TV News

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jindal on Duck Dynasty: "a messed up situation"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 19, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Phil Robertson

A&E, the network that runs the hyper-popular Louisiana reality show Duck Dynasty, suspended its star Phil Robertson following comments he made in a GQ profile. Writer Drew Magary talked to an off-camera Robertson, who made self-described "Bible-thumping" and "controversial" statements including: "a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus," black people "were happy" during Jim Crow, and being gay is sin similar to bestiality.

In a statement, A&E representatives said they are "extremely disappointed" in Robertson's comments, adding, "His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely."

Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal weighed in:

“Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana. The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with. I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV. In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive. But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views. In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment. It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended."

Duck Dynasty's fifth season airs 9 p.m. Jan. 15.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Marching band doc The Whole Gritty City to air on CBS

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Jaron Bear Williams in The Whole Gritty City
  • The Whole Gritty City
  • Jaron "Bear" Williams in The Whole Gritty City

Variety reports that The Whole Gritty City, which premiered in the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival in October, will air during a two-hour primetime special on CBS' 48 Hours next year.

48 Hours producer Richard Barber directed the film, which follows three marching bands — O. Perry Walker High School, L.E. Rabouin High School and the Roots of Music — from 2007 to 2010 as they prepare for the Carnival season amidst tragedy and violence in the members' homes and on the streets. Read an interview with Barber and more about the film in Gambit.

Barber began filming after he had worked on an episode of 48 Hours that looked at post-Katrina murders, particularly murders that catalyzed a citywide anti-violence march at City Hall, including those of filmmaker Helen Hill and Dinerral Shavers, a drummer for Hot 8 Brass Band and band director at L.E. Rabouin High School. The film also captures the early stages of the Roots of Music, founded by Rebirth Brass Band drummer Derrick Tabb. The Whole Gritty City not only follows the band directors but Barber also gave handheld cameras to several students to document their lives at home.

It will air 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15., opposite NBC's presentation of the 2014 Olympics.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WVUE-TV enters into management agreement with Raycom Media

Posted By on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Raycom Media's holdings include 53 television stations, mostly across the southeastern and eastern United States. - RAYCOMMEDIA.COM
  • RAYCOMMEDIA.COM
  • Raycom Media's holdings include 53 television stations, mostly across the southeastern and eastern United States.


WVUE-TV, which is owned by New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, will be entering into a "shared services agreement" with Raycom Media, which owns a  chain of 53 TV stations across the southeastern and eastern United States. Terms of the deal — which Raycom is calling a "join hands" agreement — were not disclosed, but Raycom will provide "operational services" of station management for Benson's Louisiana Media Company (LMC).

According to general manager Joe Cook, who is also president of LMC, Benson will retain "100 percent" of the station. "We remain locally owned," he said this afternoon.

The deal will go into effect Dec. 16, at which time Raycom will oversee "all departments" of WVUE, Cook said, including appointing a new general manager. Cook will transition into a position with LMC and be "less involved day to day" with the station, he said. "What they’ll be a need for is the president of the company to be one of the LMC employees working for the best interest of Tom Benson."

Asked about possible employee reductions under Raycom, Cook said, "There have been absolutely no discussions about newsroom reductions, and anyone who says that is misinformed."

Raycom has been said to be interested in purchasing WVUE outright. In early October, an internal newsletter produced by Raycom's pension fund controller reported the sale of WVUE to Raycom with extreme specificity — including a dollar amount — a report which WVUE hotly denied. Nevertheless, "strategizing" with Raycom had been going on for two years, Cook said today.  

Cook said the deal will provide partnerships that will provide "connectivity of the entire footprint of the two professional teams owned by Tom Benson." In Louisiana, Raycom owns stations in Lake Charles, Shreveport and Baton Rouge, as well as other stations in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle. "This was a no-brainer to develop some kind of relationship with stations all over those areas," Cook said.

Benson bought WVUE from Emmis Communications in 2008 for $41 million. Terms of the agreement between Benson and Raycom are not known.

Full press release under the jump.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas to air on WYES

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

The crowd inside The Warehouse
  • From A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas
  • The crowd inside The Warehouse

Following its world premiere at the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival, local filmmaker Jessy Williamson's documentary A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas premieres Thursday, Nov. 7 on WYES-TV.

The film follows dozens of stories from the landmark music venue, which opened in 1970 and hosted countless rock 'n' roll legends, including opening night acts the Grateful Dead and Fleetwood Mac as well as Bob Marley, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan and dozens others. It also was the venue where The Doors performed for the last time with Jim Morrison. The Allman Brothers were the "house band," performing at the venue no less than twice a month in its early years. The Talking Heads headlined the venue's final gig in 1982. (Read the Gambit cover story looking back at the venue as it approached its 40th anniversary.)

