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WKYC Drops Live Feed of Video Showing Police Shooting Child, Citing ‘Profanity’

WKYC shooting

The police shooting of a 12-year-old boy has become a massive story in Cleveland, and on Wednesday, police released for the first time audio of 9-1-1 calls and video that captures the shooting itself. Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC promised viewers it would carry the video live, both streaming on the web and on air. Ultimately, the station dropped out of live coverage of the video–not because it showed a child shot and killed, but because of the language that can be heard. “Because of the profanity that is on the tapes, we are going to now take you back to ‘Days of Our Lives’,” said an anchor as the station returned to programming.

Viewers commented on Facebook about the decision, with one writing “so you are censoring it because of profanity??? It is profane that this child was murdered.”

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‘It’s Just the Right Time,’ WEWS GM Leaving Station

wewsSam Rosenwasser is leaving Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS on December 15.

The WEWS GM told TVSpy he was not sure what his next step would be.

“It’s just the right time,” Rosenwasser told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “I’ve gone through an unbelievable health situation, as you know. I’ve been in and out of the office so much over the past few years. I don’t think it’s healthy for the station, and I need to step away and really get my life back in order.”

Rosenwasser’s health crisis began when his intestines were punctured during surgery for hip replacement.

“That led to peritonitis and a three-month stay in the hospital,” he said. “I was unconscious for several weeks, and there were 11 operations in 18 months. And it was a heavy-duty rehab. I had to learn how to walk and talk again. It has been a lot. This is an extremely competitive business, and you have to be running at 100 percent.” Read more

WKYC Microwave Truck Flips in I-90 Crash

wkyc-crash-i90_1416230503924_9641345_ver1.0_640_480Weather conditions may have played a role in an accident on Interstate 90 that involved a WKYC microwave truck. Competing station WEWS reports two employees of the Cleveland NBC affiliate were in the truck when the accident happened around 7 a.m. Monday:

The van spun, flipped over and slid into a wall.

The driver of the van pulled the passenger out and the passenger was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver was not injured.

WEWS published a photo of the damaged WKYC truck being towed away.

How One Landslide Win on Election Day Cost Two Stations $10 Million

pic-kasich*304xx3648-5472-0-0In local TV, nobody likes a landslide. Close races are more intriguing to cover for the newsroom, and they are far, far more lucrative for the sales department. An analysis by the Cincinnati Business Courier concludes the runaway win on Election Night by Ohio Governor John Kasich cost two Scripps stations, Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS and Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO $10 million in lost revenue:

“Political spending is about the footprint and the competitiveness of each individual race,” Scripps CFO Tim Wesolowski said during a conference call for Scripps executives to talk to investors and analysts about the company’s third-quarter earnings. (Some) races that we thought would be competitive never materialized. The best example of that was a lack of a competitive gubernatorial race in Ohio.”

Kasich’s wide early lead likely cost Scripps TV stations in Cleveland and Cincinnati more than $10 million, Wesolowski said.

Andy Fishman Named WJW News Director

WJW-1Cleveland’s WJW has named Andy Fishman news director.

“Having Andy at the helm of our award-winning news department is something that so many of our FOX 8 staffers endorsed and encouraged based on his years of newsroom experience, leadership abilities and working knowledge of our city and all of Northeast Ohio,” Paul Perozeni, WJW VP  & GM told The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

According to The Plain-Dealer, Fishman had been working as the Cleveland FOX affiliate’s interim news director after former news director Sonya Thompson left to work for parent company Tribune Media Group.

Fishman arrived at Channel 8 in 1994 as executive producer of the station’s 5 p.m. newscast. He became the executive producer of the 10 p.m. newscast in 1997. Ten years later, he was named assistant news director.

“Even as Andy served as the interim news director these past several weeks, we worked in concert with Tribune in searching across the country for this important and vital position,” Perozeni said. “But in the end, the clear and obvious choice was, without a doubt, our own Andy Fishman.” Read more

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 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.

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


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. 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.