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Sinclair Fills GM Roles in Mobile-Pensacola and Birmingham

Sinclair BroadcastIts been a busy week for Sinclair Broadcast Group. Today it announced J.C. Lowe has been named GM of Mobile-Pensacola ABC affiliate WEAR and MyTV affiliate WFGX. The group also tapped GM of Birmingham ABC affiliate WBMA, Mike Murphy, to replace Lowe as GM of CW affiliate WTTO and MyTV affiliate WABM. Murphy will also oversee WDBB which is a simulcast operated by Sinclair under a local marketing agreement. He will stay on as GM of WBMA.

“I look forward to J.C. overseeing our stations in Pensacola. He has done a terrific job in Birmingham, and we are confident that he can continue our leadership position in Pensacola,” Steve Marks co-chief operating officer of Sinclair’s Television Group said in a statement. “Mike is a natural choice to assume oversight of the stations J.C. managed and to broaden his responsibilities in Birmingham.”

Since 2007, Lowe has been working as GM of Sinclair’s Birmingham stations. Before that, he was the GSM of KAUT in Oklahoma City. He has also worked as GM and GSM of KEYE in Austin.

Murphy has been the GM of former Allbritton station WBMA since 2004. He was GSM there from 2002 until 2004. He has also worked at WSMV in Nashville in various sales roles.

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Venton Blandin Leaving Huntsville for Birmingham

BlandinWHNTAfter nearly 6 years at WHNT in Huntsville, AL, Venton Blandin is heading about 100 miles down I-65 where he’ll join ABC 33/40 in Birmingham. Blandin has been the “Fighting for You” reporter at WHNT. He signed off during the station’s 5pm newscast Thursday. Yesterday, Huntsville’s mayor presented the ‘Mayor’s Coin’ to Blandin for his service to the community.

Veteran Birmingham Anchor Joe Langston Dies

Veteran WBRC anchor Joe Langston died Saturday.

Langston started at Birmingham’s WBRC in 1963 as the first reporter/anchor hired at the station. He was named news director in 1969. According to al.com, he was best known as the stations anchor, working with Mike Royer, Herb Winches, Pat Gray among others.

“He was such a sweet and funny guy,” former co-anchor Fannie Flagg told al.com”We had a lot of fun. “We used to play jokes on one another, do silly things. He had a great sense of humor.”

An Army veteran, he started his career while at the university of Alabama. He retired from WBRC in 1987 to work at Jacksonville State University. He was inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2009.

Langston was 82.

WBRC Moves Jonathan Hardison to Weekdays

hardison wbrcJonathan Hardison has been promoted to weekday anchor for WBRC.

“As of today I’ve officially accepted job as Monday-Friday evening anchor here at FOX6/WBRC,” Hardison wrote on his facebook page. “To say this is a dream job would be an understatement, it’s more than I could’ve hoped for in my career.”

Hardison was the Sunday night anchor and weekday reporter for the Birmingham, AL, FOX affiliate. He started at the station in 2007.

Sinclair Intends to Pull the Plug on Three ABC Affiliates As Part of Allbritton Deal

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has told the FCC it intends to surrender the licenses of the ABC affiliates in Charleston, SC, and Birmingham, AL, because of the FCC’s recent restrictions on joint sales agreements.

Sinclair intends to surrender the licenses of WCFT and WJSU in Birmingham and ABC affiliate WCIV in Charleston. The three stations are currently owned by Allbritton.

Sinclair has been trying to sell the licenses to comply with the FCC’s ruling against joint sales agreements.

According to the filing, Sinclair wants to move the ABC programming and syndicated shows of the stations to its MyNetworkTV affiliates WABM in Birmingham and WMMP in Charleston. Read more

Rob Martin Joining WIAT as News Director


Rob Martin will join Birmingham CBS affiliate WIAT as news director next Tuesday, May 20.

Martin has been news director at Montgomery, AL, CBS affiliate WAKA for the past 12 years.

Friday, his WAKA colleagues said goodbye to him on-air. Watch the video above to see the send off.

Martin worked as assistant news director at WIAT in the 90′s.

Garry Kelly Promoted to VP at WBMA

wbma logoGarry Kelly has been promoted to vice president at WBMA, the the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala. In his new role, which is effective immediately, Kelly will remain the station’s news director.

Kelly has been news director of WBMA since 1996. During his tenure at the station, WBMA has won several awards, including one national and 22 regional Edward R. Murrow awards, five Southeastern Emmys and 108 Associated Press awards.

“Without Garry Kelly’s efforts over the past 18 years, ABC 33/40 would not be the successful station it is today,” WBMA president and general manager Mike Murphy said in a statement. “Garry is well-deserved of this recognition.”

Birmingham CBS Station Says Goodbye to Rick Jackson


Rick Jackson, morning reporter for Birmingham, AL, CBS affiliate WIAT, has left the station to work for the Birmingham Water Works.

The WIAT anchor team said goodbye to Jackson Friday at the end of “Wake Up Alabama.” They gave him a cake as a send-off.

Jackson joined the station in 2008. Before coming to WIAT, he worked at WTVA-WLOV in Tupelo, MS.

[AL.com]

Longtime Birmingham Meteorologist Takes a Turn as Sports Anchor

James Spann, chief meteorologist for Birmingham, AL, ABC duopoly ABC 33/40, sat in on the sports desk for Mike Raita.

His report didn’t lack for opinion, which TVSpy can only speculate is what prompted the disclaimer by 10:00 p.m. anchor Dave Baird, “The following sportscast does not reflect the views or opinions of the ABC 33/40 sports department or any anchor at this desk.”

Spann, who has over 35 years experience as a TV weatherman and has worked at ABC 33/40 since its inception in 1996 told viewers, “They need another bald headed older guy to do sports. Here I am.”

After More Than 30 Years, Scott Richards Leaving WBRC

scott_richards_wbrcScott Richards, longtime anchor for Birmingham, AL, FOX affiliate WBRC, is leaving the station.

“This seemed like the right time in my life to cut back on the number of hours I work each week, doing fewer newscasts,” Scott said in a statement. “The station and I were unable to figure out a schedule that made sense for both of us.”

Richards started at WBRC in 1981. He began his broadcasting career in 1971 while in the US Army. He has also worked in Louisville, KY.

According to the station, he has “agreed to stay on the air until Friday, Jan. 31. After that, he plans to take some time off and consider new ways to ‘earn and serve,’ as he put it.”

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