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Former Macon Anchor Files Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Georgia National Guard

wmaz whistleblowerA former news news anchor for Macon CBS station WMAZ claims she was fired from her job with the Georgia National Guard after raising questions about ethics, according to a lawsuit filed July 24th. Mary Therese Grabowski, who was a WMAZ anchor for eight years, says within months of joining the Georgia Guard as a civilian public affairs officer, she began raising questions about improper and potentially unethical decisions made by Adjutant General Jim Butterworth:

“…questions like why Butterworth used Guard resources to organize a fundraiser for a private medical center.

Grabowski also claims she also questioned why Butterworth was attending an air show in Paris at a time when military furloughs and cuts were expected. She says she was told Butterworth would be a guest of the governor’s office, but later discovered he had stayed days after the governor left Paris.

Additionally, Grabowski claims she was asked by Butterworth’s wife to promote an event for country music singer Kaley Caperton, a personal friend of the Butterworths.”

Watch WMAZ’s report after the jump. Read more

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WATCH: Macon Reporter Says What He Really Thinks about Live Shots On Air


WMAZ reporter Randall Savage committed two viral video worthy fouls in one live shot during the Macon CBS affiliate’s noon newscast last Thursday.

“This is going to be the death of me, these live shots,” Savage could be heard saying after anchor Kenny Burgamy tossed to him standing live at the Macon-Bibb County Board of elections building. Savage then stood silent for a few seconds before saying, “I’m on? Now?”

According to his station bio, Savage came to the station in 2001 after 29 years with the Macon Telegraph. He won a Pultizer Prize in 1985.

Leah Johnson Signs Off From WMAZ

Leah Johnson is leaving WMAZ, the CBS affiliate in Macon, Ga., to spend more time with her family. Johnson has co-anchored the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Frank Malloy since 2006.

“Just taking a little break from the news business in order to focus on the little one. My daughter Emory is almost two — she’ll be two next week,” Johnson said during her final broadcast (video above). “.. I’ll see everyone on Facebook. Everybody’s on Facebook these days.”

Anchor Portia Lake Leaving WGXA

After 10 years at the WGXA anchor desk, Portia Lake is leaving the Macon Fox affiliate.

“I have decided not to renew my contract with the station. I am newly engaged and leaving the station to pursue other career opportunities within the television business,” Lake told TVSpy. “Over the past ten years I have grown professionally and enjoyed delivering news to Central Georgia viewers. While it has been a difficult decision to leave FOX24/WGXA, I am excited about other career opportunities within the television industry.”

Lake anchors the evening newscasts at WGXA. She has previously worked at WXVT in Greenville, Miss. and WWL in New Orleans.

Mario Ramirez Set to Join WCPO in Cincinnati

Mario Ramirez is moving from WGXA, the Fox-affiliate in Macon, to WCPO, the ABC-affiliate in Cincinnati.

Ramirez joined WGXA, where he is the 5:30 and 10 p.m. anchor, in 2010. He begins as a general assignment reporter at WCPO on August 27.

“I’m excited to live in Ohio for the first time and experience a vibrant city with 2 major sports teams and while working for a great station,” Ramirez told TVSpy via email. “I’ll definitely miss the southern charm of Macon, Ga. and all the opportunities that I had starting out in such a welcoming market. The station and news staff will be terribly missed.”

Former WMAZ News Director Bill Tribble Dies

Bill Tribble, who was the news director at Macon CBS-affiliate WMAZ for two decades, died on Friday after suffering from cancer. He was 80.

Tribble joined the station, which at the time was a combined radio and television news operation, as a county reporter in 1959. He was named news director in 1963, a position he held for 20 years. In 1983, he took over as executive editor in charge of editorial programming and special projects.

Tribble also served as the host of WMAZ’s weekly interview program, “Close Up,” for more than 20 years. He retired in 1994.

Gavin Maliska Named News Director at WGXA

Gavin Maliska has been named news director at WGXA in Macon, GA.

Maliska comes to WGXA, a Fox-affiliate owned by Frontier Broadcast Holdings that also broadcasts ABC programming on a digital subchannel, from WJHG in Panama City Beach, FL, where he has served as news director since last summer.

Maliska began his TV career at WFLD in Chicago and since then he has been news director at WXIN in Indianapolis, WOFL in Orlando, and KECI in Missoula, MT. Read more

Morning Anchor David Earl Makes His WMAZ Debut

David Earl has joined WMAZ, the CBS-affiliate in Macon, GA, as morning and midday anchor.

Earl is a Chicago-area native who has spent the last two years as a reporter and fill-in anchor at KOMU, the NBC-affiliate in Columbia, MO. He began today as anchor of the morning and noon newscasts, and he will also serve as a multimedia journalist for WMAZ.

“Everyone has been really, really nice, very friendly. I’m not used to people asking questions about me. We’re kind of brisk up in Chicago,” Earl joked during his introduction on Friday’s evening newscast. “I’m really looking forward to it, it’s going to be a lot of fun.” Read more