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New Orleans

Norman Robinson Retiring From WDSU

norman robinsonNorman Robinson is retiring from WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans. His final broadcast will be May 30.

“We have been honored to have Norman as a colleague and friend for nearly a quarter-century and we congratulate him on his remarkable achievements and his well-earned retirement,” WDSU president and general manager Joel Vilmenay said in a statement. “We are pleased that he will continue to make contributions through partnerships and appearances in the years ahead.”

Robinson has worked at WDSU since 1990. Last year, he scaled back his duties, stepping away from the 10 p.m. anchor desk but continuing to anchor the 6 p.m. newscast.

“I am filled with bittersweet emotions, but happy to turn the page to a new chapter in my life. Most of all I have been lucky enough to fulfill my lifelong dream to become a news anchor in the city I love,” Robinson sad. “For that, I am most grateful.”

Read WDSU’s official announcement after the jump. Read more

Dennis Woltering Retiring from WWL


New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL has announced the retirement of longtime anchor Dennis Woltering.

Woltering, who will step down at the end of May, started at WWL in 1977 as a weekend anchor and reporter. He left in 1984 to work at WCAU in Philadelphia but returned to WWL in 1994.

“Dennis not only represents the best of what WWL-TV stands for, he represents the best of what it means to be a journalist,” Tod Smith, WWL president and GM said in a statement.

“There were indications that they wanted to sort of go in a different direction,” Woltering told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “It was just the time. Last year when Angela [Hill] left, she said, ‘It’s time.’ And if it was time for her, it was way past time for me.”

“It wasn’t that we went in and said, ‘Dennis, we need you to retire,’” Smith told Times-Picayune. “That wasn’t the case. It certainly was Dennis’ decision, and I respect that.”

“I’ll probably have some kind of little commentary at the end,” Smith said. “The station has been great to me. I’ve really had an extraordinary time here. They’ve given me so much opportunity. I really am grateful to this station, and for the people I’ve worked with.” He added, “I’ve had an extraordinary career here. I’m a very lucky person.”

WVUE to Re Air ‘Cosmos’ After Evolution Segment Partially Covered by Commercials

wvue_304Viewers of Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey again missed out on part of a discussion about evolution when a technical error covered it with a news promo, a psa and some commercials.

In the latest error, viewers of New Orleans FOX affiliate WVUE missed nearly a minute and a half of Tyson talking about how global climate change millions of years ago paved the way for the primate to human evolutionary journey.

A similar snafu happened at Oklahoma City FOX affiliate KOKH. There, a master control error was blamed for covering over Tyson talking about evolution.

WVUE president and GM Sandy Breland told nola.com the cover up was “an automation error.” She also said the episode would re-air at 10:35 p.m. on Thursday. Breland added, “It was a mistake. We certainly regret the error.”

Gerry Vaillancourt Out at WVUE

vaillancourt wvue croppedWVUE morning anchor Gerry Vaillancourt has been let go by the New Orleans FOX affiliate.

Vaillancourt has been the radio color analyst for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets for the past 19 seasons.

“They said they wanted to go in a different direction,” Vaillancourt told Nola.com. “They want a ‘news anchor’ type with a news background. I can understand that.”

Vaillancourt started at WVUE in October 2012.

Dave Nussbaum Joins WWL in New Orleans

wwl_nussbaum_debutMeteorologist Dave Nussbaum made his debut on New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL today.

WWL news director Bill Siegel told TVSpy Nussbaum will work the Noon and 5:00 p.m. shows.

Nussbaum said goodbye to Baton Rouge ABC affiliate WBRZ last Friday after working there for more than a decade.

Raycom Names Sandy Breland GM of WVUE

wvue_304Raycom Media has named Sandy Breland vice president and general manager of WVUE in New Orleans.

Breland is charged with leading the transition as Raycom begins providing operational services to the New Orleans FOX affiliate Monday.

WVUE’s parent company announced last month it had entered into a shared services agreement with Raycom.

“Sandy is the perfect choice to lead and grow this station,” Paul McTear, president and CEO of Raycom said in a statement. “She knows New Orleans and served the people of that community during some of the more challenging times in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”

Breland, who replaces retiring GM Joe Cook, had served as news director at rival station WWL for 11 years. Before coming to WVUE, she was the GM at Raycom’s Baton Rouge station WAFB.

Breland will continue in her other role as regional VP overseeing Raycom’s stations WAFB, KSLA in Shreveport and KPLC in Lake Charles, LA.

New Orleans TV Icon Frank Davis Dies

Frank Davis, New Orleans TV icon for CBS affiliate WWL has died.

For more than 30 years, Davis brought his morning show cooking segments, his “Fishin’ Game Report” and his “Naturally N’Awlins” features to New Orleans viewers.

In May this year, Davis revealed to viewers he was suffering from a rare autoimmune disease called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy which robbed him of the use of his arms and legs. He retired from the station in 2011.

“Thank God in heaven that I’ve got that happy personality, that I can see something bad and smile about it,” he told WWL medical reporter Meg Farris about his CIDP diagnosis in a May interview. “Believe me, I don’t want to smile about it because it bothers me. It’s a roller coaster ride. I’m good one day. I’m bad one day.” Read more

WVUE General Manager Joe Cook to Retire

wvue_304WVUE president and general manager Joe Cook will retire from the New Orleans Fox affiliate on December 13, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

WVUE parent company Louisiana Media Company recently announced a shared services agreement with Raycom, which will provide operational services to WVUE beginning December 16. Cook will become president of Louisiana Media Company and plans to spend more time on his other interests, songwriting and real estate.

According to B&C, Sandy Breland, the general manager of Raycom’s WAFB-WBXH in Baton Rouge, will have oversight of WVUE once the shared services agreement begins.

Raycom to Operate New Orleans FOX affiliate

raycom_wvueWVUE has announced its parent company Louisiana Media Company has reached an agreement in principle to a shared services agreement with Raycom Media.

According to the station the SSA, “will allow Louisiana Media Company to “join hands” with the strongest regional television group in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Raycom Media. The shared services agreement between WVUE Fox 8 and Raycom Media will permit Raycom Media to provide operational services for the station, under the ultimate control of Louisiana Media.”

The New Orleans FOX affiliate was rumored to have been sold in October when Raycom investor Retirement Systems of Alabama told its members in a newsletter Raycom was close to closing on the sale of WVUE for $55.6 million. At the time, WVUE told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “There is no sale pending. The station is not for sale.” Read more

Meteorologist Derek Kevra Set to Join WJBK

derek kevraMeteorologist Derek Kevra is joining WJBK in Detroit, a spokesperson for the Fox O&O confirms to TVSpy. Kevra comes from WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans.

Kevra, who joined WWL in 2009, is the noon and 5 p.m. meteorologist at the station. With his move to Detroit, he returns to the station where he began his television career as an intern. He has also worked at KDRV, the ABC affiliate in Medford, Ore.

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