hired by Fox Sports Southwest as a college-football analyst. Two days later, after a single on-air appearance, former SMU Mustang Craig James was fired by Fox Sports Southwest.

The cited reason: When he was running for the U.S. Senate in 2012, the former SMU Mustang said during a debate — featuring former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and Ted Cruz — that being gay is a choice, and that “right now in this country, our moral fiber is sliding down a slope that is going to be hard to stop if we don’t stand up with leaders who don’t go ride in gay parades. I can assure you I will never ride in a gay parade.”

“We just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn’t say those things here,” said Fox Sports Southwest Senior Vice President of Communications Lou D’Ermilio after James was fired. 

 Two years after getting sacked, James has sued Fox Sports in Dallas for religious discrimination. That suit was filed Monday morning, and can be read below.

“Fox Sports fired Craig James because of his religious beliefs about marriage and his expression of those beliefs during a debate when James ran in the Texas Republican primary for United States Senator,” says the suit. It continues:

“Craig James is a man of faith and integrity, which calls him foremost to show love and kindness to all those around him, regardless of whether they share his beliefs. According to his faith, all people possess intrinsic value, and all people deserve love and respect—including the freedom not to be judged, penalized, or punished for their beliefs. James has personal friends, family members, and professional colleagues on both sides of marriage and family issues, some of whom are themselves gay, lesbian, and transgender. James respects others, including those who disagree with him, as he has throughout his career, and merely hopes for the same respect in turn.”

Scott Grogin, senior vice president of communications for Fox Networks Group , said late Monday in a statement sent to The Dallas Morning News that “as we have previously stated, Craig James is a polarizing figure in the college sports community and the decision not to use him in our college football coverage was based on the perception that he abused a previous on-air position to further a personal agenda. The decision had nothing to do with Mr. James’ religious beliefs and we did not discriminate against Mr. James in any way. The allegations are baseless and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them.”

H/T Dallas News

O-Town Station Gets New Set, New Anchor Coming Soon

WFTV in Orlando took the wraps off a new set this week and it will soon be announcing a new (old) Anchor.

WFTV will annouce in the next day or so that former WESH Anchor Martha Sugalski is joining the station.

Sugalski has been off the air for a ayear sitting out a non-compete. Her going to WFTV has been one of the worst kept secrets in the Orlando market for the past year. 

As for the new set, "It's just got that more contemporary look to it," News Director Matt Parcell said. "Anchors aren't confined to the anchor desk. To a certain degree, in the old set, they were. You will see them up moving more at the appropriate time."

The changes include a new wall with nine monitors that will feature video in various configurations. There's a reconfigured weather center to give meteorologists more space. Another backdrop contains three monitors.

The set uses more space in the 3,600-square-foot studio. "It offers us more places to bring the story to the viewer in a way that will provide more depth and detail," Parcell said. "The idea is to use the set not to look nice, but to make the story more understandable."

The new set features a fake second floor to provide more scope. "You can't stand up there," Parcell said. "You'd fall through if you did. It's a design element."

H/T Orlando Sentinel