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Title: Betty Ellen Berlamino
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Henry_in_NJ
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(Date Posted:06/15/2010 13:29)

Chip,

I just heard that Betty Ellen was fired from WPIX.  She was a big supporter of the "Log".  Will this have any impact on future showings of our beloved Yule Log?

Henry
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Christmas Music Guru
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Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3493

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/16/2010 13:51)


Sadly, that is correct Henry; Betty Ellen is no longer with the station. The decision to make a change at the top came as a shock to everyone. Jerry Kersting (president of Tribune Broadcasting) will be running the station in the interim until a new WPIX general manager has been named. Mr. Kersting was just recently promoted to the presidency of Tribune Broadcasting last month, after previously serving as the company's COO (chief operating officer).

As far as the impact this change will have on the Yule Log or any other programming decisions at WPIX, no one can really say for sure -- especially because a permanent replacement for Betty Ellen has not yet been named. However, with regard to the Yule Log broadcast in particular, it has something that the recently cancelled half-hour 6:30 evening newscast did not, strong ratings. The Yule Log has consistently pulled strong Nielsen ratings each year it has been shown. In fact, since the program was reinstated in 2001, it has come in at
#1 twice (2001 & 2004), #2 five times (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), and #3
twice (2002 & 2005). However, notwithstanding these impressive ratings, considering that the program is broadcast commercial-free, every year it is shown is still a victory -- especially in these austere economic times.

I will miss Betty Ellen. Both she and Julie O'Neil (former program director) were great champions of the Yule Log. I only hope that the new person soon to be named as station general manager will be as well.

As soon as there is an announcement, I'll post it here.



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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
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Posts:1110

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/16/2010 15:19)

Chip,

If WPIX for some unforeseen reason decides not to air The Yule Log, would that mean that other Tribune owned affiliates wouldn't be able to broadcast it either?

I hope when they find a replacement station manager, that this person will understand what The Yule Log means to so many people and not just New Yorkers.  It won't seem like Christmas without The Yule Log.

I will be so disappointed if it isn't aired this year as being we are able to get WPIX on Dish Network I was looking forward to seeing the 4 hours in the event that WGN America again decided to only air 2 or 3 hours.

I'm guessing you won't really know much until after the November Sweeps, but hopefully you will hear something before.




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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Henry_in_NJ
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Posts:56

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/16/2010 17:18)

Thanks for the reply Chip.  Hopefully the new general manager will keep this beautiful tradition alive!  Let's all keep our fingers crossed.
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RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/16/2010 19:47)


No need to worry Susan, I will be working long before the November sweeps on securing a commitment from the new station chief -- whomever that may turn out to be -- to air the Yule Log. Betty Ellen was typically always able to commit to me early (usually in mid-autumn) to airing the program. The only thing she couldn't commit to early was the specific time it would air; usually, that came after the November sweeps.

Also, there's no need for your concern that the next station general manager might not be aware of how important the Yule Log is to folks. That is my job. I will make sure that he (or she) is categorically aware of how much the program means to folks and what an important and integral part of their Christmas celebratory tradition it is. That was the problem 20 years ago, in 1990, when the new station general manager, Michael Eigner, came in and cancelled the Yule Log because he felt it was using up to much valuable commercial time. Back then, there was nobody acting as the program's spokesman and advocate, and because his actions were left unchallenged, it led to an 11year hiatus for the Yule Log -- something I am determined will never happen again.

As for the other Tribune affiliates, their ability to air the program does not depend on whether WPIX airs it or not. However, since WPIX is Tribune's flagship station, the other affiliates could be influenced by what it does (or doesn't do) -- especially right now, when companies are tightening their belts as a result of the sagging economy. But again, let me stress that I don't believe that with the Yule Log there is much cause for concern as it is a bona fide ratings winner for WPIX and its sister Tribune stations.

I'll keep everyone posted on developments as they unfold at the station.

 
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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
5# 



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Posts:1110

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/17/2010 06:36)

Thanks Chip,

You are the best advocate we could have.  If it wasn't for your help, we wouldn't have the music restored or even the 4th hour.  Also we can't leave out Joe, if it wasn't for him, this message board might never have happened.

I know a lot of people really missed seeing The Yule Log when WPIX canceled it.  At least, I had to foresight to tape it in 1986 though it was only two hours.  It was better than not being able to ever seeing it again on TV.

