LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: Cuts at WHAS-TV; Move Lou Pushback; Derby Derby and Petrino’s Deal and Free Advice

Thumb Butte, in Prescott AZ. Photo by Rick Redding

I spent a great week in Arizona, climbing up to 6,000 feet of altitude to Thumb Butte. And I came back to great weather, Derby Fever and all this —

Cuts at WHAS-TV: A ton of local knowledge will be heading out the door at WHAS-TV in the next week, thanks to another round of corporate cuts. According to a source, Tegna (the parent company of WHAS, spun off from Gannett) offered buyout packages to at least a dozen staffers, and all but a couple accepted. Among those leaving are news anchor Melissa Swan, who’s been at the station since 1985. Others with equal experience are leaving from the ranks of editors, photographers and sales staff.

WHAS-TV’s ratings have been declining as well, as the one-time king of local news has nose-dived to last place since the Gannett purchase of Belo in 2013. Losing more than 10 people, including many with decades of experience, is not going to help the quality of the product.

DerbyVirgin_Female_Frontx-1Is it your First Time?: One popular item this Derby season is a new t-shirt with the message I’M A DERBY VIRGIN. Even veterans like me might be game for one. There’s a version for guys, too. Order yours for $20 at the IMADERBYVIRGIN Web Site. 

KYderbyBookThe Book – The Derby: I spoke to long-time Derby goer and expert handicapper Bill Doolittle on the Rusty Satellite Show this week. His book, published by Shircliff Publishing, is worthy of a $50 bet. It includes technology that allows you to watch selected Derby video on your phone, an especially good thing for those who can’t read without a screen nearby.  Find it in bookstores or at this link.

Ramsey’s Latest: For those of you following the misadventures of U of L Pres James Ramsey, the latest news won’t surprise you. Apparently someone in the same building as Ramsey’s office tried to rig an independent poll published by Insider Louisville by stuffing the ballot box. I’m betting Ramsey knew about this, and may have orchestrated it, as the no-confidence vote was leaning 80% against him before the votes from Grawemayer Hall started coming in. Are U of L’s overpaid staffers so dumb that they didn’t think anyone would notice? Also, check lout Aaron Yarmuth’s latest on Ramsey here.

A New $30 Million Man: The U of L football spring game is Saturday, and if you go, try to see if Bobby Petrino’s any happier. He just signed a new $30 million, 6-year deal to be the head coach. That’s what going 17-9 in 2 years will get you.

Chasta Feller at Mint Julep Tours. Photo by Rick Redding
Chasta Feller at Mint Julep Tours. Photo by Rick Redding

How to Have Fun: I met Chasta Feller of Mint Julep Tours this week. The “Fun Enhusiast” knows how to celebrate, and there’s plenty of places to go with MJT this month. And I learned that when MJT moves its HQ over to Mellwood after Derby, Rabbit Hole Distillery is moving in to NULU. Check it out on Rusty —

Move On, Louisville: Mayor Fischer’s extensive MOVE LOUISVILLE plan wasn’t accepted with overwhelming support this week. Frequent opposition voice Jackie Green reacted this way:  “Move Louisville refers to infill and un-locking Oxmoor farms and Urton Lane. The terms clear-cut and pave-over are more appropriate. The city needs trees. The city needs greenspace. The city is doing an inventory of trees. Yet, the city enables clear cutting and paving over our remaining fields.”

Corey Sims at the RecBar. Photo by Rick Redding
Corey Sims at the RecBar. Photo by Rick Redding

Playing Games in Jtown: Today is the opening of RecBar in Jeffersontown. Owners Corey Sims and Tony Thomas know about partying — they met while working at Lucky Strike on Fourth Street Live, and Sims later worked in the Mayor’s Events office. It’s housed in the former Bacon Bar, Blue Mule, Thirsty Ernie’s building behind Moby Dick on Taylorsville Road. Here my talk with Corey on the Jtown Podast

Free Advice for Me, Courtesy of a Reader: Rick, if you want to reach wider audience may I make a suggestion? Don’t make every post read like you’re totally in the tank for propagating left wing propaganda. How would you know if you were? Ask those who disagree with you what you sound like. Maybe you like living in an echo chamber but if not adopt a voice that tries to entertain and inform more than it tries to offend.