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WCBS News now in HDTV . . .
CBS 2 News did a bit of an unexpected midweek transition to HD news yesterday becoming the third station in the city and the second CBS owned and operated station in the country to do so after KYW in Philadelphia went HD last week.

The new music package still uses the familiar CBS “I Love Chicago” melody in its umpteenth incarnation since first used in 1975 by sister station WBBM in Chicago as a theme composed by jingle writer Dick Marx. In fact the music, which we suspect was written by someone at Gari Productions, sort of reminds us of the 1989 package by New York based composer Curtis McKonly. Back then Brian Williams was an anchor for WCBS.

The new graphics are reminiscent of those used on the CBS Evening News and nothing like their sister station’s. However they are making an extremely fatal flaw - they are using Arial as their choice for font – the distinctive 1 gives it away. At least it isn’t Times New Roman, but still Arial? At least choose a font that isn’t one that comes free with the computer. Still, it is the first day and it may evolve a bit, as these things usually do.

We have to admit that the station’s CBS 2 HDTV branding is a bit clunky, since most stations use “HD” in their branding instead. We guess it isn’t a network mandate, since KYW isn’t doing it, but like with all things in TV, we guess they have done some research on it.

. . . and finally adds Lonnie Quinn
After much waiting and speculation, Lonnie Quinn has arrived at WCBS. The former soap opera star (All My Children and Santa Barbara) joins the station after coming from NBC o&o WTVJ in Miami. His former station has a farewell video and still has his bio up, which informs us, “As a private pilot, he holds a meteorology certificate from the FAA. In addition to forecasting South Florida's weather, Lonnie's feature story about being a professional caddy recently won him an Emmy award.”

No bio is up on the WCBS website yet, although we learned on the 6 p.m. broadcast that his wife is from Rio de Janeiro. Interestingly, John Bolaris is still listed as the evening weather forecaster and a check of the websites of National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society do not have him on the list of seal holders, so we can wonder about his meteorology credentials, and the most relevant thing to "meteorology certificate" on the FAA web site appears to be this scant bit of information about pilot training, "Meteorology to include recognition of critical weather situations, windshear recognition and avoidance, and the use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts." However, his on air presentation isn’t that bad. It is hard to judge from someone’s first day, so we’ll check in later on the new forecaster in town.

Lucy Noland Goes to Texas or Where Are They Now
Recently departed WNYW anchor Lucy Noland will be starting at KHOU-TV in Houston on Monday where she will co-anchor the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts for the CBS affiliate there. Interestingly, her co-anchor there will be former WABC anchor Greg Hurst and she will be replacing former Fox 5 anchor Len Cannon on the two of the three newscasts he co-anchors with Hurst at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and, 10 p.m.

A press release from the Houston station quotes Noland, “I’m absolutely thrilled to have a chance to be part of a world class news team in a world class city. I’ve journeyed far and wide and it’s time to put down some roots. I’m thrilled Channel 11 and Houston are giving me this opportunity. It’s a wonderful blessing for my family.”

So that is what Rhea Perlman has been doing or Where Are They Now Part II
Rhea Perlman, who is best known for playing the gruff waitress Carla on Cheers, resurfaces in an interview airing on tomorrow's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (9:00 a.m., WNYW 5) “We stay out of the spotlight and spend 95% of our time with our family. It’s about being real.”

She was one of those people you sort of wondered what happened to when you stumble onto a Cheers rerun while flipping. The last thing we can remember her in is the 1995 Michael Moore comedy film Canadian Bacon where she played a gun loving upstate sheriff’s deputy named Honey who gets captured by the Canadians, although she has been doing some television guest star work since then.

The thing we found most interesting is that she has been writing a series of children’s books called Otto Undercover featuring the adventures of a race car driving secret agent kid. Sounds like it would make a good animated kids show, well at least better than The Goombas.

If Only Andy Richter Controlled the Universe
Andy Richter's latest series, the fresh clever and funny Andy Barker P.I., has been canceled after just four episodes. If you tune in tonight at 9:30 to WNBC you'll see a new episode of Scrubs, which isn't that bad a thing despite being a bit inconsistent this year. We can only assume the same person who canceled the show also is responsible for canning The Black Donnelleys and green lighting Thank God You're Here. However, there is some good news, two episodes will be shown back to back on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on NBC (WNBC 4).

Slimus in the Morning
The whole Imus debacle made us think of the old PBS children’s show Square One TV, where they had a show within a show called Mathnet. It was both educational and a funny spoof of Dragnet and was first set and filmed in Los Angeles and later was set and filmed in New York. One the New York episodes with guest star Weird Al Yankovic, the Mathnet team was investigating radio payola and if we recall a throw away line correctly one of the disc jockeys they were questioning was named Slimus in the Morning. That describes Imus, who never seemed to fit in quite right on either all sports WFAN or news channel MSNBC.

Quick Hits:
Tiki Barber starts as a Today Show correspondent on Monday and is a guest on Late Night With Conan O'Brien tonight at 12:37 a.m. (WNBC 4).

WNBC airs a special about the warning signs of strokes Saturday at 7:00 p.m.