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November 24, 2006
Local TV News Sweeps: Day 22

PANETTONE.JPG

You know, if this anchor thing doesn’t work out, Dave and Lois might be able to find work on the Food Channel.

“Chefs” Walker and Hart, those lovable Channel 3 anchors, shed the serious news personas on Thanksgiving and spent a significant portion of the 6:30 p.m. newscast weighing in on the Italian sweetbread, panettone.

We’re only going to give you a partial transcript of Dave and Lois’ bread banter, but you’ll get the idea. The exchange typifies the mood that was on almost all the Thanksgiving newscasts. For one day, sweeps-month concerns were relaxed and, for the most part, the crime coverage was on holiday.

Anyway, after airing a report on bread, a holiday delicacy, Lois brought out a slice of panettone and said: “In the interest of journalism, I had to try it. It’s sort of like fruitcake, but not really. It’s not as dense.”

Dave: “It’s not anywhere near like fruitcake. It’s much better. It’s sort of spongy with a sourdough texture to it.”

Lois: “Sort of lemony, too.”

Dave: “All different colors...I’m going to eat.”

Then, Channel 3 cut to a story on holiday sales at Tower Records, after which the anchor duo returned to live, team coverage on the bread beat.

Dave: “No way panettone is like fruitcake.”

Lois: “I mean, just that it has fruit in it.”

Dave: “Those are hard things, Lois. These are much sweeter.”

Lois: “Softer.”

Cut to a story about Black Friday shopping, after which Dave wrapped up the panettone coverage by turning to Lois and saying: “What if we did a story about brussel sprouts? Would you be as excited?”

No response from Lois.

In non-panettone Turkey Day news:

* News10 led its 11 p.m. newscast with reporter Monika Diaz calculating how many calories anchor Dale Schornack consumed during Thanksgiving dinner (4,120) and how many miles Schornack would have to walk to burn off the calories (42 miles).

Quipped Schornack: “TV adds about five pounds.”

When News10 went to a break a few minutes later, Schornack pulled out a piece of pumpkin pie and feigned taking a bite.

TURKEYS TRAIN.jpg

* Story that all four stations covered: A gaggle of turkeys caught on surveillance tape on a New Jersey train station platform, apparently “trying to escape their fate.”

* More late-breaking turkey coverage: Channel 13 aired a story on a one-eyed turkey who is a family’s pet.

* That turkey that President Bush pardoned? It went to Disneyland.

In non-Thanksgiving news:

* Fox40’s truncated 10 p.m. newscast was not exactly as warm and fuzzy as its competitors. It led with Nina Mehlhaf reporting on a wheelchair-bound man mugged on the Tower Bridge, then followed it a couple of stories later with a cheery piece about one Alzheimer’s patient murdering another in a nursing home.

* Tease of the Night, from Channel 13’s Mike Dello Stritto: “That fire in the fireplace might make you sick!”

* Channels 3 and 13 went beyond Thanksgiving to air features about the Hmong New Year’s celebration at Cal Expo.

* News10's Dan Adams filed a report on the small earthquake in Hawaii - from Hawaii, where he was vacationing. Geez, we know News10 is a non-union shop, but making a guy work on his vacation? (Actually, Adams volunteered.)

* And finally, what would Thanksgiving be without a sex offender story? Thanks, Fox40, for airing that report about the man in San Mateo who held a girl captive for months in his basement.

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