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Howard Dashefsky Returns to KHON

howard dashefskyHonolulu Fox affiliate KHON is launching a 9 p.m. newscast with veteran anchor Howard Dashefsky this fall. The newscast will debut September 8.

“We look forward to offering Hawaii viewers a comprehensive late news option at 9 p.m. We have been wanting to add a 9 p.m. news for a while, and we think the time is right and Howard is the perfect addition to our news team,” general manager Kristina Lockwood said in a statement. “We are committed to serving the viewers of Hawaii and providing more local news content both on-air and online.”

Dashefsky left KHON in 2009. In the past five years, he has worked in communications consulting, as well as writing, producing and hosting “Sports People Hawaii” and working on-air for OC Sports.

“I‘m excited about coming back to KHON2,” Dashefsky said. “It’s certainly with some sadness that I step away from my work with OC16 and OC Sports, but I feel blessed that I‘ll still be able to do both as time permits. So it‘s really a win-win.”

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Martha Sugalski Leaves WESH in Orlando

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Orlando NBC affiliate WESH announced today anchor Martha Sugalski has left the station. The Orlando Sentinel quoted WESH general manager Jim Carter:

“Martha Sugalski has been an important member of the WESH News Team. While we made every effort to keep her at the station, she ultimately decided to move in a different direction and we thank her for her contributions during the past eight years.”

Sugalski joined WESH from WTVJ in Miami in 2006, and has been the station’s main anchor since 2008. The station invested heavily in promoting Sugalski’s personal story a year ago, when she became pregnant with triplets, who were born last June. In recent months, ratings for WESH have been highly competitive — beating longtime market leader WFTV at six p.m., suggesting Sugalski may have been poached by another Orlando station, as Hal Bodeker reports:

One rumor sweeping the local media has Sugalski going to WFTV-Channel 9.

“I really can’t comment on that,” said WFTV General Manager Shawn Bartelt. “We don’t comment on competitors’ talent, contracts. We just don’t. She’s very talented. We wish her the very best, We know she’s going to have a great future.”

Steve Hofstetter Brings ‘Laughs’ to FOX

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Steve Hofstetter can take the heat. The stand-up comedian has been heckled more times than he can remember. But that doesn’t phase the former Sports Illustrated columnist. “Stand-up, to some people, is a springboard. To me it is my life force,” he tells MediabistroTV. For his new show “Laughs,” debuting Saturday night on FOX and MyNetwork stations, Hofstetter has scoured the country to find the best club comedians. “Being a king and a kingmaker at the same time,” he says. And he doesn’t kid around when he predicts “Laughs” will be around for a long time. We caught up with Hofstetter last week at New York’s Gotham Comedy Club.

Q2 Earnings: Meredith Local Media Group Revenue Up 20%

meredith_1Meredith reported $111 million in Local Media Group revenues for the second calendar quarter (fiscal fourth quarter) of 2014, an increase of 20 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating profit for the quarter was $25 million, compared to $28 million in the prior-year period. For fiscal 2014, operating profit was $113 million and revenues were up 7 percent to a record $403 million, according to Meredith.

“We delivered record revenues and operating profit for a non-political year,” Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz said in a statement. “We’re excited to add KTVK in Phoenix and KMOV in St. Louis to the Meredith portfolio, and look forward to having WGGB in Springfield join our group. The addition of these stations – along with increasing retransmission revenues, growing non-political advertising, rising digital advertising and the upcoming political advertising cycle – point to a strong fiscal 2015 for our business.”

WPLG Debuts New Set

wplg1Miami ABC affiliate WPLG has debuted its new set, replacing a set that was unveiled with the station’s move to a new facility in 2009.

The new studio features bold colors and plenty of video features, as described in detail by Newscast Studio:

Suspended from the studio ceiling is a large, internally lit ring. That ring’s curves are matched in the set found below, which features a wide swath of circular walls decorated with light colored bands, wood panels and video walls.

Many elements of the set, especially this header ring, seems to echo the design found at BBC News.

One side of the set features several vertically mounted panels that, together, form a massive video wall. Also included are additional video panels on either side of the anchor desk. It’s interesting to note that the graphics being fed to those panels seem to be inspired by the block-like graphics used on “ABC World News.”

Video after the jump. Read more

E.W. Scripps and Journal Broadcasting to Merge TV Stations, Spin Off Newspapers

JournalScrippsAnother big TV consolidation deal is in the works.

Tonight, Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps, and Journal Communications of Milwaukee, announced they will merge their broadcasting operations, while spinning off their newspaper businesses into a new entity. As a result of the deal, which is expected to close in 2015, Scripps will be the 5th largest TV station ownership group operating 34 television stations in 24 cities, reaching 18 percent of the U.S. It will also own 35 radio stations. Five markets will include TV/radio combos. Interestingly, unlike other recent TV acquisitions, none of the TV stations will overlap in the same markets.

