TVNewser LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllTwitter AllFacebook InsideFacebook InsideSocialGames InsideMobileApps

Kevin Eck

Is WJLA in Danger of Alienating the Washington, D.C. Market?

Sinclair BroadcastThe Washington Post takes a look at what is happening at WJLA after Sinclair Broadcast Group took over the Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate as part of its purchase of Allbritton in July.

The Post says WJLA has recently begun airing commentary from a conservative pundit named Mark Hyman and has created a partnership with what The Post calls the “editorially conservative Washington Times.

In his video commentary, Hyman railed against the inconsistent enforcement of a ban on travel to Cuba by Americans. Noting that the music stars Jay Z and Beyoncé had “partied up” in Havana last year without penalty, Hyman insinuated that Obama had protected the couple from prosecution. “It occurs to me that Beyoncé and Jay Z are close friends of the president and first lady,” said Hyman, adding sarcastically, “You don’t suppose . . . oh, never mind. He’d never do that.”

Hyman’s critiques — which range from warning about the cost of Obamacare to advocating the abolition of the Transportation Security Administration — will be a regular feature on WJLA, just as they are on dozens of stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the new owner of ABC 7.

Staffers tell The Post Sinclair’s edicts to run certain politically slanted stories and its criticism of the Federal Government on its home turf “is bound to play badly.”

“You can’t run a TV station in Washington by telling government workers that they’re a bunch of criminals and crooks,” said one of the station’s journalists, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he risked being fired if identified. “You can’t be the anti-government channel in Washington. They’re going to lose the trust they built up with people over years and years. We’ve told people, ‘We’re just like you,’ not, ‘We’re looking out for the tea party.’ ”

Click here to read the entire article.

Kari Jacobs Named GM of WVEC

WVEC_ABC_13_2013 copyGannett has named Kari Jacobs GM of Norfolk ABC affiliate WVEC.

“Kari is a proven and respected performer who knows the Norfolk area well. She is the ideal person to lead the next generation of WVEC,” Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting said in a statement.

Jacobs was promoted from director of sales and takes over for Brad Ramsey, who was named Gannett’s VP of Sales last month.

Before coming back to WVEC, Jacobs was the local sales manager for Cox Media in Norfolk. She had been local sales manager at WVEC. Before that, she was the GSM of Sinclair’s FM radio station group on Norfolk.

Gray TV in Labor Dispute with Employees of North Dakota Station

New_Gray_304Three former employees of Gray Television’s newly purchased Bismarck, N.D. FOX affiliate KNDX are at odds with the station group over why they are now without jobs.

The Bismarck Tribune reports, Gray says the employees’ positions were eliminated as part of the company’s planned consolidation of its newly purchased North Dakota stations. Gray recently consolidated the stations by transferring the programming of some and selling off the licenses of others.

The employees say they were fired when they asked Gray for more money.

Gray Television sent a letter to the Fox station employees on July 25, about a month after the sale closed, informing them the stations would “cease operations” and some positions would be eliminated as a result of the consolidation.

Three master control room operators said plans changed when the company learned it would not be able to move its transmission dish without reinforcing the roof of its downtown Bismarck building. They were told they would likely remain employed through the end of the year but lost their jobs anyway after trying to negotiate for higher wages.

“Gray announced several months ago that on September 15, it would be consolidating the local NBC and Fox stations into a single, more efficient operation to better serve our local viewers,” Gray said in an emailed statement. “We proceeded with that consolidation yesterday, and, as a result of the consolidation, several positions were eliminated, including those held by these three employees. We promised this summer to extend a generous severance package to all employees effected by the consolidation, and we honored that promise yesterday.”

One of the operators, Tim Cunningham, said the events played out differently. Read more

Denver Anchor Sorry for Saying Monkey When Talking About Adrian Peterson

haarer peterson commentKUSA weekend morning anchor Ryan Haarer apologized Sunday morning after using the phrase “monkey see, monkey do” in reference to the Adrian Peterson child abuse allegations.

After Taylor Temby, a reporter for the Denver NBC affiliate, finished up a report about the Peterson case, she said an expert told her Peterson’s children would likely continue the cycle of discipline, since people often discipline their kids the same way they were disciplined. That’s when Haarer said, “You know Taylor, we hear about it. You know, Adrian Petersen’s dad, it happened to him and in turn he’s doing it to his kids, so it’s kind of a ‘monkey see, monkey do’ situation there.”

About 20 minutes later, Haarer told viewers, “I need to make an apology on air. Earlier in this newscast I made reference to Adrian Peterson in which some folks saw as a racial connotation. In no way, did I intend for it to happen that way. I realize that my words were wrong and I apologize.”

