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Harrisburg Reporter, Photographer ‘Touched’, Scratched in ‘Ghost Attack’

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.26.06 PMWe all know television news reporting can sometimes be dangerous, and it’s very often quite weird. But few of us can claim to have experienced a “ghost attack.” But Harrisburg Fox station WPMT reporter Katie Kyros and photographer Nick Petrillo just got lucky.

Assigned to investigate a homeowner’s claim of a “violent haunting”, Kyros says she was “touched and pinched” while inside the house, and Petrillo was “scratched” and “burned” on the arm while shooting an interview with the homeowner–wounds she helpfully treated with her personal supply of holy water. “Because you’re telling the story,” DeAnna Simpson said in the Fox 43 story. “Because you’re putting it out there, because they don’t want– that is there, I’m just telling you, right now that is their way of a warning.”

The “ghost attack” story includes Kyros’ personal description of being “touched”, and video of doors that appear to close on command, as well as photos of a few of the “five plus” ghosts that inhabit the Pennsylvania house:

Simpson says one of the entities in the house is a demon. It appears in a photo as a 7-foot-tall shadow figure. While we were there, Simpson recorded orbs on her cell phone camera and it caught a clip of a shadowy hand reaching out.

Video is after the jump. Read more

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GAO Says FCC Needs More Data Before Regulating Shared Service Agreements

FCC_304The U.S. Government Accountability Office published a report saying the FCC doesn’t have enough information to regulate shared service agreements.

In its report, the GAO wrote, “FCC does not collect data and has not completed a review on the prevalence of agreements, how they are used, or their effects on its policy goals and media ownership rules.”

The report said the agreements pit cable and satellite providers and consumer groups against station group owners, with cable and satellite providers saying the deals contribute to higher rates for consumers while consumer groups say shared services agreements dilute the quality of news in local markets.

The GAO said reports were mixed on the actual effects of the agreements “because the [retrans] negotiations are subject to nondisclosure agreements, and there is no data source identifying which stations participate in agreements.”

The report concludes by telling the FCC it “should determine whether it needs to collect additional data to understand the prevalence and context of broadcast agreements and whether broadcaster agreements affect its media policy goals of competition, localism, and diversity.”

Deadline Hollywood

What Did They Cover in El Paso Last Night?

El Paso, TX, is nestled where Texas, New Mexico and Mexico meet.

Of the four network affiliated stations, NBC affiliate KTSM and CBS affiliate KDBC had the most similar newscasts. That’s because while KDBC may be owned by Sinclair, it’s operated by Communications Corporation, the owner of NBC affiliate KTSM.

And, if you’re looking for a different perspective on what’s going on at the border than what you’re seeing on the networks, watch an El Paso newscast to see how they cover it.

Denver Sports Anchor Apologizes for Alzheimer’s ‘Joke’

Soicer

KUSA sports anchor Drew Soicher has apologized after opening his sportscast with a questionable reference to Alzheimer’s disease. “So much talk about Alzheimer’s at Broncos training camp that you wonder if that’s the name of a new player on the roster,” Soicher said, before turning to the news that team owner Pat Bowlen had stepped aside to receive Alzheimer’s treatment.

The “new player” line was quickly tackled as an insensitive joke, as Denver Post television critic Joanne Ostrow writes:

Soicher, the 9News sports anchor, got the jokey TV rhythm right (sounds like a vaudeville gag) — but the content uncomfortably wrong. His opener blew up as a tasteless one-liner on social media.

Soicher insists he never intended to joke “about anybody’s illness,” and posted the line–in context–on the KUSA website, along with his comments: Read more

Fort Myers Anchor, Victim of Identity Theft, Fights to Clear Name

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.36.34 PM WINK news anchor Cayle Thompson says he “learned the hard way” that nobody is safe from identity theft. “We don’t know yet how my identity was stolen, and we don’t know who did it,” he said, revealing that someone tried to take out at least two loans in his name. It was the beginning of a months-long saga that has yet to end:

My producers allowed me to take the rest of the day off. Phone calls had to be made, letters drafted, and emails sent. I called my bank and mortgage company. I called the three credit reporting agencies and requested a free fraud alert on my accounts. I spoke with a woman at the Federal Trade Commission and filled out an FTC Identity Theft Affidavit. I went to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and made a full report. I visited the Social Security Administration office on Colonial Boulevard.

