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Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo

WXMI Names New Morning Anchor

falzone croppedGrand Rapids, Mich. FOX affiliate WXMI has named Deanna Falzone morning anchor.

The Grand Rapids Press reports, Falzone replaces Sarah Brodhead, who recently announced she was leaving the station.

Falzone, a native of Harper Woods in the Detroit area, said she’s looking forward to the new assignment beginning Thursday.

“I am very excited to join the morning team and am looking forward to the sunrises that will come with the early wake up call,” Falzone said. “The fun, energetic atmosphere the morning team has created is one-of-a-kind in West Michigan, and I look forward to continuing that tradition.”

FOX 17 News Director Brooks Blanton said Falzone, who joined the Tribune Company-owned TV station in March 2013, approaches stories with passion and professionalism. Read more

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WZZM Introduces New Evening Anchor Nick LaFave

When Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM announced the launch of a 5 p.m. newscast in August, Nick LaFave was named co-anchor. This week, the station has begun introducing LaFave to viewers with a series of promos and appearances on WZZM.

LaFave makes his co-anchoring debut September 8, when the new early evening newscast launches:

“Nick is a multi-talented journalist, who effectively communicates on all platforms: on-air, online and social media,” said WZZM 13 President & General Manager, Janet Mason. “There are so many things we like about Nick: his passion for telling good stories, his involvement in community organizations, and his love for his home state of Michigan.”

“Nick is going to be a great fit at WZZM 13. He’s excited to be coming home to Michigan and he’s ready to work hard to get to know our viewers and invest in this community,” said WZZM 13 News Director, Taz Painter.

“This is a dream come true for my wife and me. Friends and family have been asking for years when we were coming back to Michigan. Now we can say, “Next month! And we don’t plan on leaving again! We’re truly blessed,” said Nick LaFave.

Michigan Station Postpones Debates. Can’t Get Candidates to Appear

Grand Rapids NBC affiliate WOOD has been forced to put off two planned televised debates after some of the candidates didn’t agree to them.

WOOD TV8 offered to host two televised debates in September that would have included the Republican and Democrat candidates for Michigan governor and U.S. Senate. In both cases, the Democrat in the race accepted the invitation: Mark Schauer in the gubernatorial race and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters in the Senate race.

The campaigns for Gov. Rick Snyder and U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land, both Republicans, never agreed to debate. It forced WOOD TV8 to postpone both events. Read more

Sarah Brodhead Leaving WXMI

Sarah-Brodhead1MLive.com reports that after seven years at FOX affiliate WXMISarah Brodhead has decided to leave the Grand Rapids station. The morning anchor announced the news on her Facebook page.

“It’s just time for a change,” Brodhead said. “You won’t see me on TV anymore, but I hope I see you around because I’m staying in Grand Rapids.”

Brodhead joined the station in February 2008. Before that, she was an anchor and reporter at KREX in Grand Junction, Colo.

Her last day is September 19.

WZZM to Launch 5:00 p.m. Newscast

WZZM_2009_Logo (1)Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM has announced it is launching a 5:00 p.m newscast on September 8.

Nick LaFave and Juliet Dragos will anchor the 30-minute show.

In a statement, Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said, “We’re very excited to be able to offer this important local newscast at 5 p.m. to West Michigan news consumers.” Read more

WZZM Moves Van Ameyde Off Anchor Desk, Names Replacement

two wzzm anchorsGannett owned ABC affiliate WZZM has announced it’s moving Lee Van Ameyde (pictured right) off the anchor desk and into the role of managing editor of its Watchdog Investigative Team.

“No one knows West Michigan like Lee does,” WZZM news director Taz Painter said in a statement. “Our Watchdog team couldn’t be in better hands.”

The station also named Nick LaFave (left) as Van Ameyde’s replacement on the weekday evening newscasts. He will join Juliet Dragos starting in early September. Read more

WZZM’s Dan Harland Moving from Sports to News

harland wzzmGrand Rapids, MI, ABC affiliate WZZM has announced sports anchor Dan Harland will be the new morning anchor.

Harland will join Lauren Stanton and meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer on August 7.

“We expect Dan will go after the news of the day with the same passion he has for sports stories,” Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said in a statement.

Harland started his carer at WZZM in 2003 as a sports anchor after graduating from Southern Illinois University.

Meteorologist Laura Velasquez Joining KDVR

LAURA VELASQUEZMeteorologist Laura Velasquez is leaving WOOD in Grand Rapids to join KDVR in Denver, mlive.com reports:

“I’ve loved my time at WOOD TV,” she said. “They believed in my talent and passion right from the start and gave me the platform and encouragement to grow as a meteorologist, broadcaster and professional.”

Velasquez is looking forward to joining KDVR-TV, the FOX TV affiliate in Denver, the 17th largest TV market with more than 1.5 million viewers. “I wanted to stay in a ‘weather’ market – somewhere where the weather is challenging,” she said. “I’ll get to forecast everything from blizzards to tornadoes and everything in between.”

“Forecasting is going to be different at first, but I’m ready and looking forward to it,” Velasquez said.

Grand Rapids Anchor Back On-Air After Being Severly Burned by Campfire

michele-deselmsMichele DeSelms anchor for Grand Rapids FOX affiliate WXMI, is back on the air after suffering second and third degree burns over the Memorial Day weekend.

She told The Grand Rapids Press she got up from her chair near a campfire and “stepped onto a red-hot grate that had just been removed from atop the firepit. It seared the flesh on her foot and eventually created a massive hole in her arch.”

She also talked about her injury on Thursday’s 6:00 p.m. and thanked viewers for their support. You can watch the video of her return after the jump.

DeSelms had been out for three weeks. She told The Press she, her news director and co-anchor Christian Frank decided not to let viewers know about the injuries unless she was asked. Read more

WXMI in Grand Rapids Adds 11 p.m. Newscast

WXMI, the Fox affiliate in Grand Rapids, is adding a daily 11 p.m. newscast beginning June 2.

Mlive.com reports the newscast will be anchored by Mitch Fick and Ann Marie LaFlamme on weekdays, Dave Spencer on Saturdays and Michele DeSelms on Sundays. WXMI also plans to launch a 4 p.m. newscast this fall.

The station has been poking fun at its former slogan — “at 10 it’s news, at 11 it’s history” — with a new series of promos:

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