“Idol” Tryouts Come to Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/The Loop) — Singing hopefuls wanting to get on “American Idol” came to UTC.

Tryouts took place on the UTC campus  at the Fine Arts Building. The winner got the chance to try out in front of the producers at the auditions in Nashville later this summer.

Sixty-six people turned out to compete. The first round cut the field to 25 then 10 then three before the winner was selected. That winner was Josh Isaac from Murfreesboro who heard about the competition on the radio and came to UTC to compete.

Among those trying out was Sullivan Brown, a UTC junior from Knoxville.

We asked Brown how long he had been singing.

Brown said “All my life badly but correctly about five years.”

So what made him sing correctly?

Brown replied  “Voice lessons, choir, you know, stuff like that. There’s a difference singing in the car when your song comes on and singing from your diaphragm, hitting the right notes and how you position yourself. It’s a lot to it when you get  how to sing.”

Brown continued  “Well I’ve always been singing. Singing is what I’m passionate about. I love to sing. And decided what the heck. I might as well give it a shot.”

Fellow UTC student Porsche Curry, a junior from Memphis, was with Brown. She said “I heard about it on the radio and I jump at every opportunity to sing because it’s what I love to do.”

Contestants must be between the age of 15 and 28 by July 15th. Any contestant under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more on the rules of the contest, go to the Fox 61 website.

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What People Watch Now

Olivia Bradley

(AP/TheLoop) Nieslsen’s new list has described the top grossing shows this week. Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by the Nielsen Co. for Feb. 8-14. These listings show the new viewerships in the millions.

1. Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony, NBC, 32.6 million.

2. “American Idol” (Tuesday), Fox, 27.9 million.

3. Winter Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 26.4 million.

4. Winter Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 26.2 million.

5. “American Idol” (Wednesday), Fox, 25.2 million.

6. “NCIS,” CBS, 19.8 million.

7. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 17.9 million.

8. “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 17.7 million.

9. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 16.3 million.

10. “The Mentalist,” CBS, 15.9 million.

11. “Undercover Boss,” CBS, 15.5 million.

12. “The Good Wife,” CBS, 14.8 million.

13. “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 14.3 million.

14. “Survivor: Heroes-Villains,” CBS, 14.2 million.

15. “House,” Fox, 13.6 million.

16. “CSI: Miami,” CBS, 13.5 million.

17. “CSI: NY,” CBS, 13.0 million.

18. “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 12.8 million.

19. “The Bachelor,” ABC, 12.4 million.

20. “Lost,” ABC, 11.1 million.

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Students React to O’Brien Ouster at NBC

By Xan Gwaltney

CHATTANOOGA (UTC/AP/The Loop) — After a two-week battle between Conan O’Brien and NBC, an agreement was reached to end O’Brien’s run as host of “The Tonight Show.”
The network plans to move Jay Leno back to the program he hosted for 17 years, less than eight months after O’Brien took the “Tonight” throne from Leno. Leno, whose weeknight prime-time hour ends February 11 after just five lackluster months, will return to “Tonight” on March 1.

Many UTC students have been unaware of the situation, but Sana Childers, a senior from Memphis, expressed disappointment, saying, “I like Conan O’Brien a lot better [than Leno]… I’m kind of sad about that.”

O’Brien landed the “Tonight” show after successfully hosting “Late Night,” which airs an hour later, since 1993. In the fall of 2004, the network announced that O’Brien would take over for Leno in 2009. That move by NBC — and endorsed by Leno, despite his clear aversion to leaving “Tonight” — was designed to keep O’Brien from jumping ship when his contract expired. As years passed and Leno strengthened his grip as the late-night ratings champ, NBC anguished over how to keep him usefully occupied on the network somewhere other than “Tonight,” and safely out of reach of rival networks who were courting him.

But after taking over “Tonight,” O’Brien quickly stumbled in the ratings race against his CBS rival, David Letterman. Under Leno, the “Tonight” show was the ratings champ at 11:35 p.m. Eastern, but he proved an instant flop with his experiment in prime time.