TVSpy asked KUSA for further comment. We will update when we hear back.

Heartland Media Buys Family Owned Station in Tupelo

wtva logoWTVA, the Tupelo, Miss. NBC and ABC affiliate which has been owned by the Spain family for 57 years, has been sold to Heartland Media.

“We are excited about the opportunity to continue the excellent television service that have been provided for the past 57 years by the Spain family,” Bob Prather, president and CEO of Heartland said in a statement.

Heartland owns WKTV, the NBC affiliate in Utica, NY, and ABC affiliates KEZI in Eugene, KDRV in Medford and KDKF in Klamath Falls, Ore.

Prather is the former president and CEO of Gray Television, Inc. According to the release, “Under Prather’s leadership, Gray undertook an aggressive growth strategy in building a 41 station group, with the largest station in Knoxville, Tennessee (market 51).”

Until the transaction is approved by the FCC, WTVA, Inc. will continue to run the station.

Brian Shactman Named NECN Morning Anchor

shactman croppedBrian Shactman has joined New England Cable News as anchor of The Morning Show.

Shactman will co-anchor the two hour morning show alongside Bridget Blythe.

“With New England roots, stellar journalism credentials and a passion for storytelling, Brian Shactman will be a huge asset to NECN and we’re thrilled to introduce him to our viewers,” said Mike St. Peter, SVP and GM of NECN.

This is a move within NBC Universal for Shactman. He last worked as anchor for MSNBC morning show Way Too Early. Shactman was also a contributor to Morning Joe. Before that, he anchored at CNBC and has also worked at Hartford NBC owned station WVIT and at ESPN.

Arkansas Station Adds Yuna Lee as AM Anchor

lee khbsYuna Lee is joining KHBS-KHOG, the ABC affiliates for Fort Smith-Fayetteville, Ark. as morning co-anchor and reporter.

Starting October 30, Lee will join Ben Wagner and meteorologist Laura Huckabee for 40/29 Sunrise weekdays and also work as a reporter for the station.

“Yuna’s anchoring and field reporting experience is a perfect fit for our team”KHBS-KHOG news director Greg Shepperd said in a statement. “Her versatility will enhance 40/29 News’ commitment to thoroughly cover the entire market.”

Lee comes to the station from WHIO in Dayton, Ohio where she was an anchor and reporter for over 3 years. Before that, she worked at WHSV in Harrisonburg, Va. and WPBF in West Palm Beach, Fla.

WXMI Names New Morning Anchor

falzone croppedGrand Rapids, Mich. FOX affiliate WXMI has named Deanna Falzone morning anchor.

The Grand Rapids Press reports, Falzone replaces Sarah Brodhead, who recently announced she was leaving the station.

Falzone, a native of Harper Woods in the Detroit area, said she’s looking forward to the new assignment beginning Thursday.

“I am very excited to join the morning team and am looking forward to the sunrises that will come with the early wake up call,” Falzone said. “The fun, energetic atmosphere the morning team has created is one-of-a-kind in West Michigan, and I look forward to continuing that tradition.”

FOX 17 News Director Brooks Blanton said Falzone, who joined the Tribune Company-owned TV station in March 2013, approaches stories with passion and professionalism. Read more

Sherrill Barber to Retire from WLOS

barber wlosSherrill Barber has announced he is retiring from WLOS.

“After 37 years of reporting for WLOS News 13, I am pleased to announce I will retire September 30th,” Barber wrote on his facebook page. “Pleased, because I am blessed to have spent an entire career at a job where every morning I woke up and said, “Oh boy!”

The Asheville, N.C. ABC affiliate wrote on its website, “We wish Sherrill and his family well, as they enjoy more time exploring the mountains, which he loves.”

As a young reporter, Sherrill covered the first ever Bele Chere festival in 1978 in Asheville. He has extensively followed the career of Montreat evangelist Billy Graham, traveling with Graham to crusades in Russia, Hong Kong, California, Florida, Texas and South Carolina. He has covered every major story in the mountains over the years, including flooding, the apple crop and elections. As a Polk County native, his knowledge of the area has been a tremendous asset to our news operation.

Robert Burton to Join WJLA

burton katvKATV weekend sports anchor Robert Burton said goodbye to viewers of the Little Rock, Ark. ABC affiliate Sunday night.

Burton is heading to WJLA in Washington, D.C.

Sports director Steve Sullivan wrote up a goodbye for Burton on the station’s website.

I’d be lying if I said that Bob got off to a great start at KATV.

Bob joined us in the middle of the 2011 football season.  His first big assignment was the Conway-Cabot football game.  This match-up between two tradition rich programs was supposed to be our main highlight game. If Bob had the final call, we wouldn’t have any highlights of that game on the news that night. Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>