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Jacksonville

Mike McCormick Out as WTEV-WAWS ND

action news jacksonvilleNews director Mike McCormick is out at WTEV-WAWS, Cox Media’s CBS and Fox affiliates in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Mike McCormick has left our company,” general manager Jim Zerwekh told TVSpy. “Mike Dreaden, WSB-TV News Director will additionally be overseeing the news operation until which time I name a new ND.”

McCormick has been news director since 2008. Before joining WTEV-WAWS, he worked as news director at WPMI in Mobile, WKYC in Cleveland and WTLV in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Meteorologist Tim Deegan Arrested For DUI

tim deegan mugshotWJXX-WTLV chief meteorologist Tim Deegan was arrested and charged with DUI Saturday night, according to the Jacksonville duopoly.

The stations report Deegan was arrested by the Jacksonville Beach Police and booked shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday. He was released on his own recognizance Sunday morning.

“As a matter of policy, First Coast News does not comment on matters of a legal or personnel nature involving our employees,” president and general manager Eric S. Land said in a statement.

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.”

Jacksonville Reporter and Photographer Robbed at Gunpoint

FCN_robbedFirst Coast News reporter Mike Lyons and his photographer were robbed at gunpoint on Thursday evening.

The station said the two were held at gunpoint at around 6:45 p.m. on the Northwest side of Jacksonville. The suspect took their wallets and cellphones. Neither Lyons or his photographer were hurt in the incident.

The Jacksonville, FL, NBC and ABC duopoly reported the station is working with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to find the suspect.

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.

Jacksonville News Anchor Helps Police Nab Burglary Suspect

First Coast News morning anchor Phil Amato was in the right place at the right time for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s department. Amato was credited with helping Officer Mike Blanton (pictured right) catch a suspect who was on the run from the police.

On the Friday morning newscast for the Jacksonville, FL, ABC-NBC affiliate, Amato told viewers, “I was coming back from breakfast, driving my pickup truck at the time and saw the chase. Well, the suspect ran out from in between two houses and I just happened to be right there.”

Amato said he stopped his truck, the suspect hopped in the back followed closely by Officer Blanton. After a brief struggle, the suspect was arrested. Amato said the suspect was wanted for armed burglary and hitting someone in the head with a cinder block.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office posted a note of thanks to Amato and Blanton on its facebook page, “Thank you both for a job well done and getting another criminal off the streets of Jacksonville!” You can watch the video the Sheriff’s Office posted to its YouTube page of Amato telling the story after the jump Read more

WTEV-WAWS Renovating Newsroom

The newsroom at WTEV-WAWS, Cox Media Group’s duopoly in Jacksonville, is undergoing a renovation to “to upgrade and coordinate its news dissemination through traditional and web channels, social media and mobile apps,” according to the Jacksonville Daily Record:

Jim Zerwekh, vice president and general manager of WAWS TV-30 and WTEV TV-47, said changes in the news industry necessitate the newsroom updates for efficiencies.

[...] the newsroom has been vacated to prepare for the work and those functions have been relocated to other areas in the building during renovations. About 140 employees work in the TV operation, according to Zerwekh. He expects the project will be completed in 10-12 weeks.

“It’s a significant investment for our parent company,” he said. “It definitely shows their commitment to us and our continued growth.”

Former Jacksonville Anchor Dies at 58

Sally Fox, a former morning anchor at WTLV-WJXX in Jacksonville, died on July 3. She was 58.

Fox worked for the dupoly from 1988 to 1995. While she worked as the anchor of “Good Morning Jacksonville,” she founded Angelwood Inc., an organization that provides group homes for developmentally disabled children and their families.

“She loved doing the morning show. She grew the audience. She had a lot of compassion,” WTLV-WJXX reporter Ken Amaro, who has worked at the stations since 1979, said. “She was a good person and a solid journalist.

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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