“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.”
“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.
“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.
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.
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:
“After this long, our viewers deserve some new, fresh energy and some new jokes,” said Francis on the station’s website.
Francis, whose last day is next Wednesday, started working in TV in Phoenix in 1995. He has also worked in Tennessee and Washington. He has worked at WZZM for 11 years.
You can watch his goodbye after the jump. Read more
“We are thrilled about expanding this extremely popular newscast,” Janet Mason, president and GM of WZZM said in a statement. “Our viewers will now have the opportunity to enjoy more of their favorite local news and weather during their lunch hour.”
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
“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.