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Hartford-New Haven

Rachel Frank Returns to Hartford after a Few Months in New York

frank wpixRachel Frank is set to replace herself as meteorologist at Tribune’s Hartford FOX affiliate WTIC. In May, Frank left WTIC after being named morning meteorologist at Tribune’s flagship station WPIX in New York.

Frank, who returns to air at WTIC tonight, wrote about the move in a blog post. “It has been my dream to become a meteorologist in NYC since I was a little girl. I can’t tell you how surreal it is to have succeeded!” She added, “But as many of you know, I’m pregnant with a baby boy! It’s funny how your priorities shift when you’re growing a tiny human. Family comes first. After much thought and consideration my husband and I decided it would be best for our growing family to return to Connecticut.”

Saturday, Frank linked to WTIC meteorologist Matt Scott‘s facebook page which read, “Yes, Meteorologist Rachel Frank is back! I’m very excited about this. She’s one of the smartest meteorologists I’ve worked with, and after looking high and low for a replacement for her, me, Joe Furey Meteorologist, Meteorologist Dan Amarante and Sam couldn’t be more thrilled that the old saying isn’t true …. You can indeed go home again.”

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Brian Shactman Named NECN Morning Anchor

shactman croppedBrian Shactman has joined New England Cable News as anchor of The Morning Show.

Shactman will co-anchor the two hour morning show alongside Bridget Blythe.

“With New England roots, stellar journalism credentials and a passion for storytelling, Brian Shactman will be a huge asset to NECN and we’re thrilled to introduce him to our viewers,” said Mike St. Peter, SVP and GM of NECN.

This is a move within NBC Universal for Shactman. He last worked as anchor for MSNBC morning show Way Too Early. Shactman was also a contributor to Morning Joe. Before that, he anchored at CNBC and has also worked at Hartford NBC owned station WVIT and at ESPN.

Mark Zinni Joining WFSB

zinni wjwMark Zinni will be joining Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB.

According to the Hartford Courant, Zinni will join Denise D’Ascenzo as co-anchor of the 5:30 p.m. news.

In the announcement by news director Dana Neves Thursday,  Zinni will also  “report during the day, and introduce folks to some different and interesting topics around Connecticut,” apparently also taking over some of the duties being left behind by departing reporter Kate Rayner.

WFSB anchor Dennis House tweeted out a welcome to Zinni.

Zinni announced he was leaving Cleveland FOX affiliate WJW earlier this month. He’s also worked at KTVX in Salt Lake City, UT, WPRI in Providence, RI, WTOV in Stuebenville, OH, and WICU in Erie, PA.

Alison Morris Leaving WTIC

WTIC evening anchor Alison Morris is leaving the Hartford, CT, FOX affiliate.

She came to WTIC from KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, in 2010. She has also worked at CNBC Europe as a stock market reporter and producer.

Morris hasn’t said where she is going. She told TVSpy her last day is Friday.

In case you’re wondering, The JLo on the cake is not a famous singer dancer moonlighting in local TV, but a member of the production staff.

Logan Byrnes Reportedly Out at WTIC

byrnes wticThe Hartford Courant reports, Logan Byrnes, morning anchor for Hartford FOX affiliate WTIC, is no longer with the station.

“As much as I would have loved to have continued to deliver the morning news, and as happy as I was with my current contract terms, unfortunately  renewal negotiations were unsuccessful,” he wrote in a prepared statement . “I take great pride in having helped launch the FoxCT Morning News seven years ago when it began as a two-hour weekday newscast from 6 to 8 a.m.”

Byrnes came to WTIC in 2008, from Inside Edition where he was a correspondent. His bio has been removed from the station website and a check of TVEyes showed Byrnes did not anchor this morning’s show.

TVSpy asked Tribune for comment. We will update when we hear back.

Lisa Carberg Off Anchor desk at WVIT

carberg croppedLisa Carberg, longtime evening anchor for NBC owned Hartford station WVIT, has been moved to enterprise reporting for the station which includes health and consumer reporting.

“I love NBC Connecticut, it’s where I’ve proudly spent 15 years of my career,” Carberg told the Hartford Courant. “I work with a great team and I look forward to continuing to put out a good product for our viewers every day.”

Carberg started working at WVIT in 1995. She left in 1999 to work at FOX News, but returned in 2002. She started her career at WJKA (now WSFX)  in Wilmington, NC, as a reporter and photographer.

WVIT news director Matt Piacente told TVSpy he was going to try 11:00 a.m. anchor Kerri-Lee Mayland in Carberg’s spot at 5:00 p.m. and move Shirley Chan to weekday mornings. But Piacente added, nothing was “permanent right now.”

Jenn Bernstein Rejoins Hartford’s WTIC

jenn bernsteinJenn Bernstein is returning to WTIC, Tribune’s Fox affiliate in Hartford-New Haven, as a reporter and anchor next month.

“We are thrilled Jenn is rejoining our team. As a Connecticut native, she knows the state well and I’m sure our viewers will be happy to know such a talented journalist and multimedia innovator is back in our Newsroom,” WTIC news director Coleen Marren said in a statement.

Bernstein previously worked at WTIC from 2010 to 2012 as a multimedia journalist. She left the station to be a reporter at KYW, the CBS-owned station in Philadelphia.

After Producing in San Diego and Boston, Two Kids and Food Vouchers

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, former Hartford producer Darlena Cunha describes a career that took her quickly to jobs in San Diego and Boston and a comfortable life with her husband, complete with a $240,000 home and a Mercedes. And then, it all started slipping away. Her husband lost his job, and the market crashed.

“In just two months, we’d gone from making a combined $120,000 a year to making just $25,000 and leeching out funds to a mortgage we couldn’t afford. Our savings dwindled, then disappeared.

So I did what I had to do. I signed up for Medicaid and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.”

Cunha’s essay, “Picking Up Food Stamps in My Mercedes,” has brought her back to television, appearing Tuesday night on CNN’s CNN Tonight in an interview with Don Lemon. In the interview, Cunha pointed out that the Post headline to her story was incorrect, in that she was not actually receiving “food stamps,” but vouchers through the WIC program, which is a program far easier to qualify for, and which allowed her family to keep that Mercedes: Read more

WFSB Adds Erin Connolly as Reporter

erinconnollyErin Connolly has joined Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB.

A Meredith spokesperson confirmed Connolly started today as a general assignment reporter.

Connolly last worked at Time Warner Cable News in Albany, NY. She has also worked at WCTI in New Bern, NC and KEYC in Mankato, MN.

[The Laurel]

Former New York Anchor Resurfaces at Hartford Station

watkins wtnhA face familiar to New York City viewers has recently popped up a few hours northeast on the LIN owned Hartford-New Haven ABC affiliate WTNH.

Former WPIX and WNBC anchor Jim Watkins started his new gig by anchoring WTNH’s Saturday morning news during the Memorial Day weekend.

A LIN spokesperson told TVSpy Watkins is filling in for summer vacations and for a reporter on maternity leave.

Watkins told TVSpy he enjoys freelancing very much. When asked if he hopes to catch on at the Hartford ABC affiliate he said he’s “given up trying to predict what the future might hold,” but added. “I’ve received a very warm welcome from everyone at WTNH, much respect for my previous experience, and I’m having a wonderful time.”

Watkins worked at WPIX for 13 years. Before that he was an anchor at WNBC. He last anchored for News12 Westchester.

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