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Posts Tagged ‘Betty Ellen Berlamino’

WPIX Beats Age-Discrimination Suit Against Former News Director

We’ve reported about the recent ratings win for WPIX. But the Tribune flagship also has a victory in the legal world.

A jury Wednesday, in its second day of deliberations, ruled against former Channel 11 news director Karen Scott. She had claimed that her 2009 firing was age-related. Scott, who turned 60 before being let go, worked 16 years at WPIX.

The station argued that Scott was dismissed due to weak ratings and declining ad revenues.

Scott sought $4.5 million in her lawsuit. Scott’s lawyer, Kenneth Rubenstein, says no decision has been made on whether his client will appeal, Newsday reports.

WPIX weekend anchor Kaity Tong, who turned 65 last month, and veteran reporter Marvin Scott, 74, were among the witnesses who testified in Manhattan Federal Court.

WPIX is not out of the woods yet. Channel 11 and former station general manager (and current WLNY GM) Betty Ellen Berlamino face similar age-discrimination lawsuits from former sports anchor Sal Marchiano and one-time features reporter Larry Hoff, the New York Post writes.

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WPIX Anchor Kaity Tong Takes Stand in Former Boss’ Age Discrimination Suit

The testimony was akin to legal fireworks, as WPIX weekend anchor Kaity Tong appeared as a witness in the age discrimination trial of her former news director.

Tong, who turned 65 this week, was in Manhattan Criminal Court yesterday to defend Karen Scott, and promptly told lawyers that she was also singled out because of ageism.

Tong recounted a meeting with then-station GM Betty Ellen Berlamino (now GM at WLNY), who was Scott’s superior, according to the Daily News.

She said Berlamino criticized her performance and cut her salary “rather dramatically.” Tong, the former PIX co-anchor (with Jim Watkins) added, “I was devastated, surprised, hurt, and I thought it was baseless.  I was blindsided.”

Tong, a New York mainstay in the mid 1980s at WABC, believed she was given a bad review and the pay cut because “they were setting the groundwork to eventually get rid of me because of my age.”

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WLNY Morning Team Revealed for Live from the Couch

Caroline Bermudez, John Elliott, and Lisa Kerney have been named hosts of Live from the Couch. The WLNY 10/55 morning program airs from 7 to 9 beginning in early July.

The WCBS-produced show features a mix of news, talk, entertainment, and lifestyle segments.

Bermudez joins WLNY following her successful seven-year stint as co-host of Elvis Duran and The Morning Show, which originates at Z100/WHTZ and is heard on 55 stations nationwide.

“We are very excited to be bringing a distinctive new morning show to the tri-state area featuring Carolina, John and Lisa – three extremely bright and entertaining broadcasters,” said Betty Ellen Berlamino, vice president and station manager, WLNY. “With the launch of Live From the Couch in the morning and our new one-hour primetime newscast, WLNY News At 9 p.m., next month we look forward to significantly raising the profile of WLNY.”

In addition to their new responsibilities on Live from the Couch, Elliott and Kerney will continue to appear on CBS 2 News This Morning, weekdays from 4:30–7:00 on WCBS/Channel 2. Elliott has served as weekday morning weathercaster since January 2007. He will remain on the WCBS noon newscast, and still provide daytime reports for sister station WCBS 880.

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WCBS Unveils Plans for WLNY with New Morning and Primetime Newscasts

With the CBS takeover of WLNY history, Channel 2 is ready to unveil its news plans for that station.

Viewers will see WCBS double its resources with an expanded news presence on WLNY. The old version of 10/55 only aired a 30-minute 11 p.m. newscast.

With a target date of late June or early July, WLNY will add a two-hour morning block from 7 to 9.

“It’s going to be a unique blend,” David Friend, WCBS news director, says. “I think viewers are going to be pleasantly surprised as to what this show is going to be like. It’s going to be different than what already is on television news at that time locally.”

Therefore, WLNY’s main morning competition is WNYW and WPIX.

WCBS general manager Peter Dunn says the ‘LNY morning show will be “totally different” from the WCBS’ 2 1/2 hour early hours broadcast. Anchors and contributors have yet to be announced.

“We have some great assets with the people here, so we’re going to ulitize some of them on ‘LNY,” Dunn says. “We’re going to hire some people from the outside as well.”

However, WCBS management has named its lineup for a new ‘LNY prime time newscast from 9 to 10 p.m. Chris Wragge and Dana Tyler, along with WLNY holdover Richard Rose based on Long Island. Weathercaster Lonnie Quinn and sports anchor Otis Livingston round out the team.

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Former WPIX GM Betty Ellen Berlamino Resurfaces with CBS

Betty Ellen Berlamino spent 17 years at WPIX/Channel 11. She was the station’s president and general manager from 2000 to 2010.

It’s almost a year to the day since Berlamino was fired from WPIX.

Now, she has been named senior vice president and director of sales for CBS Television Stations. Her main responsibility will be working with CBS Local Media to spur revenue growth.

Our sister site TVSpy has much more on Berlamino’s new management role.

Sportscaster Sal Marchiano Files Age Discrimination Suit Against Former WPIX General Manager

Longtime sportscaster Sal Marchiano filed a multimillion-dollar age discrimination lawsuit against the former head of WPIX/Channel 11.

Marchiano, who left WPIX in December 2008 when the station decided not to re-sign him, is seeking unspecified damages. The Daily News reports that the figure could hit $10 million.

When Marchiano, 69, originally exited station officials called it a retirement, although the sportscaster said otherwise.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, names Betty Ellen Berlamino, the former general manager of Tribune-owned Channel 11. The station itself was not named.

The article says Marchiano’s legal proceedings took place in large part because of former news director Karen Scott filing her own suit in June. In it, Scott maintains that she was pushed out due to age discrimination.

Scott, according to the Daily News, alleges that the station, led by Berlamino, demoted Marvin Scott and tried to force out Kaity Tong. (This week, WPIX reassigned anchors Tong and Jim Watkins in favor of Jodi Applegate.)

He just ‘doesn’t look good on the air,’ Berlamino allegedly said of Marchiano, according to Scott’s suit.

FishbowlNY attempted to reach Berlamino. Messages were not returned.

Channel 11 had no comment.

WPIX Hires New VP/GM

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Tribune Broadcasting named Eric Meyrowitz as vice president and general manager of WPIX. Meyrowitz, who had served as VP and GM for Tribune’s WDCW-TV in Washington, D.C. since 2004, assumes the job immediately.

“Eric is the right guy for this job,” said Tribune Broadcasting President Jerry Kersting in a statement. “Even more so because he’s originally from New York–he understands the city, the importance of local news and the rich tradition of WPIX.”

“This is an incredible opportunity to lead a great station in the best media market in the country,” said Meyrowitz, a New York native. “With new syndicated programming launching this fall, and the expansion of its morning news show, WPIX will continue growing its legacy and I’m honored to be a part of it. Plus, I get to return home-I can’t wait to get started.”

In June, Tribune fired longtime WPIX president and GM Betty Ellen Berlamino. She started at the station in 1994, and was promoted to general manager in 2000.

Reportedly, veteran anchor Jim Watkins will not have his contract renewed by WPIX. His deal with the station was set to expire at the end of August.

A station spokesperson had no comment on Watkins’ situation at Channel 11.

Watkins is on vacation this week from his PIX News at Ten duties.

Update: A tipster tells FishbowlNY, despite the changes at WPIX, Watkins is currently negotiating his contract. “He is still in,” writes the tipster.