Tammie Souza has returned to local television with a new take on the weather

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The change did Tammie Souza good.

Since leaving Channel 10 at the end of 2019, she has commuted between Philadelphia and Chicago as a weather announcer for the CBS stations there.

You wouldn’t know it’s the same person.

On several occasions that I have seen Souza on channel 3, she has appeared freer, more fluid and alive in performance and much more exuberant than on channel 10.

When I saw Tammie this weekend I wanted her back somewhere around 6pm and 11pm because she was so personable and entertaining doing Channel 3’s weekend morning news show with host Jan Carabeo and sports reporter Pat Gallen.

The Tammie Souza I remember was stiff, formal, and married to reading temperatures ad infinitum off the weather chart.

I don’t know if in her absence from a full-time job she reconsidered her approach to weather coverage, received coaching and encouragement from Channel news director John Wilson, got a boost from her round-trip commute from Philly to Chicago, or it was at Channel 10 somehow held back.

The reason doesn’t matter. The Tammie Souza on Saturday’s Channel 3 card was a dynamic performer who made the weather forecast exciting and had fun speaking to the camera and communicating with Carabeo.

She also looks better, fitter, more stylish and with more energy.

If she wants one, she earns a full-time position at a major market TV network. Not only did she add momentum to her show, she upped the usual Channel 3 game with Carabeo.

I often say how boring local news is. None of the shows, regardless of the channel, perform badly or even below average, but neither do they shine. Channel 10 has made significant improvements to its product over the past year. Channel 6 remains strong with a cadre of likeable young reporters. Channel 29 excels at throwing a story to reporters in the field.

Channel 3 was the laggard, but Saturday morning’s show shows what the channel has potential for with Souza and Carabeo.

In general, I think local morning news programs are superior to their midday and evening counterparts. Perhaps every broadcaster should follow their example and make them a role model for later broadcasts.

Channel 3 could be marching to a new beat. A new general manager, Kelly Frank, joined the CBS affiliate earlier this month. Frank came to Philadelphia from Tampa, Souza’s pre-Channel 10 market, having previously made stops in Columbus (twice), Atlanta, DC, Phoenix and Milwaukee.

She was Director of Content in Tampa and has a background in news and digital content.

Frank’s responsibilities as General Manager include Channel 57, where Channel 3 hosts an 10 p.m. newscast, CBSPhilly.com and the Philadelphia-based CBS News streaming channel.

Talk show host Maury Povich smiles as he is interviewed after watching the Washington Redskins during their NFL football training camp at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia Monday August 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Maury Povich changed television

For about 30 years, I’ve defended Maury Povich from people who call him lightweight or someone with no depth. (There are others I’ve met or worked with where I do the opposite.)

“You’re confusing the man with the program he was hired for,” I often say, rolling my eyes.

It is often the case that the public confuses the persona they see on TV with the actual person.

I can cite many cases. Phyllis Diller is the most dramatic. On stage and in costume, she was a non-stop gun, getting laughs every five seconds. Offstage, she might crack a joke — her sense of humor and timing were real — but she’d much rather bake cookies, do crafts, and talk about her grandkids.

For most of the 30 years I mention, Maury Povich made a good living entertaining niche audiences, introducing audiences to sections of society they rarely see and proclaiming at the end of most hour-long shows, whether a happy one or unhappy young man who was the father of a child whose male parentage was disputed.

Watching “The Maury Povich Show” locally on Channel 17 was like a basketball game. You could ignore the whole program but tune in for the last six minutes to see the dramatic part.

Maury Povich could talk about a lot more than fatherhood and the sloppy ways of otherwise unseen masses.

Before going full-time nationally, Povich spent a short stint, around two years, as the 6pm and 11pm anchor of Channel 3’s Eyewitness News and as the host of a local talk show called People Are Talking.

In these jobs, he demonstrated a wide range of knowledge, well beyond show prep, and the ability to have an interesting conversation about anything.

This conversational ability traveled beyond the air. Povich was a narrator who knew a great deal or little about many things, from the trivial to the important, from the arcane to the pop culture issue, which sparked a water cooler discussion that day.

