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ABC Affiliates

KTBS Fires Rhonda Lee For Violating Social Media Policy. Lee: ‘I have yet to see this policy’

Former KTBS meteorologist Rhonda Lee, who was terminated at the Shreveport ABC affiliate last month for “repeated violations” of the station’s social media policy, is firing back at station management, claiming she was unaware such a policy existed.

In October, a viewer wrote on the station’s Facebook page: “the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady. the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but its still not something myself that i think looks good on tv.”

Lee posted a lengthy response to the viewer, which she provided to Journal-isms:

Hello Emmitt–I am the ‘black lady’ to which you are referring. I’m sorry you don’t like my ethnic hair. And no I don’t have cancer. I’m a non-smoking, 5’3, 121 lbs, 25 mile a week running, 37.5 year old woman, and I’m in perfectly healthy physical condition.

I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. For your edification: traditionally our hair doesn’t grow downward. It grows upward. Many Black women use strong straightening agents in order to achieve a more European grade of hair and that is their choice. However in my case I don’t find it necessary. I’m very proud of who I am and the standard of beauty I display. Read more

WFTV Hires George Waldenberger as Weekend Meteorologist

George Waldenberger will join Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV as the weekend meteorologist beginning January 16.

Waldenberger comes to Orlando from Kansas City NBC affiliate KSHB.

WFTV news director Matt Parcell told the Orlando Sentinel, “He’s exceptionally bright with excellent forecasting skills.”

Waldenberger previously worked for KMEG in Sioux City, IA, and KJRH in Tulsa.

Jim Kizer Named GM of WQAD

Jim Kizer has been named president and general manager of WQAD, the ABC affiliate for the Quad Cities.

“Jim has a wide lens on our industry,” said Local TV chief executive officer, Bobby Lawrence. “He has it all — sales, interactive, operations and product backgrounds. We’re thrilled he’s joining the team.”

Kizer brings a background in business development and sales and station management to the position at the Local TV owned station.  He’s worked at NRS Media, Tribune Interactive, Insight Media/Comcast Spotlight, The WB and WorldNow.  He’s also been a general manager at two Federal Broadcasting stations before working as the Chief Operating Officer of the station group from 1994 to 1997.

[Broadcasting & Cable]

WTAE Sued for Defamation, Invasion of Privacy

A defamation lawsuit against Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE was transferred into federal court last week, according to the Herald-Standard.

The station is being sued over the use of a photograph. Kathy Bass, 49, claims WTAE used a picture of her while reporting on a 21-year-old woman named Kathy Ann Bass who was arrested for kidnapping in 2010.

Bass claims she received several phone calls asking about her role in the kidnapping after the report was broadcast, the Herald-Standard reports. The suit claims defamation and invasion of privacy.

WRTV Announces New Anchor Team for ‘Good Morning Indiana’

WRTV has announced Marc Mullins and Beth Vaughn will be the morning news team for “Good Morning Indiana.”

“Energy and urgency are what our viewers want in a morning newscast,” said Terri Cope-Walton, WRTV assistant news director. “Beth Vaughn delivers both.”

Vaughn comes to the Indianapolis ABC affiliate from KHSB in Kansas City where she was an anchor and reporter.  Vaughn’s co-anchor, Marc Mullins, comes to WRTV from KMTR in Eugene, OR, where he was also an anchor and reporter.

“We are very pleased Marc is joining our “Good Morning Indiana” team,” said vice president and general manager Larry Blackerby. “His experience as a morning anchor combined with his natural enthusiasm and passion for reporting will be a perfect fit for our morning viewers.”

The new team will start in January.

‘Twin Cities Live’ Host John Hanson Leaving KSTP

John Hanson is stepping down from his post as the host of “Twin Cities Live,” the local talk show on Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP.

Hanson, who has hosted the show since its launch in 2008, is moving to Kansas City, where he will be the program director at a sports radio station.

“This was the most difficult decision of my career. I’ve been part of Twin Cities Live, before it was called Twin Cities Live. To be on TV in front of family and friends in my hometown every day was incredibly special,” Hanson said in a statement.

Hanson’s last show will be December 21. The station says a search for his replacement “begins immediately.”

Shelley Walcott to Join WMUR as Anchor

WTMJ reporter and weekend anchor Shelley Walcott has announced she will be leaving the Milwaukee NBC affiliate for WMUR in New Hampshire.

Walcott announced the move to the Manchester ABC affiliate on her twitter page saying, “Hi all: Wanted to announce I am leaving TMJ4 at the end of next week. Have accepted a main anchor job in New Hampshire. Bittersweet day!”

Steve Wexler, executive vice president of the Journal Broadcast Group told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Shelley is a very talented anchor and reporter, we’re going to miss her, but we are also very excited for her. She’ll be the main anchor on her new station and closer to her family.” Read more

After 40 Years at WCVB, Dr. Tim Johnson to Retire

Dr. Timothy Johnson, the medical editor at WCVB, has announced his retirement from the Boston ABC affiliate.

Johnson has worked for WCVB since its launch in 1972. He is also a senior medical contributor to ABC News, providing on-air commentary on medical problems for “World News,” “Nightline,” “20/20″ and “Good Morning America.”

“I never felt like a television personality,” Johnson said in a statement. “I always felt like a physician who was talking to his patients. I thought of what we were doing as trying to teach.”  Read more

KOMO Cuts Commentator Ken Schram

KOMO commentator Ken Schram has been let go at the Seattle ABC affiliate.

“My position here at KOMO 4 News has been eliminated,” Schram wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “I’d be less than candid if I didn’t acknowledge how disappointed I am to have my 35+ year career at KOMO end this way. Still, it’s been a great run.”

Schram’s last “Schrammie” presentation will be Wednesday night, and his last daily commentary will be Monday. He also hosts a daily radio program every afternoon on KOMO Newsradio.

Brian Sullivan Leaving WVII-WFVX

Brian Sullivan, sports director for WVII-WFVX, will be leaving the Bangor, ME, ABC and Fox affiliates to become the local sports director for Fandom Sports, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Sullivan’s resignation was overshadowed by the dramatic on-air resignation of two of his fellow anchors, Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio, last month.

“I gave my notice on Monday (November 19) and they resigned the next day,” Sullivan told the Daily News. Read more

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