WWHO, the CW station in Columbus, Ohio, is looking for a fresh young face to go with its new affiliation.
The station (known simply as "WHO") has been auditioning hopefuls to be its "host"—somewhere between a spokesmodel and a mascot. The winner will receive a $25,000 salary for a 20-hour work week that may involve recording on-air promos, appearing at station and community events (screenings, charity walks) and interviewing CW stars at network parties.
More than 100 contenders have turned out for three rounds of auditions in the past three weeks. Candidates—who must be over 18 and preferably are in The CW’s target 18-34 demographic—have included college students, young moms, a hip-hop artist who penned a special WHO rap, and a young woman with a hand puppet. A few showed up decked out in The CW’s signature bright green.
Station Manager Ellen Daly imagines that most are looking to break into TV while others are just "hoping for a chance to meet [One Tree Hill’s] Chad Michael Murray, [Supernatural’s] Jared Padalecki or the cast of Gilmore Girls."
In the coming weeks, WHO executives will whittle the field down to 10 finalists whose on-air skills—ad-libbing a promo or conducting mock interviews—will be judged by a panel of yet-to-be-named local celebrities. The station expects to anoint a winner by the November sweeps.
In the end, Daly hopes the effort will attract that elusive young demo to the station. "You have to have a creative and innovative plan to reach the 18-34s," she says.
Well, you can’t go wrong with a hand puppet.