Station Break

The wrong man?

WBZ-TV Boston producer Casey Sherman's quest to prove that "Boston Strangler" Albert DeSalvo was not the killer of Sherman's aunt in 1964 (B&C, Dec. 11, 2000) and bring to justice the man he believes was the real killer, advanced last week. When the body of Mary Sullivan, said to be the Strangler's last victim, was exhumed, forensic scientists said her skull showed no signs of a blow to the head, contrary to DeSalvo's contention that he knocked her unconscious.

"This all but excludes DeSalvo from my aunt's murder," Sherman said. "Now let's prove who did it." Sherman believes he knows who the killer is and has spoken with him. Sherman's family—joined by DeSalvo's—has sued the state to further investigate the murder of the 19-year-old Sullivan. The state says the investigation remains open.

Local reports said that the state's DNA testing of recently discovered fluid samples taken from Sullivan's body was inconclusive. Sherman said his family is now seeking a court order to get their suspect's DNA.

Anchored at KTLA

Larry McCormick isn't just a newscaster, he plays one on TV (and in the movies). This week, McCormick celebrates 30 years at KTLA(TV) Los Angeles. The former semi-pro baseball player and theater major has had a 40-year career in weather, sports, features and news and has portrayed newscasters in more than 80 TV shows and films. He has also received more than 100 awards for his aid to local civic organizations.

Ansin, Herald settle

WHDH-TV Boston owner Ed Ansin will not sue the Boston Herald for libel. The Sunbeam Television head had objected to Herald columnist Margery Eagan's characterization of him as egotistical, power-hungry and in need of analysis. In a letter to Herald Publisher Patrick Purcell, Ansin's attorneys sought "appropriate steps" to address his objections, and Ansin publicly threatened a lawsuit. Sunbeam said a confidential settlement had been reached with the paper, but the Herald said, both before and after the settlement, that there would be no apology or retraction.

Even Ansin conceded the difficulty of a public figure's bringing a lawsuit against a newspaper concerning the opinions of a columnist. Legal action is still possible against New York-based news-talent manager Alfred Geller, who made several such unflattering remarks about Ansin after Geller's client Kim Carrigan was not renewed by WHDH-TV. Geller has said he is unafraid of such a lawsuit.

TV takes some hits

F— (rhymes with duct), the newest cyber watercooler for TV insiders and malcontents, splashed across the World Wide Web with a traditional Internet offering: pictures of attractive naked women. But it also appears to have tapped into the chronic angst of TV-station employees, having posted many e-mailed gripes about management and policies.

In addition to widely distributed artsy shots of actress-turned-CNN-newswoman Andrea Thompson, the site has also displayed shots of a Miami anchor taken when she was a student. Site proprietor Scott Jones was unaware the photos belonged to Playboy until a lawyer for the magazine sought their removal. They later received a friendly note from the anchor, with a compliment on the stick figure they substituted for the photos.

Jones and site co-proprietor Stefan Mychajliu come from TV, most recently from WKBW-TV Buffalo, N.Y. Jones was laid off. Mychajliu credits Jones as the real force in F— The site is one of several run by the pair.

"We became big fans of F—," Jones explains, and decided to pay cyber-homage, first targeting Buffalo TV and later inviting e-mails from across the U.S. The male-oriented site is also, as its name suggests, much cruder than the more established TVShoptalk and Newsblues sites.

Still, the site—which makes predictions on news-director tenures and lists alleged victims of TV—is already into merchandising, including branded mugs, T-shirts and mousepads.

Weighing in

Former British royalty and current weight-loss pitchwoman Sarah Ferguson was in Los Angeles and held court as a guest co-anchor for the KTLA Morning News.

All news is local. Contact Dan Trigoboff at 301-260-0923, e-mail
, or fax 202-463-3742.