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Boston Herald: Ratings to Blame For WBZ News Director’s Ouster

wbz logo copyThe Boston Herald is reporting ratings were to blame for the news director change at WBZ, the CBS owned station in Boston. John Verrilli had worked at the station’s news director since 2009 before departing yesterday:

When we asked one station insider why Verrilli was gone, the answer was simple: “Bad ratings.”

WBZ general manager Mark Lund met with staffers yesterday to break the news. Verrilli, who had been at ’BZ since 2009, will be replaced temporarily by assistant news director Sarah Burke until a permanent successor is named.

“We know ratings have been a challenge,” said one station snitch. “We have to get better.”

WCVB Names J.C. Monahan and Phil Lipof Co-Anchors of 5 p.m. Newscast

JC Monahan and Phil Lipof_304x200J.C. Monahan and Phil Lipof have been named co-anchors of the 5 p.m. newscast at WCVB, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Boston. The pair, who have been anchoring together for several months, are officially assuming their roles on a permanent basis.

“As a team, J.C. and Phil have a great rapport which is essential to establishing a successful and enduring news team,” WCVB general manager Bill Fine said in a statement. “Their reporting styles and personalities have resonated very well with our viewers and we are confident that in their new roles, they will continue to retain our ‘news leadership’ position in the market.”

Monahan will continue in her role as co-anchor of “Chronicle,” WCVB’s nightly newsmagazine.

John Verrilli Out as News Director at WBZ

wbz logo copyWBZ news director John Verrilli is no longer with the CBS owned Boston station, a WBZ spokesperson has confirmed with TVSpy.

Verrilli started at the station in 2009. He came from the CBS owned station in Pittsburgh, KDKA. He has also worked as managing editor at WCBS in New York.

WBZ wouldn’t say why he left.

[Rick Gevers]

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Today we look at the number seven market in the US, where it seems Winter is having one last go.

Dr. Mallika Marshall Returns to WBZ as Medical Reporter

Mallika-Marshall-MD-articleWBZ announced Dr. Mallika Marshall will return as medical reporter next Monday, March, 24.

“Boston and the New England region are at the center of unprecedented advances in medical technology that are changing people’s lives, and to have a medical reporter of Mallika’s experience, both in the field of medicine and in front of the camera, will be a huge asset for our viewers,” Mark Lund WBZ president and GM said in a statement.

Marshall serves on the staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at the Massachusetts General Hospital Chelsea Urgent Care Clinic and MGH Revere Health Center.

She started as “HealthWatch” anchor at WBZ in 2000. After leaving the Boston CBS owned station, Marshall was the medical contributor on Katie Couric ‘s daytime show “Katie.” She was also the medical contributor for New England Cable News and had her own syndicated health reports that aired in more than 70 markets.

She is the daughter of former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson.

Former Boston Police Commissioner Joins WBZ as Security Analyst

ed davisFormer Boston police commissioner Ed Davis is joining WBZ, the CBS owned station in Boston, as a security analyst. Davis has worked in law enforcement for more than three decades.

“His outstanding legal experience and leadership have been evidenced on many occasions but none more public or acclaimed than his handling of the Boston Marathon Bombings investigation, manhunt, and arrest,” WBZ general manager Mark Lund said in a statement. “There is no one who can contribute expert analysis to security and law enforcement coverage the way that Ed Davis will to WBZ-TV News.”

Davis, who is currently a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, served as Boston police commissioner from 2006 to 2013.

Mike Dowling Ends 28-Year Career at WCVB

Mike Dowling WCVBVeteran sports reporter Mike Dowling is leaving WCVB after 28 years with the station. He will officially sign off from the Boston ABC affiliate on February 21.

In a statement, Dowling said he has been “living the dream” at the “best television station in Boston and in the best sports town in the country.” He said he will spent more time with his family and pursue other interests after leaving WCVB.

“Mike has witnessed many key moments in Boston’s sports history and very ably chronicled the ride for our viewers,” WCVB president and general manager Bill Fine said in a statement. “We admire and support Mike in his decision to take some time for himself and his family and wish him nothing but the best.”

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.

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