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Former WJTV Photographer Jerry Brooks Dies

6290562_GJerry Brooks, an award-winning photographer at Jackson, Mississippi CBS affiliate WJTV, has died. He was 44. Brooks worked for WJTV for fifteen years before he took early retirement in 2013–a result of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), which had taken his ability to do the job he loved.

WJTV reports Brooks died from the disease Tuesday afternoon.

Brooks was inducted into the Associated Press Hall of Fame, and worked to raise money for ALS research. In August, a group of fellow photogs gathered to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of their friend. “Alright, this ice bucket challenge is from the photographers at WJTV, former employees, and friends of Jerry Brooks,” said Kip Smith, head photographer at WJTV said in a video.

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Former WCPO Anchor Creates Charity Effort, ‘Pass It On’

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 10.09.38 AMFormer WCPO anchor Brian Patrick is working extra hours over the holidays–helping people who have less to get the things they need, for free. “Pope Francis talks about this throw away culture and I don’t want to be a part of that. There are so many things than can be used. I call it the ultimate recycling,” Patrick told Cincinnati CBS affiliate WKRC in a story about his charity effort, “Pass It On:”

A year ago, Patrick bought a building on Petersburg Rd. in Hebron that used to house an auto parts store. He got rid of some of the items in his home and collected others from his daughters and other people. Patrick now has clothing, coats, bedding, toys and household items to give away. “We call it Pass It On because we just ask people that have more than they need to give what they have,” Patrick said. “We have volunteers fix and clean it and then we give it to people who need it,” Patrick said.

Patrick worked for 16 years at ABC affiliate WCPO before joining the Catholic network EWTN, where he anchors a nightly newscast.

Former Houston Anchor Joins Austin’s KEYE

622x350Adela Uchida, a former anchor at ABC-owned KTRK in Houston, announced she’s taken a job at Austin CBS affiliate KEYE. The Houston Chronicle reports Uchida will be an anchor/reporter at the station, starting next month.

Uchida was a weekend anchor at KTRK until her departure earlier this year. She reported for a Houston all-news radio station until October, when the station folded and the entire staff was fired.

Uchida told Houston media blogger Mike McGuff the new gig will be a great fit for her daughter. “This keeps us within driving distance of her dad, which was extremely important to me to keep their relationship solid.”

Summer Knowles Leaves Miami’s WFOR

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Reporter Summer Knowles is leaving Miami CBS-owned station WFOR after two years in South Florida. Knowles announced her departure in an email to WFOR staff, saying she was taking “an anchor/reporter job in another market.” Her last day is today.

The station is experiencing plenty of turnover and turmoil. Just this month, longtime sports anchor Kim Bokamper announced he would retire from WFOR at the end of January.

Read the email, after the jump: Read more

Bakersfield Station Reinvents 1994 Holiday Promo

Who says Bakersfield is just the city that’s squarely between Los Angeles and Fresno?

Bakersfield CBS affiliate KBAK revived a holiday spot from 1994 that featured staffers passing a gift wrapped box from shot to shot. The station cut in shots of current staff with the 90′s staff to make a mishmash of bad hair and bad acting that will make any Grinch remember the 90′s.

Don’t say I never gave you anything. Enjoy!

KTVT Names New Evening Anchor

Yesterday, longtime KTVT evening anchor Karen Borta told the newsroom she was moving to the morning shift. Today, the CBS owned Dallas station says Borta’s replacement will be Kaley O’Kelley.

The station said O’Kelley will join Doug Dunbar at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. starting in late January.

O’Kelley comes from KTVK in Phoenix where she has been a morning news anchor and reporter since 2009. Before KTVK, she worked at KNXV in Phoenix. She’s also worked in San Diego, Santa Barbara and Yuma, Ariz.

“Kaley has the rare ability to connect with just about everyone,” said VP of news Mike Garber.Viewers will immediately sense her passion for the community, her strong journalistic skills and her enthusiasm for delivering the news. She has some big shoes to fill, but we are confident that the Dallas-Fort Worth community will soon embrace Kaley and her unique style.”

Donna Rapado Out at WGCL

rapado WGCL croppedDonna Rapado no longer works at Atlanta CBS affiliate WGCL.

A Meredith spokesperson confirmed the news, but wouldn’t comment further. Newsblues reports his tipsters say the weekend anchor has returned to South Florida.

Rapado started at WGCL in November 2013.

WAVY EP Named News Director at Media General’s Myrtle Beach Station

Dana Brown Ritter has been named news director for Myrtle Beach, S.C. CBS affiliate WBTW.

It’s a move inside Media General for Ritter who comes from WAVY in Portsmouth, Va. where she was EP. She’s also worked at CBN News, Hearst TV, WTAE in Pittsburgh, Pa. an WSLS in Roanoke, Va.

“We are lucky to land someone of Dana’s talent and experience internally from the newly combined Media General Stations Group,” WBTW Regional VP and GM Randy Ingram told SCNow.

Longtime Dallas Anchor Gets Choked Up Telling Newsroom She’s Moving to Mornings

Karen Borta has been the evening anchor at Dallas CBS owned station KTVT since she started at the station in 1995. Today, she told her colleagues in the newsroom she was moving to the morning shift.

While talking about the January 12 move, Borta got choked up in an unironic, genuine sort of way while talking about being able to spend more time with her family.

“I’m going to love, love, love, being able to go home at 11:30 and to be that mom who can pick up kids, and go to games, and have dinner with my family.” She said before the tears started to come. She added, “I’m going to suck up every minute that I can with my family while I have those years left.”

San Antonio Station Retracts Stories After Attorney Sues for Defamation

San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS has retracted two stories and apologized for “inaccurate” reports after accusing a San Antonio lawyer of being unprofessional and unethical.

In an I-Team report by former reporter Joe Conger, the station reported Jon Christian “Chris” Amberson had stolen land and mineral rights from a local couple. Amberson sued the station for defamation over the reports and was looking for “at least $1 million in actual damages and $5 million in punitive damages.”

“The statements we reported about Mr. Amberson’s potential improper handling of the Harms’ case have not proven to be true,”  KENS anchor Sarah Lucero said in an apology the station aired during the Monday 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts. “We apologize to Mr. Amberson for the inaccurate and incomplete presentation the I-Team reports represented about him.”

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