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Gina Morss Returns to WEEK

morss weekGina Morss returns to WEEK starting Monday, January 5.

Morss worked at the Peoria, Illinois NBC affiliate for 15 years. She will co-anchor the morning news with Garry Moore and Maddie Heidenreich.

“We are excited to have Gina return to full time work once again on WEEK,” said Mark DeSantis, president and GM of WEEK-WHOI-WAOE. “She never really left as she has been producing our Buddy Check Reports for WEEK all along. But I am truly happy to have Gina back where she belongs!”

Morss left WEEK in 2011 to be the Komen Memorial Peoria Affiliate’s Director of Development.

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Ashley McNamee is Leaving WEEK

mcnamee_week_croppedAshley McNamee is leaving Peoria, IL, NBC affiliate WEEK.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart I confirm tonight will be my last night with News 25,” McNamee wrote on her facebook page today. “I have accepted a wonderful opportunity in Denver and I will be moving there later this month.”

In January, McNamee’s supporters started a petition called “WEEK News 25 and Granite Broadcasting: Put Ashley McNamee back on the air!” after she was moved from the 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. shows to the 10:00 p.m.

The Peoria Journal Star reported McNamee announced her resignation Friday.

Quincy Buys Three Stations from Granite, One From Malara

quincyQuincy Newspapers has announced it is adding nine stations in four markets by buying five stations outright and agreeing to provide operating services to four more.

From Granite Broadcasting, Quincy will buy NBC affiliate WEEK in Peoria, IL, NBC/MyTV affiliate KBJR and its satellite KRII in Duluth, MN/Superior, WI, and CBS/CW affiliate WBNG in Binghamton, NY. Quincy is buying ABC/CW affiliate WPTA in Ft. Wayne, IN, from Malara Broadcasting.

Quincy will also provide operating services to Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s ABC/CW affiliate WHOI and Four Seasons Broadcasting’s WAOE in Peoria, IL, as well as SagamoreHill Broadcasting’s newly acquired stations NBC/MyTV affiliate WISE in Ft. Wayne, IN, and CBS/CW affiliate KDLH in Duluth, MN. Read more

WEEK Viewers Start Online Petition to Get Favorite Anchor Back

mcnamee_week_croppedAt least 100 viewers of WEEK are looking to use the internet to force the Peoria, IL, NBC station to undo a recent anchor change.

A viewer named John Arnold of East Peoria, IL, started a petition on change.org titled “WEEK News 25 and Granite Broadcasting: Put Ashley McNamee back on the air!”

For some unknown reason the management at WEEK/WHOI has taken Ashley McNamee off the air. She is no longer anchoring/co-anchoring the news at 5 and 6 p.m.. She has finally been put back to anchoring the 10 o’clock news. But,I would like the management to put her back on the air with all of her duties before you took her off the air. WEEK’s news is much better and runs smoother when Ashley is there. Please support this petition.

WEEK president and general manager Mark DeSantis told TVSpy he isn’t aware of the petition. He added, “Ashley continues to anchor the 10pm newscasts each night with Tom McIntyre, Chuck Collins and Lee Hall.”

According to her bio, McNamee started her career as a reporter for ABC affiliate WHOI in January 2008. She began anchoring the 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. in 2011.

Peoria Anchors Scramble for Shelter When Tornado Hits Station


A tornado tearing through East Peoria pushed two anchors for the local NBC station WEEK off the air after the twister hit part of the station’s property yesterday morning.

Meteorologists Chuck Collins and Sandy Gallant were giving viewers on-air updates about the approaching tornado when they said they heard something. They scrambled for shelter at 11:00 a.m., leaving the anchor desk while the station went to a break.

Seven minutes later, they were back on. “OK, guys. We just had a very scary situation to report. WEEK’s TV studios was hit by…it appears to be a tornado,” said Gallant. “We were on the air just a few minutes ago. You may have seen us go off the air rather quickly and that is because, obviously, we could hear the sound of a train right outside of our station.”

