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Posts about Local TV and radio

Prairie Home Companion tickets for Jan.-March will go on sale Wednesday

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: December 3, 2013 - 4:42 PM

Garrison Keillor/ Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace

Garrison Keillor will bring his “A Prairie Home Companion” to his home base, the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, for seven shows in January, February and March.

Guests will include Rhonda Vincent, Paula Poundstone, Hilary Thavis and Mike Compton & Joe Newberry.

After being on tour in Texas, Tennessee and elsewhere, PHC will be broadcast live from the Fitzgerald on Jan. 17 and 25, Feb. 1 and March 8, 15, 22 and 29.

Tickets, priced from $32 to $48, will go on sale at noon Wednesday through Ticketmaster outlets (including 1-800-745-3000) and at the Fitzgerald box office. 

Twin Cities public television breaks record

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: October 22, 2013 - 11:34 AM

Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan in "Downton Abbey"/ AP photo by Giles Keyte

Minnesotans really love their TPT. For the second year in a row the Twin Cities has the largest percentage of households watching public television than anywhere else in the country. Baltimore is second and Portland is third.

"It's a real tribute to the Twin Cities that audiences here so passionately embrace public TV," said TPT's COO Terry O'Reilly. "At a time when all media outlets are facing declining audiences, more and more Minnesotans are not just watching TPT, but joining us as members."

Girls with Guitars scores with giggles, personality & country music

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: October 9, 2013 - 2:07 AM



Sheryl Crow/ Associated Press photo by Dan Hallman

A few thoughts on BUZ’N 102.9 FM’s Girls with Guitars gig Tuesday at Mill City Nights featuring Sheryl Crow, Kellie Pickler, Gloriana, Maggie Rose and Ashley Monroe. It was a benefit for Park Nicollet’s Jane Brattain Breast Center.

  • What a fun evening – lots of personality, spontaneous chatter, free-wheeling humor,some pretty good music and a good cause.
  • Girls with Guitars for breast cancer is a terrific concept but a bit of a misnomer at this inaugural event. Only two of the five female singers played much guitar. It wasn’t a true guitar pull, as they call them in Nashville, because each artist had her own accompanists. And Gloriana is a male-fronted trio with a female secondary singer. The more accurate moniker would have been 4 Blondes and 1 Non-Blonde.  
  • Kellie Pickler is a hoot. And she’s twice as funny when she’s drinking, which she was. She made fun of her Minnesota in-laws (it was her father-in-law’s birthday) and their accents, her own North Carolina accent and people from Texas in the crowd. You can see why she is one of Ellen DeGeneres’ favorite guests.
  • The conversational highlight was the story about when Pickler and Gloriana, who toured together for two years, went out to celebrate a birthday in Austin, Texas, and Pickler and Gloriana’s Rachel Reinert got matching tattoos on their feet, and Pickler got a nose-ring. "My husband had to get a diamond [stud] out of my nose with a pair of pliers," she said.
  • On a serious note, Sheryl Crow, a breast cancer survivor, talked about the importance of mammograms, self-checking and knowing your family history. She was informative but not heavy-handed. Nicely done.
  • Gloriana – sort of the odd act out – let frontman Tom Gossin talk too much. Dude, this was Girls with Guitars. Not guys. At least, Crow fittingly dealt with her two male accompanists (one on guitar, the other on acoustic bass) by calling them her “chick magnets.”
  •  Gloriana impressed with their three-part harmonies and their sing-along of the Lumineers pop hit, “Ho Hey.” Reinert gets credit for introducing the night’s favorite phrase: “douche-y ex’s.” Best number: “Carolina Rose.”
  • Wearing a striking black-and-white-striped long skirt, newcomer Maggie Rose was an appealing combination of sass and smarts. The Maryland-reared Rose scored extra points for bringing a fiddler, Natalie Murphy, from Minneapolis. Best number: “Ain’t Your Mama.”
  • Pickler’s mouth was more memorable than her music. She always seemed to have a drink in her hand – or sometimes two when she held Ashley Monroe’s while the latter performed. Best number: “Red High Heels.”
  • Ashley Monroe won over the 900 club-goers with her spunk, spirit and humor – as well as her ace accompanist, Sarah Zimmerman on mandolin and acoustic slide guitar. Best number: “Heart Like Mine.”
  • Sheryl Crow triumphed with her humbleness (“I’m the new kid on the block”), class and credible country tunes. She also did a couple of her pop favorites. Best number: “Strong Enough” (pop) and “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” (country).
  • Unlike true guitar pull tradition, there was little helping out and harmonizing on each other’s songs (only happened twice), and there was no big hootenanny at the end of the 2 ½-hour program. Put those ideas on next year’s list.

KSTP loses an anchor/reporter: Updated!

Posted by: Neal Justin Updated: October 3, 2013 - 3:18 PM

Joy Lim Nakrin

KSTP-TV is losing another family member. Joy Lim Nakrin, who came to the station in 2010 as an anchor/reporter, departs to her hometown of Boston where she'll serve as an anchor/reporter/legal expert for Fox-owned WFXT.

Nakrin, who is a trained attorney, previously worked in Hartford.She was not available for comment.

Nakrin is the fifth on-air staffer to leave this year. Due to her departure as well as that of Vineeta Sawkar, the station will soon have no anchors of color and only one on-air minority, Todd Wilson.

Nakrin's last day is Oct. 11.

UPDATE: KSTP news director Lindsay Radford returned a phone call after this story was posted. I asked her if she was concerned that there will be only one person of color on her air. "Not really," she said, pointing out that there are plenty of people of color that work behind the scenes. "I look at who is the best. Diversity is important, but I’m looking for the most talented journalist. I look first at who’s going to be good."

Longtime program director/DJ Lauren MacLeash let go by Cities 97

Posted by: Jon Bream Updated: August 20, 2013 - 5:19 PM

Lauren MacLeash, longtime Cities 97 program director/DJ and the force behind the popular “Sampler” charity series, was let go by Clear Channel Radio on Monday.


“The only thing I can tell you is she is gone,” said Mike Crusham, Clear Channel’s market manager for the Twin Cities.

It was believed to be a cost-cutting move but Crusham said the company does not comment on personnel decisions.
He did say there will be “no format change and we’re still doing the ‘Sampler.’”
MacLeash, who had been with Cities for nearly 20 years, was also program director for Kool 108 and Clear Channel stations in other markets. She was widely regarded as one of the most influential programmers in the AAA format (adult rock, essentially) in the country.
However, in the past year or so, Cities 97 has been leaning more toward a Top 40 or contemporary hits format, playing the latest hits by Pink, fun. and Robin Thicke and eschewing its old standbys like Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and David Gray.
When asked to describe Cities 97’s current format, Crusham hesitated and then said: “We’re breaking new music. We want to be the fun, hip station.”
Rich Davis, program director for Clear Channel’s KDWB, will add the programming of Cities 97 to his plate. Gregg Swedberg, VP for programming, will handle Kool 108 programming and continue with country station K102.
MacLeash was a force behind such Cities 97 projects as Studio C mini-concerts with name artists, the Basilica Block Party and the Cities’ “Sampler” series, all-star compilations of exclusive performances sold for the past 24 Novembers, which have raised more than $800,000 for area charities.
“Our intention is that we’re moving forward with things,” Crusham said. “Rich Davis is in charge of the ‘Sampler,’ and I’m planning on Basilica Block Party 20 and Studio C concerts.”
MacLeash is married to KFAN personality Chris Hawkey. Their two children were born during the couple’s 19 years in the Twin Cities.


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