TVNewser LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllTwitter AllFacebook InsideFacebook InsideSocialGames InsideMobileApps

PBS

WTTW’s Phil Ponce to Return After Illness

Phil-Ponce-112012-263wChicago PBS affiliate WTTW says anchor Phil Ponce will likely be back on the air Monday after an illness forced him into the hospital for several days. As Robert Feder reports, Ponce was treated for chest pain and a cyst in his liver:

“Phil is grateful for everyone’s good wishes and asks that the public not send cards or letters,” according to a statement from WTTW-Channel 11, where Ponce hosts the flagship nightly news program “Chicago Tonight.” “He emphasizes that he is perfectly fine and is looking forward to getting back to work.”

Ponce, 65, had been “feeling some discomfort” Wednesday before he moderated a live U.S. Senate forum between Democratic incumbent Dick Durbin and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis, a spokeswoman for the Window to the World Communications station said.

Still feeling pain in his side and chest that radiated to his right shoulder, Ponce called his doctor, who sent him to the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the spokeswoman said. Tests showed a benign cyst in his liver, which was drained.

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!
 

Arizona PBS Moves to ASU’s Cronkite School

WArizona PBS, the public television based at Arizona State University, will officially become part of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication July 1.

Arizona PBS, which includes three TV channels and azpbs.org, had been part of ASU’s Office of Public Affairs. With the transfer, the school intends to use the station as a “teaching hospital,” according to ASU.

“A leading journalism school joining forces with one of the nation’s largest PBS stations at a university known globally for its leadership in innovation is a powerful and potentially game-changing combination,” ASU president Michael M. Crow said in a statement. “We will be able to serve Arizonans on new levels while providing a national testing ground for new approaches to digital storytelling, audience engagement and revenue models to help serve a news industry that needs to rapidly adapt in the fast-changing digital world.”

NJTV Adds Network Veteran as Anchor

williams njtvNew Jersey Public Television station NJTV has announced Mary Alice Williams as anchor for the station’s weeknight news show, NJTV News.

Starting July 1, Williams will replace current anchor and managing editor Mike Schneider who will stay on as senior correspondent and host of public affairs shows for both NJTV and New York’s WNET.

“The broadcast has grown exponentially during Mike’s tenure. He has further established his legacy as a trusted source of vital news and as being one of the best interviewers in the business. He leaves the desk to another network veteran who is widely respected by both the audience and her colleagues.” NJTV News executive producer Phil Alongi said in a statement.

“I’m looking forward to this exciting chapter in my career,” said Williams, who is a veteran of both CNN and NBC News. “I’ve found working in public television, as I often have, always rewarding, and much more is to come. NJTV News is fueled by a smart, tech savvy, enthusiastic team of journalistsand I look forward to helping the news program grow.”

(Photo: Michael Stahl Portraits)

Public TV Station Gives New Jersey Viewers Another Choice for Local News

FNL-NJTV-News-logoNew Jersey’s largest cities sit so close to New York and Philadelphia, that they, along with the rest of the Garden State’s nearly nine million residents have basically been cut and pasted into the DMA maps of the two major cities across the state’s border.

While the stations in the largest and fourth largest TV markets in the country cover New Jersey, Garden State residents looking for news focused solely on their state have few choices.

But recently NJTV, New Jersey’s public TV network operated by New York’s WNET, revamped its existing news product and has added its voice to the two other outlets based in New Jersey, FOX owned WWOR with “Chasing New Jersey” and WMGM, the Southern New Jersey NBC affiliate.

TVSpy asked Phil Alongi, Jr. the executive producer of “NJTV News with Mike Schneider” what it means for the Garden State to have its own news product reaching into all of the state’s 21 counties, especially with viewers of WMGM fearing for its future after the station was sold to LocusPoint Networks.

“On election night, we had 14 live remotes from all across the state, live speeches plus interviews with two former Governors and a panel of experts,”Alongi said. “Nobody even came close to that.”

Viewers rely on local news stations to do more than weather and traffic updates. Local stations are also expected to keep and eye on elected officials, something no station can expect to do well across multiple state lines. “I think you see it across the country where television outlets have shrunk their statehouse coverage, for example. Politicians are all too happy to let things slip through the cracks. Our bread and butter is probably politics and government. Decision makers from the governor’s office to the legislature and local governments watch us every night to get the latest.”

Read more

Ryan Rodruck Named Station Manager of KYVE in Yakima

Ryan Rodruck has joined KYVE, the public television station in Yakima, Wash., as station manager. KYVE is operated by KCTS, the public television station in Seattle.

