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CW Affiliates

WGN America Drops 9 p.m. Newscast

WGN 9pm newscastChicago cable channel WGN America is dropping its broadcast of WGN’s 9 p.m. newscast as part of an “effort to relaunch itself as a bigger player in the cable universe,” Robert Feder reports:

“We’re transitioning from a network with regional roots to one with a true national identity, driven by provocative, brand-defining programming of the highest quality,” Matt Cherniss, president and general manager of WGN America, said in a statement. “With this relaunch and our expanded portfolio of original content, we expect to significantly strengthen our position as a destination for viewers.”

Starting in April, WGN America will air its first original scripted drama series, “Salem,” set during the infamous 17th century witch trials in Massachusetts. In July, the network will premiere its second original series, “Manhattan,” dramatizing the race to build the first atomic bomb (known as the Manhattan Project) in Los Alamos, N.M.

WGN America has released a statement:

Chicago’s very own WGN News has many loyal fans and we are committed to continue making these news programs available to our viewers. In recent months, WGN America has been evolving its programming direction to best serve the interests of our national audience.  An hour of the popular “WGN Morning News” has been added to the schedule for viewers to enjoy weekdays, and “WGN Midday” continues to air as scheduled.  “WGN News at Nine” continues to be seen locally on WGN-TV, and is available nationally at WGNTV.com, where all WGN Chicago newscasts are streamed live.

WPIX Helps Father See Deceased Son’s Facebook ‘Lookback Video’

WPIX_facebookJohn Berlin wanted to use the latest facebook campaign as a way to remember his 22-year-old son Jesse who died two years ago.

As part of the social site’s tenth anniversary, facebook offers users the chance to see a 62 second video featuring highlights of past posts set to music .

Berlin posted a video to YouTube that soon went viral asking facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to allow him access to his deceased son’s facebook profile so he could watch his son’s “lookback video.”

Alyssa Zauderer of the WPIX web team got in contact with facebook which told the Tribune owned New York CW affiliate it was working on helping Berlin out, but had no way of contacting him.

WPIX gave facebook Berlin’s contact info. Facebook told the station, “The video will be ready either tonight or tomorrow morning.” Watch the WPIX story after the jump. Read more

WPIX Adds Reporter From Hartford

harry_wpixAyana Harry will join Tribune’s New York CW station WPIX as a general assignment reporter tomorrow.

“Ayana has been part of the Tribune family since 2011, when she joined FOX CT,” Rich Graziano, president and general manager of WPIX said in a statement. “Ayana is Brooklyn native and a talented, hard-hitting journalist focused on telling the stories of our community.”

Harry comes to WPIX from Tribune’s Hartford, CT, station WTIC. Before working at WTIC, Harry was a digital reporter and field producer for ABC News. She has also worked as an associate producer, production associate and desk assistant for ABC News.

WPIX Names Local Sales Manager

wpixlogo_304Tribune’s New York CW station WPIX has named Alan Straub local sales manager.

“As PIX11 continues to develop our newscasts, make investments in our staffing and expand the station overall, I am confident the teams we are building have the experience and drive necessary to make a substantial impact on our goals,” Rich Graziano, President and GM of WPIX said in a statement.

Straub comes to WPIX from MSG, where he was the director, national sales manager. In his 20 year career, he has held account executive slots at WNYW-WWOR in New York, Time Warner Cable Media Sales, FOX television and Petry Media Corporation.

Straub starts February 6.

Police Investigate White Powder Sent to Two Los Angeles Stations

A suspicious white powder was sent to both Los Angeles FOX owned station KTTV and Tribune’s CW affiliate KTLA.

KTLA reported firefighters and the FBI are on the scene after the powder was discovered in an envelope addressed to KTLA around 11:00 a.m.

The station said a Fire Department test for anthrax came back negative and added, “Firefighters could not detail what they had found until a battalion chief arrived on scene, but first responders were seen wearing gas masks before descending into the basement mailroom.”

KTLA said LA Police told them they were also on the scene at KTTV. We’ve asked FOX for more details. We will update when we know more.

TV Stations Use Hot Water to Show What the Cold Can Do…to Hot Water


With this week’s cold snap, TV stations are looking for ways to show just how cold it is outside. More than a few stations are showing the trick where hot water turns to snow when it’s thrown into the freezing air.

Jim Romenesko points out this is quickly becoming the winter equivalent of frying an egg on the sidewalk in summer.

Yesterday in Chicago, both WBBM meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist and WGN morning show reporter Marcus Leshock added to the Windy City’s snow totals with the demo. Leshock also showed how quickly the cold turned a wet t-shirt into what looked like cardboard.

