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Providence-New Bedford

WLNE Takes ‘Appropriate Internal Action’ After Publishing Story With Factual Errors, Improper Attribution

Providence ABC affiliate WLNE has retracted a story about health violations at local restaurants after the station “mistakenly misconstrued some of the facts” and failed to give a local website credit for its reporting, WLNE general manager Chris Tzianabos tells TVSpy.

GoLocalProv.com reported Friday on restaurants in the Providence area with the highest number of health violations. The piece reported on citations at restaurants across the region and included a slideshow of the top 25 restaurants with the highest number of violations.

In WLNE’s story on the health violations, which included no attribution to GoLocalProv, the station reported “25 of the city’s restaurants have health violations.” For the original article, GoLocalProv inspected data from the past three years and found the number of restaurants with violations was more than twice that. WLNE also reported that a restaurant called Il Fornello had 7 violations, which was the fewest in the region. GoLocalProv said “there were numerous restaurants in the city that had less than 7 violations.”

“GoLocalProv invested time, energy and money to develop a public interest investigative story that reported on the health violations in Providence restaurants. We were extremely careful with reporting the data. ABC6 plagiarized the story,” Josh Fenton, CEO and co-founder of GoLocalProv.com’s parent company, said in a statement. “Even worse, in their haste to rewrite the story, it contained statements that are incorrect.”

The story has been removed from the WLNE website.

“ABC6 posted a story on abc6.com late Friday evening on a Department of Health report on health violations of local restaurants which inappropriately included facts from a GoLocalProv.com article. In addition to failing to give GoLocalProv.com proper credit, ABC6 mistakenly misconstrued some of the facts. We regret our mistake and we have taken appropriate internal action,” Tzianabos told TVSpy.

WATCH: Providence Reporter Demonstrates What To Do When You See A Bear

Viewers of last night’s WJAR 11:00pm news can be forgiven for wondering whether they were watching reporter Julie Tremmel demonstrate what to do when you spot a bear or if she was re-enacting what happens after getting some bad meatloaf at the local deli.

After a Scituate, RI, man came face-to-face with a bear and didn’t know what to do, the reporter for the Providence NBC affiliate demonstrated advice given by experts.

“According to experts, you should avoid direct eye contact with the bear. Don’t run away, instead back off slowly. Wave your arms to let the animal know you’re human. Don’t yell. Stay quiet unless the bear attacks then scream and throw things at the bear. If the bear attacks, curl up into a ball on your side or lay flat on your stomach. And above all, stay calm.”

The man in the report was fine. He escaped into his garage to avoid the bear and called police.

WLNE News Director Resigns

TVSpy has confirmed WLNE news director Robert Rockstroh is leaving the Providence, RI, ABC affiliate.

WLNE vice president and general manager Chris Tzianabos told TVSpy Rockstroh has resigned and will stay on at the station “for a period of time.”

Rockstroh came to WLNE in 2011.  Before working at WLNE, Rockstroh was executive producer with Verizon’s FiOS1 News in Rye Brook, NY. He’s also worked at WTIC in Hartford, CT, WKJG in Fort Wayne, IN, KSTP in Minneapolis, MN, KRON and KPIX in San Francisco, CA, and KFMB in San Diego, CA.

‘I Feel Like a Bag of Poop’: Woman Who Sicced Dogs on WLNE Crew Speaks Up

The Providence Phoenix recently went looking for the story behind the now viral video of Melisa Lawrence throwing a rock at WLNE reporter Abbey Niezgoda and photographer Marc Jackson, then grabbing a baseball bat to drive the local ABC affiliate crew away before eventually siccing her dogs on them.

Everybody’s like, “Oh, you’re a star now!” I don’t feel like a star. If this is what they call “being a star” then guess what? Let me be the dirt. I’d rather be . . . just a pile of dirt. Because that’s how I feel. I feel like a bag of poop. I feel like nothing. I feel like the scum of the earth.

The Phoenix spoke to local reporters, community leaders and Lawrence herself to hear what happened before the incident, what might have prevented it from happening and give Lawrence more dimension than the video suggests.

Lawrence, who is now facing two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon, told the Phoenix the story was ruining her life and went on to offer some advice to TV crews, “When you’re dealing with the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or whoever — just dealing with victims of a shooting, period — have some compassion. Put yourself in their shoes. You know? Try to get a better understanding of what they’re going through and, like, approach them a different way. If they say ‘No,’ just understand: ‘No’ means ‘No.’”