The Warehouse was founded by Bill Johnston, a New Orleans native who wanted to replicate the experience of New York's Fillmore East in his hometown. His Warehouse became a go-to venue for touring acts throughout the '70s. Johnston, who is interviewed extensively in the film, died earlier this year.

The film follows the venue's rocky early days and the offbeat characters in its pot-heavy scene, with anecdotes from roadies, staff members, popular 'zine In Your Ear founders, and frequent sideman Deacon John Moore.

A Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas airs 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, and 9 p.m. Nov. 28.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Video: Jindal on Meet the Press

Posted By on Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on Meet the Press this morning to discuss "The American Dream" (and get in a plug for his Louisiana education plan). The Washington Post seemed to find the most notable part of the appearance was Jindal's rejection of impeachment for President Barack Obama.

But what will undoubtedly get more attention in days and weeks to come is his most recent essay for Politico, which also appeared this morning — "The End of Race."


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"My Purse, My Choice" makes the Today show

Posted By on Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Former Gambit listings editor (and creator of Y@SpeakLauren LaBorde is one of the most talented comedians in The New Movement, and she teamed up last weekend with fellow improviser Colleen Allerton to create "My Purse, My Choice," a very funny spoof PSA regarding the NFL's new bag policy. Since it went on YouTube about 48 hours ago, "My Purse, My Choice" has been written about all over the place, as well as shown on CNN, and this morning it was featured on the Today show during a segment on the bag ban. Check it out.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy





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Friday, June 21, 2013

Comedy Central to air Sean Patton standup special

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Sean Patton
  • KAYANA SZYMCZAK
  • Sean Patton

After performing a string of local gigs this week, standup comic hometown hero Sean Patton makes his Comedy Central The Half Hour debut at 11:30 p.m. tonight.

Last year, for a story about New Orleans' growing comedy scene, Patton talked to Gambit about getting his start in comedy in New Orleans.

Patton first performed in October 2001, when he had his first gig at Amberjack's in Lakeview. "There were five comedians in the crowd, and two audience members," he said. He started performing at True Brew Coffeehouse in the Warehouse District, where he met fellow up-and-coming comics Neal Stastny, Seth Cockfield and Dane Faucheux. The comics also performed at monthly standup showcases at Carrollton Station. "Those were our rock star nights," he said. "We'd go and do our best material and perform your f—ing dick off."

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Big Freedia getting a reality show

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Long live the queen: bounce's intergalactic queen diva Big Freedia will star in her own reality TV series on the Fuse network this fall.

Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce explores the underground world of the New Orleans hip hop scene known as Bounce. The series focuses on local hero and outrageous personality Big Freedia and fellow artists Mr. Ghetto, Sissy Nobby and others as they struggle to take their music to the next level of success.

The series (slotted for an eight-episode order) premieres Wednesday, September 18. Fuse also picked up shows featuring the Insane Clown Posse and G-Fella, an Italian-American rapper.

In January, Pitchfork followed Freedia for a half-hour documentary about the performer's life in New Orleans, interior design, relationships, bounce artistry and violence:

(via Allison Good)

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gambit TV: Talking local media on Informed Sources

Posted By on Sat, May 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Screen_Shot_2013-05-04_at_10.47.10_AM.png

Gambit editor Kevin Allman appeared on last night's Informed Sources on WYES-TV to discuss this week's tumult and realignment in the local media world with The Times-Picayune and The Advocate. The panel included host Larry Lorenz, producer Errol Laborde, reporter Dawn Ostrom and WWL-TV investigative reporter David Hammer.

The show isn't embeddable, but you can watch here.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Revisiting the Mobile Leprechaun with Scott Walker

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

(Note: This first appeared on Blog of New Orleans in 2011. We're bringing it back for St. Patrick's Day. The video itself has gone from 17 to 22 million views in the meantime.)

Despite a career as a news anchor in several different cities, Scott Walker may always be known as a YouTube star. Well, one by association.

“I’ve probably been seen on YouTube by more people than in all the news casts I’ve ever anchored in my career,” Walker says.

The current WDSU anchor was working at Mobile, Ala.’s NBC affiliate WPMI-TV in 2006, and one night he just happened to be on the desk as the network aired a story that would become a YouTube sensation with, five years later, more than 17 million views. The story was of a leprechaun that residents say makes a yearly appearance in a tree in the Crichton part of Mobile. Crowds of people, wielding camera phones, binoculars and — in one guy’s case — a special flute, await the site of the elusive creature, who may or may not actually be a crackhead.

Walker says the reporter and photographer from the station who covered the story had no idea what they were getting into.

“Basically it was this crowd gathering outside Mobile in Crichton. People were gathering around, blocking traffic — it was kind of creating gridlock out there. So people called our newsroom and said ‘Something’s going on out here, police are here, there’s big crowds,’” he says. “The reporter and photographer went to check out the scene, and people were talking seeing a leprechaun in a tree, and it kinda snowballed from there.”

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