STAY TUNED: Everything old is new again

BILL GREEN

I’m constantly scanning TV headlines, because you never know where you’ll find an interesting little nugget, like this article from David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun.

You tell me. Does this remind you of anyone?

“The departure last week of Marianne Banister from WBAL-TV after 15 years of co-anchoring a team that always finished first or second in its time period raised big questions about the changing face of television news in Baltimore.”

Banister spoke candidly with The Baltimore Sun about her departure, saying it was not her idea.

“I want to make this clear: This is not my choice,” she said. “I’m not retiring. I’m not leaving to ‘spend more time with my family.’ ”

While WBAL maintains the non-renewal was about money; Zurawik and his readers also bring up how women, especially of a certain age, are treated in the TV business.

Personally, I think it’s a combination of resentment, money and age. Heck, I’m only 40, but I could have changed the diapers on half the talent in this market. While I won’t go as far as to say it’s age discrimination, I will say the older you are, the larger your paycheck is likely to be; therefore, in tough economic times, you can be thrown out like, well, yesterday’s news.

It’s not just television. It’s happening everywhere. Recent polls indicate around 85 percent of college graduates are moving back in with mom and dad. So if these young ‘uns are offered any job, at any pay scale, it’s better than the unemployment line.

I can imagine the conversation at many stations went something like this: “Say, Bob, should we renew the 51-year-old’s contract for $200,000 per year or shall we hire this new 20-something go-getter for $35,000?”

It’s especially weird in the TV business. Often popular anchors make more than their bosses (i.e. the decision makers, and my reference a few paragraphs ago about resentment).

But I also think it’s fair to say, if you make a healthy salary, and you’re not a decision-maker in your company — no matter the industry — you might want to start thinking about that small business you’ve always dreamed about.

Rogers legacy lives on

Fred Rogers’ mission to revolutionize children’s television and education with the long-running show he created and hosted, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, will live on with a new animated spin off, “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” from PBS.

The TV program provider recently announced the new multiplatform animated series will take place in the original “Neighborhood of Make Believe” featuring a 4-year-old host named Daniel Tiger. In the new series, all the residents of the neighborhood have grown up and now have their own preschool-aged children.

“We’re very excited to be creating a program that builds on Fred’s legacy in such fresh and innovative ways,” said Bill Isler, president of the Fred Rogers Company, which developed the series. “Fred knew that school readiness skills are the foundation for academic achievement, and a full life, and now a growing body of research confirms this.”

The series begins airing in fall 2012 on PBS Kids.

‘Privileged’ only, thanks

Are you “privileged?” In a serious relationship? If so, the producers of shows including “Millionaire Matchmaker” and “Design Star” want you for a brand new “docu-series.”

I’m assuming by privileged, they mean “rich.” And by docu-series, they mean “reality show.”

The working title of the new series is “Life, Love and Luxury.” And for the record, they are looking to feature “influential couples in elite society as they celebrate their love and their journey to a life together.” (I’m sure a flair for drama wouldn’t hurt either.)

“Most shows explore the search for love,” says Doron Ofir, executive casting director.

“This sets itself apart by telling the story of what comes after. I would love to find our version of Kate and William.”

To learn more, visit elitecouplecasting.com.

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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