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ABC Renews Affiliation Agreement with Gannett Broadcasting

gannett_logoGannett and ABC have announced a long-term affiliation agreement for all Gannett’s ABC stations.

Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting, said in a statement, “This agreement is the result of a collaborative effort on the part of both companies and positions both of us for the near and long term on multiple forms of distribution.”

“We’re very pleased to extend our agreements with the Gannett-owned ABC Stations,” said John Rouse, SVP of affiliate relations for the ABC Television Network. “Gannett is a strong and important partner of the ABC Television Network, and we look forward to continuing our long-time collaboration with them.”

FCC May Give New Life to Aereo

fcc logoFederal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler says he wants to include internet video in the definition of a multichannel programming provider to “boost competition with cable and satellite services.”

In a blog post, Wheeler said he wants to “modernize” how the commission defines a multichannel video programming distributor by making it “technology neutral.” Doing so would give internet based providers “the same access to programming owned by cable operators and the same ability to negotiate to carry broadcast TV stations that Congress gave to satellite systems in order to ensure competitive video markets.”

Variety reports the move could breathe new life into Aereo:

Such a move also could give new life to Aereo, which has sought to be defined as a multichannel distributor following its defeat in the Supreme Court over its carriage of local TV stations over the Internet. A federal judge recently rejected Aereo’s latest effort to be defined like a cable service, but Wheeler noted in a blog post that the company had recently visited the FCC to make the point that updating the definition of a multichannel distributor would expand choice and “perhaps consumers will not be forced to pay for channels they never watch.” Nevertheless, Aereo would have to alter its economic model, as it would most likely not be able to obtain broadcast streaming rights for free. Read more

WIVB EP To Be Assistant ND at WKBW

wkbw logoAaron Mason will join Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW as assistant news director.

Mason comes to WKBW from Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB where he was executive producer.

In January, assistant news director Lisa Polster was promoted to news director after Polly Van Doren left for WKEF-WRGT in Dayton.

Shia LaBeouf Doesn’t Have Much to Say to WTTG Reporter

Actor/human art exhibit Shia LaBeouf managed to say very little and still create awkwardness during an interview with WTTG‘s Kevin McCarthy for tonight’s 5:00 p.m. news.

The entertainment reporter for the FOX owned Washington, D.C. station caught up to LaBeouf on the red carpet of the premiere of the movie Fury. While LaBeouf managed not to break anything, he did blow kisses to an off-screen admirer and give short answers with little follow up.

How Are New York Stations Reporting Ebola?

We thought we’d take a quick look at how the local stations are using the first five minutes of the news to report the Ebola story, which has moved from Dallas to New York.

While ABC owned station WABC chose the hyper local angle of checking out the neighborhood where the latest possible victim, a five-year-old boy, lived, NBC owned station WNBC and CBS owned station WCBS alloted more airtime to the political side of things, looking at the state’s response to the possible spread of the disease.

While all that was going on, FOX owned station WNYW was studying the decline in voter turnout with Ernie Anastos.

Charlotte Reporter Looks at Why Politicians Use Local News Clips in Campaign Ads


After his news reports appeared in ads for North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R) and incumbent Kay Hagan (D), WCNC reporter Stuart Watson said he got tired of having people ask him if he “approved this message.” He asked a local expert about the practice of using news clips from local TV stations without permission.

Turns out, no permission is needed. But a local expert told the reporter for the Charlotte, N.C. NBC affiliate, the candidates are trying to bask in the reflected glow of a local station’s credibility.

So why DO campaigns use news clips? Why don’t they just hire better looking actors?

“It is an attempt to lend some credibility to the accusations the candidates and their campaigns are trying to make,” said Catawba College political scientist Michael Bitzer.

Does the deluge of TV ads even make a difference?

“I think for the average voter it’s probably just a wash,” Bitzer said. “They have already muted that particular ad.”

Wichita Sports Anchor Moves Into News

bates kwchJenn Bates has been named morning anchor for Eyewitness News This Morning on Wichita CBS affiliate KWCH and CW affiliate KSCW.

The station said since is a sports anchor and is working on World Series coverage, she won’t move to her new job alongside Scott Evans until after the Word Series on November 3.

“Most news directors would be envious to be in my position,” Brian Gregory, KWCH news director said. “You rarely have someone as talented and loved as Jenn in your newsroom. Since my first day at the station I’ve looked for ways to do more with her and it is great having the opportunity to promote her to the news desk.”

Bates replaces Kara Sewell who is moving to Cincinnati to anchor the WXIX morning news.

Before working at KWCH, Bates was a reporter for KNDU in Kennewick, Wash. She started her career reporting news and sports for WRUF in Gainesville, Fla. She’s also worked at radio station WUFT in Gainesville.

This Bud’s For News: WESH Sports Anchor in Beer Ad, Video Game


Larry Ridley, sports director for Orlando NBC affiliate WESH, has gone national, but not for his reporting.

Orlando Sentinel TV critic Hal Boedeker reports, Ridley appears in a Bud Light commercial. A quick check of his twitter feed @mrlarryridley also tells TVSpy, Ridley has a role as a pregame and halftime show announcer in EA Sports video game “Madden NFL 15.”

Sources close to Ridley tell TVSpy Bob Longo, the previous news director, gave Ridley the OK to appear in both the spot and the video game. Longo tells TVSpy, “There was no permission given, verbal or written, to do any commercial.”

We asked WESH GM Jim Carter for comment, but haven’t heard back. We will update when we do. Read more

Former WJLA GM Named WUSA News Director

bill lordBill Lord, the former GM of WJLA has been named news director at cross town CBS affiliate WUSA.

Lord left WJLA shortly after Sinclair took over the former Allbritton ABC affiliate in July.

“We are excited to have someone of Bill’s caliber,” WUSA president and GM Mark Burdett said in a statement. “Bill’s skill sets married to Gannett’s commitment to journalism will be a tremendous combination.”

As FTVLive first reported, Lord replaces Fred D’Ambrosi who left the Gannett owned Washington, D.C. station Friday.

KTLA Anchor Learns The Truth About How Co-Anchor Sees Him in Open Mic Moment

KTLA entertainment anchor Sam Rubin learned a valuable lesson last week: never ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer.

During the Los Angeles CW affiliate’s morning show, Rubin repeated a question his wife asked him, “Since when did you become that fat guy on that show?”

Traffic report Ginger Chan, who was not on camera, but whose mic was on, could be heard saying, “He’s always been.” The genuine look of fright on Chan’s face is evident as soon as she realized everyone could hear her, including Rubin.

Rubin posted about the gaffe on his facebook page, writing, “[T]his was a very honest; and very funny moment; and I sincerely don’t mind in the least that it was at my expense.”

Read more

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