You haven’t stumbled into the Politics Now blog by accident, but I do have some political news to report this morning.
Channel 2’s low-rated “2 Sides” political debate show is losing its daily seat at noon in a few weeks as the station has elected to cut the program down to once-a-week on Sundays.
The daily show with Kristy Mazurek and Michael Caputo will end its run on April 12 and move to noon on Sundays, General Manager Jim Toellner reported.
Toellner said the move is being made about five months before Steve Harvey’s syndicated program moves to Channel 2 from WNLO-TV in the fall to fill the time slot where “2 Sides” is the incumbent. In the interim months, Channel 2 will run back-to-back repeat episodes of “The Office,” which allows viewers to see more old episodes before the series ends its original run on NBC with a one-hour series finale on May 16.
“Frankly, it was difficult in the (noon) time period,” said Toellner of “2 Sides.” “It should fit better once weekly playing on Sundays when people are used to the routine of watching political shows.”
“2 Sides” has had an interesting history. Its precursor was a late-night Sunday show with Bill O’Loughlin as host. O’Loughlin’s show was moved to weekdays, where its ratings plummeted. He then was briefly paired with Mazurek, a Democrat, before leaving in January of 2012. Then Mazurek was paired with Stefan Mychajliw, a Republican. He left to run for country comptroller, an office he now holds.
After that, Mazurek had a series of guest debaters before Caputo – who was Carl Paladino’s campaign manager during the developer's gubernatorial campaign -- got his seat.
Speaking of Sunday political shows, “Meet the Press” host David Gregory spent part of last Sunday’s program interviewing several commentators who are Catholics about what the election of Pope Francis means to the Church. “It kind of sets up to a joke,” Gregory remarked. “A nice Jewish boy moderating a discussion on Catholics.”
One more political note: On Monday morning, NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd had this to say about Sarah Palin’s performance at a conference of conservatives at which she took a sip from a Big Gulp cup to take a swipe at New York Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to limit the size of soft drinks.
“She was more in a role of entertainer and standup comedian,” said Todd. She seems much better suited to those roles than holding any political office. Every time I hear her talk, I take a big gulp thinking about her actually becoming vice president. The more attention she gets the better off Democrats will be.
Inquiring minds want to know: What is the colorful new Channel 2 promo promising “A More Colorful News” next Tuesday all about ? Nothing official, but most likely Channel 2 is promoting a new colorful graphics package that a few months ago Gannett started implementing at all of its stations. It has just taken some time to get to Channel 2.
Sports Report: I hope Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers wasn’t the only one to hear about NBC Sports Network analyst Mike Milbury tear until him Sunday night during the Sabres loss in Washington. I hope Sabres analyst Rob Ray heard about it, too. Too often, Ray avoids criticizing Sabres when they
deserve it. I almost fall off the couch last weekend when Ray took a shot at Thomas Vanek’s weak defensive effort before he returned to his typical generalities. It almost makes me long for the days of analyst Jim Lorentz. Almost.
Had to laugh when Georgetown Coach John Thompson III used the word begrudgingly when asked on CBS Sunday about the demise of the Big East as we know it and the new league of Catholic schools that is being formed in its place: "This will be a very good league, a league (the late Big East founder) Mr. (Dave) Gavitt will look down and smile upon. It will be a conference my pops (John Thompson) and … (former St. John's Coach) Lou Carnesecca and (former Villanova Coach) Rollie Massimino will smile upon and (Connecticut coach Jim) Calhoun and (Syracuse coach Jim) Boeheim will begrudgingly smile about it." By the way, ESPN recently signed a new deal to televise the new Big East.
Give ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough credit for taking on university presidents for the money grab that led to the demise of the old Big East. During his coverage of Louisville’s win over Syracuse in the Big East title game, McDonough talked about the lessons of teamwork and loyalty that coaches impart before adding: “It is too bad that lesson wasn’t (learned) by university presidents because there was a chance to keep this conference together and they chose not to.” Of course, what McDonough couldn't and didn't say is that a big part of the money grab is over TV money that the ESPN’s of the world give out.