Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Anthrax Answers From The Doctors At CBS 2

The CBS 2 Information Center had another round of "Ask The Doctors" this evening on its 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 newscasts. This is the third time CBS 2 has had a team of four professionals to take viewers' questions. The panel today included Dr. Tucker Woods (Long Island College Hospital), Dr. Erika Schwartz (Internal Medicine; she was in the Info Center on October 19th), Professor Thomas Johnson (Long Island University), and Dr. Darrell Looney (Brookdale Hospital). The hotline to call was 1-866-INFO-TWO, or 1-866-4636-896. Kirstin Cole talked to the doctors about what viewers were asking them, and what their responses were. The phone lines closed at 6:30pm.

Sunday, October 28, 2001

CBS 2 News's Sunday Morning Newscast

The Sunday morning newscast on CBS 2 News went on this morning for the seventh time since the September 11th attacks. Michael O'Looney and Alexis Christoforous anchored. Meteorologist Craig Allen had the forecast, and Lori Blanchard was in the CBS 2 Traffic Center. Last week CBS 2 issued a press release stating that this 8am Sunday newscast will continue through "Sweeps Month" November.

Sports Rap Live and MSN Messenger!

CBS 2's "Sports Rap Live", which airs Sunday nights at 11:30, began a new feature last night. As we reporter earlier, MSN Messenger has become a part of the fifteen-minute sports program. Viewers can add "" to their contact list in MSN Messenger, and compose a message about the topics being discussed on the show. CBS 2 asks that you include your first name and your hometown. The graphic did not look the same as the one in the promo, and it did not include the hometowns. Only three comments were on the air last night, but I would guess that as more people download MSN Messenger, more comments will make it to the air. As sports anchor Gary Apple said, "Be a part of the action! Get online when we're on the air!"

Saturday, October 27, 2001

MSN Messenger and CBS 2's Sports Rap Live!

CBS 2 began airing a new 15-second promo recently. It's with Gary Apple in Studio 43. He says, "Hi, I'm Gary Apple, CBS 2 Sports, and why be out there when the action's in here? Use your MSN Instant Messenger from Give us your feedback during Sports Rap Live, Saturday nights at 11:30 on CBS 2. Be a part of the action. Get online when we're on the air!" It appears CBS 2 will take viewers' comments and put them directly one the lower portion of the screen. Download MSN Messenger and watch Sports Rap Live at 11:30-11:45 tonight on CBS 2.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

"Ask The Doctors" About Anthrax

As we reported earlier this afternoon, CBS 2 brought doctors back into the Information Center to take calls from viewers. The four doctors were: Dr. Robert Crupi (Flushing Hospital Medical Center), Dr. Seymour Thomas (St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center), Dr. Steven Miller (New York Presbyterian; he was in the Info Center last Friday), and CBS 2's own Dr. Michael Rosen. Kirstin Cole debriefed the doctors on the 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 newscasts. The response was again said to be great, which often caused the lines to be busy. The phone line, 1-866-INFO-TWO, was open until 6:30pm.

More on the CBS 2 Information Center

As you may recall, last Friday CBS 2 used the Information Center for the first time during the late afternoon newscasts. J.R. Whalen, Manager of the CBS 2 Information Center, tells me, "Viewers were more than willing to pose questions to our medical experts. We were very pleased with the response; the CBS2 Information Center is designed to enhance our viewers' CBS2 experience and we believe it did just that. Look for more call-in segments in the near future." He also tells me that there will be more doctors today taking viewers' phone calls and questions.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

CBS 2 To Send Reporters Young and O'Looney Overseas

Tuesday, 10/23/01, 3:00pm CBS 2 To Send Reporters Young and O'Looney Overseas
Today's Daily News reports that CBS 2 News's Lou Young will travel to the Middle East next week to report in that region for at least three weeks. Michael O'Looney will go to France where he will interview the head of Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) about tracking terrorists such as Osama bin Laden. CBS 2 News Director Joel Cheatwood tells The News, "We wanted a perspective from the opposite side of the coin. This is a story that demands a level of perspective and context that requires going halfway around the world to get." Cheatwood expects to spend thousands of dollars for the trips, mainly due to the high cost of satellite time needed to transmit the reports back to New York.
(Thanks to Michael for informing me about this article!)

