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Aneya Fernando

Stephen Arnold Music Selling Original Documentary to Local Stations

At least 64 local stations across the country will be celebrating Black History Month in February 2015 with an original documentary called The Journey – 450 Years of the African-American Experience, created by Stephen Arnold Music’s new branding division, Sam2.

This is the first time the music production company is dipping its toe in original content, and it looks like it’s already paid off. With local stations more cash-strapped than ever, it’s no wonder they’re looking elsewhere for original content to boost their ratings. Could this be a trend for small stations in the future? Sam2′s syndication success suggests so.

The company originally created the documentary for the city of St. Augustine, Fla, since it focuses on the role that free African-Americans played in the founding of the city. The doc is now being syndicated to stations across the country. Some are airing it as a “special,” while others are using edited versions of it as part of their show. Stations also have the option of buying The Journey and giving it to local schools for free.

“We are extremely proud to present ‘The Journey – 450 Years of the African-American Experience’ as the first Sam2 production,” Chad Cook, vice president and creative director of Stephen Arnold Music, said in a statement. “This enlightening documentary perfectly embodies the promise of Sam2: provide stations with a unique resource to engage their viewers, and can connect with their community in powerful new ways.”

Meteorologist Andrew Kozak Leaving KTUL

The KTUL news team celebrated meteorologist Andrew Kozak today with a Memphis-style BBQ send off. Kozak is leaving the ABC affiliate for NBC affiliate WMC in Memphis.

Kozak previously worked as a meteorologist at Tulsa’s Fox affiliate KOKI.

Today is his last day at the station.

On the Move, 9/17/14

Tom Llamas joins ABC News as a correspondent and anchor. He had been an investigative reporter at WNBC in New York.

Frances Rivera joins MSNBC as an anchor. She previously worked at WPIX in New York.

Elsa Ramon joins KCBS in Los Angeles as a weekend evening anchor. She comes from WOAI in San Antonio.

Greg Lee has been named multimedia journalist at KABC in Los Angeles. He previously worked at KESQ in Palm Springs, Calif.

Alex Holley joins WTXF in Philadelphia as co-anchor of Good Day Philadelphia. She comes from WMBF in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Frank Holland has been named anchor/reporter at WCVB in Boston. He previously worked at WGN in Chicago.

Kris Sanchez has been promoted to weekday anchor at KNTV in San Francisco. She had been weekend morning anchor there. Read more

Nick Nicholson Named VP and General Manager at WFTS

NickNicholsonNick Nicholson is joining Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS as vice president and general manager.

Steve Wasserman, divisional general manager of Scripps Media and GM of WPTV, confirmed the move to TVSpy following an internal email he sent to WFTS staff this morning.

“Nick is a highly regarded media executive with an impressive track record of success in several competitive markets,” Wasserman writes. Nicholson spent 27 years with the Belo TV group, most recently as President/GM of KTVK/KASW in Phoenix. Before that, Nicholson ran WVEC in Norfolk, was GM of the Belo-owned Fox/UPN stations in Tucson, and VP of Sales at Belo flagship WFAA in Dallas/Ft. Worth. Gannett acquired Belo late last year.

Nicholson replaces Rich Pegram who was shown the door last month after 7 years as WFTS GM. Nicholson’s first day in Tampa is Monday.

The View Reviews Are In…

theviewThe 18th season of The View premiered Monday, with new hosts, new producers and a new set. The social media reaction, as always, was mixed. Here’s what the critics had to say:

  • The Wrap was impressed with the new co-hosts’ chemistry: “No one is more exhausted by the news surrounding the new hires than me, a writer and journalist covering the beat, but ABC got it right. Whatever testing and re-testing and lying about the departing hosts and producers that went down seems to have worked.”
  • The Washington Post noted how respectful the usually raucous ‘Hot Topics’ section was: “Otherwise, the premiere was very similar to what the show has always been, as they debated hot-button issues including Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Woody Allen. If anything, it was pretty cordial, though of course it is only the first day. Wallace announced upfront she was a Republican, and O’Donnell chimed in with “And I really like her, I swear to God.”
  • The Daily Beast was impressed with the new set: “A brand new set was then unveiled as Goldberg welcomed us to the new season. (O’Donnell reportedly had the entire studio moved to a new location in New York City because she thought the old one was drab and dusty.) The new set was orange and teal and much more intimate than recent iterations, returning to the idea these hosts are supposed to be part of the conversation with women, not performing a conversation in front of women.”
  • The New York Times wasn’t as enthusiastic, noting that the show started with a coy joke about Barbara Walters and ended with a tribute to Joan Rivers “with a kind of mawkish piety… Most of what went on in between was rather stilted, which is to be expected when new hosts take over a long-established show, and this one has been around for 17 years. But even on Day 1, there were signs of where “The View” is headed, and it’s likely to be more tame.”