You can read the entire article by clicking here. You can watch the video of the incident after the jump. Read more

Woman Arrested After Turning Dogs on WLNE Crew

A Providence, RI, woman has been arrested after an exchange with a reporter and photographer for ABC affiliate WLNE ended with the reporter being bitten by the woman’s dog.

Melissa Lawrence has been charged with two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon after throwing a rock at WLNE photographer Marc Jackson and siccing her dogs on both Jackson and reporter Abbey Niezgoda.

The two had approached Lawrence to tell her a suspect in the weekend shooting of her daughter had turned himself in. As the reporter and photographer backed off after Lawrence began her assault, Lawrence ran inside her house and grabbed a baseball bat. “Why are you attacking us ma’am?” asked Niezgoda. Lawrence replied, “Get away from me.” She then sicced her two dogs on the crew. The dogs chased Niezgoda, biting her on the arm and following her as she tried escaping down the street.

Watch the video of the incident after the jump. Read more

7pm News in Providence Beats ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ for First Time Ever

WJAR, the Media General NBC affiliate in Providence, found a new way to spell SUCCESS in February. For the first time, the station’s 4-year old 7pm newscast beat perennial time period winner “Wheel of Fortune.” The newscast, anchored by Dan Jaehnig and Alison Bologna, is the only local newscast at 7pm and certainly got a boost from an unusually snowy month. “With our continued on-air blizzard coverage and in-depth investigative stories from the I-Team and Money Watchers, we feel we have raised the bar on local news content,” says news director Christopher Lanni.

With a 7.32 rating, the 7pm news was up +24% year-over-year. “Wheel” airs on CBS affiliate WPRI at 7pm.

“It was an incredibly rewarding success in February to finally beat this previous ratings dominator,” Lanni tells GoLocalProv. “Dan and Alison and the entire team really put their heart and soul into this show. We’re also proud of the fact that we’re one of the highest rated 7pm newscasts in the entire country.”

OTA Broadcasting to Purchase WLWC

OTA Broadcasting has agreed to buy WLWC in Providence from Sinclair Broadcast Group, according to TVNewsCheck.

WLWC is the CW affiliate in Providence. It will be sold to OTA Broadcasting, which is owned by Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, for $13.75 million.

Sinclair bought WLWC as part of a seven-station deal from Four Points Media last year. [h/t NewsBlues]

From Graphics to the Gulf War: Christiane Amanpour Reveals Her First Big Break

While our mediabistroTV crew is busy putting the finishing touches on next week’s “My First Big Break” we thought we’d give you a little preview of what you can expect.

Christiane Amanpour tells mediabistroTV how her journey from Tehran during the revolution and first TV job as a graphics coordinator for WJAR in Providence, RI came together to lead her to the early days of CNN and finally to her role of global affairs anchor for ABC News.

Tune in to mediabsitroTV next Wednesday for the whole story in “Christiane Amanpour: My First Big Break.”

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

VIDEO: WJAR Gets Pranked During Birthday Story

While the rest of the East Coast was focused on Hurricane Sandy last Monday, a Providence, RI prankster snuck a couple past the censors at WJAR.  During the NBC affiliate’s regular “First Birthdays” segment anchor Frank Coletta breezed right through the first two names before turning his attention back to the lead of the day, Hurricane Sandy’s approach.

Of course, we don’t know for sure those were fake names, but the 13-year-old boy in me guesses they’re not real.  Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel agreed.  He pointed out the prank on his show.  You can watch that video after the jump. Read more

WPRI-WNAC Names Karen Rezendes News Director

Karen Rezendes has been named news director for WPRI-WNAC.

For the past several years, Rezendes has been the assistant news director and manager of special projects for the Providence FOX and CBS affiliate.

“For the past sixteen years, Karen has played a key role in successfully growing our Eyewitness News ratings,” said president and general manager Patrick Wholey. “Karen has been instrumental in developing and growing our Target 12 investigative brand and our Eyewitness News brand across all platforms. She’s the perfect person to continue the momentum and success of our news stations and will continue to provide viewers with the high quality of news coverage they’ve come to expect from Eyewitness News.”

Rezendes has also worked at WTKR in Norfolk, VA.

[golocalprov.com]

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