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New TV hires quickly look to leave

By Alan Pergament

Notes from the cutting room floor:

Channel 4 General Manager Chris Musial recently confirmed an old blog report of mine that the station refused to allow former meteorologist Amelia Segal out of her contract to leave early to take a job in Washington, D.C. She eventually left more than a month ago.

The station wasn't holding her to the contract because it wanted to hold her back. It was just a matter of principle in a changing TV world.

"We're really happy for Amelia," said Musial. "Not only was she able to land a job in the nation's 10th market but she was able to move back home. … She just wanted to be near her mom and dad. That's a good thing.  There is no way I could have ill feelings about that. Would we have loved to have her stay with us? Yeah. She grew a lot in those three years."

Sources had told me that Segal was mad about Channel 4's stance.

"Not to me she wasn't," said Musial. "Not to (News director Joe Schlaerth). Maybe she said some things to other people."

Musial added a few weeks ago that Schlaerth is now interviewing people to replace Segal and has learned some things about how the TV news business has changed.

"He is weighing how soon people can come," said Musial. "A trend we are finding is a lot of people -- it is a frustration -- there are people who are less than six months into their current jobs and they are already putting feelers out on You Tube and sending out feelers without agents to see what is out there and what their next move will be. That's a big change in all the time I've been working in this business."

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner has cleared up the status of reporter Rich Kellman, who just won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for a feature he did for the station last year.

"We expect him to continue doing stories for us, perhaps not as often as he has the last couple of years," said Toellner.

Time Warner Cable subscribers get their first opportunity this year to chose between tonight's NFL draft coverage on ESPN and The NFL Network, which just returned to TWC during the last NFL season. If you're a traditionalist, you'll probably watch ESPN. If you're a Mike Mayock fan like I am, you'll probably watch a lot of The NFL Network.

One of the most fascinating things about the ESPN "30 for 30" film, "Elway to Marino," dealing with the 1983 quarterback draft is how long some incredible stories were kept relatively secret for 30 years. I mean who knew that San Francisco Coach Bill Walsh briefly considered trading Joe Montana to get John Elway and that the Raiders' believed that Commissioner Pete Rozelle prevented them from making a deal to get  Elway?

Let's hope it won't be 30 years before we learn what the Bills and new Coach Doug Marrone were thinking about this year's draft after they pick a quarterback tonight. The so-called experts are all over the place about the Bills' QB plans, which suggests the new coach is very good about keeping a secret.

"Mad Men" star Jon Hamm  is set to host the ESPYs on July 17. Maybe by then his self-loathing character, Don Draper, will stop being so depressed. The first three dark episodes of this season are trying my patience. I want to like at least one character in a show and this year even Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) has become insufferable.




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