STAY TUNED: Lou Dobbs - A man for all seasons

BILL GREEN
Lou Dobbs, of 'Lou Dobbs Tonight' begins his second year as host for the show on Fox Business Network, Comcast cable channel 106.

Lou Dobbs, of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" begins his second year as host for the show on Fox Business Network, Comcast cable channel 106.

I receive many "celebrity" interview opportunities from hit TV shows. I'm always amazed at the offers. I usually reject them, because I try to give you something a little different from Entertainment Weekly. Something local. Even if it's just my warped sense of humor.

But when they offered me Lou Dobbs, the journalist in me couldn't resist. I spoke to Dobbs on Wednesday, the one-year anniversary of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" which airs on the fledgling Fox Business Network.

Whether you're a lefty or a righty, and we're not talking about hands here, you'll find many great qualities in this man. He's not one of those talking heads you'll find polluting our airwaves. Dobbs has his opinions. He speaks them clearly and while he might lean to the right in politics, he doesn't tow any party line.

For example, Dobbs believes our economy is improving. Senator Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina) does not ("This Week" on ABC).

"The talking heads (on both sides) feel that's what they are paid to do," says Dobbs. "The economy is turning. We've had some good economic news. But there are still lots of problems."

Dobbs rejects the notion that we're in a "full-on recovery" or that we should credit a plan to "redistribute wealth" as the answer.

And when it comes to economics, Dobbs, author, TV and radio host, has the pedigree to back up his words.

A graduate of Harvard University, Dobbs spent some time in government and banking before moving to television.

Dobbs was with CNN at its beginning in 1980. A local note here: He worked with now Marco Islanders and former CNN anchors Don Farmer and Chris Curle at the network and "thinks the world of them."

Dobbs became the host and managing editor for CNN's "Moneyline," which premiered in 1980 (renamed "Lou Dobbs Tonight" in 2003).

Dobbs resigned from CNN in 1999, rejoined in 2000, and resigned again in November 2009.

And it's that startup spirit — one like he experienced at CNN — that Dobbs cites as "exhilarating" about being at Fox Business.

Dobbs has weathered, quite a few storms over the years — including being threatened on numerous occasions, and even shot at — but to hear him talk about his chosen profession, you get the sense he's not only committed to his profession, but loves it.

"That's what we signed up for," says Dobbs. "And 98 percent of folks are great."

That percentage might be a little high, but his positive outlook is contagious. In the brief time we had together, Dobbs spoke to me like a friend; like we had known each other for years. He comes across as someone who thinks the world of the World. Someone who wants others to feel the same way.

While he might not have a 'no spin zone,' Dobbs demands more than talking head responses from his guest list, so pay close attention to who shows up there (and especially who doesn't).

"Lou Dobbs Tonight" airs weeknights at 7 and 10 p.m. on Comcast cable channel 106.

NBC 2s' Len Jennings moving to top-rated Kansas City station

For the past decade, Len Jennings has been a familiar face at Waterman Broadcasting, lately as one of the main anchors on NBC 2's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

Jennings is leaving Southwest Florida, to join Hearst Television's ABC affiliate, KMBC in Kansas City.

"Len is an outstanding journalist and proven leader," said Steve Pontius, Waterman executive vice president and general manager. "We know that our most talented are always scouted by larger television markets. It's been great to have him as a part of our team and help set the stage for him to fulfill his dreams. We wish him the very best."

Pontius makes a good point. It's a good move for Jennings, who will go from this market, ranked 62, to the 31st largest market in the country.

Jennings anchored newscasts on WZVN (ABC 7) from October 2001 to January 2011. He has been one of the primary anchors on WBBH (NBC 2) since January 2011.

"Southwest Florida has been a wonderful place to live and cover during this stage of my career," said Jennings. "Over the years I have developed a deep connection to the people and charities I have worked with, I will miss them all. It took the opportunity of a lifetime to pull me away."

Jennings' last day at WBBH will be May 23.

A 'Gift' for Friday nights

Bernice in Naples writes: "(CBS) had a very good show on Friday nights called "A Gifted Man." I miss it. Is it coming back and why was it taken off the air?

March 2 was the season finale, and while the odds-makers are saying it's a long shot for renewal, the show did receive a bump in the ratings. Only time will tell.

Until next time, stay tuned.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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