Thursday, December 10, 2009

#1 at 5PM during Storm

CBS 2 News is patting itself on the back for the ratings during yesterday's snow and rain storm. The promo airing today says "more people watched CBS 2 at 5:00 than any other station." It ends with this line: "CBS 2 News at 5:00: Most watched when it matters most."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Window Shopping with CBS 2 News

The new holiday promos have debuted and CBS 2 News is trying something different. Gone are the on-air talent saying the usual Christmastime clichés; instead, the anchors are featured inside holiday window displays.

Check them out: posted a time-lapse video of the two-day shoot in a TriBeCa studio. Promo producer Tim Taylor narrates the two-minute video, showing the building of the elaborate sets and explains what was going on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Weather Map Banners

CBS 2 News began using a new radar-like graphic in place of the regular banners on the weather maps last night at 11:00. It at first appeared to be an error because of the lack of a graphic behind the actual text; however, its continued use today seems to indicate that it is intentional.

While we're on the topic of the weather graphics, there remains an inconsistency between the morning/noon and the evening presentations. As seen below, Lonnie Quinn's seven-day forecast leaves out the blue title bar, making the text harder to read. Quinn's presentations have left this out for months while the other weather talent include it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dunn Promoted to President of CBS Television Stations, Will Remain WCBS-TV GM

WCBS-TV's president and general manager Peter Dunn has been promoted to president of CBS Television Stations, according to this Mediaweek report sent in by Brian. He replaces Tom Kane, who left CBS, as head of the 29 owned and operated stations. Dunn will remain in his position at WCBS.

Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS, had this to say:
Peter has been a terrific leader in every role he’s had at our station group, from president of sales to running two of our biggest stations. He knows how to deliver results and inspire the best work from his people, and knows the local marketplace as well as anyone.
Also in that article as of this posting is this line:
Prior to WCBS-TV, Dunn was president of sales for the BS Television Stations.
Tell them what you really think!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

CBS 2 to Cover Parade of Champions

CBS 2 News will air live coverage of tomorrow's Parade of Champions for the New York Yankees tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m. According to Chris Wragge's Facebook, the coverage will last for about three hours and will be anchored in part by himself along with sports anchors Sam Ryan and Otis Livingston.

The parade begins at Battery Park and will continue north on Broadway's "Canyon of Heroes" to City Hall, where a ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. in front of 500 lucky fans who won an online ticket lottery this evening.

John Slattery reported tonight that this will be New York's 206th ticker-tape parade, the most recent of which was in February 2008 for the New York Giants after winning the Super Bowl. This is the first such parade for the Yankees since beating the Mets in the 2000 World Series.

KYW Pays Off Bet With CBS 2 News This Morning

Start spreading the news.

Before the World Series began, the morning team at KYW-TV in Philadelphia bet the crew of CBS 2 News This Morning that the Phillies would win. If they were right, Maurice DuBois, Kate Sullivan, John Elliott and Katie McGee would have to sing Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" live in New York and Philly.

Last night, the Yankees beat the Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, bringing home the Yankees' franchise 27th ring. That meant the CBS 3 Eyewitness News This Morning team of Ukee Washington, Liz Keptner, Maria LaRosa and Bob Kelly had to sing Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." CBS 2 rubbed it in a little more by showing video of the champagne celebration in the Yankees' clubhouse during the early morning performance. At the end, both teams said they were hopeful to be at it again next year.

If you want your ears to bleed, check out the simulcast from CBS 2 and KYW.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Former Reporter Wins Long Island Election

Trish Bergin, who reported for WCBS-TV in the late '90s, won an election yesterday to Islip Town Council in Suffolk County. According to, she received the most votes out of the four candidates for the two-seat election (though, as of this post, that is not Bergin who is in that picture). She ran as an independent but was also listed on the Republican and Conservative ballots.

Bergin was a second Long Island reporter on "News 2" from March 1997 - December 1998. During the "More News in Less Time, Every Time" era, she often reported live from the station's Long Island bureau in Uniondale during the morning newscasts. Most recently, she reported and anchored for News 12 Long Island.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Campaign 2009 Coverage Tonight

CBS 2 News says it will provide live coverage tonight of the election results. It begins at 8:00 when polls in New Jersey and Connecticut close.

