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Charlotte

Israel Balderas Out at WCCB

Israel Balderas has left Charlotte FOX affiliate WCCB.

A station spokesperson confirmed the news with TVSpy, but would not comment on the reasons behind yesterday’s departure. The Charlotte Observer reported Balderas’ contract wasn’t up until later this year.

Balderas started at WCCB in 2010 and was named 10:00 p.m. anchor in 2011. Before coming to WCCB, he worked at KFOX in EL Paso, TX.

WCCB will become a CW affiliate in July after FOX bought Charlotte stations WJZY-WMYT in January.

Fox Makes Key Appointments at WJZY-WMYT

Fox has made two executive appointments at anticipated Charlotte duopoly WJZY-WMYT. Jay Abbattista will be vice president of sales and Lynda Grahl will be vice president of finance.

Both Abbattista and Grahl come from Fox O&Os. Abbattista, who will begin on April 29, was previously the local sales manager at Fox-owned WTTG in Washington, D.C. He has also worked at a previous Fox O&O, WBRC in Birmingham, as general sales manager.

“Jay has a proven track record of success, having worked in a variety of sales positions across many markets,” VP-GM Karen Adams said in a statement. “His drive and passion made him the ideal candidate; I am delighted to welcome him to our team.”

Grahl, who begins on April 22, has been the vice president finance for Fox’s Detroit O&O, WJBK, since 2008.

“My family and I are very excited to be moving to the Charlotte community; I can’t wait to begin working with the team at our duopoly stations,” Grahl said.

Charlotte’s WCCB Picks Up CW Affiliation

WCCB, Bahakel Comummication’s station in Charlotte, will become the market’s CW affiliate beginning July 1.

Until earlier this year, the station was a Fox affiliate. WCCB lost its affiliation when Fox purchased WJYZ-WMYT in Charlotte.

“We are delighted that we have this opportunity to join such an up and coming network with even more contemporary and creative program series to come,” said Bahakel president Beverly Bahakel Poston said in a statement. “We have been very impressed with the creativity and production quality of the original programming that The CW has provided and plans for the new fall season.”

Fox Names Karen Adams VP-GM of Anticipated Charlotte Duopoly

Fox has named Karen Adams vice president and general manager of WJZY and WMYT in Charlotte. Fox is acquiring the duopoly from Capitol Broadcasting pending FCC approval.

Adams has been president and general manager of WGHP, the Fox affiliate in Greensboro, N.C., for the past 16 years. WGHP was a Fox O&O from 1996-2008.

“Karen has managed one of the most successful stations in the country. I couldn’t be happier to welcome her back,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement.

Before being promoted to general manager, Adams held several other positions at WGHP, including VP of programming and VP of creative services and community involvement. Her first job at the station was as a camera operator.

“This is such a unique and exciting opportunity to run WJZY AND WMYT for FOX in Charlotte,” Adams said in a statement. “North Carolina is my home and I look forward to rejoining my FOX Television Station colleagues.”

Kristy Etheridge Says Goodbye to WBTV

Kristy Etheridge, a general assignment reporter at WBTV, is leaving the Charlotte CBS affiliate. She is joining the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, which is headquartered in Charlotte.

Etheridge began her television career as the overnight producer at WECT, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, N.C. She worked there for four years, eventually becoming a reporter, before joining WBTV in 2011.

Etheridge is married to a photojournalist at rival WSOC. She signs off on February 27.

News 14 Carolina’s Caroline Vandergriff Released From the Hospital

Caroline Vandergriff, a News 14 Carolina reporter who was hit by a car while covering a story last month, was released from the hospital Friday.

The station said Vandergriff was moved to a rehabilitation facility. She was shooting video of downed power lines and traffic lights at an intersection when two cars collided, and one of them hit her.

Vandergriff said she is “feeling better everyday and she can’t thank everyone enough for all the thoughts, well-wishes and prayers,” according to News 14 Carolina.

WCNC Launches Camera Into Space

WCNC, the Charlotte NBC affiliate, put some consumer grade sports cameras inside a lunchbox, tied it to a helium filled balloon and launched it into the atmosphere, just because they could.

According to KVUE, WCNC’s sister station, Corrie Harding, WCNC’s news director, saw a video on YouTube of two people launching a beer can into space. He wanted to see if his station could do the same thing.

With the help of Hackerspace Charlotte, a collaborative space for people who like to tinker with technology, the station took two GoPro cameras, the lunchbox, a helium filled balloon, a 3D model of an astronaut with meteorologist Larry Sprinkle‘s face attached and let it go to see how high it would reach. You can watch the video of the whole process after the jump. Read more

Ken White Replaced as WCCB News Director

WCCB news director Ken White has left the Charlotte FOX affiliate. According to the Charlotte Observer, he has been replaced by assistant news director Angela Robbins.

“This was a bit of a punch,” White told the Observer. “But they’ve been good to me over the years and it’s been a fun place to work.”

White, who launched the news department at the Bahakel owned station, had been news director at WCCB for thirteen years.

According to the Observer, White is on temporary assignment at WBBJ in Jackson, TN. WBBJ, which is also owned by Bahakel Communications, is looking for a news director.

Last week, WCCB learned it will be losing its affiliation after FOX Television Stations purchased two Charlotte stations, WJZY and WMYT.

Charlotte Reporter Hit by Car While Shooting Video of Downed Power Lines

Caroline Vandergriff, a reporter at News 14 Carolina, is in stable condition after she was hit by a car while covering a story Wednesday night. The station reported on Vandergriff’s condition:

She was shooting video of downed power lines at the intersection of East Morehead Street and Kenilworth Avenue. Two vehicles collided at the intersection and careened out of control. One of the cars hit Caroline.

She was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where she is stable.

Vandergriff joined the station last month from WILX in Lansing.

Fox to Acquire WJZY-WMYT From Capitol Broadcasting

Fox Television Stations is acquiring two Charlotte stations — CW affiliate WJZY and MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYT — from Capitol Broadcasting Company.

“We are delighted to expand our portfolio of stations and return to North Carolina,” Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “WJZY and WMYT are both well run stations that provide us with a unique opportunity in a growing top-25 market.”

Broadcasting & Cable reports that no terms of the sale, which is pending FCC approval, were divulged. But an affiliation switch is likely now that Fox will own two stations in the market. Current Fox affiliate WCCB is owned by Bahakel communications.

>Update: TVNewsCheck reports WCCB will lose its Fox affiliation. “Obviously we’re disappointed with the news,” Bahakel EVP Jim Babb said. “But we’re determined to find a way to be successful going forward, and we’re already exploring various options.”

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