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NBC Affiliates

WXIA Hires Anchor from HLN

politan hlnVinnie Politan is leaving HLN to join Gannett’s Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA as morning anchor.

“It is a great pleasure to announce that Vinnie Politan will be the new morning anchor for 11Alive news!” WXIA said in a memo sent to staffers. “Vinnie will be joining the team of Karyn Greer, Chesley McNeil and Jaye Watson the first week of August.”

“Vinnie has been a tremendous asset to HLN over the years,” HLN told Rodney Ho, media writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who first reported the news. “We thank him and wish him only the best.”

Earthquake Hits During Oklahoma City Morning Newscast

A series of earthquakes at 5:31, 5:47 and 6:25 a.m. hit the Oklahoma City area this morning.

The largest hit at 5:47 a.m. and was 4.2 on the Richter scale. Reactions among the local stations were pretty consistent, an initial reaction followed by a guess of the earthquake’s magnitude.

“Whoa! Oh my Gosh! I’m so sorry,” said KOCO meteorologist Danielle Dozier during the 5:47 a.m. shaker. “This is live on air.” Dozier then waited for the rumbling to stop before saying,  “That was way bigger than what we felt earlier.” Dozier rightly predicted that earthquake was over 4.0.

FOX affiliate KOKH had the most restrained reaction. Chief meteorologist Jeff George was at the tail end of his forecast when the quake hit and said nothing. Anchor Leslie Draffin told viewers the station just felt what she called a huge earthquake and promised to give more info before tossing to break.

CBS affiliate KWTV was coming back from a video and tossing to meteorologist Lacey Swope who yelled “Earthquake!” when it hit.  Stan Miller and Tammy Payne talked about anchors making it on YouTube with their earthquake reactions and suggested Swope take a deep breath after she ducked down and told viewers her heart was racing.

KFOR, the NBC affiliate was showing forecast maps when the temblor hit. “Oh snap!” said meteorologist Emily Sutton. “That’s a big one.” Sutton also commented that the clanking of the lights was the thing she noticed most. Sutton and anchor Kent Ogle high fived after revealing they had both correctly guessed a previous earthquakes magnitude.

Gray Moves NBC Affiliation to One Nebraska Station, Shuts Down the Other

New_Gray_304Gray Television has transferred its Lincoln, NE, NBC affiliation from newly purchased KHAS in Hastings, NE, to KSNB in Grand Island, NE.

KHAS GM Ulysses Carlini, Jr. said in a statement, “There is no dispute with any cable or satellite provider, who are really great partners with us. Rather, this over-the-air channel change will have minimal impact on viewers directly yet allow us to better serve Central Nebraska going forward.”

KHAS had been the NBC affiliate for Lincoln-Kearney-Hastings market since 1956. It was purchased by Excalibur Broadcasting, a sidecar of Gray, from Hoak Media in November. The station will now go dark.

“The move of KHAS’s programming and great staff to KSNB-TV allows us to serve all of Nebraska in truly unprecedented ways,” said Susan Ramsett, Gray VP and GM. Read more

Atlanta Stations Cover CNN After Car Drives into Network’s Lobby

cnncrash

CNN was the center of breaking news after a Mercedes crashed into the lobby of the network’s building in downtown Atlanta shortly after 4:00 a.m this morning.

All the local stations converged on the scene during their 5:00 a.m. newscasts showing the car with Florida plates already out of the lobby and ready to be pulled onto a flatbed. The only thing left by that time was to figure out the how and the why. Here’s how the stations reacted initially:

WGCL, the Meredith owned CBS affiliate, claimed to be first on the scene. Anchors Michelle Burdo and Frank Wiley teased the story off the top of the 5:00 a.m. news and went live to Rebecca Schramm at 5:03. She told viewers she heard from the security guards at the scene unconfirmed reports that the driver may have been drunk.

WSB, the ABC affiliate, did something interesting by teasing the story off the top the 5:00 a.m. show with video taken from instagram showing the car in the lobby. A couple of minutes later, the station went live to Liz Artz showing pretty much the same video everyone else was showing: the car on a side street being towed.

Artz said she had spoken to a taxi driver who told her he saw the whole thing. He said the car had driven up onto the sidewalk at the Omni Hotel next door, driven down the sidewalk and straight into the CNN building. She told viewers the taxi driver said he saw police taking the driver away.

