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WXYZ Reporter Pelted with Food by Angry Squatters


A group of squatters were menacing a Detroit neighborhood. When WXYZ reporter Ronnie Dahl picked up the story and lead the efforts to have the squatters evicted, she became a target of their food-based rage.

The first incident happened when the reporter for the Detroit ABC affiliate confronted them as they drove away from the house they’d taken over. They threw what appeared to be soda on her and later brandished what looked like a bottle of barbecue sauce as they drove away.

When they drove by as Dahl was doing a live shot covering their eviction they pulled out the barbecue sauce again. “Just so you guys know, you’re live on television,” Dahl told them. “I wouldn’t do that.”

But they did. Watch the story.

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Jennifer Hardy Named WAAY News Director

WAAY31Logo300dpibJennifer Hardy has been named news director for Huntsville, AL, ABC affiliate WAAY.

Hardy comes to WAAY from KOLO in Reno, NV, where she is news director.

“Jennifer is a high-energy, positive force that will guide our news efforts and re-invent what we do,” Dughi told staffers in an email. “She balances great journalism with great story-telling,  understands progressive production techniques and engaged newscasts, and marketing needs.  She gets digital and social.”

Hardy has also worked as assistant ND at KVVU in Las Vegas, KXLY in Spokane, WA, and KOKI in Tulsa, OK. She has also worked at WMC in Memphis, TN, KOLD in Tucson, AZ, and KRNV in Reno, NV, as EP.

According to Paul Dughi, VP and GM of WAAY, Hardy will start June 2nd.

[vocus]

WBAY Photographer Joe Smrekar Dies After Battle with Cancer

smrekar wbayJoe Smrekar, photographer for Green Bay, WI, ABC affiliate WBAY, has died after a long battle with cancer.

Smrekar started at WBAY as a production assistant in 1984. He became a photographer three years later.

“He’s been a constant friend for a lot of years,” WBAY chief photographer John Devroy said. “Joe was a very dedicated person. There’s not a more dedicated person you’ll find.”

According to the station, one of Smrekar’s passions was shooting Green Bay Packer games. “But aside from his stellar work, what we’ll remember most is Joe the person, the colleague and friend who lived his life with integrity.”

Joe’s family will receive friends at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason Street, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, April 25.

WMAR Launches ‘Unique and Innovative’ Investigative Newscast

wmar in focusBaltimore ABC affiliate WMAR will debut a revamped 6 p.m. newscast that concentrates on in-depth and original reporting, “ABC2 In Focus,” tonight.

“We’ve noticed a thirst in the market for in-depth stories,” WMAR news director Kelly Groft said in a statement. “We’ll always cover the news of the day, it’s just now, at 6pm, we’ll slow down a bit, dig deeper, and ask more questions.”

WMAR says the “unique and innovative” program will be led by a “crack team of investigative journalists and producers,” but did not specifically name them. The newscast will also feature additional original content online.

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:

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

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