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Montgomery-Selma

WFSA Reporter Reveals Onion Article Fake

Jennifer Oravet, a reporter for the Montgomery, AL, NBC affiliate WSFA, posted what appeared to be her findings about an article in the satirical paper The Onion.

Oravet posted the following to the station’s facebook page.

I contacted the PR firm listed in this article, they claim the article is “ficticious” and have no involvement in the alleged study.

The Onion article states the “public relations firm of Hill & Knowlton have advised the United States to begin distancing itself from the state of Alabama as soon as possible.” Read more

Meteorologist Monica Tassoni Joins WSFA

Meteorologist Monica Tassoni is joining WSFA, the NBC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., next month.

Tassoni joins the station from KTAB in Abilene, where she is the meteorologist for the morning and noon newscasts. She replaces Jeff Jumper, who left the station to be with his family in Pennsylvania.

“I must say Monica is a quality meteorologist who really knows her science and is a true weather forecaster,” WSFA news director Scott Duff said in a statement. “She is very talented and I am sure our viewers will enjoy her fun personality and am certain she will be a great addition to our weather team.” Read more

John O’Connor Set to Join WSFA in January

John O’Connor will join WSFA, the NBC affiliate in Montgomery, as an early evening anchor.

O’Connor left Jacksonville’s WTEV-WAWS in 2010 after eight years as an anchor. Beginning in January, he will co-anchor WSFA’s 5 p.m. newscast alongside Valerie Lawson and the first half of the 4 p.m. newscast alongside Sally Pitts. He will also report for the 10 p.m. newscast.

“I am excited and know John is excited about coming on board,” news director Scott Duff said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience, strong journalistic skills and I feel his addition will benefit our newscasts and our viewers.”

WSFA Building a New Studio in Montgomery

WSFA is building a new studio that overlooks downtown Montgomery and the Alabama Capitol building (pictured).

Construction on the new facility is set to begin immediately and be completed by early October. The NBC-affiliate’s new home will feature two studio cameras, as well as outside cameras and cabling for live shots from outside the building.

“This is an amazing opportunity to get our anchors and reporters outside the four walls of a traditional studio,” news director Scott Duff said in a statement. “Anytime you can inject a beautiful backdrop to TV news it adds vibrancy to the broadcast. The possibilities are endless and having a downtown presence will enhance all we do at WSFA 12 News.” Video after the jump… Read more

Mark Bullock Promoted to Evening Anchor at WSFA

Mark Bullock has been promoted to weekday evening anchor at WSFA, the NBC-affiliate in Montgomery, AL.

In his 13 years at WSFA, Bullock has “anchored every newscast at the station and has worked every shift,” according to a statement announcing his promotion. He replaces longtime evening anchor Bob Howell, who retired last week.

“For years, I worked closely with Bob. I consider him a mentor and a friend,” Bullock said. “And while no one can fill his shoes, I am honored to have been named his replacement.” Read more

Evening Anchor Bob Howell Retiring From WSFA

Veteran anchor Bob Howell has announced his retirement from WSFA, the NBC-affiliate in Montgomery.

Howell joined the station as the weekday evening anchor in 1976. He left the station in 1998, but returned in 2004 to anchor the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

“His wisdom, demeanor and desire to be the best have kept this station on top during all the years he has been associated with it,” vice president and general manager Collin R. Gaston said in a statement. “We wish him continued success and happiness in the future and look forward to having him back as often as we can.”

Howell will continue to anchor through the May ratings period and will officially retire on June 1.

WSFA’s Dan Atkinson Retiring After 40 Years

Meteorologist Dan Atkinson, who has worked in television for 40 years, has announced his retirement from WSFA, the NBC-affiliate in Montgomery, AL.

Atkinson worked for WSFA from 1974-82 before joining the The Weather Channel as a meteorologist. He then returned to WSFA to close out his career in 2006.

“Seldom, if ever, have I ever gone anywhere and had anybody come up to me and say, ‘I’ve got a word for you about that Channel 12,’” he said at a reception honoring him (watch the video, above). “It’s always, ‘Boy, you guys are doing great.’ And what an honor to be a part of that.” Read more

WSFA Meteorologist Rich Thomas Celebrates 30 Years

WSFA chief meteorologist Rich Thomas is celebrating his 30-year anniversary with the station this week.

Thomas joined the Montgomery NBC-affiliate in 1981 as a weekend meteorologist. He’s served as chief meteorologist since 1983.

To put the milestone into perspective, Thomas has been with WSFA for more than half the time the station has been on the air.  WSFA honored Thomas during a recent newscast (video above).

In Montgomery, Three Stations to Merge Operations

Sweeping changes are coming to the Montgomery market as three stations are set to merge into one operation.

On Thursday, Bahakel Communications, the owner of CBS-affiliate WAKA, announced that it had signed an agreement to purchase CW-affiliate WBMM (which is licensed to Tuskegee) from SagamoreHill Broadcasting, which also owns Montgomery ABC-affiliate WNCF.

In addition to purchasing WNCF’s sister station from SagamoreHill, Bahakel has entered into a time sales and share services agreement with the company, meaning that Bahakel will now oversee sales and production for all three stations.

Bahakel also announced that Jesse Grear, who has led WNCF and WBMM since 2005, would become vice president and general manager of all three stations. Read more

WAKA Boss Jim Caruthers Announces Retirement

Jim Caruthers is set to retire as vice president and general manager of WAKA, a CBS-affiliate serving the Montgomery-Selma market.

Caruthers, who has been WAKA’s VP-GM for the past 13 years, announced that he is retiring at the end of the year. He says that it’s time for him to end his 40-year broadcasting career and spend more time with his family.

“He did a fantastic job for us,” Jim Babb, executive vice president of WAKA parent company Bahakel Communications, told the Montgomery Advertiser. “He made the station meaningful.”

Because Caruthers will remain in his position until the end of the year, WAKA is taking its time in naming a successor. The station will likely make an in-house appointment later this summer.

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