In the bloodshot, 1999 eyes of Milwaukee Talk veteran Vic Shell and behind those rose-colored glasses of executive producer Allen Kew, it may as well have still been 1982. Morning shows like theirs were a license to print money back then. Their version was still that daily hour dose of paid infotainment from local businesses, behind-the-scenes gleaned and shined by Kew, with a charming, heaping dose of snake oil salesman glitz thrown-in from Shell. The flavor of that combination kept Milwaukee coming back for daily helpings long after its expiry date.
There definitely was big change in the air for Milwaukee Talk, the second-longest running TV talk show on the planet.
Allen Kew was dodging Honus Knox III, the owner of the show’s home network WLKE-TV3, for fear Knox was considering the unthinkable.
Vic Shell, flying solo as the show’s host since a highly publicized on-air debacle with his wife in 1997, also felt something yawing in his gut.
Something had to be done to give their show…nay…their town, the solid kick in the kiwis it desperately needed.
Fans are always asking how The Chat Pack started.
Well, their creation is no different than any of the other great inventions in history; they were discovered out of three parts necessity and one part mistake.
Our love letter to local morning TV begins here…