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WNBC Remembers Former Announcer and Voice of SNL, Don Pardo


Don Pardo, who many know today as the iconic voice of Saturday Night Live, died Monday in Arizona at the age of 96.

Pardo had worked for NBC since 1944. At New York NBC owned station WNBC, he was the announcer for Live at Five in the 1980s.

According to NBC, many of those featured on SNL said they didn’t feel like they’d made it until Pardo announced their name.

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Mark Effron Leaving WPIX

mark_effron.03WPIX news director Mark Effron announced to staff today that he is leaving the Tribune-owned New York CW affiliate. He will stay through October.

Effron wrote to staffers in a memo that, when he was hired, he told Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert, that he only wanted to be news director for two years. (Read Effron’s memo after the jump.)

Effron told TVSpy the timing has been fortuitous. He said the station’s turnaround came more quickly than he expected and he hopes the positive momentum continues for the next news director.

When asked about future plans, Effron mentioned his approaching 65th birthday and said he’s confident he will continue to work in the business. “It’s been a terrific career. I’ve been very blessed both personally and professionally and I’m very excited about what happens next.”

Wert hired Effron in April 2013. Rich Graziano was hired as GM of WPIX later that year. Read more

WPIX Taunts Rival Stations with NYC ‘Billboard Truck’

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WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City, has dispatched a “billboard truck” to brag about the station’s recent 5 p.m. news victory over Fox-owned WNYW and NBC-owned WNBC.

This July’14 sweeps period, PIX11 News at 5 saw its best performance since Feb’13 (.5 Adults 25-54) and was the only 5p newscast to grow versus Jul’13 in key demos: Adults 25-54 (+67%), Women 25-54 (+25%) and Adults 18-49 (+100%).

PIX11 News at 5 outperformed WNYW/FOX 5 for the first time in 3 years in key demos: Adults 25-54 (since Jul’11), Women 25-54 and Adults 18-49 (since Aug’11), and also surpassed WNBC for the first time in 3 years in Adults 25-54 (since Aug’11), while tied among Women 25-54 (first time since Jul’11)

NYC Anchor Debuts New Show on Harlem

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Long before the anchor desk at New York station WPIX, news anchor Vanessa Tyler was a kid growing up in Harlem. Now, she’s set to take New York viewers into that iconic neighborhood in a new weekly show, “What’s Eating Harlem”. “I hope people will look at and love the show and appreciate the people,” Tyler told the New York Daily News. “That’s what makes Harlem Harlem — the people.”

Tyler, who currently serves as a freelance news anchor for Verizon’s FiOS 1 news, debuts the 26-week series on the New York City-owned NYC Life channel Thursday evening.

“I have a very soft spot in my heart for Harlem,” said Tyler, who grew up in the Grant Houses, one of the area’s public housing complexes, before her big break on WPIX-TV’s evening news.

Tribune Gets New Name Ahead of Split

TribuneMedia_CMYK_pri_LrgTypeTribune Company begins operating under a new, but similar, name today: Tribune Media Company. The rebranding comes as the broadcasting and publishing divisions of the 167-year-old company split.

Tribune Media includes Tribune Broadcasting, WGN America, Tribune Studios, Tribune Digital Ventures, WGN Radio, and Tribune Real Estate. “In the last year, we have executed a strategy designed to embrace a rapidly changing media environment,” said Peter Liguori, President and CEO, Tribune Media Company. “We doubled the size of our broadcast group, re-launched our national cable network WGN America with high-quality original programming, and expanded our digital businesses that power some of the world’s leading media brands.” Tribune owns CW affiliates in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale. Last year, the company acquired Local TV Holdings adding 19 TV stations in 16 markets.

The other entity, Tribune Publishing Company, includes 10 major daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, South Florida Sun-SentinelOrlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun. Tribune Publishing is expected to begin trading on the NYSE tomorrow. Its future as a stand-alone company is less clear.

 

‘We Do Have Breaking News Right Now: Facebook is Down’

New York City’s WNBC took a lighthearted approach to today’s Facebook outage during its noon newscast this afternoon (video above).

“Just to keep panic at bay here, we do have breaking news right now: Facebook is down,” Contessa Brewer said. “We’re expecting this to trend on Twitter at any moment. Here’s the screen grab we have from our newsroom, where people are unforunately having trouble getting on. I got on, but nothing is uploading, nothing is updating. It just allowed me to send a friend request, that’s all.”

Brewer took to Twitter after the show to assure viewers she was being sarcastic:

[h/t Brian Stelter]

News12 Reporter Out After Comments About ‘Young Black Men Growing Up Without Fathers’

bergin news12_croppedSean Bergin, a freelance reporter for Cablevision’s News12 New Jersey, is out at the regional cable news network after telling viewers on-air what he thought was the root cause of what he called the “anti-cop mentality” among young black men in inner cities.

Bergin told TVSpy he was suspended with pay for two days because of his comments and that the station, “made me an offer I had to refuse.” Bergin said News12 said he could come back for $350 a week and a chance to do what he called his “goofy feature segment” but not report hard news. He added, “I told them I had no choice but to turn it down.”

The controversy started Sunday night when Bergin was wrapping up a story about the killing of a Jersey City police officer. As part of the story, Bergin had interviewed the wife of the man alleged to have shot and killed the officer.

Bergin told viewers the station was “besieged” with calls from police officers angry he had given time to “the life of a cop killer.” He then told viewers, News12 aired the interview because it wanted to “shine a light on the anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities.” He went on to say, “The underlying cause of all of this, of course: young black men growing up without fathers.”

A News12 spokesperson told TVSpy, “It is News 12′s policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air.” Read more

WLNY Launches Weekend Evening Newscast

wlny-logo2WLNY, the CBS-owned independent station serving the New York City market, is launching a weekend edition of its 9 p.m. newscast. Beginning July 12, the hourlong newscast will be anchored by Cindy Hsu with meteorologist Elise Finch and sports anchor Steve Overmyer.

“WLNY’s 9 p.m. newscast addresses viewers’ needs to have their local news at an earlier time in the evening and the newly expanded broadcast will now allow audiences to do that on the weekend as well,” David Friend, the senior vice president of news for CBS Television Stations and the news director for WCBS-WLNY, said in a statement.

Hsu currently anchors the weekend evening newscasts on sister station WCBS, where she has worked since 1993.

WPIX Reporter Talks About Celebrity’s Failed Kiss Attempt

badu diaz wpixA celebrity turned the tables on WPIX reporter Mario Diaz last week by giving the New York CW affiliate reporter more attention than he really wanted.

Diaz was wrapping up a report about Shia LeBeouf‘s recent arrest when musician Erykah Badu, wearing a Pharrelesque style hat, began mugging for the camera behind Diaz before leaning in for a kiss.

Diaz pushed her away before she could plant one. Diaz later said he sensed something was going on, but the kiss attempt came out of nowhere.

Badu apologized on twitter. Diaz responded with some Prince lyrics. He also talked about the encounter on air. See the video after the jump.

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Kathryn Brown Leaves WCBS for WRAL

KathrynBrownKathryn Brown is leaving New York’s WCBS and joining WRAL where she has been named weekend anchor. Brown joins in late August and will take over for Renee Chou who moved to the morning show. The move to Raleigh will put Brown and her husband, Scott, who works for WABC-TV, closer to family in Atlanta. Before WCBS, Brown worked at WJZ-TV in Baltimore and at WSET-TV in Roanoke.

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