Radio and TV Talk 

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

TV briefs: ‘Atlanta Eats’ in Vegas, AMHQ at Atlanta Botanical Garden, local ‘Shark Tank’ connection airing tonight

  • 5:18 pm Friday, April 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

“Atlanta Eats,” Steven “Steak” Shapiro’s creation, is opening its fourth season this weekend on Peachtree TV by trying out restaurants… in Vegas.

The episode runs at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, and Sunday, April 13, on Peachtree TV.

“We decided to try something out of the box,” Steak said Friday. “We felt like that’s one of those cities many people travel to and don’t really know where to eat.”

He was already doing some production work for the Venetian so he decided to tie that in with “Atlanta Eats.” He spent a half day each with Thomas Keller, “The Cake Boss” Buddy [More]

The Weather Channel back on DirecTV April 9 after three-month dispute

  • 3:19 pm Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

DirecTV will return The Weather Channel to the air after a caustic three-month dispute, with the Atlanta-based network agreeing to some concessions.

The Weather Channel is expected to return onto Channel 362 sometime on Wednesday, April 9. A spokeswoman didn’t have the exact time but someone inside the company heard it would be at around 11 a.m.

Off air for 20 million DirecTV customers since mid January, the Weather Channel said it will cut back its reality programs by half on weekdays and allow DirecTV customers to watch the network’s live programming on multiple devices as long as they can prove they [More]

Sam Champion debuts new morning show ‘AMHQ’ on The Weather Channel March 17

  • 2:26 pm Saturday, March 15th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Sam Champion, who spent a quarter century in the New York market and became a popular national weather beacon on “Good Morning America,” starts the next phase of his life in Atlanta at the Weather Channel as host of the new morning show “AMHQ” Monday morning, March 17.

The forecast is by no means clear that this will be sunny skies for Champion, who was used to being seen daily by six million viewers on “GMA,” the most popular morning show in America.

On the Weather Channel, he may be lucky to draw even one-tenth of that audience. But he’ll be on air [More]

TV briefs: Paula Deen, Erin Andrews on ‘DWTS,’ Sam Champion, ‘Jeopardy,’ ‘Broad City’ tour

  • 12:26 pm Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 by Rodney Ho

I had a very busy week and a few things with Georgia ties fell through the cracks. Here’s a summary of stuff I never got around to:

Savannah’s queen of Southern cuisine Paula Deen is on a resurrection tour.

Last week, she spoke before sympathetic fans at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach.

In a People magazine cover story, Deen said, “I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out [NFL prospect Michael Sam.] He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football [More]

All hands on deck! Local TV, Weather Channel ready for huge storm

  • 3:44 pm Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

While things are not quite crazy yet, the local TV news stations and the Weather Channel are prepping for the worst, with anchors and meteorologists using words like potentially “catastrophic” and “devastating” for the forthcoming ice storm.

The massive ice/snow traffic jam of two weeks ago made for compelling visuals in terms of absurd tie ups and was relatively unexpected, which made for great TV. Plus, people didn’t lose power so everyone got to watch if they weren’t stuck on the roads.

This time around, no matter how severe it becomes, coverage will be more conventional. We’ve had plenty of forewarning. People [More]

TV briefs: ‘Mob City,’ ‘Walking Dead,’ ‘Shark Tank,’ Rick Springfield, Alton Brown

  • 9:35 am Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by Rodney Ho
Alton Brown hosts Food Network's "Cutthroat Kitchen."

Atlanta-based TNT has whacked “Mob City” after a six-episode limited run in December.

Ratings opened poorly at 2.3 million and dropped from there.

“Although the ratings of the limited series haven’t warranted more hours we are eager to work with Frank Darabont again and were delighted to bring the vibrant world of Mob City to life,” the network said in a statement.

This is TNT’s third drama in a row that was cancelled by the network after “Monday Mornings” and “King and Maxwell” failed to take off.

Period dramas tend to do better on certain networks such as HBO and AMC and even then, [More]

Accuweather taunts Weather Channel in its own backyard with billboard

  • 9:46 am Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Fox News had a billboard in front CNN headquarters for years to tweak the competitor.

Now AccuWeather, ready to launch a cable station to compete against Atlanta-based the Weather Channel later this year, is doing the same. With the American Meteorological Society coincidentally in town this week for its annual conference, Accuweather placed this billboard in the heart of downtown:

AccuWeather made the announcement about its new network last month right after DirecTV removed the Weather Channel from the air while the two are in dispute over retransmission fees.

According to the Centre Daily, State College, Pa.-based AccuWeather provides forecasting services [More]

Q&A with Weather Channel CEO David Kenny

  • 1:43 pm Saturday, February 1st, 2014 by Rodney Ho

David Kenny, the CEO of Atlanta-based Weather Co. (parent company of the Weather Channel), comes across as mild mannered and pleasant in person.

But he has opted to hit DirecTV hard in a campaign the past two-plus weeks to pressure the satellite carrier to bring back the Weather Channel. The company blacked out the Atlanta-based network Jan. 13 because the two sides couldn’t agree on how much DirecTV would pay to carry the network.

The Weather Company – owned by a consortium of private-equity firms Blackstone and Bain Captial as well as Comcast’s media company NBCUniversal – hired Kenny two years ago [More]

Weather Channel/DirecTV sniping continues as third week of blackout arrives

  • 8:55 pm Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by Rodney Ho

Here’s quick summary of how the Weather Channel blackout from DirecTV is playing out in recent days with no resolution in sight:

- Last Friday, Mike White, the CEO of DirecTV, responded to the Weather Channel salvos with a letter to the public. In it, he said DirecTV research shows the Weather Channel is the fourth place their viewers go to check out weather behind local news and Web/smartphone options. He also believes the Weather Channel is only worth one-quarter of the amount they’re asking.  He also repeated that many viewers felt the network had wandered away from its core [More]