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The View Reviews Are In…

theviewThe 18th season of The View premiered Monday, with new hosts, new producers and a new set. The social media reaction, as always, was mixed. Here’s what the critics had to say:

  • The Wrap was impressed with the new co-hosts’ chemistry: “No one is more exhausted by the news surrounding the new hires than me, a writer and journalist covering the beat, but ABC got it right. Whatever testing and re-testing and lying about the departing hosts and producers that went down seems to have worked.”
  • The Washington Post noted how respectful the usually raucous ‘Hot Topics’ section was: “Otherwise, the premiere was very similar to what the show has always been, as they debated hot-button issues including Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Woody Allen. If anything, it was pretty cordial, though of course it is only the first day. Wallace announced upfront she was a Republican, and O’Donnell chimed in with “And I really like her, I swear to God.”
  • The Daily Beast was impressed with the new set: “A brand new set was then unveiled as Goldberg welcomed us to the new season. (O’Donnell reportedly had the entire studio moved to a new location in New York City because she thought the old one was drab and dusty.) The new set was orange and teal and much more intimate than recent iterations, returning to the idea these hosts are supposed to be part of the conversation with women, not performing a conversation in front of women.”
  • The New York Times wasn’t as enthusiastic, noting that the show started with a coy joke about Barbara Walters and ended with a tribute to Joan Rivers “with a kind of mawkish piety… Most of what went on in between was rather stilted, which is to be expected when new hosts take over a long-established show, and this one has been around for 17 years. But even on Day 1, there were signs of where “The View” is headed, and it’s likely to be more tame.”

All in all, a majority of the critics seemed to appreciate the changes. Let’s see if the positivity continues past the premiere.

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WNYW Adds Business Reporter

morris wtic_304New York FOX owned station WNYW has added Alison Morris as the station’s business reporter.

Morris left WTIC in Hartford, Conn. in August. She has also worked at KDKA in Pittsburgh. She started her career at the Wall Street Journal Europe in Paris, France and has reported for CNBC Europe.

“I can’t wait to become FOX 5′s first business reporter and bring our viewers the latest on the economy, business climate and their money,” Morris said in a statement. “What we’re doing here is unique and to do it on a station I grew up watching is awesome.”

She starts Monday, September 22.

Dan Carlin Promoted to VP of Creative Services and Public Affairs at WNYW-WWOR

FOX-5Dan Carlin, currently the of vice president of programming and research at New York FOX owned station WNYW and WWOR, adds vice president of creative services and public affairs to his title.

“Dan is an incredible resource for our stations,” Lew Leone, WNYW-WWOR VP & GM, said in a statement. “His market knowledge and program and audience research acumen, as well as his strategic vision are second to none. I am thrilled to announce this well-deserved promotion.”

Carlin has worked at the Fox owned station since 1992.

Sharon van Zwieten Leaving WPIX After a Little More Than One Year

wpixlogo_304Sharon van Zwieten, one-time senior executive producer at WPIX, is leaving the station today.

A Tribune spokesperson confirmed the move with TVSpy, but didn’t provide any details.

van Zwieten was brought on last year as senior executive producer under news director Mark Effron. In April, she was moved to a news talent project management role after WPIX hired Chuck Carter as managing editor. Carter worked at WTIC in Hartford, Conn. with WPIX GM Rich Graziano before Graziano moved to WPIX.

Two weeks ago, WPIX news director Mark Effron announced he was leaving the New York CW affiliate.

Tom Llamas Leaving WNBC

TomLlamasTom Llamas, an investigative reporter and anchor at WNBC who also works for NBC News as a fill-in anchor and correspondent, is leaving the NBC flagship. His last day is this Friday.

“It has been a pleasure to work with him all these years,” news director Susan Sullivan writes in a note, obtained by TVSpy. “Please join me in thanking Tom for his many contributions and wishing him well in his new venture.” We hear he’s network-bound.

Llamas’ agent Rick Ramage says Llamas’ next move will be announced in the coming days.

Llamas had a fast rise through NBC, starting as an associate producer at NBC and then MSNBC, working as a campaign embed during the 2004 elections, joining NBC’s WTVJ in Miami as a reporter in 2005, then returning to WNBC in 2008 as a reporter. Three years ago he was part of the re-launch of the 5pm newscast as co-anchor.

TunedIn first reported Llamas’ departure from WNBC.

Former WCBS Anchor Headed to Court Over Phone Calls

rob morrison wcbsA judge has cleared the way for former WCBS anchor Rob Morrison  to go to trial over allegations he harassed his estranged wife with more than 120 phone calls in one weekend, reports the New York Post.

While relaxing the protective order that Morrison’s wife, Ashley, a former “Moneywatch’’ anchor, has against her hubby, a Connecticut judge said Tuesday that Morrison will still have to stand trial over the alleged phone harassment.

Morrison has said he bombarded Ashley with the stream of calls over Memorial Day weekend only to try to talk to their young son, in accordance with their custody agreement.

Morrison was forced from his job in 2013 after his arrest on charges of choking his wife.

NY1 Anchor Roma Torre Taking Leave After Cancer Diagnosis

Roma-Torre-1The New York Daily News reports that NY1 anchor and theater critic Roma Torre has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be taking a leave of absence from the Time Warner Cable News station.

“Anyone who knows me is well aware I don’t seek public attention,” Torre told The Daily News. “And so when I received a diagnosis of cancer, my inclination was to keep it private. But if there’s any good to come out of all this, it’s the hope that sharing my story can spare others the pain of my experience.” Torre has worked at NY1 since 1992 and is a mother of two.

She will be treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. According to an article on the station’s site, Torre will have surgery on Thursday to remove the cancer, at which point a more detailed diagnosis will be made.

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.

Read more

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’

Picture 1

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)

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