“We had some slight roof damage and some power hits yesterday, and we had to go off air,” WEEK producer Greg Smith told TVNewsCheck. “But we were back up within a few minutes. We were pretty lucky.”

Gallant later told Collins on-air, “Chuck, I want to give you a hug right now because that was something else.”

WEEK-WHOI Names News Director

week_whoi_logo copyGreg Schieferstein has been named news director and content manager at Peoria, IL, NBC and ABC affiliate WEEK-WHOI.

“When we set out to find a news director we were looking for someone who had experience in running a newsroom, or an executive producer in a larger market ready to take on their own shop,” said WEEK-WHOI president and general manager Mark DeSantis. “In Greg we have actually found someone with all the elements of that equation.”

Before coming to WEEK-WHOI, Schieferstein was executive producer for WTVG in Toledo, OH. He’s also worked at WIFR in Rockford, IL, KSTW in Seattle, WAGT in Augusta, GA, KPVI in Pocatello, ID, and KPAX in Missoula, MT. Read more

Mark Bullion Joins KXRM From WEEK-WHOI

mark bullionAfter two years in Peoria, WEEK-WHOI weekend anchor Mark Bullion is joining KXRM in Colorado Springs.

“I have worked in the Peoria market at WEEK/WHOI for almost two years and it has been a great learning experience for me,” Bullion told TVSpy in an email. “I look forward to a new chapter in my life in Colorado Springs at Fox 21 News and will always value what I have learned not only in the Peoria market, but also my first job at WHIZ-TV in Zanesville, Ohio as well as my internship in both the news and weather departments at WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit.”

Bullion joins KXRM as weekend weather anchor and weekday reporter. He starts on October 28.

Nexstar Broadcasting Names Richard Engberg VP-GM of WMBD

Richard Engberg has been named vice president and general manager of WMBD, Nexstar Broadcasting’s CBS affiliate in Peoria, Ill. In his new role, Engberg will also oversee WYZZ, Sinclair’s Fox affiliate in the market, which Nexstar operates through a local marketing agreement.

Engberg most recently worked for Univision, where he was vice president and director of sales for KTVW-KFPH in Phoenix and KVUE-KFTU in Tucson. He previously worked in various leadership and sales positions at WSFL in Miami, WPEC in West Palm Beach and WCIU and WFLD in Chicago.

“I will leverage the management experience and relationships built over my career to further strengthen the stations’ position as a leading provider of the most compelling news and entertainment programming in the market,” Engberg said in a statement.

Engberg’s appointment is effective immediately. He replaces Dan Bates.

Lee Ranson Retires from WEEK After 17 Years

Lee Ranson, who has been a meteorologist at WEEK in Peoria for 17 years, will do his final weather report today.

Ranson joined the NBC-affiliate in 1994 after working at several radio stations in the area. The Peoria native is seen nightly on the evening newscasts on WEEK.

“I’ve been going over a lot of old videotapes and, really, when I watch those tapes and then watch one from last week — outside of the appearance, I think it I’ve stayed pretty much the same,” Ranson told the Pantagraph. “My manner hasn’t changed. I have the same voice.”

“Lee is the same guy on air as he is in person,” Mark DeSantis, the station’s president and general manager, told the Peoria Journal-Star. “Lee has never been a performer. He is the real deal and that’s what makes him great.”

WEEK Staffers Wear All-Black On-Air, Protesting Dismissal of Longtime Anchor

Following the abrupt dismissal of longtime anchor Mike Dimmick, staffers at WEEK–including on-air talent–dressed in black on Friday as a show of solidarity.

“It is a sad day when a 29-year employee and broadcast veteran is denied an opportunity to have a respectable send off,” WEEK anchor Garry Moore, and president of the local chapter of AFTRA, told TVSpy via email. “Management called a couple of people upstairs and told them that Wednesday was his last day. It was supposed to be September 16th. Essentially, they’re paying him to stay home.” Read more

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