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WYFF Adds Ashley Swann, Announces New Weekend Anchor Team

swann wyffHearst-owned Greenville, S.C. station WYFF has announced a new weekend anchor team with the addition of Ashley Swann as weekend anchor.

The station promises on its website, Swann will “bring the weekend evening news to viewers” to the NBC affiliate as anchor of the 4:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. Saturday newscasts. Mike McCormick will co-anchor with Swann on Sunday. The two will be joined by sports anchor Marc Dopher and meteorologist Chris Justus.

“We are thrilled Ashley is joining our news team,” said Bruce Barkley, WYFF 4 News Director. “This move is a homecoming for her.  She grew up in the Upstate and is familiar with our area. I know Ashley is a very talented reporter and anchor who shares our commitment to reporting local news that matters to viewers. Ashley and Mike will make a great team on Sunday evening newscasts.”

Mike McCormick has been with WYFF News 4 in the Spartanburg Bureau for more than seven years.  In addition to his Sunday evening anchor duties, Mike will continue reporting from Spartanburg during the week.

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WYFF Viewers Asked to ‘Like for Prayers’ on Facebook Report About Deadly Car Crash

Greenville, SC NBC affiliate WYFF might be guilty of using someone else’s tragedy for its own social media gain, while couching it in a religious message.

WYFF reports, a teen died and four others were injured in the crash at a local gas station.

Reaction amongst viewers seemed split. “Seriously now we are ‘liking’ for prayers!!!! News 4 is ridiculous,” commented one viewer. While another said, “what’s wrong with praying…..from the looks of it they could use the prayers. Thanks channel 4.”

WHNS Adds Afternoon Newscast

WHNSGreenville, SC, FOX affiliate WHNS has added a 4:00 p.m. newscast.

The show will be anchored by Diana Watson, Cody Alcorn and Kendra Kent.

“The expansion at 4pm is a natural progression of FOX Carolina’s growth in the Greenville/Spartanburg Asheville/Anderson market and our ratings success in the morning and late news products,” John Hayes, WHNS GM, said in a statement.

The Four O’Clock News starts October 20 and will be produced by news director Kelly Boan and EPs Mary Bullard and Stefanie Quall.

Former WLOS Reporter Dies: ‘We Have Lost One of Our Own’

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Former WLOS reporter Merritt Youngdeer has died, according to an obituary published in North Carolina. Youngdeer was 48, and died the day before his 49th birthday. Some friends learned of his death when they went to Youngdeer’s Facebook page to wish him a happy birthday. Others expressed their shock at his passing: “Today has been a very difficult and shocking day for many of us in the radio, TV and print community across WNC. We have lost one of our own, and far too early,” posted Matt Mittan.

According to a story on Ashvegas.com, “Youngdeer was a well known former radio and television reporter in Western North Carolina, having worked for WWNC and WLOS. He was the son of a former principal chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Merritt Youngdeer Sr.”

Last month, Youngdeer shared a story on Facebook of his early career, and how he was urged not to use his given name on television:

I was telling a friend just a few hours ago about how I was ASSIGNED an ON AIR NAME to work in broadcasting way back in 1984. Since I was reluctant to choose a FAKE NAME, instead of using my given name MERRITT YOUNGDEER, my boss picked the name for me and I hated it. My ON AIR NAME at that station was “Dave Ross.” EESH! It wasn’t until 1997 when I began working for KKOB in Albuquerque, as a news anchor/reporter that t I was finally allowed to use MY REAL NAME over the airwaves.

The cause of death has not been released.

Greg Conner Named GM of WXLV-WMYV

wxlv logoSinclair Broadcast Group has named Greg Conner general manager of WXLV and WMYV, the ABC and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“Throughout my career I have found that hard work, dedication and delivering results has consistently led to amazing opportunities, especially with a company like Sinclair,” Conner said in a statement. ”I have always had aspirations to become a General Manager, and I am excited to be joining the team at WXLV and WMYV and leading them in their future successes.”

Conner has worked for Sinclair for 14 years, most recently as the director of sales at KVCW-KVMY in Las Vegas. Before that, he was local sales manager at WLOS-WMYA in Asheville-Greenville-Spartanburg.

“Greg has proven himself to be a strong leader, manager and salesperson and has a consistent track record of training, managing and motivating his teams to achieve or exceed their goals throughout his 18 years in media.  We are excited to have him join the team in Greensboro,” Steve Marks, co-chief operating officer of Sinclair’s television group, said.

Carolina Anchors Do Part of Show on Treadmill Desks

Greenville, SC, anchors Cody Alcorn and Diana Watson got a short workout in during part of the WHNS 10:00 p.m. show Tuesday.

After the station did a story about treadmill desks being used at work, the FOX affiliate set up a deal with a local treadmill store so the anchors could read a segment of the show while walking and jogging on treadmill desks of their own.

Former WYFF Weathercaster Keisha Kirkland Dies of Cancer

keisha kirklandKeisha Kirkland, a former weathercaster at WYFF in Greenville, S.C., has died of lung cancer. She was 41.

Kirkland, who did not smoke, was diagnosed shortly after she joined WYFF in 2008, according to the station. She continued to work at WYFF while undergoing treatment before finally signing off in May 2013. Here’s more from the station’s obituary:

Keisha, a native of Danville, Ky., attended the University of Louisville. During her senior year of chiropractic school at Life University, Keisha learned she had pituitary macro adenoma. After several brain surgeries, temporary paralysis, and a painstaking recovery, Keisha beat the diagnosis. She earned her Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Life University, graduating with honors in 2000.

Keisha’s husband is former Clemson star and NFL All-Pro linebacker Levon Kirkland. When Keisha was diagnosed, their daughter, Kennedy, was 5.

Derek Brown Out as WHNS General Manager

WHNS_Fox_CarolinaTVSpy has confirmed Derek Brown, vice president and general manager of WHNS, is no longer with the station.

Brown came to the Greenville, SC, FOX affiliate in January 2012.

Before coming to WHNS he was GM of WGMT in Macon, GA. He has also worked at WWAY in Wilmington, NC, WTWO-WFXW in Terre Haute, IN, WTVO-WQRF in Rockford, IL, and WMBD-WYZZ in Peoria, IL.

Ben Hill Joins WHNS From KFXK

Ben Hill - HeadshotBen Hill is joining WHNS, the Fox affiliate in Greenville, S.C., as weekday morning co-anchor.

It is a 70-market jump for Hill, who comes from KFXK, the Fox affiliate in Tyler, Texas, where he was the weekday morning anchor. Before that, he anchored the weekend evening newscasts on KFXK sister station KETK.

At WHNS, he will anchor from 5 to 9 a.m. alongside Lauren Elise. He begins in Greenville on October 3.

WATCH: ‘WHAM!’ WSPA Sports Anchor Acts Out Game Highlights

When “major technical problems” derailed WSPA‘s ability to show video during Todd Summers‘ sports report, the sports anchor for the Greenville, SC, CBS affiliate used his imagination, a souvenir football and a mini baseball bat to bring the games to life…well sort of.

One highlight: While describing the Atlanta Braves win against the Florida Marlins, Summers showed off his ability to hit the curve. “In the bottom of the first,” said Summers. “It went something like this. Justin Upton at the plate…and…WHAM!” Summers said while swinging a mini bat at what may have been a whiffle ball tossed from off camera.

[FTVLive]

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