Once hailed by executives of the Tribune Co. as a television revolution and a way to turn around the fortunes of the troubled national media company, WSFL's South Florida Today morning show aired its last episode today. In under 16 months on air the show went through multiple format changes, had one of its personalities arrested on a DUI, and failed to make much of a splash in the South Florida television market.
The Daily Pulp got a hold of an email sent out to employees of WSFL and the Tribune-owned Sun-Sentinel earlier this morning:
Earlier this morning, WSFL-TV announced the cancellation of The Morning Show, with today being the last broadcast. Launched on April 13, 2009, the program was designed to provide the competitive South Florida market with a fresh take on morning news. We had high hopes for the program, and significant effort from throughout the company went into developing the show. While we're proud of what we accomplished in a short period of time, the audience didn't build the way we had anticipated, and we had to make the difficult decision to end production.
Bob Norman juxtaposed that with a memo rambling Tribune Co. exec Lee Abrams sent out shortly after the show premiered:
Very blown away by the morning show! Not only the show, but the spirit and attitude of EVERYONE involved. If we can get 10 percent of this level of afdi, energy and willingness to reinvent at our other stations, we'll truly revolutionize TV.
... One BIG challenge is going to be to get the other 20 hours of sfl to match the magic of the morning show. 24/7/365
There's of course a lot for them to do but I can tell we have the makings of a winner that can be influential at our other stations. This show is SO south Florida, you can't simply recreate it, but it CAN serve as a model of breaking away, blowing up the playbook, creating a wonderful internal vibe (more like a killer radio station in 1975 than a TV station), and afdi.
I'm impressed and excited about where this can go. In a year...look out!
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Well, that didn't really work out as planned.
WSFL plans to relaunch a weekly community news program, as well as community news breaks every night.
SFLTV points out that the company's station in Houston is planning on launching an anchor-less news program which relies only on video, pictures, and off-camera narration.
The show was hosted by Dave Aizer, formally of Nickelodeon's Slime Time Live, a rotating cast of leggy ladies (one of whom just got popped for a DUI), and at one point a guy named "Sharped Dress John." It tried creating a casual, youthful take on a morning news cast but went through several format changes and never really found its place in this crowded TV market.