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Orlando-Daytona Beach

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]

Jazmin Bailey Joins WESH From WHSV

jazmin baileyJazmin Bailey is joining Orlando NBC affiliate WESH as a traffic reporter, the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker reports.

Bailey arrives in Orlando from Harrisonburg, Va., where she has produced and anchored the early morning show at WHSV since October 2011. Before that, she worked at WILX in Lansing, Mich.

Boedeker reports Bailey will make her on-air debut on November 25, replacing Michelle Wargo, who will sign off on November 22.

Police Dispatcher Arrested for Allegedly Pointing Gun at WESH Reporter

wesh_gunpointA police dispatcher has been arrested after allegedly threatening WESH reporter Claire Metz with a gun.

The reporter for the Orlando NBC affiliate said she went without a camera to the home of Shauna Justice, a Volusia County dispatcher who was accused of mishandling emergency calls. When the dispatcher came to the door Metz said she had a gun.

Metz said Justice then pointed the gun at her head. “The gun was no more than a foot or two from my head and Ms. Justice held it on me until I backed away to our truck,” said Metz.

Metz said her colleague took a picture of Justice on her porch with the gun. Justice was arrested by the Volusha County Sheriff’s Department. You can watch Metz’ report by clicking here.

[FTVLive]

Meteorologist Rusty McCranie Joins WFTV

rusty mccranie_304x200Meteorologist Rusty McCranie is joining WFTV in Orlando. McCrainie most recently worked at KOCO in Oklahoma City, where he was the weekend evening meteorologist.

“I will be joining WFTV in Orlando as the 7-9am Mon-Fri Meteorologist,” McCranie tweeted Wednesday. “This opportunity was everything I was looking for.”

McCranie has previously worked at KRCG in Jefferson City, Mo., WDHN in Albany, WLOX in Biloxi, Miss. and WDTV in Clarksburg, W.V.

Carlos San José Named GM of Telemundo Orlando

wtmo_304Carlos San José has been named senior vice president and general manager of the ZGS Communications‘ owned Orlando Telemundo affiliate WTMO.

“We are very excited to have someone with Carlos’ experience, energy and successful track record in a market like Orlando,” said Ronald J. Gordon CEO of ZGS Communications.

Before coming to WTMO, San José was SVP and GM of Univision owned stations WGBO and WXFT in Chicago. He was also VP of national Hispanic sales at Citadel Media and helped in the development of Sábado Gigante while at WLTV in Miami.

[HispanicAd]

Central Florida News 13 Shuffles Weather Team

central florida news 13There will soon be two new faces on Central Florida News 13′s weather team, the Orlando Sentintel’s Hal Boedeker reports.

Meteorologist Peter Caggiano has left Central Florida News 13 after five years with the station. Caggiano, the weekend afternoon and evening meteorologist, will be replaced by Mallory Nicholls. She joins the cable news channel from WPDE, the ABC affiliate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where she has been the weekend meteorologist since August 2010.

Later this month, meteorologist Danny Treanor will retire. Treanor will be replaced on the morning and daytime shift by Maureen McCann, who made her Central Florida News 13 debut this week. McCann comes to Orlando from KMGH, the ABC affiliate in Denver.

“We’re planning a week’s worth of coverage, starting on the 21st, to celebrate Danny’s 40 years of doing weather in the Orlando market,” senior director of news Tim Geraghty told Boedeker.

Julie Salomone Joins WFTV From WFTX

Julie Salomone is joining Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker reports.

Salomone, a Florida native, starts October 1 as a general assignment reporter at WFTV. She comes from WFTX in Fort Myers, where she has been a reporter and fill-in anchor since 2010.

Before joining WFTX, Salomone spent two years in La Crosse, Wisc., where she was a reporter, anchor and ph0tographer at ABC affiliate WXOW.

Eryka Washington Set to Join WKMG

Eryka Washington is joining Orlando CBS affiliate WKMG as a consumer reporter, the Orlando Sentinel’s Hal Boedeker reports.

It is a return to Orlando for Washington, who will also work as a fill-in anchor at the station. She is a former reporter and weekend anchor at NBC affiliate WESH. Since leaving Orlando in 2010, she has worked in public relations and as a freelance reporter at WCAU, the NBC owned station in Philadelphia.

According to Boedeker, Washington replaces Steven Cooper, who is moving to Atlanta.

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