Change has been good to Tammie Souza.
Since she left Channel 10 at the end of 2019, she has been shuttling between Philadelphia and Chicago as a fill-in weather anchor for the CBS stations there.
You wouldn’t know it’s the same person.
In the several occasions I’ve seen Souza on Channel 3, she seems freer, more fluid and livelier in delivery, and lot more ebullient than she was at Channel 10.
Seeing Tammie this weekend, I wanted her back at 6 and 11 p.m. somewhere because she was so personable and entertaining doing Channel 3’s weekend morning newscast with anchor Jan Carabeo and sportcaster Pat Gallen.
The Tammie Souza I remember was stiff, formal, and married to reading temperatures ad infinitum from the weather map.
I don’t know if in her time away from a full-time assignment she rethought her approach to reporting the weather, received coaching and encouragement from Channel news director John Wilson, got a boost from her Philly to Chicago round-trips, or was held back somehow at Channel 10.
The reason doesn’t make a difference. The Tammie Souza at the Channel 3 map on Saturday was a dynamic performer who the weather forecast exciting and had fun talking to the camera and communing with Carabeo.
She also looks better, fitter, more stylish, and with more energy.
If she wants one, she earns a full-time berth at a major market television station. She not only brought pizazz to her show, she, with Carabeo, upped Channel 3’s usual game.
I often say how bland local news is. None of the shows, on any station, are bad, or even subpar, but none of them glows either. Channel 10 has made marked improvements in its product in the past year. Channel 6 stays strong with a cadre of personable young reporters. Channel 29 distinguishes itself when a story is thrown to reporters in the field.
Channel 3 has been the laggard, but the Saturday morning show, because of Souza and Carabeo shows what the station has the potential to do.
In general, I think local morning newscasts are superior to their noon and evening counterparts. Maybe every station should take a lesson from them and make them a model for the later programs.
Channel 3 might be marching to a new beat. A new general manager, Kelly Frank, arrived at the CBS outlet earlier this month. Frank came to Philadelphia from Tampa, Souza’s market before Channel 10, following previous stops in Columbus (twice), Atlanta, D.C., Phoenix, and Milwaukee.
In Tampa, she was director of content and has a background in news and digital content.
Frank’s purview as general manager includes Channel 57, where Channel 3 mounts an 10 p.m. newscast, CBSPhilly.com, and CBS News streaming channel from Philadelphia.
Maury Povich changed television
For about 30 years, I have been defending Maury Povich to people who refer to him as a lightweight or someone without depth. (There are others I’ve met or worked with about which I do the opposite.)
“You’re confusing the man with the program he’s hired to do,” I say, often to rolling eyes.
It is often the case that the public confuses the persona they see on the television with the actual person.
I can cite many cases. Phyllis Diller is the most dramatic. On stage and in costume, she was a non-stop pistol providing a laugh every five seconds. Off stage, she might crack a joke – Her sense of humor and timing was real – but she preferred to bake cookies, do needlework, and talk about her grandchildren.
For most of the 30 years I mention, Maury Povich has made a fine living and entertained a niche audience by introducing audiences to segments of society they rarely see and announcing at the end of most hourlong shows whether some lucky or hapless young man was the father of a child whose male parentage was in dispute.
“The Maury Povich Show,” seen locally on Channel 17, was like a basketball game. You could ignore the whole program but tune in for the last six minutes to see the dramatic part.
Maury Povich could talk about much more than paternity and the slatternly ways of otherwise unseen masses.
Before he was on full-time nationally, Povich spent a brief time, about two years, as the 6 and 11 p.m. anchor of Channel 3’s “Eyewitness News” and the host of a local talk show called, “People Are Talking.”
In those jobs, he showed a wide range of knowledge, some beyond show preparation, and ability to have an interesting conversation about anything.
That conversational ability travelled beyond the air. Povich was a raconteur who knew a lot, or a little, about a lot of things from the trivial to the important, from the arcane to whatever pop culture subject triggered water cooler discussion that given day.
