Jacobsen will be working overnight to produce and edit the morning newscast. He will be anchoring the 4:30 a.m. newscast and will lead breaking news coverage during the 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. hours.
Stegeman comes to Fort Myers,FL from Topeka, KS where she was anchor reporter and producer for Kansas News First, the NBC (KSNT), FOX (KTMJ) and ABC (KTKA) triopoly.
“We are excited to have someone with Kelli’s energy and enthusiasm joining the Fox 4 news team,” said WFTX news director Eric Maze. ”She’s not only a terrific anchor, she is a solid reporter who is looking forward to getting answers for viewers.”
“I am so excited to join the Fox 4 Rising team and look forward to bringing Southwest Florida viewers what they need to get their day started right,” Zamorano said in a statement posted to the station’s website. “I want to tell about what is going on in the world, but more importantly, I want our viewers to know about the news that is relevant to them. We’re going to be informational, but we’re also going to have fun.”
The station also announced Amy Wegmann, who left the station to support her husbands run for Congress, will fill-in for Carley Wegner on “Fox 4 Morning Blend” while Wegner is on medical leave.
As a reporter, you know that if you’re sent to a home to talk to the family of a man who’s just been arrested for murder, and they have a dog, there’s a good chance that dog is not going to be happy to see you walking up the driveway.
So it went yesterday for WFTX, Ft. Myers/Naples reporter John Rupolo as he tried to interview the family of Scott Vincent Sica, now in custody for the murder of a North Carolina police officer in 1996.
Law enforcement caught up with Sica who had been living with family in Cape Coral.
“We went to Sica’s home trying to talk to relatives and that’s when I met the family dog,” Rupolo said in his report. The dog nipped at the reporter. He’ll be just fine. The reporter, that is. We suspect the dog’s still pretty shaken up.
Lazar, whose first day at WINK is October 16, initially posted the news to his Facebook page saying, “It’s official! I’m moving to Fort Myers, Florida in 2 weeks to work at WINK-TV!”
Last December, the Fort Myers anchor left the station on maternity leave for the birth of their son. She then extended the leave to support her husband, Trey Radel, who is now running as the Republican candidate for the District 19 seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV’s run for Senate.
“This was a very difficult decision for me, but I want to help my husband become our next U.S. Congressman,” Wegmann said. “I will miss the day-to-day news activity and the people at Fox 4.”
Emily Dishnow (pictured right) was named permanent full-time co-anchor.
“Emily has filled in for the past few months while Amy was on leave and our viewers have been incredibly supportive and complimentary,” vice president and general manager Judy Kenney said. ”It’s a natural move for a strong member of our team.”
Spinetto, a general assignment reporter at the station, is moving to Manchester ABC-affiliate WMUR as a reporter. “Thank you for all the support and sharing your stories with me over the past 6 years,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s been an incredible experience.”
Liepman, the noon anchor, is expected to stay at WINK through mid-September before joining him in New Hampshire, according to the News-Press. The couple have both worked at the station for six years.
“This will be a great opportunity to return to my home state and my old friends,” Brooks told TVSpy via email. “They have a great group of journalists at KOKH, a terrific news director, and I look forward to joining the team.”
Brooks was most recently a freelance anchor at WFTX in Fort Myers. Prior to that, he was morning anchor at WGCL in Atlanta. Brooks, who signed off from WFTX on Friday, will be anchoring KOKH’s 9 and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside Jamie Cerreta.
Keegan joins WBBH as a reporter for the station’s Charlotte County bureau. He will cover Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. Previously, Keegan was a reporter for KFBB, the ABC-affiliate in Great Falls, MT.
Pierrotti, an investigative reporter, is leaving WBBH to join KVUE, the ABC-affiliate in Austin, where he will serve in the same role. He joined WBBH in early 2010, according to the News-Press.
Spooner, who joined WFTX in 2011, will anchor her last newscast this Wednesday.
“It was a very tough decision to leave Fox4,” Spooner said. “I love the people here and I will miss working with them. You won’t … find a friendlier newsroom who genuinely cares about each other and wants to see their co-workers succeed … both personally and professionally.”
The News-Press reports Spooner will be moving to another television station outside of the Fort Myers market. On WFTX, weekend anchor Mike Brooks will fill in on the morning newscast until a permanent replacement is named.