On a slightly different note,  Being we have Dish Network and are able to get WPIX, we can't get it in HD because it isn't a local station for us but instead it's an A La Carte Superstation.  We do get WGN America in HD though so I guess my question would be:  Does WGN America broadcast The Yule Log in HD too?

I do prefer watching WPIX as their station Logo isn't as large or opaque as WGN America's Logo which WGN stays onscreen almost the whole time and it is very distracting.

Thanks again for all your help.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Music Guru
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Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3493

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/17/2010 13:35)


Yes Susan, like WPIX and most of the other Tribune affiliates, WGN America also broadcasts the Yule Log in HD. However, I agree that it is preferable to watch it on WPIX (if you can), not only for the reason you mentioned regarding the less intrusive on-screen logo, but also because of the personalization WPIX gives the program with their brief introductory and closing remarks -- usually done by news anchors Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong. In fact, last year, when they did a rare intermediate break in the show for a sponsor mention and to announce the new 4th hour that I added to the program, they did a really nice shout-out to me acknowledging my work. It was very sweet and quite flattering. Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong both have warm, effervescent personalities and their enthusiasm for the Yule Log is quite palpable.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
7# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/17/2010 13:44)

Thanks Chip,

Yes, I like it that WPIX adds their personal touch to the broadcast.

I've contacted Dish Network to see why we can't get WPIX in HD, and it has something to do with whomever the provider is.  Not necessarily WPIX themselves being it isn't a local station for us.  I don't know if it is a reseller/licensee  of the channel or what.

They did tell me that things are changing all the time so they may be giving us more and more channels in HD but couldn't give me any specifics.

Thanks again.
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Always
8# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/20/2010 07:32)

Hi Chip,

Just curious if this is supposed to be a hint for sure that WPIX will be broadcasting The Yule Log this year?

On Twitter, on June 18th,. PIXYULELOG posted "6 months and counting till I'm back on"

Thanks
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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

Christmas Music Guru
9# 



Rank:Honorary Member

Status: Lawrence F. Arcuri Owner/Webmaster of TheYuleLog.com
Posts:3493

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/20/2010 11:30)


No Susan, it's not a hint, but rather positive thinking. Jessica Bellucci (the WPIX public relations manager who runs the Facebook and Twitter pages) added that comment on Twitter after we spoke about the program last Friday. Jessica is a great champion of the Yule Log at the station; however, neither she nor anyone else can say for certain what the ultimate fate for the Yule Log or any other programs at WPIX will be in the future. Those programming decisions are made exclusively by the station general manager, and we don't even know who that will be yet. Hopefully, it will be a WPIX insider who is familiar with the great tradition of this legendary program and how popular it is not only here in New York, but across the country. If not, there will be a number of people, including myself and Jessica, who will convey this information to the new chief. As I said in my earlier post, I'll keep everyone posted on developments as they unfold.


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Lawrence F. "Chip" Arcuri
Owner/Webmaster | The Yule Log.com

Christmas Always
10# 



Rank:Diamond

Posts:1110

RE:Betty Ellen Berlamino
(Date Posted:06/20/2010 16:27)

Thanks Chip,

I know it's still early, but we can only hope that the new Station General Manager will be sympathetic to the viewers even though it is still a great expense for WPIX as well as other Tribune owned stations to broadcast The Yule Log.  We need this even more now with all the turmoil there is in the world.  Not just for us older folks who grew up along with The Yule Log but also for the younger generation.  I myself feel that The Yule Log is a beloved family member and would miss it dearly if it wasn't broadcast anymore.

In my opinion, we need to get away from these "Reality" programs and get back to wholesome TV like we had in the 1950's and 1960's.  Instead of having shows where most of the people get their life's dream crushed and in most cases, rather cruelly.  i.e. American Idol or America's Got Talent. Yes, some of the people really don't have any talent but they have let some good people go without even the chance of going to the finals.  I won't even watch them anymore.  I can't stand to see people being hurt and insulted.

Survivor and Big Brother, all they end up doing is stabbing each other in the back and only 1 person will end up winning.

I do understand that some people like these shows and I don't mean to offend anyone who happens to like them, but TV from the 1950's and 1960's was much better than what we have today.

Will keep my fingers crossed that WPIX will continue broadcast The Yule Log.


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Christmas Isn't Just A Day In December, It's A Way Of Life
Susan

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