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Denver

Eric Kahnert Set to Return to Denver

kahnert kmghEric Kahnert is going back to Denver as an anchor for ABC affiliate KMGH.

Kahnert left Denver’s KUSA in 2012 to work as an anchor for KSTP in Minneapolis, MN.

“The team at 7NEWS is hungry and eager to change how news is done in Colorado,” Kahnert said in a statement. “And that is something I am proud to be a part of.”

Kahnert has also worked at KOB in Albuquerque, NM. He starts at KMGH on June 30.

New Role For Kyle Dyer at Denver’s KUSA

KyleDyerKyle Dyer is leaving the morning newscast at KUSA, the NBC affiliate in Denver. In her new role, which begins in July, Dyer will continue toanchor the 11 a.m. and noon newscasts and provide taped pieces for the morning newscast, the Denver Post reports:

“We offered her (a contract) to stay on fulltime,” News Director Patti Dennis said. “She wanted to renew her contract but in a different role, citing family obligations. She’ll no longer have to come in at 3 a.m.”

Her daughters are now 11 and 9, Dyer said, with increasing homework and after-school activities. “It’s hard to be present. It’s something I’ve thought about the last couple of years.” Additionally, she’s been keeping “these weird hours” since December 1993, even before she landed at KUSA.

The adjustment “will be just as weird for viewers” as it will be for her, Dyer said. But she reminds those who have had morning coffee with her for nearly two decades, “I’ll be there on tape.”

Watch video of Dyer’s announcement after the jump. Read more

Mike Landess to Retire From Denver’s KMGH

mike landessAfter 50 years in broadcasting, Mike Landess has announced his retirement from Denver ABC affiliate KMGH. He will officially sign off as the station’s primary anchor later this year.

“7NEWS will miss the warm and wonderful presence Mike has provided each and every night. I am grateful for his service to our newsroom,” KMGH news director Jeff Harris said in a statement. “We are all indebted to him, his professionalism, and his credibility.”

Landess has anchored KMGH’s evening newscasts since 2002. He has previously worked at KUSA in Denver, WXIA in Atlanta, WTTG in Washington, D.C., WFAA in Dallas and WKYC in Cleveland.

“The credibility and commitment Mike brings to this newsroom helped 7NEWS develop into one of the most honored and respected TV newsrooms in the country,” KMGH vice president and general manager Byron Grandy said.

KUSA Denies Conflict of Interest in Kristin Hopkins Coverage

Brian Willie KUSADenver NBC affiliate KUSA is denying a conflict of interest in its coverage of Kristin Hopkins, a woman who was trapped for six days in her car after an accident.

The Denver Post reports KUSA’s production manager, Brian Willie, is a close friend of the Hopkins family. At their request, Willie acted as a spokesman, reading an on-camera statement (pictured) to the media at St. Anthony Central Hospital Monday. Willie was not covering the story for KUSA, the NBC affiliate says.

KUSA’s rivals have complained that the family gave first access to photos from the scene to KUSA, according to the Post.

In reporting the story, the station disclosed Willie’s employment at the station: “The person that you saw reading the family statement is 9NEWS production manager Brian Willie, a close friend of the family who was asked to speak today on their behalf. He is not covering this story in his capacity on 9NEWS.”

Willie will no longer be reading statements to the media on the case. “There is no conflict of interest,” KUSA general manager Mark Cornetta told the Post. “There is no loss of objectivity. The hospital will provide any other release of information.”

Aristea Brady Joins KDVR From WCCO

brady_wcco_304Aristea Brady is joining KDVR, the Fox affiliate in Denver, as co-anchor of the 10 p.m. newscast. She comes from WCCO, the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, where she has been a reporter and anchor for three years.

“She is a familiar face to many of you and to the Denver audience, having worked as a reporter and weekend morning anchor at KUSA several years ago before leaving for Minnesota,” KDVR news director Ed Kosowski wrote in a note to station staff last week. “Aristea is a Colorado native who was born and raised in Englewood. She has a large extended family in Craig on the Western Slope, where they operate a ranch and where she spent summers herding cattle and sheep before pursuing her career in journalism.”

