In the spirit of Larry King's old-school columns in USA Today
, here are some random thoughts on this first weekend in April.....
David Letterman's announcement that he's shutting down his brilliant late-night career next year brings back memories of when he first came on the air back in February of 1982. I remember it very vividly, as network television basically ended each night after Johnny Carson signed off back in those days. Carson's Tonight Show
had been 90 minutes for a long time before it was scaled back to an hour. Letterman filled the late-night 12:30 a.m. slot four nights a week, with Friday Night Videos
closing out the weekend, which was a big deal for those of us who didn’t have their MTV yet....but back to Dave – that first decade before he went to CBS are the shows that will always define him to me...Actually, I can say I was one of the few who was a big fan of his first show on NBC — a daytime program
that aired during the summer of 1980. It was damned subversive for 9 in the morning; his co-host was Bob Sarlatte, a San Francisco native and decent comedian in his own right. But it folded after only a few months....Then Late Night
began airing, replacing Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow
.......Let the speculation begin about who might replace Letterman, but come on? Is it really that big of a deal? This ain’t 1994, (virtually) pre-cable......
The Final Four college basketball championship games take place tomorrow night from Arlington, Texas, or “North Texas” as the NCAA is calling it. Funny piece in today’s Wall Street Journal
about a sad fact rarely commented on but 100 percent accurate – there will be no beer served during tomorrow night’s doubleheader. Nor has there been in the arenas hosting any of these games throughout the tourney. The NCAA doesn’t sell alcohol to the general public at its championships, something I discovered back in 2003 when some early round games were hosted at the Tampa Bay Times Forum (the tourney came to Tampa in 2008). It used to be that way at all NCAA events, like regular season college football and college basketball games… So who wins this weekend? I’m thinking (hoping?) that Florida and Kentucky advance... if that happens you’ll have a classic confrontation between the “one-and done” Wildcats who recruit some of the best players in the nation to come play for a year and then bolt for the pros, and the Florida Gators, who are old-school in that they have a plethora of seniors who have returned, making them a true team... Noah
continues to get bashed by religious scholars, but for this inveterate moviegoer, it’s by far the most stimulating film I’ve seen in 2014..... And you might have seen the news that Congresswoman Kathy Castor’s congressional office was the site of a same-sex marriage yesterday between Tampa residents Mark Anderson and Keith Bucklew. Congrats to them both. Mark was my engineer for a couple of years on my radio program on WMNF,
The legislation that would allow Uber to operate in Tampa is one step closer to happening, even though the bill being pushed by St.Petersburg Senate Republican Jeff Brandes didn't advance in the Senate Transportation Committee in the state Legislature yesterday. How does that work? Check out our report.
And in Tampa, the City Council agreed to extend the city's contract
with the Phoenix-based American Traffic Solutions, the vendor for the city's red-light camera program for two more years. All four City Council members who voted against the measure two weeks earlier were satisfied with Mayor Bob Buckhorn's promise to set aside 25 percent of the revenue from the cameras toward improving intersections where the cameras are located. But the mayor lost one vote he always had when Lisa Montelione wasn't satisfied that those intersections were the best places for the improvements.