WXIA, the NBC affiliate, used traffic reporter Crash Clark at 5:11 a.m. in studio to toss to video of the car still in the lobby. He promised more details to come.

WAGA, the FOX owned station, went at 5:32 a.m.. Good Day anchor Karen Graham tossed to Carolyn Ryan at the scene. Ryan reported a man and a woman had been in the car. She said the man was missing, but the woman, who they showed on camera, was still on scene. Ryan said the woman refused to speak to the station.

Erika Gonzalez Shifts to Consumer Reporting at WRC

erika gonzalezWRC, the NBC owned station in Washington, D.C., is shuffling reporters in the wake of consumer reporter Liz Crenshaw‘s retirement.

Beginning next week, Erika Gonzalez (pictured) will be the daily consumer reporter for WRC. Gonzalez, who has worked at the station since 2011. “Erika’s compassion, partnered with her reporting skills and interest in consumer issues will surely make her successful in this new role,” the station said in a statement.

Investigative reporter Tisha Thompson will also expand her role at WRC, contributing more consumer investigative stories to the station’s newscasts.

First Female Local TV News Anchor to Stop Anchoring After 42 Years


Jean Enersen is stepping away from the KING anchor desk on Friday.

Enersen has anchored for 42 of her 46 years at the Seattle NBC affiliate. According to The Seattle Times, her nickname is “The Franchise.” She is the first female local news anchor in the US.

Wednesday, Enersen told viewers, “I’m not leaving you, again. I’m refocusing at KING. I’m lucky. I’m healthy. I’m happy.” While she won’t anchor anymore, she will work on projects like KING’s HealthLink.

“This decision won’t come as a surprise to those who know me well,” Enersen said, “I’ve been passionate about health for a long time. Not just mine, but the health of my family and our community.”

Enersen will also continue working on KING 5 specials including Northwest Newsmakers, political coverage and major news events. She will also continue to serve and support the community which has been her lifelong home.  Those cause-driven organizations that have long benefitted from her commitment and passion will be able to count on her continued advocacy in the future. Read more

WGRZ Names Michael Wooten Midday Anchor

wooten_wgrzMichael Wooten has been named Mary Friona‘s replacement on the WGRZ 11:00 a.m. news.

Last month, Friona announced she was leaving the Buffalo NBC affiliate to focus on her family. Her last day at WGRZ is Friday.

Buffalo News TV writer Alan Pergament reported Wooten will also be the station’s managing editor.

He also was “unofficially” the station’s acting public relations man for the day since he also announced on Facebook that Heather Ly will be taking his place as the anchor on the weekend editions of “Daybreak” alongside Maria Genero on weather.

Wooten started at WGRZ in 2009.

Robert Handa Returns to KNTV

handa_cropped_ktnvRobert Handa is going back to KNTV.

Handa will report for the San Francisco Bay Area NBC owned station and also host a weekly program featuring the Bay Area’s Asian American community.

“We’re thrilled to have a journalist with Robert’s talents and expertise joining our staff,” Jonathan Mitchell, KNTV’s VP of news said in a statement on AsianWeek.com which first reported the news.

Handa told TVSpy by email, “I’m excited about the move and new role as I ‘return home’ to ch11(as many staffers put it). I will miss the people at ch 2.”

He started his career with KNTV when it was an ABC affiliate and joins the station from Oakland FOX affiliate KTVU. He has also worked at KPIX and KQED.

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Only two of the stations in the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland market are in San Francisco. ABC owned KGO and CBS owned KPIX are actually about a block away from one another. FOX affiliate KTVU is across the bay in Oakland while NBC owned station KNTV is about an hour south in San Jose.

Despite their geographical differences, the stations pretty much covered the same range of stories with only a few variations.

Here’s what they covered in the first five minutes:

Pat McGonigle Re-Ups with KSDK

Pat-McGonigleKSDK morning anchor Pat McGonigle has signed a multi-year contract with the St. Louis NBC affiliate, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“We are very happy to have Pat sign a new multi-year contract with KSDK,” president and GM Lynn Beall said in a statement. “It’s very apparent how much Pat loves St. Louis. He really cares about this community.”

McGonigle started at KSDK in September 2011 from WHEC in Rochester, NY. Details of the contract were not released.

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