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Merrill Knox

Merrill Knox is a contributor and former 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.

‘We Do Have Breaking News Right Now: Facebook is Down’

New York City’s WNBC took a lighthearted approach to today’s Facebook outage during its noon newscast this afternoon (video above).

“Just to keep panic at bay here, we do have breaking news right now: Facebook is down,” Contessa Brewer said. “We’re expecting this to trend on Twitter at any moment. Here’s the screen grab we have from our newsroom, where people are unforunately having trouble getting on. I got on, but nothing is uploading, nothing is updating. It just allowed me to send a friend request, that’s all.”

Brewer took to Twitter after the show to assure viewers she was being sarcastic:

[h/t Brian Stelter]

ND Greg Turchetta Leaving KEYE

KEYE_logoKEYE news director Greg Turchetta is leaving the Austin CBS affiliate, the Austin American-Statesman reports:

At a staff meeting held this afternoon at the station, it was revealed that Turchetta will soon oversee communications for a school system in the Naples, Fla., area. His final day on the job at KEYE is Aug. 8.

Turchetta arrived at the city’s CBS affiliate two years ago, after serving as assistant news director at the Fox station in Orlando, Fla. Previously, he’d worked at stations in Atlanta, Seattle and Jacksonville, Fla., among others.

Natalie Stoll Says Goodbye to KXAN

natalie stollMeteorologist Natalie Stoll is signing off from KXAN, the NBC affiliate in Austin. Stoll has worked for six years forecasting the weather and reporting environmental stories.

“Natalie has chosen to pursue an opportunity with more family-friendly hours, working as a communication specialist for LCRA,” KXAN news director Chad Cross said in a statement. “We appreciate her contributions at KXAN and look forward to working with Natalie in her new role.”

“I’m lucky to have spent years forecasting Central Texas weather as part of a fantastic team at KXAN. I’ll miss my coworkers and our viewers, but I’m also looking forward to this next career challenge,” Stoll said.

Q2 Earnings: Graham Media Group Revenue Up 10%

GrahamHoldingsLogo-jpgGraham Media Group (formerly the Post-Newsweek stations) reported $88.3 million in television broadcasting revenue during the second quarter of 2014, a 10 percent increase on the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was up 12% to $44.1 million. The station group says the increase in revenue and operating income  “is due to a $6.9 million increase in political advertising revenue, $9.5 million in incremental winter Olympics-related advertising revenue at the Company’s NBC affiliates and $9.3 million in increased retransmission revenues.”

The company’s second quarter earnings exclude WPLG, the ABC affiliate in Miami, which was recently sold to Warren Buffet‘s Berkshire Hathaway.

Alan Lee Signs Off From WJBK

After 18 years at WJBK, Alan Lee signed off from the Fox-owned station in Detroit this morning. Lee is retiring from the station to write a novel. Watch WJBK’s tribute:

On the Move, 7/31/14

Marilyn Vaca moves from WFTV in Orlando, where she was a senior executive producer, to WAWS-WTEV in Jacksonville, where she will be managing editor.

Sara Just is joining WETA, the public television station in Washington, D.C., as senior vice president and executive producer of “PBS NewsHour.” She comes from ABC News, where she has most recently been deputy Washington bureau chief.

To report a move, send an email to tvspy@mediabistro.com with the subject line “On the Move.”

Howard Dashefsky Returns to KHON

howard dashefskyHonolulu Fox affiliate KHON is launching a 9 p.m. newscast with veteran anchor Howard Dashefsky this fall. The newscast will debut September 8.

“We look forward to offering Hawaii viewers a comprehensive late news option at 9 p.m. We have been wanting to add a 9 p.m. news for a while, and we think the time is right and Howard is the perfect addition to our news team,” general manager Kristina Lockwood said in a statement. “We are committed to serving the viewers of Hawaii and providing more local news content both on-air and online.”

Dashefsky left KHON in 2009. In the past five years, he has worked in communications consulting, as well as writing, producing and hosting “Sports People Hawaii” and working on-air for OC Sports.

“I‘m excited about coming back to KHON2,” Dashefsky said. “It’s certainly with some sadness that I step away from my work with OC16 and OC Sports, but I feel blessed that I‘ll still be able to do both as time permits. So it‘s really a win-win.”

Q2 Earnings: Meredith Local Media Group Revenue Up 20%

meredith_1Meredith reported $111 million in Local Media Group revenues for the second calendar quarter (fiscal fourth quarter) of 2014, an increase of 20 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating profit for the quarter was $25 million, compared to $28 million in the prior-year period. For fiscal 2014, operating profit was $113 million and revenues were up 7 percent to a record $403 million, according to Meredith.

“We delivered record revenues and operating profit for a non-political year,” Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz said in a statement. “We’re excited to add KTVK in Phoenix and KMOV in St. Louis to the Meredith portfolio, and look forward to having WGGB in Springfield join our group. The addition of these stations – along with increasing retransmission revenues, growing non-political advertising, rising digital advertising and the upcoming political advertising cycle – point to a strong fiscal 2015 for our business.”

Prissila Sánchez Joins KWEX in San Antonio

univision logoPrissila Sánchez has joined KWEX, the Univision-owned station in San Antonio, Media Moves reports. In her new role, she will be a weather anchor and videojournalist, as well as reporting entertainment and lifestyle stories for the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Sánchez began her career in Monterrey, Mexico, where she was a weather anchor for TV Azteca’s morning newscast for four years. Her first day on the air at KWEX was Monday.

Jennifer Dodd Joins KENS as Assistant ND

kens logoJennifer Dodd is joining San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS as assistant news director, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Dodd is a former reporter for KSAT, the ABC affiliate in San Antonio. Most recently, she has been news director at the Victoria Television Group in Victoria, Texas, where she oversees operations for the ABC, Fox and Univision affiliates.

“My husband and I are thrilled to be moving back to the city we love,” Dodd said. “We met in San Antonio, my daughters were born there and many of our loved ones live there.”

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