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Kevin Eck

It’s Trading Day! Five Station Groups Buy and Sell Ten Stations

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Five station groups have undertaken a station swap similar to what happens at the trading deadline in professional sports. This time, though, the moves affect hundreds of people.

Media General and LIN Media, looking to comply with Federal regulations over ownership rules have initiated a TV station swap involving Sinclair Broadcast, Meredith and Hearst Corporation.

Here’s the breakdown:

Sinclair will buy from Media General: Providence NBC affiliate WJAR

Sinclair will buy from LIN Media: Green Bay FOX affiliate WLUK, Green Bay CW affiliate WCWF and certain assets of Savannah, GA, FOX affiliate WTGS and the rights to acquire the principal assets of WTGS, which is operated by LIN but owned by WTGS Television, LLC.

Media General will buy from Sinclair: Tampa, FL, MyTV affiliate WTTA, creating a duopoly since they already own NBC affiliate WFLA, and Colorado Springs stations KXRM (FOX) and KXTU (CW).

Media General will sell to Hearst: Birmingham, AL NBC affiliate WVTM.

LIN Media will sell to Hearst: Savannah, GA ABC affiliate WJCL.

Meredith will buy from LIN Media: Mobile-Pensacola FOX affiliate WALA. Read more

WNBC Remembers Former Announcer and Voice of SNL, Don Pardo


Don Pardo, who many know today as the iconic voice of Saturday Night Live, died Monday in Arizona at the age of 96.

Pardo had worked for NBC since 1944. At New York NBC owned station WNBC, he was the announcer for Live at Five in the 1980s.

According to NBC, many of those featured on SNL said they didn’t feel like they’d made it until Pardo announced their name.

Read more

Former Miss Colorado Named AM Anchor at KOAA

cockrell koaaColorado Springs NBC affiliate KOAA has named Shellene Cockrell morning anchor.

The Gazette reports, Cockrell, who was Miss Colorado in 1994, will join Adam Atchison, Stephen Bowers and Joanna Wise on the morning anchor desk after Labor Day.

“Shellene’s diverse background includes news anchoring and reporting, college basketball play-by-play (both men’s and women’s), and leadership and media coaching,” KOAA news director Kelly Duffy told The Gazette. “She’s a multifaceted journalist with three Emmys under her belt.”

According to her LinkedIn page, Cockrell has been freelancing as a host and anchor since 2005. She has also worked at KWGN and news radio station KOA in Denver.

Sinclair Names New GMs in Washington, DC and Columbus Markets

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Dan Mellon GM of its Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA and local cable news network NewsChannel 8.

The station group also named Tony D’Angelo GM of Columbus, OH, ABC affiliate WSYX.

“I am excited to announce the promotions of Dan and Tony,” Steve Marks, Sinclair’s co-chief operating officer said in a statement. “They have been loyal employees of the Company with a history of success in leading our stations, especially in Columbus, one of our largest and most important markets.”

Since 2006, Mellon has been group manager of Sinclair’s stations. He was GM of WSYX from 2005 until 2006 and was also responsible for oversight into WTTE. D’Angelo had been director of sales at WSYX, WTTE and WWHO in Columbus since 2003.

Mark Effron Leaving WPIX

mark_effron.03WPIX news director Mark Effron announced to staff today that he is leaving the Tribune-owned New York CW affiliate. He will stay through October.

Effron wrote to staffers in a memo that, when he was hired, he told Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert, that he only wanted to be news director for two years. (Read Effron’s memo after the jump.)

Effron told TVSpy the timing has been fortuitous. He said the station’s turnaround came more quickly than he expected and he hopes the positive momentum continues for the next news director.

When asked about future plans, Effron mentioned his approaching 65th birthday and said he’s confident he will continue to work in the business. “It’s been a terrific career. I’ve been very blessed both personally and professionally and I’m very excited about what happens next.”

Wert hired Effron in April 2013. Rich Graziano was hired as GM of WPIX later that year. Read more

FOX Philadelphia Launches Interactive Weekend Morning Newscast

WTXF, the FOX owned Philadelphia Station, is going to launch a weekend morning newscast centered around smart phones and social media.

According to the station, #FOX29 Weekend will be “an interactive, social newscast with viewer generated news content and regular contributors who are not reporters…but news makers in the market.”

“We are excited to launch a completely different type of newscast,” said Audrey Fish, VP of creative services. “We will bring to life on TV what our viewers are already doing every day- using their phones, and computers to create a dialogue about what’s going on in the world.”

The show boasts a new 360 degree stage for three different newscasts with a view of Center City Philadelphia.

#FOX29 Weekend launches Saturday, September 20 at 8:00 a.m. The show airs Saturdays from 8:00 until 10:00 a.m. and Sundays from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. It will also stream live on the station website.

[TVNewsCheck]

WITI Investigation Helps Prove False Arrest, Sparks Federal Lawsuit

Milwaukee FOX affiliate WITI is being credited for helping a woman prove she had been falsely accused of drunk driving by a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy.

WITI reports, Tanya Weyker recently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and four of his deputies. Weyker’s lawyer said WITI discovered a key piece of evidence proving police were in the wrong.

The lawsuit comes two months after a FOX6 investigation showed Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Quiles T-boned Weyker’s Toyota Camry and then lied about who caused the crash.

Weyker admitted to having a few sips of a friend’s drink that night — and nothing more.

Her injuries were too severe to perform field sobriety tests.

Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Griffin arrested Weyker anyway — and cited her for driving drunk, even though blood tests would later prove Weyker had no alcohol or drugs in her system. Read more

Kelly Lattimer Named GM of WQRF-WTVO

nexstar_304Nexstar Broadcasting has named Kelly Lattimer VP and GM of Rockford, IL, FOX affiliate WQRF. She will also oversee ABC affiliate WTVO through Nexstar’s operating agreement with Mission Broadcasting.

“With Kelly’s personal and professional longevity in the Rockford market she brings an intimate understanding of the local community to her new role at WQRF-TV,” Tim Busch, executive VP and co-chief operating officer for Nexstar said in a statement.

Since 2008, Lattimer has been the director of sales of Nexstar’s Rockford broadcast and digital operations. She was the GSM of KFXA in Cedar Rapids before joining Nexstar.

What Did They Cover in Buffalo Last Night?

Today we take a look at the 52nd largest market in the US.

Pro sports and their effects on the city were top of mind for stations yesterday. NBC affiliate WGRZ devoted team coverage to questions about the future of the hometown NFL team Buffalo Bills.

Though each station touched on the same stories in their teases, the way each one stacked it show was very different. One interesting note: The WUTV 10:00 p.m. show, produced by WGRZ, was the most crime-centric, concentrating mainly on shootings and resident’s safety concerns.

Jesse Jones Jumping Stations in Seattle

jones kiroConsumer reporter Jesse Jones is leaving Seattle NBC affiliate KING for CBS affiliate KIRO.

“After nine years I am moving on from KING-TV,” Jones wrote on his facebook page. “I want to thank the station for its support of my family and the Get Jesse franchise.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, Jones grew up in Tacoma and led Montana State University to a national title in 1984 as a fullback.

Using a broadcaster’s talents, and a won’t-be-stopped style borrowed from his gridiron position, Jones blew threw dishonest Puget Sound-area businesses and made “Get Jesse” a consistently interesting feature on the evening news.

King said on his facebook page he starts at KIRO in October, but because of his contract, he can’t appear on-air until April.

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