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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.”

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

Belva-Davis-Article

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.

Sherri Talley Returning to KTBS

Sherri Talley will be returning to Shreveport, LA, ABC affiliate KTBS.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Gerry and Joe and the rest of the team, again,” Talley told KTBS. “KTBS is like a family to me. It’s good to be back home.”

Talley, who worked at KTBS from 1994 until April 2011, left to work in public relations and later start her own social media company.

The station said she will rejoin “old friend and colleague” Gerry May on the KTBS 6:00 p.m. news next Monday.

Jennifer Dodd Joins KENS as Assistant ND

kens logoJennifer Dodd is joining San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS as assistant news director, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Dodd is a former reporter for KSAT, the ABC affiliate in San Antonio. Most recently, she has been news director at the Victoria Television Group in Victoria, Texas, where she oversees operations for the ABC, Fox and Univision affiliates.

“My husband and I are thrilled to be moving back to the city we love,” Dodd said. “We met in San Antonio, my daughters were born there and many of our loved ones live there.”

WZZM Moves Van Ameyde Off Anchor Desk, Names Replacement

two wzzm anchorsGannett owned ABC affiliate WZZM has announced it’s moving Lee Van Ameyde (pictured right) off the anchor desk and into the role of managing editor of its Watchdog Investigative Team.

“No one knows West Michigan like Lee does,” WZZM news director Taz Painter said in a statement. “Our Watchdog team couldn’t be in better hands.”

The station also named Nick LaFave (left) as Van Ameyde’s replacement on the weekday evening newscasts. He will join Juliet Dragos starting in early September. Read more

Former Macon Anchor Files Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Georgia National Guard

wmaz whistleblowerA former news news anchor for Macon CBS station WMAZ claims she was fired from her job with the Georgia National Guard after raising questions about ethics, according to a lawsuit filed July 24th. Mary Therese Grabowski, who was a WMAZ anchor for eight years, says within months of joining the Georgia Guard as a civilian public affairs officer, she began raising questions about improper and potentially unethical decisions made by Adjutant General Jim Butterworth:

“…questions like why Butterworth used Guard resources to organize a fundraiser for a private medical center.

Grabowski also claims she also questioned why Butterworth was attending an air show in Paris at a time when military furloughs and cuts were expected. She says she was told Butterworth would be a guest of the governor’s office, but later discovered he had stayed days after the governor left Paris.

Additionally, Grabowski claims she was asked by Butterworth’s wife to promote an event for country music singer Kaley Caperton, a personal friend of the Butterworths.”

Watch WMAZ’s report after the jump. Read more

KWTV to Retire Historic Broadcast Tower; Once Billed as World’s Tallest

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

An Oklahoma City broadcast tower that once was billed as the tallest man-made structure in the world is now destined for recycling. A “towering piece of broadcast and Oklahoma history” said KWTV anchor Kelly Ogle, who climbed the tower for a farewell story–and to tell the unique history of the structure, which among other things led to the station’s choice of call letters:

The tower stands at more than 1,572 feet tall, around 300 feet higher than the Empire State Building, making it at one time the world’s tallest manmade structure. So tall In fact, (station owner John) Griffin decided against the call letters KOMA and instead chose KWTV, standing for “world’s tallest video”.

By the fall of 1954, we reached the widest coverage of any station in the southwest with the view from the top reaching a 60-mile horizon.

“It was real big deal,” (former station general manager Jack) DeLier said. “We had a grand dedication, Johnny Carson was the master of ceremonies, and Vera Ellen who was a film actress and dancer at that time, climbed up on the elevator to the 1,300 foot level and danced on the platform.”

The station no longer uses the tower, and so the massive piece of Oklahoma history will soon be brought down, piece by piece, and sent off for recycling.

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