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Pittsburgh

Reporter Joe Holden to Join WPXI

After eight years at WBRE in Scranton, Joe Holden is joining WPXI in Pittsburgh, according to the Times Leader.

Holden, a member of WBRE’s investigative team, will sign off from the station on June 27. He begins in Pittsburgh July 1.

“I like talking with people. I love telling their stories, and I really have a special place in my heart for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. … There’s something really unique about this place, and that’s what’s kept me here nearly eight years,” Holden told the Times Leader.

Pittsburgh Watches the Most Live Television, Study Finds

According to a study of average daily viewing habits among adults 25-54 during the February sweep, Pittsburgh residents watched more live television than any other Nielsen market. St. Louis was tops for time-shifted viewing, according to MediaPost:

Pittsburghers in the segment watched an average of nearly five-and-a-half hours of live TV a day. The figure was five hours and 23 minutes in St. Louis, while Baltimore, Philadelphia and Detroit all had averages of five hours and 15 minutes or higher.

In time-shifted viewing, Clevelanders in the demo watched an average of 52 minutes a day, with Sacramento residents at 49 minutes. Those in Charlotte and Dallas residents were both at 47 minutes each. Orlando residents watched an average of 45 minutes to finish out the top five.

San Francisco residents watched the least amount of live television, averaging 2 hours and 57 minutes daily. Minneapolis residents watched the least amount of time-shifted television.

Jackie Schafer Joins WTAE in Pittsburgh

Jackie Schafer is joining Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE as a reporter and weekend morning anchor.

“Jackie has the experience and skill to accurately cover news for Pittsburgh and the region.” WTAE president and general manager Michael J. Hayes said in a statement. “We are pleased to have her officially join the WTAE family.”

Schafer worked as a reporter and anchor at WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio from 2006-10. Most recently, she was the media content director for 424 Media in Hoboken, N.J. She begins anchoring the weekend morning newscasts April 20.

Matt Belanger Joins WTAE as Weekend Anchor

Matt Belanger is joining Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE as a weekend anchor later this month.

Belanger, who begins April 24, will anchor the weekend evening newscasts alongside Shannon Perrine, meteorologist Ray Petelin and sports anchor Guy Junker.

“Matt is dedicated and very hard working and he will be a great fit for our team,” WTAE news director Justin Antoniotti said in a statement. “He understands what needs to be done to meet the high standards on WTAE Channel 4 Action News.”

Belanger comes to WTAE from WGAL in Lancaster, Pa., where he was a government and investigative reporter.

Jim Parsons Promoted to Assistant News Director at WTAE

WTAE investigative reporter Jim Parsons has been promoted to assistant news director at the Pittsburgh ABC affiliate.

“We believe that in his new role as assistant news director, Jim will continue to build on our legacy of high quality reporting and investigations that Pittsburgh viewers expect from WTAE Channel 4 Action News,” WTAE general manager Michael J. Hayes said in a statement announcing the promotion.

Parsons, who joined WTAE in 1998, said he was “honored and humbled” by the opportunity. His appointment as assistant news director is effective immediately, and WTAE has announced a search for a new investigative reporter.

A.J. Ross Joins WKYC in Cleveland

A.J. Ross is joining Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC on April 15, according to the station’s Director’s Cut blog.

Ross will be a multimedia journalist at WKYC. She comes from Pittsburgh, where she was most recently a freelance reporter for ABC affiliate WTAE and the New Pittsburgh Courier.

Ross has also worked at WSYX in Columbus as a reporter for the evening newscasts and at WMBF in Myrtle Beach, S.C. as a reporter and anchor.

Jennifer Tomazic Says Goodbye to WDJT

Morning anchor Jennifer Tomazic signed off Friday from WDJT, the CBS affiliate in Milwaukee (video above).

“Thank you so much everyone for watching us,” Tomazic said. “This is a great team. Don’t change the channel, because coming up on Monday you have a wonderful woman named Jessica and she’s going to pick up right where I left off.”

On Monday, Jessica Tighe will take over as morning and noon co-anchor. Tighe joins the station from KWQC, the NBC affiliate in Davenport, Iowa. Read more

Meteorologist Mike LaPoint Out at WPXI

Mike LaPoint, who joined WPXI in 2007 as chief meteorologist, is out at the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate. The Pittburgh Post-Gazette reports that LaPoint’s contract was not renewed.

“We met with Mike [in] late summer and told him we wouldn’t likely be renewing his contract at the end of the year,” WPXI GM Ray Carter told the Post-Gazette in an email. “He began a quiet search at that point and as I understand it, is in the running for a couple of different weather jobs. He was a terrific employee in terms of work ethic and how he carried himself. We will miss his energetic attitude and real love of weather forecasting.”

A search for LaPoint’s replacement is underway.

WTAE Defamation Lawsuit Settled

WTAE, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, has settled a defamation lawsuit with a woman who accused the station of wrongly showing her photo during a report on a kidnapping case, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Kathy Bass claims the station used her photograph during a report on her daughter, kidnapping suspect Kathy Ann Bass. Kidnapping charges against the younger Bass were later dropped, according to the Post-Gazette; she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to between one and two years in prison.

The lawsuit claimed defamation and invasion of privacy. WTAE filed a motion to dismiss the case in December. Terms of the settlement were not public.

Jim Lapiana Named GM of Pittsburgh’s WPGH

Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Jim Lapiana general manager of Pittsburgh FOX affiliate WPGH and MyNetworkTV affiliate WPMY.

“I am thrilled and excited to lead the stations and serve in a higher capacity,Lapiana said in a statement. “The stations are an integral part of the Pittsburgh community, and I look forward to continuing our focus of meeting viewers’ needs and helping our local businesses spread their messages.”

Lapiana, who succeeds group manager Alan Frank, was the director of sales for the two Pittsburgh stations.  Before coming to WPGH in 2001, he served as general manager of WPXT in Portland, ME. From 1994 to 1998 , he was general manager of WRDC and WLFL in Raleigh-Durham, NC. Read more

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