Monday, October 22, 2001

Traces Of Anthrax In Dan Rather's Office

Traces of anthrax were found in Dan Rather's office, CBS News announced Monday, but in amounts so small that the anchorman and an assistant who has already contracted skin anthrax continue to use the space. The findings, from the city Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, buttress what has been an assumption: that the assistant, who opens Rather's mail, encountered the spores at CBS. “As anticipated, we have found some traces of anthrax in Dan's anteroom and office,” CBS News President Andrew Heyward said in a memo to employees. “So far, although this is not a final result, there is no evidence of anthrax in the newsroom or anywhere else we tested.” He said that the findings do not indicate any danger and that the CDC and the New York City health department advised “that it is safe to continue working in all parts of the building.” For more information, go to

Sunday Morning Newscast Continuing Through November

A CBS 2 Press Release:
CBS 2, which has provided expanded news coverage since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, will continue to broadcast a Sunday morning newscast (8:00-9:00 AM) for the remainder of October and throughout the month of November.

“The events of the past several weeks, which continue to unfold daily, have led to an increased demand for information,” said Joel Cheatwood, Executive Vice President for News, Viacom Television Stations and WCBS-TV News Director. “CBS 2 remains committed to serving the public with the most up-to-date information of this developing story and will continue to expand the number of time periods we offer news as events warrant.”
(Thanks to Brian for sending this to me!)

Sunday, October 21, 2001

"America Fights Back" Coverage

This morning on CBS 2, Michael O'Looney and Lisa Hill anchored the "early Sunday morning edition of CBS 2 Weekend News." The newscast was mostly coverage of America Fights Back and the Anthrax cases, but weather (with Craig Allen) and traffic (with Debbie DuHaime) was added. Tony Tantillo's "Breakfast With T" segment also aired. The newscast was an hour-long this morning starting at 8:00.

Friday, October 19, 2001

CBS 2 Information Center with Anthrax Answers

CBS 2 made its first major use of the Information Center today on its newscasts at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00. At 4:08, Kirstin Cole was in the "Info Center" (behind the news desk in Studio 43) explaining that a team of doctors would be there to take viewers' questions. The phone number is 1-866-INFO-TWO, or 1-866-4636-896. At 4:42, Kirstin began asking the doctors some questions. She said that the phones "have gone wild" and the response was "amazing." The team of four doctors were Dr. Steven Miller (New York Presbyterian Hospital), Dr. Erika Schwartz (Trauma Specialist), Dr. Ian Tang (St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers), and Dr. Sheldon Landesman (Brookdale Hospital). The phone lines are open until 7:00pm.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Anthrax Case at CBS News

The following is from
An employee in CBS anchor Dan Rather's office has the skin form of anthrax and is expected to fully recover, officials said Thursday. It's the third confirmed case in New York City and is the same, less lethal type of infection contracted by an aide to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw and the infant son of an ABC producer. "Our biggest problem today is not anthrax. Our biggest problem is fear," Rather said at an afternoon press conference. "We are resolute, we will not flinch. ... We will put out a first class evening news broadcast this evening." He said he has not been tested for anthrax exposure and has "no plans at this moment to be tested."

ABC spokesman Todd Polkes said that because the NBC and CBS news anchors had apparently been targeted, "extra precautions are being taken" with mail addressed to ABC News anchor Peter Jennings. Five infected people in the United States have been found among the thousands of people tested so far, and a sixth possible infection is being evaluated, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said Thursday in Washington.

The CBS employee was being treated with antibiotics and was expected to fully recover, CBS News President Andrew Heyward said. "In fact, she feels fine," he said. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said she apparently began to experience swelling on Oct. 1. It was not immediately known how she became infected. Because the woman handled mail, investigators believe the anthrax was delivered in an envelope, city officials said. Giuliani said no one else at CBS had showed anthrax symptoms, and Health Commissioner Neal Cohen said there were no public health concerns at the West 57th Street building, known as the CBS Broadcast Center.

The CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street also houses the studios and offices of WCBS 880 and CBS 2. Officials said environmental tests of the mailroom at CBS News headquarters were being analyzed, and testing would now move beyond the mailroom, but the building had not been evacuated. Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the city Health Department entered the building Thursday morning without protective suits. Workers will be questioned to determine whether they should be tested, Giuliani said.

"You know how they say 'close to home?' It's no longer close. It's home," said Ray McNally, a stagehand for the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather." Maria Spinella, a broadcast associate at CBS News Productions, said, "Given the events that have been going on at NBC and ABC, I don't think people were shocked. I feel bad for the assistant who opened the letter, but everything that we've heard is that she's being treated and she's expected to recover."

CBS News president Andrew Heyward issued the following statement Thursday morning: "We learned this morning that a CBS News employee in Dan Rather's office has tested positive for the cutaneous form of anthrax. She is being treated with antibiotics and is expected to make a full recovery; in fact, she feels fine. As you know, anthrax is not contagious, and this is the most easily curable form of the disease. I have already talked to the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, and the New York City Health Department. The Health Department and other investigators will be back in the Broadcast Center this morning to interview employees who work in the same vicinity and to determine what the next steps should be. We have been informed by New York City Health Commissioner that it is safe to continue working while this investigation gets underway. Obviously we will take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety."

