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Cleveland-Akron

WJW’s Peggy Sinkovich Marrying the Competition

WOIOToday in rom-coms come to life: the love story of WJW reporter Peggy Sinkovich and WOIO reporter Ed Gallek. As Cleveland.com reports, the pair met two years ago when they were both covering a Cleveland police chase. That’s when Gallek made an error that could have cost him his soon-to-be-wife:

“So my photographer said, ‘Go for it. Go over and introduce yourself,’ ” Sinkovich said.

“So I did. And you know what? He never looked up. He was texting on his phone. He never raised his head or anything.”

Gallek heard a voice say, “Hi, I’m Peggy. I just started at Fox 8. Your work is great. And I really wanted to meet you.”

“I think we met before,” he said, still looking at his phone. They hadn’t.

Despite the abysmal first meeting, the pair continued to see each other around town, and romanced blossomed. And although the FOX affiliate and CBS affiliate are fierce rivals, their careers haven’t affected their relationship yet.

“Sometimes, professionally, our paths cross, but not every day,” Gallek said. “If I’m working on the same story as Peggy, then she’s a competitor. But personally, she’s a soul mate.”

There have been some ‘sleeping with the enemy’ jokes from their respective newsrooms, but everyone quickly accepted their relationship. The pair are both 49 and have children from previous marriages. Sinkovich will be changing her name, so there will soon be two Galleks reporting on local Cleveland stations.

The pair are tying the knot this Saturday.

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WEWS News Director Starts Monday

wewsJeff Harris, soon-to-be news director at Cleveland’s WEWS, starts at the Scripps owned ABC affiliate Monday.

Harris left Scripps’ Denver station KMGH in August. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports he’s no stranger to the Cleveland area.

Although Harris has spent the last six years as the news director at KMGH Channel 7 in Denver, he’s hardly a stranger to Northeast Ohio. A Cleveland native, he is a graduate of Cleveland Heights High School and Cleveland State University.

His wife, Cecille, also is from Cleveland. They have two children.

KMGH, like WEWS, is an ABC affiliate station owned by the E.W. Scripps Company. Harris led the Denver newsroom to several honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Columbia-DuPont Award and local Emmys.

Harris is moving from the No. 17 television market to No. 19. According to Nielsen, the Denver area has 1.57 million TV homes. The Cleveland market has 1.48 million.

“This is all things coming together at the same time,” Harris said in a statement released Friday by Channel 5. “I’m excited and grateful to return to Cleveland. It’s a great opportunity for me personally and a perfect match for the company.” Read more

Kim Wheeler Leaving Cleveland Station

wheeler wkycLess than four months after being pulled off the anchor desk at WKYC, Kim Wheeler says she’s leaving the Cleveland NBC affiliate.

Wheeler, who had been an anchor at WKYC for 19 years, announced the move on her facebook page.

“After working at Channel 3 since 1995, my last day will be October 15!” wrote Wheeler. “I am grateful to have achieved the career I dreamed of as a little girl in Smithville, and to have worked in the city that I love so much. But as my wise teenager said– ‘Mom, you reached your dream right? Maybe it’s time for a new dream.’ He is right.”

Wheeler said she was going to work at a local high school with a focus on human rights and social justice. Read more

Man Sentenced for Flashing Laser at WJW Helicopter

WJW-1Back in October 2013, Nicholas Vecchiarelli, 47, was caught by police pointing a laser light at a WJW helicopter while the FOX affiliate was covering a Friday night football game in Hubbard, Ohio. The officers found Vecchiarelli pacing in his driveway with a police scanner and a green laser pointer. Police said he confessed to the crime.

In February, Vecchiarelli was arraigned on charges of endangering an aircraft and obstructing official business. He was later released on bond and pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with aircraft.

Now, Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ray Rice has issued his sentence, which includes five years on probation and a $1,000 fine. Judge Rice also warned Vecchiarelli that he could go to prison for eight years if he violates his terms of probation.

Vecchiarelli must perform 200 hours of community service and submit a written apology to his victims. He must also obey an 11:00 p.m. curfew and stay out of liquor establishments.

