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CBS Affiliates

Heather Van Nest Leaves WTSP

heathervannestWTSP evening anchor Heather Van Nest has left the Tampa CBS affiliate.

Peter Roghaar, WTSP news director, told TVSpy, “Heather has decided to leave the station to spend more time with her family. She will be missed.”

“While I enjoyed working with my friends at 10 News, I am excited for new work opportunities that allow for more flexibility in my family life. Working until midnight with a 1-year-old son, 3-year-old daughter and husband at home is not ideal,” Van Nest posted on her facebook page. “I am eager to explore new opportunities as I continue to search for that unicorn we call “work/life balance.”

The Tampa Bay Times reports Van Nest hadn’t been on-air for a few days before the announcement, giving rise to rumors her contract wasn’t renewed.

Van Nest’s bio has been removed from the station’s website. She started her career as an editor, producer and anchor at WAOW in Wausau, Wis. She worked at WJXT in Jacksonville before coming to WTSP in 2002 as a morning anchor.

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WISH Announces Local News Expansion

WISHCBS recently announced that it would move its affiliation in Indianapolis from WISH to WTTV. We reported that the switch resulted in a huge loss (as much as $100 million) for WISH’s parent company, LIN Media.

Now, it appears that WISH is making a major investment into local news programming, adding four more hours of news each weekday beginning in January 2015.

“Daybreak” will expand by two hours, airing from 4:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. News 8 at Noon will expand by 30 minutes to 1:00 p.m. The early newscast will be expanded by 30 minutes to 7:00 p.m., while the late newscast will expand one additional hour, from 10:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

“The investments we are making further enhance WISH-TV’s 60-year commitment to localism and local news,” WISH general manager Les Vann said in a statement. “The additional 20 hours of news per week will allow us to deliver more breaking news, investigative journalism, sports and weather coverage, across all screens, and in new time periods for our viewers.”

Vann also announced that the station will debut a new entertainment program-line up in the coming months.

Exotic ‘Super Cat’ Appears in San Francisco Anchor’s Yard

Super CatThere may not be “news in the newsroom”, but sometimes it does wander into your backyard. Ken Bastida, anchor at San Francisco CBS station KPIX, discovered an “exotic hybrid cat” roaming in his yard. “I live near Mt. Diablo and see mountain lions and bobcats all the time… this is different.”

Bastida told the station’s website the cat appeared to be a trendy hybrid:

Bastida confirmed with experts that the cat is likely a very large “super cat” derived from breeding a domestic house cat with an up to 40-pound African serval to create a designer breed known as a “Savannah.”
The anchor took to social media and Craigslist to try to find the rightful owner of the full-grown female, adding that it appears she may have recently given birth.

He’s seen the animal for the past few weeks, being elusive, but not elusive enough to evade his camera. She is not wearing a collar, and is very large compared to a house cat.

Friends and Family Say Final Goodbye to WCBS Reporter John Slattery

WCBS reports hundreds turned out to say their final goodbyes to WCBS reporter John Slattery who died Thursday of a heart attack.

Friends and family gathered at Saints John and Paul Church in Larchmont, NY to honor the veteran reporter. Slattery had worked at the New York CBS owned station for more than 30 years.

“We are saddened by the unexpected passing of our friend and colleague John Slattery,” Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations, said in a statement last week. “John had been with us since October 1984, so he was just days away from celebrating his 30th anniversary at WCBS,” Dunn added. “We were truly blessed to have him as a member of our CBS 2 news team and we will miss him dearly.” Read more

Kris Van Cleave Named Correspondent at CBS Newspath

Kris2CBS has announced that Kris Van Cleave will join the station as a correspondent for CBS Newspath, the network’s 24-hour television newsgathering service for CBS stations and broadcasters around the world.

Prior to this, Van Cleave had been a reporter and anchor for nearly eight years at ABC affiliate WJLA and local cable news network NewsChannel 8 in Washington, D.C. Before that, Van Cleave worked as a reporter at CW affiliate XETV in San Diego, Calif.

He will be based in New York City, and his appointment is effective immediately.

Is ‘Shortsighted Cost-Cutting…Destroying Morale’ at Buffalo’s WIVB?