Since O’Brien and Leno had both failed to keep up in ratings in recent months, NBC executives felt the need to restructure its lineup. But few people expected the abrupt upheaval that erupted publicly just two weeks ago, when two Web sites posted stories that the Leno’s show would soon be canceled or moved into O’Brien’s late-night domain. Carson O’Shoney, a junior from Franklin, Tenn. was upset when he heard of the potential restructure, feeling like O’Brien was not given enough time to catch up in the ratings, and NBC was “taking away [O’Brien’s] lifelong dream” to host “The Tonight Show.”

Online, many have leaped to O’Brien’s defense in recent days and applauded his stand against NBC. “Team Conan” became a popular Twitter topic for viewers who pledged their allegiance to O’Brien, while Facebook users have done the same with fan groups and status updates which proudly proclaim “I’m With Coco.”

O’Shoney had the unique opportunity of attending a taping of “The Tonight Show” on Monday, and participating in the “I’m With Coco” rally outside Universal Studios, where the show is taped. There, O’Shoney was part of a crowd he described as “just showing support for [O’Brien], wherever he goes.” O’ Shoney also recalls visits from cast and crew of “The Tonight Show,” including trombonist and frequent joke target La Bamba in “a pope-mobile” and O’Brien himself.

Media experts and fans alike have offered speculation on O’Brien’s future. ABC (which airs “Nightline” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) has said it wasn’t interested, while Fox, which lacks a network late-night show, expressed appreciation for his show — but nothing more. Comedy Central has also been mentioned as a future home. O’Shoney hopes to see O’Brien host a similar show on Fox, where perhaps he could start his own franchise and inspire others to dream of one day following in his footsteps on Fox.

O’Brien’s final night as host of “The Tonight Show” aired January 22, and earned an impressive 7.0 rating/16 share, easily beating out his fellow late-night hosts, and dwarfing his 3.3/10 average during his run on “Tonight.”

Portions of this article were adapted from Frazier Moore, AP Television Writer.

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NBC’s Prime-Time Jay Leno Experiment Ending, Late Night Lineup Could Be Shuffling

By: Carson O’Shoney

PASADENA, Calif. (UTC/AP) — NBC said Sunday it decided to pull the plug on the Jay Leno experiment when some affiliate stations considered dropping the nightly prime-time show, and the network has a new plan for it’s weekday late night lineup.

NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin said that “The Jay Leno Show” at 10 p.m. EST will end with the Feb. 12 beginning of the Winter Olympics, which will air in the prime-time hours, including Leno’s slot.

NBC wants to begin airing Leno’s show at 11:35 p.m. after the Olympics end Feb. 28, but as a half-hour show, Gaspin said.

The plan calls for O’Brien to retain his job with “Tonight” but at the later hour of 12:05 a.m. EST, Gaspin said. Also in the mix is Jimmy Fallon and his “Late Night.” Fallon’s show would be pushed a half-hour later as well, to 1:05 a.m. EST.

“My goal is to keep Jay, Conan and Jimmy as our late-night lineup,” Gaspin said, adding later that they “have the weekend to think about it” and discussions with them will resume Monday.

Conan O’Brien released a statement today stating that he has no intentions of being a part of damaging “the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” and he “has no idea what happens next.”

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Streaming Live to Survive

By:Brooke Fontana

Chattanooga,TN (The Loop) — Local radio stations are reaching across the internet and social media to their listener in order to reach a more broad audience. Other media have been doing too in a bid to remain alive in today’s market. With the ever expanding outlets of media such as networking sites and video podcasts, older forms of media such as radio and newspaper have to keep up with current technology in order to prevent their medium from fizzling out.

The Mountain's Facebook page

The Mountain's Facebook page

Newspapers have resorted to hiring videographers to shoot news for their print stories. Television news stations have full functioning websites that contain articles,videos that correspond to the news casts, lengthened interviews that were too long to show on their television broadcast.

