WDAY 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.”
The switch required purchasing high-definition gear, a studio redesign and a lot of work, said Kathy Lau, general manager of KVRR and chief operating officer of Red River Broadcast and Red Rock Radio. “From a management point of view, it’s been almost like building a station from the ground up,” Lau said. “It’s been no simple task, but we’re very excited. We’re looking to give our viewers the best product possible.”
Pioneer Press is reporting Fargo CBS and NBC affiliate KVLY-KXJB has agreed to not assign school stories to reporter Mellaney Moore for 90 days in exchange for the having trespassing charges against her dropped in Fargo and Moorhead, MN.
Moore was investigated by West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead after her hidden camera investigation into school security where she entered three different schools without checking in at the front desks.
The essentially identical agreements hashed out with school officials — signed by the districts’ superintendents as well as Moore, the news director and the general manager of Valley News Live — say the districts will ask prosecutors to charge Moore if she commits any trespassing violations in the next year.
The mediated settlement specifies that officials from neither the districts nor Valley News Live will take retaliatory action against each other in the wake of the agreement. Read more
The reporter for the Fargo, ND, NBC and CBS affiliate had her hidden camera investigation into local public school security turn on her when she became the subject of police investigations in Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead, MN, after entering city schools there without permission.
Fargo Assistant City Attorney Jason Loos told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, “The investigation showed that she did what she did under direction of her superiors or superior or someone over at KVLY.” He also told KFGO, “We’ve reviewed the case, and our understanding is the school district worked out a resolution with the news station, and isn’t inclined to prosecute.” Loos said. “We typically respect the wishes of victims in these types of cases.”
According to The Forum, it seems likely Moore will not face charges in West Fargo either. “Truly, there is no positive purpose to be served by the school district pressing charges or prosecuting Ms. Moore,” said Heather Konschak, spokesperson for West Fargo Public Schools. “That is not the nature of what a public school does in a community.”
Moorhead police have forwarded their investigation to the Clay County Attorney’s Office. The Forum said County Attorney Brian Melton couldn’t be reached for comment.
The Fargo police department has added its name to the list of two cities already investigating the reporter for the Fargo NBC and CBS affiliate. Moore is currently being investigated by West Fargo and Moorhead police for her hidden camera investigation looking into how easy it would be for a stranger to enter local schools.
In addition to Moore’s legal problems, the superintendent of the Fargo school district is now questioning the accuracy of Moore’s report.
Fargo Superintendent Jeff Schatz said Friday that the security cameras at a district elementary school show Valley News Live Reporter Mellaney Moore entering the school near the office and taking a quick left. Schatz said a faculty member then noticed Moore wasn’t wearing school identification in the hallway and asked her what she was looking for. The staff member then directed her to the office to sign in.
The video shows Moore walking back toward the office, stopping momentarily, then heading out the door without checking in, Schatz said. Read more
Mari Ossenfort has been named director of broadcasting for Forum Communications. In her new role, which begins in November, she will has oversight of four Forum Communications stations: WDAY in Fargo, WDAZ in Grand Forks, KMCY in Minot and KBMT in Bismarck.
Ossenfort, who grew up in Fargo, comes from KDLT-KDLV in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she has worked since 1995. Since 2005, she has been general manager and general sales manager. Before that, she worked at rival KTTW as an account executive.
“I’ve had other opportunities (to advance), but nothing felt right,” Ossenfort told the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is also owned by Forum Communications. “This opportunity that was presented to me just felt right.”
Ossenfort replaces Mark Prather, who recently retired after 23 years with WDAY-WDAZ.
KXJB may lead Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) to regret ignoring requests by the station for an interview.
Anchor Chris Berg hosts a news and opinion show on the Fargo, ND, CBS affiliate called “6:30 Point of View.” On the show, Berg publicly called out both Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Rep. Peterson, who is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Agriculture, for not coming on his show to talk about the Farm Bill, which is a big deal in North Dakota.
While Berg told viewers Senator Heitkamp’s office responded to interview requests by saying, in effect, she didn’t have time to talk to her “pesky constituents,” Berg saved the brunt of his ire for Rep. Peterson who has remained silent.
“I know you’ve been there forever,” said Berg “You think this is your seat. You own it. But guess what? You work for the people here in the valley, show up.” Read more
Nelson, who produces and co-anchors the 5 p.m. newscast on WDAY, will anchor the 6 and 9 p.m. newscasts for Fox affiliate KVRR. He replaces Austen Schauer, who is leaving the station for a job at Park Christian School in Moorhead.
“It was not an easy choice,” Nelson told The Forum. “But these main anchor gigs don’t open up very often.”
On WDAY, reporter Todd Kurtz will replace Nelson as the co-anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast.
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