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Posts Tagged ‘Jodi Applegate’

Jodi Applegate to Step Down from PIX11

Jodi Applegate is stepping down from her position as anchor of PIX 11 News at Five and PIX 11 News at Ten. Applegate made the decision to resign because she and her husband — Michael Kay — are expecting a daughter in January, via gestational carrier. Applegate has been with WPIX since 2010.

“After years of putting my career first, I’ve decided to step back for a moment and enjoy this new role,” Applegate said, in a statement. “It was a difficult decision to choose to step away from a full-time anchor position but I want to take this time to enjoy being a new mom and focus on the baby. I’m looking forward to returning to media in the future.”

“We have enjoyed working with Jodi, she will be greatly missed and we wish her and Michael all the best,” added Eric Meyrowitz, PIX11′s vice president and general manager.

Applegate’s final broadcast is December 19.

Tracking Hurricane Sandy; Kaity Tong, David Ushery Shine

Forced to evacuated, I had plenty of time to monitor television coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

You probably woke up this morning to stations locked in ”wall-to-wall” mode, but that was not the case last night. Unlike last year’s Hurricane Irene (when I was holed up in a hotel), Sandy did not lead to an all-nighter by the area stations.

Here is how they took to the air this time.

Kaity Tong was a calming presence, anchoring a two-hour edition of the News at Ten on WPIX.  As was the case with Irene, WPIX’s coverage did not include Jodi Applegate.

Tong, as a solo anchor, was given an assist by reporter Dan Mannarino, who handled some phone interviews and other information for viewers. WPIX double-teamed the audience with veteran experience from Mr. G and Craig Allen.  WPIX was the only game in town until 11 p.m., as WNYW/Channel 5 was televising the final game of the World Series.

While the storm moved closer to New York, the other channels opted for prime-time network scheduling. At 11 p.m., WCBS/Channel 2 anchors Maurice DuBois and Kristine Johnson, first appearing at halftime of the New York Jets game, led the station’s one-hour special Sandy newscast. Thereafter, WCBS kept a crawl on the screen until the morning team resumed coverage at 4 a.m.

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Media Professor Says WPIX Should Trim 10 P.M. News to 30 Minutes

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.

One of Carey’s signature moves were to extricate Jodi Applegate from News 12 Long Island and bump seasoned partners Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

“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.

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Breaking: Bill Carey Stepping Down as WPIX News Director, Likely for Internet Startup

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.

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WLNY Lacks Long Island Focus for News at 9

When WCBS/Channel 2 formally acquired WLNY 10/55 the promise was an upgrade technologically and in front of the camera. However, the most important aspect is missing, keeping WLNY locked in to its home–Long Island.

WLNY, for more than 25 years, was an independent station based in Melville. Its news presence was just a 30-minute broadcast weeknights. It was neither high-tech nor featured the best talent, but viewers knew they had an ally in coverage of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Now with WCBS at the helm, cross off the need for better talent from the wish list. Having the entire Channel 2 news team at its disposal, led by anchors Chris Wragge (at his best here, especially hosting a nightly viral video segment) and Dana Tyler, WLNY need not worry about on-air product.

Viewers, on the other hand, can worry that Long Island news they’ve come to rely upon at TV 10/55 is no more. When WLNY does have a Long Island presence with Jennifer McLogan or Carolyn Gusoff (rarely have we seen the two on the same newscast), it’s nothing extra beyond what other stations covered that night.

In a one-hour newscast, you can count on one hand how many Long Island references are made. At the start, the graphic shows “Riverhead, New York,” where the station is licensed. There are the one or possibly two stories based in Nassau or Suffolk Counties. Making it worse, those stories are often pushed down in the broadcast.

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Lionel Adds His Two Cents as Early PIX Morning News Host

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.

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Lionel Poised to Take Helm of Revamp Early Morning WPIX Newscast

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.

YES Network’s Michael Kay Goes to Blows on Twitter with College Student

Courtesy: web.yesnetwork.com

Yankees announcer Michael Kay got into a war of words on Twitter. The flap took place early Monday when Kay tweeted followers for their choice of lead topic on his ESPN/98.7 FM radio show the next afternoon.

He got into the “virtual” shouting match with 21-year-old Joey Hendler.

Hendler shot the first salvo tweeting, “I’ll b listening 2 [Mike] francesa like every1 else.”

“I just happened to be laying in my bed at 1 o’clock in the morning,” Hendler tells FishbowlNY. “…He responded with a quick remark. Then I responded back. [Kay] was delivering heavy blows, and I was firing them back.”

One of the blows that Hendler fired back took their Twitter fight into an online street brawl. Hendler wrote on the social media site: “look at you responding to a random person like that. Just shows your insecurity. Go cry yourself to sleep with your ugly wife.”

Hendler realizes that may have crossed the line, ripping Kay’s famous spouse.

