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WGAL’s Jere Gish Becomes ‘American Ninja News Anchor’

Picture 4Jere Gish, news anchor at Harrisburg NBC affiliate WGAL, is a fan of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” a competition that puts athletes through an intense obstacle course. Gish, eager to earn the title “American Ninja News Anchor,” teamed up with one of the show’s contestants to give the obstacle course a try.

Gish cleared the cliffhanger wall, the floating boards and the salmon ladder. Then, he met his match in the “warped wall”:

“You’re got to be fearless,” Chris said. “You have to lean back, which is terrifying, because it’s a 14-foot wall, you’re running up pretty high, you lean back, your steps are running with the wall, then at the end you’ve got to pop and really reach for the top.”

(Jere was able to make up it the 12-foot wall as a warmup, but came up short on the 14-foot wall, where he pulled a calf muscle.)

And that’s the way my day ended, with an injury. Time to head back to the safety of my couch.

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WPMT Swaps Evening and Morning Anchors

lutz y warner WPMTBeginning September 29, Harrisburg, Pa. FOX affiliate WPMT is swapping morning anchor Heather Warner and evening anchor Amy Lutz.

Lutz will now anchor the morning news alongside Amanda McCall, meteorologist Jeff Jumper and traffic reporter Chris Garrett. Warner will move back to the evenings alongside Evan Forrester, chief meteorologist MaryEllen Pann and sports director Todd Sadowski. She’ll also anchor at 4:00 p.m.

“What we’ve discovered over the years,” news director David Silverstein said in a statement, “is that our viewers love these two no matter what newscast they are on. Amy worked on morning news programs prior to her arrival here at FOX43, so she is more than ready to wake up early! And of course, Heather has a long history in this area, having anchored FOX43 NEWS AT TEN for many years.”

Harrisburg Reporter, Photographer ‘Touched’, Scratched in ‘Ghost Attack’

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.26.06 PMWe all know television news reporting can sometimes be dangerous, and it’s very often quite weird. But few of us can claim to have experienced a “ghost attack.” But Harrisburg Fox station WPMT reporter Katie Kyros and photographer Nick Petrillo just got lucky.

Assigned to investigate a homeowner’s claim of a “violent haunting”, Kyros says she was “touched and pinched” while inside the house, and Petrillo was “scratched” and “burned” on the arm while shooting an interview with the homeowner–wounds she helpfully treated with her personal supply of holy water. “Because you’re telling the story,” DeAnna Simpson said in the Fox 43 story. “Because you’re putting it out there, because they don’t want– that is there, I’m just telling you, right now that is their way of a warning.”

The “ghost attack” story includes Kyros’ personal description of being “touched”, and video of doors that appear to close on command, as well as photos of a few of the “five plus” ghosts that inhabit the Pennsylvania house:

Simpson says one of the entities in the house is a demon. It appears in a photo as a 7-foot-tall shadow figure. While we were there, Simpson recorded orbs on her cell phone camera and it caught a clip of a shadowy hand reaching out.

Video is after the jump. Read more

Harrisburg Mast Collapse Captured on Video

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A WHP reporter and photographer preparing for a liveshot were forced to run from their own livetruck when the truck’s 40-foot mast collapsed. “Our photographer Bill and reporter Ewa Roman bolt from the truck when they hear a loud pop,” the station explained in a post on the station’s Facebook page. “Luckily no one was injured.”

And that includes passersby who were in the crowded parking lot when the mast fell across parked cars, with the dish and mastcam crashing into the pavement. The incident was captured on surveillance video from a business, and posted to the station’s website:

It remains unclear why the mast collapsed.

Chris Topf Named VP-GM Of Tribune’s WPMT

Tribune Broadcasting Chris TopfTribune Broadcasting has named Chris Topf vice president and general manager of WPMT, the Fox affiliate in Harrisburg, Pa. It is a move within Tribune for Topf, who was most recently general manager of Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO.

