Here's the story I wrote about the new WKYC anchor for tomorrow's Beacon Journal:
Beginning Jan. 16, Mitchell will be managing editor for WKYC (Channel 3) and its lead anchor at 6 and 11 weeknights. He will do his last broadcast for CBS on Dec. 31.
Mitchell succeeds Romona Robinson, who ended a 14-year association with the Cleveland NBC affiliate earlier in December after she and the station could not agree on a new contract. But where Robinson had been a solo anchor in recent years, Mitchell will have an on-air partner to be named soon.
“I, for a while now, considered going back into local TV news,” said Mitchell by phone from a train bound from Washington, D.C., to his base in New York City. “I’ve been at the network for 20 years. It’s been a great ride, some incredible experiences, but I was ready to do something else.
“When I thought about local TV, I knew I wanted to go to a place that wanted to win, that had great people -- and it had to be in a community where I wanted to live, where I wanted my family to live.” He is married to Karina Mahtani-Mitchell, a freelance contributor of entertainment reports to CBS, who may also do some work for WKYC. They have four children, the oldest in college, the youngest age 4.
“I talked to a lot of local markets around the country, but when I talked to WKYC, it was clear to me, quite frankly, that it was a perfect fit for me,” Mitchell said.
He maintained that his move did not have to do with seeming declines in the importance of national broadcast news. “People have been talking about the decline of network news for years,” he said. “It’s still the big leagues. It’s still the place, in crisis, that people turn to. … This was a professional and personal decision for Russ Mitchell. …
“I was in local TV for 10 years before going to the network 20 years ago,” said Mitchell, who worked in his hometown of St. Louis, Dallas and Kansas City. “And over the years I’ve discovered that I’ve missed the buzz of a local newsroom. I was at WFAA (in Dallas) in the early ‘80s, which was a powerhouse operation, and that newsroom hummed.”
There will be off-camera adjustments. Mitchell said he had not settled on where to live. And his middle children, ages 16 and 13, will finish their school years in New York before coming west. And he faces the challenge of being managing editor of the WKYC news, which he said was already “a great product.”
He will be talking with news director Rita Andolsen and other staff “and see what direction they want to go in. I think, in talking to them, that they are committed to a solid news broadcast that is done in a professionally produced way, that gets the news right. And hopefully first, but right is more important.”
He will bring the experience of having learned from people he considers some of the best in the news business, such as Dan Rather and the late Ed Bradley. But he is also working in a changing news world, where social media like Facebook and Twitter are now part of the process.
“I am going to have to do more of that,” he said. “I’m on Facebook now. I have a personal page. I’ll probably get … a Facebook fan page that some people have. I’m on Twitter now. I don’t tweet very often. I’m gonna have to up my game as far as that goes. That’s very important. … I know that, going into a community and especially somebody like me who wants to become part of that community, I’m going to have to have an online presence.”
And there’s another challenge here: making news judgments, and talking about, a community where he has not lived.
“I think it’s going to be an organic process,” he said. “I’m still going to rely on the staff to help me out. And I’m going to study very hard to get to know the city of Cleveland. I think what that (managing editor) title says is that this guy is coming in and he’s going to be part of the editorial process. He’s not coming in just to read the news. He’s coming in to have a voice about our news product.
“I know that’s not easy, in terms of coming in and learning local pronunciations and those kinds of things,” he said. “I’m going to work very hard at that. I hope I don’t mangle too many of those. … And there’s a great staff there. I trust that they will keep me honest, and help me as well.”
He will replace Romona Robinson.
I love this movie (and the book). The official word:
The official list:
a. THE DESCENDANTS
Ad Hominem Enterprises; Fox Searchlight Pictures
b. THE HELP
DreamWorks Pictures, Participant Media; Touchstone Pictures
Paramount Pictures presents a GK Films Production; Paramount Pictures
d. THE IDES OF MARCH
Columbia Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media Group, Crystal City
Entertainment; Sony Pictures Releasing
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing International
f. WAR HORSE
DreamWorks Pictures; Touchstone Pictures
2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. GLENN CLOSE ALBERT NOBBS
b. VIOLA DAVIS THE HELP
c. ROONEY MARA THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON
d. MERYL STREEP THE IRON LADY
e. TILDA SWINTON WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
a. GEORGE CLOONEY THE DESCENDANTS
b. LEONARDO DICAPRIO J. EDGAR
c. MICHAEL FASSBENDER SHAME
d. RYAN GOSLING THE IDES OF MARCH
e. BRAD PITT MONEYBALL
4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Summit Entertainment and Mandate Pictures; Summit Entertainment
b. THE ARTIST
a La Petite Reine – Studio 37 – La Classe Americaine – JD Prod- France3 Cinema -
Jouror Production-uFilms coproduction; The Weinstein Company
Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Apatow Productions; Universal Pictures
d. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
A Mediapro, Versatil Cinema & Gravier Production; Sony Pictures Classics
e. MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
The Weinstein Company; The Weinstein Company
5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR
a. JODIE FOSTER CARNAGE
b. CHARLIZE THERON YOUNG ADULT
c. KRISTEN WIIG BRIDESMAIDS
d. MICHELLE WILLIAMS MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
e. KATE WINSLET CARNAGE
6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY
a. JEAN DUJARDIN THE ARTIST
b. BRENDAN GLEESON THE GUARD
c. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT 50/50
d. RYAN GOSLING CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
e. OWEN WILSON MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
The awards air Jan. 29 on TNT.
