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Exclusive: Anchor Ron Corning, Heading for WFAA in Dallas, ‘Enjoyed’ Stint at News 12 Long Island

Nassau and Suffolk County residents have been able to stay in touch with the career of Ron Corning. The anchorman–infamously ousted from Fox 5/WNYW’s Good Day New York while on vacation in April 2008—turned up at News 12 Long Island in November 2009. There he reteamed with former Good Day partner Jodi Applegate (until she bolted for WPIX in October 2010).

“That was, I would say, the deciding factor,” Corning admits. “Jodi and I are sort of with each other unmatched… It was a match that just worked from day one.” 

Having said that, Corning also had a pleasurable experience with his other on-air partners at the Woodbury, N.Y., studios.

But, of course, Corning is quick to turn the attention back to his “sister,” calling the chemistry with Applegate, “effortless.”

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Jodi Applegate Leaving News 12 for WPIX

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It appears Jodi Applegate is on a collision course with Tribune-owned WPIX.

As we previously told you, reports have said that Applegate and PIX were in talks. Now, the New York Daily News has advanced the story further.

The paper reported today that Applegate was released from her contract with Cablevision. Her final day working with Ron Corning at News 12 Long Island is expected to be October 1.

That clears the way for her arrival at Channel 11, and solo anchoring of the station’s signature newscast–10 p.m.

Reportedly, veteran anchor team Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong will remain at the station but in other, undefined (not necessarily together) roles.

The duo has been anchoring the weeknight newscast since 1998.

While WPIX had no comment, they are doing a relaunch on October 4 with a new 10 p.m. set, likely centered around Applegate at the helm.

If true, Applegate would be returning to a New York station for the first time since 2008. She had been co-anchor of Fox5/WNYW’s Good Day New York for three years.

Applegate also had no comment to FishbowlNY.

WPIX news director Bill Carey has made several staffing changes (including bringing Larry Mendte and Lionel on to offer commentaries), since being hired in November 2009.

Jodi Applegate Reportedly in Talks to Join WPIX

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As rumors swirl around WPIX anchor Jim Watkins’ contract situation, a new wrinkle as been added to the picture.

News 12 Long Island weeknight anchor Jodi Applegate is reportedly having discussions with WPIX to anchor the news at 10 p.m.

The New York Daily News reports that one possible scenario has Applegate replacing veterans Watkins and Kaity Tong to anchor the newscast solo, leaving Watkins and Tong to anchor other slots.

(In June, Tribune-owned WPIX pulled the plug on a 6:30 p.m. newscast.)

Sources tell FishbowlNY that, while wooing may be going on, there’s nothing definite.

The veteran duo, Watkins and Tong have been an on-air team since 1998.

A WPIX spokesperson had no comment, while messages left for Applegate were not returned.

Sources say there seems to be a sense that management needs to do something to impress new Tribune buyers, despite the fact that Watkins and Tong’s ratings are better than ever.

Applegate, who recently made news for her engagement to ESPN Radio/WEPN and Yankee announcer (YES Network) Michael Kay, is probably best known for her time at WNYW/Fox 5′s Good Day New York with Ron Corning.

Corning and Applegate are together again nightly at News 12.

Applegate joined News 12 in February 2009, after losing her Good Day anchor slot the previous September.

Watkins’ contract was to expire at the end of August. As Watkins remains on the air, reports indicate that both sides are still working toward figuring out his next step with the station.

Torch-Passing, TVNewser Style

stelter_times_061207.jpgFor a couple hours, the back room at Michael’s was transformed into a television news executive bender, a happy hour in honor of our outgoing TVNewser, Brian Stelter [right], and incoming TVNewser, er, ‘Newsers: Chris Ariens, Diane Clehane, Alissa Kinsky and Philadelphia Inquirer TV columnist and Katie Couric nemesis Gail Shister.

Some of those who showed to fete Stelter and co.: Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, NBC News president Steve Capus, Joe Scarborough, MSNBC anchors Contessa Brewer (ED NOTE: Brewer has yet to visit Dan Abrams‘ party house in the Hamptons) and Amy Robach, Rita Cosby, Gil “Stanley Bing” Schwartz, CBS’ Jeff Greenfield, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and business correspondent Ali Velshi, MSNBC producer Tammy Haddad, NY1′s Pat Kiernan, former CBS honcho Andrew Heyward, BusinessWeek columnist (and husband to our multimillionaire boss) Jon Fine, Jeff Jarvis, CNN anchor John Roberts, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, well-rested Observer columnist Michael Calderone, CNBC senior VP Jonathan Wald, Inside Edition‘s Sarah Rubenstein, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici, HuffPo’s Rachel Sklar (whose date for the evening was 19-year-old CBS News intern Eric Kuhn), Broadcasting & Cable‘s Max Robins and Caroline Palmer (who, Robins says, is leaving B&C to become Vogue‘s Web editor), CNBC VP Josh Howard, Good Day New York host Ron Corning, Freud Communications’ Lisa Dallos, Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman and the omnipresent Julia Allison, who said she had been up since 5:00AM talking about Lindsay Lohan. Her take: “She should just kill herself already, before she kills someone else.”

Notable no-shows: Abrams, Katie, Charlie, Greta Van Susteren, Jon Stewart and Stelter supporter and former CNNer Aaron Brown.

EARLIER:

  • Original TVNewser Bids Us Adieu