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After Climbing Mount Everest, WABC’s Diana Williams Reports on Avalanche From Katmandu

After climbing Mount Everest earlier this week, WABC anchor Diana Williams — who is now in Katmandu — is reporting on the massive avalanche for the ABC-owned station. The avalanche that swept the slopes has left 12 Sherpa guides dead and four more missing.

“It’s a terrible tragedy and I just feel for everybody who is up there,” she said. “It hurts everybody when something like this happens — all of the climbers are feeling it I know right now, and I know the Sherpa up there are just very devastated by this.” Watch:

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TVNewser ShowThe TVNewser Show Seminar & Media Job Fair will explore the way TV business and technologies are changing through informative panels and discussions with industry experts. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals at the event's exclusive media job fair. Register before midnight on April 28 to save on on-site pricing!

WSLS GM Leaving Station for Personal Reasons

wsls roanokeWSLS VP and GM Leesa Wilcher is leaving the Roanoke NBC affiliate in May.

“Due to personal reasons I am leaving WSLS and returning to the TriCities,” Wilcher told The Roanoke Times. “It has been an exciting time for me these past three years.”

Before coming to WSLS in 2011, Wilcher worked at Media General’s WJHL in Johnson City, TN.

WSLS took in a record $6.6 million in political spending in 2012, when more than $27 million was spent in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market during the 2012 presidential campaign. Channel 10’s take still trailed WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) and WSET-TV (Channel 13). The station’s evening newscasts usually finished third in the Nielsen ratings during Wilcher’s tenure, which is where Channel 10 has ranked consistently since the late 1990s.

Little Rock Sports Anchor Sues Gannett for Discrimination

edwards kthvMark C. Nelson, known on-air as Mark Edwards, is suing Gannett Co. and Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV for discrimination.

According to the lawsuit posted on Courthouse News Service, Gannett, “has a corporate custom, policy, pattern, practice and procedure of not promoting African-Americans to director and leadership positions and utilizing a ‘one-and-done policy’ that disparately impacts African-American employed within the company.”

Edwards says Gannett manipulated focus groups and used “other means and methods” to “achieve its discriminatory goals and objectives.”

Edwards’ bio has been removed from the KTHV website.

The sports anchor said he started at KTHV in 2003 editing and doing production as the “number three” sports guy. When he had the opportunity to leave for an on-air job in Cleveland, Edwards said GM Larry Audas asked him to stay and promised him a promotion and that he would be on a “fast track” to the sports director position.

The complaint continues: “After remaining in employment for several years with the defendant, in approximately May 2012, Wes Moore, a white sports anchor and director, left Channel 11. Plaintiff was in an optimum position to take over as the anchor and sports director with the attendant advertising, marketing, promotion and raise-in-pay that accompanies such advancement within the company. However, rather than offer this opportunity to plaintiff, instead, Channel 11 hired a white male with less sports broadcasting experience from another station in July-August of 2012. For reasons never explained to plaintiff, defendant did not provide plaintiff with an offer to be promoted, marketed or further advanced with the defendant as sports director, or anchor as was promised and represented by him.” Read more

On the Move, 4/18/14

James Koh joins the NFL Network as a host and reporter. Koh previously served as a weekend sportscaster, created and hosted “Cage Talk,” a UFC show and reported news for KTTV in Los Angeles.

Nannette Miranda joins KNTV in San Francisco as a freelance general assignment reporter. Previously, she worked as the California State Capital reporter for KGO, KABC and KFSN, the three ABC-owned stations in California.

Nancy Chen has been promoted to weekend morning anchor for WHDH in Boston.

Katie Brace joins WBZ in Boston from WGCL in Atlanta. Read more

New Jersey Losing Only NBC Affiliate

wmgm_logo_304WMGM, the only local TV station in New Jersey still affiliated with one of the the four major networks, will lose that affiliation at year’s end when its contract runs out, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

WMGM’s affiliation with NBC expired in 2012, but NBC granted the Linwood, NJ, station a two year extension while former owner, Access.1 Communications, looked for a buyer. The station was sold to LocusPoint Networks last year.

