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Independent Stations

KABC to Add 8:00 p.m. News on Local Independent Station

kabc_kdocLos Angeles ABC owned station KABC announced it will begin airing a live one hour 8:00 p.m. newscast seven days a week on Anaheim, CA, independent station KDOC starting in January.

“As the news leader in Southern California, ABC7 Eyewitness News is glad to have an additional opportunity to provide viewers the news and weather information they need,” KABC president and general manager Arnold J. Kleiner said in a statement.

KABC also announced KDOC will also begin re-airing the KABC 11:00 p.m. news at midnight.

“One of our goals at LA56 has always been to air a primetime newscast; and, now, we have a partnership with the number one news station in the LA market,” said KDOC president and general manager John Manzi. We could not be more excited to work with ABC7,”

St. Louis Reporter’s Hug Ignites Twitter Debate Over Journalism Ethics

A dustup over ethics in journalism has broken out on twitter after Scott Charton, a retired Associated Press reporter tweeted that after a press conference he saw a photographer and local TV reporter hug the father of Ryan Ferguson, a man who was recently released from prison after his murder conviction was overturned.

KPLR reporter Melanie Moon identified herself as the hugger tweeting, “I hugged both.”

Joy Mayer, an associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism was one who joined the fray, weighing in on what she sees as the ethics of appearing to favor one side of a story or another.

Mayer told TVSpy, “My main point wasn’t with the hug. It was with her cheerleader style of reporting and her complete misunderstanding of the basic facts of the news she was covering.” When asked how she came to the conclusion Moon didn’t understand the story, Mayer said, “She was debating with me about whether the court ruling had found Ryan Ferguson to be innocent. She was misquoting a court document and defending her position as accurate.”

Jim Romenesko first reported the exchange over the hug involving the release of both Ferguson and Charles Erickson who were convicted of murdering Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Keith Heitholt in 2004.

KRON Reporter Doesn’t Report Crime, He Reports on ‘People Behaving Badly’

roberts_pbb_croppedStanley Roberts said he doesn’t report on crime. He told SF Weekly, “I do the quality-of-life issues that affect us all.”

SF Weekly recently did a profile on Roberts whose franchise on the San Francisco Bay Area’s independent station KRON is called “People Behaving Badly.”

Roberts travels the Bay Area looking for people doing things, well, badly. Do you ride your bike through stop signs? Did you forget to publicly post your restaurant’s most current health department report? If the answer is yes, chances are you’ll run into Roberts at some point.

A couple of years ago when Roberts recorded a man who was getting a ticket from the CHP for driving illegally in a carpool lane, he became the subject of a viral video. (watch the video after the jump)

He refers to the misbehavior he’s been seeking out for nearly eight years as “minutiae … there are always more important things.” But this, for his own reasons, is what he’s compelled to film. And, God help us, it’s what we’re compelled to watch. Footage of city workers dozing on the job or men hurling buckets of human filth onto one another on Seventh and Market are wildly popular, even in far-off lands where, perhaps, this may qualify as normal behavior.

Roberts’ inbox is constantly full. KRON established a hotline just for his segment. When he’s on BART, fellow riders monopolize his commute with People Behaving Badly pitches; his minor adventures have earned him celebrity status. In a moment of unintended irony, Roberts was asked, “So, is someone behaving badly here?” by a tone-deaf guest at a funeral both were attending. Read more

WJXT Adds An Hour of Morning News


Jacksonville Independent station WJXT is expanding its morning news by an hour at 9:00 a.m. starting Monday.

The station told viewers on its facebook page, “The Morning Show is expanding! Starting Monday, WJXT4 Nikki Kimbleton and WJXT4 Tarik Minor will anchor our new weekday 9 a.m. hour. We have some great segments in store … tune in!”

The anchors also announced the move during this morning’s show and gave each other high fives all around while promising to “keep it real.”

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.”

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