WIVB_LogoBuffalo News television critic Alan Pergament suggests Buffalo CBS affiliate WIVB, a station known for its stability, is “cutting expenses, letting popular, behind-the-scenes staffers leave, losing young aggressive reporters and destroying morale.”

WIVB’s recent moves come as ABC affiliate WKBW has invested in new talent and revamped newscasts:

In the last two years, Channel 4’s on-air departures have included Diana Fairbanks, Amelia Segal, Anthony Congi, Bryan Shaw, part-timer Dr. Peter Ostrow and Joe Arena and soon will include Ed Drantch and Rachel Kingston.

LaSpina also let go three longtime, behind-the-scenes staffers this week, including an executive assistant who worked at Channel 4 or 38 years under nine general managers and station managers.

This isn’t to suggest that Channel 4 has become Channel 7 yet. Not by a long shot. It still has several strong veteran staffers. But it appears to be making some of the same shortsighted, cost-cutting mistakes as Channel 7’s former owner at a time it should be much more concerned about Channel 7 as a competitor.

KCAL-KCBS Anchor Kent Shocknek Says Goodbye, Stars in Short Film

Kent Shocknek signed off from CBS owned KCBS-KCAL Friday night.

Shocknek worked in TV news for 36 years, 31 of those were in Los Angeles. Here’s his final goodbye:

Today we find out he is starring in a short film. The nine minute film is called “The Six O’Clock.” Shocknek plays “a man driven to perfection by his job.”

Read more

GM Promises Changes at KFOX and KDBC: ‘Sinclair Has a Different Perspective on El Paso’

20140927__EPT-L-TVchanges-0928~p1With El Paso Fox affiliate KFOX and CBS affiliate KDBC set to merge under one roof in a new, Sinclair-built facility later this month, the duopoly’s general manager, Kevin Hayes, promises plenty of changes both on air and off. “Sinclair has a different perspective on El Paso”, Hayes told the El Paso Times:

“The challenge is to build the CBS4 news product that doesn’t cannibalize the KFOX news audience,” Hayes said.

It can be done, he said, because the two news operations will have different styles. The two stations also have vastly different viewer demographics, he said. KFOX has a young audience while KDBC tends to draw older viewers.

KFOX will have a new news set, and much bigger studio than at its current, years-old location at 6004 N. Mesa. But it will continue to have fast-paced, investigative-leaning newscasts, Hayes said.

“It is the same brand, but different” news operations, he said.

WCBS Camera Catches Jets Quarterback Cursing at Fans

A photographer for New York CBS owned WCBS-WLNY was shooting on the sidelines of the Jets game Sunday when starting QB Geno Smith told off heckling fans with an obscenity.

During the game, frustrated Jets fans had been chanting for Smith’s backup. Smith showed his unhappiness with the team’s loss to visiting Detroit and the fans by looking at a heckler and saying, “Fuck you.”

Unfortunately for Smith, he was being recorded. He apologized after the game.

Tribune Readies for Launch of Indianapolis CBS Affiliate

TribuneMedia_CMYK_pri_LrgTypeFor Tribune, getting the CBS affiliation for its Indianapolis station WTTV was just the beginning of the story. Now there are things to buy, people to hire, and newscasts to build.

Tribune’s SVP of News Katherine Green, who was SVP and managing editor at HLN before coming to the station group in May, described the process of putting it all together for a January 1 launch as a “crazy science experiment.”

The station group announced yesterday it was hiring 80 people in Indianapolis and Green said she hoped to have everyone on board by mid to late November.

Led by GM Paul Rennie, the station group plans to have both FOX affiliate WXIN and new CBS affiliate WTTV under one roof. Green said Tribune plans to keep the news operations, studio and sales separate but will combine assignment desks. She said she hoped there would be some spirited competition between the two stations.

WTTV plans a full-plate of news with morning, Noon and evening newscasts. For equipment like news vans, cameras and studio gear, Green said the station group will invest in some new equipment and borrow from its other affiliates.

With all the buying and moving and hiring, Green seemed most excited by two things: the opportunity to challenge what she called the old news paradigm and give viewers what they want in a fresh new way and the opportunity to leverage the combined meteorological brain power of both WXIN and WTTV weather teams during weather emergencies.

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