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Erie

Rob Wilson Leaving WICU-WSEE After Nearly 14 Years

wilson_croppedRob Wilson, meteorologist for Erie, PA, NBC and CBS affiliate WICU-WSEE, is leaving TV to be a financial planner.

Wilson told TVSpy his contract isn’t being renewed at the end of the year, “so after nearly 14 years here in Erie and almost 20 years in television I’ll be leaving the industry altogether.”

On his bio page, Wilson said he got his start at WJHG in Panama City, FL, while he was still in the Air Force. He also worked at KOLD in Tucson, AZ while being stationed at nearby Davis-Monthan AFB. His first job out of the Air Force in April 2000 was at WICU.

He said his last day, depending on accrued vacation days left, will be December 18. He plans to stay in the area.

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WICU Moves Anchor Kevin MacDowell Off Anchor Desk and Into Reporting

Veteran news reporter and anchor Kevin MacDowell has been named senior reporter after being moved off the WICU anchor desk.

“It was time to make the move,” Pam Forsyth, general manager for the Erie, PA, NBC affiliate, told the Erie Times-News. “Kevin is still a respected employee here.”

Despite reports making it sound like MacDowell found out about the move after returning from vacation, Forsyth told TVSpy the switch was discussed before MacDowell’s time off. Read more

Former WSEE Anchor and Reporter Carol Pella Dies

Carol Pella, former reporter for Erie, PA, CBS affiliate WSEE has died.

Pella started her career at WSEE in 1974 and worked as both an anchor and a reporter. She was known for her fearless style of investigative journalism.

“She wasn’t afraid of anything,” said Pierre Bellicini, former WSEE news director. “She wasn’t afraid of politicians. She wasn’t afraid of gangsters who we had to cover for crime stories so I think she was, probably the best way to describe Carol is, a very tough reporter.” You can watch a retrospective on Pella by Scott Bremner after the jump. Read more

Jill McCormick Promoted to Anchor at WJET

Jill McCormick has been named evening co-anchor at WJET, the ABC affiliate in Erie, Pa.

McCormick joined WJET-WFXP last year as a fill-in anchor and reporter for the morning newscast. She will co-anchor the 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Sean Lafferty beginning January 2.

“Jill is a true professional with many years of experience both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” VP-GM Tim Dunst said in a statement. “We are proud and excited about the anchor team of Sean Lafferty and Jill McCormick on JET 24 Action News beginning January 2.”

McCormick replaces Kim Thomas, who is leaving the station for a job in politics.

Kim Thomas Leaving WJET-WFXP For Politics

WJET-WFXP anchor Kim Thomas is leaving the television business to take a job in politics, the Erie Times-News reports.

Thomas will begin in December as director of communications and public relations for Sean Wiley, who will be sworn in as a Pennsylvania state senator in January.

In a statement to Press & Tower, WJET-WFXP news director Lou Baxter said the station has launched a national search for Thomas’ replacement. Her co-anchor for the evening newscasts, Sean Lafferty, will anchor solo until a replacement is named.

“Kim has done a great job for us the past 6 years ago, having spent the last two of them on the anchor desk with Sean Lafferty,” Baxter said. “We wish her the best of luck.”

Erie’s WICU-WSEE Launches in HD

WICU-WSEE the NBC and CBS affiliates for Erie, PA recently began broadcasting in HD and on Monday WICU unveiled its new set.

Longtime WICU anchor Lisa Adams put together a story about the conversion walking viewers through the set changes which include the use of a high definition monitor behind the news set and a separate pod for reporter stand-ups.

Chief engineer, John Wilkosz and his crew worked especially hard to make it happen considering they were also rolling out an automated commercial and programming delivery system, gearing up for the election, converting the stations to HD and building a new set for WICU all at the same time.  Wilkosz described the convergence as, “remodeling your bathroom and say your kitchen and your living room while trying to live in your house at the same time and still (trying to) function.”

You can watch the standard definition story about the set after the jump. Read more

Bill Cummings Signs on as News Director at WICU-WSEE

Bill Cummings will join WICU-WSEE as news director, according to the Rick Gevers blog.

Cummings, who will replace current news director Lisa Adams, comes from KSWT, in Yuma, AZ, after less than a year at the CBS affiliate.

Adams, who is stepping down as news director at the Erie NBC-CBS affiliate, will stay on as anchor.  She has been at WICU for more than thirty years and was named news director of the Lilly Broadcasting owned duopoly a year and a half ago.

Cummings formerly worked in Tucson, Evansville, IN, Huntington, WV, and Tri-Cities, TN.

VIDEO: WJET Sports Anchor Shouts ‘Son of a B—-’

In a video that’s now been posted a few times on YouTube, WJET‘s Craig Smylie appears to flub his sports update during the ABC-affiliate’s morning newscast.

“Son of a bitch,” Smylie exclaims in the video (above), shaking his head.

The gaffe likely wasn’t a case of an anchor letting a bad word slip on live TV, though.  It looks like someone in the control room played the wrong taped segment during the newscast. Read more

Erie News Veteran Jill McCormick Joins WJET-WFXP

A familiar face is returning to the Erie market: Jill McCormick, who has worked at both NBC-affiliate WICU and CBS-affiliate WSEE, is joining ABC-Fox duopoly WJET-WFXP, TVSpy has confirmed.

“Jill has been in the industry for 20 years, as a producer in Denver, EP in Fort Wayne, and as a reporter and anchor at other stations in our market,” WJET-WFXP news director Lou Baxter told TVSpy in an email.  “After a couple of years out of the business, this busy wife and mother was itching to get back into the biz, and we couldn’t be happier to have her join our team.”

Baxter said McCormick, who started yesterday at the station, will debut next week as a reporter on both the WJET and WFXP morning newscasts and the WJET noon newscast. She will also produce content for the later broadcasts.  Read more

Julie Eisenman Lands in Savannah as News Director of WJCL-WTGS

Julie Eisenman, who has spent the majority of her broadcast career in Erie, PA, has landed in Savannah, where she’s been named news director of WJCL-WTGS.

After spending three years leading the newsroom at Erie’s WICU-WSEE, Eisenman is replacing Michael Sullivan as news director of the New Vision-owned duopoly.

“Julie’s passion for local news and her willingness to guide our staff made her the obvious choice,” WJCL-WTGS president and general manger Scott McBride said in a press release, which mentioned that the stations conducted “an exhaustive search that included several candidates from across the country.”

A Pennsylvania native, Eisenman began her career as a weekend assignment editor at Pittsburgh’s WPXI before joining WICU as a beat reporter. At WICU, she worked her way up through the newsroom, becoming an anchor and then assistant news director before eventually being named ND.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Eisenman said of her new job. “I know it’s going to be a big challenge, but it’s one I’m greatly looking forward to. We have a great team of eager journalists. It will be a pleasure working with them.”

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