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Irika Sargent to Join WFOR as Anchor in May

Irika Sargent PhotoMiami CBS owned station WFOR has announced Irika Sargent will be joining Rick Folbaum as co-anchor of the evening newscasts.

“We are excited to welcome Irika Sargent to CBS4,” Adam Levy, VP and GM of WFOR-WBFS said in a statement. “Irika will be another key addition to the talented and experienced news team we have here and we look forward to having her partner with Rick, starting in May.”

Sargent comes from KPRC in Houston where she is a weekend anchor and nightside reporter. She has also worked in Mobile, AL, Columbia, MO, and London, England.

She is currently a member of the New York Bar Association.

Levy also spoke about Cynthia Demos who currently anchors the 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. news with Folbaum and had been filling in after Shannon Hori left the station last year. “Cynthia has given us an experienced and steady hand at the anchor desk during our evening newscasts the past several months and we look forward to having her continue to be a key contributor to our success.”

Tony Pipitone Leaving Orlando for Miami

Tony-Pipitone-jpgThe Orlando Sentinel reports Tony Pipitone is leaving WKMG to work as an investigative reporter at Miami NBC owned station WTVJ.

“I’ve worked with many fine journalists, but Tony Pipitone is at the head of that class,” WKMG GM Skip Valet told the Sentinel. “As an investigative reporter, he is as good as they come.”

Pipitone has worked at the Orlando CBS affiliate for 26 years. He’s never worked at another station.

He was drawn to WTVJ because NBC is making a big push for investigative reporting at its owned stations. “They’re going to have a serious commitment to investigative reporting, and lucky for me, they want me to be part of it,” he said.

Capitol News Service, WTVJ Apologize For ‘Reprehensive Party of Florida’ Graphic

wtvj rephrensive party of floridaTwo Capitol News Service staffers have been fired after the wire service supplied WTVJ, the NBC owned station in Miami, with a political story that included a graphic that read “Reprehensive Party of Florida” instead of “Republican Party of Florida.”

The segment aired on the 6 p.m. newscast Thursday. In response to a letter from the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, who accused the station of “complete abdication of your station’s professional duty at best and slander at worst,” both Capitol News Service and WTVJ apologized for the incident. (Jim Romenesko has the full letter from the Florida GOP here.)

The Capitol News Service statement says the wire service “takes full responsibility” for the incident:

In a report in which we played a web ad by the Republican Party of Florida, our employees indicated it should have the on screen chyron “Reprehensive Party of Florida.”  We deeply regret this incident.  The people who made the error and reviewed it without catching it are no longer in our employ.

In a statement to Romenesko, WTVJ said they “sincerely regret the incident.” Read more

Larry Olevitch Named President, GM of WTVJ

Larry OlevitchNBCUniversal has named Larry Olevitch president and general manager of WTVJ in South Florida. His appointment is effective immediately.

Olevitch has worked in local television for 30 years, the last 10 of which have been at NBCUniversal. He has been the senior vice president of sales at WTVJ since 2012.

“Larry has been an integral part of the management team driving the transformation at NBC 6 over the last two years. He knows South Florida and he knows the station’s winning strategy,” Valari Staab, president of the NBC Owned Stations, said in a statement. “I am confident he is the right person to maintain NBC 6’s momentum as it emerges as the leading station in the market for local news and information.”

Olevitch succeeds Manuel Martinez, who was recently named president of the Telemundo Stations. More from NBC after the jump. Read more

Parking Spaces Slim for WSVN After Owner Loses Lawsuit

wsvn.propertylines_smallerSFLTV is reporting many staffers at Sunbeam owned Miami-Ft. Lauderdale FOX affiliate WSVN will have to find somewhere else to park after the station’s owner lost his bid to foreclose on an adjoining property.

After the realty company owned by WSVN owner Ed Ansin, lost its foreclosure lawsuit against the owner of a vacant site across from the station, (shaded portion in picture) the owners of the vacant property have retaliated by blocking WSVN from parking on the property, evicted the station guard and plan to demolish the guardhouse.