Professionally, Povich has been satisfied with a simple TV ride over the past few decades. He spent five hours a week refereing couples fighting, reassuring people who wanted to become parents, soliciting boos for those who didn’t, and waiting for the crucial card to be dealt, so that another case could be solved and another recording completed.

Why not? It was a job, and he was good at it, good enough to stay in syndication when you can barely remember most talk show hosts who started with him.

Good-natured enough to endure the scorn and wisecracks about his show, Povich could save his reservoir of topics for people he liked talking to and head off to a golf course when a season’s taping was complete.

The reservoir of topics remained.

Maury Povich is retiring after 31 years of saying, “You’re the dad” or “You’re not the dad.”

He deserves the break. His job and his show might not have been the loftiest, but he made it work.

Thank you for the time in Philly, Maury, a time when many could see who you are. Thank you for being happy with the show that has unfolded and for keeping it lively and fun when it could have been cheesy and scary.

Ovation Award nominations due

Thursday is an important date.

Any reader who has been influenced by, or whose personal or professional life has been transformed by, a music teacher may nominate that educator for an Ovation Award sponsored annually by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Institute of Temple Radio Station WRTI (90.1 FM).

WRTI, which airs classical music daily from 6am to 6pm and jazz from 6pm to 6am – What would I do without Bobbi Booker as my gentle alarm clock? – Regularly broadcasts concerts by the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) from Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Station General Director Bill Johnson and PYO Conductor Louis Scaglione, who is also President and CEO of the PYO Institute, formed a great friendship and partnership.

RTI afternoon presenter Kevin Gordon is involved in the Ovation Award procedures and was master of ceremonies at a banquet on Friday honoring Scaglione for 25 years of service to PYO.

To nominate a teacher, current and former music students of all ages can submit a 250-word essay praising “the music teacher who changed my life.” www.pyomusic.org.

The Ovation Award is being presented for the ninth time. Nominations from previous years can be submitted again for consideration this year. A high-level panel of music organizations and university music departments will select 10 finalists from the submitted essays. All finalists will receive an award, with the Ovation Award winner receiving an honorarium of $1,000. The nominating recipient of the Ovation Award will receive a $250 Visa gift card.

The Ovation Award finalists and recipients will be announced June 5 during a PYO concert at Verizon Hall.

In addition to WRTI, two companies are partners with PYO to make the Ovation Award possible. They are Jacobs Music, represented by PYO Board Member Chris Rinaldi, JW Pepper & Son, represented by PYO Board Member Lee Paynter.

Last week, a mispronunciation of a composer’s name and a vile rendition of a favorite song sent me into a tirade on WRTI, the station I probably listen to the most as I meditated at 11am with Melinda Whiting and BP (Bob Perkins) with dem enjoyed GM (good music) every night at 6pm.

The mispronounced name was that of Oscar Hammerstein II. As a reminder, it’s “Hammer-stine”, not “Hammer-steen”.

Karma favors Mr. Hammerstein this week as the Philly Pops dedicates its Friday-Sunday concerts at Verizon Hall to him, performing an unusually diverse selection of works, including classics co-written with Sigmund Romberg and Jerome Kern, as well as the popular tunes composed with Richard Rodgers.

The Pops have curated an impressive roster of Hammerstein artists for their show The Song is You. I saw Liz Callaway wash this man out of her hair with the Bucks County Orchestra in Doylestown last week. She was great. Callaway is joined by Broadway and West End veterans Damien Humbley, fondly remembered from a London “Meerrily We Roll Along,” and Rosena Hill Jackson, conducted by David Charles Abell.

Xfinity adds Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is now among the channels available on all eligible devices through the Xfinity X-1, Flex and X Class plans.

Other Xfinity subscribers are eligible for a three-month trial of Apple+ by signing up through their Xfinity device by Monday, April 25th.

Apple+ has established itself as a major player over Netflix and others with its hit comedy Ted Lasso. It also includes The Morning Show, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and this week launched a multi-part series of Pachinko, based on the Min Jin Lee bestseller.

Oscar-nominated CODA and Actor-nominated Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth are also currently airing on Apple.

Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.

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