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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Scarborough’

Mayor Bloomberg Terror Threat Briefing Only Covered Live By WCBS and WNBC

With the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday, there’s word of a credible, but unconfirmed threat that authorities were taking seriously. The threat, to coincide with this weekend’s memorial services, potentially involves New York and/or Washington.  

Moments before President Obama’s jobs address to Congress, came word of the threat. By 8:30 p.m., it was announced that Mayor Bloomberg would give a briefing. Just after 9:40 p.m., he spoke about the threat at One Police Plaza in Lower Manhattan. Bloomberg was flanked by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the FBI New York chief Janet Fedarcyk.

WCBS/Channel 2, with Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson, broke into Big Brother to carry the Mayor’s remarks. 

WNBC/Channel 4, with Chuck Scarborough at the helm, shared the screen with the NFL opener. WNBC kept the football on most of the screen, while the news conference was relegated to a small box in the top right corner. No complaints, though. We could see it, and more important, we could hear it.

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Iconic WXTV/Channel 41 Anchor Rafael Pineda Says 9/11 Made ‘Impact on Me’

For more than 40 years, Rafael Pineda has been the popular evening anchor on Univision’s Channel 41/WXTV.

Pineda (pronounced Pin-yay-da) says he started at Spanish station WXTV in 1968, the year that the station signed on. He is the longest tenured anchor in New York City history (Chuck Scarborough is second, with WNBC since 1974). 

Just like his fellow evening cohorts at other stations (discussed in our opening installment), Pineda woke up to the dramatic first reports of a crisis at the World Trade Center.

“I was still asleep, but my wife was [up early] to take the kids to school,” Pineda says. “She was watching TV and all of a sudden she woke me up and said, ‘The plane crashed into one of the [twin] towers.’”

Pineda leapt out of bed and watched the news coverage, as the north tower smoldered.

The legendary TV news personality was in the majority believing that it was a freak accident. That is until 9:03 a.m.

“All of a sudden I witness when the second plane hit the other tower,” Pineda says. “I said to myself, ‘This is not a coincidence, we are under attack.’”

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Jersey Shore Remains Number One, While Hurricane Irene Brings in Strong Ratings

It’s another week with Jersey Shore taking hold of the top prime time spot in New York. The popular MTV reality show, now in its fourth season, had an estimated 1.1 million viewers and a 5.3 rating, according to the Nielsen Company.

While the Jersey Shore gang was hanging out in Italy, Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the Jersey Shore.

Every local TV station went non-stop throughout the weekend with storm coverage.

WNBC/Channel 4, had the highest rating (tied for second) among its competitors. A large reason for that can be attributed to three words–Chuck and Sue.

The long-running anchor team of Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons (more than 30 years) was at the helm for coverage Saturday night (596,000/3.0).

WABC/Channel 7, with veteran Bill Ritter and Sade Baderinwa, took fifth place (568,000/2.8) for the Saturday evening 4-segment of Irene.

WNYW/Channel 5, although not on the survey for Saturday coverage, did crack the Top 10 for its regular Ernie Anastos/Dari Alexander 10 p.m. newscast on Thursday (480,000/2.4) and Friday (510,000/2.5) as preparations got underway.

WCBS/Channel 2 anchored by Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson, landed at number 16 (405,000/2.0) for a one-hour portion Saturday night (9-10 p.m.)

More from the Top 10 after the jump

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TV Stations Go Wall-to-Wall for Irene Coverage All Weekend

As Hurricane Irene churned in the Atlantic with a bulls-eye at New York City’s back, TV stations went into non-stop coverage throughout the weekend.

The category-one storm made her first landfall early Saturday morning in Cape Lookout, North Carolina as stations began their wall-to-wall mode.

Accentuating the serious nature of the story, virtually every anchor was on the air.

WNYW’s Dari Alexander was one of the few anchors not seen during the weekend coverage. She was last seen by viewers on Friday night. Her 10 p.m. colleague Ernie Anastos (above, center) made his first appearance at 3 p.m. Sunday with co-anchor Christina Park, as the storm weakened significantly.

But Channel 5 did have its Good Day team, Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly, in place. However, much of Scotto’s screen time during the weekend was with WNYW’s newest memberSteve Lacy, and not her “TV husband” Kelly.

Kelly and Scotto were together Saturday, helping provide of the special moments.

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Anchors Ernie Anastos, Bill Ritter, and Chuck Scarborough Relive Their Most Difficult Professional Challenge–9/11

Despite working their famous calm exterior, some of New York’s veteran anchors endured emotional pain, tears, and a personal scare in covering that catastrophic Tuesday ten years ago.

The tragedy of 9/11, which of course started in the morning, was one of those rare breaking news stories when nighttime anchors were pressed into action.

One by one, the highest of high-profile anchors were on the air at the height of the disaster.

