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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Carey’
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Now that WPIX is moving on without its captain, we analyze if they are better off, and what’s ahead for the Tribune flagship?
Earlier this month, we reported Bill Carey stepped down as Channel 11 news director. It was a three-year run that attempted to finally lift WPIX past rival WNYW. But Queensborough Community College media professor Eileen White thinks aside from the new bells, whistles, and talent, nothing much has changed at WPIX. She says the newscasts, primarily at 10 p.m., attempted to reinvent the wheel, but in the process, alienated viewers.
“That smacks of ageism too,” White tells FishbowlNY. “Let’s just put younger people on, because younger people like [watching] younger people.”
Ironically, Tong, 63, earlier this year gave testimony in an age discrimation lawsuit filed by former WPIX news director Karen Scott.
White also points to a more chronic problem for WPIX, the Fox prime-time lineup.
It’s official. Bill Carey‘s tenure is over as news director at Tribune flagship WPIX. Carey had a three-year “term” running the station’s news department. We’re told Carey cleared out his office during the weekend and is headed to an Internet startup.
FishbowlNY has obtained a terse email that WPIX VP/GM Eric Meyrowitz sent to staffers this morning.
While we conduct our search for Bill Carey’s replacement, John Houseman will be interim News Director. During this time, please see John or me with any questions.
There has been speculation that Tribune honchos, based in Chicago, will ultimately take over the station.
WPIX and Carey were dealt a bad hand in recent months. The fight to grab all-important ratings from WNYW/Channel 5 suffered a setback, thanks in no small part to the Cablevision/Tribune retransmission fees issue. WPIX has been non-existent on the Bethpage, N.Y.-owned cable company since mid-August. Approximately 3 million Channel 11 viewers have been in the dark.
Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.
- The New York Times‘ New iPad Website Could Mean End of Apple App, October 3
- Deadspin Criticizes Bleacher Report for Being Like Deadspin, October 3
- Bill Carey Stepping Down as WPIX News Director, Likely for Internet Startup, October 3
- Gawker Grabs $2 Million in Revenue in One Day, October 27
- Cover Battle: Time or Adweek, September 27
- Surprise! Deborah Needleman (left) Joins T: The New York Times Style Magazine, September 27
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.
WPIX news director Bill Carey, who is responsible for sweeping changes to the look and staff since joining the station in November 2009, is giving up his post. A well-placed source tells FishbowlNY that Carey is leaving Channel 11 before the November sweeps period. It is believed that Carey is fielding several offers, including from a startup company. Carey had no comment to FishbowlNY about a change to his job status.
In three years on the job, Carey made his imprint. Within a year, lead anchors Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong were displaced and Jodi Applegate was hired. Carey created a brand new newsroom set for Applegate.
Carey also made morning changes. Last summer, he brought Frances Rivera from Boston to co-anchor the PIX Morning News with veteran Sukanya Krishnan. Earlier this year, commentator Lionel was given hosting duties for the two-hour early edition of the morning news.
Let the good times roll at WPIX!
Thanks to a combination of its hard work and a competitor’s questionable moves, WPIX staked a claim of the July Nielsen ratings.
Channel 11 is a winner in the morning. In particular, the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m portion of the PIX Morning News with Sukanya Krishnan and Frances Rivera. The program has eclipsed morning powerhouse WNYW and its Good Day New York. In the all-important Adults 25 to 54, WPIX edged WPIX, .8 to .7.
“We feel great about that because we haven’t done that in the morning,” WPIX news director Bill Carey says.
It’s the least publicized “Sweeps” period, because of the much-reduced summertime viewership.
Regardless, it’s a “two-fold” victory for Channel 11. The Tribune station in the same demo last July managed only a .4 during the two-hour block.
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.”
You have to give WPIX/Channel 11 and news director Bill Carey credit for constantly changing viewers minds for what a traditional newscast should look like.
The station, seeking a piece of the competitive morning race, is reinventing the wheel again. By making night time commentator Lionel as host of the 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., WPIX wants to lift itself out of the early hours abyss. In turn, the station would use that lead-in on the PIX Morning News with Sukanya Krishnan and Frances Rivera.
If you’ve watched PIX News at 10, then you’ve seen Lionel pontificate about a wide range of pressing matters. He’s given more than two minutes each night to weave a story with good writing, some humor and a dose of histrionics.
In the morning, right from the opening title, this is Lionel’s show. There are several shots of Lionel at Grand Central Terminal with his one name on the screen, before showing PIX Morning News. All that’s missing is the late Ed McMahon‘s…”Here’s Lionel!” Incidentally, later in the morning, there is no talent displayed in the open.
After two days of reporting the anchor shake-up at WNYW, we can now tell you that a competitor is also making some alterations.
WPIX/Channel 11 is unveiling a new schedule to take effect Monday before dawn.
Lionel will host a revamped two-hour block from 4-6 a.m. FishbowlNY has obtained a memo that news director Bill Carey sent to staffers. In it, Carey points out that the broadcast will be used as a springboard to build viewership, especially with the revenue-generating 7-9 a.m. broadcast, anchored by Sukanya Krishnan and Frances Rivera. FishbowlNY has learned the Lionel-led program will be a conversational, two hours with his unique perspective.
Viewers already see Lionel’s insight in much smaller doses at 5 and 10 p.m. with Jodi Applegate. A WPIX spokesperson says Lionel will continue to provide commentary on the 10 p.m. broadcast.
This time may be the perfect to strike.
Starting Monday, Dave Price joins Rosanna Scotto as co-host on Good Day New York. Greg Kelly takes over on the nightside. Independent station and newly WCBS-owned, WLNY makes its long-awaited attempt in morning news.
It was an ugly end to a glorious chapter for Jim Watkins. The affable anchor completed a 13-year run at Tribune-owned WPIX/Channel 11 in October. Watkins, who teamed with Kaity Tong for a dozen of those years. was reduced to weekend anchor for the final 12 months of his tenure.
For the first time since his departure from WPIX, Watkins talks about his time leaving the station.
“It got a little complicated there at the end,” Watkins says. “The vast majority of my years at Channel 11 were terrific years, and that’s what I take away from it.”
“As the main face of the station, you have to …say, ‘I did my best, I got my skills and my connection with the audience, and my dedication to my craft,’” Watkins says. “The other things that happened, they just happened.”
Now, the accomplished anchor who also spent four years at WNBC, has his sights on future plans. Watkins is executive producer of a huge undertaking, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Army/Navy Game. The project includes a documentary in which Watkins is heavily involved, a book to coincide with the release in late 2013, and a feature film or miniseries.
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