Most forms of media are also resorting to “networking” sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter to reach out to their audience.There are  over 300 million users on Facebook, 125 million users on Myspace and 33 million active users on Twitter.

WDEF and WDOD have decided to expand their format to the web and add a “streaming live” feature. According to Danny Howard WDEF and WDOD’s Program Director “We really felt as if we needed to be online and have a wider presence to reach the audience where they were (Online)”. They wanted to have a great presence on all platforms of media.

The Mountain's Updated Website

The Mountain's Updated Website

You can also find features from the DJ’s where they have posted things they find amusing or interesting. Danny also said ” We wanted to just be in front of the audience wherever they may be.”  You can listen to the live broadcasts of 96.5 The Mountain, and Sunny 92.3 anytime and anywhere.

Full Interview with Danny Howard: Programs Director

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Taylor Swift Walking on Cloud 13

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — Taylor Swift says she is “absolutely walking on a cloud” over her six nominations for the American Music Awards.

“I’ve never been nominated six times for any award show,” the country star said Tuesday before a benefit concert in Nashville. “This is just such a wonderful day for me.”

Her tally, announced on Oct. 13, even beat late superstar Michael Jackson, with five nods and rapper Eminem, with four.

“It’s the 13th today, and 13 is my lucky number, and that’s when I found out about the AMAs. It’s like, I swear, good things happen on the 13th for me, and I can’t believe all those nominations.”

The 19-year-old is up for the AMA’s big award, artist of the year, alongside Jackson, Lady Gaga, Eminem, and rock band Kings of Leon.

“It’s wonderful to be nominated in all genre categories,” said Swift. “I consider it such an honor, because I live in Nashville, I sing country music, and the fact that people outside of this genre have accepted me, just makes my days more sunny, and I am so happy about it.”

Her other nominations include favorite female pop and country artist, favorite adult contemporary artist and favorite pop and country album for “Fearless,” which has sold three million copies.

Her album isn’t the only thing that is “Fearless.”

“I absolutely love the pop crossover stuff, it’s really fun for me. I love hearing different takes on my music and hearing different genres and different formats listening and adding my songs. It’s just something that I’m very thankful for,” she said.

The nominees were selected through a combination of sales and radio airplay. American Music Award winners are determined by online fan voting and will be announced during a ceremony in Los Angeles on Nov. 22, airing on ABC.

For Swift’s sake, let’s hope Kanye West does not decide to make an appearance.

Copyright Associated Press 2009.

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David Letterman’s embarrassment into triumph?

NEW YORK (AP/The Loop) — David Letterman had his Hugh Grant moment. The question is whether his personal embarrassment will help fuel further professional triumph.

How he deals with the situation at hand on Monday, and the nights ahead, could prove to be a defining chapter in his long TV career. With any luck, it could clinch his recent ratings victory in late-night TV.

The intensely private Letterman surely didn’t want to be swept up in this maelstrom, which he dropped on “Late Show” viewers last Thursday with his startling revelations of having sex with women on his staff — a disclosure prompted by a $2 million blackmail threat against him.

But the flood of attention was inevitable.

For a celebrity the caliber of Hugh Grant, publicity — including speculation of career suicide — was certainly unavoidable 14 years ago, when he was arrested with a prostitute on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Very embarrassing. But then he retreated to NBC’s “The Tonight Show” for image rehab.

Host Jay Leno wasted no time before asking his instant classic of a question: “What were you thinking?!”

Grant’s appearance vaulted ratings runner-up “Tonight” past Letterman’s CBS “Late Show,” a leadership position Leno held through his retirement from late night earlier this year.

Since then, Letterman has reclaimed a ratings edge over new “Tonight” host Conan O’Brien.