Former Employee Suing Scripps for Putting Hidden Camera in Men’s Bathroom

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Brad Brown, a former promotions producer at Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS, is suing the station’s parent company for keeping a hidden camera in the men’s bathroom over the summer.

Cleveland.com reports that Brown filed the lawsuit against E.W. Scripps Co. Inc., and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorneys’ fees.

The lawsuit blames Berry Pinney, then the station’s director of engineering and operations, for placing the hidden cameras in the men’s bathroom. According to the suit, Pinney told an employee to place a camera in a non-functioning sprinkler in the ceiling of the first-floor men’s room with the goal of catching a vandal. The suit claims that on July 13, an employee noticed video images from the men’s restroom on a security-desk monitor. Once employees learned of the camera, the recordings were promptly deleted, the suit claims.

“They spied on their own employees while we were using the toilet,” Brown said in a statement. “It is hard to imagine anything more outrageous.”

Brown has since left WEWS and now works at Tribune owned FOX affiliate WJW.

Another Denver News Director Says Goodbye

wews_304KMGH news director Jeff Harris has announced he is leaving the Scripps owned Denver ABC affiliate to work as news director at Scripps’ Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS.

Joanne Ostrow, TV Critic for The Denver Post reports Harris told the newsroom Wednesday. WEWS interim station manager Lana Durban Scott told TVSpy, Harris will start October 6.

“This is all things coming together at the same time,” Harris told The Post. “It’s a great opportunity for me personally and a perfect match for the company. Everything is aligned. It is incredibly bittersweet because of the affection I have for Denver.”

On Monday, KDVR-KWGN news director Ed Kosowski announced he was leaving the station when his contract is up next week.

Former Cleveland Reporter Reveals His Battle with Depression

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The death of Robin Williams has many revealing their own struggles with depression and mental illness, including Jack Marschall, a former reporter at Cleveland ABC station WEWS. ”I didn’t have the guts to take my own life but I was wishing someone would take my own life,” Marschall told the station.

Marschall has written a book about his experience, “Shades of Gray”, revealing the extent of his illness, and his efforts to keep his depression hidden:

“I wanted to hide the fact that I was going through depression. I hurt so bad that I tried to put on that mask that I was feeling and acting okay, that I was happy Jack that everybody knew and I was anything but,” Marschall reflected.

Marschall joins other local news reporters and anchors who have revealed their struggles with depression and mental illness, including Lauren Rowe, who left Orlando CBS station WKMG earlier this year to focus on treatment for depression; Minneapolis meteorologist Ken Barlow created a nonprofit to fight stigma after announcing he had bipolar disorder; and in March I wrote about my own mental illness.

Mark Zinni Leaving WJW

zinni wjwCleveland weekend morning anchor Mark Zinni is leaving Tribune owned FOX affiliate WJW.

“This was probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Zinni told The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “I’ve been so lucky. This is the greatest station in Cleveland, and they did everything they could to convince me to stay. But this was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”

Zinni hasn’t said where he’s going or when his last day will be. “But I am returning to an area where I used to work,” he said.

Before coming to WJW in 2009, Zinni worked at KTVX in Salt Lake City, UT. He has also worked at WPRI in Providence, RI, WTOV in Stuebenville, OH, and WICU in Erie, PA.

WEWS Finds Camera in One of its Bathrooms

wews_304Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS discovered someone had put a camera in one of its bathrooms without management’s permission.

WEWS issued a statement saying the camera had been placed there by an employee who was trying to catch someone who had been defacing the bathroom. WEWS added, “this was an ill-conceived and inappropriate response to catching a vandal.”

The station said “The camera was removed immediately when management learned it was there.  All of the camera’s recordings have been destroyed, and we have taken the appropriate disciplinary action.” Read the entire statement after the jump.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported multiple sources told them the employee was a station engineer. Read more

Lynna Lai Moved to WKYC Morning Show

Lai WKYCLynna Lai is moving from weekend evenings for Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC to the weekday morning show.

“We have searched far and wide for the right morning co-anchor to join that team,” WKYC news director Brennan Donnellan told WKYC’s Director’s Cut blog. “We believe the right person was here all along.”

Lai will join John Anderson and meteorologist Hollie Giangreco starting two weeks from today.

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