MILWAUKEE, August 26 – All is not well on Milwaukee’s number three talk show. Some serious cracks in the armor are developing at WLKE-TV3’s flagship show as allegations aimed at flown-in producer Tater Beutler start to mount.
The fraction started almost immediately after Beutler was brought to town in lieu of longtime executive producer Alan Kew. Co-host Vic Shell disagreed with Kew’s dismissal and walked off the job demanding Kew be re-instated but to no avail.
Remaining staff and crew began noticing “peculiarities” in Beutler’s personality, such as an obsessive-compulsive temperament, an extreme frugal lifestyle and an intense work ethic. The unconfirmed stories coming from different sources include:
- Beutler throwing her blackberry at a studio monitor in frustration when she thought the switcher was missing her directing cues. Longtime employee Les Tremaine was fired the next day;
- Beutler demanding that her personal SUV be used as a prop on a “morning of” hastily-pitched car repair segment. Detractors of Beutler, so-called “Tater Haters”, claim Beutler’s request was to avoid paying for car repairs out of her own pocket; and
- Run-ins with maintenance and cleaning staff over Beutler not giving them enough time to clean the show’s two-tiered hot pink and powder blue set. Unnamed staff alleged to have seen Beutler resting in the master bedroom, washing her clothes in the laundry nook, and most recently have accidentally walked in on her while she was using the plumbing-accurate bathroom.
Remaining on-air co-host Mary Margaret is not happy with the state of affairs either. According to an inside source, Mary and Tater get into heated arguments when they see each other at early morning dress rehearsals and it carries on until the end of the so-called “11:01 meeting”. Mary, a longtime stalwart of Shell’s, has been unapproachable when it comes to appointing his replacement. Added to the woe is that Mary Margaret has a contractual right of refusal as to whom her co-host will be. A myriad of co-hosts have been brought in on one-week trial basis but none of them, according to Margaret, “match the quality of a clean and sober Vic Shell”.
WLKE-TV station owner Honus Knox III was not available for comment and a spokesman declined to answer any of the allegations regarding Beutler’s professional behavior.
Next: Vic Shell Is Back!