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Madison

WREX Anchor Dani Maxwell Joining WKOW

Dani Maxwell, the evening anchor and assistant news director at WREX in Rockford, is leaving the station for an anchor position at WKOW in Madison.

Maxwell, who co-anchored the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts with Eric Wilson, signed off from WREX last week after 10 years. Starting today, 10 p.m. anchor Katie Nilsson will add the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts to her duties.

Starting January 18, Maxwell will be an anchor and reporter at WKOW. Both WKOW and WREX are owned by Quincy Newspapers.

“We’re sorry to see Dani go, but at least she is staying with the company,” WREX vice president and general manager John Chadwick told the Rockford-Register Star.

Tom Bier Upped to GM at Madison’s WISC

Tom Bier, who has been at Madison CBS-affiliate WISC for 37 years, has been named vice president and general manager at the station.

Bier, a Wisconsin native, has been the vice president and station manager since 1998. Prior to that, he spent 23 years as news director.

“Having watched Channel Three while growing up, it’s an honor to be asked to take on this challenge,” he said in a statement. “The station has always been a leader and I look forward in this new capacity to working with the staff, which has kept us in this position over the years.”

Bier has been the acting general manager since September, when David Sanks resigned.

Madison’s WISC Juggles Evening Anchor Lineup

WISC, the CBS-affiliate in Madison, is making some changes to the evening talent lineup to allow veteran anchor Susan Siman (pictured) more time with her family.

Effective today, Siman, who currently anchors the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts with Mark Koehn, will hand over the 6 p.m. reigns to Sarah Carlson and Eric Franke. Siman will contribute to the newscast as a reporter, and she and Koehn will continue to anchor the 5 p.m. newscast.

“Sometimes, you have to make minor adjustments in your life to make everything else work,” Siman, who has a son in middle school, said in a statement. “That’s what I’m doing.”

Carlson and Franke will continue to anchor the 10 p.m. broadcast. “I’m thrilled we could find a solution that works for Susan, Sarah and our viewers,” news director Colin Benedict said.

Madison’s WISC Debuts Local News Channel on Roku Digital Video Player

As viewers increasingly watch web-based video on their TVs, WISC has struck a forward-thinking partnership with Roku, the maker of digital video boxes that bring web content to your living room TV.

WISC, a CBS-affiliate in Madison, WI, is becoming the first station in the country to debut a local news channel on the Roku platform, giving viewers the opportunity to watch the station’s news coverage on their TVs at any time of the day.

“For years TV stations have been posting their video on the web and now their web video is easily available on TV sets,” said Anthony Wood, Roku’s founder and CEO.

Wisconsin Budget Battle Leads to Advertising Windfall for Local Stations

The Wisconsin budget battle has provided an unanticipated stimulus for stations throughout the state.  According to a new report, roughly $1.9 million has been spent by those for and against the governor’s budget proposal.

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Opponents of Gov. Walker’s plan had spent an estimated $1,031,500 statewide, while supporters of his plan had spent an estimated $831,000, according to CMAG, the ad-tracking firm that monitors political advertising around the country.

The ad war is being waged not just in Milwaukee (the state’s biggest media market) and Madison (the state capital and scene of the protests) but in the state’s other TV markets of Green Bay, La Crosse/Eau Claire and Wausau/Rhinelander. More…

Facing Protests at the Capital, Wisconsin Governor Sits Down with WISC’s Sarah Carlson

“I understand the passion and intensity,” Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told WISC anchor Sarah Carlson in an exclusive interview on Wednesday (video above).

Walker has been facing large-scale demonstrations in Madison this week, including a “sick-out” by teachers, as public workers protest his administration’s attempt to limit the collective bargaining rights of government unions.

“When you’re threatening the political existence of a handful of leaders out there, they’re the ones most threatened by this,” Walker told Carlson, “they’re going to push this but in the end we think what we’re asking for is still pretty modest.”

Madison’s WISC Catches Up with Its Former Sports Anchor Curt Menefee at the Super Bowl

“This is a long way away from where I came from,” Fox Sports NFL host Curt Menefee told WISC’s Mark Koehn last week, reflecting on his time as a weekend sports anchor for the Madison CBS-affiliate.

Menefee worked for WISC in the late 80s before moving on to New York Fox-affiliate WNYW and eventually becoming the host of “Fox NFL Sunday.” WISC caught up with Menefee as he prepared to anchor Fox’s Super Bowl coverage on Sunday.

WISC Anchor Sarah Carlson Suffers On-Air Seizure, Again

WISC anchor Sarah Carlson, who recently underwent brain surgery to combat the recurrence of epileptic seizures, suffered what a appeared to be a mild seizure on-air yesterday evening.

At the beginning of WISC‘s 6 p.m. newscast on Tuesday, Carlson was delivering the news that Wisconsin would join other states in a lawsuit against President Obama’s health care overhaul.  Towards the end of the report, the veteran anchor begins to slur her words and for a moment her speech becomes unintelligible.

Miraculously, though, Carlson is able to finish.  When the camera cuts to Carlson’s co-anchor Susan Siman, a moment of surprise registers on her face before she plows ahead with the newscast’s next segment. Carlson left the newscast following the incident and Siman finished it solo.

“She’s okay,” Colin Benedict, WISC’s news director, assured the Wisconsin State Journal following the on-air episode.  Benedict says that he expects Carlson to continue anchoring the CBS-affiliate’s evening newscasts.

Carlson momentarily stepped away from TV in 2009 following a serious seizure that she suffered on-air while working for Madison NBC-affiliate WMTV.  She joined WISC in December after having surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor from her brain.  At the time, Carlson reported that her life was nearly seizure free. Read more

WISC-TV’s Susan Siman Makes Big Time Rose Bowl Bet with TCU Alum Bob Schieffer

While the Wisconsin Badgers and TCU prepare to take each other on for the Rose Bowl today, a couple of media folks have made a pretty interesting wager on the outcome.

Susan Siman of CBS affiliate WISC-TV in Madison, WI is in Pasadena covering the game and ran into CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, who is a graduate of TCU and also in California for the game. In an interview that aired on WISC-TV’s Live at Five newscast Friday night, Schieffer told Siman that if Wisconsin wins, he’ll wear a Wisconsin Badger baseball cap and pin on the next “Face the Nation.” If  TCU wins, Siman will have to wear a TCU baseball cap. Game on. The Rose Bowl is on ESPN at 4:30pmET.

> Update: Siman loses the bet. The TCU Horned Frogs beat the Wisconsin Badgers, 21-19 in the Rose Bowl.

KING, KUSA, WKOW, WTHR, KCET Win duPont Awards

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced 13 winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards today. Among the local TV news winners: Seattle’s KING-TV for a story which exposed corruption in the ferry system; KUSA in Denver for its investigation of a foreclosure scam; Madison, Wisconsin’s WKOW-TV and reporter/producer Dan Cassuto for an 8-month investigation into the state’s Bureau of Consumer Protection; and WTHR-TV in Indianapolis and reporter/producer Bob Segall for a report on state officials inflating job statistics. Los Angeles’s soon-to-be former PBS affiliate, KCET will also take home a duPont award. FishbowlLA reports on their win.

NBC News anchor Brian Williams and CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, will host the duPont Awards ceremony Thursday, Jan. 20 at Columbia University. Williams announced the winners this morning on the Awards website:

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