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July 4th on the 3rd? Hurricane Arthur Forces Boston Pops Concert to Move Up One Day

While residents from Virginia to South Carolina brace for the approach of Hurricane Arthur, further North along the East Coast the storm’s threat is forcing some cities to change Fourth of July plans.

WBZ, the Boston CBS owned station, has announced the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Show has been moved up one day.

A WBZ spokesperson told TVSpy the concert that normally airs on the night of July 4th will now air live on July 3rd from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. The show will also stream live on cbsboston.com

State Police warned that inclement weather tomorrow could further alter plans, and that could include cancelling the fireworks until Saturday. Performer schedules and contracts prevented organizers from rescheduling the entire show for Saturday.

Lightning, rain and wind are all concerns, but for different reasons.

“The rain is a factor for the orchestra. If the rain is coming down hard enough that it comes into the hatch shell, it affects your instruments. These instruments are valuable and old,” event organizer Rich McDonald said earlier today. “For the fireworks, we have a sustained wind of 20 mph, which is pretty hard. That’s when we cannot fire by law the fireworks.”

Fox/Cox Swaps Ends 51 Years of KTVU Ownership

FoxCox

The news today that Cox and Fox have entered into a station swap, will come as bittersweet to some. Cox Media Group has owned the San Francisco Bay area station for more than 50 years. In the process, Cox is gaining two stations east of the Mississippi.

Cox has owned KTVU, in the sixth-largest U.S. TV market, since 1963. Channel 2 was a charter affiliate of the FOX Broadcasting Company when the network went on the air October 9, 1986.

As FOX Broadcasting takes ownership of KTVU, it is swapping the stations it owns in Boston (market #7) and Memphis (market #50.) Both stations will remain Fox affiliates.

WFXT Channel 25 in Boston has been a FOX O&O since 1987, when it was acquired by News Corp. The station went on the air in 1977 as WXNE, an affiliate of the Christian Broadcasting Network. WHBQ Channel 13 in Memphis went on the air in 1953, and was a dual CBS/ABC affiliate, before picking up the primary ABC affiliation in 1956. It would remain an ABC affiliate until 1995 when News Corp. acquired the station.

With KTVU, FOX gains a station in an NFC market. It has rights to the NFL’s NFC package of games. In fact, the 2016 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for FOX, CBS has the rights to Super Bowl 50.

Boston and Memphis will bring to 10 the number of U.S. markets in which Cox operates. The company owns ABC affiliates in Atlanta, Orlando, and Charlotte; CBS affiliates in Seattle and Dayton; the Fox and CBS affiliates in Jacksonville; the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh; and the Fox affiliate in Tulsa. Fox Broadcasting will now operate stations in 16 markets, including 13 of the top 15.

Fox and Cox Swap Stations in San Francisco, Boston, Memphis

cox media fox logosFox Television Stations and Cox Media Group have announced they are swapping stations in three markets: Fox will get Fox affiliate KTVU and independent KICU in San Francisco, and Cox will get Fox-owned WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston. After the deal closes, WHBQ and WFXT will remain Fox affiliates.

“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” CEO of Fox Television Stations Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights. I’d like to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the talented Boston and Memphis teams for the great work they do. We are confident they will be in good hands with our partners at Cox.”

“This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman said. “These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there.”

More in the release after the jump. Read more

Leadership Changes at Sunbeam’s WHDH, WSVN

sunbeam televisionLeadership changes are coming to WHDH-WLVI and WSVN, Sunbeam’s stations in Boston and Miami, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

Beginning in September, Robert “Bubba” Burns will take over as the general manager of WHDH-WLVI, the NBC and CW affiliates in Boston. Burns has been with Sunbeam for seven years, most recently as the Boston stations’ general sales manager.

Burns replaces Chris Wayland, who is being promoted to executive vice present and general manager of Sunbeam. In his new role, Wayland replaces Robert Leider, who also serves as general manager of WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami. Leider will shift to a vice president and consulting role at Sunbeam, New England One reports.