“I shouldn’t have said that comment at the end,” Hendler admits.

That “ugly wife” remark is the one line for which Hendler is willing to offer an apology to Kay, but everything else tweeted he stands behind.

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Former WPIX Anchor Jim Watkins Leaves Door Wide Open for TV Return

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.”

News director Bill Carey wasted little time in his new role, hiring market veteran Jodi Applegate, late of News 12 Long Island as solo, weeknight anchor in October 2010.

“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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A Party for Emily Blunt & Ewan McGregor; Katie Couric Holds Court

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It’s been a pretty wild winter at Michael’s. Far from suffering from the seasonal doldrums, the place has been operating on full tilt every Wednesday with a fresh array of A-listers that always make for some pretty good people watching. Today was no exception.

Besides the jam packed dining room filled with boldface names, Peggy Siegal was hosting a party for Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt to celebrate the release of their latest picture, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I caught up with Emily (I loved her scene-stealing turn with Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada) when we both stopped by Katie Couric‘s table to say hello. “It is a bit unusual,” Emily said when I asked her about the movie’s quirky title. “I’m hoping that it will make people want to check it out and see what it’s really all about. It’s really a lovely love story.” I saw the trailer, I told her, and it does look pretty romantic. “It is! I hope people will like it.” Emily has been making the rounds to promote the film and has a funny Q&A in this week’s New York magazine where she talks about she and her husband, John Krasinski (the cute guy on The Office) being neighbors with Jimmy Kimmel. Everyone, it seems, loves her hubby including Katie. “He’s just so adorable,” Katie told Emily, who could hardly disagree.

Katie Couric with Ewan McGregor and a host of well-wishers.

I was joined today by Bravo’s newest reality star, matchmaker Lori Zaslow, whose show Love Broker premiered this week, Bravo’s SVP of Communications Jennifer Geisser, and communications manager Ryan McCormick. I caught Lori’s first show and her Monday night appearance on Watch What Happens Live! A new Bravolebrity is born!

The White Plains native and former executive recruiter started her matchmaking business, Project Soulmate, in 2009 with childhood friend Jennifer Zucher and wasn’t looking for TV fame when Bravo came calling. Andy Cohen loved her “big personality” and was determined to get her on-air. ”Bravo loves the love space,” Lori told me. After an eight-month courtship, she finally relented and agreed to do the show. The series was shot in eight weeks last summer. Lori admitted being a little nervous about seeing the finished product. Based on  the first episode, it seems she had nothing to worry about. In the days since the premiere, she’s been deluged with calls from folks looking to make a love connection, including plenty of mothers looking to find mates for their sons. Says Lori, “I realize just how good this could be for our business.” Yup.

The married Manhattan mother of two told me that she’s always been a “natural connector” matching friends, family and strangers with potential mates, ‘Mommy’ friends, nannies and even housekeepers. But she’s clearly most passionate about helping people find love. “No one can’t live without love. It’s scientifically proven that married men live 10 years longer than single men,” she says. “Why isn’t love put first in people’s lives? Today people are working so hard on their lives and careers, but they don’t make time for love. It’s all about striking the right balance.” Lori works exclusively with New York clients, so I asked her why it’s so hard to find the right person in Manhattan. “It’s so easy to meet people here, but it’s really hard to connect,” she explained. “There are too many distractions.” That’s where she comes in. Most of her clients (“98 percent”) are men, and she needs “20 times the amount of women” in order to find the right mate for those looking for love. How does she do it? ”I’m fearless when it comes to love,” she says.  ”I will always go up to anyone who looks interesting and ask, ‘Are you single?’ Most people are flattered. Who wouldn’t want to meet someone great if they’re looking?”

Lori says that there is no bad place to meet “your soul mate” —  it’s just a matter of being open to the experience. The gym, Whole Foods on Sunday nights when most men do their shopping, and even jury duty are fertile ground. Just don’t go looking in places where you wouldn’t ordinarily go. ”Don’t join a runners’ club if you hate running,” she advises. “Like goes to like. Be who you are. Enjoy yourself and enjoy your life.”

Here’s a rundown on today’s crowd:

1. HollywoodLife.com editor in chief Bonnie Fuller and PMC vice chairman Gerry Byrne. In attendance: BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti, Ann Lawlor, The Weinstein Company’s Meryl Poster, fashionista Fern Mallis, Mesa Global’s Mark Patricof, style expert Jill Martin, AdWeek‘s Lisa Granatstein and HollywoodLife.com publisher Carlos Lamadrid.

2. Terry McDonnell and CBS News This Morning‘s Gayle King

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, who was brandishing a cane. A little birdie told me the mayor was hobbled by too much bronco busting. Be careful out there!

4. Wowowow.com’s Joni Evans and Liz Smith. Great to see you!

Katie Couric and Cindi Berger
Katie Couric and Cindi Berger

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