“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.”
“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, 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.
“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
“Mike has been with us since 2005 and has had a dramatic impact on our product and people,” WPXI vice president and general manager Ray Cater said in a statement.
WTAE is seeking to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against the Pittsburgh ABC affiliate that was transferred to federal court last week. Kathy Bass is suing the station over an August 2010 report, claiming WTAE used her photograph while reporting on a woman named Kathy Ann Bass who was accused of kidnapping.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has details on the station’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit:
Attorneys for Hearst wrote that the one-year statute of limitations on defamation claims expired. The delay, Hearst’s lawyers wrote in a brief, may stem from “misgivings about pursuing a claim alleging misidentification as an arrestee when she in fact has an arrest history of her own, the offending mug shot of plaintiff was provided to the press by authorities, and the arrestee alleged to be mistaken for plaintiff is … plaintiff’s daughter.”
A lawyer for Bass confirmed that his client was the mother of the accused kidnapper, but said it had no bearing over the case, according to the Post-Gazette.
The station is being sued over the use of a photograph. Kathy Bass, 49, claims WTAE used a picture of her while reporting on a 21-year-old woman named Kathy Ann Bass who was arrested for kidnapping in 2010.
Bass claims she received several phone calls asking about her role in the kidnapping after the report was broadcast, the Herald-Standard reports. The suit claims defamation and invasion of privacy.
Kelly Brennan comes from WOWK in Charleston, WV.
Viewers may remember her sister Courtney for a near miss with Jerry Sandusky’s wife’s car while reporting on the Sandusky molestation trial. Click here to see the video.
It is a move within Hearst for Antoniotti, who comes from WYFF in Greenville, S.C. He has been news director there since 2007. Before that, he was the assistant news director at WISN in Milwaukee, another Hearst station.
“I have been very fortunate to have already worked at two great Hearst Television properties,”Antoniotti said in a statement. “To now be able to move to WTAE is very special. I look forward to working with the talented Channel 4 Action News Team and building on the great legacy at WTAE.” Read more
“We’re excited to welcome Joe to the Channel 11 News team,” said vice president and general manager Ray Carter in a statement provided to TVSpy. “Replacing someone as talented as Todd McDermott isn’t easy, but I think viewers will find Joe to be warm and engaging and a good fit with co-anchor Jennifer Abney.”
Arena’s first day for WPXI will be Monday October 22. He will anchor both the morning and noon news. McDermott, who will be leaving the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate Friday to be closer to his daughter, will take on his new role as evening anchor for WPBF in West Palm Beach.
Arena comes from Buffalo’s WVIB. Previously he worked in Shreveport, LA, Washington, D.C., and Bluefield, WV.