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Reporter Returns to WFOR After Four Months

michele-gillen-600x450Investigative reporter Michele Gillen has returned to CBS-owned WFOR in Miami after a four-month absence, reports Jose Lambiet:

Insiders at the ratings-challenged station are reporting that 20-year CBS4 veteran Gillen materialized in the newsroom this week for the first time since a public blowout between her and fellow investigative newsman Jim DeFede.

A spywitness described how Gillen walked in Monday like she hadn’t missed one third of the work year, sat down at her desk six cubicles away from DeFede and started making calls for a story about Pope Francis‘ upcoming trip to the United States.

“It’s like she never left,” one source said. “Nobody’s talking about it. Nobody’s talking to her. And she’s not talking to anybody.”

Gillen’s absence led to speculation about her status with WFOR, where Lambiet reports her contract ends soon.

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WPLG Anchors Have On-Set Proposal

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Most of us don’t wear IFBs when we drop to one knee to pop the proverbial question. But meteorologist Trent Aric had his, since he was on the news set at Miami ABC affiliate WPLG at the time, with cameras rolling and the couple’s photos filling the monitors. Early Thursday he asked WPLG anchor Jacey Birch the big question, and, after the slightest moment of contemplation, she said yes.

Come to the WPLG Facebook Page for The News, Stay for the Abuse

The social media team at WPLG was on a roll last night after a commenter reacted negatively to the station posting a promo on its facebook page about “A new HANDS-FREE procedure to skim the fat off your body.”

Viewer Debbie Cantu wrote, “Call me cynical but is this news or an ad disguised as news? Just wondering!” In response, whoever was manning the Miami ABC affiliate’s facebook page fired back, “Uhhh, last we checked Debbie Cantu, this is still a news station. Let’s check again. Yep… still a news station.”

cantu wplg

When another viewer with the name XJ Jaguar noticed the exchange and wrote, “Really channel 10. Do ya really have a 10 year old running your “news” facebook page. Great job of punking out a listener. Pathic!” The station was quick to respond by writing, “FYI, XJ Jaguar, it’s ‘pathetic’” Read more

‘Yuck’: WFOR Journalists Reveal Their Displeasure With Republican’s Re-Election

PamBondiIt wasn’t the biggest Republican victory of the midterms, but the re-election of Florida’s Republican attorney general Pam Bondi seems to have gotten under the skin of some journalists, who revealed their true feelings about Bondi in a string of comments on Facebook last night.

When Miguel Fernandez, executive producer at CBS-owned WFOR in Miami updated his Facebook status to read “Ugh! TALLAHASSEE, Fla (AP) — Republican incumbent Pam Bondi re-elected as Florida’s attorney general,” people lined up to register their outrage. “Crap,” said one. “DISGUSTING,” said another.

Among the commenters were journalists, including WFOR reporter Lisa Petrillo, who wrote “yuck.”

See the post, below:
Read more

WTVJ Adds Weekend Sports Anchor

Stefano Fusaro is joining Miami NBC owned station WTVJ as weekend sports anchor.

In a statement, Migdalia Figueroa, WTVJ VP of News said, “His energy and commitment to covering our local sports teams will really resonate with our viewers.”

Fusaro was the sports director at Houston Univision station KXLN.

Dallas’ KTVT Hires Gilma Avalos as Anchor

Gilma+AvalosSouth Florida reporter Gilma Avalos, who has been working at NBC-owned WTVJ in Miami, will join CBS-owned KTVT in Dallas as a weekend morning anchor.

Avalos made the announcement on Facebook:

Big News! After 3 great years in South Florida, I’m heading to the Lone Star State for an exciting opportunity! I’ll be joining the CBS11 team in Dallas-Fort Worth as an anchor and reporter.

Thank you for your trust and support. I am so lucky to have worked in my hometown alongside very kind and talented colleagues. This isn’t goodbye, I’ll be visiting often! Hope you’ll follow me on my journey.

Fan Causes Drama at Florida Gubernatorial Debate on WFOR

When WFOR aired the Florida gubernatorial debate between former Governor Charlie Crist and current Governor Rick Scott, the Miami CBS owned station probably had no idea the biggest drama would come off the top, over a small fan.

Crist had a small electric fan placed under his podium. Governor Scott didn’t like it and wouldn’t come on stage.

When pressed by moderator Rosemary Goudreau about whether the rules of the debate allowed electronic devices like fans, Crist replied, “Are we really going to debate about a fan or are we going to talk about education, and the environment and the future of out state? I mean, really?”

Crist came out eventually. According to WFOR, Scott’s camp blamed the dust up on Crist.

“When I got here today for this debate, I was told that Charlie Crist was going to cancel the debate, because unless there was a fan on that stage, he would not come out,” said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. “So I think that Governor Scott was waiting to see if Charlie would actually pull that off or not.”

Crist’s fan now has it’s own twitter page:

Miami Reporter Urges Stations to Resist Urge to Scare Viewers in Ebola Coverage

1501770_10152732208563769_4853808017725021076_nVeteran South Florida reporter Al Sunshine has written a column for the RTDNA urging local stations to educate viewers about the threat of Ebola, rather than simply giving in to the urge to churn out “sensational promos aimed at scaring viewers to watch their latest newscast.”

You can easily imagine those promos, if you haven’t already seen them on your own air. Sunshine, longtime investigative reporter at CBS owned WFOR, remembers the 2001 anthrax attacks that swept South Florida–and impacted newsrooms. The same, he suggests, is true for Ebola:

The good news is, if you’re in a market so far untouched by Ebola, you have time to plan for coverage and get as much information as your can from your local health departments. Don’t forget, how you cover this potential outbreak will not only affect the reputation of your newscasts, it could put your crews at risk and ultimately even spread the problem.

Joe Rose to Retire from WTVJ

rose wtvjJoe Rose is retiring from Miami NBC owned station WTVJ at the end of the year.

“It’s time for me to slow down and get a decent night’s sleep!” Rose said in a statement posted to the station’s website.

In his first career, Rose played for the Miami Dolphins from 1980 until 1986 and is best known for grabbing the first touchdown pass thrown by NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino. He started at WTVJ in 1992.

“Joe has covered Super Bowls, the Heat’s NBA Championships, the Marlins’ World Series Championships, the Hurricanes’ National Championships and his beloved Miami Dolphins, all with his insightful and unique charm,” said Larry Olevitch, WTVJ president and GM. “We are grateful to Joe’s commitment to NBC 6 and our viewers and we will be sure to celebrate his tenure at the station later this year with a special send-off.”

Where Is WFOR’s Michele Gillen?

michele-gillen-600x450There’s a mystery afoot in South Florida, focused on CBS-owned WFOR, and its chief investigative reporter, Michele Gillen. “(She) has not been seen in the CBS affiliate’s newsroom in two months, and no one at the station is commenting on her whereabouts,” reports Gossip Extra’s Jose Lambiet:

But insiders are telling me Gillen, who’s at WFOR for nearly 20 years, walked out after a nasty, public tongue-lashing about her work from colleague Jim DeFede in mid-July — and she hasn’t been at work since.

What started out as a professional conversation degenerated into a shouting match, and Gillen eventually left.

Her last words on the way out: “Hostile work environment!”

We asked station spokesman Lee Zimmerman if Gillen is still employed by WFOR or just on an extended vacation, and he replied: “No comment!”

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