All in all, a majority of the critics seemed to appreciate the changes. Let’s see if the positivity continues past the premiere.

Melanie Sanders Leaves WNCN

Melanie-SandersMelanie Sanders, an evening anchor at NBC affiliate WNCN, has decided to leave the Raleigh- Durham station.

FTVLive reports Sanders was demoted after the station gave three other evening co-anchor spots to Sharon Tazewell. Sanders and Pam Saulsby, who was recently fired, had previously held those positions. Sanders claims she was up for all three anchor spots, but the station gave her a low-ball offer and she declined.

Sanders writes on her Facebook page:

So many wonderful memories! After 11 years at WNCN, this Friday I will say goodbye. I will forever be grateful for the lifelong friends I have made here and the amazing experiences. Covering the Stanley Cup Championship, allowing Howard Stern to humiliate me by making me sing “Row Row Row Your Boat, and just the day to day newsroom chatter…I will cherish it all.  But when I was offered a contract to anchor the three evening newscasts, I decided the terms were not attractive enough for me to be away from my family every evening. So I’m looking forward to the next exciting chapter in my life. I’ll keep you posted.

Sanders’ last day is Friday.

Miss America Returns to ABC, With TV News Anchors in Tow

DCProductionsGretchen Carlson, Robin Meade, Phyllis George, and Paula Zahn are just a few of the TV news names who owe some of their early success to the Miss America Organization.

As the Pageant returns to ABC Sunday night, the organization is looking ahead to next year and a new partnership with dick clark productions. The collaboration will include work on all creative, marketing, sponsorship, ticketing and distribution elements for the organization.

TVSpy spoke with Sam Haskell, chairman and CEO of the Miss America Organization, to get his take on the new deal, plus what’s in store for Sunday’s 60th anniversary show.

What made you want to collaborate with dick clark productions?

Sam Haskell: Well, they’re one of the leading suppliers of live TV coverage in the country. Also, I represented Dick Clark 25 years ago when I was an agent, and I’ve worked with the company on many different types of programming. When Mark Bracco left ABC to join dick clark productions, I knew we’d be in good hands.

What changes can we expect for next year’s Miss America pageant?

Haskell: There won’t be very many changes to the actual broadcast. The changes will be behind the scenes, it will be more about the brand and using multiplatform programming to spread the word. We’ll be going on college tours, promoting our education issues like getting young women involved in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math). Miss America is so much more than a two hour telecast. Our partnership with dick clark productions will focus primarily on year- round branding work. Of course, we’ll be working very closely with them on the telecast as well, which I’m sure will be full of surprises.

Will there be any surprises on this Sunday’s show?

Read more

So What Do You Do, Gaby Natale, Host of SuperLatina and President of AGANAR Media?

Gaby-Natale-2Gaby Natale’s rise to success is an inspirational tale, filled with international locations, plenty of gumption and a whole lot of perseverance. After leaving her native Argentina for Texas, Natale began her career in broadcast journalism as an anchor at Univision. After securing her green card, she left the company and pitched her own Spanish-language television show, SuperLatina, to a local network. To her surprise, they loved the idea.

Natale broadcast her first show out of a carpet storage closet in Odessa, Texas. Seven years later, SuperLatina is a six-time Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated hit. Her production company, AGANAR Media, now has an impressive marketing arm with clients like Ford and Ebay. Here, Natale talks about her Argentine roots, her early life as a gypsy reporter and the secret behind SuperLatina’s success: Read more

Fox Television Stations Close Deal with Google and Vindico

Fox-2Fox Television Stations have closed a deal with Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Vindico to monetize web videos across their O&O group. The Fox Television Stations say they will now have the power to target their ads to specific segments of their online audience.

“Our partnership with Google and Vindico will bring impactful, brand-safe local impressions to a broader marketplace, ”Joe Oulvey, executive vice president of Fox stations sales, said in a statement.

“We’re excited about the promise of programmatic technology to dramatically grow the marketplace for premium video, display and mobile,” added Laurent Cordier, managing director of partner business solutions at Google. “Having top-tier players like Fox TV embrace this model is great for the entire ecosystem, and we’re happy to partner with them as they make this shift.”

Dan Carlin Promoted to VP of Creative Services and Public Affairs at WNYW-WWOR

FOX-5Dan Carlin, currently the of vice president of programming and research at New York FOX owned station WNYW and WWOR, adds vice president of creative services and public affairs to his title.

“Dan is an incredible resource for our stations,” Lew Leone, WNYW-WWOR VP & GM, said in a statement. “His market knowledge and program and audience research acumen, as well as his strategic vision are second to none. I am thrilled to announce this well-deserved promotion.”

Carlin has worked at the Fox owned station since 1992.

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