The official list:
18th ANNUAL SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS® NOMINATIONS
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
DEMIÁN BICHIR / Carlos Galindo - “A BETTER LIFE” (Summit Entertainment)
GEORGE CLOONEY / Matt King - "THE DESCENDANTS” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO / J. Edgar Hoover - "J. EDGAR" (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JEAN DUJARDIN / George - "THE ARTIST" (The Weinstein Company)
BRAD PITT / Billy Beane - "MONEYBALL" (Columbia Pictures)
Local participating theaters include Regal Interstate Park 18, Cinemark Tinseltown and Regal Hudson.
Commenting on the announcement, Blake said, “This is one of the busiest times of the year for moviegoing and we can't wait to share this outstanding thriller with audiences all over the world. We feel that by opening for night-time shows on December 20th, fans of the book will be given the perfect opportunity to get a jump start on the release of an exceptional film.”
In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Academy Award®-nominated director David Fincher (The Social Network) uncoils the world of Stieg Larsson’s global blockbuster thriller on the screen. Within the story’s labyrinth lie murder, corruption, family secrets and the inner demons of the two unexpected partners chasing the truth of a 40-year-old mystery. Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a financial reporter determined to restore his honor after being convicted of libel. Engaged by one of Sweden’s wealthiest industrialists, Henrik Vanger (Academy Award® nominee Christopher Plummer), to get to the bottom of the long-ago disappearance of his beloved niece, Harriet – murdered, Vanger believes, by a member of his large family – the journalist heads to a remote island on the frozen Swedish coast, unaware of what awaits him. At the same time, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), an unusual but ingenious investigator with Milton Security, is hired to do a background check on Blomkvist, a job that ultimately leads to her joining Mikael in his investigation of who killed Harriet Vanger. Though Lisbeth shields herself from a world that has repeatedly betrayed her, her hacking skills and single-minded focus become invaluable. While Mikael goes face-to-face with the tight-lipped Vangers, Lisbeth plies the wired shadows. They begin to trace a chain of homicides from the past into the present, forging a fragile strand of trust even as they are pulled into the most savage currents of modern crime. The screenplay is by Steven Zaillian, based on the book by Stieg Larsson originally published by Norstedts. The producers are Scott Rudin, Ole Søndberg, Søren Stærmose, and Ceán Chaffin. The film is presented by Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
On firing Charlie Sheen:
"The [studio and the network] chose to make a moral decision as opposed to a financial one. This was not a game. This was drug addiction writ large. This was big-time cocaine, and in his own words, an 'epic drug run' that could have ended with either his death or someone else's."
"I thought, why not find out if we can do it? If we failed, what have we failed at? Making a sitcom? Then it became exciting. We got to do something none of us ever dreamed of doing: We got to end a series and start a new series in 20 minutes."
The December 25 issue of PARADE features a rare interview with legendary singer and actress Doris Day, who recently released a new album, My Heart. ...
Here are some highlights:To read more or comment...
This and that:
The New York Times obit is here. Morgan was 96.
Some vintage Small Faces:To read more or comment...
In saying that, I know that I am entering the complicated racial territory surrounding Kathryn Stockett's novel, which is the basis for the movie. And I want to be clear that the movie is, overall, very good, the kind that will draw tears and laughs and even some cheers. But because the novel, like the movie, tells the story of African-American women at least partly through the filter of a white character, it runs the risk of being seen as yet another diminishing of the African-American experience in favor of the white point of view. And The Help on-screen suggests that once again Hollywood does not believe a mass audience will go to a movie without at least one key white character — in this case the writer Skeeter (played by Emma Stone).
But The Help does not entirely fall into that trap because the two African-Americans, Aibileen (Viola Davis) and Minny (Octavia Spencer), are powerful in their own right. Questioning the novel in Entertainment Weekly, novelist Martha Southgate said Minny and Aibileen "didn't need Skeeter to guide them to the light." The film very much understands that. The white characters are changed by the African-American ones far more than the other way around.