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Broadcasters Warn Lawmakers Over Concerns About STAVRA

broadcastersThe Hill reports, representatives of ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates wrote to the Senate Commerce Committee to warn that despite the loss of “Local Choice” from the bill, STAVRA still has elements that “would undermine free access … to high quality national network and local broadcast television programming.”

In particular, the stations are concerned about changes made to the system for beaming broadcast channels onto people’s cable and satellite packages, known as “retransmission consent” agreements.

The bill, they wrote, “asserts unprecedented extension of [Federal Communications Commission] regulatory authority over private marketplace negotiations” and unfairly singles out broadcast companies for new limits. Read more

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Portland Reporter Moves North to Seattle

cassuto twitterDan Cassuto is joining Seattle NBC affiliate KING on Monday.

According to Cassuto’s agent Rick Gevers, Mark Ginther, KING news director, told staffers, “Dan is a unique and gifted storyteller.”

Cassuto comes to KING from KATU in Portland where he had been a reporter for two years. He has also worked at WRAL in Raleigh, N.C., WKOW in Madison, Wisc. and WBBH in Fort Myers, Fla.

Power Outage Knocks WPTZ Off the Air

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 10.17.14 AMA power outage knocked Plattsburgh, New York NBC affiliate WPTZ off the air during its morning news Thursday, leaving morning anchors with flashlights in a darkened studio. Anchor David Schneider tweeted “Power is out .. If we get enough juice back perhaps we could broadcast by lantern light.”

In one photo tweeted with the hashtag “#lanterncast”, meteorologist John Hickey is seen preparing the forecast by battery-powered lantern. See it, after the jump.
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Todd Dykes Leaving Morning Anchor Desk at WLWT

Lisa-Cooney-and-Todd-DykesTodd Dykes, who has been a weekday morning anchor at Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT since 2008, will step away from the anchor desk later this month to lead the station’s investigative unit. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports Mark Hayes, who left NBC owned KXAS in Dallas-Ft. Worth earlier this year, will replace Dykes:

Dykes’ departure means all four local TV stations have changed morning news personalities this year: Sheila Gray replaced WKRC-TV’s Tiffany Wilson in March; Larry Handley left WCPO-TV in July; and Jacki Jing abruptly vanished from WXIX-TV in August. Dykes’ change was posted on the station’s website Wednesday, the same day Channel 12 announced a big musical chairs for its 4, 5 and 10 p.m. anchors.

Reporter Brandon Richard Leaves Tulsa’s KJRH for Kansas City

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 10.02.01 AMBrandon Richard, reporter at Tulsa NBC affiliate KJRH, has left the station. He’s headed to Kansas City to report for CBS affiliate KCTV.

Richard, a native Oklahoman who’d been with KJRH for two years, said farewell via Twitter after his final story in Tulsa Friday:

Man Found Guilty of Attacking WGEM Crew in February

The Quincy Herald-Whig said it took a jury 55 minutes to find Roger Parker guilty of felony aggravated battery in a public place, felony intimidation and a misdemeanor charge of resisting a peace officer after a two day trial. He faces between two and five years in prison.

Parker disrupted a live broadcast by WGEM in the area of Seventh and Lind for the 10 p.m. newscast on Feb. 27. WGEM reporter Jenny Dreasler and cameraman Ben Neisen both testified that Parker was verbally abusive toward them before they went on air. Both said Parker threatened their lives and threatened to break Neisen’s camera.

Dreasler was doing a story about junk littering the area, and the shot was to focus on a vacant lot in the area, both Dreasler and Neisen said.

Parker testified that he calmly asked Dreasler and Neisen not to film his property. He told the pair he was “going to (expletive) up the broadcast.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones showed video of the broadcast, which showed a man dressed in a puffy orange winter coat blocking the camera. The man turned around and then grabbed the camera. The video stopped after several seconds, and the live broadcast was cut short.

Dreasler nearly broke down on the stand while testifying Monday afternoon.

“I was honestly scared for my life,” she said.

Escaped Inmate Uses Facebook Messenger to Chat with KTVB Reporter

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 9.22.13 AM When an inmate escaped from an Idaho jail by scaling a razor-wire covered fence two weeks ago, it was a big story in Boise, complete with surveillance video of the escape. Yesterday the escapee, Nicholas Grove, knocked security at the facility in an exclusive Facebook chat with KTVB reporter Andrea Lutz. The Boise NBC affiliate aired the exclusive at 6 p.m.:

For roughly an hour, the KTVB reporter and Nick Grove chatted via Facebook messenger and although he wouldn’t reveal too much information, he did talk to her about the days after he escaped from jail.

“This is my element. Within four days I had a new life, new ID, new face, new job,” Grove wrote. He also said since his escape, someone even offered him work.

In the interview, Grove even took a shot at his former jail, saying it had “more security flaws than any facility I’ve ever seen.”

WKTV Names Jeremy Ryan News Director, GM Steps Down from Anchor Desk

ryan wktvJeremy Ryan has been named news director of Utica, NY NBC affiliate WKTV.

Ryan takes over for former news director Steve McMurray who was promoted to VP and GM of the station in March.

Ryan is being bumped up from news resource manager at WSTM-WTVH, where he’s worked for the past nine years. He was a newscast director at WKTV from 1998 until 2001.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jeremy back to WKTV,” McMurray said in a statement. “Jeremy’s familiarity with the station and the news operations — as well as his experience in the local and regional news business — make him an ideal fit for the position.”

McMurray also announced he would step aside from anchoring NewsChannel 2 at 6 on Friday. Don Shipman will co-anchor the newscast with Kristen Copeland, the same team that anchors the Live at Five Newshour. Shipman also anchors NewsChannel 2 at 10 on the CW11 and NewsChannel 2 at 11 on WKTV.

Sharon Tazewell Named Evening Anchor at WNCN

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 9.42.46 AMA month after anchor Pam Saulsby announced she’d been fired after twenty years at Raleigh-Durham NBC affiliate WNCN, the station has named Sharon Tazewell its new evening co-anchor, debuting Monday night alongside Mike Gonzalez.

“Thank you to all my morning viewers,” Tazewell wrote on Facebook. “It’s been a great run!”

Tazewell had been morning anchor at WNCN. A replacement on the morning team has not been named.

KNWA Announces Neile Jones Leaving Station

jones knwaKNWA has announced evening anchor Neile Jones is leaving the Fayetteville, Ark. NBC affiliate.

“I’m headed home to be near my immediate family,” Jones said in a statement. “I want to watch my nieces grow up, spend time with my sister and brother-in-law and, of course, be with my mom and dad.”

“We have an amazing ‘work family’ environment at this station that resonates with our staff. When Neile came to us with her decision, we knew it was what she truly wanted and it was what was best for her. We celebrate her commitment and leadership at our station and in our community for the past 17 years. We know she will be an excellent asset in her future endeavors,” says Kelsey. Read more