“After a comprehensive search process, we’re delighted to welcome Ryan to the KYVE and KCTS families,” KCTS president and CEO Maurice Bresnahan said in a statement. “We were impressed by his deep connections to the greater Yakima community as well as his vision for further developing KYVE as an essential partner and player serving the diverse communities that comprise Central Washington.”

Rodruck comes to KYVE after serving as the Field Representative for the 4th U.S. Congressional District working for U.S. Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA). He previously worked in association management and marketing & communications.

One World Trade Center Lobbies Local Broadcasters to Come Back

With the addition of the spire atop One World Trade Center, the tower’s property manager looks forward to what can be for local broadcasters while remembering what was.

TVNewsCheck spoke with John Lyons, vice president and director of broadcast communication for The Durst Organization. Lyons is trying to woo local broadcasters who were forced to relocate their antennas after 9/11 to place their antennas back on top of the New York skyline.

So far no broadcaster has bit. WCBS told TVSpy their transmitter is atop the Empire State Building and declined to comment about where it would sit in the future. One of the biggest holdups, according to TVNewsCheck is the upcoming spectrum auction. Read more

EAS Zombie Alert Hits More Stations. Finger Pointing Over How it Happened Begins

KRTV, the CBS affiliate in Great Falls, MT, wasn’t the only local station to startle viewers with a hijacked Emergency Alert System warning of an imminent Zombie attack.

Viewers of ABC affiliate WBUP-WBKP and PBS affiliate WNMU in Marquette, MI and PBS affiliate KNME-KNDM in Albuquerque, NM, KENW in Portales, N.M. were also warned “Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living.”

>Correction: TVSpy incorrectly identified KNME-KNDM as the PBS station in New Mexico that was hacked.  It was actually KENW in Portales, N.M.  We apologize for the incorrect information.

But who the hackers are and how they got in is still unknown, with stations blaming the company that makes the EAS equipment and the equipment maker pointing the finger right back at the stations. Read more

Huell Howser, Host of Public TV’s ‘California’s Gold’ Dies at 67

Huell Howser, best known for hosting the iconic public television series “California’s Gold,” died late Sunday.  He was 67 years old.

Howser took his viewers through California’s cities, parks and museums equipped with little more than a handheld stick mic and his enthusiasm for the wonders of the Golden State.

KCET, the Los Angeles public television station that produced his shows, posted a tribute to Howser on its website saying in part,

Huell was able to brilliantly capture the wonder in obscurity. From pastrami sandwiches and artwork woven from lint to the exoticism of cactus gardens and the splendor of Yosemite — he brought us the magic, the humor and poignancy of our region. We will miss him very much.

After the jump you can watch a video of Howser singing “California Here I Come.” Read more

‘We Have to Stop Hiding’: KSTP Meteorologist Looks to Erase Stigma of Mental Illness

Ken Barlow (pictured right), the KSTP meteorologist who revealed his struggle with bipolar disorder for the first time in October, has announced he’s starting a non-profit with David Wellstone (pictured left), the son of the late Senator Paul Wellstone, to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness.

In October, the meteorologist for the Minneapolis ABC affiliate appeared on “Almanac”, a show airing on the local PBS station KTCA, to talk about his struggles with mental illness.  “We have to stop hiding.  There is nothing to be ashamed of,” Barlow told the hosts.

Barlow said he met Wellstone during this year’s National Alliance on Mental Illness walk.  Wellstone suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression after the plane crash that killed his father Paul, mother Sheila and sister Marcia. Read more

Grand Rapids PBS Station Marks 40th Anniversary

WGVU, the PBS station in Grand Rapids, is marking the 40th anniversary of its launch on December 17, 1972.

“Of the top 40 markets, we were the last market that did not have a PBS station at the time,” WGVU general manager Michael Walenta told the Cedar Rapids Business Journal. “A group of citizens got together, and — a PBS station has to be licensed to either a community group or an institute of higher education — talked to then (Grand Valley State University) President Don Lubbers. President Lubbers then talked to Congressman Jerry Ford and said, ‘We would like to do this.’ As the story goes, Congressman Ford said, ‘Well, if you come up with a half of a million dollars, then I’ll come up with the other half million.’”

WGVU now operates two television stations and two NPR radio stations, and serves more than 2.4 million viewers in 28 counties, according to the Cedar Rapids Business Journal.

NEXT PAGE >>