Words of wisdom from a former “Deal or No Deal” model

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. In the following and recent tweet, Bonnie-Jill Laflin is easy on the eyes. But she also provides great advice.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Road trip to a desert trip?

That Desert Trip concert we told you about Sunday on the broadcast del grande appears to be a twice-in-a-lifetime event. Organizers are adding a second weekend to the event with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who.

Visit http://passes.deserttrip.com for more details and ticket information

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

May we interest you in a good book?

Queen’s Brian May has released a book on, believe it or not, Victorian underskirts. May teamed up with Denis Pellerin in writing “Crinoline: Fashion’s Most Magnificent Disaster” — and it comes with May’s 3-D viewer. May and Pellerin say crinolines were all the rage back in the mid-19th century when stereoscopic photos were trendy. May says he has been interested in stereoscope images ever since he found 3-D cards in a cereal in the 1950s.

Visit www.LondonStereo.com for more details.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Okay, for starters, I did not see Sunday night’s live telecast of the Miss Universe pageant. This was due to dinner with relatives, making plans for Christmas and catching up on online work.

I only learned of this unusual ending after seeing reactions on social networking. Without pointing fingers, I can’t say I’m surprised.

I watched the Miss USA pageant – wherein the winner advanced to Miss Universe. Recall this aired on Reelz Channel. The telecast was riddled with technical gaffes and miscues. It’s better to see the mistakes for yourself than to describe them here (that is assuming you still have this on your DVR or some rotten kid made YouTube poop videos out of the show).

Guilty parties by now are taking responsibility for the goofs (and if not, they should be). May they learn from them – and work to make the next round of pageants nearly flawless.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Join in the fight against AIDS, win a chance to meet your fave star

(Cross-posted from DougMorris.net.)

Want to go on a bike ride with U2’s Bono? All you have to do is donate ten bucks to his RED organization to fight AIDS — and you’ll get that chance. Bono says he’ll even visit the spot in New York City’s Central Park where he had his devastating accident in 2014.

Other celebrities are also chances at meet-and-greets. Details are at the website we’ve listed below.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Christmas Page: Too soon? Not really.

(The following is cross-posted from DougMorris.net’s internotes.)

Yes — I hear you. We just finished Halloween, we’ve eaten all the candy, we’ve had the (expletive deleted) scared out of us visiting various haunted attractions, we’re putting away our costumes and — suddenly thepinebelt.com and DougMorris.net are joining forces to launch a Christmas page? Really?

Here’s why we’re launching The Christmas Page now. Having lived and worked here for more than two decades, I can assure you our autumns are event-filled. While we’re speaking of a winter holiday in Christmas, most of December, per the calendar, is still in the fall.

Consider last month. Not only did we have Halloween, we also had the diabetes walk in Hattiesburg. Certain events throughout the area raised awareness of domestic violence and breast cancer. Football season was already in full swing by October – and – well if I kept going, this would turn into a long diatribe.

Further, as of this writing, a number of Christmas-themed events, or situations that offer a chance for you to get a head start on your holiday shopping, are taking place this month. Also, organizers of at least one Christmas parade are calling for entries by, you guessed it, the end of November.

While you’re advised to wait to put up your tree after you’ve had your Thanksgiving turkey and dressing, we invite you to get out your own calendar and start marking it. ‘Twill be a season to be jolly – and we wouldn’t want you to miss a beat.

(The Christmas Page can be found at www.dougmorris.net/thepinebelt until, likely, New Year’s.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nineteen years ago today, one chapter closed as another was about to open

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Celebrating 20 Years of Rock 104

(cross-posted from DougMorris.net)

Whether we play your favorite classics, keep you up to date on events in the Pine Belt or root Southern Miss to victory, we have many reasons to celebrate 20 years of 104.5FM as Rock 104.

I’ve been honored to be part of 19 of the last 20 — and I’m ready to help continue the winning tradition.

Thanks for being part of this long strange trip — with no end in sight.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s next for Brian Williams?

While I work at a TV station that carries NBC programming, I’m not going to join in the chorus of critics calling for Brian Williams’ dismissal from NBC News. He already has plenty of critics.

Instead, let’s play everyone’s favorite game of supposition – What If?

If NBC News and Brian Williams part ways after recent controversy, what’s next for Brian? Let’s look at a few possibilities.

\ Going against Lou Grant’s advice by becoming a “quizzzzzmaster”. Seriously, longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek has hinted retirement from the long-running quiz show in recent years. The Canadian native is under contract until next year. Williams was reportedly considered to be the next host as early as mid-March of 2013. Other possible successors in those same reports included Matt Lauer, Anderson Cooper and Dan Patrick, who’s hosting a weekly all-sports version of “Jeopardy!” seen on the online channel Crackle.

