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Independent Stations

One Shot, Two Arrested in Attempted Robbery of San Francisco News Crew

Two men have been arrested after an attempted robbery of a KRON news crew Friday night led to one of the men being shot by a station security guard.

Police say Jeff Bush, a reporter for the San Francisco independent station, and a security guard hired by the station were approached by the two suspects in San Francisco’s Bayview distict. The men demanded Bush’s computer and camera gear. After Bush surrendered the equipment and took cover, the unidentified security guard fired on the suspects, hitting one in the leg.

According to the station, one of the suspects drove himself to San Francisco General Hospital and was treated for a gunshot wound.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting the two 19-year-old suspects are from San Francisco. Armani McFarland has been arrested on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and possession of a firearm while John Woods was arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.

Bush and the security guard were not injured.

This is the first robbery involving a news crew in San Francisco. There have been multiple incidents across the bay. In August a KGO crew was robbed at gunpoint in West Oakland.

Joy Purdy Returns to WJXT

Joy Purdy is returning to Jacksonville’s independent station WJXT.

The station announced Purdy will anchor its 5:30, 6:30 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts.

“We’ve been looking for just the right person to join Mary Baer, Tom Wills and Rob Sweeting in the evenings,” said WJXT vice president and general manager Bob Ellis in a statement. “Joy is like so many of us, trying to find the time to balance all the things important in life between home and work. To have her back with her original TV family at The Local Station and bring that perspective to our viewers who are trying to do the same thing is the perfect match.”

Purdy worked at WJXT from 1995 to 2000 as an anchor and reporter before leaving for Miami’s WFOR. She came back to Jacksonville as anchor for First Coast News. In March, she left the station after being offered the 11:00 p.m. anchor position, saying she wanted to take a short break from TV to spend more time with her family.

[The Florida Times-Union]

Judge Won’t Hold WJXT In Contempt After Airing Report It Was Told Not to Air

Saying the station made a mistake “as human beings do at times,” a Florida Circuit judge has decided not to hold WJXT in contempt after airing an arrest report it was ordered by the court not to air.

According to the Florida Times-Union, the station obtained a copy of an arrest report that showed the confession of  James Patrick Tadros who was charged with attempted murder, false imprisonment and criminal mischief after allegedly attacking a nine-year-old girl in the restroom of a local Best Buy store.

When the State Attorney’s Office heard WJXT had a non-redacted version showing the confession, Circuit Judge Adrian Soud issued a temporary injunction known as prior restraint barring the station from airing the police report.

But the station aired the report the next day. Tuesday, Judge Soud ruled “The Court concludes that employees of WJXT TV-4, as human beings do at times, made a mistake.”

The court has yet to decide whether it will eventually allow the station to publish the report. “It’s hard to imagine a circumstance in which the judge could have told a TV station that it could not print this document,” Gregg Leslie, a staff attorney with the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press told the Times-Union. “There’s almost never going to be a valid justification for prior restraint.”

TVSpy has reached out to WJXT. We will update when we hear back.

Phoenix Reporter Rescues Stranded Motorist

KTVK reporter Steve Ryan helped a stranded motorist to safety after flash floods made some streets around Phoenix, AZ, unsafe to drive on.

The reporter for the Phoenix independent station told viewers he was conducting interviews when he heard screams for help coming from a car stopped in the middle of a flooded street. Ryan said the driver tried to make her way out of her car by herself, but he waded in and carried her to drier land. Ryan assured viewers it was more treacherous than it looked on video and he had cables to help steady him while he walked through the ankle deep water.

“It’s a team effort out here, Carey” Ryan told anchor Carey Peña. “When someone’s panicking we help out.”

After the rescue, the unidentified woman Ryan carried told him, “I just kinda freaked out. I thought I was going to drown.” When Ryan assured her she didn’t drown, she replied, “Right.” You can watch video of the rescue after the jump. Read more

Jaime Cerreta Leaving Oklahoma City for Phoenix

KOKH anchor Jaime Cerreta is leaving the Oklahoma City FOX affiliate for Phoenix independent station KTVK.

She announced the news on facebook, “Hi friends! I always said the only reason I’d leave OKC is to go home… I have accepted a weekend anchor job at KTVK 3TV in my hometown of Phoenix.”

Cerreta told TVSpy, “After almost seven incredible years in OKC, I’m excited to return to my family in Phoenix as weekend evening anchor at KTVK.”

Cerreta came to KOKH from KBMT in Beaumont, TX, she’s also worked in Joplin and Springfield, MO. Cerreta’s last day will be August 2.

