Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Channel 2's Bailey Is Impressive

In honor of Larry King’s decision to end his CNN show this fall, here are some King-like opinions:

* Channel 2 anchor-reporter Marissa Bailey does impressive work no matter where the station uses her.

She reminds me why I shouldn’t be too critical when young people begin working in this market.

I wasn’t overly impressed when a nervous Bailey began hosting a weekend edition of Channel 2’s morning program “Daybreak.” But in a few months, she was smooth on the air.

Bailey no longer anchors the weekend “Daybreak” but, if anything, that has helped her career. She has shown her versatility and seems so comfortable on the air now that I can see her being snapped up by a bigger market if that’s what she wants.

* It looks like local TV news is going to soon look like YNN when it comes to reporters. Both Channel 4 (Nalina Shapiro) and Channel 7 (Jason Greunauer) have put reporters on the air a month after they graduated from college. One veteran reporter recently told me that the stations are so concerned about saving money on salaries that in a year or so local TV news “will look like a college station.”

* When King announced his fall exit from his nightly CNN show Tuesday night, CNN began running a crawl of comments from celebrities celebrating his 25-year run on the cable news channel. The funniest came from Jimmy Kimmel, who accused the 76-year-old of playing a joke on the audience.

* Speaking of Kimmel, since leaving the Buffalo News I stay up a lot later than I used to and catch his ABC late-night act more often. His show certainly is a lot more fun than Jay Leno's "Tonight Show." One of his more amusing bits lately is World Cup highlights, which usually illustrate how dull soccer can be.

And late last week, he and Tom Cruise did a high-wire act in search of fresh eggs for a recipe that Cruise supposedly was going to make. They went on the roof of the building where Kimmel’s show is taped and took a ride on a zip line across Hollywood Boulevard and back to get some eggs from a guy on the street. Funny – and scary – stuff. But, hey, we learned on “Entourage” last Sunday that Cruise likes to do his own stunts.

* The zip line bit certainly was funnier than anything in Cruise’s latest movie, “Knight and Day.” The poor opening weekend box office for the film is even more alarming when you consider that Cruise and co-star Cameron Diaz seemed to be everywhere promoting it. When I saw them during a bit on ESPN’s “Sportscenter,” I wrongly assumed it was a Disney film since Disney owns ESPN. However, it’s a 20th Century Fox film.

Some sports notes:

* “Oh, my” ESPN play-by-play man Dick Enberg keeps rolling along. His call Tuesday when Venus Williams was upset at Wimbledon was a reminder of how strong his enthusiasm level remains. “My, oh my,” said Enberg after the shocker ended. Of course, “oh, my” is his signature expression.

* Channel 2’s Ed Kilgore must not pay attention much to tennis. He said on Tuesday that he expected Venus would stay around to root on her sister Serena at Wimbledon. Actually, Venus had to stay until today anyway because the sisters were trying to defend their 2009 title in doubles. They were upset today in three sets in another Wimbledon shocker.

* MSG, the Sabres channel, also carries the New York Knicks games here. The Knicks games have been pretty tough to watch for several years. But tonight, Knick fans may stay up for midnight madness when MSG carries a special on the team’s free agency efforts to land LeBron James or some other big name.

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