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Posts Tagged ‘Kaity Tong’

WPIX Goes to Bat for Health and Wellness

Bringing together top experts in health and wellness, WPIX/Channel 11 is running an all-day, all-ages expo. The PIX11 Health & Wellness Expo is taking place Sunday, September 25th at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan. 

The event, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., is led by WPIX morning anchor Tamsen Fadal and Dr. Steve Salvatore, who hosts his own show Dr. Steve on WPIX and other Tribune-owned stations.

Through the use of classes, demonstrations, seminars and hands-on experience, Channel 11 will provide a day of information and entertainment that the whole family will enjoy. The expo will bring a variety of doctors, nutritionists, sports and fitness specialists, wellness celebrities, authors and a diverse group of experts.

Aside from attaining the healthy knowledge, visitors can meet WPIX talent in the Time Warner Cable Lounge (booth 201), including Jodi Applegate, Linda Church, Mr. G, Sukanya Krishnan, and Kaity Tong.

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WPIX News Director Bill Carey Says Station ‘Blew Through Our Own Estimates’ With Transformation at 10 p.m.

After recently reporting changes to the WPIX sports department and other measures, FishbowlNY now sheds light on what news director Bill Carey sees as important innovative steps to improve the standing of his operation.

 As you’ll recall, Channel 11 underwent a new 10 p.m. look on October 11, bringing in Jodi Applegate, late from News 12 Long Island.

The tandem of Kaity Tong and Jim Watkins was relocated. Tong still has roots on the weeknight newscast, but “anchoring” portions from remote locations in Brooklyn or Queens. Watkins anchors four newscasts, but he has been relegated to weekends.

As we told you last week, the sports section of WPIX is no more, other than Applegate reading a few scores (the no-frills graphic is a throwback to the Jerry Girard days).

With the station about to mark the pivotal six-month period, FishbowlNY spoke to Carey for his examination of the product and the all-important ratings.

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Report: WPIX Drops Sports Department

It appears to be the end of an era in New York TV News. Tribune-owned WPIX/Channel 11 is poised to dump its sports department. With it, the New York Post reports Lolita Lopez (left), the station’s sports director, is getting reassigned.

The paper said it wasn’t certain if sports coverage would fall into the laps of the news anchors or if it would be outsourced.

“I hope it’s not the start of a trend, but I’ve heard of other stations around the country doing the same,” former longtime WNBC sports anchor Len Berman (below) says. ”I’m a firm believer in local sports and I don’t believe local sports is diminished by ESPN. But I know there are many in management who don’t agree.”

This would mark the first New York City TV station to forgo a sports department.

Of course, Channel 11 has a long history attached to sports. First, for decades of Yankee baseball, and more recently WPIX has been the home for Mets games.

This is the latest change for news director Bill Carey, hired in November 2009. His biggest splash, to this point, was the overhaul of the 10 p.m. newscast in October 2010. Anchor Jodi Applegate, formerly from News 12 Long Island, was brought in.

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Welcome to the First ‘Barmash’ Awards for Best in Local News

There are a zillion different year-end countdowns and awards. Well, before too many days go by, here’s one more.

These are the “Barmash Awards” given for the best talent and newscasts in New York TV news. This is by a committee of one—me.

Best Newscast (early morning)

Today in New York (WNBC): Darlene Rodriguez and Michael Gargiulo, Chris Cimino (weather), and Megan Meany (traffic)

Despite only being together for a couple of years, this is well-oiled machine. They have a terrific balance of good personality and good news sense. The Rodriguez and Gargiulo anchor team took some time to establish their chemistry—but by 2010 became the gold standard for dawn patrol. Another important plus is Cimino, doing that shift for more than a decade. He is one the best forecasters, not just at the station, but could easily hold is own among the “prime timers” as well.

Many more “awards” after the jump.

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Revamped WPIX News at Ten Has Successful November Sweeps

The PIX News at Ten, which was totally overhauled last month, had a strong November sweeps period. The newscast, now led by Jodi Applegate in place of Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong, beat out its only news rival–WNYW.

