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After Using Drone Footage in Story, New York FOX Station Asks if It’s Legal

In its 10:00 p.m. news last night, New York’s WNYW used drone footage as part of a story about a small plane crash on Long Island. Then the FOX owned station looked into the legality of using unmanned aerial vehicles to cover the news.

“When I heard that the police helicopters and news choppers couldn’t get video footage of what was going on because of the cloud cover that was today,” Nick Borella, the guy who used his drone to shoot the plane crash, told WNYW’s Stacey Delikat. “I thought that I would get over and have a chance to help them out any way that I could because I could fly in that.”

WNYW’s admission it didn’t pay for the footage did two things, it furthered the conversation about drone usage and according to Brendan Schulman, an attorney who runs the unmanned aircraft system group for law firm Kramer Levin, cleared them of any wrongdoing since the FAA only frowns on commercial use.

The question raised? Does this change anything for drone operators looking to get paid for their work?

Rob Morrison Arrested For Harassment, Violation of Protective Order

rob morrison mugshotFormer WCBS anchor Rob Morrison is facing new charges linked to his 2013 domestic abuse arrest, the Darien Times reports.

Morrison was arrested by Darien police for violating a protective order after he contacted his wife, former CBS MoneyWatch anchor Ashley Morrison, more than 100 times over Memorial Day weekend. Morrison was also charged with harassment in the incident.

Rob Morrison, who was cleared of domestic violence charges in April, told the Darien Times the pair had an argument after he “refused to discuss relocating in the presence of the couple’s 8-year-old son”:

Morrison said the entire incident has been taken out of context. He said most of those phone calls and text messages were the result of his attempts to contact his son after Ashley kicked him out of the house for refusing to discuss relocation plans.

“She became very agitated and very irate,” Morrison told The Darien Times. “I was trying to diffuse the situation. She raised her voice, called me names, et cetera… I look over and there’s [our son]… He’s crying. He saw what he perceived to be a pretty boisterous argument between his mom and dad, when in fact, it was instigated by one party.

“I was trying to make my way over to comfort him and she” yelled at him to leave in front of their son, he said. “If she says that I’ve got to go,” under the terms of the protective order.

No word yet on where Ashley Morrison might be relocating to. She signed off from CBS MoneyWatch last year.

[Image via The Hartford Courant]

Esteban Creste Joins Univision New York as News Director

wxtv logoEsteban Creste is joining WXTV, the Univision station in New York, as news director, MediaMoves reports. It is a return to New York for Creste, who began his career as a reporter, host and managing editor at Telemundo New York.

“After a very enriching life on the road, I’m going back home. I’m very happy,” he told MediaMoves.

For the past three years, Creste has been the executive producer and news director for Fox Deportes in Mexico City. He begins at WXTV on July 1.

Woman Who Accused Greg Kelly of Rape Speaks Out

greg kellyThe woman who accused WNYW morning anchor Greg Kelly of rape two years ago has spoken out for the first time about the case, giving a series of interviews to BuzzFeed’s Jessica Testa.

The woman, Maria Di Toro, accused Kelly of raping her in October 2011; Kelly was cleared of all charges after an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office concluded “the established facts do not constitute a crime under New York criminal law.”

Di Toro tells BuzzFeed why she is telling her side of the story now:

“I was really scared into submission,” she said. “I felt that if I had said anything to the press — because I had already seen my own words in a police report twisted — I thought for sure if I gave them any interview on the phone, it was gonna happen the same way.”

“I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I realize that I didn’t do all that I could have done to stand up for myself,” said Di Toro, now 31, a petite brunette from a big Long Island family. “I was always like a puny little thing, but I always stood up for myself … And I didn’t this time. And it’s eaten away at my core every day.”

When contacted by BuzzFeed to respond to Di Toro’s account of the incident, Kelly’s lawyer said: “Nearly two and a half years ago the allegations against Mr. Kelly were very thoroughly investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office properly exonerated Mr. Kelly.”

WPIX Remakes AM Show in Effort to Expand News Coverage Elsewhere

wpixlogo_304Tribune’s WPIX has revamped its morning show lineup. The station said the move was meant to help it invest more resources elsewhere.

A station spokesperson told TVSpy the 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. hour has been dropped.

And despite reports of Marysol Castro and Dan Mannarino leaving the New York CW affiliate, the station said it has moved the two former anchors to reporting in the mornings with Sukanya Krishnan and Kori Chambers anchoring the entire 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. show instead of just the 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.