Gannett stations are KTHV in Little Rock is sharing a video of Des Moines, IA, CBS affiliate KCCI reporter Kim St. Onge demonstrating the trick.

If you notice any stations throwing hot water into cold air or using the “see what happens to a wet t-shirt” trick feel free to post them in the comments section.

Former WPIX Anchor Now Runs Israeli Parenting Website

When Emily Frances left WPIX in 2010, she was the morning entertainment news anchor at the New York CW affiliate.

As our sister site FishbowlNY reports, Frances is now a mother of two and an internet entrepreneur based in Tel Aviv.

A lot can happen in a few years. Back in 2010, Emily Frances was the morning news entertainment anchor at WPIX and trying to get pregnant through In Vitro Fertility treatments. Today, she is the mother of two young children and a Tel Aviv-based Internet entrepreneur.

“My husband and I are loving Israel,” Frances tells FishbowlNY after moving there from New York in September. “It is the best place to raise children. Israel is a kid-centric country where money is truly invested into playgrounds, kids activities and schools.”

“We love the fact that family is so important here,” she continues. “People have careers but the careers don’t define them. After [my four-day-a-week, intensive] Hebrew classes, I ride my bike to a place called Namal. It’s the old Tel Aviv port and has been gentrified like the Meatpacking District. I sit outside at a cafe and write my blogs, optimize my videos and do social media for HowtoMomTV.”

Read more

‘…The Stockings Were Hung By The TV with Care’: Origin of TV Yule Log Revealed

yule-log-originalIf you grew up without a fireplace, you might have never known the comfort of a crackling fireplace on Christmas Eve. For those unlucky many, the televised yule log brought holiday comfort to the masses without the messy clean up.

In the spirit of the season, TVSpy brings you a safe conversation starter describing the origin of the televised yule log, courtesy of New York CW flagship station WPIX. You know, for when you’ve had one too many cups of eggnog or wassailed a little to much and need to drone on about something. Enjoy!

From WPIX.com:

It debuted as a 3-hour program, originally consisting of a 17-second 16 millimeter filmed loop of a festively decorated roaring fireplace while traditional Christmas carols played over the video.

The Yule Log premiered in full-color on Saturday, December 24, 1966, at 9:30 PM on WPIX Channel 11 in New York City.

The original one was filmed in 1966 on 16 millimeter film at Gracie Mansion, the home of then Mayor of New York, John Lindsay. Four years later, in 1970, WPIX decided to re-shoot the footage on state-of-the-art 35 millimeter film, as the original 16 millimeter footage had become worn by this time. Read more

Father Says He Saw Son Shot to Death By LA Police on Live TV

ktla_helicopterOne of the people watching the live police chase in Los Angeles more than a week ago that ended with the killing of the suspect on live TV was the victim’s father.

Bill Beaird told The Los Angeles Times his youngest son Brian called him while being chased by police the evening of December 13. He said he told his son to pull over after Brian Beaird said he done nothing wrong.

The chase and subsequent shooting was carried live by Los Angeles CW affiliate KTLA and Fresno FOX affiliate KMPH. The family has filed a $20 million claim against the city of Los Angeles.

Later, Beaird watched live as a KTLA-TV News helicopter showed police chasing the Corvette into downtown L.A. He saw his son’s car T-bone another car before spinning onto the sidewalk. The driver staggered out of the vehicle, briefly raised his hands with his back to the police officers, then grabbed his stomach as he fell to the ground.

“I thought it was my son, but I wasn’t sure,” Bill Beaird said.

Beaird said he was initially confused about what happened to the man — the television reporters said he might have been shot with a Taser, he recalled. But when he tried to reach his son and couldn’t, his family began putting the pieces together. Read more

New York Reporter Says Viewers Have Better Odds Being Murdered Than Winning Lottery

WPIX_lotteryA reporter for New York CW affiliate WPIX took an unusual and some might say darker route to showing the impossible odds of winning Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot.

Arthur Chi’en enlisted the aid of an NYU mathematics professor to compute the odds in a conversational, easily relatable way.

The duo first told viewers they could guarantee a win by buying up $176 million in lottery tickets. But really, who has that sort of cash laying around?

The pair then went with the old saw, saying you’d be 50 percent more likely to be hit by lightning.

Chi’en went with the “drop the microphone and walk off the stage” moment when he told viewers they’d be 8,000 times more likely to be murdered. Happy Holidays everyone!

[Tuned In]

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