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Denver

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

What Are Local Stations Covering?

They like a longer story in Denver, where today we take a look at what the local stations are talking about.

With a lot of stories in the 2:00 range, most of the stations stacked their shows pretty much the same way: leading with the school evacuation and going long on the missing hikers.

Paola Varela Rossi Joins Telemundo Denver

paola varela rossiPaola Varela Rossi is joining Telemundo Denver as a sports anchor-reporter. Beginning March 31, she will anchor the sports segment for both of the station’s daily newscasts.

It is a return to Telemundo for Varela Rossi, who previously worked at Telemundo Network in Miami. Most recently, she was an anchor and reporter at Caracol TV network in Colombia.

“Paola is a team player and will be a great asset to our station in Denver,” Telemundo Denver news director Pedro Calderón Michel said in a statement. “We are glad to welcome her back to the Telemundo family.”

Too Soon? KDVR Reporter Pokes Fun at Yesterday’s Penis Pic on Twitter

Is it too soon for KDVR reporter Dan Daru to poke fun at his station’s mistaken airing of a penis yesterday?

We asked KDVR and Daru about it. We’ll update when we hear back.

Denver Station Apologizes for Showing Penis During Morning Show


KDVR anchor Kirk Yuhnke promised viewers he’d find Twitter for photos of today’s helicopter crash in Seattle during this morning’s 8:00 a.m. newscast.

While Yuhnke talked over full screen images of a twitter feed, the Denver FOX affiliate viewers saw pictures scroll from crash shots, to Edward Scissorhands, then a loaf of something possibly edible and finally a man’s penis in full display peeking out from some unzipped pants.

KDVR news director Ed Kosowski told TVSpy “While reporting breaking news about the crash of the KOMO-TV helicopter in Seattle, Fox 31 Denver accidentally broadcast an offensive photo while scrolling live through a Twitter feed of pictures from the crash scene. The photo was mistakenly broadcast by our control room. It did not come from the tablet many viewers saw being used by one of our anchors. We apologize for the inadvertent broadcast of the image and we are taking immediate steps to prevent such an accident from happening again. ”

Deadspin has the video. Click here to see. The YouTube version has been (pardon our pun) pulled by KDVR’s parent company.

KUSA News Director Patti Dennis Gets Expanded Role with Gannett

dennis_kusa_croppedPatti Dennis, VP of news at Denver NBC affiliate KUSA, has been given a role in choosing who works for the station’s parent company Gannett.

“In her new role, Patti will work directly with our stations to help recruit both on and off air candidates,” Rob Mennie, Gannett Broadcasting’s SVP of news, said in an email sent to staffers. “She will create an online database of potential employees and work with a small team of people in order to find the best and brightest for our properties.”

Mennie added Dennis will be less involved in day to day operations of KUSA but will keep her title.

Dennis told The Denver Post via email, “I am working on the new assignment as well as working with the newsroom in Denver for a while.”

[The Denver Post]

KUSA Adds Whitney Wild As Reporter

wild_wjla_croppedWhitney Wild is joining Denver NBC affiliate KUSA.

Wild told TVSpy she starts Monday, March 24 as a general assignment reporter and added, “I’m greatly looking forward to joining KUSA.”

Wild comes to KUSA from WJLA in Washington, D.C. where she started in 2011.

Denver Station’s Website Hacked

kusa_olympic logoDenver NBC affiliate KUSA had its website hacked.

Patti Dennis KUSA’s VP of news told TVSpy, “The photo gallery section of our website was hacked on Tuesday evening.  We immediately noticed the changes and worked quickly to shutdown that portion of our site.”

Dennis also told us the problem with the website’s security has been fixed

Last night anchor Kyle Clark told viewers, “Our apologies to everyone who stopped by 9News.com tonight and saw the obscene images posted by someone who got on to our website. We got them down in short order and we have temporarily removed our photo galleries while we scrub out the filth. It is a delightful world we live in. Again, our apologies for that.”

Man Holding Hostage Calls Denver FOX Reporter During Standoff


Denver FOX affiliate KDVR found itself at the center of a hostage negotiation Monday night.

Convicted felon Don Pooley took a 13-year-old boy hostage in his Colorado home for more than 18 hours and according to KDVR, “[...] had been monitoring local news reports about the standoff and at one point called FOX31 Denver reporter Julie Hayden Monday night telling her about the situation.”

With police listening in, Hayden asked Pooley if there was any way he could let the kid go. “Absolutely not,” answered Pooley, who said he thought the hostage was the only way he could get the FBI to back off. “I feel horrible for this little boy right now,” said Pooley. “He hasn’t stopped shaking.”

KDVR reports Pooley was killed when police entered the home. The teenaged boy was released unhurt.

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