Saturday, November 30, 2013

KARK's First Weatherman Passes Away

Source: KARK KARK is mourning the loss of the station's first-ever weatherman.

Tom Longfellow, 89, was a true broadcaster from the industry's early years, cutting his teeth in radio (KHOZ-AM in Harrison and KARK-AM) before sinking them into the new medium of television at a time when KARK was both.

The year was 1954 when Longfellow first stepped in front of the cameras to give the forecast. His work had begun hours before in a time when computers weren't around to make it much easier.

"I'm not a meteorologist," Longfellow said in 2004 in a special KARK 50th Anniversary Special. "I used to drive to the U.S. Weather Bureau at the airport before each weather show and get briefed by the government meteorologist, and then I'd take some notes and put it in my head and then I'd race back to the studio....and I would put it in my own words." Longfellow continued, "The first weather board I ever had was a blackboard, a green blackboard and I'd draw the weather maps with the highs and lows and everything with a piece of chalk and that was it. Later it got real refined. One time we had a plexiglass weather board. I had to stand behind it and draw everything backwards and that was a real problem. I didn't do to well on that.

As part of his on-air duties, Longfellow also did live commercials in the days before they were videotaped.

Longfellow also did a one-hour daily cooking show with a local home economist called "What's Cooking," which showed the preparation of a meal from start to finish. The money shot for the show would be the presentation of the completed meal. In 2004, Longfellow recalled his most embarrassing live television moment when, at the end of one of the cooking shows, he dropped a platter containing a steak covered with potatoes and onions that went "splat all over the set and the studio."

When he left work as an on-air personality, Longfellow stayed with KARK for decades more as a salesman.

In 2005, Longfellow received the Arkansas Advertising Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Longfellow went on to help create the Arkansas Radio Network and worked for Citadel Broadcasting at the end of his career. He was a top salesman for its stations in the market.

In 2004, Longfellow said, "I have very fond memories. I'm glad I'm still a part of it 50 years later."

There's no word yet on funeral arrangements for Longfellow.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Former Shreveport Met Lands at CNN

Former KTBS/Channel 3 Meteorologist Jennifer Gray has landed at CNN.  After a back and forth from Shreveport to Florida to Shreveport to Florida to now Atlanta, GA.  CNN announced Gray's addition to the cable news channel Tuesday. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Here KATV Goes Again..REALLY!!!

Wasn't BJ already the guest on throwback Thursday on KATV's Daybreak program?  Well, he will be back this Thursday.  Can KATV not find any more former KTHV anchor/reporters to bring on the program? 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Little Rock Reporter on Her Way to Ohio

This from the tip jar:

Lisa Hutson, MMJ for THV11 is leaving. Her fiancé Wayne Cross of 4/16 is going with her. She writes: "It's the home of the Bengals, the Reds, Jerry Springer and soon the newest reporter for WXIX Fox 19 Lisa Hutson. I'm happy to announce me & Wayne Cross will be moving to Cincinnati, OH this December to take on a new challenge. I have had an amazing three years at THV 11 and will miss SO MANY great people. This will always be my home. Thank you Arkansas for letting a hometown girl tell your stories. It has been an honor."

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Former Channel 11 Anchors Popping up at KATV

I am finding it kind of weird that all former KTHV/Channel 11 anchors seem to be popping up on KATV/Channel 7's Daybreak.  Anne Jansen is the latest KTHV anchor to pop up on the morning program.  Makes one wonder who from Channel 11 is next....Steve Martone?