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Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo

WBIR Gave Taz Painter a Goodbye to Remember Before He Left for WZZM

Painter goodbye WBIRTaz Painter started work at his new job as news director of Gannett owned Grand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM today.

Last week, his old station, Gannett owned WBIR in Knoxville, said goodbye with a list of what Painter would find in Grand Rapids, videotaped tributes from colleagues, and an appearance by Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who brought a bag of Chuy’s Mexican Food and a proclamation declaring April 9 “Taz Painter Appreciation Day.”

“And I understand what this qualifies you for, if you pull out of town and you’re speeding,” said Burchett while handing Painter the proclamation. “If you show that to the sheriff’s deputies that they just put the taser on stun.”

Watch the video after the jump. Read more

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WZZM Names Taz Painter News Director

taz painter smallTaz Painter has been named news director at WZZM, the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich. Painter begins in his new role on April 14.

It is a move within Gannett for Painter, who has been managing editor at WBIR, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, since 2007. He previously worked at KOAT in Albuquerque and WYFF in Greenville, S.C.

“Taz has a passion for creative storytelling, with an emphasis on watchdog and advocacy journalism, on all multimedia platforms. He brings a wealth of experience from his years at the top-rated station in Knoxville,” WZZM president and general manager Janet Mason said in a statement.

Painter replaces Stanton Tang, who is leaving WZZM to be closer to his family.

News Director Stanton Tang Leaving WZZM

wzzm logoStanton Tang is stepping down from his post as news director of WZZM in Grand Rapids, Mich., to be closer to his family out West, mlive.com reports.

WZZM president and general manager Janet Mason told mlive.com that Tang will stay with the station for the next few months. “We’ve agreed on a timeline that gives him time to finalize his plans and the station time to find our next news director,” Mason said.

Tang has been the ABC affiliate’s news director since 2009. He joined WZZM as an executive producer in 2005. Prior to that, he worked at KLAS in Las Vegas, KCRA in Sacramento and KPNX in Phoenix.

Kirk Mason Debuts on WWMT in Grand Rapids

kirk masonKirk Mason made his debut as the morning anchor at WWMT, the CBS affiliate in Grand Rapids, today.

“When I met with Kirk, what struck me right away was how comfortable he is in all situations,” WWMT news director Steve Koles told mlive.com. “He’s able to handle breaking news like the veteran journalist that he is, but turn around a few minutes later and have fun with his co-anchors or a guest who is on the set for an interview.”

Mason joins the station from WSBT, the CBS affiliate in South Bend. He has previously worked at WJFW in Rhinelander, Wisc. and KSPR in Springfield, Mo.

WOOD Changing Anchors at 11:00 PM

shaw_wood_croppedSusan Shaw is being replaced by Marlee Ginter on the WOOD 11:00 p.m. news

According to MLive.com, Shaw is reducing her workload on to spend more time with her family.

“I’m thrilled to be making this schedule change and, more importantly, my family is too,” Shaw told MLive. “I’ll have the opportunity to report more through the day in addition to all my anchoring duties and still be home with my family at night.”

Shaw, who started at the Grand Rapids, MI, NBC affiliate in 1994, will stay on as the anchor for 5:00, 5:30 and 6:00 pm. and will also begin anchoring the Noon news starting today.

Kirk Mason Joins WWMT From WSBT

kirk masonKirk Mason is joining WWMT in Grand Rapids, Mich. Mason will be the CBS affiliate’s morning and noon anchor beginning in January.

“We are pleased that Kirk has decided to join our station. He is an award winning journalist who will fit right in here at Newschannel 3,” WWMT vice president and general manager Jim Lutton said in a statement.

Mason comes from South Bend, where he has been the morning and noon anchor at CBS affiliate WSBT since 2000. He has previously worked at WJFW in Rhinelander, Wisc. and KSPR in Springfield, Mo.

WOOD Ups Koco McAboy to Reporter

WOOD has announced the promotion of Koco McAboy to reporter.

McAboy started at the Grand Rapids, MI, NBC affiliate as an associate producer in February and began reporting for the station on weekends and contributing to woodtv.com. She was officially made reporter on August 1.

“The station is known for excellence and great investigative work, and I can’t express how thrilled I am to join the WOOD TV8 team,” said McAboy in a statement.  “I hope to use my Spanish language skills to cover stories about the Latino community, and look forward to working in West Michigan.”

Josh Roe Headed to Chattanooga’s WTVC

WWMT morning anchor Josh Roe signed off from the Sinclair owned Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo, MI, CBS affiliate Friday. He’s joining Sinclair’s ABC affiliate WTVC in Chattanooga, TN.

“We are going to miss Josh terribly,” Steve Koles, WWMT news director, told Mlive. “He is a great member of our new team and morning team, but we are happy for him personally because it’s a great opportunity for him and his family.”

WTVC general manager Mike Costa told TVSpy Roe will start next week, adding, “We’re thrilled to have him join our strong team.” Read more

Anchor Lee Van Ameyde Transitions to New Role at WZZM

Lee Van Ameyde is reducing his hours at the WZZM anchor desk, according to Mlive.com.

Van Ameyde, who has worked at the Grand Rapids ABC affiliate for 36 years, is transitioning to a new role as the head of the station’s investigative team. He will continue to anchor the 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts but will no longer anchor at 11 p.m.

“You won’t see Lee on the WZZM 13 News at 11 p.m., but you will see Lee and his Watchdog team out in the community – demanding answers from our politicians, watching out for your best interests and making sure that your voice is heard,” news director Stanton Tang told Mlive.com.

Juliet Dragos will continue to anchor the 11 p.m. newscast. No co-anchor has been named.

Tara Hernandez Says Goodbye to WXMI

WXMI sports anchor Tara Hernandez is signing off from the Grand Rapids Fox affiliate, according to Mlive.com.

Hernandez joined the station in 2008 from WJBF in Augusta. Her last day at WXMI is Wednesday, and she begins next week as communications and marketing manager at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids.

“In this position, I’ve met so many incredible people and covered so many great things,” she told Mlive.com. “But some of my favorite things are the daily, local stories. Telling stories about people you wouldn’t know unless you watched FOX17.”

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