In data released by Nielsen (and obtained by WPIX), Channel 11 saw double digit increases in all key demographics during the November sweeps period. However, that was as specific as the press release got.

Of note, though, the Cablevision/Fox fight did overlap into the start of sweeps. After two weeks, an agreement allowing Fox 5/WNYW on Cablevision happened October 30. The sweeps period began Oct. 28.

WPIX also points out that in year-to-year figures they made big gains over WNYW after the jump.

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WPIX, Jodi Applegate Create New Look at Ten

If you haven’t seen the PIX News at Ten in the past two weeks, what’s staring back at you might be surprising.  

Gone are the desks and chairs.

Gone is the familiar studio set.  Yet another staple of the TV news biz–the two anchor format with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong at the helm–has been uprooted in favor of Jodi Applegate flying solo, something she has rarely done throughout her career.

The station built the new look in the newsroom, allowing Applegate to be free of the usual TV news constraints. If nothing else, WPIX management, led by news director Bill Carey, should be recognized for trying to break with the norm. Unfortunately, there’s not much else.

More on the WPIX new appearance after the jump Read more

Randy Michaels Out as Tribune CEO

In an anti-climatic decision, the Tribune Company board of directors got Randy Michaels to step down from his post as CEO.

The clock was ticking on Michaels’ tenure after allegations into his personal conduct and management style, leading to questions whether he was the right person to lead the company from bankruptcy.

Replacing Michaels is a four-person panel comprised of Tony Hunter and Eddy Hartenstein, publishers of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, respectively; Nils Larsen, the Tribune chief investment officer; and Don Liebentritt, chief restructing officer.

Michaels joined Tribune in 2007, shortly after longtime colleague Sam Zell took over the media company in a highly leveraged deal.

It remains to be seen if the Michaels dismissal will have an impact on Tribune-owned WPIX.

In recent weeks, the station, with news director Bill Carey at the helm, made major changes to their signature newscast—PIX News at Ten. Jodi Applegate replaced veterans Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

WPIX Axes Weekend Weathercaster Chris Knowles

There has been a casualty of the newly formatted WPIX newscasts. 

Chris Knowles, the WPIX weekend weather anchor, was fired and replaced by Lisa Mateo.  She began her new role on Saturday night. 

“WPIX is an organization that has been going through transition and financial reorganization for some time,” Knowles tells FishbowlNY exclusively. 

A WPIX spokeswoman tells FishbowlNY that Knowles’ per diem agreement came to end. “He opted to not continue with this on a per diem basis.” 

Knowles spent six years at Fox News Channel before joining WPIX in June 2007.

Knowles is married to Kiran Chetry, co-anchor of CNN’s American Morning. The couple met while working at a TV station in Erie, PA.

“I am looking forward to a permanent situation where I can continue to do what I love–anchoring and using my meteorological skills,” Knowles says.

As for Knowles’ replacement, the station spokewoman says, Mateo, who has been going to school for meteorology, will maintain her face time on the PIX Morning News with news and feature reporting three days a week.

The Knowles termination comes as the PIX News at Ten moves into its second week following major changes. Jodi Applegate took over for Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong on the weeknight 10 p.m. newscast. The broadcast originates directly from the newsroom without those TV news staples–desks and chairs.  

“I’ve heard from many co-workers who are shaken up over the whole thing, and I really appreciate their reaching out to me,” Knowles says.

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.

‘A Big Change’ at WPIX, News Director Bill Carey Says

applegate5.jpgAs we reported on Monday, Jodi Applegate is set to anchor the WPIX weeknight newscasts at 10 p.m., and with that, the veteran team of Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong has been reassigned.

News director Bill Carey told FishbowlNY that a move like this became essential.

“It’s necessary to make a big change at Channel 11,” Carey says. “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’ve never been one, two, three or four in the ratings.”

So now Carey, who joined WPIX in 2009, makes his biggest splash at the station. He switches the likeable tandem of Watkins and Tong for another popular personality in Applegate.

“Jodi exemplifies a mix of characteristics that we find compelling,” Carey says. “She knows the market; she’s worked at a competitor and has a competitive fire.”

More from Carey follows the jump.

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