The major race of the hour will be for New Jersey governor, between Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine, Republican Chris Christie and independent Chris Daggett.

Then at 9:00, polls in New York close and the results for New York City mayor should be known as Democrat Bill Thompson is seeking to keep independent Michael Bloomberg from getting a third term.

The coverage will likely be short updates at the top of the hour instead of a wall-to-wall broadcast during primetime.

Studio 46 has a "Campaign 09" logo on the right side of the desk for today's coverage:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

World Series Wager with KYW

The CBS 2 News This Morning crew has a lot at stake in the outcome of the World Series, which begins this evening. Maurice DuBois led the team in some trash talk with Ukee Washington and KYW Philadelphia's CBS 3 Eyewitness News This Morning. If the Yankees win, CBS 3 will have to sing Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." CBS 2 will have to sing Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" if the Yanks somehow lose to the Phillies.

Check out video from the 5:40 simulcast this morning from the CBS 2 perspective and the KYW perspective.

Oh, and someone please tell the KYW anchors that her name is Katie McGee.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yankees Pep Rally Coverage

CORRECTION: 12:33 P.M. WEDNESDAY: It looks like the coverage is only on and not on the air. So if you go check out the live stream right now, you can watch video of the rally complete with audio of "The Young and the Restless."

CBS 2 News just announced that they will provide live coverage of the Yankees pep rally tomorrow. The rally takes place in Times Square the day the Yankees return to the World Series for the first time since 2003. CBS 2's coverage begins at 12:30, just after CBS 2 News at Noon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where's the Bacon?

It was just last week when CBS 2 debuted a new promotional campaign for the morning newscasts. Soon after, eagle-eyed viewers of the station noticed that one of the eight promos, "It's Like Bacon," stopped running. Fans of the "mmm mmm tasty tasty bacon" promo held a massive protest outside of the CBS Broadcast Center. CBS 2's John Slattery reports on the outrage...

Inside WCBS Newsradio 880

NewsByte2 paid a visit to the other WCBS in the CBS Broadcast Center yesterday afternoon. Check out this video and the following pictures for a behind-the-scenes look at WCBS Newsradio 880.

Looking toward the entrance of the WCBS Newsradio 880 newsroom on the eighth floor.

Steve Scott anchoring the 2:00 hour. Scott joined WCBS 880 on September 11, 2006 after 20 years in Chicago.

Scott using his finger to scroll down on his script. The busy newsroom is on the other side of that window.

A closer look at the board with the WCBS Newstime clock ticking away. The anchors on WCBS 880 engineer their own newscasts, including turning on and off their microphones, playing reporters' packages, and running commercials.

Wayne Cabot, who's been with WCBS 880 since 1988, joins Steve Scott at 2:59. The team brings the tri-state area the news for the commute home through 7:00. The coverage streams live on and continues even when the Yankees are airing on 880 AM.

WCBS Newsradio 880 has quite a history, having done all-news for over forty years.

Special thanks to Steve Scott for making this visit possible and for both Scott and Cabot for being great hosts (and for allowing the pictures and video).

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dr. Phillips Joins "The Doctors"

It's just for one day but CBS 2's medical reporter Dr. Holly Phillips will be on national TV next week. She will guest on the panel of syndicated show "The Doctors" Monday. Among the topics mentioned in the promo: how to know whether you're taking the right vitamins and the FDA studying using LSD to treat headaches.

"The Doctors" airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on CBS 2.

1:03 p.m. Update: Here's the promo that was likely customized for WCBS:

We've also been sent this shot of Dr. Phillips walking onto the set on Monday's show:

Storytelling Promos Coming Monday

CBS 2 News will "launch a powerful series of on-air spots pitching its correspondents as storytellers" Monday, according to the Daily News. Jennifer McLogan, Pablo Guzman and Jennifer McLogan will be seen in the "first wave." In one, McLogan speaks of covering the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800:
"I reported on the story, every day for two months. It was a very sad day, and it was hard to report, but that's my job, and it's a day I'll never forget."
Columnist Richard Huff says the promo "is poignant without being cheesy."

