TV Q&A: 'Last Week Tonight,' a CNBC anchor, a departed WPXI meteorologist

Thursday, 10 May 2018 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: Where does “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” get the money to buy things like Russell Crowe’s film memorabilia?

Rob: I am sure the show has a line in its budget to cover the cost of the many stunts the show perpetrates on a regular basis.


Q: I hope you are doing well. I recently stumbled upon your review of the "Girl Meets World" pilot on Disney. Were you surprised that Disney canceled "Girl Meets World" after only three seasons, or did you expect it? Thanks again for your time.


Rob: Sorry, but I can’t say I’ve really given “Girl Meets World” another thought since writing about it when it came on. At that time, there really seemed to be a lot of interest from millennial-age journalists, but while buzz certainly plays a role today in making decisions about the future of TV series, financial considerations play a bigger part and are usually at the root cause for a show’s cancellation. I’m not privy to those details for a prime-time series let alone a cable show for tweens. So, I can’t really do much more than speculate on what any show in that category had any particular fate.


Q: I enjoy shows with people who are excellent at their jobs. Looks like one of my favorites, “Hotel Impossible,” is done. Disappointed.


Rob: Sadly for Don, it's true. We reported in a February TV Q&A “Hotel Impossible” won’t be back.


Q: What happned to Bill Griffeth who used to be on CNBC at 3 p.m.?


Rob: In March he was named co-anchor of the CNBC-produced “Nightly Business Report,” which airs on public television stations. Look for him weeknights at 7 p.m. on WQED-TV.


Q: Noticed over the years while channel surfing, why are Pittsburgh's sports anchors, reporters, analysts, experts, etc. much more downright critical of the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers? Some are worse than others. It all started to change around the time of the Penguins first Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992 with KBL's -- now AT&T SportsNet “Sportstalk” evening call-in show -- and it's progressed to where we are today unfortunately.  


Rob: I think this probably mirrors a societal change from boosterism to more critical thinking about entertainment content (sports is a form of entertainment, of course), which doesn’t seem entirely problematic to me.


Q: A few weeks ago I read that Valerie Smock was leaving Channel 11 to spend more time with her family. This past weekend, May 5 and May 6, I was traveling in North Central, Pa., and was watching the morning news station (WNEP in Scranton) when they did the morning weather she was the meteorologist. So inquiring minds want to know is her family in Pittsburgh or Scranton?


Rob: Sounds like they are in Scranton. She posted this on her Facebook page about leaving WPXI: “Pittsburgh is such a wonderful place to live with even more amazing people. I got engaged and married, bought a house and had a baby all while here in Pittsburgh. And it’s that final milestone that has pushed me to make the decision I did to leave WPXI. My husband, Greyson, Orvis, Layla and I will be moving to the Scranton area to be closer to family. This was a difficult decision but I know being closer to family and getting to spend more time with Greyson is the right move. Thank you again for all you’ve done to make me feel welcome since I’ve been here. I will miss you all!”





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