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Nashville Reporter’s Hat Gets Its Own Social Media Following

ferrier_hat_newA lot of us wear many hats at work, but none of our hats are as famous as the one worn by WSMV‘s Dennis Ferrier.

The fur hat with the upturned flaps worn by the reporter for the Nashville NBC affiliate is known as a Ushanka.

But Ferrier’s Ushanka is less of a hat and something closer to a head-borne comforter that has become a part of the Nashville television landscape complete with a Twitter and a facebook page all its own.

Ferrier told TVspy, “I bought it in 1989 in Milwaukee. I had been out on a fire and the spray coming off the house froze to my hair. I had an ice helmet. I said ‘That’s it. I don’t care how I look, I am going to be warm!’”

For Ferrier, the hat seems to be a great way to poke holes in the generic blow-dried reporter stereotype, “I think people like the hat because they appreciate a TV reporter who isn’t obsessed with their looks.”

After WSMV posted a picture of the hat on its facebook page and asked for a viewer vote, one commenter questioned Ferrier’s skill in wearing it, “One segment, it was on sideways and another it was on backwards. But his head is warm and he is awesome. So how ever it lands on his head is ok with me.” Another used it as a weather gauge. “This morning, the hat is soaking wet and misshapen. This means the sleet is transitioning to rain. The hat does not like rain.” Read more

Bob Sellers, Jennifer Waddell to Co-Anchor WZTV Morning Newscast

sellers and waddell Bob Sellers and Jennifer Waddell debuted today as the new morning co-anchors at WZTV, the Fox affiliate in Nashville. News director Bryan McGruder talks to The Tennessean about the revamped newscast, which has been developed since he took over at WZTV in February:

Bryan McGruder, news director at Fox 17 since February, pioneered the new show. He said that it would be more personality-driven, but with hard news, weather and traffic, plus an extra piece of news that the staff feels will prompt workplace conversation. He said “extra” could mean anything from a report of Bono’s impersonation of Bill Clinton to a story about how a dog saved a boy’s life.

“I don’t know if viewers have had much of a choice,” McGruder said. “If you watch (channels) 2, 4 and 5, it’s cookie-cutter, and when you watch us, you’ll get something extra and you’ll get it quickly.” Read more

Jessica Ralston to Anchor in Nashville

ralston_wsazJessica Ralston will soon jump 36 markets to join Nashville, TN, CBS affiliate WTVF as evening anchor.

Ralston comes to WTVF from Charleston-Huntington, WV, NBC affiliate WSAZ.

She told fans on her facebook page about the move in early September. ”My heart is pounding as I write this… filled with sadness and excitement at the same time. I wanted to let all of you know that my 10 year run at WSAZ is coming to a close. As of mid-October, I will be the 5:00/10:00 anchor at WTVF in Nashville.”

As of this writing, she has received over 5,000 likes and more than 200 comments for the post.

Ralston, whose last day at WSAZ will be October 4, started her career at WFMJ in Youngstown, OH. Before coming to WSAZ she worked at WDTV in Bridgeport, WV.

According to the Charleston Daily Mail, Ralston’s first day at WTVF will be October 21.

Jennifer Waddell Says Goodbye to KGUN

After eight years at KGUN, Jennifer Waddell has signed off from the Tucson ABC affiliate. She is moving to Nashville, where she will be the morning anchor at WZTV.

Waddell said an emotional goodbye to the station on the 10 p.m. newscast Friday, with many station staffers wishing her well on a video tribute to her time at KGUN (watch it after the jump).

“Tucson has been great to us,” Waddell told the Arizona Daily Star. “We’ve had our children here and come to really care a whole lot about this community and felt really connected. Leaving is bittersweet, having to say goodbye to a lot of our very dear friends, but we’re excited for the new chapter.

Waddell will begin at Fox affiliate WZTV on September 23. [h/t NewsBlues] Read more

After WKRN Wakes Up Only Man In Line for Titans Tickets, Community Rewards Him


A Nashville man who was the only person to spend the night waiting for Titans tickets to go on sale is now being rewarded for his dedication.

Last week WKRN‘s Stephanie Langston woke up David Cline while he was sleeping outside the box office at LP Field in Nashville. He told the reporter for the Nashville ABC affiliate he didn’t have a credit card so he had to line up to buy a single game ticket to see the Tennessee Titans play the San Francisco 49ers. The video soon went viral.

Cline sells a paper called The Contributor to make ends meet. The paper is sold by the homeless or formerly homeless.

A viewer who saw the story gave Cline a second ticket to the Titans game. The Nashville Predators gave him Predators game tickets, a team jersey and a $100 pre-paid credit card. Read more

Roger Susanin Leaving Little Rock For Nashville

Roger Susanin has announced his departure from KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, Ark.

“After 4 great years in Little Rock, I am leaving Channel 7. I have accepted a position as a reporter at a station in Nashville,” Susanin wrote on KATV’s Facebook page. “I am very excited but also overwhelmed about leaving a place that I love.”

Susanin, a general assignment reporter at KATV, signs off today.

Reporter Cara Kumari Says Goodbye to WSMV

After six years at WSMV, reporter Cara Kumari is saying goodbye to the Nashville NBC affiliate.

“Cara has been part of our family for six years. And family… is the big reason for the change. Cara expressed to me her love of Channel 4 and of reporting, but also her need to shift her priorities as a new mom,” news director Matthew Hilk wrote in an email to staffers obtained by TVSpy. “We will miss her energy, passion, persistence, and political expertise.”

Kumari is WSMV’s state Capitol reporter. She has previously worked at KAKE in Wichita, KFSM in Fayetteville, Ark. and KOMU in Columbia, Mo.

Kristin Priesol Announces WTVF Departure

After 12 years at WTVF, Kristin Priesol is saying goodbye to the Nashville CBS affiliate. She announced the news on Facebook, writing, “it’s just time to be with my own family in the morning and at night.”

“I hope you understand while I am very passionate about telling stories and connecting with our wonderful community my heart is at home, which is where I need to be right now,” Priesol wrote. “Of course none of us know what the future holds. I will find another job just something that allows me to be around during meal time, homework with the kids and yes, even chores.”

Priesol, who anchors the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts, will officially sign off from WTVF on August 2.

Jonathan Martin Signing Off From WSMV

WSMV weekend anchor and reporter Jonathan Martin is leaving the Nashville NBC affiliate. A formal announcement is expected on Martin’s plans in the coming weeks, TVSpy has learned. He will work at WSMV through the end of the July.

“His hard work, tenacity, team spirit and his thorough, responsible, and creative approach to news have made him a great fit for WSMV, and he’ll be missed,” WSMV news director Matthew Hilk wrote in a memo to staffers.

Martin joined WSMV in 2007. Before that, he spent two years as a reporter and anchor at WRDW, the CBS affiliate in Augusta, Ga.

WSMV Airs Correction to Series of Reports on Missing Tennessee Girl

WSMV, the NBC affiliate in Nashville, has issued a correction to a series of reports on the disappearance of Holly Bobo that have aired over the last month.

The station reviewed the reports after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation slammed them as “irresponsible and unprofessional journalism.” In the on-air correction (video above), anchor Tom Randles walked back much of the information provided from “Without Warning,” a nonprofit organization assisting the Bobo family with investigating the disappearance.

“Channel 4 regrets not doing a better job of seeking law enforcement reaction to these items,” Randles said. “… We’ve addressed the issues and taken steps to ensure that all of our stories uphold the standard of accuracy and fairness you’ve come to expect.”

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