“Chris has a successful history managing a television station and brings a strong background in revenue development in the broadcast television business. He will be a great asset for WPMT and a great addition to Tribune Broadcasting,” Tribune Broadcasting COO Kathy Clements said in a statement.

Before WNWO, Topf was the vice president of sales for Barrington Broadcasting in Illinois, overseeing stations in 13 markets.

WHP Employee Photobombs WHTM Reporter During Live Shot

It turns out there’s no such thing as an anonymous photobomb.

The internet has been abuzz with the video of WHTM reporter Dave Marcheskie doing a live shot from a state representative’s victory party while a man drank out of a flower vase behind him. The video was even featured on Jimmy Kimmel Wednesday night.

The vase drinker was identified as Frank Treese. Treese, it turns out, works in the IT department of CBS affiliate WHP.

“We have the deepest respect for our colleagues at CBS 21 as they do for us and we really want to stay focused on that respect and move on from this ‘photo bomb’,” WHTM news director Dave Jones told TVSpy. “We have an obligation to serve our audience and because of that we think it’s best to not discuss this matter beyond that and move forward, staying focused on our mission of service.”

WHP news director Mike Bothwell told the The Patriot-News he couldn’t talk about it and referred the paper to the GM.

Hearst Makes Changes to WBAL and WGAL Creative Departments

hearst tv logo_304x200Hearst has promoted from within to head up the creative departments at two of its owned stations.

John Baldwin has been named creative services director for Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL. He moves over from WGAL, the Hearst owned NBC station in Lancaster, PA.

“John has demonstrated a keen understanding of how to successfully steward a brand, especially in today’s multi-platform world,” WBAL president and GM Dan Joerres said in a statement.

Baldwin wasted no time in announcing Elizabeth Montijo has been promoted to fill his slot as creative services director at WGAL. Read more

Meteorologist Ethan Huston Joins WGAL

Ethan HustonMeteorologist Ethan Huston has joined WGAL, the NBC affiliate in Lancaster, Pa. It is a move within Hearst for Huston, who previously worked at WAPT in Jackson, Miss.

“Ethan brings a great deal of experience to the News 8 Storm Team, and we are thrilled to have him as a contributor to our around-the-clock weather  coverage,” WGAL news director Dan O’Donnell said in a statement. “His addition solidifies the team of meteorologists dedicated to providing forecasts aimed at keeping our viewers across the Susquehanna Valley informed of weather conditions that affect them.”

Huston will appear on the noon newscast Monday through Wednesday and the weekend evening newscasts.

WHTM Removes Posts Skewering Weather Critics, Apologizes On-Air

thackara_apologyWHTM, the Harrisburg ABC affiliate that recently ran a couple of segments skewering citizen meteorologists and social media weather critics has decided it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

This morning, meteorologist Brett Thackara apologized. He said some viewers told him he came off as arrogant and a bully by airing his “Social Mediarologists” segments where he made fun of viewers who criticized his forecasting. Thackara told viewers, “I just wanted to take this time to say ‘I apologize for those comments.’”

The segments were also pulled off the station’s facebook page. A WHTM spokesperson told TVSpy, “Our station exists to serve our viewers and our news team goes above and beyond the call of duty every day fulfilling that obligation. So when a handful of viewers took offense to a recent post, we decided to just “Let it Go.” Read more

Harrisburg Meteorologist Slams Social Media Weather Doubters

brett thackaraWHTM‘s Brett Thackara sounds like a man who has had enough of forecast doubters and do-it-yourself meteorologists on social media.

The meteorologist for the Harrisburg, PA, ABC affiliate introduced a new segment to his show called “Social Mediarologists.” There are two parts. The station took the facebook posts down since we originally posted this story.

One example? In part one, Thackara skewered a commenter named Jeremy who wrote, “Why do you people always have these predictions so low??” Thackara responded, “If by ‘you people’ you mean us meteorologists, it’s because we have degrees and went to school for four years and paid a lot of money to understand how the atmosphere works.”

Read more

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