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ABC Affiliates

Boston Stations Cover Former Mayor Tom Menino’s Passing

Local stations in Boston are serving up nonstop coverage on the death of former mayor Tom Menino. Starting at around 11:20 this morning, many local stations broke into regular programming to give viewers the sad news.

ABC affiliate WCVB broke into The View at 11:21 a.m., with anchors Emily Riemer and Erika Tarantal announcing that the mayor had died at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, at the age of 71.

NBC affiliate WHDH broke into The Today Show at 11:22 a.m., with Kayna Whitworth and Nancy Chen discussing the fact that a week ago, Menino decided to stop having treatments for his cancer.

CBS-owned station WBZ broke the news at 11:26 a.m, with political reporter Jon Keller sharing his insights into the mayor’s life and legacy.

FOX affiliate WFXT announced the news at 11:31 a.m., with anchor Gene Lavanchy discussing how Menino had cancelled his recent book tour to spend time with his family.

Look for continuing coverage of Menino from all four stations throughout the day (and night).

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Reel Reporting: Create Your Reel

Mediabistro Presents: ReelReporting Create Your ReelA good TV reporter won't go far without a standout Demo Reel! Starting November 13, MediabistroEDU and Reel Reporting offer a three-day series for students interested in hosting and news reporting. In this Los Angeles based course, students will learn from and work side-by-side TV agents and On-Air talent to better understand the hiring process and  shoot their best reel yet. Register now! 
 

Greta Kreuz Retires From WJLA


After more than 30 years working as a journalist, Greta Kreuz retired from WJLA on Wednesday .

Kreuz joined the Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate in 1988.

She started out as a print reporter in the Chicago area and later worked in radio as news director for WVPO-WSBG in Pennsylvania. She started her TV career at WBRE in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and has also worked at WPRI in Providence, R.I. and WBAL in Baltimore, Md.

In 2012, she revealed she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

On set, in a 5:00 p.m. news segment where the station said goodbye, she told viewers, “I’m in remission.” And added, “I’m going to take a little time and relax and smell the roses and sleep in.”

WLS to Host Live Facebook Q&A with Governor’s Race Candidates

1457699_10152861092066162_7680627002931929686_nTonight, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will take questions from voters on the Facebook page of WLS, the ABC-owned station in Chicago. Tomorrow night, challenger Bruce Rauner will take questions in the same way.

Facebook’s Andy Stone tells TVSpy WLS’ event marks a first for local stations:

“Facebook’s Q&A tool offers candidates and elected officials a quick, easy and engaging way to interact with constituents and voters in real time. Facebook’s exciting partnership with WLS-TV means that days before they go to the polls, for the first time ever, Illinoisans will have the opportunity to discuss the issues with both gubernatorial candidates on the ABC 7 Chicago Facebook page.”

Viewer engagement with this kind of event can be surprising. Recently, ABC News reached more than 10 million people with a town hall on Ebola, which was hosted on the ABC News Facebook page.

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.”

WCTI Meteorologist Skip Waters Dies

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 8.28.06 AMSkip Waters, chief meteorologist at Greenville ABC affiliate WCTI, has died. He was 61.

The veteran broadcaster is believed to have died of natural causes at his home. WCTI general manager Lyle Schulze said
“he called me [Monday] night at 7 o’clock and said he was feeling much better and he was looking forward to coming in to work [Tuesday].”

The news of Waters’ death led the station’s late newscast. WCTI shared tributes from some of the many colleagues Waters worked with over the years:

Skip returned to North Carolina in June 1982 to work at NewsChannel 12. He has tracked numerous hurricanes that impacted Eastern Carolina, including Bertha and Fran in 1996, Dennis and Floyd in 1999, Isabel in 2003, Ophelia in 2005, Irene in 2011, Sandy in 2012, and Arthur this year.

Skip is also known for his involvement in the community. He made hundreds of school visits each year.

“He never seemed to forget a face. He never seemed to forget a name,” said anchor Jaime McCutcheon. “You’d work events with him and anyone who came up to him, he’d remembered exactly where the last time he was that he saw them. And he would even remember something special about each and every person. He learned something about every person. We’d never forget that.”

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.

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.

KSTP’s Ken Barlow on Life, TV News and Being Honest About Mental Illness

KenBarlow640

Just so we’re clear on this: I’m not in the least bit impartial about Ken Barlow. To me, he’s a hero. Barlow, meteorologist at Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP, revealed he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago. It was a hugely brave decision, and one with tremendous potential to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness, especially in television. It inspired me personally to be brave enough to follow his lead.

Two years later, Barlow tells MinnPost he has no regrets. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a terrifying–and professionally risky–move. “I could have lost my job,” he said. “I could have lost my friends. I had no idea what was going to happen, but I felt like I just couldn’t hold it in anymore”:

It turns out that for me the hardest part of this diagnosis was hiding it. When you’re a public person, everybody thinks you must be perfect. You have the perfect hair, the perfect suits. You even wear makeup on camera. You’re presented as no flaws. So when I was first diagnosed in 2007, I put up all these barriers. I was horrified, because I pictured everybody with a mental illness as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo ’s Nest” or a murderer. That’s all I ever really heard about mental illness.

I was ashamed and embarrassed. My wife helped me build up walls. It got so bad she would go to the drugstore and pick up my prescriptions because I didn’t want people to see me with my medications.

WABG and WXVT to Appear in Reality Show ‘Breaking Greenville’

The American people are about to get an inside peek at the inner workings of two local stations in Mississippi. ABC affiliate WABG and CBS affiliate WXVT will be appearing in a new reality series called ‘Breaking Greenville’ airing on TruTV. The trailer promises plenty of light-hearted comedy and the synopsis reads like a made-for-TV movie:

When a spunky young reporter from Connecticut lands her first big job in a small-town news market, an unexpected shake-up occurs. BREAKING GREENVILLE follows a group of local anchors as they compete for the top spot in the game. The character-driven docu-soap will spotlight the playful — and at times cut-throat — rivalry between two local news stations and the dynamic newscasters who are determined to take their jobs seriously, even when some of the news they cover is less than serious.

I like Yahoo TV writer Mike Krumboltz‘s summary better:

Breaking Greenville may do for local news what The Office did for 9-5 life in the cubicle. But unlike the classic NBC comedy, TruTV’s Breaking Greenville is a real documentary about actual local news reporters doing things that would probably make Edward R. Morrow scream into the nearest throw pillow.

‘Breaking Greenville’ premieres in December on TruTV.

Cori Coffin Joins KVUE as Morning Anchor

teamdaybreakCori Coffin has joined Austin ABC affiliate KVUE as a morning anchor. Coffin has been anchoring the station’s 5:00 a.m., 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. newscasts with Bryan Mays, reports Austin media maven Gary Dinges:

Coffin comes to Austin after spending the past three years at KREX in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she also handled morning and midday anchor duties.
At KVUE, Coffin is currently filling in for anchor Yvonne Nava, who is on maternity leave after giving birth to her second son, Bodhi, late last month.
When Nava returns after the holidays, executive news director Frank Volpicella said Coffin will take over as anchor of KVUE’s 4:30 a.m. newscast, a spot vacated by Jessica Vess, who left recently to take a public relations job at Austin Community College.

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