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WESH Promotes Meredith McDonough

mcdonough weshMeredith McDonough has been named evening anchor for Orlando NBC affiliate WESH.

McDonough started at WESH in 2011 as the weekend anchor before being moved to weekday mornings in 2012.

“Meredith is an incredible anchor and journalist, and I am very pleased that she will become an integral part of the evening broadcasts,” said WESH news director Kirsten Wolff.

Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel reports McDonough replaces Martha Sugalski who left in July.

The station soon will announce the addition of another evening anchor to the mix, WESH General Manager Jim Carter said.

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Wendy Chioji Returns to Orlando as Documentary Film Debuts in Florida


Wendy Chioji, a former anchor at Orlando NBC affiliate WESH, is back in Central Florida this week for the debut of a documentary, “Conquering Kilimanjaro,” which focuses on a climb that Chioji made with a group of fellow cancer survivors.

The film, produced by another former WESH anchor, Marc Middleton, premieres Wednesday at Full Sail University in Winter Park. Chioji talked about the film–and her ongoing battle against cancer–with Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG Tuesday. In the interview, which will air on the station’s weekend public affairs program “Flashpoint”, Chioji said she is awaiting the start of treatment in a new clinical trial. Her cancer returned earlier this summer.

Watch part of her interview, after the jump: Read more

Longtime Chief Meteorologist Out at News 13

jeff dayAfter 17 years at News 13, Jeff Day is out as chief meteorologist.

Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel reports, Day was told his contract had been terminated on Friday.

“When we started I was the only the meteorologist,” Day said Sunday night. After a tornado outbreak in 1998, the channel decided he needed help.

Day said it was a little bit of a surprise that he was out at News 13.

“It’s the nature of the business,” he said. “You always have to be prepared. It’s just one of the things you find in the business. I’m dealing with it. It’s been 17 years of dedication and hard work. But now there’s relaxation and some excitement about finding a new path to take. I love Central Florida.” Read more

Ben Aycrigg, Orlando TV Legend, Dies at 88

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Ben Aycrigg, a TV legend in Orlando, died of renal failure last night at the age of 88. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Aycrigg worked for 35 years as a reporter, news director and anchor at CBS affiliate WKMG, before retiring in 1996.

“Ben Aycrigg was THE news anchor in Central Florida for many years,” WKMG general manager Skip Valet told The Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker. ”He’s often been called the ‘Walter Cronkite of Orlando television,’ and with good reason. Ben shared the day’s news, good and bad, with a clear, authoritative voice that told Channel 6 viewers, no matter how dire the news, in the end we were all going to be all right.”

Aycrigg got his first gig as a radio announcer for WDBO-AM while attending Rollins College. He left the world of radio in 1959, when he scored a gig as a reporter at WLOF (now WFTV). Two years after that, he became the first reporter at WDBO (now WKMG). He was later promoted to news director, a job he held from 1968 to 1976. He went on to anchor the 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. newscasts for the next 15 years.

Aycrigg is survived by his brother, sister, wife and three children.

This Bud’s For News: WESH Sports Anchor in Beer Ad, Video Game

Larry Ridley, sports director for Orlando NBC affiliate WESH, has gone national, but not for his reporting.

Orlando Sentinel TV critic Hal Boedeker reports, Ridley appears in a Bud Light commercial. A quick check of his twitter feed @mrlarryridley also tells TVSpy, Ridley has a role as a pregame and halftime show announcer in EA Sports video game “Madden NFL 15.”

Sources close to Ridley tell TVSpy Bob Longo, the previous news director, gave Ridley the OK to appear in both the spot and the video game. Longo tells TVSpy, “There was no permission given, verbal or written, to do any commercial.”

We asked WESH GM Jim Carter for comment, but haven’t heard back. We will update when we do. Read more

Restaurant Critic Scott Joseph Joins WFTV

Scott-JosephDuring his 20 year career as a restaurant critic for the Orlando Sentinel Scott Joseph always tried to keep his appearance under wraps. Now, he’s letting the whole world know what he looks like.

