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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
“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.”