Lauren Leamanczyk Named Investigative Correspondent at WBZ

lauren leamanczykLauren Leamanczyk has been named an investigative correspondent for WBZ, the CBS-owned station in Boston. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Leamanczyk joined WBZ in 2011 as New Hampshire bureau chief. Most recently, she has worked as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor.

Before WBZ, Leamanczyk worked as a reporter at WTMJ, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee.

No Injuries Reported After WHDH Helicopter Makes Hard Landing

WHDH-Chopper-Hard-Landing-0521--10--jpgBoston NBC affiliate WHDH‘s helicopter made what was described as a hard landing shortly after take off this morning.

“The Bell B206 helicopter reportedly experienced an engine problem as it took off,” an FAA spokesperson told Boston ABC affiliate WCVB.

WCVB reports the chopper’s tail rotor had broken off. The helicopter landed on a taxi way at Beverly Municipal Airport.

No injuries have been reported. TVSpy has asked WHDH for comment.

WCVB’s website does not allow embedding. Click here to see video of the helicopter.

Here’s CBS owned station WBZ’s tweet and link to its report:

 

WCVB Blames Nielsen for Ratings Drop

wcvb_304Boston ABC affiliate WCVB is telling its advertisers it’s not the station’s fault the ratings have dropped recently, it’s because the people who count the viewers are doing it wrong.

The Boston Herald reports WCVB’s GSM Andy Hoffman told station advertisers Nielsen included too many young people and New Hampshire residents in its sample.

“The Massachusetts segment of the DMA (designated market area) has become under-sampled while the New Hampshire segment has become over-sampled,” Hoffman wrote.

Channel 5 says its investigation also showed that households with viewers under 35 may have been over-represented, as well as houses that rely solely on broadband to deliver TV stations — most of which are in New Hampshire.

The increase in the size of the New Hampshire sample is a problem for Channel 5 because WMUR in the Granite State simulcasts the same programming as WCVB. And the increase in younger viewers is also unhelpful because everyone knows that kids get all their news and entertainment online! Read more

Emily Riemer Returns to WCVB as Morning, Noon Anchor

emily riemer_304x200Emily Riemer is returning to her former station, Boston ABC affiliate WCVB. Beginning June 2, she will be the station’s morning and noon anchor.

“We are very excited to have Emily return to our Channel 5 family and we will benefit greatly from having her talents once again presented on our air,” WCVB president and general manager Bill Fine said in a statement.

Riemer left WCVB in 2013 after two years as weekend anchor. In her new role, she replaces Bianca de la Garza, who is leaving WCVB to launch her own production company.

Riemer’s first assignment for WCVB was a one-on-one interview with Barbara Walters on the eve of her retirement. The interview will air on WCVB’s 11 p.m. newscast tomorrow.

“My family and I are thrilled to be returning to Boston,” Riemer said. “We’re looking forward to being close to family and I’m excited to work with the people I know to be some of the best in the business here at WCVB.”

The announcement from WCVB, after the jump. Read more

New Hampshire Home Explodes Live on WCVB

A home explosion in New Hampshire was broadcast live on Boston ABC affiliate WCVB Monday. Although the incident was also covered by CBS-owned WBZ, Fox-owned WFXT and NBC affiliate WHDH, only WCVB was showing the aerial pictures live at the moment of the explosion.

A police officer was shot and killed responding to a domestic dispute call at the residence shortly before the explosion.

Seconds before the explosion, WCVB anchor Phil Lipof says: “Very clearly they have not put water on this home for some reason. I don’t know what they think is inside.” Watch:

News Director and Assistant ND Out at NECN

necn logo_304x200Nannette Hobson, news director for New England Cable News, and assistant news director Bob Keating no longer work at the NBC Universal owned cable network.

“Nannette Hobson and Bob Keating have both left NECN,” a spokesperson for the NBC Universal owned cable network told TVSpy. “We are grateful for their contributions to the station and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

The Boston Herald reports Michael St. Peter, NECN GM, said in an email to employees, “We will immediately begin a nationwide search for a new news director for NECN.”

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