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Archives: September 2011

With Jim Watkins Out at WPIX, Kaity Tong Takes Weekends

As we reported first this morning, anchor Jim Watkins has done his final broadcast on WPIX/Channel 11. Several sources with knowledge of the matter tell FishbowlNY that the longtime WPIX anchorman was fired.

WPIX management had very little to say about the situation except that Watkins “remains employed by WPIX.”

However, sources say Watkins, who became weekend anchor in 2010, is not permitted back in the building, let alone the studios.   

In addition, sources say Watkins’ former weeknight colleague Kaity Tong is handling the weekend anchor duties on a temporary basis beginning tomorrow night.

Tong has been reporting from the outer boroughs each night. She also has been a frequent fill-in for Jodi Applegate.

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MSG Names Peter Ruttgaizer as New Islanders Host

The National Hockey League begins its 2011-12 season next weekend. Today, MSG Network announced a new host/reporter for its New York Islanders broadcasts.

Peter Ruttgaizer makes his debut on MSG Plus when the Isles open their season Saturday, October 8  at the Nassau Coliseum against the Florida Panthers.

“Peter has a real passion for hockey and we are confident he will bring a terrific energy to our Islanders telecasts,” said Dan Ronayne, executive vice president and general manager, MSG Networks.

Ruttgaizer, a Toronto native, spent the past three seasons as a host and reporter for Altitude Sports Network in Denver, and was part of the network’s coverage of the Colorado Avalanche. Ruttgaizer has also worked for CBC Sports, EastLink Television, TSN in Winnepeg and CTV in Toronto covering professional and junior hockey as well as the CFL.

Ruttgaizer takes over for Deb Placey, who switches to hosting and reporting for the cable network’s New Jersey Devils telecasts.

“I’ve always respected and admired MSG Networks, and the Islanders are a hockey team with a great history, so I’m honored to have this opportunity,” said Ruttgaizer. “MSG Networks has two of the premiere sports and entertainment networks in the country and I’m excited to get started with Howie, Butch and the talented production staff.”

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CNN and GOP | Early Twilight | Big Business

  • TVNewser: If you think it’s already overkill with presidential debates, then this is not the post for you. CNN has announced a GOP debate in Arizona on December 1. The cable news network televised two Republican debates, with another set for next month.
  • FishbowlLA: Ready to get your “vampire” on? Fandango is taking advanced orders for the latest Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn: Part 1. The film premieres on November 18, but fittingly, the (very) early tickets can purchased when the clock strikes midnight!
  • PRNewser: Warren Buffett helps Business Wire ring in a half-century today. The billionaire Buffett joined Business Wire to mark the golden milestone at the New York Stock Exchange.

Rare Copy of Michael Jackson Film Surfaces

Hard to believe both the timing and geographical reporting lineage of this one, at the end of an LA week dominated by coverage of the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial. But lo and behold, courtesy of a report by Mike Luehring on Oregon website Salem-News.com, comes news of a startling discovery:

A rare copy of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker film featuring the iconic dance sequence of ‘Smooth Criminal’ was located this week in Studio City, California.

Amy Redman, a raw stock broker who worked with Moonwalker’s live action director, Colin Chilvers for a number of years, came forward Tuesday with three reels of film that contain over 30 minutes of footage.

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AP Reporter Found Religion Covering LA Catholic Abuse Scandal

Sarah Pulliam Bailey at GetReligion.org just posted an interview with AP reporter Tom Breen that caught my eye. Bailey calls Breen the anti-William Lobdell, because unlike Lobdell, who left the Catholic Church after reporting on the sexual abuse scandals in the LA Archdiocese for the LA Times, Breen was a lapsed Catholic who became devoted while covering the exact same topic.

Breen, from the interview:

Ironically, it was my work covering elements of the sex abuse scandal that led me to become an “official” Catholic; I learned all I could about the faith to make sure my stories were accurate, and my learning convinced me this was the truth.

Having covered elements of the scandal myself, this seemed too improbable for words. How could anyone come to believe in the divine sanctity of the Catholic Church while reporting about how, for years, it covered up the sexual abuse of minors and protected the priests who were guilty of these crimes? We emailed Breen to ask him for some clarification.

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Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. TV Personality Jill Nicolini (left) Begins at WNYW on Monday, September 27
  2. Latest New Yorker Cover Puts Tourists in Their Place, September 28
  3. Conde´ Nast Adds More Magazine Themed Restaurants, September 26
  4. WNET/MetroFocus Reporter Calls Arrest at Occupy Wall Street Protest ‘Pretty Terrifying,’ September 27
  5. Time Inc. Rumors Kick Up Four Names, September 27 
  6. Hearst Launches New Magazine with HGTV, September 26
  7. WABC/Channel 7 Unveils New Studio, September 26
  8. Bloomberg View Executive Editor Abruptly Quits, September 28

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Five California Journos Given Fellowships to Cover the Elderly

Five California journos were among the 16 selected for this years MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, which supports journalism focused on aging and elderly issues. La Opiñon‘s Araceli Martinez Ortega will develop a series on Latino Social Security recipients, especially those with incarcerated children. RedwoodAge.com’s Pamela MacLean will work on a series about mental health issues in aging Boomers, and the Gen Xers that will need to take care of them. Caring.com senior editor Paula Spencer Scott will create a 5-part series on “caregiver syndrome.” Nadia Maiwandi will explore the plight of elderly women from South Asia. And finally Vanessa White will author a series called “Ethnic Minority Depression: Vietnamese American Community Focus.”

Also among this year’s fellows is former Village Voice investigative reporter James Ridgeway.

Full list of fellows after the jump:

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Hef’s Ex Puts Engagement Ring Up for Sale

Hugh Hefner‘s ex-fiance Crystal Harris just put her engagement ring up for sale on the famous auction site Christie’s. TMZ reports the ring could go from anywhere between $20k to $30k.

A source told TMZ Harris “couldn’t bear to look at the ring anymore because it brought back bad memories.” Guess it didn’t occur to her to give the ring back.

Report: Michael Ovitz Maneuvering Triggers IMG Board Battle

It’s rare these days to see the name Michael Ovitz headlining an entertainment news “Exclusive,” especially one that has nothing to do with a valuable painting or expansive piece of property. But there he is today, in a firecracker piece on TheWrap co-authored by Sharon Waxman and Brent Lang.

According to the article, IMG Worldwide board member Ovitz has been aiming to take over the company while chairman and CEO Ted Forstmann (pictured) battled brain cancer. The firm represents Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and many other sports world A-listers. An IMG board conference call reportedly scheduled for today was set to address the idea of “ousting” Ovitz:

According to another insider, board members Jerry Perenchio and Irving Azoffrespectively the ex-CEO of Telemundo and executive chairman of LiveNation –are leading the charge to get Ovitz booted…

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Bonnier Acquires Cycle World from Hearst

Bonnier Corporation has acquired Cycle World, the monthly motorcycle enthusiast publication, from Hearst. Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the magazine’s team will remain intact.

Mark Hoyer is the Editor-in-Chief of Cycle World, and his magazine will now be in Bonnier’s Outdoor Group, under Vice President and Group Publisher Eric Zinczenko.

“Adding another leading men’s vertical to our portfolio of enthusiast brands presents larger opportunities for our strategic partners as we share many of the same advertisers,” said Zinczenko. “This acquisition reinforces Bonnier’s pursuit of aggregating the largest men’s audience in media, and most important, its unwavering commitment to producing the highest quality content possible.”

Cycle World has a circulation of 235,000.

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