Monday, October 15, 2001

Craig Rivera Leaves CBS 2

David tells me that Craig Rivera has left CBS 2 News. He was hired as a freelance reporter, and his first report was September 25th. Before coming to CBS 2, he reported for the show "Inside Edition". Craig is the brother of former talk show host Geraldo Rivera, who now anchors a program on CNBC.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

"America On Guard"

Friday evening, CBS News changed the title of their coverage from "America Fights Back" to "America On Guard". Shortly after, CBS 2 News began to use the new title as well, but still use the "Fights Back" title along with it. This is the fourth title used since September 11th (the others were "Attack on America" and "America Rising"). CBS 2's coverage continued this morning at 8:00, when Lou Young and Hazel Sanchez anchored a special newscast (the regular "CBS 2 Weekend News" open was used).

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Amanda Grove's Online Biography Removed

Late this afternoon, removed Amanda Grove's biography from the bio page. This morning, The New York Post reported that Karen Mateo, CBS 2's spokeswoman said that her contract was not renewed. On Sunday, we reported that Amanda Grove's last day at the station was Friday. She had most recently been a weekend anchor and "CBS 2 On The Money" reporter. The new weekend anchor is Kirstin Cole, who will anchor with Vince DeMentri.

Amanda Grove Leaves CBS 2 News - Confirmed

Michael Starr of The New York Post reports: "Amanda Grove is no longer with Ch. 2, which declined to renew her contract, says a station spokeswoman." We reported on Sunday that Amanda Grove had left, but we were unable to confirm this, until today's "The Starr Report" article.
(Thanks to Brian for letting me know!)

Monday, October 8, 2001

"America Fights Back" on CBS 2 News

CBS 2 News This Morning begins one hour earlier tomorrow at 4:00am as "America Fights Back" coverage on CBS 2 News continues. It does not appear that the 9:00am and 3:00pm special newscasts will continue any longer (unless any big breaking news occurs).

"America Fights Back" Coverage Expands

Due to yesterday's U.S.-led attacks on key targets in Afghanistan, CBS 2 will continue their extended coverage. They're adding newscasts at 9:00am and at 3:00pm (thanks to Brian for the information on the 3:00 newscast). No information yet on if they'll continue the extended coverage at 7:00pm.

Sunday, October 7, 2001

Amanda Grove Leaves CBS 2 News

Sources on television news-related message boards are reporting that Amanda Grove's last day at CBS 2 News was Friday. She reportedly e-mailed her colleagues at CBS 2, thanking them and wishing them well. Her biography page remains listed on CBS 2's website,

Behind The Headlines: Amanda Grove
Amanda Grove joined WCBS-TV in late December, 1999 from cable network CNBC, and was originally going to anchor "NEWS 2 at 4:00" with Dana Tyler starting the following month. She anchored "NEWS 2 at 6:00" with Dana Tyler for a few evenings around the holiday season. Then it was decided that the 4:00 anchor team would be Stephen Clark and Dana Tyler. Amanda Grove began anchoring "NEWS 2 This Morning" with Cindy Hsu in January, 2000, and "CBS MarketWatch New York" with Betsy Karetnick for a few months. In early June, she moved to anchoring the weekend newscast with Vince DeMentri. While anchoring on the weekends, she reported three days a week for "CBS 2 On The Money". She has been the weekend anchor until this past August, when Kirstin Cole replaced her.

"America Fights Back" Coverage

This morning on CBS 2, Cindy Hsu and Lou Young anchored special coverage from 7:00-9:00. This week, "Hollywood Squares" returns to CBS 2, but this time at 7:00pm. "Entertainment Tonight" had been occupying the 7:30pm slot for the past two weeks. And "Crossing Over" appears to be returning at 3:00pm Monday (this is according to the CBS 2 Program Guide, but no commercials have been aired announcing this yet). And Kevin tells me that Sports Rap Live has moved to Saturday Nights.

Wednesday, October 3, 2001

"CBS 2 Morning News" Update

Saturday afternoon we reported on a new promo for CBS 2 News This Morning, but it incorrectly stated the newscast title as "The CBS 2 Morning News". We speculated that the newscast title was about to change or that it was just an error. Monday morning, the newscast stayed "CBS 2 News This Morning". And yesterday we noticed that it was finally fixed to "CBS 2 News This Morning". Apparently, it was an error. :-)