And now, Dave may have truly sealed the deal. With his masterful monologue last Thursday, he took control of a dicey situation. He promised his audience “a little story” and delivered in spades. He acknowledged his own past “creepy” behavior. He reminded everyone that he’s a guy “motivated by nothing but guilt.”

Seated at his desk, he single-handedly gave a TV performance to equal the Jay-and-Hugh moment. Implicit in everything Dave said about his own behavior was the unspoken question: “What was I thinking?”

It could be that Letterman’s carefully calibrated act of self-disclosure has put him in the best spot possible to weather the situation — and even to milk it. Beloved by viewers and critics for decades, he has abruptly freshened the vintage David Letterman brand.

A humorist who mocks the world while holding it at arm’s length, Letterman has demonstrated he still has the ability to surprise even fans who thought they knew him thoroughly.

And he has everybody talking.

Consider the women of ABC’s “The View” on Monday.

Joy Behar said Letterman “jumped the gun. Politicians should take a page from his book. He was smart, PR-wise.”

Fellow co-host Sherri Shepherd called Dave “a standup guy.”

But guest co-host Lisa Ling declared, “When you’re the boss, you should keep your thing in your pants.”

Then Shepherd suggested that maybe his workplace sex partner “really liked him.”

“Come on,” Ling scoffed.

And on it went.

Most of the audience members waiting to enter the Ed Sullivan Theater for Monday’s “Late Show” taping were excited about being there and not so troubled by Letterman’s personal life.

“He did a really classy job of announcing it to everyone,” said Keely Ahearn, who came from Minneapolis with her friend Adam Melchert. “I don’t think he should have to say that much about it.”

Melchert said he understood that such attention is part of being in the spotlight, but said, ultimately, “it’s his business. I didn’t ever watch the show because he was a moral compass for me.”

Meanwhile, a legendary late-night host has nothing but praise for Letterman’s skill at crisis management.

“To me, it seems Dave Letterman’s handling of this is impeccable,” Dick Cavett said in an e-mail. “Brave, direct, and — dare I say it? — manly. He has set a real example here of exactly how to behave when assaulted in such a sleazy operation.”

It isn’t the first time Dave has shown finesse in managing a firestorm.

In June, he had a run-in with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin over jokes made at the expense of her teenage daughter. He emerged from a tumultuous few days of protests and demands for his dismissal with a ratings jolt. And thanks to the dumb-luck timing of the flap, he also handily upstaged his much-hyped NBC rival just as O’Brien was taking over as “Tonight” host.

In another of his memorable TV performances, Letterman apologized to Palin and her family. But he has never stopped making jokes at Palin’s expense.

To judge from last week’s tour-de-force confessional (“I know what you’re saying: ‘I’ll be darned, Dave had sex”’), Letterman will now be making more jokes at his own expense.

To see what “Saturday Night Live” had to say about David Letterman’s problems click here: ‘SNL’ zings David Letterman’s difficulties

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Family Guy Legalization Issues Turn into Illegal Issues

By: Laura Kelton


CARACAS, Venezuela (AP/The Loop) — Venezuelan authorities plan to impose fines on cable television companies that refuse to stop airing the animated television series “Family Guy.”

Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami says the program should be pulled from the airwaves because it promotes the use of marijuana.

El Aissami was outraged by a recent episode in which the show’s characters started a campaign to legalize marijuana.

He said Thursday that cable networks that broadcast “Family Guy” would be fined by Venezuela’s telecommunications regulator if they refuse to dump the program.

The government of President Hugo Chavez is preparing to impose new regulations on cable television. Among other rules, cable providers could be forced to carry Chavez’s frequent speeches.


Characters from left to right: Brian, Lois, Peter, Stewie, Chris and Meg


Copyright Associated Press 2009.

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US Singer Stalked by Delusional Fan

Beth Warren                    The Loop/AP

A man accused of stalking singer-songwriter Jewel at her rural Texas ranch said he was on a mission from God, authorities said Tuesday.

