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Hartford-New Haven

Here’s How the Hartford Stations Are Handling the Release of the Newtown 911 Tapes

US-CRIME-SCHOOL SHOOTING-FILESHartford-New Haven stations are being cautious about broadcasting the audio from the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting 911 tapes, which were released at 2pmET today after a lengthy court battle.

CBS affiliate WFSB, which said earlier this week it would honor Newtown’s request to stay away on the first anniversary of the shooting, announced on Facebook it would not air the audio of the 911 calls. Same for NBC owned WVIT, which is consistent with the policy NBC News has announced.

“As part of NBC Connecticut’s commitment to treat every story with care and compassion, we have decided NOT to air the 911 calls,” WVIT wrote on Facebook. “Our team of reporters will carefully review them after they are released, but we will not play the recordings on air.”

On the noon newscast today, ABC affiliate WTNH said they plan to “select only non-graphic portions of the tapes for broadcast,” noting anyone who wants to hear the full 911 audio can go to the station’s website.

Fox affiliate WTIC had reporter Louisa Muller describe the 911 calls and also played short clips on its newscasts.

WFSB Will Honor Newtown’s Request to Stay Away on Anniversary of Sandy Hook Shooting

newtown mediaHartford CBS affiliate WFSB will not report from Newtown on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, anchor Dennis House writes on his blog:

December 14, 2013 will be a somber day in Newtown, and town leaders are hoping people there can reflect, pray, and cry in private. Sunday on Face the State on WFSB, First selectman Pat Llodra asked all members of the media to stay away on that day.

“We are on a grief journey and we are healing and the media can be an impediment to that healing because it creates some barriers that are difficult for our community.”

WFSB management has announced the Eyewitness News team will not be in Newtown on December 14th. Instead, each day leading up to the 14th, we have been profiling those who died in the shooting.

The station says it will also be making donations to the victims’ charities. [h/t NewsBlues]

Sonia Baghdady Leaves WTNH

baghdady_wtnh_croppedSonia Baghdady, anchor for Hartford-New Haven, CT, ABC affiliate WTNH, has left the station.

On her station bio page, WTNH wrote, “Thank you and farewell Sonia Baghdady! Sonia is leaving News 8 to pursue other interests and passions. While we are sad to see Sonia go, we are happy she’s able to pursue her dreams.”

Wednesday, Baghdady told viewers on her facebook page, “Just want to let you all know tonight’s 5pm newscast was my last one at News 8. I’m excited to say I’ve decided it’s time to move on and pursue other interests and passions. I want to thank all of you who have supported me over the past 11 years at WTNH. That support has meant the world to me. I’m looking forward to where my path leads me next. xo Sonia”

Bagdady joined WTNH in December 2002 from WWLP in Springfield, MA. She previously worked at News12 in Long Island, NY.

Rich Graziano Named President, GM of WPIX

WPIX_logoRich Graziano has been named president and general manager of WPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York City. His appointment is effective immediately.

It is a move within Tribune for Graziano, who previously led the company’s Hartford properties. He has been president and general manager of WTIC and WCCT since 2005 and publisher, president and CEO of The Hartford Courant since 2009.

At WPIX, he replaces Eric Meyrowitz, who left the station last week.

“Rich is a skilled and innovative leader who has achieved great success in managing large-scale media operations and delivering results for viewers, advertisers and the community,” Tribune president of broadcast media Larry Wert said in a statement. “We’ve made a number of changes at WPIX, both on-the-air and in the management ranks—the station is gaining momentum. Rich is the perfect addition to lead the new team we’ve assembled.”

More from Tribune after the jump. Read more

Mike St. Peter Named General Manager of New England Cable News

necn logoMike St. Peter is the new senior vice president and general manager of New England Cable News, NBCUniversal’s 24-hour cable network in Newton, Mass.

It is a move within NBC for St. Peter, who has been the vice president of news at WVIT, the NBC owned station in Hartford, since 2006.