This might be the first time the station has given a newspaper a heads-up about a campaign before it began airing. It's also interesting that Jennifer McLogan, who has been with the station since 1993 and originally joined in 1982, is featured in her own promo as she is almost always left out of such spots.

(Photo from the Daily News.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shorter, Music-less Teases

CBS 2 News is following in the steps of cable news networks in the way they tease stories in the newscasts. Beginning on today's 5:00 newscast, teases have been cut to just one or two stories. Most notably, there is no music playing underneath. The regular "Coming Up" animation wasn't used at 5:00; instead, a lower-third banner usually used in promos. "Coming Up" was used in the 6:00 newscast, though it likely appeared to be in error.

The station had been tinkering with the way they teased stories since last week. The first story was often done with the anchors still on camera and using the alternate banner before promoting the other stories with the regular animation. The usual music was still being used.

This style seems to have been copied from channels like CNN and FOX News. Many of those cable newscasts employ the short and music-less teases with the theory being that viewers tune out whatever an anchor says after the words "coming up" or the news theme begins playing. Unfortunately, this style is also rather boring as much of the urgency is taken away. This blogger hopes CBS 2 was just doing this as a test today and doesn't do it again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Morning Campaign

CBS 2 News just debuted a new promotional campaign for the morning newscast. The eight spots feature the team of Kate Sullivan, Maurice DuBois, John Elliott and Katie McGee in front of that familiar white background comparing their morning news to different parts of the morning routine.

Here's one of the spots: "It's Like Coffee"

Here are links to the others:

NewsByte2 contributor and eagle eye David notes that these look similar to promos done a month ago by Boston's WBZ: "It's Like Coffee," "Fresh is Better" and "It's Like Bacon." We tweeted this on @NewsByte2 and heard back from Lee Grossman, executive producer of CBS 2 Promos:
wbz spots inspired our campaign... we created 5 new spots and cbs-2-ified 3 of theirs. i'm very happy and proud of this campaign
The promos began airing today.

Friday, October 9, 2009

CBS 2 News #1 at 11:00

There's more ratings news to report today and once again it's good news for CBS 2: For the first week of October, CBS 2 News came in first place at 11:00, thanks in part to a strong CBS primetime. Crain's New York Business reports that WCBS earned a 5.5 rating, up 31% over the same time last year. By comparison, the other stations are down: WABC is down 16% to a 5.4 and WNBC is down 19% to a 2.9.

CBS 2 News at 5:00 Up 20%

We're getting our first look at how WNBC's decision to drop its 5:00 newscast and replace it with a lifestyle program is affecting ratings. According to the Daily News, WNBC is down 45% in the 5:00 hour in the first five weekdays of October when compared to last year. WABC is still number one but down 12%. WCBS is in second and up 20%, WNYW is up 21%, and WPIX's "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" is up 22% in the timeslot.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Garcia Leaves

According to Lou Young's Twitter, reporter Deborah Garcia is leaving CBS 2. Her last report aired on the 6:00 newscast. For many weeks in 2007, she and Sean Hennessey anchored the Saturday and Sunday morning newscasts in what appeared to be an attempt to groom the pair but that ended by the summer. Garcia joined CBS 2 in October 2006 from WKMG, the CBS affiliate in Orlando.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Morrison's First Day

Rob Morrison appeared on CBS 2 for the first time this evening at 5:08. His story on Afghanistan strategy can be viewed here on

"You're welcome to be here," Don Dahler said to Morrison after his package aired. "You're a familiar face in New York so we're glad to have you here."

"It's a pleasure to be here with people who take local news so seriously, so thank you for having me," Morrison said.

By the way, Morrison just tweeted this news:
Wonderful welcome at CBS 2 today. Many familiar faces. Anchoring the 5 pm tomorrow.