Michael Lawrence Kozelka of Townsend, Wis., was arrested last week after he went two consecutive days to the 2,000-acre Stephenville ranch owned by Jewel’s husband, rodeo champion Ty Murray, said Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant.

After Kozelka was found on the ranch Sept. 14, the landowner warned him not to return, Bryant said. But on Sept. 15 Kozelka was found at the main house with a pocket knife in his clothing and a dog with him, although he did not resist arrest after deputies were called, Bryant said.

“He was not aggressive and was not mad,” Bryant told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “He just said he was on a mission from God, that God told him to come to Stephenville and led him to this ranch.”

Bryant declined to say what Kozelka may have said about Jewel or her husband, and it’s unclear if either was home at the time.

Kozelka, 50, was charged with stalking, a felony that carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence, according to jail records.

He has been jailed in Stephenville, about 75 miles southwest of Fort Worth, on $30,000 bond since his arrest.

His attorney, Michael Nicholls Pugh, declined to comment Tuesday, saying he was appointed to the case that afternoon and had not yet talked to Kozelka.

Attempts to reach Murray, a nine-time world champion rodeo cowboy and past president of Professional Bull Riders, were unsuccessful Tuesday. A publicist for Jewel did not immediately offer a statement.

Vickie Pintsch, co-owner of Pintsch’s Hardware in Townsend, Wis., said Kozelka lived in the area for years, working on construction and helping with repairs and odd jobs. Pintsch said she had not seen him for several months, although he visited her store occasionally.

She said Kozelka attended St. John Lutheran Church in the town of about 1,000 people, about 80 miles northwest of Green Bay.

“He was pleasant to talk to when he came into the store,” Pintsch said. “He has never hurt anyone that I am aware.”

According to Oconto County Circuit Court online records in Wisconsin, Citizens Bank foreclosed on some property Kozelka owned in November and a sheriff’s sale was conducted in August.

William Foshag, an attorney for the bank, did not immediately return a telephone message Tuesday.

Bryant said Murray and Jewel were concerned about publicity over the incident. According to the incident and arrest reports obtained by The AP under the Texas Public Information Act, a pseudonym is used for Jewel, and few details are provided about what happened that day.

The couple have lived quietly for years on the ranch near the dairy community of Stephenville. Jewel, who was born Jewel Kilcher, is working on a second country album — the first, “Perfectly Clear,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s charts last year — as well as a second book of poetry.

In the spring the couple joined the cast of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” but injuries during training forced Jewel to drop out before the competition began.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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43rd Annual CMA Award Nominees Announced

By: Kyra Inglis

NASHVILLE, Tn (UTC THE LOOP/AP) – The 43rd Annual Country Music Award Nominees were announced Wednesday, with Brad Paisley showing a strong lead with six nominations this year including “Entertainer of the Year.”

Taylor Swift also picked up a nomination for “Entertainer of the Year,” being the youngest nominee in the category.  Swift’s CD, “Fearless,” has sold 3 million copies, making her the top selling act in country and in pop.

“To country music radio and the fans and anybody who voted for the CMA’s this year, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,” Swift said in a video posted on her MySpace page, counting out four ‘thank yous’ for each nomination.


  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift
  • Keith Urban


  • Miranda Lambert
  • Martina McBride
  • Reba McEntire
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood


  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Darius Rucker
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban


  • Randy Houser
  • Jamey Johnson
  • Jake Owen
  • Darius Rucker
  • Zac Brown Band


  • Eagles
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Zac Brown Band

Former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker is also up for 2 awards including “Male Vocalist of the Year” and “New Artist of the Year.”   Rucker’s first country album “Learn to Live”, released last year, was heavily embraced by fans.

“I love being in country music because of the accessibility and the relationships you have with fans and with radio is awesome,” said Rucker.

Five categories were announced on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and the rest were announced later in the morning on the CMT network.  The 43rd Annual CMA Awards are scheduled for November 11, on ABC.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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