Wednesday, April 19, 2006
WCBS-TV (NYC), Darn You!
My early mornings just aren't the same. Y'see, I'm usually up by 5:30 AM to get ready for my workday. I'm out the door before 6:30. And, more importantly, I'm not really a morning person. Oh, yeah ... I like to see the sunrise at times. But, more often than not, I like to see my bed.
The past three years or so, I've been an addict of the local CBS affiliate's early early morning news show. I've mentioned it before on the blog. The CBS 2 News Crew in its prime featured Dave Price (weather and craziness), Shon Gables, Mario Bosquez, Vanessa Alfano (traffic reports) and Duke Castiglione (sports and the infamous Stump Duke t-shirt giveaways). They made me smile; sometimes I even guffawed early in the morning. Yes, they delivered the news, but it was more than that. The chemistry between the folks on the show, the zaniness of Price Gone Amok, the music choices from Scooter and Dave, the Dance Fridays ... all gone. One by one, the cast has been vanishing.
First I noticed Duke was mysteriously gone. Of course, I miss a bit of the show. Perhaps there was an announcement, but I didn't hear one. Duke, the NYC transplant, whose father was the voice of the Red Sox radio reporting, was always fun to watch in the "Stump Duke" segments where folks would e-mail or call in sports questions. Quite often, he got stumped and the caller would receive a t-shirt. Sometimes celebrities called in. I never did. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy watching the segment, though.
Then, one day, I heard Vanessa Alfano say something about not being there next week in regard to something going on with Dave Price. I assumed she would be on vacation. She and Dave had a flirting fun thing going on -- Dave acted like it was a case of unrequited love, while in reality it looked like just a good friendship hammed up for the cameras. Alas, she never got her Muppet and poof ... gone. I know anyone can do traffic; it doesn't require a lot of personality or anything. But I enjoyed her.
I've had my secret crush (okay, not so secret I guess) on Mario Bosquez for a while. He just seems like such a nice guy. He has a pleasant announcer's voice and comes across as an intriguing intelligent man. Although he's off the early morning show, he's apparently staying in some capacity at the station. In the past, he's often filled in on anchor slots when folks are away. I'll be looking for him! Well, not literally stalking or anything. I'll be looking for his appearances on newscasts.
Then there's Shon Gables. I like her. She's quick-witted, personable, attractive and intelligent. She's involved with so many community things as a representative of the station that I hope she'll be around in some capacity somehow. I'd rather see her than Roz Abrams who seems to be intent on posing cute or something to that effect. She, Mario and Dave all had their 2 Crew Muppets. Sigh.
Of course, I feel the heart of the show was Dave Price. He was the magic which inspired the rest. Recently, his mentor in the business, the retired Jim Ryan joined the Crew. I saw his announcement last week that it would be his last day as a regular anchor but that he would be a contributing reporter or such. But, when Price went, I figured Jim would go. I think he came aboard due to Price. And, Dave Price ... the last year or so I was wondering how he could keep up such a hectic pace traveling here and there for The Early Show, yet always getting up even earlier on location to transmit the local NYC stuff via satellite. He's cut back his duties to just the national show. While I understand on a human exhausting point of view kind of way, his departure made my early morning routine less happy and more ... well, routine.
Oh, why couldn't they have at least kept Mario and Shon in the early morning slot? Instead, WCBS 2 changed absolutely every little thing about the show so many of us dedicated viewers loved. Nothing against Maurice DuBois - he's professional, attractive, well-spoken and all. But his strictly news, no fun, no bits of personality shining through just doesn't cut it in the morning. I'm still not sure of the imported from the Midwest co-anchor's name. I just know it isn't Shon. Of course, I wish her luck in her new endeavor. I know that getting aboard the NYC viewing market is a big thing for a TV news person. The set has changed; the attitude and fun is gone out of the show. What the heck is WCBS doing? Trying to culture shock us by going from one extreme to the other? Heck, if I want just straightlaced news in the morning, I can turn to any station.
Maybe I'll just go back to listening to New Jersey 101.5 in the mornings as I did before discovering the the ultimate morning news show which is now history. Sigh...