Producers of WGTE-TV's local academic quiz show Brainstorm did some brainstorming of their own this year to decide who'd host the series. Answer: Not Fred LeFebvre.
Denny Schaffer's shaggy-haired sidekick from The Breakfast Club on KISS-FM wasn't fired from Brainstorm, “we just didn't choose to renew his year-to-year contract,” said WGTE marketing director Jim Sattler.
Trouble is, nobody from the station bothered to tell LeFebvre, who got the news last week when he called the PBS affiliate to find out when to report for hosting duties.
“I think it was about my hair,” said LeFebvre, who sports a shoulder-length 'do. “I might have been willing to cut it, but they didn't bother to ask me to.”
LeFebvre asked the questions on Brainstorm for three years.
The new host is Kevin Hayes, theater director at Maumee Valley Country Day School. The show also will have a new set and a new format, said Sattler.
Brainstorm returns to WGTE, Channel 30, at 6:30 p.m. March 19, where it will run Monday through Friday; the finals will be broadcast live March 28-30.
And while we're talking game shows, remember Who Do You Trust? from the '50s? That quizzer is being revived in syndication this year by the same producers currently making The Mole and Popstars. This time, they say, the show will be more talk show than quiz. And they're looking for a “bigger than life” talent to host. They could only hope to find someone as talented as the first host. That was a skinny young comic named Johnny Carson.
Radio stuff: WGTE-FM (91.3) abruptly pulled its weekly broadcasts of Ira Glass' fine radio-documentary show This American Life late last year after one listener - that's right, one - complained about the content of a piece on prison humor. Despite the host's numerous warnings about salty material coming up on that day's show, which was airing on a Sunday morning, the listener, according to a station insider, was upset at what he and his family heard on their car radio.
The NPR station finally resumes airing This American Life at 8 p.m. March 3.
And oh, how we've missed Art Bell, who returns to the airwaves at midnight tonight. His five-hour America Coast-to-Coast show is back on WSPD-AM (1370), promising more eerie chitchat about ghosts, gray aliens, and the “quickening.”
“We're thrilled he's back on the air,” said WSPD morning guy Mark Standriff. “Art can explain all the problems in the world - including the Ravens winning the Super Bowl - as being part of the quickening.”
To find out what that is, stay up late for Bell's other-worldly show.
Weird in entirely different ways is Matt Drudge, the Internet pundit whose two-hour radio show now airs on WSPD at 10 p.m. Sundays.
Trivia patrol: Eagle-eyed viewers of top CBS soap The Young & the Restless spotted the character Carter pulling a packet of drugs from a bag labeled “Tiedtke's Coffee Special Roast.”
Long-time Toledoans remember Tiedtke's as a downtown department store famous for coffee, cheeses, and other gourmet foodstuffs. It burned down in the 1970s.
Was Y&R's use of the Tiedtke's bag some secret hello from a homesick Toledo-born soap writer?
Nothing quite that interesting, said a spokesman for the show, which airs weekdays at 12:30 p.m. Because Tiedtke's is defunct, it was a “clearable name” to use on a product package.
Elaine Liner is The Blade's media editor. E-mail her at email@example.com. or call 1-419-724-6126.