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Kevin Eck

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.

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!”

Phil Amato Leaves First Coast News

amatoPhil Amato is no longer with Jacksonville ABC and NBC affiliate WJXX-WTLV, according to The Florida Times-Union.

The Times Union reports GM Eric Land confirmed Amato resigned Monday.

Land would not give a reason for Amato’s resignation, only that he thanked him for his service to the station and wished him well. He said no decision has been made about filling Amato’s place on the show, but Andrew Capasso and Lewis Turner had been filling in temporarily.

Amato had been with the station since 1993, having worked in Idaho and Montana before that.

WNWO Adds Laura Emerson as Anchor

emerson wnwoLaura Emerson is returning to Toledo as an anchor for Sinclair owned NBC affiliate WNWO.

The Blade reports Emerson will co-anchor the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. shows with Jim Blue.

Emerson was an anchor at WUPW-TV, Channel 36, for 16 years, before she left in January, 2012, to co-anchor the 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts at NBC affiliate WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky, a market that stretches into western Missouri, southern Illinois, and the northern edge of Tennessee, and is slightly smaller than the Toledo-area market.

“She brings a familiar face to our viewers,” said Nicole Hahn, who was recently promoted to WNWO’s news director position. “She has a vast knowledge of the area, and she will bring leadership and experience to our team.

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.

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