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Chris Ariens

Chris joined Mediabistro in July 2007 as editor of TVNewser.com and executive producer of the blog network and was promoted to editorial director in June 2009. Before joining mediabistro, Chris spent seven years at MSNBC, as a producer, coordinating producer for the Olympics, and lastly as executive producer of daytime programs., Chris worked as a producer in local TV news in Green Bay (WLUK) and Tampa (WFTS). Email chris@mediabistro.com and follow @ChrisAriens on Twitter.

Amelia Earhart Begins Around-the-World Flight

earhart_kusa_croppedFormer Denver traffic reporter Amelia Earhart is now on an around-the-world flight recreating the path taken by her famous namesake. Earhart took off from Oakland yesterday for the 28,000-mile trip.

Earhart, who left KUSA in January to prepare for the voyage, was featured on “NBC Nightly News” last night (watch after the jump). She talked about the letdown when she learned she was not related to the famous aviator.

“If you believe anything for 30 years and you’re told it’s not true. It’s tough to take.”

As of this writing, Earhart is somewhere over Birmingham, AL. You can track her flight on AmeliaEarhartProject.com.

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Unorthodox Meteorologist (See YouTube) Mark Mathis Joins KUSI

MarkMathisMark Mathis is returning to the weather beat. KUSI news director Steve Cohen confirms to TVSpy that Mathis is joining the San Diego station Monday, joining Leslie Lopez and David Scott on the weather team.

Mathis is known to regular TVSpy readers for his flamboyant on-air personality. These YouTube videos can attest to that.

He’s also known for several rocky tenures over the last 10 years. In 2011, he spent just a few months at KMAX in Sacramento. Before that he had two stints with WCCB in Charlotte. He’s also worked at KREX in Grand Junction, CO, WFAA in Dallas, and KTBC in Austin. This will be his second go ’round in San Diego having previously worked at KSWB.

Legendary meteorologist John Coleman retired from KUSI in April. Coleman had been in broadcasting for more than 60 years, the last 20 at KUSI.

‘Just One More Morning Meeting’

After TV news jobs that have taken him from coast to coast, and many stops in between, KIRO-TV news boss Bob Jordan‘s last day has arrived. Jordan announced last month that he’s retiring after 45 years in TV news.

Giant Wasp Attacks KFOR Forecast

The forecast for Oklahoma City calls for partly cloudy skies and giant wasps. During the 6:30pm newscast Thursday night, a wasp surprised KFOR’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan.

Venton Blandin Leaving Huntsville for Birmingham

BlandinWHNTAfter nearly 6 years at WHNT in Huntsville, AL, Venton Blandin is heading about 100 miles down I-65 where he’ll join ABC 33/40 in Birmingham. Blandin has been the “Fighting for You” reporter at WHNT. He signed off during the station’s 5pm newscast Thursday. Yesterday, Huntsville’s mayor presented the ‘Mayor’s Coin’ to Blandin for his service to the community.

Investors Take Stock in Broadcasters After Aereo Ruling

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Following the Supreme Court ruling on Aereo, in which the high court ruled the service violates the broadcasters’ copyrights by taking the signals for free, shares of publicy-traded broadcasting companies shot up. Nexstar which owns more than 70 stations across the country jumped +15% on the news. Sinclair, which owns stations representing more than 38% of the U.S., shot up +14% and CBS Corp. which owns 29 TV stations, as well as the CBS network, was up +5% at one point this morning. Disney, Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Gannett also saw gains.

Paul Clement, who was the attorney for the broadcasters in the case writes, “Today’s decision is a victory for consumers. The Court has sent a clear message that it will uphold the letter and spirit of the law just as Congress intended.”

Fox/Cox Swaps Ends 51 Years of KTVU Ownership

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The news today that Cox and Fox have entered into a station swap, will come as bittersweet to some. Cox Media Group has owned the San Francisco Bay area station for more than 50 years. In the process, Cox is gaining two stations east of the Mississippi.

Cox has owned KTVU, in the sixth-largest U.S. TV market, since 1963. Channel 2 was a charter affiliate of the FOX Broadcasting Company when the network went on the air October 9, 1986.

As FOX Broadcasting takes ownership of KTVU, it is swapping the stations it owns in Boston (market #7) and Memphis (market #50.) Both stations will remain Fox affiliates.

WFXT Channel 25 in Boston has been a FOX O&O since 1987, when it was acquired by News Corp. The station went on the air in 1977 as WXNE, an affiliate of the Christian Broadcasting Network. WHBQ Channel 13 in Memphis went on the air in 1953, and was a dual CBS/ABC affiliate, before picking up the primary ABC affiliation in 1956. It would remain an ABC affiliate until 1995 when News Corp. acquired the station.

With KTVU, FOX gains a station in an NFC market. It has rights to the NFL’s NFC package of games. In fact, the 2016 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for FOX, CBS has the rights to Super Bowl 50.

Boston and Memphis will bring to 10 the number of U.S. markets in which Cox operates. The company owns ABC affiliates in Atlanta, Orlando, and Charlotte; CBS affiliates in Seattle and Dayton; the Fox and CBS affiliates in Jacksonville; the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh; and the Fox affiliate in Tulsa. Fox Broadcasting will now operate stations in 16 markets, including 13 of the top 15.

When Social Media Goes Wrong, Vol. 1225

Once again, a reporter is using social media in a tasteless way. Standing atop what’s left of a vacant home believed to have been torched by a serial arsonist in St. Augustine, FL, WTLV/WJXX reporter Lisa Robbins showed off her “rubber boots for the debris” this morning. We’re all for reporters taking us behind the scenes of the stories they cover, but posing for an Instagram at a murder scene or taking a fashion shot at an arson investigation is just tacky.

A few months ago MediabistroTV put together a video called Three Tips for Maintaining a Social Media Presence while Keeping Your Job. It’s after the jump…

> Update: Robbins has deleted the Tweet, but the text remains (above) as does this image:

Arson

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Washington, DC Leads Local Markets in World Cup Viewership

TeamUSAFanSunday’s U.S. vs. Portugal World Cup match was the most-watched soccer match ever on U.S. TV. More than 18 million people watched the game on ESPN, which ended in a 2-2 tie, with 1.3 million watching on the WatchESPN app. As for where those viewers were, we’ve broken it down market-by-market:

Washington, D.C., led all markets for the telecast with a 13.3 rating. Columbus, OH (12.6), New York (12.5), Boston (11.5), Hartford/New Haven (11.3), Providence (11.2), Atlanta (11.1), Baltimore (11.0), Norfolk (10.5), Orlando (10.5) and Sacramento (10.5) rounded out the top 10.

Overall, Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 32 games with a 5.0 average rating, followed by New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Orlando (3.8), Los Angeles (3.7), Hartford/New Haven (3.7), Atlanta (3.6), San Diego (3.5), Boston (3.5), West Palm Beach (3.5) and Richmond (3.5).

Erin Burnett Would Kiss Dan Rather Every Night… on the TV

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Erin Burnett‘s first big break came in a very old school way. She wrote a letter to someone in the TV news business whom she admired. But it went beyond just letter-writing. “I was essentially a Willow Bay stalker,” Burnett tells us. But her desire to work in broadcast news began much earlier in life and involved Dan Rather. “I kissed Dan Rather every night. I’d go over and give him a peck on the lips on the TV.” Here’s Erin Burnett’s First Big Break:

Dan Rather was one of the first people we profiled in our “My First Big Break” series back in 2012. For that, and more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

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