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Memphis

Cox Names GSM for Memphis Station

whbq_logoCox Media Group is still sorting out the leadership at its recently acquired stations.

Today the station group announced Michelle Woods has been named general sales manager of WHBQ in Memphis. Woods comes to the FOX affiliate from former Cox station KTVU in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I’m thrilled to join the WHBQ FOX 13 family,” Woods said in a statement. “This is a talented sales team deep-rooted in the community.  I look forward to continuing our success by building strong relationships, motivating talent and providing a work place that thrives on growth.”

Woods started her career at KTVU as an account executive in 2004. She worked her way up to national sales manager before being named local sales manager.

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Cox ‘Welcomes New TV Stations in Boston, Memphis’

cox_media_group_304Cox Media Group sent out a press release today welcoming the employees of its two newest stations and updating them on management changes.

Cox acquired WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston from FOX in exchange for KTVU in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In what is essentially a GM swap, KTVU GM Tom Raponi will follow the station group to Boston, becoming the new GM of WFXT. FOX announced yesterday WFXT GM Gregg Kelley will follow FOX to KTVU and replace Raponi. John Koski will stay on as GM of WHBQ.

“Countless hours of hard work have taken place over the last few months to prepare for today, and I want to thank everyone at Cox Media Group, in Boston and in Memphis who made today a reality,” Jane Williams, CMG’s EVP of Television said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting these new stations as they continue playing key roles in their communities; providing vital news, information and entertainment to their audiences; and offering targeted sales solutions to their clients.”

WREG Tweets Link to Porn Website Instead of Weather Update

WREG Porn Tweet

Memphis CBS affiliate WREG tried to give viewers more information about impending rain and storms by sending out a link to its online interactive radar. Instead, it sent out a link to a porn website. (see screen grab above)

UPDATE: A station spokesperson told TVSpy, “This morning an inappropriate tweet was sent out from the station’s account. We sincerely apologize, we have taken steps to investigate and to tighten security.”

The station has since deleted the tweet and sent out another tweet apologizing.

Marcus ‘Doc’ Holliday Promoted at WATN

Holliday watn croppedWATN has promoted Marcus “Doc” Holliday to sports director.

The former St. Louis Ram and Hamilton Tiger Cat started at the Memphis ABC affiliate in June 2011.

According to his bio page, “When he’s not out on the latest story, Marcus is spending time with his wife and children, and reading up on his favorite topic, quantum physics.”

Meteorologist Andrew Kozak Leaving KTUL

The KTUL news team celebrated meteorologist Andrew Kozak today with a Memphis-style BBQ send off. Kozak is leaving the ABC affiliate for NBC affiliate WMC in Memphis.

Kozak previously worked as a meteorologist at Tulsa’s Fox affiliate KOKI.

Today is his last day at the station.

President Obama Names WREG GM to Board of TVA

tva-logoPresident Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Ron Walter, president and GM of WREG in Memphis, to the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Walter was one of several people the President said he intended to nominate to key administration posts.

“I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country,” President Obama said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average.  Established by Congress in 1933 to address a wide range of environmental, economic, and technological issues, including the delivery of low-cost electricity and the management of natural resources, TVA also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.

WMC’s Dave Brown Will Cut Hours, as Ron Childers Steps Up

Brown ChildersMemphis NBC affiliate WMC has begun the process of building a weather department that is not led by chief meteorologist Dave Brown. The 37-year-veteran announced Wednesday he would scale back his hours, and appear exclusively on the 6 p.m. news, starting in September:

“I have asked for a reduced schedule at WMC Action News 5,” he explained. “I am not retiring, but feel this is the proper time to begin a transition to fewer hours in the workplace. I have worked since the age of 10. I have enjoyed a 52 year career in broadcasting, including 37 years so far here at WMC. For many of those years I have worked a six-day week and have worked nights since 1973.”

He continued, “I have been blessed with the support of my employers, my co-workers and my family. I am also grateful for the tremendous support I have received from our viewers. Many of those viewers have asked me not to retire, so this is a compromise that will give me more time to enjoy activities that I have not been able to do. I am in good health and look forward to enjoying entertainment and sports events and to traveling more. I want to emphasize that this is completely at my request, and thank WMC for indulging me as I continue my career in this reduced schedule.”

The station has named Ron Childers managing meteorologist. He will anchor the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Childers has worked mornings in Memphis for 25 years.
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Fox/Cox Swaps Ends 51 Years of KTVU Ownership

FoxCox

The news today that Cox and Fox have entered into a station swap, will come as bittersweet to some. Cox Media Group has owned the San Francisco Bay area station for more than 50 years. In the process, Cox is gaining two stations east of the Mississippi.

Cox has owned KTVU, in the sixth-largest U.S. TV market, since 1963. Channel 2 was a charter affiliate of the FOX Broadcasting Company when the network went on the air October 9, 1986.

As FOX Broadcasting takes ownership of KTVU, it is swapping the stations it owns in Boston (market #7) and Memphis (market #50.) Both stations will remain Fox affiliates.

WFXT Channel 25 in Boston has been a FOX O&O since 1987, when it was acquired by News Corp. The station went on the air in 1977 as WXNE, an affiliate of the Christian Broadcasting Network. WHBQ Channel 13 in Memphis went on the air in 1953, and was a dual CBS/ABC affiliate, before picking up the primary ABC affiliation in 1956. It would remain an ABC affiliate until 1995 when News Corp. acquired the station.

With KTVU, FOX gains a station in an NFC market. It has rights to the NFL’s NFC package of games. In fact, the 2016 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for FOX, CBS has the rights to Super Bowl 50.

Boston and Memphis will bring to 10 the number of U.S. markets in which Cox operates. The company owns ABC affiliates in Atlanta, Orlando, and Charlotte; CBS affiliates in Seattle and Dayton; the Fox and CBS affiliates in Jacksonville; the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh; and the Fox affiliate in Tulsa. Fox Broadcasting will now operate stations in 16 markets, including 13 of the top 15.

Fox and Cox Swap Stations in San Francisco, Boston, Memphis

cox media fox logosFox Television Stations and Cox Media Group have announced they are swapping stations in three markets: Fox will get Fox affiliate KTVU and independent KICU in San Francisco, and Cox will get Fox-owned WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston. After the deal closes, WHBQ and WFXT will remain Fox affiliates.

“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” CEO of Fox Television Stations Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights. I’d like to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the talented Boston and Memphis teams for the great work they do. We are confident they will be in good hands with our partners at Cox.”

“This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman said. “These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there.”

More in the release after the jump. Read more

Carjacking Suspect Clears His Name Live on ‘Good Morning Memphis’

A man wanted for stabbing a woman during a carjacking and taking her two kids approached WHBQ reporter Brooke Thomas while she was reporting the story live.

The man, Derric Fifer, told the reporter for the Memphis FOX owned station he didn’t commit the crime. “It’s a mistake they have my name,” Fifer told Thomas. “Somebody gonna get sued because I ain’t do nothing,” he added later.

In a follow up later in the day, Thomas told viewers police converged on the live shot but not before Fifer got away. Police later told Thomas Fifer was no longer a suspect. See that video after the jump. Read more

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