Jennifer Waugh Moves to Mornings at WJXT as Staci Spanos Transitions to Reporting Role

Jennifer Waugh (left) is moving from evenings to mornings at WJXT, the independent station in Jacksonville. She will replace Staci Spanos (right), who will transition to a reporter role on the morning newscast.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Spanos said in a statement. “This is my TV family. I’m simply downshifting my role here just a bit so I can spend more time with my family at home.”

Spanos will continue anchoring on a limited basis, according to WJXT. Waugh will co-anchor alongside Bruce Hamilton and meteorologist Richard Nunn.

“Jen’s the pre-eminent investigative journalist in Jacksonville; she’s in a class by herself,” WJXT VP-GM Bob Ellis said in a statement. “Now the morning audience will benefit from her experience both reporting news, and growing up here in town. She’s a fabulous addition to a terrific team.”

Ysabel Duron to Retire from KRON

Ysabel Duron, weekend morning anchor for San Francisco’s KRON, is retiring after more than 42 years in television.

Duron started her career in Los Angeles in 1970 as one of the first Latinas in mainstream TV news. Her last day on air will be April 14, a day she said she picked on purpose. “I celebrate my birthday and the beginning of my encore career,” she told Media Moves.

Duron started at KRON in 1990 when it was an NBC affiliate and became the weekend morning anchor in 1992.  Over the course of her career, she has worked for WMAQ in Chicago, KTVU in Oakland, CA, KICU in San Jose, CA, KCST (now KNSD) in San Diego, CA, WBZ in Boston and KPIX in San Francisco with a brief stint at KNXT (now KCBS) in Los Angeles.

She told Media Moves she has been thinking about stepping down from the anchor desk since last year, “I was starting to lose energy and I needed to focus.” Read more

Gray Television Buys KSNB in Lincoln, Nebraska Announces Relaunch

Gray Television has announced it is buying independent station KSNB in Lincoln, NE, from Colins Broadcasting for $1.25 million.

“We are excited by the opportunity to expand our investment in Central Nebraska,” said Bob Prather president and chief operating officer of Gray Television. “This new station provides further evidence of Gray’s long commitment to serving dynamic markets and the valued residents and businesses in those communities.”

Gray, which already owns Lincoln CBS affiliate KOLN, plans to add MyNetworkTV programming to the independent station. They also announced plans to relaunch KSNB as 10/11 Central Nebraska featuring the area’s first high definition newscasts at 5:30 and 9:00 p.m.

[TVNewsCheck]

Tom Jordan Leaving KUSI for Detroit Radio Job

Tom Jordan, anchor for San Diego independent station KUSI is leaving television to join Detroit CBS radio affiliate WWJ.

Jordan will be the news anchor for the CBS owned radio station’s morning show.

KUSI news director Steve Cohen told TVSpy, Jordan will be on KUSI for a few more weeks. His first day at WWJ will be Monday, March 4.

[MLive.com]

WADL Fires General Manager Matt Uhl For ‘Violating Corporate Policy’

WADL has “abruptly fired” general manager Matt Uhl, the Detroit independent station announced Friday in a press release.

Uhl was fired for violating corporate policy, including “manipulation by a programmer,” according to WADL. The controversy revolves around the syndicated show “Ask Dr. Nandi,” which airs weekly on WADL. According to WADL, The station’s CFO recently informed Keven Adell, the station’s owner, that the show was 90 days and $12,000 past due in payment. Questioning the low figure, Adell asked Rich Mazzari, a former FBI agent, to investigate the show’s finances, according to the station:

This investigation uncovered that Dr. Nandi received $1.2 million dollars in film credits based on $4 million dollars in film expenses; in which WADL only received a potential $26,000 for the year.  Dr. Nandi’s application showed over 12 editors for an hour show.  Mr. Adell’s network and TV station that runs twenty four seven doesn’t have 12 editors.  Mr. Adell questions how a full time doctor at Beaumont Hospital can have 12 editors, 39 employees, and spend $4 million dollars to run a one hour television program on WADL.

In the wake of the investigation, WADL has cancelled “Ask Dr. Nandi.”

Uhl was hired by Kevin O’Brien, who was hired as a consultant to “aggressively make changes” to the station. O’Brien was fired after two months after an investigation by Mazzari uncovered “violations of numerous corporate policies,” according to a WADL announcement. O’Brien maintains that press release was “defamatory” and says no formal reason was given for the termination of his contract.

The full press release from WADL is after the jump. Read more

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