Monday, February 4, 2002

Reality, rumor and
more reality

Tony Peterle, aka Tony Scott and Buzz Bennett, said his goodbyes from the sky Thursday in his last Airborne Traffic reports for Cox Radio Hawaii stations, including KCCN 100.3 FM and KRTR 96.3 FM.

Peterle, his wife "Captain Kelly," and another traffic reporter using the on-air name "Brian Fox" have been providing up to 12 Honolulu radio stations and KITV television with drive-time traffic reports for several years, but the number of stations the company serves fell off significantly with the loss of the Cox group, which it had served under a contract extension.

"It just got to the point where technology has taken away the need to have an airplane in the sky," said Cox Vice President Austin Vali.

Veteran broadcaster Danielle Tucker will be providing Cox stations with reports from the Honolulu Traffic Management Center, from whence Jason Yotsuda does his reports for Clear Channel Hawaii's stations.

With the center's numerous monitors hooked up to 100 or more stationary traffic cameras in addition to other resources, "we're basically able to be in many places at one time now," Vali said. The cost savings, he said, are "an added bonus."

"Yeah we're still flying. We're trying to keep the plane up," Peterle said. "During the times we're not able to fly, we don't have the funding to fly, we'll make use of the traffic center. But it's getting a might crowded already."

In addition to supporting a wife and three sons with traffic reporting duties, Peterle does broadcast engineering work for Salem Media of Hawaii Inc., which owns four Oahu radio stations.

Kelly Peterle runs a horse breeding business in Kailua, and has "paints and quarterhorses from the mainland," she said, as well as a Hanovarian from Germany whose brother was in the Olympics -- under a rider for an equestrian event, of course.

TV talk on the street

Rumor has it that KHON Channel Two is planning a 5 p.m. local newscast to start in June. But it's not what could be termed a plan.

"We've been talking about it for two years," said Vice President and General Manager Bill Spellman.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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