Don't Worry About The Facts

Accuracy apparently doesn't matter these days. Check out two examples in stories about Rob Morrison becoming an anchor/reporter at CBS 2:

Morrison was one of several high- profile staffers -- including Jim Rosenfield, Scott Weinberger and Andrew Kirtzman -- cut loose by Ch. 4 last year in a cost- cutting move.
WNBC has cut many big names in the last year but those guys weren't among them. Rosenfield left CBS 2 after three years in May 2008. He had been at NBC 4 before that and after his first stint at CBS 2. CBS 2 cut Weinberger and Kirtzman in March 2008. Weinberger also joined from NBC 4 but Kirtzman never even worked at that station at all. It's unclear where Starr got his info from.

It’s been four months since was Rob Morrison was cut from his “Today in New York” duties, weekday mornings at WNBC.
Actually, Morrison left "TINY" late May 2008, not 2009, so it's more like one year and four months. What's worse is that this was Barmash's lead and it only took three words to be wrong. Oh, and in the same piece:
Cindy Hsu, who filled in for Calvi in recent weeks, will go back to a Monday to Friday reporting schedule.
Hsu was anchoring weekend mornings alongside Calvi in recent months, not filling in for her.

As they say, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story... but these aren't even good stories.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CBS 2 at JDRF Walk

CBS 2 sponsored today's JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Battery Park and over the Brooklyn Bridge. NewsByte 2 was there and took these pictures:

Meteorologist Megan Glaros did the weather all morning from 6:00 to 9:00 from Battery Park.

CBS 2's live truck with its microwave mast up.

Anchors Dana Tyler and Cindy Hsu hosting the kick-off program before the walk began.

Cindy's daughter Rosie taking pictures of the crowd with her mom's phone.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Morrison Tweets

Rob Morrison, who will join CBS 2 News on Monday, sent this message to NewsByte2 on Twitter this morning:
Thrilled to be part of an organization that still believes in the value of community and local news.
You can follow Morrison on Twitter @robmorrison1... and you can follow this blog @NewsByte2.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rob Morrison To Join CBS 2 News

NewsByte2 has learned that Rob Morrison, formerly of WNBC, will join CBS 2 News. His first day is scheduled to be Monday, according to an e-mail sent out this afternoon to staffers. Morrison will be anchoring Saturday and Sunday mornings with Mary Calvi and report three days a week. He previously anchored WNBC's "Today in New York" until May of 2008. Late last year, Morrison authored this blog post on The Huffington Post about suddenly being a stay-at-home dad.

Cindy Hsu, who had been co-anchoring with Calvi since Steve Bartelstein abruptly resigned March 17th, will return to weekday reporting with a focus on families.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Special 3PM Newscast Tomorrow

With the rainy weekend in Flushing, the U.S. Open had to deal with postponed matches. The men's final (between Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer) will now take place tomorrow afternoon, with CBS Sports coverage beginning at 4:00 p.m. and scheduled to last about three hours.

Due to the preemption, CBS 2 News will air a special newscast at 3:00... That information is according to Lou Young's Twitter.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


...Just because the cool thing to do these days seems to be to change the first letters of a word to "tw" whenever it involves Twitter.

If that headline still doesn't make sense, maybe these screenshots will:

Tweet from @BreakingNews this afternoon:

Tweet a few minutes later from @wcbstv:

Those familiar with Twitter know that copying tweets is not rare. "Retweeting" is a popular way of sharing favorite and interesting posts but that usually includes the letters "RT" and a link to the original tweeter as a way of citing the source. That's not what happened here.

This might be a good time to announce that NewsByte2 is now on Twitter:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Promos: "Your 5:00 News"

The competition is narrowing -- again -- and CBS 2 News is trying to take advantage of it.

The station launched a series of spots this week promoting its 5:00 newscast. That's because WNBC 4 will dump "News 4 New York at 5:00" on September 14th and replace it with a lifestyles program.

Here are the promos. The last one doesn't feel like a typical CBS 2 promo because it uses a different announcer. You can check out more videos on NewsByte2's YouTube page.

