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Baton Rouge

WBRZ Debuts New Set


Baton Rouge ABC affiliate WBRZ just revealed a new set designed by the Devlin Design Group.

The set features an 80 inch touchscreen, a social media pod and storytelling wall, and backlit LED walls that change color. Devlin said the design allows the anchors to move and interact in a way “never before seen in the Baton Rouge market.”

“Pictures, graphics and maps can be programmed into multiple video walls to allow our anchors help viewers understand important stories,” said WBRZ news director Chuck Bark. “The news set is both versatile and dynamic. Most importantly for our viewers, it means watching news will never be the same.”

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Louisiana Station to Air School Kids Reciting Pledge of Allegiance

wbrz_304x200Starting Monday, WBRZ, the Baton Rouge, La. ABC affiliate, will air a daily sponsored segment featuring local public and private school classrooms reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

The segment, called The Pledge of Allegiance will air before the 6:00 a.m. hour of the morning news. The station says it’s a way to “to promote educational values and national pride.”

WBRZ director, Jake Manship said in a statement,“WBRZ has been locally owned for 59 years and proud to contribute to our community in many ways, including this new special project supporting educational values in our community schools.”

The feature will be sponsored by a local medical clinic.

Kylie Dixon to Join WBRZ

dixon and friend wbrz_croppedWBRZ has announced Kylie Dixon as co-anchor of the Baton Rouge, LA, ABC affiliate’s morning news.

She will replace Whitney Vann, who announced in June, she was leaving 2une In, but staying with the station. She will join John Pastorek, Josh Eachus and Rebecca Buchanan beginning Friday.

“I know the station did a nation-wide search for that special someone who would be the perfect fit on 2une In,” Whitney Vann said in a statement. “Kylie is that person. I look forward to welcoming her on 2une In and introducing her to our loyal viewers.”

Dixon started her career at KXII in Sherman, TX, where he was morning co-anchor.

Whitney Vann Leaving WBRZ Morning Show

whitney vannWhitney Vann, the morning anchor at WBRZ, is leaving the Baton Rouge ABC affiliate’s morning newscast. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has details:

Vann said she holds the title as the longest-running anchor of a news program in Baton Rouge. She has appeared on “2une In” for 17 years. Vann did not offer many details about the new endeavor, but said it would lead to “new and exciting, fun adventures.” Prompted by a co-anchor, Vann also admitted it would lead to at least some programming for other WBRZ shows.

“It has been my honor and privilege and a lot of joy to get your mornings going with news, important information and some laughter along the way,” Vann said during the segment. “But 17 years of getting up in the middle of the night is exhausting. It’s time to get a little more sleep and pack on some challenges I’ve always wanted.”

Adrian Pittman ‘No Longer With WBRZ’ After Theft Arrest

adrian pittman wbrzAdrian Pittman is out at WBRZ after he was arrested for theft, the Baton Rouge ABC affiliate reported on its 10 p.m. newscast Thursday.

“Gonzales police say a former WBRZ reporter is accused of theft from a store in Ascension Parish. Adrian Pittman is accused of putting the value of returned merchandise onto a gift card while working at the store,” Sylvia Weatherspoon said on the newscast. “There may be additional charges as investigators review a number of transactions. Again, Pittman is no longer with WBRZ.”

>UPDATE: Pittman sent TVSpy a letter showing the charges have been dismissed after he successfully completed the DA’s Pre-Trial Intervention Program.

Pittman joined WBRZ in May 2012.

Lee Meredith Leaving Raycom’s Memphis Station for One in Baton Rouge

Wafb_2008Lee Meredith has been named VP and GM for Raycom’s Baton Rouge CBS affiliate WAFB-WBXH.

Meredith is currently VP and GM of Raycom’s Memphis NBC affiliate WMC.

He will replace Sandy Breland, who was named GM of WVUE after Raycom started providing operational services to the New Orleans FOX affiliate. Breland is also regional VP with oversight of WVUE and WAFB as well as KSLA in Shreveport and KPLC in Lake Charles, LA.

[The Times-Picayune]

WBRZ Anchor Rosa Flores Joins CNN

Rosa Flores is leaving Baton Rouge ABC affiliate WBRZ to be a correspondent and substitute anchor at CNN. She will be based in New York City.

“To be able to report for the premiere newsgathering operation in the world has been a dream ever since I covered my first story. I am honored and excited to be joining CNN and work with the best in our profession,” Flores said in a statement. “I look forward to being able to tell stories on a national level. I can’t wait to get started.”

Before joining WBRZ in 2012, Flores worked at WDSU in New Orleans, KHOU in Houston and KWTV in Oklahoma City. She starts at CNN in July.

More from CNN after the jump. Read more

Former WAFB Reporter Allen Tumey Dies

Allen Tumey, who retired in 2011 after 11 years at WAFB in Baton Rouge, died Monday. He was 70.

During his time at the CBS affiliate, Tumey was a feature reporter who hosted a regular segment called “Tumey’s Travels.” Over the course of his career, he received several awards on both the state and national level, including the Iris Award from the National Association of Television Program Executives.

“I always had the feeling that Allen would do his job for free,” WAFB anchor Donna Britt said.  “There was such joy in his heart, and in his reporting. He had the unique ability to mine every situation for its charm, humor and beauty.”

Watch WAFB’s tribue to Tumey after the jump. Read more

Jeanne Burns Named Primary Anchor at WVLA

Jeanne Burns is joining WVLA, the NBC-affiliate in Baton Rouge, as the evening anchor.

It is a return to WVLA for Burns, who began her career there as anchor of the morning news breaks in the mid-1990s. Most recently, she was the morning anchor at rival WAFB, the CBS-affiliate. She signed off last year to spend more time with her family.

Burns, a former Miss Louisiana, will sign on tomorrow as the station’s 5, 6:30 and 10 p.m. anchor.

“I’ve admired Jeanne and her work for years,” news director David D’Aquin said in a statement. “I’m so excited to have the opportunity to work with her. And I know Baton Rouge will be happy to see her back on the air.”

After 24 Years at WAFB, George Sells Will Retire

George Sells, the longtime evening news anchor at WAFB in Baton Rouge, will retire on May 31.

“I always knew this day would come, and I’m sad but I’m happy, too,” Donna Britt, Sells’ co-anchor, said during the 6 p.m. newscast yesterday. “George, the man who sat next to me for a quarter-century, is retiring at the end of this month.”

Sells, who turns 70 this year, told the Baton Rouge Morning  Advocate that he and his wife plan to stay in the Baton Rouge area. Read more

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