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ABC Affiliates

KMGH’s Mike Landess Will Anchor Final Newscast August 28

mike landessMike Landess, anchor at Denver ABC affiliate KMGH, will anchor his final newscast at 10 p.m. August 28. Landess announced his decision to step down in May, and Denver Post TV critic Joanne Ostrow says next Thursday will be the day:

The station plans nightly tributes to his career next week, honoring in particular his steady presence on-air during the Colorado floods, wildfires and Aurora theater shooting.

Landess has yet to reveal what he’ll do next–or where. But he told Westword local TV has been a special experience, but after fifty years, he’s ready to leave:

“I’ve loved this job,” he emphasizes. “But I’m excited to move on to whatever the next phase is.”

Rich Pegram Out as GM at Tampa’s WFTS

ABC_Action_News_generic_20121113091948_320_240Tampa-St. Petersburg ABC affiliate WFTS has dismissed general manager Rich Pegram, with station owner Scripps telling the Tampa Bay Times “Rich is no longer with the Scripps corporation.”

Pegram, 63, led WFTS Channel 28 as it surged in ratings in recent years. He joined WFTS after 26 years with top NBC affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis and CBS affiliate WTVR in Richmond, Va.

WFTS Channel 28 is owned and operated by E. W. Scripps Co., a media conglomerate that includes such properties as HGTV, the Food Network and various ABC and CBS affiliate TV stations. A recent spinoff contains the company’s daily and community newspapers.

Pegram had been GM at WFTS for seven years.

Rockford Station Rolls with Punches After Prompter Snafu

backwards prompter croppedWTVO morning anchor Matt Rodewald was forced to read the news like they did in the olden days when the TelePrompTer went down.

The anchor for the Rockford, IL, ABC affiliate told viewers at around 5:30 a.m. that a power surge had flipped the words on the prompter screen, causing them to show up backwards.

Rodewald kept viewers up-to-date on facebook. At around 9:00 a.m. facebook time, he let viewers know the problem had been fixed.

“ALERT: It works!!! The TelePrompTer now has the words facing the right direction. The people in the control room have broken out into song. The folks in the studio, along with Amy, are dancing. The hardworkers in the newsroom are openly weeping.”

Laura Gray Returns to Buffalo’s WKBW

laura grayLaura Gray is returning to Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW after three years working in public relations, The Buffalo News‘ Alan Pergament reports. Gray, who worked at the station for five years before leaving in 2011, will anchor the morning and noon newscasts beginning this fall:

A Pittsburgh native who worked in Erie, Pa. before joining Channel 7, Gray will work with meteorologist Andy Parker, who left Channel 2 “Daybreak” last week to return to Channel 7 on its new morning program.

Earlier this month, Channel 7 let go the morning team of Tiffany Lundberg and Cole Heath after they worked for a year on the low-rated program. The station’s new owner, E.W. Scripps, is attempting to get viewers to give the morning program another look when the revamp starts in mid-September.

“We saw someone with Laura who has a good news presence, is local and is committed to the market,” said Channel 7 General Manager Mike Nurse said this afternoon.

Sinclair Names New GMs in Washington, DC and Columbus Markets

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Dan Mellon GM of its Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA and local cable news network NewsChannel 8.

The station group also named Tony D’Angelo GM of Columbus, OH, ABC affiliate WSYX.

“I am excited to announce the promotions of Dan and Tony,” Steve Marks, Sinclair’s co-chief operating officer said in a statement. “They have been loyal employees of the Company with a history of success in leading our stations, especially in Columbus, one of our largest and most important markets.”

Since 2006, Mellon has been group manager of Sinclair’s stations. He was GM of WSYX from 2005 until 2006 and was also responsible for oversight into WTTE. D’Angelo had been director of sales at WSYX, WTTE and WWHO in Columbus since 2003.

Kelly Lattimer Named GM of WQRF-WTVO

nexstar_304Nexstar Broadcasting has named Kelly Lattimer VP and GM of Rockford, IL, FOX affiliate WQRF. She will also oversee ABC affiliate WTVO through Nexstar’s operating agreement with Mission Broadcasting.

“With Kelly’s personal and professional longevity in the Rockford market she brings an intimate understanding of the local community to her new role at WQRF-TV,” Tim Busch, executive VP and co-chief operating officer for Nexstar said in a statement.

Since 2008, Lattimer has been the director of sales of Nexstar’s Rockford broadcast and digital operations. She was the GSM of KFXA in Cedar Rapids before joining Nexstar.

What Did They Cover in Buffalo Last Night?

Today we take a look at the 52nd largest market in the US.

Pro sports and their effects on the city were top of mind for stations yesterday. NBC affiliate WGRZ devoted team coverage to questions about the future of the hometown NFL team Buffalo Bills.

Though each station touched on the same stories in their teases, the way each one stacked it show was very different. One interesting note: The WUTV 10:00 p.m. show, produced by WGRZ, was the most crime-centric, concentrating mainly on shootings and resident’s safety concerns.

WFTV Reporter Berndt Petersen Leaves for Atlanta

Picture 1Berndt Petersen, known as a voice of reason in an increasingly chaotic local TV world, has bolted Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV for sister station WSB in Atlanta, also an ABC affiliate.

Petersen, who worked at WFTV for ten years, departed earlier this month, according to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker:

That beaming-up to Atlanta was deserved because Petersen is a gifted journalist. In his career, he noted that has won three Edward R. Murrow Awards, six Emmys and two dozen honors from The Associated Press. He also has worked at stations in Birmingham, Charleston and Paducah, Ky.

I worked with Berndt in Orlando and in Birmingham; he’s a true gentleman, a great reporter and profoundly gifted storyteller. It’s a big loss for WFTV and a nice gain for WSB.

WCHS Reporter Reveals He Has Parkinson’s

BobAaronBob Aaron, a longtime reporter at WCHS, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, WV, said Friday he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Aaron was reporting on the death of Robin Williams, who had also been diagnosed with the disease, when he made the announcement to viewers. “It kind of feels good getting it off my chest,” he told The Charleston Gazette. “It’s not hanging over me.”

Aaron, who has reported for WCHS for more than three decades, said he has no plans to stop. He credits his wife with noticing the early symptoms of Parkinson’s:

“My wife sort of saved my life,” he said. “She noticed things about me I just attributed to getting older. I was walking slope-shouldered, tilted forward. I was shuffling my feet. I lost my sense of smell. I have what you could call ‘senior moments’ when I paused … and my balance isn’t quite what it used to be. I got some shakes … I didn’t really notice it, but she certainly did.”

KGO Names Ama Daetz Evening Anchor

amadaetz_160x200Ama Daetz has been named co-anchor of the 4:00, 6:00, 9:00 and 11:00 pm. newscasts for San Francisco ABC owned station KGO.

“Ama made it a homecoming to the Bay Area when she joined ABC7 News in October 2011 as weekend evening anchor and night-side reporter,” KGO news director Tracey Watkowski said in an email to staffers obtained by TVSpy. “She has done a terrific job as an anchor and reporter covering some big national news stories.”

Daetz replaces Carolyn Johnson, who left the station in April for KNBC in Los Angeles.

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