Scripps Stations:

WCPO (ABC) Cincinnati
WEWS (ABC) Cleveland
WXYZ (ABC) Detroit
WMYD (MyNet) Detroit
KMGH (ABC) Denver
KZCO (Azteca) Denver
KNXV (ABC) Phoenix
WFTS (ABC) Tampa
WMAR (ABC) Baltimore
WRTV (ABC) Indianapolis
WKBW (ABC) Buffalo
KGTV (ABC) San Diego
KZSD (Azteca) San Diego
KJRH (NBC) Tulsa
KSHB (NBC) Kansas City
KMCI (Ind.) Lawrence/Kansas City
WPTV (NBC) West Palm Beach
WFLX (FOX) West Palm Beach
KERO (ABC) Bakersfield
KZKC (Azteca) Bakersfield

Journal Stations:

WTMJ (NBC) Milwaukee
WGBA (CW) Green Bay
WACY (NBC) Green Bay
WTVF (CBS) Nashville
KTNV (ABC) Las Vegas
WFTX (FOX) Fort Myers
KGUN (ABC) Tucson
KWBA (CW) Tucson
KNIN (FOX) Boise
KIVI (ABC) Boise
KMTV (CBS) Omaha
WSYM (FOX) Lansing

The combined broadcasting company will be headquartered in Cincinnati while the new publishing company will be headquartered in Milwaukee. The flagship newspaper will be the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but most of the publishing properties will come from the Scripps portfolio stretching from Redding, CA to Naples, FL. Edward Scripps founded the company in 1878.

In 2011, E.W. Scripps acquired the McGraw-Hill TV stations group of 9 stations for $212 million.

As WCPO, a Scripps station, reports the deal is a “tax-free transaction that makes shareholders of both companies owners of the surviving entity. Scripps shareholders will own 59 percent of the newspaper company following the transaction and 69 percent of the post-merger broadcast company.”

Pioneering TV Reporter Belva Davis: ‘There’s still a lot of good journalism out there.’

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Belva Davis made her TV debut in 1963, when she covered a black beauty pageant. She later made history as the first female African-American television reporter on the West Coast when she was hired in 1966 by KPIX in San Francisco. She stayed at the station for 30 years and later became an anchorwoman in 1970.

Davis hosted “This Week in Northern California” for more than 19 years and has been honored with seven Emmys. It’s safe to say that Davis is a bona fide pioneer and has paved the way for the multiculturalism we see in the media today. Here, she shares her keys to success for journalists, particularly women of color, today:

I used to always answer, ‘Work as hard as I did,’ but I realize you have to work harder. Black women have made progress since I started [in journalism], but you can’t go into it wanting to be a movie star. You can get by and make a living. But if you only prepare yourself to do the minute and 30 seconds they give you to do a story and didn’t get the background so that it could be the best that could possibly happen, it would be difficult to contribute to journalistic knowledge. I see in so many young women an obligation to broaden the storyline. That means there’s still a lot of good journalism out there.

For more from Davis, including what it was like to make her on air-debut, read: So What Do You Do, Belva Davis, Pioneering Broadcast Journalist, TV Host and Author?

Doug Whitmire Named WLS 10:00 p.m. EP

whitmore wlsChicago ABC owned station WLS has promoted Doug Whitmire to executive producer of the 10:00 p.m. news.

“Doug has done a terrific job leading the morning team for the past 6 ½ years,” WLS VP and news director Jennifer Graves said in a statement. “Doug’s knowledge of Chicago and the ABC 7 newsroom makes him the ideal choice to take the reins at 10 PM.”

Whitmire has been the EP of the morning news since 2008.

Before coming to WLS in 2003, Whitmire worked at WTVG in Toledo, OH.

The station said he would split his time between newscasts until a morning replacement is hired.

On the Move, 7/30/14

Mike Simon has been named staff meteorologist at Central Florida News 13 in Orlando. He comes from WBIR in Knoxville.

Nick LaFave joins WZZM in Grand Rapids as a weeknight anchor. Previously, he worked at KTAL in Shreveport, La.

Journalists in this post are represented by Steve Swienckowski at DCA Talent.

To report a move, send an email to tvspy@mediabistro.com with the subject line “On the Move.”

Prissila Sánchez Joins KWEX in San Antonio

univision logoPrissila Sánchez has joined KWEX, the Univision-owned station in San Antonio, Media Moves reports. In her new role, she will be a weather anchor and videojournalist, as well as reporting entertainment and lifestyle stories for the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Sánchez began her career in Monterrey, Mexico, where she was a weather anchor for TV Azteca’s morning newscast for four years. Her first day on the air at KWEX was Monday.

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