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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!”

Roland Steadham, Out at WPLG After One Year, Headed to Boise

RolandSteadhamRoland Steadham, who joined Miami ABC affiliate WPLG just one year ago, will leave the station and head to Boise. TV NewsCheck reports Steadham will become chief meteorologist at Boise CBS affiliate KBOI on Sept. 15.

It’s another cross-country trip for Steadham, who joined WPLG from KTVX in Salt Lake City, where he was chief meteorologist. Before working at KTVX, he was chief meteorologist at cross town rival KUTV. Steadham was well known to South Florida viewers, having worked at both WSVN and WTVJ.

Louis Aguirre Leaving WSVN for The Insider

aguirre wsvnWSVN entertainment reporter Louis Aguirre has been named co-anchor of entertainment newsmagazine The Insider.

Gossip Extra first reported, the host of the local entertainment show Deco Drive was leaving the Miami FOX affiliate, but at the time there was no word where he was going.

Aguirre came to WSVN in 2003. He’s worked at WPLG in Miami. He has also co-hosted FOX and Friends, and has worked as a correspondent on A Current Affair and EXTRA! He started his career with Telemundo in 1989.

WPLG Debuts New Set

wplg1Miami ABC affiliate WPLG has debuted its new set, replacing a set that was unveiled with the station’s move to a new facility in 2009.

The new studio features bold colors and plenty of video features, as described in detail by Newscast Studio:

Suspended from the studio ceiling is a large, internally lit ring. That ring’s curves are matched in the set found below, which features a wide swath of circular walls decorated with light colored bands, wood panels and video walls.

Many elements of the set, especially this header ring, seems to echo the design found at BBC News.

One side of the set features several vertically mounted panels that, together, form a massive video wall. Also included are additional video panels on either side of the anchor desk. It’s interesting to note that the graphics being fed to those panels seem to be inspired by the block-like graphics used on “ABC World News.”

Video after the jump. Read more

Danielle Knox to Join WSVN

knox croppedDanielle Knox is joining Miami FOX affiliate WSVN as anchor and reporter, Gossip Extra’s Jose Lambiet reports.

“I’ve worked in Los Angeles and Atlanta and San Francisco, but there’s no place like Miami when it comes to news,” Knox told Gossip Extra. “I’m very excited. There’s nothing more invigorating than live news.”

Knox last worked as a host of Lifetime’s morning show, The Balancing Act. She has also worked at WGCL in Atlanta, WFOR and WTVJ in Miami, WVIT in Hartford, Ct , and KTVE in Monroe, LA.

Rick Sanchez Reveals Secrets of the Success of WSVN’s Iconic ‘Newsplex’

WSVN_HD

According to a post on South Florida’s SFLTV, the iconic “Newsplex” set that has defined Miami station WSVN for decades, may be slated for a makeover:

The prevailing info we hear is that the revamp will be mostly cosmetic, similar to what Sunbeam did with its other station in Boston, WHDH, which just received a barely noticeable refresh with a darker red duratrans strip and some more monitors as backdrops on the second floor.

Sounds harmless enough. Until you hear this: “We’re kind of sad to report that there is a possibility the big wall of old CRT televisions, which have been there literally since the 1990s, will finally give way to big flat screens that will use software to simulate the tiny wall of TVs we’ve become used to seeing behind the anchors.”

Now hold on just one Newsplexing second. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should touch those monitors. They are the Newsplex. The multi-monitor news backdrop has been copied and copied, but have you ever noticed nothing quite looks like the original? We asked former WSVN anchor Rick Sanchez why the ‘Plex somehow can’t be copied. Read more

Reporter’s Emails Reveal Questions Over Comp Time at WFOR

nelson_gary_feature

According to a report by Jose Lambiet, veteran WFOR reporter Gary Nelson has taken the unusual step of raising public questions about the CBS O&O’s overtime policies–in emails shared with the entire newsroom.

“According to an email exchange between 22-year station veteran Nelson and (news director) Liz Roldan sent to the entire newsroom, Nelson has been denied requests for time off based on comp time for several 15-hour work days,” Lambiet reports. “Seems that Nelson was told his comp time expired before he was able to enjoy it.”

WFOR has a history of conflict, including a reported “internal investigation” led by CBS bosses in New York into difficulties between talent and management:

Allegations include that newsroom employees were told to work overtime for no pay, the lack of open communication with management, and comments to reporters that they “don’t appeal to the right demographics.”

The poisoned atmosphere has been fueled further by difficult contract talks with some of the talent, and the departures of several high-profile personalities.

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