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Pittsburgh

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

Mike Oliveira Promoted to News Director at WPXI

Mike Oliveira has been promoted to news director at Pittsburgh NBC affiliate WPXI, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Oliveira, the station’s managing editor, joined WPXI seven years ago as an executive producer. He has previously worked at WHDH in Boston and WTVH in Syracuse.

“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.

Oliveira replaces Michael Goldrick, who was recently named news director at WRC in Washington, DC.

WTAE Wants Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

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.

WTAE Sued for Defamation, Invasion of Privacy

A defamation lawsuit against Pittsburgh ABC affiliate WTAE was transferred into federal court last week, according to the Herald-Standard.

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 Joins WTAE as Reporter

Kelly Brennan will join Pittsburgh’s ABC affiliate WTAE as a reporter.

Brennan, who is the sister of WPXI reporter Courtney Brennan, will begin reporting for the station Monday.

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.

[Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette]

Justin Antoniotti Named News Director at WTAE

Justin Antoniotti will take over as news director of WTAE, Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, beginning today.

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

Arena to Replace McDermott at Pittsburgh’s WPXI

Joe Arena will replace the departing Todd McDermott on WPXI‘s morning news.

“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.

McDermott may be best known for reporting a spoof story posted on BroCouncil.com saying Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward had been traded to the Baltimore Ravens.

Arena comes from Buffalo’s WVIB.  Previously he worked in Shreveport, LA, Washington, D.C., and Bluefield, WV.

[TVNewsCheck]

WTAE News Director Bongiorno Says Goodbye

Alex Bongiorno, news director for Pittsburgh’s WTAE since 2009 is leaving the station according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette.

“Alex has decided to leave. I’m not sure if she is going to another job,” the ABC affiliate’s general manager Michael Hayes told the Post-Gazette. “She decided to leave the market for personal and family reasons.”

The Post-Gazette hinted at a possible reason for Bongiorno’s departure,

Channel 4′s May sweeps ratings were down year-to-year (2012 vs. 2011) in many weekday news time slots in household and key demographic ratings.

Keith Jones Named Morning Anchor at WCAU

Beginning in July, Keith Jones will be the morning anchor at WCAU in Philadelphia, the NBC O&O announced today.

Jones comes to WCAU from WTAE, the ABC-affiliate in Pittsburgh, where he has been a reporter and anchor for the past two years. He has previously worked at WCAU as an intern while attending Villanova University. In his new role, he will also report for the station.

“We’re excited to welcome Keith back to NBC10 as part of our on-air team,” president and general manager Eric Lerner said in a statement. “He has an enthusiasm and energy that our viewers will respond well to.”

Jones will be paired with WCAU morning anchor Lori Wilson. Stacey Stauffer, who has been filling in at the morning anchor desk, will return to reporting full-time, according to a station spokesperson.

Susan Koeppen Returns to KDKA Anchor Desk: ‘I’ve Got to Go Back to Life, and Living’

On Susan Koeppen‘s first day back at the KDKA anchor desk, the Pittsburgh CBS O&O aired a long segment documenting her recovery from heart surgery.

“I’ll never forget the past, I’ll never forget what happened,” she said in the interview. “But I’ve got to go back to life, and living. I can’t worry about it.”

Koeppen’s life expectancy has returned to normal, according to KDKA. She expects to be back anchoring both the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts by the end of the month. Video of the segment inside… Read more

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