Another local television face is moving to a bigger market.
Rob Koebel, currently the lead investigative reporter at Fox-4 will join WTMJ (Milwaukee) on May 13; but he’s keeping the same employer. Both stations are owned by Journal Broadcast Group.
“Rob has been a strong watchdog of government agencies for the viewer. We are excited to have him as a strong member of our investigative unit,” said Bill Berra, Journal Broadcast Group vice president/news.
“His work for us in Fort Myers has been extraordinary. While there, he received an Emmy nomination and an Edward R. Murrow award,” added Berra.
“I look forward to joining such a well-respected winning team at Today’s TMJ4 and making Milwaukee my new home. I can’t wait to get started,” Koebel said.
Koebel’s career spans nearly two decades in markets that have included Phoenix, Ariz.; Boise, Idaho; and Clarksburg, W.V., where he began his career in 1995 as the local CBS affiliate’s 11 p.m. news anchor and reporter.
According to Journal Broadcast Groups announcement, Koebel’s stories have led to scoops involving Mike Tyson’s rape charges, Vice President Dan Quayle and Barry Goldwater, and Det. Mark Fuhrman. He has covered presidential elections from the campaign trail, tracked one of the FBI’s most-wanted killers in a manhunt through rural Arizona, exposed corruption in the government, and busted a nationwide sports memorabilia company selling fake autographs in stadium stores across the U.S.
Koebel joined Fox 4 in 2009.
Journal Broadcast Group owns and operates 33 radio stations and 13 television stations in 12 states and operates an additional television station under a local marketing agreement. The company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisc.
‘Survival’ in the Glades
“Dual Survival” airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Discovery Channel. Last night’s episode was filmed in the Everglades, and for those of you who missed it, the show repeats this Friday at 11 p.m.; following another new episode.
The episode begins with Dave and Cody on an airboat that breaks down in the Everglades. Their road to self-rescue includes a trek through razor-like sawgrass and dense swamp while staying safe from snakes and gators.
The pair use a snake-skin to make the water surrounding them drinkable, hunt pythons, show viewers how to build a shelter in a wet environment, and signal for a helicopter rescue.
Dave is a 20-year Army vet who served as a sniper, a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. Cody lives off the grid and his approach is primitive and in step with Mother Earth. He hasn’t worn long pants or shoes in 20 years, and throughout his Everglades adventure he remained shoeless.
Katie Couric, soap killer?
What’s up with Katie Couric and will it eventually lead to the end of ABC’s only remaining soap opera, “General Hospital”?
That’s the rumor. But here’s the skinny. NBC and CBS have apparently ended talks with Couric, who recently announced she was leaving the “CBS Evening News.”
Many in the biz say NBC was miffed about a possible partnership between Matt Lauer and Couric for the talk show. I highly doubt that, because the best way for that to have happened would have been through NBC and to their benefit.
The belief is CBS stepped back from their offer — a syndicated talk show through CBS Television Distribution and some presence on CBS News programs — because of a difference of opinion about how involved she would be on the news side.
Time Warner, with no station group (which meant a more difficult task clearing time slots for the daytime talk show) had less to offer Couric. The belief is talks broke down because Couric was not interested in working with TW’s news division, CNN.
So that leaves ABC as the only remaining outlet that can offer Couric both a daytime talk show and participation in the news division. And here’s where the rumors ramp up.
ABC killed off “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” to make way for new shows “The Chew” and “The Revolution.” The story goes, to make room for another show on ABC daytime, the network may have to bump off ABC’s only remaining soap, “GH.” But don’t panic just yet, “Hospital” fans. First, 2012 is still a ways off. Yes, if Couric joined ABC, she may have her eyes on 3 p.m. EST, but “GH” could always move to a different timeslot. After all, “The Chew” and “The Revolution” may not both become ratings winners.
Secondly, CBS, as Couric’s employer, still has the right to match any offer ABC makes; and their distribution wing is much stronger than ABC … think “Oprah” and “Dr. Phil.”
So that’s my take. What’s yours? Should ABC make Couric an offer? How long will “General Hospital” survive? Would loyal fans follow it to a different timeslot?
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.