Wednesday, September 2, 2009

JB & Sandy Are the New KEYE TV Morning Show

Radio on TV

“As most of our viewers are aware, Austin has four great television news morning shows that are all essentially the same,” says Amy Villarreal, president and general manager of KEYE TV (CBS). So, KEYE is continuing to shake up its programming in rather innovative ways to attract an audience. Villarreal announced today (September 2, 2009) it has an agreement with Entercom Communications and KAMX-FM “Mix 94.7” to launch Austin’s first television broadcast of the “JB and Sandy in the Morning” radio show beginning October 5, 2009 at 6 a.m. on Channel 42. “Through KEYE’s unique partnership with Entercom, KAMX, and the JB and Sandy radio morning show, we will offer our early morning Central Texas viewers and advertisers an innovative, entertaining approach to morning television.”

JB & Sandy will be the same on TV as they are on the radio, according to a station publicist. “KEYE will be airing a format just like the current JB & Sandy show. We will air a repeat of the previous 6 a.m.-7 a.m. show from 5 a.m-6 a.m. with current traffic and weather and then live 6 a.m.-7 a.m. with current traffic and weather. Their show will continue to be streamed after we end on their website. We begin CBS’ Early Show at 7 a.m.” Expanding the show has been discussed.

“The great thing is that the team at KEYE told us, ‘We want your show, we want you to keep doing what you do,” says Sandy McIlree, the “Sandy” of “JB & Sandy” “What it does is allow us to do is do things that are more visual and that will let us be more creative. We will be striving for content that translates to both TV and Radio. I think everyone will be surprised how much really does translate to both.”

“We are very much looking forward to it,” McIIree continues. “It is a great opportunity to introduce a whole new audience to the radio show. It also will challenge us to think differently. It is very flattering that KEYE approached us to make this deal, they are excited that we are a local Austin show that talks about what is going on in Austin.”

So, say “Goodbye!” to the current morning broadcast. The KEYE TV morning show was already stripped of co-anchor Michelle Valles and reporter Bettie Cross to be on the fledgling 4 O’clock broadcast slated to debut later this month. That left veteran anchor Fred Cantu and meteorologist Kelly Sifka. When the new show with JB and Sandy starts, during the KEYE-TV television broadcasts, KEYE’s morning Slifka will provide live local weather and traffic updates from the KEYE-TV studios.

There is no mention of Fred Cantu in the KEYE release. Twitter and other live sources indicate that Cantu will continue at KEYE TV. “More great announcements will be released in the next week. Stay tuned,” said Villarreal when asked about Cantu’s future.” Speculation is that he may anchor the Spanish language news on KEYE TV 42.2 at 5 and 10 p.m. when it begins broadcasting Telemundo programming beginning next month. Cantu was working in Spanish language radio in Austin when he returned to The University of Texas at Austin to finish his degree. He did an internship at KVUE TV in the 1983 before landing a series of TV jobs. Cantu still maintains a comprehensive web site of Spanish language programming.

“JB and Sandy in the Morning” launched in January 1996. The show is built around morning team personalities JB and Sandy, sidekick Alex Franco (Digitz) and features Sara Osburn and Cassiday Proctor. JB and Sandy have a strong and loyal following in Austin with a blend of humor, reality, and listener involvement and interaction. It airs weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Mix 94.7 and worldwide at

“There are only a handful of radio personalities across the country that engage their listeners, serve their communities, and deliver superior advertiser results like JB and Sandy,” said Nancy Vaeth-DuBroff, vice-president and market manager for Entercom Austin. “Partnering with KEYE-TV and CBS will allow JB and Sandy to reach a larger audience, thus benefiting our valuable advertisers, listeners and viewers and the local Austin community.”

It won’t be quite like shock-Jock Don Imus, but it will be a first for Austin TV and Radio.

© Jim McNabb, 2009


The Inanity Defense said...

OK, it's obvious that KEYE will soon cease having any newscasts. I give it until the end of the year to pull the plug.

In the meantime, there should only be two types of employees there: Those who have their résumés out and those who soon will be out .

Good luck to all.

Anonymous said...

I was once in a meeting where the GM asked who had the better station... the #1 news station in town or the #2. Her answer was #2 BECAUSE it's CHEAPER to be #2! Being on top costs money, takes resources, and commitment. A station can be profitable with slightly lower numbers and she was totally OK with that.

KEYE has taken this approach to a whole new level. Why even bother doing news at all? We can save money on lighting that pesky desk. We can save money on those pesky morning writers, producers, technicians, and costly talent. But it's all good because now the ratings will still suck, but it will cost a lot less to suck.

Meanwhile KEYE will move some staff to a new show in the afternoon that will concentrate on "news" that does not matter, stuff you can get on your phone, sold spots featuring all the latest information on restaurants you REALLY need, and fluff read from "anchors" you can trust. Good job.

Anonymous said...

They're not going to cancel news. They're doing something they should have done ages ago and canceling the morning show, which gets hashmarks in the ratings many days. Now they can devote all their energy and resources to afternoons and evenings. Not a bad idea, actually.

Anonymous said...

The KEYE Morning News is now done. JB and Sandy have been over for a long time. Both have lagged in the rating for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

"Now they can devote all their energy and resources to afternoons and evenings. Not a bad idea, actually."

Are you nuts?! The argument used to rationalize this strategic business move can be made for ALL of their news across the board. To paraphrase... 'Since every channel looks the same, and our ratings are bad, we'll go down the "info-tainment" road on the cheap because it can't be any worse. And it's cheaper!'

I call BS. Just admit you can't compete. Stop the spin. Show old 'Leave it To Beaver' episodes and don't pretend you are innovators. KEYE TV, your eye on throwing in the towel.

Anonymous said...

KEYE is competitive at 10. They make lots of money off that show thanks to CBS prime. The 6 ... well, they should move it to 6:30 and target the stuck-in-traffic crowd cuz they get trounced. BIA says KEYE is No. 3 in revenue in Austin. They're bringing in more $$$ than Fox 7, which does way more news (6.5 hours each weekday, vs. 2.5 hours a day at KEYE after all these changes take effect). So maybe, just maybe, doing local news all day, every day isn't the key to financial success. We will def. see more also-ran stations going this route soon.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious by now that KEYE is essentially dropping back and punting. Their news product has sucked for years, in a market that in my view is saturated with a lot of "sameness" and news coverage. At least they have the good sense to finally bail out.

I have serious doubts, though, about the long-term success of an entertainment-themed local show at 4 PM. I'm not convinced it will have an audience, and I'm not sure that Michelle Valles and Wheeler can pull it off.

If this is going to be one of those contrived lifestyle shows showcasing "hip" downtown night-spots, cool restaurants, "hot" local bands and tips on how to groom your pet, then I say it'll tank within six months.

Anonymous said...

The new KEYE 4pm show will be a showcase for a few things, including Michelle Valles can finally "let her hair down" and "loosen up" on tv. Watch for several "sponsored" segments from local restaurants, mattress shops, and trendy boutiques. Movie reviews will be big as will interviews with every b-list performer trolling through town.

Problem is... will people who are home at 4pm and watching tv care about this info-tainment programming? I say no. Blue haired 'ol ladies, students, and the perpetual unemployed would rather watch Oprah, Sportscenter, or play video games.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering what happened to the morning show. I get most of my news between 6 and 7 A.M. as I get ready for work. I have not been a fan of the radio/TV format. I am tired of pundits and people with no qualifications trying to convince me to form an opinion. I like my news to be objective. I will give it a try to watch, but I am old fashioned. I like my news to be traditional. Fortunately, I have other stations to choose from.