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Kevin Eck

California Firefighters Ground Civilian Drone Shooting Wildfire

drone_AP_croppedA drone shooting video of a California wildfire was grounded because fire officials feared it might interfere with efforts to contain the blaze burning near Sacramento, CA.

A California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times, the owner of the unmanned vehicle was asked by Sheriff’s Deputies to stop flying the drone to keep it away from the low-flying aircraft being used to fight the Sand fire.

The owner was apparently operating the craft, described as a “quadcopter,” so he could “check out the fire” for his “own personal entertainment,” she said.

It was the first time CalFire had encountered such a device during their firefighting efforts, [CalFire spokesperson Lynne] Tolmachoff said. But she expects it won’t be the last.

“I anticipate it possibly being a problem in the future,” she said. Read more

Danielle Wagner out at KWWL

wagner kwwlDanielle Wagner, reporter and anchor at Waterloo, IA, NBC affiliate KWWL, is no longer with the station.

KWWL news director Shane Moreland confirmed Wagner’s departure but wouldn’t comment on why she left or where she’s headed.

Saturday, she told viewers on her facebook page, “At this point in time, the station and I want different things. I’m very glad for the last seven years, but it’s time to move on.”

KDFW’s Melted Phone Story Goes Viral

A North Dallas teenager’s phone slipped under her pillow while she was sleeping. The phone melted and left burn marks on the pillow and on her sheets.

Dallas-Fort Worth FOX owned station KDFW did a story on it. The station posted the story on its YouTube page and now it has over 1 million hits.

KDFW reporter Steve Noviello told TVSpy he thinks the video got so many views because it was about something that is easy to relate to, “but the way it was posted, I think, really gave it a boost.”

Instead of using a generic picture, the station posted the story to facebook with cell phone pics he took of the damage, along with a link to the story on YouTube.

Dave Strickland Resigns from KTRK

KTRK LOGOKTRK news director Dave Strickland has resigned.

Houston media blogger Mike McGuff, who first reported the story, said Strickland told staffers Friday “the job was affecting his family, life and personal relationships.”

Strickland started at the station as an intern. He left in 1994 to work at WAVY in Hampton Roads, VA, as an executive producer before being named news director in 1996. He returned to KTRK in 2000 as news director.

WZZM’s Dan Harland Moving from Sports to News

harland wzzmGrand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM has announced sports anchor Dan Harland will be the new morning anchor.

Harland will join Lauren Stanton and meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer on August 7.

“We expect Dan will go after the news of the day with the same passion he has for sports stories,” Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said in a statement.

Harland started his carer at WZZM in 2003 as a sports anchor after graduating from Southern Illinois University.

WGN Anchor Publicly Shames 12-Year-Old Video Bomber


WGN sports anchor Pat Tomasulo was doing a live shot Friday morning at the Chicago Bears training camp when 12-Year-old Dylan decided it was good time to practice his fart noises.

Tomasulo had Dylan appear on air with him in his next segment.

“Make a fart noise now, Dylan,” said Tomasulo. But Dylan demured. Tomasulo said he had no other way to shame the kid. “Seeing that he’s 12-years-old I can’t ask him about erectile dysfunction or any other inappropriate things.”

Albany TV Crew Threatened with Arrest


A WNYT news crew doing a story on the historic cottage where Ulysses S. Grant spent his final days was threatened with arrest yesterday.

WNYT reporter Mark Mulholland and his photographer Matt Soriano, who work out of the station’s Saratoga-North Country bureau, were shooting in an area near a soon to be closed and empty state prison when a corrections officer told them they couldn’t shoot footage there.

When Mulholland told the officer they would shoot at Grant’s cottage instead, the crew for the Albany, NY, NBC affiliate were told they couldn’t shoot there either.

Mulholland and Soriano then attempted to drive to the cottage, but were blocked, at first,  by a corrections officer who had parked his car in the driveway.

The situation escalated as far as having the state police get involved. That’s when they were told they would be arrested if they didn’t turn over their footage.

A call between station management, state police and the Department of Corrections resolved the matter. No one was arrested and no footage was surrendered. Read more

Longtime WKRC Anchor Says She’s Leaving

kit-andrews_15134Kit Andrews has announced she is leaving Cincinnati CBS station WKRC after more than 33 years.

“It’s time! After one network change, five different newscasts, seven owners, and more than 33 years I’m hanging up my microphone and leaving WKRC-TV,” wrote Andrews in a letter she sent to co-workers.

Andrews started her on-air career at KHQ in Spokane, WA. She came to WKRC in 1981 as a reporter.

“Having been news director for just a small fraction of her long career, it is with deep gratitude and admiration that I say on behalf of the entire newsroom that we salute her for all of her work here at Local 12,” WKRC news director Kirk Varner said in a statement. “She is simply a consummate professional in every sense of the word.”

Her last day will be next Thursday, July 31.

[Cincinnati Enquirer]

Attorney Wants $5 Million from WAVY in Defamation Case

wavy logoThe Virginian-Pilot reports a local attorney is suing WAVY for $5 million.

The attorney, Sterling Weaver, is representing himself in the defamation case against the Portsmouth, VA, NBC affiliate. Weaver claims the station “maligned him” while reporting about his arrest on an assault charge.

In a Feb. 6 newscast, WAVY reported that Weaver had been indicted on felony assault and misdemeanor sexual battery charges for an alleged incident involving a female deputy in a Portsmouth courtroom.

The deputy accused Weaver of inappropriately touching her.

During that report, WAVY also said it “did some digging into Weaver’s past” and discovered that he had been convicted of assault and sentenced to 30 days in jail for grabbing a prosecutor by the throat in 2006, according to the lawsuit.

The station, however, failed to report that Weaver appealed that case to a Circuit Court judge who dismissed it after Weaver remained on good behavior for a year, the suit says. He did not serve jail time in that case. Read more

Crooks Rack Up Big Bill After Stealing Fresno FOX Affiliate’s Gas Card

Fresno police are trying to figure out who stole a station credit card from Fresno FOX affiliate KMPH and used it to pay for over $1,400 in gas.

According to the station, the thieves used the gas card at the same station several times.

Surveillance video from several gas stations show at the time the stolen credit card was used, a group of people were at the gas station filling up several cars.

Jim Moore, KMPH Fox 26 Chief Engineer says, “$1,400 is a lot of money. When you look at what it takes to operate a vehicle for a year. It’s money that could have gone into maintenance, camera repair, and other productive ways.”

KMPH Fox 26 did file a police report and plans to turn over the surveillance evidence, including the license plates of the cars in the video to financial crime detectives.

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