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Fargo-Valley City

No Felony Assault Charge for Former Fargo Sports Anchor

nelson kvrrFormer KVRR sports director Jim Nelson has been cleared of felony aggravated assault charges.

Fargo-Moorhead radio station KFGO reports “Nelson’s attorney, Charles Sheeley, says a private investigator interviewed other witnesses who were not cited in the police report and they said Nelson had intervened when someone else was getting beat up.”

Nelson says he was fired from his job at KVRR-TV Fox after the assault charge was filed. He says he wishes the station had waited for due process to be carried out, but wants to put the incident behind him.

Nelson pleaded guilty to obstructing police. He was initially suspended from KVRR and later fired.

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Fargo Sports Director Faces Felony Assault Charges

nelson kvrrKVRR sports director Jim Nelson has been charged with felony aggravated assault after allegedly punching a man in the face and breaking his nose.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports, Nelson has already pleaded guilty to obstructing police and was suspended from KVRR following the alleged assault on August 24.

KVRR news director Lezlie Johnson told TVSpy, “We are currently looking into the matter and are aware of the allegations regarding Jim Nelson. We are not prepared to discuss anything further at this time.”

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed an additional charge against Nelson of felony aggravated assault, accusing him of punching a partygoer at an apartment at 47th Street South that morning.

Jesse Cloos, who was invited to the party, got into a verbal argument with other partygoers and was punched several times in the face, court documents filed in Cass County District Court allege.

Two Fargo police officers responded at about 5 a.m. and found Cloos in a nearby parking lot unable to identify who punched him except that he was “a very large white male,” documents say. When one officer went to the apartment, Nelson obstructed the investigation and was arrested, police have said.

Nelson was later identified as the person who punched Cloos, who suffered a fractured or broken nose, documents say.

Grand Forks Viewers Want Local Newscast and Anchor Back

wdaz_abcFargo ABC affiliate WDAY and Forum Communications are hearing from viewers angry about the decision to take over the production of the 5:00 p.m. newscast on sister station WDAZ in Grand Forks, ND.

One viewer started a petition at change.org which, as of this writing, is 156 signatures shy of its goal of 1,000. The petition calls for the station to bring back the Grand Forks version of the 5:00 p.m. news along with anchor Terry Dullum.

Fargo NBC and CBS affiliate KVLY and KXJB reports on its website:

A call today to WDAY/WDAZ General Manager Mari Ossenfort was not returned and WDAZ News Director Julie Moravchik has been told to not comment on the matter.

In a published interview Ossenfort defended the decision saying she believes the station should concentrate on producing more content instead of producing more shows. Ossenfort also claimed she has received some positive feedback on the change however most comments on WDAZ’s Facebook page regarding the switch has been overwhelmingly negative.

Former anchor Terry Dullum wrote on his blog Monday about the change that “The decision was not made by anyone in Grand Forks. Certainly, not by me.” He went on to say, “A long-time broadcaster said it best to me years ago. He said television will break your heart. Every time.” Read more

WDAY Takes Over WDAZ 5 p.m. Newscast

wday_croppedFargo’s WDAY took over the production this week of the 5 p.m. newscast on sister station WDAZ, the ABC affiliate in Grand Forks, the Grand Forks Herald reports:

WDAZ and WDAY began collaborative weekend newscasts in 2011, which gave WDAZ more time and resources to cover more local news on weeknights at 10 and more regional news on the weekends, the statement said. “We want to give North Dakota and Minnesota viewers the best we have to offer,” WDAZ and WDAY General Manager Mari Ossenfort said in the release. “By combining our teams, we’ll be able to make it happen.”

Anchor Terry Dullum was sad to see the broadcast go, as were his Facebook friends and followers. “We’ve focused on local, regional and community news and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way as well,” Dullum wrote in a Monday blog post. “We put a lot of energy into the broadcast in those seventeen years including a little bit of our heart and soul.”

WDAY Reporter Kay Cooley Arrested For DUI

kay cooleyWDAY reporter Kay Cooley was arrested Monday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports:

The trooper pulled Cooley over as the result of a citizen’s driving complaint, [Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse] Grabow said. A preliminary breath test showed Cooley had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving of 0.08 percent.

Cooley was booked into the Becker County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, which is a misdemeanor.

WDAY-TV News Director Jeff Nelson declined to comment on Tuesday. He said Cooley is still employed at the TV station.

Jim Shaw Leaving KVRR For Health Reasons

shaw kvrrJim Shaw, news director at KVRR, has announced he is resigning from the Fargo, ND, FOX affiliate.

Shaw has led the news department since it launched in 2000. KVRR said his last day is Friday.

“It was a very, very difficult decision to make,” Shaw told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He then described how the newsroom reacted after he announced his decision. “I was crying, they were crying, a very emotional day.”

Although he is recovering from complications stemming from an intestinal infection, Shaw said he decided he needs more time to fully recover and regain his energy.

“I don’t have a full tank of gas in me,” he said. “I’m running with less than a full tank.”

Shaw was able to return to work a couple of months ago following a medical leave, but said he doesn’t have the energy to be as engaged as he would like. Read more

WDAY Launching Statewide Morning Newscast

wday_croppedWDAY in Fargo is launching North Dakota’s first statewide morning newscast.

Beginning April 28, WDAY’s morning newscast will air on stations in Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Williston and Dickinson, N.D. The newscast, which runs from 5 to 7 a.m. and is anchored by Travis Skonseng and Rebecca Lebak, will also be available on WDAY-AM and online.

Earlier this year, WDAY launched a statewide weekend newscast.

Daryl Ritchison Signs Off From WDAY

daryl ritchisonDaryl Ritchison, the morning meteorologist at WDAY in Fargo, is leaving the station for a job at North Dakota State University.

“I’ve never actually had a ‘day job,’ so to speak, in my adult life,” Ritchison told The Forum. “So it was just an opportunity that I just thought I would take.”

Ritchison has worked at WDAY for 18 years. Before that, he worked at KSFY in Sioux Falls, S.D. and KEYC in Mankato, Minn.

WDAY news director Jeff Nelson said Aaron White and Rebecca Lebak will fill in until a permanent replacement is named.

“It’s too bad. I wish he was staying, but I understand that working, getting up at 3 a.m. every morning and doing it for that long has got to be tough on a person,” Nelson told The Forum. “I wish him nothing but the best. He was always the consummate professional here.”

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Fargo Station to Launch Statewide Newscast

wday_croppedWDAY is about to launch a newscast that will be seen throughout all of North Dakota.

“WDAY News will broadcast on all the ABC affiliates in North Dakota on Sunday’s at 530P,” Forum Communications director of broadcasting Mari Ossenfort told TVSpy. “We will deliver the news, weather and sports that is important to ND and the region, since our signal also reaches Canada, western Minnesota, the northern peak of South Dakota and the eastern fringe of Montana.”

Forum Communications, owner of WDAY plans to use its other owned stations WDAZ in Grand Forks, ND, KBMY in Bismarck, ND, and KMCY in Minot, ND. Read more

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