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Phoenix

KTVK ‘Chopperguy’ Leaving Station

Bruce_HaffnerBruce Haffner, chopper pilot and reporter for KTVK, has announced he is leaving the Phoenix independent station.

“I’ve been at Channel 3 my whole career and they’ve given me an incredible opportunity to do what I’ve done for the past 20 years,” Haffner told The Arizona Republic. “They’ve spent a lot of money on me and put me where I’m at right now. I owe them my career.”

According to The Republic, the lease between Haffner’s company Chopperguy, the station and the helicopter’s sponsor is expiring.

“I’m totally loyal to Channel 3,” Haffner said. “I never thought about going anywhere, but now that I own a million-dollar helicopter, I have to go where the work is.”

Haffner started at KTVK as a photographer in 1984 and became the station’s chopper pilot in 1995.

KSAZ Expands Weekend Newscasts

ksaz logoKSAZ, the Fox owned station in Phoenix, is expanding weekend newscasts later this month.

Beginning April 26, the station will add an hour to its Saturday morning newscast, which will now air from 6-9 a.m. The following day, KSAZ will debut a brand-new Sunday morning newscast that will air from 6-8 a.m. Both newscasts will be anchored by Ty Brennan and Kristen Keogh.

Phoenix Anchor Injured in September Crash Back at Work

covington on air kpnxKim Covington, (pictured center) anchor for Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX, is back at work after a crash in September sent her to the hospital.

Covington and photographer Mike Falvo were traveling in a station vehicle when it was hit by an SUV that ran a stop sign. Their news van then rolled into oncoming traffic where it was hit by another vehicle. Covington was sent to the hospital while Falvo was treated at the scene and released.

“Returning to work today following the accident 6 months ago was emotionally exhausting but felt great seeing my 12 News family again,” Covington wrote on her facebook page.

KPNX GM John Misner told TVSpy “there were lots of smiles and tears when Kim walked back into the newsroom after her absence.”

Misner also said Covington will appear on “EVB Live” today for an on-air welcome.

KPHO Reporter Tells Viewers She’s Sorry for ‘Bad Reporting’ About White House Briefings

Catherine Anaya, the KPHO reporter who told viewers reporters give White House Press Secretary Jay Carney their questions before press briefings, went on camera to tell viewers she was wrong and she is sorry.

Anaya appeared on the Phoenix CBS affiliate in a 9:00 p.m. newscast. She told viewers in part, “I reported an off the record conversation and what I reported was not accurate. I took a conversation about the preparation for a press briefing and muddied it with my own experience of wanting to provide a question for the press briefing. I incorrectly applied the process to everyone. That was wrong and it was bad reporting.”

You can read the entire text of her retraction after the jump, or just watch the video above. Read more

KPHO Reporter Says Report White House Gets Questions in Advance of Briefings a ‘Mistake’

anaya with carneyKPHO reporter Catherine Anaya says she made a mistake reporting that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told her off the record he gets reporter’s questions prior to press briefings.

Anaya was in Washington, D.C. as part of a Presidential interview junket where local reporters get an audience with the commander in chief. She told the anchors back in Phoenix about her off the record visit with Carney, which she revealed, “And then [Carney] also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask…or the correspondents…they are provided to him in advance.”

Anaya told BuzzFeed she planned to ask Carney a question at the daily briefing and was asked by a White House staffer to submit it in advance.

“As a local journalist I had no issue providing my proposed question in advance because I wanted to make sure it was an appropriate [question] for a national briefing and I wanted to make sure it was appropriate for Mr. Carney, but in discussing it with a staff member the night before we decided I would save it for the president,” she said. “I was attempting to not waste national time on a local question but in my attempt at explaining that I unintentionally made it sound like that experience applied to everyone. That is my mistake and I own up to it.”

Carney disputed her initial claim, telling the Daily Mail, “If only this were true.” Read more

Landlord Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting Phoenix Photographer


A Mesa, AZ, landlord was arrested Friday night after he knocked a KTVK photographer to the ground.

The crew for the independent Phoenix station was looking into a viewer complaint that bees were living in the roof of his apartment building when the landlord Mike Djordejvich showed up and demanded the crew leave the property. According to the station, Djordejvich “used his shoulders to butt the photographer, who went tumbling to the ground.”

Djordejvich was arrested on suspicion of assault.

KPHO Accused of Doctoring Footage of Deadly Police Shooting

KPHO_police shootingPhoenix CBS affiliate KPHO is being accused of unethical journalism by the Pinal County Sheriff’s department over the way it’s showing video of a deadly police shooting.

In cellphone video shot at the end of a police chase on January 14, a suspect is seen standing at the side of his vehicle surrounded by Pinal County deputies and officers from the Eloy Police Department. Police first shoot the suspect with non-lethal rounds. He then reaches into his car, turns his back to the officers and raises his hands before being shot to death.

In emails obtained by TVSpy between Pinal County Sheriff’s pubic information officer Tim Gaffney and KPHO reporter Morgan Loew about the CBS affiliate’s coverage that began airing January 22, Gaffney tells Loew, “the fact you freeze the video at the exact split second the suspect raises his hands and then delay the sound of the shots being fired, is both unethical and completely misleading.”

Loew tells Gaffney, “It does seem that you are going out of your way to clear your deputy in the shooting before the homicide investigation is complete. ”

>UPDATE: KPHO told TVSpy, “We stand 100 percent behind our reporting of this story.  It was accurate and balanced.  To our knowledge, we did not alter the video in any way shape or form.  We did make an editorial decision not to show footage of the subject dying on screen as to not offend our viewers.  But we felt it was important to continue with the audio portion so they could hear that gunshots were fired at the subject while his hands were in the air and back was to the deputy who fired the fatal shots.”

Read more

Phoenix News Director Gets Promoted

casey_kpnxMark Casey, VP and news director for Phoenix NBC affiliate KPNX, has been promoted to the newly created position of vice president and station manager.

Casey, who joined KPNX in 1999 said “he looks forward to developing and improving the combined newsrooms’ digital reach and social-media functions.”

John Misner, COO & GM of KPNX, told TVSpy Casey will “retain many of his news director duties as we determine the best next steps for newsroom leadership.”

Casey started his career as a reporter and photographer and has worked as a news director since 1991.

Phoenix Producer Tweets She’s ‘Thankful’ For ‘Drunk Dude’ Driving Into a House

KSAZ morning news producer Juliana Vasquez let everyone know she was having a slow news morning at the Phoenix FOX owned station when she tweeted on her personal account she was “thankful that some drunk dude drivers (sic) into a house” because she needed the news.

Arizona blog Down and Drought first reported about the tweet and captured a screengrab.

Mark Rodman vice president and GM of KSAZ said in a statement, “This is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.”

It appears her twitter page has been deleted. Sources tell TVSpy Vasquez has been reprimanded but what that means exactly is still unclear. We’ll keep you posted.

[Down and Drought]

Brandon Lee Joins KTVK in Phoenix

lee_ktvk_croppedBrandon Lee has joined Phoenix, AZ, independent station KTVK as 4:30 p.m. anchor.

Lee was known as Brandon Rudat when he worked at WGCL in Atlanta. According to KTVK’s press release, “to honor his adopted family and keep a promise made to his adopted father, David Lee, Brandon will go by his middle name ‘Lee’ on air.” He left WGCL in July.

“Brandon will be a great addition to the 3TV news team,” Cameryn Beck, executive news director said in a statement. “His dedication to news excellence and warm personality are a perfect fit for our newsroom and product.”

Lee will also contribute to the station’s other evening shows. He starts anchoring with Jaime Cerreta next Wednesday.

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