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Kevin Eck

Another Denver News Director Says Goodbye

wews_304KMGH news director Jeff Harris has announced he is leaving the Scripps owned Denver ABC affiliate to work as news director at Scripps’ Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS.

Joanne Ostrow, TV Critic for The Denver Post reports Harris told the newsroom Wednesday. WEWS interim station manager Lana Durban Scott told TVSpy, Harris will start October 6.

“This is all things coming together at the same time,” Harris told The Post. “It’s a great opportunity for me personally and a perfect match for the company. Everything is aligned. It is incredibly bittersweet because of the affection I have for Denver.”

On Monday, KDVR-KWGN news director Ed Kosowski announced he was leaving the station when his contract is up next week.

Todd Gutner Says He’s Heading to Maine

Todd Gutner, WBZ morning and noon meteorologist, has announced he is leaving Boston CBS owned station for NBC affiliate WCSH in Portland, ME.

Gutner, who came to WBZ from WCSH, was replaced this week by weekend morning meteorologist Danielle Niles.

Gray Finds Diverse Buyers for Six Stations

New_Gray_304Gray Television announced today it has found buyers for six full power TV stations that may have disappeared otherwise.

In June, Gray said it was transferring the programming of the six stations it operated under shared service agreements and also had the option to buy, to stations it owned in the same market. Rather than surrendering the licenses of the now program-less stations, it hired the brokerage arm of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to find new owners for the stations.

When it hired MMTC, Gray stipulated the buyers had to be “socially disadvantaged enterprises, such as businesses controlled by women, minorities, or innovative new entrants, or non-profit entities such as a school or religious institution.”

The six stations are KXJB in Fargo, ND, KJCT in Grand Junction, CO, KHAS in Hastings-Lincoln, NE, KAQY in Monroe, LA, KNDX in Bismarck, ND, and KXND in Minot. Read more

Dave Zawilinski Ditching Des Moines for WOWT in Omaha

WOI sports anchor Dave Zawilinski is joining NBC affiliate WOWT in Omaha, NE.

The Des Moines Register reports he’ll be a morning news anchor.

Zawilinski started at WOI as an intern while he was a sophomore at Drake University in 2002. Since then, his station bio said, he’s “filled every role on the sports team – Intern, Part-Time Photographer, Sports Reporter and Weekend Sports Anchor.”

Eric Land Out at WJXX-WTLV, Gannett Names Replacement

gannett_logoA Gannett spokesperson has confirmed with TVSpy, Eric Land, GM of its Jacksonville ABC and NBC affiliate WJXX-WTLV, is no longer with the station.

Gannett has named Land’s replacement. He’s Rob Mennie.

“Rob has been a trusted and important resource for Gannett Broadcasting for nearly two decades,” Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting said in a statement. “While Rob will continue to be a valuable member of the Broadcasting corporate team, his talent and experience make him the right person to lead WTLV/WJXX.”

Mennie comes to WTLV-WJXX from Gannett’s corporate office where he was SVP of news for the station group. He started working for Gannett 25 years ago as executive news producer of WXIA in Atlanta. He has also worked as VP of news for WUSA in Washington, D.C., news director at WDTN in Dayton, OH, and assistant news director at KPNX in Phoenix.

Land was named GM of WJXX-WTLV in August 2012.

[FTVLive]

Tom Llamas Leaving WNBC

TomLlamasTom Llamas, an investigative reporter and anchor at WNBC who also works for NBC News as a fill-in anchor and correspondent, is leaving the NBC flagship. His last day is this Friday.

“It has been a pleasure to work with him all these years,” news director Susan Sullivan writes in a note, obtained by TVSpy. “Please join me in thanking Tom for his many contributions and wishing him well in his new venture.” We hear he’s network-bound.

Llamas’ agent Rick Ramage says Llamas’ next move will be announced in the coming days.

Llamas had a fast rise through NBC, starting as an associate producer at NBC and then MSNBC, working as a campaign embed during the 2004 elections, joining NBC’s WTVJ in Miami as a reporter in 2005, then returning to WNBC in 2008 as a reporter. Three years ago he was part of the re-launch of the 5pm newscast as co-anchor.

TunedIn first reported Llamas’ departure from WNBC.

KSAT Apologizes for Reporting One Rapper’s Arrest, Showing Picture of Another

San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT sent out a tweet about rapper Young Jeezy getting arrested after a shooting at a Wiz Khalifa concert. Trouble is, the station sent out a picture of rapper Birdman instead.

The San Antonio Express-News caught the mistake.

The station put up a statement on its website saying a “third party graphics provider” had a picture in its library that identified Birdman as Young Jeezy. A producer at the station used the photo by mistake. The station said it told the graphics company about the problem and apologized to viewers.

You can read the apology after the jump. Read more

Ashley Yore Joins WFTS as Reporter

Ashley Yore has joined Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS as an MMJ and reporter.

Before working at WFTS, Yore worked at WSYX-WTTE in Columbus for three years. WSYX wished her well on twitter.

Kylie Dixon to Join WBRZ

dixon and friend wbrz_croppedWBRZ has announced Kylie Dixon as co-anchor of the Baton Rouge, LA, ABC affiliate’s morning news.

She will replace Whitney Vann, who announced in June, she was leaving 2une In, but staying with the station. She will join John Pastorek, Josh Eachus and Rebecca Buchanan beginning Friday.

“I know the station did a nation-wide search for that special someone who would be the perfect fit on 2une In,” Whitney Vann said in a statement. “Kylie is that person. I look forward to welcoming her on 2une In and introducing her to our loyal viewers.”

Dixon started her career at KXII in Sherman, TX, where he was morning co-anchor.

Cox Looking to Change Call Letters of Jacksonville Stations

WTEV-WAWS logo_304x200The Florida Times-Union reports Jacksonville, FL, CBS and FOX affiliate WTEV-WAWS is asking the FCC to change its call letters.

In a July 30 filing, station owners, Cox Media Group, asked the FCC to change WAWS to WFOX and WTEV to WJAX.

“These call letter changes are natural fits for our TV stations. It symbolizes our commitment to our local communities and showcases the rebirth of our two great stations,” [station GM Jim] Zerwekh said in an email Tuesday.

An FCC official in Washington, D.C. said call letter change requests are not unusual both for television and radio stations and the agency receives dozens of requests and grants changes every month.

Zerwekh said the change from WTEV to WJAX was aimed directly at clearly identifying with the local market. Read more

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