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Erika Tarantal Joins WCVB From WNBC

Erika Tarantal WCVBErika Tarantal is joining WCVB, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Boston, as an anchor and reporter. She joins the station after six years at WNBC, the NBC owned station in New York, where she anchored the weekend evening newscasts.

“Erika is an exceptional journalist and we are excited that she is making Boston and WCVB her home,” WCVB news director Andrew Vrees said in a statement. “Her professionalism and ability to connect to her audience will make her a great asset to our NewsCenter 5 team for years to come.”

Tarantal will take over as the station’s noon anchor after Susan Wornick retires at the end of February. She will also play “a significant role” on the morning newscast, according to WCVB.

Before joining WNBC, Tarantal was a reporter at WVIT in Hartford. She has previously worked as  a production assistant at WHDH, the NBC affiliate in Boston.

More from WCVB after the jump. Read more

Bianca de la Garza Leaving WCVB Anchor Desk to Start Production Company

bianca de la garzaBianca de la Garza will be stepping away from the WCVB anchor desk to launch a new production company, Lucky Gal Productions LLC. The production company’s first project will be an entertainment and lifestyle show that will air on the Boston ABC affiliate.

“Bianca has been a big part of our success on the EyeOpener,” WCVB general manager Bill Fine said in a statement. “For over a year now, we have been discussing her future options in television and she is an entrepreneur at heart.  Bianca has numerous other interests and will undoubtedly be successful in pursuing her new career. I’m thrilled her first venture will be on WCVB.”

De la Garza, WCVB’s morning anchor, will officially sign off in May. More from WCVB after the jump. Read more

WCVB GM Says Station Working on Live Streaming App

ABC_5_WCVB_TV_BostonThe Boston Business Journal is reporting Boston ABC affiliate WCVB has plans to launch a live streaming app.

The BBJ sat down with Bill Fine, president and GM of WCVB, who said his station is working on being the first one in the Boston market with an app that will live stream all the shows viewers watch on WCVB.

The Watch WCVB app: Like many other stations, WCVB already offers a live-stream of its newscasts. But plans are in the works to launch an app early this year to essentially allow for free, around-the-clock viewing on a smart phone or tablet. (While the app is geared for mobile users, the live streaming will also be available on a PC.) He says WCVB is the only Boston station that has disclosed plans so far to stream 24 hours a day.

There’s no firm date for the launch yet. Fine says that there’s been a lot of work on Hearst’s part to make deals with the cable and satellite TV companies to authenticate the users and develop the technology to ensure they get a top-notch experience.

Fine won’t disclose the ad sales model that WCVB plans to use. But the station does have the technology to “split the stream” — that is, it could sell ads to an app-only audience at a different price than it might to its overall broadcast audience. Some, or all of the ads that air on WCVB could be substituted with ads geared for the live-stream viewers.

Natalie Jacobson on Chet Curtis: ‘He Loved What He Did’

Natalie Jacobson, Chet Curtisformer WCVB co-anchor and ex-wife, reflected on her life with the legendary anchorman in an emotional interview with the Boston ABC affiliate Thursday.

Jacobson said she feels a “lot of emotion” in the wake of Curtis’ death. “I’m grateful for the years we had, I’m grateful for the three children,” she told WCVB reporter Jack Harper. “I’m sad Chet died early.” Watch:

Colleagues Remember Chet Curtis: ‘The Ultimate Professional, a Great Friend’

chet curtis necnColleagues and friends of Chet Curtis, who died Wednesday from pancreatic cancer, remember the longtime Boston anchor as “magnetic” and “an amazing guy.” WCVB, where Curtis worked for nearly 30 years, has a collection of tributes from current and former staffers:

“I was out with a couple of former photographers at WCVB recently. And the one comment that seemed to resurface was nobody ever had a bad word to say about him,” former WCVB anchor Jim Boyd said. “I mean, he was just the ultimate professional, a great friend, a very giving and loving person.”

“Chet was the kind of person who always made you feel good, no matter whether you were in a tense newsroom or just chatting in the hallway. He had that gift to envelop you with a kind of cloud of happiness,” recalled former WCVB medical editor Tim Johnson. “But I have to say almost in the same breath he was an excellent news man. He had great news instincts. He never acted like some of the caricatures of news men we see on the TV or in the movies. He had very good instincts, and you could always trust what he was trying to do with whatever news was at hand.”

WGBH host Emily Rooney, the daughter of the late Andy Rooney, told The Boston Globe “there is no single human being in the world, Peter Jennings included, who was better at the ad lib than Chet.” Rooney, who is a former WCVB news director, shared a famous Curtis story: Read more

Longtime Boston Anchor Chet Curtis Dies

chet curtis wcvb

Legendary Boston anchor Chet Curtis died Wednesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 74.

Curtis spent the majority of his career at ABC affiliate WCVB, anchoring the evening newscast alongside his then-wife, Natalie Jacobson (pictured, right). He worked at the station from the time they launched until 1972 until he and Jacobson divorced in 1999. When their first daughter was born, the pair, known as “Chet and Nat,” received 5,000 cards from viewers and the birth was the lead story on the 6 p.m. newscast, according to WCVB.

“Chet Curtis was much more than an extraordinary journalist.  He was a generous mentor and sincere friend to so many here at WCVB,” WCVB general manager Bill Fine said in a statement.

In 2001, Curtis joined New England Cable News, where he anchored “The Chet Curtis Report” and anchored political programming. Read more

Olessa Stepanova Joins WCVB From WFSB

olessa stepanovaOlessa Stepanova is joining Boston ABC affiliate WCVB as a traffic reporter for the morning newscast. Stepnova will make her WCVB debut January 13.

“Olessa has a distinctive quality about her. She is very bright, energetic and knowledgeable about the New England area,” WCVB news director Andrew Vrees said in a statement. “She comes with great experience, having covered several major metropolitan areas. We are excited to welcome her here in Boston and at Channel 5.”

Stepanova comes to Boston from Hartford, where she has been the morning traffic reporter at CBS affiliate WFSB since 2011. She was also a fill-in anchor and co-host for “Better Connecticut,” a local lifestyle show.

More from WCVB after the jump. Read more

Elle Duncan Joins NESN From WXIA

elle duncanElle Duncan is joining NESN as an anchor, host and reporter in February 2014.

“Elle’s incredible sports knowledge, relatable personality and quick wit stood out as best-in-class during a nationwide search for top new talent in sports television. We are very excited to bring her skills and personality to New England fans,” NESN vice president of programming and production/executive producer Joseph Maar said in a statement.

Duncan comes from Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, where she has been a traffic reporter since May 2012. She also currently works as a sideline reporter for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Boston NBC Affiliate Adds Memphis Anchor

anderson_whdhKris Anderson, morning anchor for WREG, is headed to Boston to join NBC affiliate WHDH.

Anderson told TVSpy he will anchor the weekend morning news and report for the weekday morning news three days a week starting December 30.

Anderson began his career at WOAY in Oak Hill, WV. Friday will be his last day at the Memphis CBS affiliate.

Boston FOX Viewers Help Police Nab ‘Most Wanted Sex Offenders’


Days after airing a report on WFXT, viewers of the Boston FOX owned station have helped Massachusetts State Police track down seven of the ten most wanted sex offenders in Massachusetts.

WFXT crime reporter Bob Ward aired the list of men on “New England’s Unsolved” during the WFXT 10:00 p.m. Sunday newscast. By Wednesday, seven of the men were in custody.

 Click here to see the station’s story on its website. You can also see the names of the men still at-large.

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