Brady will anchor the 10 p.m. newscast alongside Boris Sanchez. She will also report during the week.

Kosowski’s full note is after the jump. Read more

Sportscaster Susie Wargin Leaving KUSA

susie wargin_304x200Susie Wargin is leaving KUSA, the Denver Post reports. Wargin will sign off from the Denver NBC affiliate in August.

“I’ve had my real estate license since June,” Wargin told the Denver Post. “My mom’s been in the business for 38 years (with RE/MAX). It’s a good family decision for me now. Mom wants to hand down the business–(in the unspecified distant future)– and I’d be an idiot to refuse.”

Wargin has been the KUSA morning sports anchor since 2004. She will continue to freelance on occasion for the station, she says.

KUSA News Director Patti Dennis on Her New Role at Gannett

PattiDennisKUSA news director Patti Dennis, who recently expanded her role with Gannett, talks to the Denver Post about the transition period at the Denver NBC affiliate:

During the transition — perhaps until the end of the year — she will spend three days a week as news director, two days recruiting. Dennis — and everyone in the building — is certain that, whenever the next big news event breaks, she’ll be in the mix. “I don’t know that I could stay away.”

Control is her “Linus blanket,” she allowed. Will she come unglued when she’s not in charge during a future big story?

“We’ll all find that out together,” Assistant News Director Tim Ryan said. No successor has been named, leading to much speculation. She’ll be a tough act to follow, having bridged analog and digital eras so winningly. “Succeeding Patti will be like succeeding John Elway,” said one contender.

Lawmakers Look for Ways to Let Viewers in Southwest Colorado Watch Colorado Stations

FCC_304Colorado Senator Mark Udall (D) and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel met Wednesday in Durango, CO, to figure out how to let residents in the southwest part of the state watch Denver TV.

The Durango Herald reports right now, some residents of La Plata and Montezuma Counties in Colorado can only watch Albuquerque stations.

La Plata County residents long have complained they get what one attendee at Wednesday’s forum described as “if it bleeds, it leads” journalism from Albuquerque-based TV news stations.

Among the roadblocks to Denver TV are resistance from New Mexico broadcasters, who don’t want to lose viewers in Southwest Colorado who support advertising revenue, and The Nielsen Co., the private New York-based company that determines TV market areas. Read more

Sports Anchor Turned News Anchor then Retired Anchor Hired to do Sports at KUSA

Fox31 anchor Ron Zappolo is retiring.Ron Zappolo, the former sports anchor who retired last year as a news anchor is coming back to Denver airwaves.

The Denver Post TV critic Joanne Ostrow reports Zappolo will be the “weekend sports conversationalist” for Denver NBC affiliate KUSA.

He’ll be paired with Sam Adams, Denver comedian and sportswriter (for the Rocky Mountain News), to talk sports as a segment within the newscast. The first taping is Friday, to air this weekend.

“We’ll see what develops,” Zappolo said late Tuesday. “Anything’s on the table.”

KUSA President and General Manager Mark Cornetta calls the move an “experiment,” as a way to inject talk about sports, sometimes in a debate style, in the weekend newscast. “As with anything, if it is good, there is the possibility it could expand,” Cornetta said. Read more

KDVR Reporter’s Story Reopens Police Investigation into Local Woman’s Death


Investigative work by KDVR reporter Justin Joseph has lead police to reopen an investigation into the shooting death of an Evans, CO, woman.

Ashley Fallis death was initially ruled a suicide after Fallis’ husband Tom, who was a Weld County law enforcement officer, told police Fallis shot herself.

After what the station called an exhaustive 12-month investigation, Joseph found “serious missteps” in the department’s investigation. When given the new evidence, Chief Rick Brandt “directed that the case be reopened.”

Brandt said the Fort Collins Police Department will take the lead in reexamining Ashley Fallis’ death.

“It is my desire that an unbiased, professional third-party review of this case be conducted,” he said. Read more

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