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Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo

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.”

WXMI Photographer Recovering From Live Truck Crash

A WXMI photographer suffered fractured leg after he was involved in a crash while driving the station’s live truck Friday morning.

The photographer was traveling on U.S. 131 Friday morning when he “hit an arrow board traffic sign where a work crew was making an emergency repair to a pothole,” according to WXMI. The live truck spun out and crashed, and he was pinned inside the vehicle. He was alert and talking as he was extricated from the truck and taken to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment.

The crash resulted in lane closures on U.S. 131 as emergency crews removed the photographer from the live truck and cleared the accident scene.

VIDEO: Murder Suspect Gives WXMI Tour of Crime Scene

Ten days before he was charged with murder, a Michigan landlord granted Grand Rapids Fox affiliate WXMI extensive access to the murder scene (video after the jump).

WXMI reporter Mitch Fick interviewed Marion Conley, who was charged this week with the murder of one of his tenants, on March 10. In the interview, Conley showed Fick where the body was found and laughed about how police searched his house for the murder weapon.

“You can take a picture if you want to,” Conley told Fick. “There’s two puddles over there.”

“When I sat down with Mr. Conley there at the house where Jodi Snyder was found dead, he was open, cordial, downright hospitable,” Fick said on WXMI Thursday. “He showed me all around the home, talked to me about where the body was found … and answered all my questions very honestly. He made no impression whatsoever that he could have been committing any sort of crime.” Read more

WXMI Launches Weekend Morning Newscasts

Grand Rapids Fox affiliate WXMI has launched weekend morning newscasts.

The newscasts, which debuted Saturday and will run both mornings from 5 to 9 a.m., will be anchored by Tim Doty and Leigh Ann Towne.

The station has also hired meteorologist Kelly Smith for the newscast. Smith joins WXMI from KDLT, the NBC affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D.

VIDEO: Reporter Makes Snow Angel in Skirt

WXMI reporter Courtney Perna punctuated her 6 p.m. live shot about snowy road conditions in the area by encouraging viewers of the Grand Rapids FOX affiliate to enjoy the powdery goodness that had fallen on the area. You can watch the video after the jump.

In the true spirit of “show don’t tell,” Perna performed a perfectly executed backwards “trust fall” into the eighteen inches of snow behind her and began creating a snow angel. Though we at TVSpy can’t pretend we haven’t seen this move before, we were impressed that she was wearing a skirt when she did it. See the video inside. Read more

WWMT Adds Weekend Morning Newscasts

Grand Rapids CBS affiliate WWMT is launching weekend morning newscasts later this month.

The newscasts will air Saturdays from 6 to 8 a.m. and Sundays from 7 to 9 a.m. beginning January 19. Jessica Harthorn (left),a veteran WWMT reporter, will anchor. She will be joined by meteorologist Cyndi Kahlbaum (right).

“These weekend morning newscasts will deliver breaking news and severe weather coverage while also reflecting more of a ‘Face the Nation’ feel on the local level,” VP-GM Jim Lutton said in a statement. “We will incorporate major live interviews, debate the hot issues and report live on the scene of developing stories with a dedicated reporter.”

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