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New Orleans

WGNO Adds Meteorologist for Evening News

spencer wgno croppedMartha Spencer is set to join Tribune-owned New Orleans ABC affiliate WGNO.

Spencer will be the meteorologist for the station’s 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts starting February 2.

She comes from WBTW-WFXB in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and has also worked at WTVY in Dothan, Ala. and WJHG in Panama City, Fla.

Rick Erbach, news director at WGNO said,“Living in the Southeast, Martha has had plenty of experiences with tropical weather, severe weather, and flooding. She’s a serious student of weather forecasting.”

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New Orleans FOX Affiliate Questions Campaign Ad Featuring Anchor

WVUE, the FOX affiliate for New Orleans, says it takes issue with a Senate candidate’s campaign ad.

The ad for Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D), who is being challenged by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R), uses a clip from WVUE anchor John Snell to attack Cassidy by saying, “The congressman claimed to be two places at once.”

WVUE reports the full text of what Snell said on the Friday 10:00 p.m. broadcast was, “A former supervisor of Bill Cassidy came to his defense tonight over a controversy that the congressman claimed to be in two places at once.”

Just days before the runoff election, FOX 8 objects to what we believe is a misrepresentation in the ad, and we have formally asked the Landrieu campaign to pull the spot.

Landrieu’s campaign manager, Ryan Berni, defends the ad that’s running statewide, saying: “The ad is factual. Bill Cassidy is simply trying to distract voters from the fact that he took more than $100,000 in a taxpayer-funded salary for work he didn’t do. Louisianans deserve to know the truth.” Read more

Jacki Jing Named Co-Anchor of ‘Good Morning New Orleans’ on WGNO

Jacki-Jin2WGNO, the New Orleans ABC affiliate, has announced the addition of Jacki Jing to its news team.

Jing will co-anchor “Good Morning New Orleans” with Anne Cutler and chief meteorologist Hank Allen, weekdays from 5:00-7:00 a.m. She will also be reporting for WGNO News at 11:00 a.m.

“Jacki fell in love with New Orleans during a recent visit. She was really excited about the city’s vibe, food, culture, and tradition. Jacki’s passion for journalism and enthusiasm for New Orleans makes this a great fit,” Rick Erbach, WGNO news director, said in a statement.

Jing previously worked at Cincinnati FOX affiliate WXIX as a morning anchor and reporter.

Jing will join WGNO in early December.

WDSU Adds Morning Anchor, Moves Another

divins_rousseauCharles Divins is joining WDSU next Monday as a morning anchor.

“We’re delighted to welcome Charles to the WDSU family,” WDSU president & GM Joel Vilmenay said in a statement.

The addition of Divins to the New Orleans NBC affiliate means Sula Kim will move to 4:00 p.m. with Camille Whitworth.

Divins was co-host of nationally syndicated show The Daily Buzz and joins Randi Rousseau (pictured) on WDSU News This Morning.

Dave Barnes, Former WWL Chief Meteorologist, Has Died

Dave Barnes, who was chief meteorologist for more than a decade at New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL, died Saturday in Florida of complications from cancer. He was 78.

Barnes retired in 1997. “Dave was the consummate professional,” said former WWL anchor Angela Hill. “But more than that, I’ll remember Dave for the loving and caring person he was and for always being a perfect gentleman.”

WVUE’s New AM Anchor Reveals Unique Start to His Career

adaline wvueGreg Adaline made his debut on New Orleans FOX affiliate WVUE yesterday morning.

That alone might be interesting enough for a single post, but The Times-Picayune reports Adaline started his career by beating out hundreds of contestants in an on-air “audition derby” at Detroit’s WDIV in 2004.

“This was right around the time that ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘American Idol’ were just starting to take off,” he said. “Reality TV was a new thing.”

A VHS audition tape in hand, Adaline arrived at the open-call audition and took his place near the end of the line of nearly 300 contestants. He survived the first round to be one of eight finalists in the competition.

The finalists did stories on-air for the next two weeks, with a 5 p.m. newscast vote-off by a judges panel winnowing the field.

Adaline prevailed — “It was an amazing couple of weeks,” he said — and the stories he did that summer at WDIV enabled him to put together a sampler tape of stories he used to secure his next job.

“I was off and running,” he said. “That’s how my career started.”

According to his WVUE bio, he was offered a three month on-air contract at WDIV. Adaline went on to work as the morning anchor at WLNS in Lansing, Mich. He then went to KCTV in Kansas City before returning to WLNS in 2011.

Meteorologist Changes at WDSU in New Orleans

wdsu weatherWDSU viewers will notice a couple of changes to the station’s weekday morning and afternoon shows today.

Jonathan Shelley, news director for the New Orleans NBC affiliate, told TVSpy, morning meteorologist Jay Galle is moving to a day shift and will anchor the 4:00 p.m. news. He will also come in early or stay late when team coverage is needed, produce web content and handle weather updates from mid-morning through early afternoon.

Weekend morning meteorologist Damon Singleton will replace Galle on the weekday morning show.

Shelley said the station hasn’t made any announcements regarding the weekend morning meteorologist.

Nicolas Cage Makes WWL Studio Hollywood for a Day

cage on wwl setNew Orleans CBS affiliate WWL got a visit from film star Nicolas Cage in between the morning and noon news yesterday.

But he wasn’t there to talk, he was there to work. Cage was in town to shoot a movie set in the wake of the BP oil spill.

Houston CBS affiliate KHOU reports the director shot in New Orleans because he wanted to keep keep the film authentic.

But another important element for him was keeping things local. That included dozens of crew members in the studio and some familiar faces you’ll see in the film.“Like Wendell Pierce and Bryan Batt and a lot of the smaller roles are a lot of local actors, and about 90 percent of our crew are also Louisiana locals as well.” Read more

Jon Huffman Set to Retire From WGNO

jon huffman wgnoWGNO morning anchor Jon Huffman will retire from the ABC affiliate in New Orleans next month. Huffman has been on New Orleans television since 1990 and has anchored WGNO’s “Good Morning New Orleans” since 2008.

“Jon was a fabulous mentor for new employees on Good Morning New Orleans. His easy going nature helped them make the transition to waking up in the early morning hours a little easier. He’ll be missed,” WGNO news director Rick Erbach said in a statement. “Sleep in Jon. You’ve earned it.”

Before WGNO, Huffman worked as a reporter and anchor for WVUE, the Fox affiliate in New Orleans. He will officially sign off from WGNO August 1.

“I will deeply miss my co-workers at WGNO and the fun spirit of ‘Good Morning New Orleans.’ But I certainly won’t miss the alarm clock going off at 2:30 in the morning! It’s time to move on to a more relaxed—and relaxing—phase of my life,” Huffman said.

WWL Adds Weekend, Evening Newscasts

wwl logoWWL-WUPL, Gannett’s duopoly in New Orleans, is adding evening and weekend newscasts next month. WWL will debut weekend morning newscasts anchored by Antwan Harris on August 9, and WUPL will debut weeknight newscasts anchored by Natalie Shepherd and Thanh Truong on September 9.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune has more:

“I think people want to know the overnight news,” said Bill Siegel, WWL’s news director. “They certainly want up-to-the-minute weather. Given weekend plans and how much time everybody spends outside here, that’s really important.

“We also have the opportunity to do some different things on Saturday and Sunday, a deeper dive on cultural things and festivals. There’s a lot of opportunity there.”

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