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Media Life: New Year’s TV celebration finally gets California vibe

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Media Life columnist
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Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com. Also hear Thomson most Fridays at 6 p.m. on Dave Rosenthal’s drive-time radio show on KAHI 950 AM. He’s also a regular guest on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.

 

 

AUBURN CA - It’s always been a trifle surreal to stay up late and then watch the good folks gathered in New York’s Times Square thousands of miles away help bring in the new year on TV.

The “magic” of TV dictates that the celebration be recorded and then dutifully played three hours later in California to make up for time-zone changes. And with the advent of the Internet, that adherence to tradition has just gotten more perplexing.

Enter “First Night 2013,” a new on-air wrinkle in the Monday night’s midnight madness that’s bound to burst a little of the bubble the East Coasters have had a stranglehold on for umpteen years.

KCQA My 58 will air the “First Night 2013” New Year’s Eve special live – in more-or-less real time – from Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The show will air from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. and is touted as the first-ever live New Year’s Eve special produced specifically for you, the West Coast viewer.

And, to even make it more local, there will be a special KCRA 3 News greeting from the Old Sacramento New Year’s Eve celebration that will air only on KQCA sometime within “First Night 2013.”

The program will mix celebrity guests, iconic West Coast landmarks, comedy acts, plus live and taped musical entertainment.

Among the celebs expected to pop in are Eva Longoria, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Bob Saget, Shaquille O’Neil and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix.

New York’s ball drop is replaced as the countdown to midnight proceeds with a rising star making midnight in an “it’s about time” moment for West Coasters.

Rocking in Spain

The new year looms bright for Auburn’s Lost Rocker. Al Hendrix, whose rockabilly recordings from the late 1950s and early 1960s have a small but global fan base, is tentatively signed on for an appearance this September in Spain. Hendrix, who released a new CD "Lover Boy” this past year, may be 78 but he’s still rockin’. You can catch Hendrix a little closer to home in January, when he’s scheduled to play Nevada City’s Stonehouse Old Brewery. Hendrix’s show at a rock revival fest in Calafell, Spain will be his first opportunity to perform in Europe.

Channeling options

The world of high-definition TV is expanding in Auburn. Suddenlink’s Gene Regan passes the word on that the cable operator has added a host of high-def channels to its TV lineup in Auburn, as well as new digital channels in standard format.

The 20 new HD channels include KVIE, Comcast Sports Net California, C-SPAN, TV Land, The Hub, BBC America, MTV 2, HBO Comedy, Starz Comedy, Showtime, Hallmark Movie Channel and QVC.

New digital channels in standard format include Boomerang, Hallmark Movie Channel and Lifetime Television.

 Placer No. 1

 You can read as much or as little into this one as you want.

The stats are in and Placer County is the state’s leader in population growth during a time of very little population growth. The county grew just 1.21 percent in the fiscal 2011-12 year ending in June. But it was enough to top California’s 57 other counties.

Placer increased by 4,313 residents, with 3,000 coming from in-migration and the rest from births. Statewide, California grew by 256,000.

Placer County’s population now stands at 359,641 – and growing.   

Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com. Also hear Thomson most Fridays at 6 p.m. on Dave Rosenthal’s drive-time radio show on KAHI 950 AM. He’s also a regular guest on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight.” And you can catch up with Thomson on Twitter at AJ_Media_Life.