Third-place morning show shuffled staff for ratings


DEAR SUN SPOTS: Thank you for being so helpful in offering your column to the public and answering so many of our questions. I’m an avid reader of your column and found a couple of questions I would like to present to you.

I would like to know what happened to Julie Chen and Russ Mitchell, who used to be on the “Early Morning Show?” It was like they were there and then they were gone.

I have another issue that puzzles me. On March 4 there was a question about Stone Phillips, who used to be on “Dateline NBC.” Your response was that he was fired after a cost-cutting move. Now my question is, was he fired as you stated or was he let go because he sold his house and moved?

Thank you for your assistance. — Irene Thibault, Orrs Island

ANSWER: As far as Sun Spots can tell, Julie Chen is still on maternity leave from the “Early Morning Show.” As for Russ Mitchell, he left the show in mid-January. According to a story in The New York Times, he will be replaced in an effort to boost the third-place show’s ratings. According to this same story: “People come and people go at ‘The Early Show,’ where the average daily audience declined 11 percent last year, to 2.75 million viewers.”

Now, back to Stone Phillips. NBC has said that his departure was a cost-cutting move. The sale of his condo in New York City would not affect his employment. Not only does he own a house in the suburbs (Westchester County, just north of the city), but these people are not like the rest of us. They don’t need to have a home near where they work. Their salaries allow them to live wherever they please, and they can afford to stay in hotels or other temporary housing. Some are even provided with a living allowance as part of their contract for a new job.


DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am trying to find one of my closest friends from high school, Eva Hunter. She lived on Park Street with her father and stepmother. She had a stepbrother named Reggie Pomerleau. We were in the Lewiston High School Class of 1960. Would anyone who has information on where she is please give me a call at 777-3195? We lost touch, but I would really like to talk to her again. — Terry Harris

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Could you find out the status of limits on credit card debt in Maine? Thanks! — No Name, Lewiston

ANSWER: Sun Spots does not know of any state-regulated limits on how much you can borrow on your credit cards. That pretty much depends on your credit worthiness and the banks’ willingness to lend. Perhaps you have some questions about interest rates or the new federal law that went into effect in February, which was designed to protect credit card borrowers from some of the trickier maneuvers banks used? If you could write back and be more specific, Sun Spots will try to help.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is for the reader who was looking for bras that hook in front. Woman Within, also known as Lane Bryant, has quite a few, and they are comfortable. — Muriel E., Lewiston

ANSWER: Sun Spots found an online posting that said that the Lane Bryant catalog, which is no longer available, was not associated with the retail stores. However, Woman Within has both a Web site and a catalog. You can call them at 1-800-228-3120.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I called Shop Irish. They had all my information on file from when I had a P.O. box at the Lisbon Street post office. The catalogs are free, and one will be mailed to me.

I am so very grateful to you, Patty of Sabattus and for the information on the new name, Shop Irish, and correct telephone number. — Joanna Walsh-Ward, Lewiston

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]