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Cleveland-Akron

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.

Cleveland Stations Cover LeBron James News: ‘He’s Coming Home’

Looks like Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO will have to make good on the offer to rename its sports studio after LeBron James: the NBA star announced today that will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers next season after four years with the Miami Heat.

WOIO reported the news at 12:25 p.m., just after James’ announcement was posted to SI.com. “Like the rest of, I guess greater Cleveland or maybe even the country, the newsroom is abuzz right now,” Paul Orlousky said. The station remained in coverage through the 1 p.m. hour.

ABC affiliate WEWS reported the news at 12:26 p.m., with Leon Bibb reading James’ essay on the air. “I’m reporting this as I’m learning it. I am learning it right along with you. ‘I’m coming home,’ says LeBron James,” Bibb said. The station remained on the air until 1:30 p.m. and is planning expanded evening newscasts tonight.

WJW also reported the news at 12:26 p.m. “He had the option of staying with the old guard in Miami or coming to the new team, the new young superstar team here in Cleveland,” Gabe Spiegel said. The Fox affiliate stayed with the news until 1 p.m.

“This is now the victory that the Cavaliers have been looking for … this is a great situation for the Cleveland Cavaliers,” John Anderson said on NBC affiliate WKYC shortly after he reported the news at 12:26 p.m. WKYC also remained on the air through the 1 p.m. hour.

WOIO to Christen ‘LeBron James Sports Center’ If NBA Star Returns to Cleveland

LebronStudio

As LeBron James prepares for the sequel of “The Decision,” Cleveland’s CBS affiliate WOIO is going the extra mile to woo the hometown hero back to the Cavaliers.

The station is offering to name its sports studio “The LeBron James Sports Center,” if the NBA star returns to Cleveland, where he played from 2003-2010.

“There is no better player in the league than LeBron James,” says WOIO VP and GM Dominic Mancuso. “We’re ready to welcome him back with open arms and witness forgiveness!”

“We haven’t seen this much excitement about Cleveland sports since, well, the last “Decision,” adds News Director Dan Salamone, referring to the 2010 ESPN special during which James announced he was leaving Cleveland for the Miami Heat.

Mancuso adds, “19 Action News is committed to covering the King and giving Cleveland Cavaliers fans front row seats to all the action in our newscasts LIVE… hopefully from the LeBron James Sports Center.”

ESPN reports James has finished meeting with teams, and will now talk with his family and make his choice. James is reportedly planning to attend the World Cup final in Brazil this weekend, so a decision may come before then.

Wale’ Aliyu Joins WKYC From WKEF

wale aliyu_304Wale’ Aliyu is joining WKYC, the NBC affiliate in Cleveland, as a multimedia journalist. He comes from WKEF-WRGT, the ABC and Fox affiliates in Dayton, where he has worked since 2010.

The station announced news of the hire on the WKYC Director’s Cut blog, which reports that Aliyu has also worked at Newsy.com and stations in Columbia, Mo. He said looks forward to reporting stories that make an impact on people’s lives.

“One of the first television stories I ever did was on human trafficking back in 2007 while I was at KOMU-TV8,” he said. “This was before anyone was really talking about it. In our little town of 100,000 people, we spoke to a human trafficking victim who was arrested prostitution. Our story helped get her out of jail and helped spread awareness on a worldwide issue that had come to our town.”

Kim Wheeler Switching to Reporting After 19 Years as Anchor

wheeler wkycKim Wheeler, WKYC weekend morning anchor and education reporter, is dropping the anchor from her title at the Cleveland NBC affiliate.

“I am sad that I won’t be on weekend mornings anymore, because it was a big part of my life for 19 years,” Wheeler told The Plain Dealer. “The station felt it was time to make a change. But 19 years as an anchor is a pretty good run, particularly for a woman.”

WKYC news director Brennan Donnellan told The Plain Dealer he was impressed with Wheeler’s reporting and sees the switch as a way to better use her “considerable skills.” She will work Monday through Friday.

Wheeler started at WKYC in 1995 after working at WDBJ in Roanoke, VA. She has also worked in Bluefield, WV.

Paul Perozeni Named VP-GM of WJW

wjw logoPaul Perozeni has been promoted to vice president and general manager at WJW, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Cleveland. Perozeni has been the vice president and general sales manager of WJW for the past 13 years.

“Paul is truly one of ‘Cleveland’s Own’ and he, as much as anyone, has a deep appreciation for and awareness of the legacy, tradition and commitment of WJW to the city of Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio,” Tribune Broadcasting COO Lynda King said in a statement. “He is the perfect choice to lead WJW Fox 8 for years to come.”

Perozeni joined WJW in 1999 and was promoted to vice president and general sales manager in 2001. In the station’s press release, he said it is a “privilege, honor and blessing to have been selected to lead one of the most respected stations in the country.”

Perozeni succeeds Greg Easterly, who left Cleveland to be general manager at Tribune’s WGN in Chicago.

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