April 15, 2014

TV Production

Breakfast Blend

The central Florida-produced 'Daily Buzz' is part 'Good Morning America,' part 'Animal House.'

Ken Ibold | 7/1/2005
Three years ago, an off-the-wall bunch of infotainment junkies put together what they thought was a hip morning show at a television station in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the "Daily Buzz" is produced in Lake Mary and beamed to 137 stations around the country, claiming about a million viewers a day.

The "Daily Buzz" takes typical morning TV fare -- news headlines, celebrity news, offbeat stories, weather and traffic -- and mixes them into a cornucopia of attitude, opinion and off-color jokes. From the producers to the on-air talent, those involved in the show agree it's enough to make Walter Cronkite gag -- and they're proud of it.

Part of the success of the "Daily Buzz" is serendipity. Many of the stations that carry the 6 to 9 a.m. show used to broadcast paid programming or low-viewership fare like "The 700 Club" in that time slot.

However, a larger part of the program's rising presence comes from being a fresh blend of entertainment, news and personality. Executive producer Troy McGuire says the show has found a niche among stations that find it a good value, a reasonable source of news and a unique audience-grabber in the coveted 18-49 demographic. The show tends to air on small-market WB, UPN and Fox affiliates that can't afford their own news operations. But stations in San Francisco, Dallas and New Orleans also carry it.

"The Buzz" was launched by Acme Communications, which owned the Dayton station. In Orlando, WKCF-Channel 18 owner Emmis Communications bought a 50% stake last year. The show, which employs 30, was moved to Lake Mary last summer for two reasons: WKCF-Channel 18, the top WB affiliate in the country, has more resources for production. More importantly, the Orlando location gives the show better access to guests.

It remains to be seen whether the "Buzz" -- which is profitable, McGuire says -- catches on, but for now the formula appears to be working. Quipped 17-year-old country music singer Billy Gilman after a recent guest appearance, "Pardon my French, but this beat the hell out of 'The Today Show.' "
Buzz Cast: From left - Kia Malone, Andrea Jackson, Mitch English, Clayton Morris and John Brown.

Tags: Central

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