Thompson says he was alerted to the theft by his human resources manager at WINK, who received paperwork indicating an unemployment claim filed in Thompson’s name. “My hackles went up because I knew it was fraud,” Karen Seiferth said in a story Thompson reported on his experience.

Tenikka Smith to Join Jacksonville Station

Tenikka-SmithWSOC has announced Tenikka Smith is leaving the Charlotte, NC, Cox owned ABC affiliate for Cox’s Jacksonville stations WAWS-WTEV.

Smith was the weekday morning anchor for Eyewitness News This Morning on WAXN.

“I am very excited to join the CBS47 and FOX30 Action News family as we continue our mission to provide viewers quality coverage and original content,” Smith said in a statement.

“We were searching for a key team member to fill this anchor role at WAWS/WTEV, and Tenikka has everything we were looking for,” said WAWS-WETV GM Jim Zerwekh.

Smith started working at WSOC in 2009. Smith starts at WAWS-WTEV in early fall.

On the Move, 7/29/14

Randy McIlwain joins KNBC in Los Angeles as a consumer reporter. McIlwain previously worked at KXAS in Dallas.

Melissa Mollet has been named traffic anchor at WRC in Washington, D.C. She had previously been a freelance reporter at the station. Before that, she worked at KDVR in Denver.

Tracy Clemons joins KTRK in Houston from KSDK in St Louis. In his new role, Clemons will be a multimedia journalist.

Reporter/multimedia journalist Josh Green joins KING in Seattle from WFLA in Tampa. Read more

KGO Assistant News Director Heads to KNTV

adrouny kgoStephanie Adrouny is heading south to work as assistant news director for San Francisco Bay Area NBC owned station KNTV.

“Stephanie has been an important part of KGO-TV and a key contributor to ABC7 News for 14 years,” KGO news director Tracey Watkowski told staff an email announcing the move. “I am very grateful for the time we have spent working together.”

Adrouny was the assistant news director for the San Francisco ABC owned station. You can read the Watkowski email after the jump. Read more

WJLA GM Out as Sinclair Takes Over Station

lord wjla croppedWJLA GM Bill Lord has announced he is leaving the now Sinclair owned ABC affiliate for Washington, D.C.

According to FTVLive, who first reported the news, Lord sent staffers an email saying “I have just received word that September 30th will be my last day at WJLA. Sinclair will be posting the GM position in the morning so I wanted to tell all of you first.”

Lord confirmed the news with TVSpy. He’s worked at WJLA for 12 years.

Sinclair’s bid to buy WJLA’s former owner, Allbritton Communications, was approved by the FCC last week.

El Paso Anchor Says Goodbye Just Like LeBron James

wildman croppedKVIA sports anchor Asher Wildman‘s facebook goodbye might sound oddly familiar to sports fans.

Wildman is leaving the El Paso ABC affiliate for a station in Tallahassee, but not before imitating NBA star LeBron James.

James wrote a piece in Sports Illustrated detailing his recent decision to head back to his hometown of Cleveland to play for his first team, the Cavaliers. It was called, “I’m Coming Home” and has been spoofed by Frank Caliendo in Morgan Freeman‘s voice on ESPN radio.  Let’s just say James sentiments inspired Wildman.

In the opening paragraph, LeBron wrote:

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. (click here to read the entire LeBron piece)

Wildman wrote:

Before anyone ever cared where I would start my broadcasting career, I was a red headed Jewish step child from Parkland, Florida. It’s where I played little league. It’s where I got bar mitzvah’d. It’s where I laughed. It’s where I slept. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up thanks to social media. I sometimes feel they live vicariously through my Facebook or Twitter account. (click here to read the entire Wildman piece)

Of course, some of Wildman’s facebook followers thought he was being serious. One commenter wrote, “Wow, Asher; this made me even prouder of you! I wish every El Pasoan who has returned read this and understood the importance of their return!”

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