Episode 30: Shell Walkin’ the Talk?

Shell Walkin.001
Vic Shell issues on-air ultimatum to WLKE management

MILWAUKEE, August 24 – Milwaukee Talk viewers were rocked at the end of this morning’s broadcast. During the final moments of producer Allen Kew’s farewell show, Vic Shell announced that this too would be his last day if management didn’t reverse their decision to dismiss Kew.

This weekend, WLKE-TV management has agreed to negotiate with Shell and his agent in an attempt to keep the veteran broadcaster on their steadily rising #3 rated show.

Since Kew’s termination announcement, Shell has maintained that the show needed more time to bounce back from its ratings doldrums which began in September 2009. At that time, popular co-host Mary Margaret went on maternity leave while co-host Vic Shell continued hosting duties with a wide variety of substitutions. The show’s ratings dwindled to the point where execs elected to have Shell read news stories and throw to old segments featuring him and Mary Margaret.

The farewell show for Kew was an emotional affair. Clips included a boyish Allen Kew disagreeing with Mary about how a new show called “CSI:NY” will be received with viewers as well as a wild moment with Mary and Kew dancing in front of a green screened disco scene with Vic Shell dressed as OutKast lip-syncing to the then-popular “Hey Ya”.

Exec producer Kew with co-hosts Shell and Margaret during happier times
Exec producer Kew with co-hosts Shell and Margaret during happier times

Somber moments came at the end of the broadcast when Mary confided to Kew that she always thought of him as her guiding light when it came to career matters and wanted to publicly thank him for being “like a second father to her”.  Kew conceded that he was a bit surprised by her remarks given he is only nineteen months older than her.

Vic Shell wound up the show telling the Milwaukee Talk audience that he is very serious about his intentions to step down if his longtime cohort, friend and AA sponsor isn’t brought back to the fold, adding that this week’s behind-the-scenes drama is something he won’t ever forget. “These scars won’t heal” he repeated no less than five times in his good-bye speech to Kew.

Even as the credits rolled, Shell was still voicing frustration that he doesn’t think management is taking his threat seriously. “I have been under the hot and intense scrutiny of these studio lights for almost 20 years of my working career,” Shell began.

“That’s right, and if they think Vic Shell is going to blink, then they apparently haven’t been paying enough attention to his on-screen delivery”, Mary Margaret concluded.


It was a drastic move by Shell who later revealed to The American Log that even he had no idea he was going to issue the ultimatum until “the words rolled off my heart through my tongue.  I swear to you and everyone, that will be the last time I ever stray from those little words that are written on my teleprompter.”

It was a classic stare down and everyone wondered who was going to blink first.  In the meantime, enjoy one of the segments that aired during the Allen Kew retirement episode.  A collection of just some of the good times this quartet of performers enjoyed over the years with their viewers….

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