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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

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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

After Roof Collapse, WGAL Creates Makeshift Newsroom

wgal_roof collapseIn the aftermath of the roof collapse at WGAL last week, employees at the NBC affiliate were forced to come up with creative ways to keep the station on the air. Poynter has a fascinating look at how WGAL stayed up and running after the incident. “What we did was employ our breaking news plan,” news director Dan O’Donnell said:

O’Donnell was standing on the snow-covered station lawn when he said something out loud about needing to move the newsroom somewhere else quickly. An assistant fire chief heard him and suggested the station try the nearby city government building. Within an hour, newscast producers moved tables in the government office building to construct a make-shift newsroom. But there was still a big problem. No matter what, there still was no way to broadcast the news. “We used our website and Facebook to report,” O’Donnell said.

Once the newsroom was running, the WGAL team started producing streaming content for their website. But it took a lot of innovation. Reporters wanted to file stories, but there was no way to play the stories on the web stream. So they held up their iPads with whatever video they had captured and narrated and showed it on the tablet screen. A photojournalist focused on a screen while a meteorologist narrated information from the radar track.

Then there was the issue of the Olympics.  Read more

Roof Collapse Forces Building Evacuation at WGAL

wgal_roof collapseLancaster, PA, NBC affiliate WGAL has just reported a portion of the Lancaster studio roof collapsed this afternoon.

The station said the collapse forced the evacuation of the building.

>UPDATE:

Around 3:20 p.m. employees in the newsroom heard what was described as a “thunderous boom.” A portion of the roof in an adjacent studio that is no longer in use had collapsed.

Staff called the fire department who responded and inspected the damage. Around 4 p.m., fire officials ordered about 100 people to evacuate.

Further inspection revealed that a concrete support beam and slab had shifted and dropped. As a result the entire roof of the building had been compromised.

WGAL also said the 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00 p.m. news will still air and crews are setting up a makeshift set in front of the building.

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