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Birmingham

Brooke Smith Returns to Birmingham’s WVTM

BrookeSmithBrooke Smith has returned to Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM as co-anchor of the station’s morning newscast. The Birmingham News reports Smith will be teamed with longtime WVTM anchor Ken Lass:

Smith, the runner-up on the 2002 season of “The Bachelor,” originally worked at NBC 13 from 2003 to 2010, starting as a morning traffic reporter and later hosting the daily talk show “Daytime Alabama.”

More recently, she anchored the morning news at CBS 42.

“I’m delighted to be coming home to Alabama’s 13 and to again be working with my friend Ken Lass,” Smith said in a media release from the station, which brands itself as Alabama’s 13.

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WVTM Launches 4:00 PM News

wvtm 4pm showStarting Monday, viewers of Birmingham, Ala. NBC affiliate WVTM get to watch an hour of news at 4:00 p.m.

al.com reports, the new show will be anchored by Bettina Boateng, Lisa Crane, Mike Royer, chief meteorologist Jerry Tracey and sports director Don Hawes.

“After a long period of planning, we’re excited to bring Alabama’s 13 News to the 4 p.m. time slot,” news director Tim Gardner said in a media release. “Viewers will quickly see that we will deliver what they desire: a comprehensive focus on news of the greater Birmingham and north central Alabama area, along with a thorough overview of news from across the nation and around the world. ”

Last month, NBC 13 also moved Ken Lass back to the anchor desk to anchor “Today in Alabama” weekdays from 4 to 7 a.m. and “Alabama’s 13 News Midday” weekdays at 11 a.m.

Lass, who has spent more than two decades of his broadcasting career at NBC 13, had hosted the weekday talk show “Daytime Alabama” for the previous year.

Hearst Corporation recently announced it was buying WVTM from Media General.

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.

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]

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