“Mike is a great leader. He has developed a strong news organization in Hartford and has considerably strengthened the competitive position of WVIT in the past 2 years,” Valari Staab, president of NBC Owned Television Stations, said in a statement.

St. Peter replaces Stacey Bronner, who left NECN two months ago.

Before ‘Killing Kennedy’ Bill O’Reilly Investigated ‘Umbrella Man’ for WFSB

o-reillyWith the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination approaching, National Geographic is debuting “Killing Kennedy” based on the book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

But what viewers may not know is that before becoming the iconic face of FOX News and penning the New York Times besteller, O’Reilly was a reporter for Hartford, CT, CBS affiliate WFSB who investigated the possible role played by the “Umbrella Man” in the assassination of our 35th President.

WFSB anchor Dennis House will air the original four-part investigation from November 1979 this Sunday. “Look for Carter-era graphics, including our disco inspired logo,” said House on his blog. “Note the size of the tape cassette recorder Bill carried with him.”

The premise of O’Reilly’s reporting was a fascinating yet somewhat bizarre theory: that JFK was killed by an assassin using an umbrella gun, a man who was dubbed the “umbrella man.” Judging by his line of questioning, I got the sense even O’Reilly seemed a little incredulous at the prospect of the leader of the free world being snuffed out by a gadget-laden umbrella.

In the report, O’Reilly travels to Dallas looking for evidence about the mysterious man with the umbrella. He also talks to a retired FBI agent who was there for JFK’s autopsy. House writes, “Bill’s questioning of this agent is worth watching and foreshadowed a style seen decades later on the “O’Reilly Factor.”

The series airs as part of “Face the State” on WFSB this Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

WFSB Quietly Goes Solo at 5:30 p.m.

dascenzo_wfsbWFSB recently went with Denise D’Ascenzo as solo anchor for the Hartford-New Haven CBS station’s 5:30 p.m. newscast.

The show used to be anchored by D’Ascenzo and Dennis House. House assured TVSpy there weren’t any ulterior motives behind the move.

“It’s part of a new long term  contract,” House said. “I already do the 5, 6 and 11 and “Face the State,” so that’s a full plate. During the 5:30 I now get to focus on the 6pm news which is the highest rated newscast in market and it gives the 5:30 a different look.”

A Meredith spokesperson had no comment for TVSpy.

Matt Scott Joins WTIC as Meteorologist

scott_wcct_croppedWTIC has announced Matt Scott will join the Tribune owned Hartford-New Haven, CT, FOX affiliate today as meteorologist.

“We are excited to have Matt join our terrific weather team,” said WTIC news director Coleen Marren in a statement. “Our viewers will appreciate his previous meteorology experience coupled with his knowledge of Connecticut, and of course, his positive energy,”

Scott comes to WTIC from News 12. He has also worked in West Virginia, Mississippi, Charlotte and Boston.

Olessa Stepanova Leaving Hartford for Boston’s WCVB

stepanova_wfsbWFSB‘s Olessa Stepanova is headed to Boston ABC affiliate WCVB.

A station spokesperson confirmed with TVSpy, the morning traffic reporter for the Meredith owned Hartford-New Haven CBS affiliate is leaving in January when her contract expires.

Stepanova started her career at News 12 Long Island and has also worked for NY1.

[The Laurel]

WATCH: Weatherman Learns Lesson Late in Life. Don’t Eat Stuff Off the Floor


This morning Scot Haney, the weatherman for Hartford-New Haven CBS affiliate WFSB, learned a hard lesson many of us learn very early in life.

Haney walked on set and started picking pieces of what he thought were Grape Nuts off the news set floor. “They taste like shoes.” said Haney. “I don’t think those were Grape Nuts.”

He was right. “Ladies and gentleman. Those were not Grape Nuts I ate,” Haney told viewers. “My cat threw up and I must have stepped in it and that’s what I ate. I ate cat vomit.”

He then chose to tweet the event out to more people:

[FTVLive]

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