In addition to the main anchor changes and new traffic reporter Kaitlin Monte, meteorologist Rachel Frank joins from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. while Linda Church remains on the 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. show

A Tribune spokesperson told TVSpy, “Moving PIX11 Morning News’ start time from 4:00 am to 5:00 am allows the station the flexibility to invest more resources into the key morning hours and positions PIX11 to expand news coverage in other dayparts later this year.”

Media blogs were speculating that Castro was out at the station and Mannarino was not far behind after Castro shook Mannarino’s hand at the end of Thursday’s show and said, “Hey, dude. It was nice knowing you.”

Brett Steininger Named Local Sales Manager at WPIX

wpix logoBrett Steininger has been named local sales manager at WPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York City. Steininger will join the station on June 23 and will report to WPIX general sales manager Debbie Presser.

It is a move within Tribune for Steininger, who previously worked at WCCT in Hartford as the national sales manager for the Tribune-owned stations. He has previously worked at Telerep, Joonbug and Revshare.

“Brett is a dynamic, driven game changer,” WPIX president and general manager Rich Graziano said in a statement. “He has a proven track record of success in multiple markets, most important New York. Brett’s contacts and relationships are vast. His passion to serve the needs of our advertising partners is infectious. Brett will be of tremendous value; a great addition to the WPIX all-star sales team.”

WPIX Names Kaitlin Monte AM Traffic Reporter

monte wnbcKaitlin Monte will join New York CW affiliate WPIX as its morning traffic reporter on Monday.

Monte comes to WPIX from New York NBC owned station WNBC where she hosted the station’s interactive trivia segments. She is also the host of Mets Insider on SNY. In 2011, she was crowned Miss New York and was 2nd runner up to Miss America in 2012.

“Our viewers will come to depend on Kaitlin for up-to-the-second traffic information, including alternate routes and workarounds,” Mark Effron, WPIX VP and news director, said in a statement. “Kaitlin is a committed broadcaster, a passionate advocate, and I’m delighted that she’s joining our morning team.”

John Muller Returns to WPIX, Scott Stanford Goes Back to Sports

photo_atm-john-muller-11-e1401767395558WPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York, has announced the return of John Muller as weeknight anchor.

Muller will join Tamsen Fadal for the 5:00  and 10:00 p.m. shows, a move that will see current anchor Scott Stanford return to sports.

Stanford, who was named lead sports anchor at WPIX with Muller’s return, made the switch from sports to news when he came to WPIX in September from WNBC. He was weekend sports anchor at the NBC owned station.

Muller first started at WPIX in 1999 before leaving in 2011 to work at ABC. He had been anchor of World News Now and America This Morning. He also filled in as news reader for Good Morning America. He starts June 23.

“WPIX11 continues to grow and invest in our team. John and Tamsen, along with Scott and Mr. G are an all-star anchor lineup with a meaningful connection to the audience,” WPIX news director Mark Effron said in a statement. “Our viewers have watched John grow up here on PIX11, I have been a longtime fan of his work and I’m delighted he is back at PIX11 where he belongs.”

Muller started his career at WTOC in Savannah, GA before moving on to WBBH in Fort Myers, FL, WFLA in Tampa and WNBC in New York.

WPIX Partners With City & State to Expand Political Coverage

wpix logoWPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York City, is partnering with NYC-based company City & State to expand its political coverage.

As part of the partnership, City & State columnists will appear on WPIX’s newscasts and “PIX11 News Closeup,” a political affairs show hosted by Marvin Scott. The two organizations will also work together on long-form investigative pieces.

“The collaboration between PIX11 and City & State, two iconic New York news institutions, could not be coming at a better time…it has never been more important for our viewers to know the impact of politics and policy on their lives and the lives of their families,” WPIX vice president of news Mark Effron said in a statement.

The partnership begins in June and runs through Election Day in November.

WLNY Cancels Morning Newscast

WLNY the couchWLNY, the CBS-owned independent station serving the New York City market, has canceled its morning newscast, TVSpy has learned. WLNY operates as a duopoly with WCBS, CBS’ flagship station in the NYC DMA.

The newscast, called “The Couch,” is anchored by John Elliott, Jill Nicolini and Carolina Bermudez. It was added to WLNY’s programming lineup in 2012.

TVSpy hears Bermudez is parting ways with WLNY. Elliott and Nicolini will remain with the station and continue to appear on WCBS.

A small number of jobs will be eliminated as a result of the show’s cancellation.

A station spokesperson declined to comment.

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