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Charlie LeDuff Wants to be ‘Of Service’

There’s a moment in one of Charlie LeDuff‘s reports from Ferguson, MO, that shows you what his style of reporting is really about. The scene will make you hold your breath a little. It might make you mad, or uncomfortable. It’s the scene where he almost gets knocked out by a kid swinging a traffic cone.

From watching LeDuff’s stories, it seems that moment happens a lot, kind of like the device Kurosawa used in his films where someone always draws out a plan showing what’s going to happen next. LeDuff never said his plan was to make you uncomfortable. But sometimes seeing life as it is can do that to you.

LeDuff was recently named national correspondent for FOX Television Stations and has a series called “The Americans with Charlie LeDuff.” The title is inspired by a book by another man who saw Americans as they were, photographer Robert Frank.

The reporter who still does work for Detroit FOX owned station WJBK went down to Ferguson to see what was happening. He’s from Detroit. He likes to get into the thick of it. “That’s the thing. I was there,” said LeDuff. “You see the tear gas. Get the press conference. You see the tear gas. You get the press conference. OK, and what else?” asked LeDuff.

That ‘what else’ was a man named DJ. “The guy is awesome,” said LeDuff. “Very strong. Very handsome. Sort of a warrior poet.” Read more

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WGN Adds An Hour to Evening News and A Morning News Anchor

duarte wgnWGN, the Tribune owned Chicago CW affiliate, will begin its evening newscast at 4:00 p.m. starting September 8.

Mark Suppelsa and Micah Materre will be joined by chief meteorologist Tom Skilling and traffic reporter Sarah Jindra for the 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. show.

“By expanding our evening news we will better serve our viewers,” WGN news director Jennifer Lyons, said in a statement.

WGN also added Lourdes Duarte (pictured) as co-anchor of the WGN Morning News alongside Dan Ponce from 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. The station said the move will allow traffic reporter Erin McElroy more time to focus on traffic and breaking news.

Katie Kenney Joins WDTN’s ‘Living Dayton’

living daytonKatie Kenney has been named co-host of “Living Dayton,” WDTN’s daily local lifestyle program. Kenney has spent the past year as a contributor and fill-in host for the show.

“We are thrilled to have Katie join our Living Dayton family,” WDTN general manager Joe Abouzeid said in a statement.  “She’s been outstanding as our Dayton’s CW Star and with her strong ties to the community, will be an asset to the Living Dayton team.”

Kenney officially joins the show August 25. She joins co-hosts Shaun Kraisman, Vanessa Freeman and Sallie Taylor.

KMPH Reporter Clayton Clark Takes PR Job

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 9.09.02 AMClayton Clark, a reporter at KMPH, the Fox affiliate in Fresno, has decided to trade in his reporter’s notebook. He’s taken a public relations gig at a local hospital, a decision motivated by the arrival of his baby daughter. He tells the Fresno Bee:

“It’s been an amazing ride, but things happen in our lives to change our priorities. We were waiting for a really good opportunity and this job came up. The job at ‘Great Day’ has been great but my wife and daughter are my priority,” Clark says.

Clark becomes the third TV reporter in the market to move into PR in recent months.

KMGH’s Mike Landess Will Anchor Final Newscast August 28

mike landessMike Landess, anchor at Denver ABC affiliate KMGH, will anchor his final newscast at 10 p.m. August 28. Landess announced his decision to step down in May, and Denver Post TV critic Joanne Ostrow says next Thursday will be the day:

The station plans nightly tributes to his career next week, honoring in particular his steady presence on-air during the Colorado floods, wildfires and Aurora theater shooting.

Landess has yet to reveal what he’ll do next–or where. But he told Westword local TV has been a special experience, but after fifty years, he’s ready to leave:

“I’ve loved this job,” he emphasizes. “But I’m excited to move on to whatever the next phase is.”

Rich Pegram Out as GM at Tampa’s WFTS

ABC_Action_News_generic_20121113091948_320_240Tampa-St. Petersburg ABC affiliate WFTS has dismissed general manager Rich Pegram, with station owner Scripps telling the Tampa Bay Times “Rich is no longer with the Scripps corporation.”

Pegram, 63, led WFTS Channel 28 as it surged in ratings in recent years. He joined WFTS after 26 years with top NBC affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis and CBS affiliate WTVR in Richmond, Va.

WFTS Channel 28 is owned and operated by E. W. Scripps Co., a media conglomerate that includes such properties as HGTV, the Food Network and various ABC and CBS affiliate TV stations. A recent spinoff contains the company’s daily and community newspapers.

Pegram had been GM at WFTS for seven years.

Sinclair Launches Original Programming Division

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group is going to start producing original programming.

The station group announced it’s launching the SOP, or Sinclair Original Programming division which will create and develop entertainment content as well as infomercials and direct response commercials. Sinclair said the content will initially be developed for its CW and MyTV affiliates and will run during prime time and weekend afternoons.

The division will be led by Arthur Hasson who is being named COO of Sinclair Original Programming. Hasson will continue to work as GM of WHP, Sinclair’s Harrisburg, PA, CBS and MyNet affiliate and CW affiliate WLYH.

By developing original content in connection with talented program producers, we can provide cost effective, flexible projects that can be readily monetized,” Hasson said in a statement. “In addition, we believe there is potential to distribute shows beyond our platforms both domestically and internationally. From the creative side, our large footprint of stations allows us to test concepts and talent efficiently.”

Louis Aguirre Leaving WSVN for The Insider

aguirre wsvnWSVN entertainment reporter Louis Aguirre has been named co-anchor of entertainment newsmagazine The Insider.

Gossip Extra first reported, the host of the local entertainment show Deco Drive was leaving the Miami FOX affiliate, but at the time there was no word where he was going.

Aguirre came to WSVN in 2003. He’s worked at WPLG in Miami. He has also co-hosted FOX and Friends, and has worked as a correspondent on A Current Affair and EXTRA! He started his career with Telemundo in 1989.

Rockford Station Rolls with Punches After Prompter Snafu

backwards prompter croppedWTVO morning anchor Matt Rodewald was forced to read the news like they did in the olden days when the TelePrompTer went down.

The anchor for the Rockford, IL, ABC affiliate told viewers at around 5:30 a.m. that a power surge had flipped the words on the prompter screen, causing them to show up backwards.

Rodewald kept viewers up-to-date on facebook. At around 9:00 a.m. facebook time, he let viewers know the problem had been fixed.

“ALERT: It works!!! The TelePrompTer now has the words facing the right direction. The people in the control room have broken out into song. The folks in the studio, along with Amy, are dancing. The hardworkers in the newsroom are openly weeping.”

Laura Gray Returns to Buffalo’s WKBW

laura grayLaura Gray is returning to Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW after three years working in public relations, The Buffalo News‘ Alan Pergament reports. Gray, who worked at the station for five years before leaving in 2011, will anchor the morning and noon newscasts beginning this fall:

A Pittsburgh native who worked in Erie, Pa. before joining Channel 7, Gray will work with meteorologist Andy Parker, who left Channel 2 “Daybreak” last week to return to Channel 7 on its new morning program.

Earlier this month, Channel 7 let go the morning team of Tiffany Lundberg and Cole Heath after they worked for a year on the low-rated program. The station’s new owner, E.W. Scripps, is attempting to get viewers to give the morning program another look when the revamp starts in mid-September.

“We saw someone with Laura who has a good news presence, is local and is committed to the market,” said Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said this afternoon.

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