This isn't the first time the station has promoted its 5:00 newscast in this way. In September 2008, CBS 2 began airing this "News As It Happens" promo when WNBC changed the format of the 5:30 show. Then when WNBC put an entertainment show at 5:00, CBS 2 ran this promo touting "one full hour."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wragge's Busy Schedule

TVNewser profiles CBS 2 News anchor Chris Wragge today, saying that he is "out of his mind" for having such a busy schedule. He's filling in on CBS News' "The Early Show" all week while still anchoring CBS 2 News at 5:00 and at 11:00. This certainly isn't the first time this has happened but what's different this week is that he has other CBS Sports and CBS News shoots to do this week.

Here's a look at his schedule this week:
3:45AMAlarm goes off
4:30AMCar arrives
4:45AMArrive at studio, begin prep
7:00AMHost "The Early Show"
9:30AMPost-wrap meeting
10:15AMOut of studio
1:45PMBack in office; lunch at desk
2:45PMIn studio shoots and prep
5:00PMWCBS News
6:00PMBreak for dinner or nap
7:00PMPrep for tomorrow
9:30PMPrep for evening news
11:00PMEvening News
He says it takes two or three weeks to recover.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sam Ryan Changes Mind, Will Stay at CBS 2

Brian sends in this story from, which reports that sports anchor Sam Ryan has changed her mind and will remain at CBS 2. Ryan, who's looking to spend more time with her family, apparently agreed to stay with the station as long as she can work one less day a week. Otis Livingston is expected to pick up the remaining days of the week.

5:20PM UPDATE: Newsday reports that Ryan will work Monday through Wednesday. Thanks again to Brian for the link!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sam Ryan to Leave CBS 2

The Daily News' Richard Huff reports that lead CBS 2 sports anchor Sam Ryan will leave the station August 27th. She will focus her attention on sportscasting duties for CBS, including anchoring Saturday broadcasts for CBS College Sports (formerly "CSTV") as well as reporting for "The NFL Today."

Ryan tells the Daily News that she's looking forward to spending more time with her family, four-year-old daughter Jensen, seven-year-old son Nicklaus, and husband. She will also freelance at SportsNet New York, anchoring the 1 a.m. edition of "Sports Nite" tonight as well as appear on other shows in the future.

Ryan joined CBS 2 News from ESPN in June 2006. When the station let Ducis Rodgers go in January, Ryan and Steve Bartelstein split the evening sportscasts during the week. Then when Bartelstein left shortly after that, Ryan became the lead sports anchor.

Friday, July 17, 2009

CBS 2 and CW 11 Share Chopper

Richard Huff reports in the Daily News this morning that CBS 2 and CW 11 will share a helicopter. The partnership, which starts tomorrow, will reportedly save each station half a million dollars. Last spring, FOX 5 began sharing its chopper with NBC 4, leading to NBC 4's reporter/photographer Jim Smith returning to CBS 2.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Picture of Couric and Dunn

Check out this picture of WCBS-TV general manager Peter Dunn with the CBS Evening News' Katie Couric:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Major Changes in the WCBS Sports Office

In a move that may very well be a "sign of the times," WCBS has laid off sportscasters Ducis Rogers and John Discepolo.

Rogers' final sportscast was the 6PM edition of CBS2 News on Thursday, January 29th, 2009. His final story was on Shea Stadium in which he said "all good things must come to an end" referring to Shea's demolition which is currently under way. Sam Ryan did the 11PM sportscast. She will do weekday evening sports and pre-tape morning sports the night before, while Steve Bartelstein will do weekend evening sports.

CBS2-HD's Literary Talent

WCBS anchor Don Dahler is set to release his book, entitled "A Tight Lie" in March. It has already gotten a rave review from none other than WABC meteorologist Bill Evans: "It's an exciting read! An absolute thriller! Once I started reading it, I could not and did not put it down!" This is Dahler's first novel, but it may not be his last if he keeps getting reviews like that. You can pre-order it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble if you are interested.

Dahler is not the only familiar face writing a book. Former political reporter Andrew Kirtzman is, according to the New York Post, writing a book on the Bernie Madoff scandal. He was apparently offered $250,000 by Harper Collins, the publisher of his last book "Rudy Giuliani: Emperor of the City." The book title has not yet been announced, but it is expected to be out sometime in 2010.