South Florida Business Journal reported “The land targeted by foreclosure is next door, at 1415 N.E. 79th St. The 3.33-acre site is mostly a parking lot, although it has a 17,426-square-foot commercial building, a helipad and a radio tower. The building formerly housed NewsRadio WIOD 610 AM.”

SFLTV said station management told staffers only females and on-air talent can now park in the WSVN lot.

Jennifer Gray Joins CNN From WTVJ

jennifer gray cnn_304x200Jennifer Gray has joined CNN as an Atlanta-based meteorologist, the network’s vice president of newsgathering Terence Burke announced today.

“Jennifer brings a versatile skill set as a meteorologist,” Burke said in a statement. “She will be a great addition for CNN with her experience in production, multimedia and reporting in the field.”

Gray comes from WTVJ, the NBC owned station in Miami, where she was the weekend morning meteorologist and feature reporter. She returned to the station in 2011 after getting divorced from her husband. During her first stint at WTVJ, from 2007-09, she was known by her married name, Jennifer Reeves.

WFOR Meteorologist Recovering From Spinal Surgery

setzer_neckbraceWFOR‘s Craig Setzer is recovering from spinal surgery from injuries suffered in September.

The meteorologist for the Miami CBS owned station hurt his back in a Flugtag event where teams of people attempt to fly homemade contraptions off a pier and into the water.

He initially tweeted, “Well it didn’t go as well as I had hoped.” with a picture of him wearing a neck brace.  He later tweeted, “Doing better, out of trauma center, very sore, no long term damage.”

But according to his facebook page, while talking about an upcoming charity cycling event he admitted the damage was bad enough to require surgery. “Unfortunately I found out this week that I need surgery as soon as possible to repair spinal damage done during my flugtag flight of Sept 20, so I won’t be able to ride. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still contribute to an amazing cause.” Read more

Post-Newsweek Names New GM at WPLG

medina_wplgPost-Newsweek Stations announced Bert Medina as vice president and general manager of its Miami ABC affiliate WPLG.

“Bert’s passion for television, combined with his deep knowledge of the Miami market and his 27 years working in both English- and Spanish-language television at the local and network levels, makes him the ideal choice to lead WPLG,” Emily Barr, president and chief executive officer of Post-Newsweek Stations said in a statement.

Medina replaces Dave Boylan who announced he was leaving the station in August.

Medina comes to WPLG from Cangas Communications, a media investment and management firm, which he founded and led. Previously, he spent 13 years with Univision where he last served as senior vice president and operating manager of the TeleFutura Television Network. Before coming to Univision, Medina worked for Sunbeam Television Corporation where he worked for 14 years. He started his career as a research analyst at WSVN in Miami.

WATCH: Miami Meteorologist Glides Through Storm for Weather Report


Last time TVSpy saw WPLG‘s Roland Steadham, he was parachuting through Saharan dust to explain why the Miami area was seeing unusually dry weather.

This time the meteorologist for the Miami ABC affiliate went the other direction to teach his audience about the weather. “You guys know what causes rain here in South Florida,” Steadham asked his co anchors. “When air starts to rise.”

Which set up a glider flight in the name of “atmospheric research,” where he flew around the base of tropical downpour without the aid of a motor. “[A] tremendous amount of air starts to rise as the sea breeze comes in and it just lifts this 1200 pound glider up and away.”

[sfltv]

Miami Reporter on Tail End of Recovery From Cat Bite

gary_nelson_catWFOR reporter Gary Nelson is slowly recovering from a cat bite he got six weeks ago, according to GossipExtra.

“My cat Buckles, an indoor cat, got out one night and I went in the driveway to fetch him,” Nelson told GossipExtra. “And he wasn’t ready to come home. So he bit me right, perfectly into the joint.”

The veteran reporter for the CBS owned Miami affiliate has had a long road back after the cat bite including multiple surgeries, a couple of hospital stays, an antibiotic drip and hours of physical therapy.

“I just started being able to hold a pen,” said Nelson who said he expects to be back at work in a couple of weeks. “I’m anxious to get back.” Read more

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