Hal Boedeker of the Sentinel reports that Joseph, 60, will soon be appearing on Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV in a segment called “The Daily Chew,” tentatively set to debut Thursdays at noon. The show centers around Joseph and a local chef who will demonstrate a signature recipe on a kitchen set.

Although Joseph does have some broadcasting experience under his belt, this is his first major foray into TV. After leaving the Sentinel in 2008, he established the Scott Joseph Company, LLC, which includes consulting, restaurant deals that contribute to local charities and a supper club. He also got into radio and continues to contribute to WMFE-FM.

“Through the Friday evening airings on 90.7, I’ve been able to reach a lot of my former readers from my days as the Chow Hound and restaurant critic at the Sentinel,” Joseph told Boedeker. “I’m hoping the Channel 9 spots will reach those who may not listen to public radio.”

Kirstin Delgado Joins Orlando’s WOFL

4719147_GKirstin Delgado returns to Orlando TV today, joining Fox-owned WOFL as a weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter. As Orlando Sentinel TV writer Hal Boedeker reports, Delgado joins Tom Johnson on “Good Day Orlando” next weekend:

Her last job was at WLTZ in Columbus, Ga., where she anchored and produced the weekday morning news for two years.

Before that, she worked at Spanish-language WVEN-TV in Orlando as a weather anchor and a production assistant.

WKMG Switching Up Morning Talent

Julie-BroughtonSince the departure of traffic reporter Jessica Sanchez last week, Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG has been forced to use existing talent to pick up the slack. First up, meteorologist and reporter Julie Broughton can now add traffic anchor to her resume.

“Julie Broughton is our new Monday-through-Friday traffic anchor,” WKMG general manager Skip Valet told the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker. ”We will still use her to forecast the weather from time to time.”

Meanwhile, reporter Kristin Giannas will help fill any weather gaps left by Broughton.

“Reporter Kristin Giannas studied climatology and meteorology in college, and she has been continuing her weather education. For now, Kristin will be handling some of our weather shifts.”

(Pictured: Julie Broughton)

Former News 13 Reporter Amanda Evans Shares Update on Husband’s Condition

Amanda-EvansBack in April we wrote about reporter Amanda Evans‘ decision to leave Orlando’s News 13 to care for her husband, who is battling cancer. Now, we have sadly learned that her husband Joe Clark‘s condition has worsened.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that in February, Clark’s cancer returned after major surgery in October. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer, which spread to his peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity.

According to the latest post on the couple’s blog, Cocktails and Chemo, Clark’s health is deteriorating fast:

“I’m sitting at his bedside in the hospital as he hallucinates and over and over again forgets where he is. Joe’s kidneys are failing and won’t be able to keep his body working for long.”

“We have days. My heart feels like it’s splitting in two. I’ll take care of you, Joe, I promised.”

image – Courtesy of Amanda Evans / April 18, 2014

Former Orlando Anchor Wendy Chioji Enters Clinical Trials at National Cancer Institute

orl-chioji_announcement_20101010063735In August, Wendy Chioji, a former anchor at Orlando NBC affiliate WESH, announced the cancer she’d been fighting “was back.” She said at the time she hoped to enter clinical trials in a bid to beat it.

The Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker reports Chioji has, in fact, made it into clinical trials at the National Cancer Institute, where she is remaining upbeat and hopeful:

“First, let me say that my two days at the NCI were great,” she wrote. “Every single person we came into contact with was nice and helpful. Every appointment was right on time. It’s not really what I expected, with the NCI being a government facility, but I was comfortable there, even though it was a fairly stressful time. I could tell I was in a place full of really smart and compassionate people who have devoted their lives to curing cancer.”

She writes that she has her choice of two trials, and that she doesn’t have to choose which one right away. Chioji, who has been a warrior in her personal battles, was looking to the future.

“My beautiful fall plans are coming back into focus and I have some racing to do,” she wrote.