The producers of KUAT's perennially lauded and locally produced program "The Desert Speaks" went online recently with "The Desert Speaks Journal." By accessing KUAT's Web site,, fans of the show can read diary excerpts from the producers and crew, and see images from upcoming episodes.

The scenes captured on "The Desert Speaks" are often wonderful, and, according to a KUAT statement about the new journal, obtaining that footage is not always easy.

"What goes on behind the scenes is an adventure in and of itself n often arduous, harrowing and downright treacherous," the statement said, adding that the new online journal will attempt to reflect some of what it takes to make the show, treachery and all.

KOLD appoints VP/GM

Jim Arnold, formally known as nationally recognized radio personality "Sunny Jim," has taken over as vice president and general manager of KOLD-TV News 13. Sunny Jim was the on-air personality at KCUB radio, and also did on-air work at KVOA-TV and other area radio stations. Arnold has operated radio and television properties in Texas and Wisconsin, and he worked in Amarillo, Texas, where he was the vice president and general manager (though not all at once) of the NBC affiliate KMAR, the FOX affiliate KCIT, and the UPN affiliate KCPN.

New shows for fall

Every fall ambitious media writers attempt the same witty remarks about the paucity of wit and imagination in the latest batch of new television shows. It's as if every year their eternal hope is that all will be different from before, and suddenly the garish and cracked piggy bank they have kept since childhood will change as if by magic to a weighty safe stocked with worthwhile cultural capital, and every year they are disappointed.

Where do they get their optimism?

They will probably be disappointed again this fall as the new line-up, save one or two notable exceptions, looks to be full of the usual leftovers, vehicles, spin-offs, and rehashes as always.

Making their mark again on at least two of this fall's new shows are television's Midas kings David E. Kelley and Michael Crichton. Kelley created the show "Boston Public," a twist on the droning teen dramas in that it concentrates on the lives of the teachers at a high school n perhaps a sign that our society is reaching a later stage of adolescence. The show is set to preamble Kelley's own "Ally McBeal" on Monday nights.

Michael Crichton (who is really more of a media force of nature than a man), the creater of "Jurassic Park," "Twister" and "ER," is creating a show for FOX scheduled to run on Thursday nights. The show is yet untitled, and FOX has not released any details. Silence and secrecy, under-exposure, often helps create a positive buzz, something that ABC hasn't quite learned judging from the planned ubiquity of its renaissance hit "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. It's scheduled to air on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. ABC is obviously trying to use the phenomenally successful "Millionaire" to bolster some of its less popular shows, and as a lead-in for some new shows, hoping perhaps that Regis has a few more miracles tucked away.

The good news is that "The West Wing" is returning to Wednesday nights. As the presidential race heats up this fall, it will be nice to have an ideal version of the chief and his plucky staff of smart kids to watch every time the real ones fall short.