Q: Has Channel 11 officially removed its sports program from the 6:00 p.m. news? He was absent after the Olympics. Previously, there were times when their sports anchor had a little over a minute for the sports broadcast at 6 a.m., and there were even times when the news anchor was doing sports. Not really committed to sport, apparently.
– Bruce, Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Robin: I received half a dozen versions of this question over the past week.
“First and foremost, the sport is and will continue to be an important part of the WPXI team and brand,” News Director Scott Trabandt said in response to Bruce’s question. “This week, we are relaunching ’11 on the Ice’ and ‘The Final Word’. We report on our week-long trip to the Super Bowl, which few local stations still get to do, and sit down with Art Rooney to discuss all the Steelers news around the off-season until here.
“We are constantly evaluating our product and soliciting feedback from viewers. During this time — when two of the Big Three City teams are between seasons — it’s no different.
I always appreciate it when local station executives answer questions from their viewers, but from Trabandt’s response, it’s still unclear if the sports portion of the 6 p.m. newscast is gone for good ( it didn’t air in the usual 6:25 p.m. slot on Mondays), although it seems to hint that it may be on hiatus because there aren’t enough local pro teams during the season. Or maybe it has something to do with the February sweeps, which end on March 3? I did what Trabandt expected his reporters to do: I followed up and asked again, is the sports program permanently removed from the 6 p.m. news? I did not receive any answer.
Q: What is KDKA-TV’s tendency to take full body shots with talent wearing sneakers? This is so unprofessional and embarrassing!
–Benji, via Twitter
Robin: Benji sent me a picture of his TV with KDKA’s John Shumway in front of a large video wall wearing what appear to be sneakers.
Giving the benefit of the doubt, I guess maybe when Shumway started the day he didn’t know his shoes would be filmed. Neither Shumway nor KDKA’s news director, Kathy Hostetter, responded when I asked them about Benji.
Q: What happened to the A&E show “Adults Adopting Adults”? There were three episodes, and he disappeared.
– Teddy, Scott Township
Robin: A&E said it pulled the show due to low ratings, according to The Wrap, but it could also be because one of the show’s stars made a now-deleted racist Tik-Tok video in February 2021.
Q: When will Expedition Bigfoot return?
– Carol, via voicemail
Robin: “Expedition Bigfoot” returns March 20 with a 9 p.m. pre-show on the Travel Channel followed by the season premiere at 10 p.m. The episodes will also be broadcast on Discovery+.
Q: Regarding the new Wordle online word game: Isn’t it the same as “Lingo” with Chuck Woolery? How could they get away with it?
– Beverly, Irwin
Robin: I’m no copyright expert on games, but obviously “Lingo” was similar to Jotto, which preceded “Lingo”.
Either way, Hollywood noticed the same similarity as Beverly between Wordle and “Lingo.” In February, CBS announced that a revived version of “Lingo” will air later this year with RuPaul Charles (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) as host as teams of two attempt to guess words on a grid after receiving the first letter of the word.