Local television producer Jeff Aiello was in Alaska shooting material for upcoming episodes of his outdoor series "Motion" when he got word the Disney-owned Live Well Network — produced in cooperation with its owned-and-operated stations (including ABC30 in Fresno) — will shut down entirely in mid-January. That decision means "Motion" will end after more than 100 episodes.
"It's unfortunate that it happened. But we were the first to pioneer this kind of programming for the digital channels. Now Disney has decided to do something different with the spectrum," Aiello says.
"Motion" is part of the digital channel's lifestyle programming that has aired locally on KFSN (Channel 30.2) since it launched in 2009. "Motion," created by Aiello and produced through KFSN, was part of the programming created across the country that was fed through Fresno for distribution.
Fans of "Motion" — who call themselves "The Motion Nation" — have flooded the Live Well Network Facebook page with hundreds of posts pleading to save the show. Those fans also have also been active on the social media sites of Travel Channel and the FYI network (which launches in July), asking them to pick up the show.
A local reader, Nancy Gaseor, is very upset about the channel's death because she doesn't have cable. The Live Well Network was her go-to station and she likes that it "targets an educated audience."
Aiello stresses that new "Motion" episodes will air until the network shuts down. The same goes for "My Family Recipe Rocks" hosted by Joey Fatone that Aiello also created for the Live Well Network.
The end of the Live Well Network doesn't mean the end of "Motion" and "My Family Recipe Rocks." Although Disney owns the rights to both shows, Aiello's looking to create similar programs — as early as next year — that could be sold into syndication or to one of the numerous cable channels.
Local Emmy winners
KFTV Univision 21 (seven) and KSEE24 (two) were winners Saturday night at the 43rd annual Northern California Area Emmy Awards ceremony in San Francisco.
The awards are presented for outstanding achievement in television by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Northern California is composed of media companies and individuals from Visalia to the Oregon border and includes Hawaii and Reno.
The winners for KFTV included: Feature News Report-Light Series: "¿Sabor a qué?," Marialcy Carreño, producer, David Ibarra, anchor/reporter; Sports-Daily or Weekly Program/Series: "Acción Deportiva Extra," Sandy Sirias, producer; William Bonilla, sports anchor, Michelle García, technical director; Public/Current/Community Affairs-Feature/Segment: "Vuelo de Honor," Vanessa Ramírez, reporter, José E. Muñoz, photographer/editor; Community/Public Service-Single Spot or Campaign: "Copa Univision Fresno 2013," Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/director/designer, Pablo Ramírez, Alejandro Rhode, voice-over announcers; Promotion-News Promo-Single Spot: "Noticias Univision 21 — La furia del planeta," Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/graphic designer; Promotion-Program-Single Spot: "Solo Boxeo Tecate — La pelea por el agua," Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/design/director/photography, Marlo Medina, production/post production; and Director-Live/Recorded Live: "Noticias 21," José E. Muñoz.
KSEE24 picked up statues in two categories: Lifestyle-Program Feature/Segment: "Jack of All Trades," Lemor Abrams, reporter; and Feature News Report-Light: "Grey And Frank, A Friendship," Angela Greenwood, reporter, Kevin Mahan, photographer/editor.
Richard Harmelink, ABC30 vice president, was presented a Governors' Service Medallion for volunteer work done for the Academy.
Sidelined: Chuck Leonard, host of the weekday talk show "Central Valley Buzz with Chuck Leonard" that airs on KAIL (Channel 7.1), will be off the air for an unknown amount of time after having surgery.
Bob Jenkins, KAIL program director, says the program will continue with replacement hosts until Leonard returns. Those guest hosts have included Mike Briggs and former CBS47 reporter and anchor Mike Scott.
Gone: Comcast cable has replaced Weatherscan on cable channel 101. This was a nationwide corporate decision by the cable provider because Comcast found most of its customers get weather information through their mobile devices and the Internet.
Shout out: Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon mentioned Fresno's Audra McDonald during his monologue on the "Tonight Show" the day after the Tony Awards. He noted that "McDonald broke Angela Lansbury's record last night when she won her sixth Tony Award. Yeah, now she's got more Tonys than a beach in New Jersey."