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Cleveland-Akron

Former Miami, Cleveland Anchor John Hambrick Dies at 73

John Hambrick, a veteran local news anchor, died Tuesday from lung cancer. He was 73.

Hambrick was the primary anchor at WTVJ in Miami from 1985 to 1989. He would later join rival WCIX (now WFOR). Before moving to South Florida, he worked at local stations around the country including WNBC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, KRON in San Francisco, WEWS in Cleveland and WCPO in Cincinnati.

“John was a legend in this community,” WFOR news director Liz Roldan told the Miami Herald. “He set a standard that all of us in the local television industry strive to meet, simply because it makes us all better at what we do. John was larger than life — not surprising because he was a fellow Texan — but also due to his authoritative delivery and his commanding presence.”

WKYC Moves John Anderson to Morning News

John Anderson has joined morning meteorologist Hollie Strano on the WKYC morning news.

Anderson, who replaces Chris Tye and Erin Kennedy, told his followers on facebook Saturday night, “Hi Everyone, tonight is my last show on the weekend working with Lynna Lai. Starting Monday, I’m going back to the morning show.”

“For right now, John Anderson and Hollie Strano will be co-hosting the morning show, and, obviously, neither is a stranger to that beat,” Brooke Spectorsky, president and general manager of the Cleveland NBC affiliate told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “Going forward, that doesn’t mean it will be permanent. There will be at least one more person added.”

According to the Plain-Dealer WKYC’s 4:30 a.m. show has been trailing morning ratings leader FOX affiliate WJW.

Anderson returned to WKYC in October 2012. He anchored the morning show between 2000 and 2007 before leaving to work at WTXF in Philadelphia.

Tip Gives WOIO Jump on Castro Coverage

One month after he was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and sexually abusing three women in Cleveland, Ariel Castro was found dead by apparent suicide in his prison cell Tuesday night.

CBS affiliate WOIO was the first station to report the news and the only station to break in to overnight programming with more than a brief special report. Romona Robinson and Denise Dufala anchored from  12:03 a.m. to 2:28 a.m., with Dan DeRoos reporting from the newsroom and Tiffani Tucker outside the home where Castro kept the three women for more than ten years.

“We had gotten a tip that this had perhaps happened, that Ariel Castro had hung himself. My first move was to call the Correctional Reception Center in Orient,” DeRoos said.

Castro’s death was the lead story on the early-morning newscasts on ABC affiliate WEWS, Fox affiliate WJW and NBC affiliate WKYC.

Jennifer Lindgren Joins KTVT From WKYC

Jennifer Lindgren signed off Friday from WKYC in Cleveland, where she has been a general assignment reporter since 201o (video above).

Lindgren is joining KTVT, the CBS O&O in Dallas, where she will be closer to her family and her fiance, according to WKYC. “I love the people here so much. I didn’t know anyone when I came to Ohio, and I certainly didn’t have family up here, and Channel 3 really became my family,” Lindgren said on her last day. [h/t Mike McGuff]

WJW’s 4:00pm Newscast Premieres Monday

Cleveland FOX affiliate WJW will debut its 4:00pm newscast beginning Monday.

The show, which was announced for the Fall, will be anchored by Gabe Spiegel and meteorologist Melissa Mack.

Mack came back on-air for WJW in May. She left the station in 2009 and began working at Boston’s WBZ in 2010.

WJW Reporter Kenny Crumpton to Plead Not Guilty to OVI

WJW reporter Kenny Crumpton will plead not guilty to operating a vehicle under the influence, the Cleveland Fox affiliate reports. Crumpton was arrested Friday night in Lakewood. He is scheduled to appear in Lakewood Municipal Court this morning.

“At this time Mr. Crumpton will be entering a of plea of not guilty. We ask your patience as the judicial process runs its course,” Ann Oakar and Joe George, Crumpton’s attorneys, said in a statement.

As NewsBlues points out, Chuck Galeti — a former sportscaster at Cleveland’s WOIO-WUAB — was also arrested for drunk driving Friday.

VIDEO: Cleveland Meteorologist Attempts to Do Forecast Without Using The Word ‘Heat’

LeBron James has won two NBA titles since he left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010, and people in Cleveland have apparently still not forgiven him for it. After the close of Game 7 Thursday night, WEWS chief meteorologist Mark Johnson pledged to do his entire forecast without using the word “heat” as a “public service” (video above).

Johnson ran through “sultriness,” “fieriness,” “sweltering,” and “sizzly” as substitutes before eventually running out of words. [h/t Deadspin]

WEWS Apologizes for Story About Charles Ramsey’s Past

WEWS, the Cleveland ABC affiliate that first interviewed Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who helped rescue the kidnapped Cleveland women, is apologizing to viewers for reporting on Ramsey’s criminal past.

TO OUR READERS & FOLLOWERS: We heard you. Wednesday night, we made a poor judgment call in posting a story about Charles Ramsey’s criminal record and how he’s since reformed. While the story was factually sound, the timing of it and publication of such information was not in good taste, and we regret it. Your comments prompted us to quickly remove the story from our website and Facebook page, but we know we can’t erase what we’ve already done. Ramsey is a hero for his actions, and we recognize that. Thank you so much for your feedback.

The station posted the apology on its Facebook page. As of this writing, 54,278 1,866 people had liked the post. But one commenter replied,

You realize that by posting this you’re basically telling all of Facebook that Charles Ramsey has a criminal background – Again.

[Broadcasting & Cable]

Kidnap Hero’s Interview Gets Taiwan Animation Treatment

We reported yesterday about Charles Ramsey‘s interview with Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS.

That interview with the man who helped free the first Cleveland kidnap victim has been making the social media rounds and has already been autotuned a few times. So it was only a matter of time until Taiwanese animation house Next Media Animation gave it their own special treatment. Watch and learn.

WKYC’s Lynna Lai Discovers She’s Facebook Friends With Cleveland Kidnapping Suspect

There are a lot of unanswered questions in the case of three missing women who were rescued Monday in Cleveland, but we know at least one thing about the alleged kidnapper: he is a fan of WKYC weekend anchor Lynna Lai.

Lai, who joined WKYC from rival WOIO last year, discovered yesterday that she is one of just 55 friends the suspect, Ariel Castro, has on Facebook.

“Crazy — I’m FB friends with suspect Ariel Castro. Who knew???” Lai wrote on her personal Facebook page. “Just so you know – I accept friend requests from all viewers, so I don’t actually know him. What a surreal day!”

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