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Orlando-Daytona Beach

WESH Names Kirsten Wolff News Director

weshKirsten Wolff has been named news director for Hearst owned Orlando NBC affiliate WESH.

Wolff posted the news to her facebook page, “I am blown away by today. 7 years ago I dreamed of becoming a News Director. I took a 3,000 mile leap of faith and landed in Orlando. Fell in love with the WESH Newsroom. Today my dream came true. I feel so much love and support from my family – they kind of have to give it .. and my co-workers – they definitely DON’T have to give it. But I feel it! Can’t wait to live this chapter with all of you!”

She replaces Bob Longo who left the station last month.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Wolff has worked for WESH’s parent company Hearst for 23 years, starting as a photojournalist and working as a producer. Before coming to WESH, Wolff worked at Hearst’s KCRA in Sacramento.

Mark McEwen Returning to WKMG

mcewen_wkmgMark McEwen, the former WKMG anchor who survived a stroke while working at the Orlando CBS affiliate is set to return to the station.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, McEwen, who came to WKMG in 2004 after 16 years with the CBS This Morning, will contribute two reports a week.

“We’re here to show the positive light on things, telling stories you might not hear anywhere else … about heroes who may be across the street,” McEwen told the Sentinel. Read more

WFTV Pairs Jorge Estevez, Nancy Alvarez

estevez alvarezOrlando ABC affiliate WFTV is pairing Nancy Alvarez and Jorge Estevez for its evening newscasts on sister station WRDQ.

Alvarez will join Estevez as co-anchor of WRDQ’s 10 p.m. newscasts Sunday through Thursday. The pair will also anchor WFTV’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscast on Sundays. According to WFTV, they are the first Hispanic team to anchor an English language newscast in Orlando.

“They’re close friends, and it shows on television,” news director Matt Parcell said in a statement. “They present the news in a personable way.”

Alvarez previously anchored WFTV’s weekend evening newscasts. Estevez previously anchored WRDQ’s 10 p.m. newscast with Martie Salt, who will continue to anchor WFTV’s weekday evening newscasts.

WFTV Issues Multiple Apologies Over Series of Reports About One Man

wftv_apologyWFTV has gone to great lengths to make sure viewers understand how sorry they are over mistakes made while reporting about Tim Davis, Sr.

“We have a correction to make this evening. It concerns Tim Davis, Sr., the former Orlando police officer who was acquitted of his son’s murder in February last year,” said Martie Salt, anchor for the Orlando ABC affiliate, in the 6:00 p.m. version of the apology.

WFTV news director Matt Parcell told Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel the apology was read nine times in all.

The correction went on to say in 2012, WFTV reported Davis had been accused in the past of domestic violence by two different women. In May 2013, they said police were investigating Davis for allegedly interfering with a child abuse investigation. Both reports were incorrect.

In addition, while reporting that one of Davis’s day care center employees had been charged with child abuse, an WFTV reporter showed the wrong day care center. The charges in that investigation were later dropped.

“The errors were brought to our attention, and we corrected them as soon as we possibly could,” Parcell told the Sentinel.

Parcell said it was a coincidence that the flawed reports all focused on one person: former Orlando police officer Timothy Davis Sr., who was acquitted in February of murder in the fatal shooting of his son.

Parcell said he wouldn’t discuss who had done the reporting. Read more

Jessica Sanchez Returns to WKMG After Cancer Treatment

jessica sanchezWKMG traffic reporter Jessica Sanchez is returning to the Orlando CBS affiliate nearly a year after she was diagnosed with cancer, the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker reports.

“I am pleased to announce that Jessica Sanchez continues to get positive news from her doctors,” WKMG General Manager Skip Valet said. “Jessica tells us her oncologist reports recent tests are negative, and after a year-long battle, her cancer is gone.”

Sanchez told the Boedeker that she will return to the station behind the scenes and work on a part-time basis temporarily.

“I’ll see how I feel, getting caught up, relearning the traffic equipment, reprogramming my body to wake up at 2 a.m.,” Sanchez said. “They want to see how I do with all of that. I want to go back and go back for good. I think it’s the best way to go back in part time and get used to everything.”

Kassandra Crimi Leaves WFTV for Love

web_bio_crimi (1)Kassandra Crimi, meteorologist for Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, is no longer with the station.

WFTV news director Matt Parcell told TVSpy, “We’re sorry to see her go but true love won out!  She’s joining her fiancé in New Mexico as they finalize wedding plans.”

Before coming to WFTV, Crimi started her career at KRCG in Jefferson City, MO, in 2008.

[FTVLive]

Shannon Butler Out at WOFL

butler_woflShannon Butler is no longer with Orlando FOX owned station WOFL.

The Orlando Sentinel reports Butler left the station at the end of November.

Before coming to WOFL, Butler worked at Central Florida News 13 in Orlando. She started her career at WCTV in Tallahassee.

Gaard Swanson Signs Off From WKMG

gaard swansonWKMG evening anchor Gaard Swanson is signing off from the Orlando CBS affiliate, the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker reports. Swanson will anchor his final newscasts tonight.

Swanson, who came to Orlando from Seattle in 2011, said family reasons were behind the decision to leave. “Gaard’s family lives in Seattle. He’s been flying back and forth,” WKMG general manager Skip Valet told Boedeker. “His wife has a job she loves. His children are entrenched there. We don’t want to lose Gaard. He’s well liked in the newsroom.”

Matt Austin will shift from mornings to evenings at WKMG, replacing Swanson. He will anchor the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside Lauren Rowe beginning Monday.

Former WESH Anchor Wendy Chioji Talks About Latest Cancer Battle

Wendy Chioji, who left the news business in 2008, has recently completed her chemotherapy and radiation treatments after being diagnosed with thymic carcinoma earlier this fall.

The two-time cancer survivor and former news anchor for Orlando NBC station WESH spoke with Growing Bolder, co-producer of her show “Surviving & Thriving,” about her cancer treatment and her plans to climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro in February. “I will do everything I can to make it to the top,” said Chioji. “It’s amazingly important.”

The die-hard triathlete first shared her 2001 battle with breast cancer while working at WESH.

She said the latest fight may have slowed her down, but it hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her passion,”I already signed up for an Ironman next year,” said Chioji. “So I’m moving forward. Cancer slowed me down a little bit. It changed my path a little bit like it does. It changed it more last time. But I’m still going forward.”

Chioji’s special “Surviving & Thriving” airs on Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG next Friday.

[Orlando Sentinel]

Alan Mason Joins Bright House Networks as VP-GM of News and Local Programming

alan masonAlan Mason is joining Bright House Networks as vice president and general manager of news and local programming for Central Florida News 13, Bay News 9, Bright House Sports Network, Local On Demand and InfoMas. His appointment is effective December 30.

Mason comes from News 14 Carolina, Time Warner Cable’s 24-hour news network in North Carolina. He replaces Elliott Wiser, who was named president and general manager of WTSP in Tampa in July.

“Alan brings significant industry experience and a proven track record of leading highly effective stations operations while building award-winning local news and programming,” Bright House EVP Kevin Hyman said in a statement. “He is a strategic and innovative leader in the industry, and we are thrilled to welcome him to our leadership team.” [h/t Orlando Sentinel]

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