We begin our special Fishbowl series 9/11: New York Remembers by reexamining the 9/11 attacks with the Holy Trinity of New York anchors: Ernie Anastos, WNYW/Channel 5 (then with WCBS/Channel 2), Bill Ritter, WABC/Channel 7, and Chuck Scarborough, WNBC/Channel 4.

Bill Ritter, who lives in Manhattan, had the easiest trek to WABC’s Upper West Side studios. He got a call from his producer after the first plane struck the north tower at the World Trade Center. Even before knowing the full extent, Ritter was making his way to WABC.

Thanks to a short commute, Ritter (above, with Diana Williams during WABC’s 9/11 coverage) was on the air just after 10 a.m.—meaning he was describing to viewers as the second tower imploded.

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WNBC Names Shiba Russell and Tom Llamas as 5 p.m. Anchor Team

WNBC/Channel 4, which previously decided to bring back its 5 p.m. newscast, has named its anchor team. 

Shiba Russell (right), a weekend co-anchor with David Ushery, joins Tom Llamas for the new one-hour newscast, beginning September 12th.

“A new, one hour newscast at 5 p.m. will offer viewers a compelling choice for local news,” said Susan Sullivan, WNBC, Vice President of News. ”The selection as anchors of Shiba Russell and Tom Llamas, two award-winning journalists, is essential to ensuring the effective delivery of the critical local news and information that is so vital to our viewers.”

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Former Longtime WNBC Anchor Carol Jenkins Says TV News Industry Going ‘Right Direction’ for Women, Blacks

Carol Jenkins was a top-notch broadcast journalist for several decades in New York. She is most remembered for her nearly quarter-century at WNBC as an anchor and reporter.

Since leaving the business a decade ago, Jenkins wrote a book and started formulating a second one.

“I thought I was going to have this grand producing career,” Jenkins admits. “My timing wasn’t [good]. I started trying to do documentaries just as reality television [took off].”

But her pet project was being a founding president of the Women’s Media Center.

Always an advocate for more women in newsrooms, Jenkins had the perfect forum for her cause.

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Analyzing Second Day Coverage of Bin Laden Death on New York City Stations

As you undoubtedly know by now, Osama Bin Laden was killed Sunday in Pakistan. Yesterday, local stations were still focusing their energy and resources on the latest developments, especially at Ground Zero.

First, though, a couple of good moves by WPIX. They were the only over-the-air station to carry the White House press briefing at 2 p.m., where presidential advisor John Brennan gave details of the firefight.  Reporter Howard Thompson anchored the coverage from their New York studios.

For its 10 p.m. newscast, Jodi Applegate flanked by a  full compliment of (mostly live) reporters did away with their ”11 Stories in 11 Minutes” segment, and therefore the urgency (also variations on the same story) meant no rundown icons at the bottom of the screen.

Of course, Ernie Anastos and Dari Alexander had their own full coverage at 10 p.m. with multiple reporters, including Harry Martin at Ground Zero.

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New York Stations Scramble to Cover Death of Osama Bin Laden

On a night that the world learned about the death of Osama Bin Laden, TV networks and New York City stations poured in special coverage.

The first word came in at 10:45 p.m. last night that President Obama would make a major announcement from the East Room of the White House. He actually was scheduled to speak to the nation at 10:30 p.m.

The major networks all hit the air.

At the same time, Fox 5/WNYW broke into Sports Extra with anchor Sharon Crowley telling the audience that President Obama would speak shortly. Waiting, Fox 5 returned its regularly scheduled programming. Following Sports Extra, Crowley did have an extended 10 minutes leading up to Fox News Channel’s simulcast at 11:10 p.m. (Ironically, FNC had the graphic as their standard–”Usama,” while previously he was “Osama” on WNYW.)

Meanwhile at WPIX, Jim Watkins informed viewers of the breaking news at approximately 10:50 p.m., moments after the networks took to the air.    
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Marking First Anniversary With LX New York, Jane Hanson Says ‘We Are Now’ the ‘Go To Show’

While everyone is familiar with the legendary team of Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons, Jane Hanson‘s tenure at WNBC actually predates Sue’s remarkable reign.

Until she was unceremoniously fired in 2006 after 27 years at the station. She was most prominently co-anchor on Today in New York from 1988 to 2003.

“It just ended abruptly one day,” Hanson recalls. “I had no agent, I had nobody looking for anything for me in television … There was a signal from the universe or whomever that my time on TV was up, and that was ok.”

As Hanson was coming to the realization that she might not find work again in TV, her former company was busy making deep cuts in personnel.

In some ways she became the trailblazer for what was to come. Beginning in 2008, WNBC axed several familiar anchors and reporters, while putting resources into the upstart 24-hour digital channel New York Nonstop.

“The faces have changed but I don’t think the commitment to the community and the news has changed at all,” Hanson admits.

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