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After Climbing Mount Everest, WABC’s Diana Williams Reports on Avalanche From Katmandu

After climbing Mount Everest earlier this week, WABC anchor Diana Williams — who is now in Katmandu — is reporting on the massive avalanche for the ABC-owned station. The avalanche that swept the slopes has left 12 Sherpa guides dead and four more missing.

“It’s a terrible tragedy and I just feel for everybody who is up there,” she said. “It hurts everybody when something like this happens — all of the climbers are feeling it I know right now, and I know the Sherpa up there are just very devastated by this.” Watch:

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Dan Lewis Leaving KOMO After 27 Years


Longtime KOMO anchor Dan Lewis has announced he is leaving the Seattle ABC affiliate.

“Coming to Seattle 27 years ago was the best move I ever made,” Lewis told newsroom staffers Wednesday. “KOMO has been a wonderful place to work and this community is just amazing. It’s a difficult decision that has been two years in the making.”

Lewis started working at KOMO in 1987. One year after arriving, he was paired with Kathi Goertzen. The two worked together for nearly 25 years until Goertzen’s death from brain tumors.

During his four decades in TV news, Lewis covered some of the biggest stories of our time. From the Pang Warehouse fire to the Nisqually earthquake and recently the crash of the KOMO 4 helicopter. Viewers across Washington have come to rely on Lewis for their news.

“Television news,” he told the staff Wednesday, “has been my passion for four decades. To this day I love my job but I just feel like I need a break from the news.” Read more

Dan Schillinger Named WQOW News Director

schillinger_kwwlDan Schillinger is joining WQOW as news director, according to the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

He has been news director for the Quincy Newspapers’ NBC affiliate KWWL since 2011. The move to the Eau Claire ABC affiliate keeps Schillinger within Quincy Newspapers.

“He brought a lot of experience to our newsroom which is helpful to some of our younger reporters,” Jim McKernan, KWWL station vice president and general manager told the Courier. “We’re grateful for Dan’s leadership.”

Schillinger came to KWWL from WJBF in Augusta, GA where he was director of news operations. He starts at WQOW in June.

WBIR Gave Taz Painter a Goodbye to Remember Before He Left for WZZM

Painter goodbye WBIRTaz Painter started work at his new job as news director of Gannett owned Grand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM today.

Last week, his old station, Gannett owned WBIR in Knoxville, said goodbye with a list of what Painter would find in Grand Rapids, videotaped tributes from colleagues, and an appearance by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who brought a bag of Chuy’s Mexican Food and a proclamation declaring April 9 “Taz Painter Appreciation Day.”

“And I understand what this qualifies you for, if you pull out of town and you’re speeding,” said Burchett while handing Painter the proclamation. “If you show that to the sheriff’s deputies that they just put the taser on stun.”

Watch the video after the jump. Read more

WJCL Adds News at 5:00 and 5:30 PM

WJCL_LES ON SETSavannah ABC affiliate WJCL is expanding its evening news with a 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. newscast.

“After relaunching and rebranding ourselves last fall, we thought that this spring was a critical moment to expand our commitment to this community and provide our viewers another option for local news,” WJCL-WTGS president and GM Les Vann said in a statement.

The new show will be anchored by Kevin HolmesJenifer Andrews, chief meteorologist Jeff Kirk and sports anchor Frank Sulkowski.

This is the fourth news expansion for WJCL-WTGS this year. The station has already expanded its weekday morning show, added both a 6:00 p.m. news and a morning show on FOX affiliate WTGS during the weekend.

Poll Results: Would You Turn Over Footage Without a Subpoena?

keytlogoThe results are in from Friday’s double poll. First, we asked if you’d turn over footage your station shot without being forced to do so.

The poll came about after Santa Barbara ABC station KEYT shot riot footage and gave it to the county sheriff without a subpoena.

For the question: Would You Give Police Riot Footage Without Subpoena? A majority of the 280 responders said they disagreed with the station’s actions.

  • NO     67%
  • YES    32%
  • Other 1%

Jim Romenesko who first told the story also pointed out the reporter and the anchor on the desk reporting the story have ties to law enforcement. Reporter Victoria Sanchez‘ father is the Santa Barbara Chief of Police and anchor Paula Lopez is married to a county judge.

For the question: Should Sanchez and Lopez Reveal Their Ties to Law Enforcement When Reporting on Crime? 66 percent of the 92 people who voted think the two should reveal their ties. Read more

Meteorologist Adam Caskey Heading to KSAT

caskey wjla_croppedMeteorologist Adam Caskey is leaving Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA for San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT.

“After 11 years at WJLA/News Channel 8, the Caskeys are moving to the Lone Star State,” Caskey wrote on his facebook page. “My last day on-air in DC will be Friday the 18th. I love Washington and will truly miss you all, but I’m very excited for a new opportunity with the talented team at KSAT-TV in San Antonio.”

Caskey started his career with KVRR in Fargo,N.D, and has worked at WJLA since March 2003.

Carolyn Johnson Leaving KGO

kgo_bio_carolynjohnson_160x200KGO anchor Carolyn Johnson is leaving the San Francisco Bay Area ABC owned station.

In an email, KGO news director Tracey Watkowski told staff Johnson has, “accepted a new opportunity to be an anchor at a TV station outside of the San Francisco market.”

Johnson was a producer at KGO in the programming department before leaving for an on-air position at KSBY in San Luis Obispo. She returned to KGO in 1998.

There’s no word where Johnson is heading.

You can read the email after the jump. Read more

Poll: How Much is Too Much Cooperation with Law Enforcement?

When Santa Barbara ABC affiliate KEYT shot video of last week’s riot during the city’s Deltopia Festival, it aired the footage, interviewed the two photographers involved and then turned the footage over to the local Sheriff’s Department and the DA’s office so they could ID the offenders.

TVSpy has two polls about the story. First, we want to know if you agree with media blogger Jim Romenesko who first reported the story and wrote, “‘My tipster writes: ‘This was one of the most public displays of cooperation with law enforcement I have seen from a station.’”

See the second poll after the jump. Read more

How ABC News Digital Leverages Affiliate Reporting During Breaking News

wcvb boston coverageEric Noe, the managing editor of ABC News Digital, is featured in Mediabistro’s latest “So What Do You Do?” interview. Among other things, Noe tells us how ABC leverages social media and affiliate reporting during breaking news situations, using last year’s Boston Marathon bombings as an example:

Within minutes and within hours after [the bombs went off], we had people on the ground in Boston, and we had a digital journalist in Moscow, digging up background on the bombers’ family in Kyrgyzstan, giving us great information from there.

[...] We were able to lean on our sister company, ESPN — you know, this was a sporting event as well — and they gave us great information. Our affiliate up in Boston, WCVB, gave us great live streams. And by the end of the week, we had tremendous traffic. And I’m kind of proud to say that we didn’t have to walk back a single fact. We got everything right and didn’t have to issue any retractions, and it was a tremendous opportunity for us to show the muscle of our news division and what we can do when we [channel] it through the digital funnel.

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