It’s an honor and dream come true to say I will be working for the best news team in Pittsburgh starting tomorrow KDKA TV @CBSPittsburgh
— Rich Walsh (@RichieWalsh) July 28, 2014
Stations in Pittsburgh broke in to network morning shows today with news of multiple stabbings at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.
CBS-owned KDKA and NBC affiliate WPXI both reported the news at 7:56 a.m. Jennifer Antkowiak and Rick Dayton anchored coverage for KDKA, with Trina Orlando reporting from the scene. On WPXI, Joe Arena and Katherine Amenta anchored and Joe Holden reported from Franklin Regional High School.
Fox affiliate WPGH, which does not have a morning newscast, did not have coverage of the stabbings. WPGH’s primetime newscasts are produced by WPXI.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an op-ed mourning the passing of local TV. The title says it all, “Local TV News, RIP. It used to keep us informed; now, it’s not even entertaining.”
Is the writer disremembering local TV’s Golden Age or is he spot on? You be the judge.
At some point along the way someone came up with the bright idea that the news could be a profit center with commercials and ratings instead of being a public service, and things began to change.
What has evolved is only a faint remnant of what TV used to be and what it still could be if some executives would realize that quality content sells soap. Instead we are bombarded with a barrage of shameless self-promotion for the sake of ratings.
I actually think they spend more time telling us what they are going to tell us than they do actually telling us. Then there is the extremely annoying and endless teasing. If Chicago were hit with a nuclear bomb, the local stations would say, “Find out which major city was wiped off the map today –— details at 11!”
The actual content of the news is woefully lacking. I think that a house fire in some outlying small town belongs in the local community paper, not on the metropolitan 6 p.m. news.
Check out the entire read by clicking here.
Smock joins WPXI from AccuWeather, where she has worked since 2010. before that, she worked at stations in Toledo, Youngstown and Great Falls, Mont.
“From the start, we recognized Valerie’s ability to forecast and communicate the weather story on air. When we got to know her work ethic and her personality, we knew she’d be a great fit,” news director Mike Oliveira said in a statement.
More from WPXI after the jump. Read more
MacLaughlin comes from WTNH in Hartford-New Haven, where he has worked since 2011. He has also worked at WPIX in New York City, KXAS in Dallas and WPHL in Philadelphia, as well as at The Weather Channel.
“From tropical storms to full-blown Nor’easters, Steve has tracked a wide variety of weather events,” WTAE president and general manager Charles W. Wolfertz III said in a statement. “His impressive experience forecasting storms will serve Pittsburghers well during severe weather.”
More from WTAE after the jump. Read more
Coming out of the break, while the anchor for the Pittsburgh, PA, NBC affiliate was reading a story about a man who used a taxi as a getaway car for a bank robbing spree, a crew member, identified on Johnson’s facebook page as George, wandered on set behind the anchor. Johnson noticed and smiled, but continued reading while George made his way off set.
Johnson’s comment on facebook seemed to sum up the crew member’s brush with fame, “Hey, it’s live TV.”
Sylvester officially joins the station in October. She will co-anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts, as well as the 10 p.m. newscast on Pittsburgh Fox affiliate WPGH, alongside David Johnson. She replaces Darieth Chisolm, who is leaving the station to spend more time with her family.
“We’re lucky to find such a perfect fit for our newsroom,” WPXI news director Mike Oliveira said. “Lisa is not only a great journalist, but a great person. I know she’s ready to work hard and invest in this station and this city. I know our viewers will recognize and appreciate that.”
Starting Monday, WPXI Noon news will be a half hour longer, ending at 1:00 p.m.
Mike Oliveira, news director for the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate, told TVSpy, “I’m excited for our team to get going on it and be the first in this time slot.”
“The Doctors” which aired at 12:30 p.m. moves to 1:00 p.m., the fourth hour of “Today” now airs at 2:00 p.m. while “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” goes away.
“Darieth came to us and said she wanted to resign and spend more time with her family,” WPXI news director Mike Oliveira said in a statement. “Quite frankly, we were shocked. Darieth has been a remarkable talent for Channel 11 for 20 years and a key part of the station’s success at 11 p.m. We will miss her.”
Chisolm explained one of the reasons she was leaving was she wanted to spend more time with her son, who is headed for his last year in High School. “I want to spend as much time with him as possible. I also have a growing and expanding business, speaking and coaching engagements and lots to do in my next 20 years, so it’s time to make this transition.” Read more
“Katherine is going to be a fantastic addition to the morning team,” said WPXI news director Mike Oliveira in a statement. “In addition to being a strong anchor and journalist, she’s the type of person who will have a positive effect on our newsroom and our community.”
“I am joining an amazing team,” said Amenta. “I’m very lucky to have so many family and friends nearby. I already have Pirates fever and can’t wait to see what the rest of the season holds!”
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