Radio and TV Talk

Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Radio/TV briefs: ‘Worst Cooks in America’ local, Fan/Camp Twin Lakes radiothon, Chris Cuomo, Kristin Klingshirn

Originally posted Thursday, August 9, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

As we’ve seen on “Fear Factor” and “Wipeout” and many other reality shows, people are happy to humiliate themselves for money.

That has been the draw of “Worst Cooks in America” for eight years as regular folks (and celebrities, too) burn stuff, cut themselves and over-season all sorts of food for the amusement of viewers. And since this is Food Network and not a major network, this is as much for the experience as it is for the prize money ($25,000). 

Kimberly Worthy, 34, of Atlanta, a cast member of the 14th season of “Worst Cooks” debuting Sunday, had already failed miserably on a spin-off show that lasted just one season “Worst Bakers in America.” In fact, she was the first contestant ousted.

Worthy, an on-line teacher, actress and children’s book author, said everyone in her family can cook except her: “It’s really disheartening to go to family events and asked to bring your winning personality but don’t bring any food. I have to learn how to cook!” 

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When Worthy attempted a chestnut stuffing last Thanksgiving, she left some bits of chestnut shell in the stuffing and a shell got caught in her sister LaShundra’s gums. She had to have a liquid Thanksgiving as as result. “She was the only brave soul to try it,” Worthy said. “Kudos to her!” 

Worthy said she has a difficult time following a recipe due to her short attention span. “I’ll skip ingredients. I try to take shortcuts.” On the baker show, for instance, she created sugar cookies but forgot a key ingredient: sugar. 

Her family has recipes that go back generations. Worthy does not have access to them: “It would be like handing over a million dollars to a 10-year-old. I’m not going to value it.” 

She also said she can take the inevitable teasing she’ll get when the show debuts. “I’m not afraid of people laughing at me,” she said. “Doesn’t bother me at all!”

Worthy is single. “I’m a Southern belle but I know you need to know how to cook to catch your Prince Charming!” (To impress dates, she would have a friend surreptitiously cook food for her, which she would present as her own. “I did that for years!” she said. But that gambit doesn’t work long term.)

She admits she has no signature dish at all. “I can do smoothies!” she said. 

TV PREVIEW

“Worst Cooks in America,” 8 p.m. Sundays, beginning August 12, 2018, Food Network


Chuck and Chernoff, with Steak Shapiro at Camp Twin Lakes this year.

93.7 and 680/The Fan last week raised $115,000 for Camp Twin Lakes, which provides camp activities for children with serious disabilities and/or illnesses.

The Atlanta-based non profit, with camp facilities in Rutledge, has worked with the Fan for five years and said this was the largest amount raised by the station in its history. About 500 people made pledges over a 13-hour period.

Steak Shapiro, a former board member and now a morning host at the Fan who stays on air all day for the event, held a radiothon for years at rival station (and now defunct) 790/The Zone, which he owned for many years. Shapiro, once he moved over to the Fan, said it took no real convincing for his new boss David Dickey to jump aboard.

Camp Twin Lakes serves 10,000 kids a year on a $5 million budget. 

For Shapiro, this camp brings back great memories of going to camp as a kid in Maine. “These are kids who never in a million years would have imagined themselves at camp or to get on a zip line,” he said. “Kids with heart transplants get to meet other kids with heart transplants. Everything about this place is amazing.”

Cheryl Belair, director of development for Camp Twin Lakes, loves how the radiothon exposes the camp to people who otherwise wouldn’t have known about it. Many who donate are first-time contributors, she said. 

***

CNN’s prime-time line up has struggled compared to those of MSNBC and Fox News. But Chris Cuomo’s new 9 p.m. show is giving CNN a boost. 

His ratings the first two months are up about 33 percent from those of Anderson Cooper at 9 p.m. in May, according to The Wrap. And he’s up 16 percent year over year. 

Cuomo still trails far behind 9 p.m. powerhouses Sean Hannity at Fox and Rachel Maddow at MSNBC.

He drew 1.15 million viewers in July, the best showing for CNN in at least nine years in the 9 p.m. hour. Hannity was the top talk show host in the genre with 3.37 million while Maddow brought in 2.67 million. 

***

Kristin Klingshirn of the Bert Show.  (Rodney Ho/Radio and TV Talk)

Kristin Klingshirn of the Bert Show has spent her last five weeks in Florida in hospice care with her father Jim, a Vietnam vet who is dying of terminal lung cancer. 

Klingshirn, who has been off air this week, had Bert Weiss this morning read a note to concerned listeners. Her father was transferred to a well-regarded VA hospice care facility he really wanted to die in, but was in terrible shape during the transfer.

She wasn’t sure he’d actually wake up again but just as she was losing hope, he spoke to her and she was relieved.


About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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