Everyone is asking if Katie Couric is doing a good job in her new position. Well she just had her worst week ever according to the ratings. The gap between CBS and NBC is 1.5 million viewers (the gap between ABC & NBC is .5 million). She is also doing worse than Schieffer. What I consider somewhat related, last Tuesday and Friday Today and GMA tied in the target demo (25-54). Click here for the latest on Couric.

Even before Lily Tomlin ever began her hilarious sketch on “Laugh-In,” Ester Strogen of Canton, OH had rented a rotary phone from the phone company for $29.10 a month. It was what people did back then. Afterall how else could you know if you had “reached the party to whom I am speaking?.”

Well 42 years later, Stongen’s grandchildren gave her a “gracious good afternoon” when they bought her a new phone and returned the rotary phone to AT&T. Stongen’s grandchildren estimate that she spent $14,000 on the outdated phone.

I’m sure Miss Tomlin of the telephone company was happy to have such as good customer. And Strongen of course doesn’t like her new phone and wants the rotary phone back. The thing is Stongen isn’t alone an estimated 750,000 people are still renting phones. I’m pretty sure I could see my grandmother (as much as I love her) doing the same thing. “And that’s the truth.” Click here for the full story.

So what do Charlie Gibson and Larry Bird, Brian Williams and Ben Affleck, and Katie Couric and Britney Spears have in common? Nothing If you ask most people. But if you ask MyHeritage.com about 70%. Well, at least when it comes to looks. MyHeritage Face Recognition allows you to upload your photo to see who you look like. Well after it telling me that I looked like Prince Harry, Matt LeBlanc and Andy Rodick I decided that maybe I’d try it with some “celebrities”. I put photos of Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams and Katie Couric into the Face Recognition program. Here is what I got back. (Note: Katie was the only celebrity in the database.)

ABC's Charlie Gibson
Charlie Gibson
Hal Sparks – 78%
High Grant – 74%
Larry Bird – 73%
Rutger Hauer – 70%
Roy Keane – 68%
Tome Cruise – 68%
Leslie Nielsen – 67%
Gary Lineker – 66%
Thomas Edison – 62%
Jens Stoltenberg – 62%

NBC's Brian Willaims
Brian Williams
Benny Goodman – 71%
Ben Affleck – 68%
Richard Harris – 67%
Gene Simmons – 66%
Charles Prince of Wales – 66%
Kevin Costner – 64%
James Garner – 62%
Robert Duvall – 61%
Michael Caine – 60%

CBS's Katie Couric
Katie Couric
Katie Couric – 100%
Heidi Klum – 83%
Andie MacDowell – 80%
Selma Blair – 78%
Alessandra Ambrosio – 78%
Shania Twain – 78%
Britney Spears – 78%
Bebe Neuwirth – 78%
Angie Harmon – 78%
Lisa Snowdon – 78%

Try it yourself at MyHeritage.com. (Free Reg. Required)

I’d be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I didn’t mention the recent gaff at CNN. While president Bush was speaking about the anniversary of Katrina, CNN’s Kyra Phillips went for a bathroom break. Somehow her mic got switched back on and you hear her talking over Bush about her husband and brother. “He’s married, three kids, and his wife is just a control freak,” she was heard saying. CNN has since issued an apology.

I should probably start off by conceding that I did not actually watch the entire Emmy’s show. That’s right I’m going to criticize something I know nothing about. (I know you’d think I was a talk radio host.) Be that as it may, I can’t imagine the folks at NBC slept well that night. I’m sure they had nightmares about being in a plane crash.

Every year at every awards show the goal is to create an opening skit that is better than the year before. The skit typically parodies some of the more popular shows. This year was no exception. The skit began with Emmy Host Conan O’Brien getting ready for the show. He is shown boarding a plane. As the flight attendant asks if he is nervous about the show, he responds with “Nervous? What could possibly go wrong?” The plane then begins to shake as if it is going down. The next shot is O’Brien emerging on a deserted
Island similar to the one from the TV show Lost. The skit was funny, yes, but lacked taste. The problem was that skit took place on the same day that 49 people died in a plane crash in
Kentucky.

Now, I understand that months of planning (I would assume) go into the opening sketch. I will even grant them the fact that they probably took out the part where you actually see the plane go down, although the skit may have always lacked the actual crash. (Emmy producer Ken Ehrlich wouldn’t comment about the skit). But at the very least they could have informed the local
Kentucky affiliates about the skit so they could have made a decision about whether they wanted to air it (we’ll get to that in a second). Instead WLEX staff was caught off guard and were left “completely helpless” GM Tim Gilbert told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “By the time we began to react, it was over. At the station, we were as horrified as they were at home,” he said. (Click here for the full story.)

But I wonder just what would WLEX have done had they known about the skit. Had they made the decision not to air it, what would they put in its place? If you go to a promo or commercials how do you transition back?

And one last note about the Emmy’s that was pointed out in Lost Remote. Apparently they could rack up $1.95 million in fines. Click here to find out why.

A blog “More Willie” has a great post about Crucial Mac software for students. My favorite application is iAlertU. It’s an alarm for your laptop. You arm the alarm with your IR remote and it beeps just like a car alarm. Using the built in motion sensor it can detect if someone moves or tries to use your computer. If they do an alarm sounds and the screen starts flashing. It also snaps a picture with the built in iSight camera. Click here for the Crucial Mac Software: College Edition.

Maybe I’m just one for the underdog, but today when I learned that Pluto is no longer a planet I was a little upset. Too often in our society we ostracize the little guy. I joked about starting a campaign to allow Pluto to regain its status. Well, I was beaten to the punch. There is now a “Honk if Pluto is still a planet” bumper sticker. But then there are those who like to rub salt in the wound (probably the same kids I remember from middle school). They created a T-shirt that says, “Will all planets please step forward? Not so fast Pluto.” And I wouldn’t be a real journalist if I didn’t ask, “How does this make you feel?” No, seriously that’s the ABCNews.com poll. Yes I did answer, “My world is shattered, I always thought there were nine planets in the solar system!” and so did 70% of those that have voted so far. Granted it’s “not a scientific survey.”

UPDATE: I wrote a guest column for the Maneater about this. A copy of the column is after the jump.

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