At the time, the speculation was that LocusPoint was buying the station to use it in the upcoming spectrum Auctions.

WMGM-TV is New Jersey’s only NBC affiliate. NBC programming for the rest of the state is broadcast out of Philadelphia and New York by stations owned by NBC-Universal, making the Linwood-based station redundant in the eyes of NBC, or worse, a competitor for advertising revenues, Smith said.

Smith said viewers in Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic counties rely on the region’s only local TV news broadcast for morning and evening news, weather and local sports. Broadcast stations in Philadelphia do not cover South Jersey in nearly the same depth, he said.

“I think we’d lose a lifeline. I think that’s a huge loss,” he said. Read more

Cincinnati Fox Affiliate Debuts New Set

WXIX set

Cincinnati Fox affiliate WXIX today unveiled a new set designed by FX Design Group.

The set has a color-changing LED display and multiple high quality monitors. For weather reporting, there are five working weather positions.

“FOX19 wanted a contemporary and versatile set,” FX set designer Stephen Ricker said in a statement. “We used the LED curtains to give them the ability to change color, morph the look and add motion within the many background opportunities.”

Tucson’s KWBA Launches Morning Newscast

kwba logoKWBA, the CW affiliate in Tucson, is launching a morning newscast on April 21. It will air from 7 to 8 a.m. as an extension of “Good Morning Tucson,” the morning newscast on sister station KGUN.

“I am excited that we will be able to provide our viewers with additional local news in the 7 a.m. hour,” KWBA vice president and general manager Jim Arnold said in a statement. “This is another opportunity for new viewers who already enjoy CW programs to get local news and weather they may not have seen before.”

The newscast will be anchored by Liz Kotalik with meteorologist April Madison and traffic reporter Allen Kath.

Gerry Vaillancourt Out at WVUE

vaillancourt wvue croppedWVUE morning anchor Gerry Vaillancourt has been let go by the New Orleans FOX affiliate.

Vaillancourt has been the radio color analyst for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets for the past 19 seasons.

“They said they wanted to go in a different direction,” Vaillancourt told Nola.com. “They want a ‘news anchor’ type with a news background. I can understand that.”

Vaillancourt started at WVUE in October 2012.

Lawmakers Look for Ways to Let Viewers in Southwest Colorado Watch Colorado Stations

FCC_304Colorado Senator Mark Udall (D) and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel met Wednesday in Durango, CO, to figure out how to let residents in the southwest part of the state watch Denver TV.

The Durango Herald reports right now, some residents of La Plata and Montezuma Counties in Colorado can only watch Albuquerque stations.

La Plata County residents long have complained they get what one attendee at Wednesday’s forum described as “if it bleeds, it leads” journalism from Albuquerque-based TV news stations.

Among the roadblocks to Denver TV are resistance from New Mexico broadcasters, who don’t want to lose viewers in Southwest Colorado who support advertising revenue, and The Nielsen Co., the private New York-based company that determines TV market areas. Read more

Aereo CEO: ‘The Technology We’ve Built is Tremendously Valuable to a lot of People’

With five days to go until the Supreme Court takes up the Aereo case, CEO Chet Kanojia sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric.

“It would be a tragic outcome for a company that had the courage to step up,” Kanojia said about the potential of a Supreme Court loss. “But it is what it is. I think we’ll figure out something or if not, if there’s no viable business, then we’ll probably go out of business. I do know that the technology we’ve built is tremendously valuable to a lot of people.” Watch:

Kanojia also talked about Aereo’s target audience: “People who are consuming a lot of content online, renting movies and Netflix and things like that — what they miss is access to broadcast TV, which happens to be morning television, which happens to be news, which happens to be big reality show events, watercooler type things. And for that, they’re tied to the bundle. Which is the big fight in the Aereo debate.” Watch after the jump. Read more

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