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Merrill Knox

Merrill Knox is Senior Editor of TVNewser and TVSpy. She joined Mediabistro in 2011 after four years working for "Your World with Neil Cavuto" at Fox News Channel. When she's not reading or writing, Merrill is most often found trying to anticipate the next plot twist on "Homeland." Follow her on Twitter @merrillknox or email her at merrill@mediabistro.com.

WKBN Wears Purple to Support Chief Meteorologist’s Cancer Battle

WKBN encouraged the community to wear purple yesterday in support of chief meteorologist Don Guthrie, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Yesterday was Guthrie’s 44th anniversary at the Youngstown CBS affiliate. Watch WKBN’s report:

Q2 Earnings: Gannett Broadcasting Revenue Up 88%

gannett logoGannett Broadcasting reported $398.3 million in revenues for the second quarter of 2014, an 88 percent increase compared to the year-ago quarter. The increase was a reflection of Gannett’s acquisition of Belo, as well as higher retransmission revenue and political revenue “across all of our stations,” according to the company.

On a pro forma basis, broadcasting segment revenues were up 13.4 percent and retransmission revenues were up 66.6 compared to the year-ago quarter. Pro forma digital revenues were up 15.2% compared to the second quarter of 2013.

“Our expanded broadcast portfolio drove overall company margin expansion during the quarter, as we continue to transform Gannett into a higher margin, higher growth business,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement.

Jon Skorburg Named VP-GM of WOI

woi logoNexstar has appointed a new general manager of WOI, its recently-acquired ABC affiliate in Des Moines. Effective immediately, Jon Skorburg has been named vice president and general manager of the station and its associated digital operations.

It is a move within Nexstar for Skorburg, who has been vice president and general manager of Nexstar’s WQRF and Mission Broadcasting’s WTVO in Rockford, Ill., since 2011. Before that, he was the president and CEO of WNWO, the NBC affiliate in Toledo.

“With his local broadcasting expertise, strong client relationships, and dedication to the local Midwest communities that he serves, we are confident in Jon’s ability to provide effective leadership and to build upon the success of WOI-TV,” Nexstar Broadcasting COO Brian Jones said in a statement.

Skorburg replaces Russ Hamilton, who has been general manager of WOI since 2011.

Jenn Bernstein Rejoins Hartford’s WTIC

jenn bernsteinJenn Bernstein is returning to WTIC, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Hartford-New Haven, as a reporter and anchor next month.

“We are thrilled Jenn is rejoining our team. As a Connecticut native, she knows the state well and I’m sure our viewers will be happy to know such a talented journalist and multimedia innovator is back in our Newsroom,” WTIC news director Coleen Marren said in a statement.

Bernstein previously worked at WTIC from 2010 to 2012 as a multimedia journalist. She left the station to be a reporter at KYW, the CBS-owned station in Philadelphia.

Jon Huffman Set to Retire From WGNO

jon huffman wgnoWGNO morning anchor Jon Huffman will retire from the ABC affiliate in New Orleans next month. Huffman has been on New Orleans television since 1990 and has anchored WGNO’s “Good Morning New Orleans” since 2008.

“Jon was a fabulous mentor for new employees on Good Morning New Orleans. His easy going nature helped them make the transition to waking up in the early morning hours a little easier. He’ll be missed,” WGNO news director Rick Erbach said in a statement. “Sleep in Jon. You’ve earned it.”

Before WGNO, Huffman worked as a reporter and anchor for WVUE, the Fox affiliate in New Orleans. He will officially sign off from WGNO August 1.

“I will deeply miss my co-workers at WGNO and the fun spirit of ‘Good Morning New Orleans.’ But I certainly won’t miss the alarm clock going off at 2:30 in the morning! It’s time to move on to a more relaxed—and relaxing—phase of my life,” Huffman said.

Zach Pagano Joins KRDO From KCWY

zach pagano_304Zach Pagano is joining KRDO, the ABC affiliate in Colorado Springs. Pagano joins the station from KCWY, the NBC affiliate in Casper, Wy., where he was the morning and noon anchor. He announced news of the move on Facebook:

I can’t thank all of you enough for your ongoing support. Wyoming is a great state, and I’m lucky to have been a part of its top-rated morning and noon newscasts for the past two years. Thank you all for your loyal viewership, and I hope you’ll keep in touch in the future.

I’m happy to be back in my home state and to be working for the same station where I had my first journalism internship.

Watch Pagano sign off from KCWY after the jump. Read more

Hospital Bomb Threat Phoned in to Oklahoma City Stations

An Oklahoma City hospital has been cleared of danger after a man called local stations, including CBS affiliate KWTV and NBC affiliate KFOR, and said there were two bombs in the hospital.

From KWTV’s website:

“The man on the phone said his cousin claimed he placed two bombs in the hospital to protest the gay marriage ruling last week,” said News 9 Assignment Editor Elyssa Mann who took the phone call. The caller told Mann the bombs were set to go off at 8:00 a.m. and were placed on the third floor of the hospital and in the parking garage.

News 9 immediately notified Oklahoma City police of the call. Police officers rushed to the hospital and did a sweep of all the buildings. They told our crew on scene there was nothing suspicious or unusual in the hospital. They said there was nothing for the bomb squad to come out and investigate.

Watch KWTV’s report:

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Marty Venticinque Says Goodbye to KRDO

marty venticinqueKRDO meteorologist Marty Venticinque is leaving the Colorado Springs ABC affiliate after 15 years. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports he is leaving the station to teach math and science at a middle school in the area.

“We wish him the very best as he begins a new chapter,” KRDO news director Jene Nelson told the Gazette.

Before KRDO, Venticinque worked at KMGH, the ABC affiliate in Denver. Watch the station’s tribute to the meteorologist here.

WWL Adds Weekend, Evening Newscasts

wwl logoWWL-WUPL, Gannett’s duopoly in New Orleans, is adding evening and weekend newscasts next month. WWL will debut weekend morning newscasts anchored by Antwan Harris on August 9, and WUPL will debut weeknight newscasts anchored by Natalie Shepherd and Thanh Truong on September 9.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune has more:

“I think people want to know the overnight news,” said Bill Siegel, WWL’s news director. “They certainly want up-to-the-minute weather. Given weekend plans and how much time everybody spends outside here, that’s really important.

“We also have the opportunity to do some different things on Saturday and Sunday, a deeper dive on cultural things and festivals. There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

Copyright Office: Aereo Not a Cable Company

aereoA week after Aereo said it would seek to continue operations “as a cable system,” the U.S. Copyright Office has told the streaming TV service that it does not qualify as a cable company under terms of the Copyright Act, CNBC reports:

“In the view of the Copyright Office, internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope of the Section 111 license,” the Copyright Office wrote in the letter dated July 16.

The office added that it would not refuse Aereo’s filings outright, but rather would accept them provisionally since the company’s case is still before the courts.

A spokeswoman for Aereo declined to comment on the ruling, but noted that the Copyright Office provisionally accepted the company’s application.

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