Professionally, for the last couple of decades, Povich settled for an easy television ride. He spent five hours a week playing referee to warring couples, soothing people who wanted to be parents, soliciting boos for those who did not, and waiting for the crucial card to be handed to him so another case could be solved and another taping completed.
Why not? It was a job, and he was good at it, good enough to stay syndicated when most of the talk hosts who started with him are barely remembered.
Good natured enough to take the disdain and wise cracks regarding his show, Povich could save his reservoir of subjects for people he enjoyed talking with and head off to a golf course when a season’s taping was done.
There remained the reservoir of subjects.
Maury Povich is retiring after 31 years of saying “You are the father” or “You are not the father.”
He deserves the break. His job and show may not have been the most august, but he made them work.
Thanks for the time in Philly, Maury, a time when many could see who you are. Thanks for being content with the show that developed and keeping it lively and funny when it could have been tawdry and scary.
Ovation Award nominations due
Thursday is an important deadline.
Any reader who has been influenced by a music teacher or whose personal or professional life was changed because of a music teacher can nominate that educator for an Ovation Award, given each year by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Institute, with Temple radio station, WRTI (90.1 FM) as a sponsor.
WRTI, which broadcasts classical music from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. each day, and jazz from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. – What would I do without Bobbi Booker as my gentle alarm clock? – regular airs Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) concerts from the Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Station general manager Bill Johnson and PYO conductor Louis Scaglione, who is also President and CEO of the PYO Institute, formed a great friendship and partnership.
‘RTI afternoon host, Kevin Gordon, is involved in Ovation Award proceedings and was master of ceremonies at a banquet on Friday honoring Scaglione for 25 years of service to PYO.
To nominate a teacher, current and former music students of any age can submit a 250-word essay praising “the music teacher that changed my life” to www.pyomusic.org.
This will be the ninth year the Ovation Award is presented. Nominations from past years may be re-submitted for consideration this year.A blue-ribbon panel from music organization and university music departments will cull 10 finalists from the essays submitted. All the finalists will receive a prize, with the winner of the Ovation Award being given a $1,000 honorarium. The nominator the Ovation Award recipient will receive a $250 Visa gift card.
The Ovation Award finalists and recipient will be announced June 5 during a PYO concert as Verizon Hall.
In addition to WRTI, two companies are partners with PYO to make the Ovation Award possible. They are Jacobs Music, represented by PYO board member Chris Rinaldi, J.W. Pepper & Son, represented by PYO board member Lee Paynter.
Last week, a mispronunciation of a composer’s name and a hideous rendition of a favorite song set me on a tirade about WRTI, the station I probably listen to the most, meditating with Melinda Whiting at 11 a.m. and enjoying B.P. (Bob Perkins) with the G.M. (good music) at 6 each evening.
The name mispronounced was Oscar Hammerstein II’s. To review, it’s “Hammer-stine,” not “Hammer-steen.”
Karma favors Mr. Hammerstein this week, as the Philly Pops is devoting its Verizon Hall concerts, Friday to Sunday, to him and a doing an unusually varied selection of works, including classics written with Sigmund Romberg and Jerome Kern as well as the beloved pieces composed with Richard Rodgers.
The Pops has assembled an impressive selection of Hammerstein interpreters for their show called “The Song is You. I saw Liz Callaway wash that man right out of her hair with the Bucks County Orchestra in Doylestown last week. She was terrific. Callaway is joined by Broadway and West End veterans Damien Humbley, remembered with glee from a London ‘Merrily We Roll Along,” and Rosena Hill Jackson with David Charles Abell conducting.
Xfinity adds Apple TV+
Apple TV+ is now among the stations available on all eligible devices via Xfinity’s X-1, Flex, and X Class plans.
Other Xfinity subscribers are eligible for a three-month trial of Apple+ if they sign up via their Xfinity device by Monday, April 25.
Apple+ broke out as a major player opposite Netflix and others with its hit comedy, “Ted Lasso.” It also features “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and this week, launched a multi-part series of “Pachinko” based on the best seller by Min Jin Lee.
Oscar nominee “CODA” and acting nominee Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth” also currently air on Apple.
Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.
Source: Berkshire mont