WHYY's continued presence in Wilmington after more than 45 years is hazy.
TV12 put its first-floor space in the Linden Building, at Seventh and Orange Streets, on the market last week for $1.7 million. "It's expensive to maintain," a station spokeswoman said, adding that the Dover office would cover Delaware.
The Wilmington studio is home of the weekday news show Delaware Tonight, whose own future is similarly a mystery.
Chris Satullo, WHYY's executive director for news and civic dialogue, said the station would consider leasing the office. He added it was uncertain whether WHYY would look for a "more suitable" location in Wilmington.
WHYY paid $492,000 for the space about 20 years ago. The operation employs 17 full-timers, who shuttle between Wilmington and Philadelphia, and three part-timers, a spokeswoman said.
Looming is the possibility of cuts in WHYY's state funding from Pennsylvania ($1.1 million) and Delaware (about $500,000). Satullo, who pins a $1.6 million price tag on the Delaware news operation, said no decisions would be made until the appropriations were resolved. A spokesman for Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said he was hopeful that WHYY would remain in Wilmington and that Delaware Tonight - arguably the best-known First State-focused show - would not be canceled.
Any pullout from Wilmington could draw the attention of the Federal Communications Commission, as WHYY's community of license is Wilmington - hence its tag, "Philadelphia-Wilmington." Satullo said the station had "no intention of abandoning Wilmington."
WHYY, created as a nonprofit educational station in Philadelphia, signed on in 1957 on UHF Channel 35. In 1958, Storer Broadcasting gave up WVUE, its commercial station on Channel 12 in Wilmington. In awarding the channel to WHYY, the FCC wrote that "educational television would enlarge the range of programming in the Wilmington area."
When WHYY signed on Channel 12 in September 1963, its Wilmington office was in a former school at Fifth and Scott Streets.
Starr at the Mann
Stephen Starr's catering operation will run Crescendo, the upper-end food concession at the Mann Music Center, starting with the June 5 David Byrne show. It's a two-year deal in a partnership with Ovations Food Services. The menu will include three-course meals from buffet stations (about $40 per person) and small-plate a la carte selections. Bread will come from Starr's bistro Parc on Rittenhouse Square. Chef Shane Cash's menu will change as inspired by the performers. ("Talking Heads of lettuce" for the Byrne show, maybe?) Starr Events, overseen by Simon Powles, recently snapped up in-house catering for law firms Pepper Hamilton and Duane Morris and such venues as the HUB Centers. It also has opened a burger stand at Franklin Square in Center City.
S-s-tress? What stress?
Mayor Nutter is due to get his blood pressure checked Tuesday morning in City Hall at a launch event for the Heart-Healthy Philadelphia Campaign, a citywide initiative this summer and fall. Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals will sponsor the free program, which will be produced by Vizion Group of Berwyn.
Local chefs Jeremy Duclut (georges' in Wayne) and Peter Karapanagiotis (Privé in Old City) will be two of the four contestants on one episode of the Food Network culinary-battle show Chopped. Their show is scheduled for 10 p.m. Aug. 25.
Comcast SportsNet's Marshall Harris joined the media day for the Home Runs for Heart fund-raiser this month and stank out the joint. After hitting lessons from Phillies coach Milt Thompson, Harris is due to take the plate Wednesday with his newfound form. SportsNet will show the instruction during SportsNite at 6:30 and 10 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday.
Chris Matthews went for chicken at Popeye's on City Avenue after giving the commencement address at St Joseph's University yesterday.
More movie litigation
More than five dozen local actors who worked on the Bollywood movie known as Jihaad have gone to court, alleging that two film companies didn't pay them or gave them checks that bounced late last year. Friday's filing by attorney Michael H. Rosenthal in Common Pleas Court names Dharma Productions - one of India's largest studios - and Australia's Swish Group.
Attorneys at Cozen O'Connor filed a separate complaint on behalf of the film's vendors, and a judge last week denied a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent producers from whisking the now-completed film out of the country during litigation. Cozen's Justin Wineburgh said he was preparing an amended complaint to name the individual officers of the defendants and would include fraud counts.
Neill C. Kling of Harkins Cunningham, who represents Dharma, said Dharma had paid Swish, which in turn owed the money to the vendors and actors. He said he intended to sue Swish, which has not responded to requests for comment.
Scalpers have this covered
Jayson Werth fleece blankets were the advertised Phillies' Mother's Day giveaway last Sunday, but when team officials opened the boxes, they noticed that the rightfielder's lips had come out hot pink. The Phils distributed vouchers to female fans 15 and older, urging them to pick up blankets after July 24. Entrepreneurial types are selling vouchers on eBay - and it's a boon, since it's far cheaper to ship a voucher than a blanket. One sold Friday for $112.50. Appropriately for stressed-out team officials, the giveaway's sponsor was Motrin.