Juggling a daily, and still high-rated, newscast along with reading answers and ruling on whether or not players have buzzed in with the right questions might be a challenge. “Jeopardy!” has taped in southern California since 1978 (including a brief network revival on NBC; current syndicated version has been on since 1984); “NBC Nightly News” airs from New York City unless developments require the anchor to broadcast elsewhere.

But, if Williams is freed of NBC News responsibility, Trebek officially calls it a career upon the end of his current deal and the powers-that-be at “Jeopardy!” and Williams can reach an agreement, then it’s simple for Williams. Relocate from the east coast to the west coast and begin a new career in game shows.

\ Go from NBC News to NBC Sports. A Doug’s Place flashback is in order. In 1999, Williams hosted pre- and post-race coverage of the then NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The network would later cover the latter halves of the next few seasons (Fox and NBC would take turns on the Daytona races; when one covered the Daytona 500 in February, the other covered what longtime fans still call the Firecracker 400 in July). Any further involvement from Williams was limited as a fan in the stands, inside the track with a pit pass or riding shotgun with analyst Wally Dallenbach for the “Wally’s World” segment.

NBC will return to covering NASCAR racing later this year. Williams is an avid fan. Back in ’99, the powers-that-be at NBC Sports asked him to help out in the coverage while the then NBC News president told Williams, “Knock yourself out, have a great time.” Assuming Williams remains in touch with the Earnhardts, the Jarretts, the Pettys and other prominent NASCAR people, there should be no problem here.

\ Take the Dan Rather route and host a weekly news program on a cable/satellite network. Okay, by now, the less said of the way Rather and CBS parted company the better. Not long after this public divorce, Rather started a weekly investigative news program on what was then HDNet.

The network has since changed focus towards entertainment and pop culture while renaming itself AXStv (pronounced “Access Teevee”). Rather’s program, eventually, went from investigative to show biz interviews.  His guests have included Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Dolly Parton and even “Weird Al” Yankovic.

There are more possibilities I could list here. But the point is this. Well-known broadcasters do find a way of making a comeback after suffering a setback – especially if a particular broadcaster helped create his or her own setback. Rather’s done it. So have people in the sports world such as Jim Rome and Marv Albert.

Williams, as of this writing, is taking a leave of absence from “Nightly News”. If Friday, February 6th, marked his final time ever anchoring the broadcast, fear not. He’ll land somewhere else.

Even with the investigation in progress that could spell the end of his days in network news, Williams is still a brilliant broadcaster with a sharp sense of humor. Call his appearances on “Saturday Night Live”, “The Tonight Show”, etc., bad ideas if you must. Just remember Walter Cronkite had a guest starring role as himself in an episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” – the same series that, in another episode, Grant questioned Ted Baxter’s possible career change from news anchor to “quizzzzzmaster”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who has two thumbs and won’t watch “Breaking Greenville”? This guy!

Doug’s Place Flashback: Two relatives of mine – who shall remain nameless because I don’t want to embarrass them – lived in Greenville, Mississippi, for 19 months. We agree they stayed 19 months too long.

When I visited them in Greenville once – and only once – it didn’t take long to realize how depressing it is to live in the area. Sure there are museums — saluting area native sons such as B.B. King and Jim Henson — and other tourist attractions. But, as I remembered, the downtown area of Greenville looked fantastic – in my rear-view mirror as I was heading home.

I’ve since gotten to know the Greenville television market through one of my peers in the business. He routinely blogged and criticized the products of the labors of WABG, marketing itself as “the Delta’s number one news station”. He criticized everything: production values, anchors, flaws in reporting, etc. One of his friends reacted, “If this is the number one station of the market, I’d hate to see what the number three station looks like.”

Truth be told, there are only two stations in the market airing news full-time – WXVT and the aforementioned WABG. These are the stations that serve as the main settings for the truTV series “Breaking Greenville”.

Long since my visit, WABG, an ABC affil, is now producing news briefs for its low-powered sister station; it’s an NBC affil. WABG also provides programming from the Fox network on channel 6.2 — a common practice in other small markets as “the big four” networks have looked to increase their reach in recent years. WXVT’s network of record is CBS – offering nothing else on any subchannel.

I’ve seen only a few clips and promos of “Breaking Greenville”. Knowing what I know about Greenville, the clips provided nothing really surprising and made me think, “Eh, that’s typical of the area.” I just question why the powers-that-be at WXVT and WABG consented truTV to give an inside, and supposedly hilarious, behind-the-scenes look at local TV news.

“Breaking Greenville” doesn’t do my chosen profession justice. I won’t be watching. If you remember TV Guide Network’s “Making News: Texas Style” and the sequel set in Savannah, Georgia, I recall they did a much better job of looking inside local TV newsrooms. It was a nice mix of humor, drama and, dare I say, realism.

“Breaking Greenville” goes for the laughs and, from the previews I’ve seen, fails.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment