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Roanoke-Lynchburg

WSET GM Leaving for Job at University

WSET_2009_smallRandy Smith, GM of WSET is leaving local TV to be the EVP of Liberty University.

He told staffers of the Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va. ABC affiliate in an email today, his last day will be January 9, 2015.

“I can’t imagine anyone ever having been blessed with a better team that I have had,” Smith wrote in the email. “You are leaders in our industry, you have accomplished much, and you will continue to do so. I have so much to thank you for.”

Before coming to WSET in 1999, Smith was VP & GM of Lynchburg-Roanoke NBC affiliate WSLS. You can see the email Smith sent after the jump Read more

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Nexstar Names New GM for WFXR

WFXR_WWCWJoseph McNamara has been named VP & GM of Nexstar-owned WFXR-WWCW in Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia.

McNamara was president and GM of KHON in Honolulu,Hawaii from 2006 until 2013. He was at WBNG in Binghamton, NY for 24 years, working his way up through the sales department before being named GM in 1994.

“In this role, I will leverage the management experience and relationships built over my career to grow the operations and generate results while providing superior service to clients, advertisers, and local viewers,” said McNamara. “I am excited to work with the Roanoke team as we seek to deliver additional compelling local news and entertainment programming, as well as effective, multi-platform marketing solutions.”

Nexstar bought WFXR from Grant Company in 2013.

Roanoke Anchor Leaving Local TV News

mcnew wsls croppedWSLS anchor and medical reporter, Karen McNew is leaving television to work in communications at a health clinic.

Roanoke.com reports McNew “will become the ‘health reporter for Carilion Clinic,’ as she put it.”

“Today, there are so many different avenues for storytelling, and people can gather information immediately whenever they want it online,” McNew said in a telephone interview. “There are some amazing stories out there to tell about what Carilion is doing.”

McNew’s last day on air will be Dec. 30, when she anchors Channel 10’s 6 p.m. newscast. She starts her new job Jan. 5.

“I am so excited, I can’t stand it,” she said.

McNew started at WSLS in 1998. She started her career at WVVA in Bluefield, W.V.

[WFIR]

WSLS Bringing Back Noon Newscast

WSLS-logoWSLS, the NBC affiliate in Roanoke, VA, is bringing back its noon newscast for the first time in four years. According to The Roanoke Times, the midday newscast will include anchor Patrick McKee and meteorologist Kristina Montuori.

The station canceled its noon newscast back in March 2010, replacing it with “Our Blue Ridge,” a lifestyle and entertainment program.

“We didn’t have any [newscast] between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” Garry Kelly, WSLS vice president and general manager, told The Times. “That’s way too long to be off the air. We needed an afternoon newscast and noon has the most potential.”

The noon newscast returns to WSLS Monday.

Roanoke Station Promotes Two Meteorologists

Robin-Reed-and-Brent-Watts-jpgWDBJ, the Roanoke, Va. CBS affiliate, has announced promotions for two of its meteorologists.

Robin Reed has been named to the newly created position of director of weather operations, while Brent Watts has been named chief meteorologist.

“This is an opportunity to take our dominating weather team to a new level,” WDBJ news director Kelly Zuber said in a statement. “The audience is always interested in weather, and now we will tell the big and small stories with more depth on all of our media platforms.”

Reed will continue to anchor weather during the 6 PM and 11 PM newscasts on WDBJ7 along with WDBJ7’s 10 PM newscast on MY19. His new initiatives as Director of Weather Operations include an expanded commitment to education. Read more

Garry Kelly Named GM of Media General’s Roanoke Station

wsls_304Media General has announced Garry Kelly has been named VP and GM of Roanoke, VA, NBC affiliate WSLS.

Kelly comes to WSLS from Birmingham, AL, where he was VP, news director and promotion director for WCFT-WJSU, two Allbritton owned stations Sinclair has promised the FCC it will pull the plug on if its pending deal with Allbritton goes through.

“We are delighted to attract such a talented broadcaster to WSLS,” James R. Conschafter, VP of Broadcast Markets for Media General said in a statement. “His focus has always been on serving his community with superior local news.” Read more

WSLS GM Leaving Station for Personal Reasons

wsls roanokeWSLS VP and GM Leesa Wilcher is leaving the Roanoke NBC affiliate in May.

“Due to personal reasons I am leaving WSLS and returning to the TriCities,” Wilcher told The Roanoke Times. “It has been an exciting time for me these past three years.”

Before coming to WSLS in 2011, Wilcher worked at Media General’s WJHL in Johnson City, TN.

WSLS took in a record $6.6 million in political spending in 2012, when more than $27 million was spent in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market during the 2012 presidential campaign. Channel 10’s take still trailed WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) and WSET-TV (Channel 13). The station’s evening newscasts usually finished third in the Nielsen ratings during Wilcher’s tenure, which is where Channel 10 has ranked consistently since the late 1990s.

WSET Denies News Director Out After Four Months

WSET_2009_smallRoanoke ABC affiliate WSET is denying reports that news director Bob Cashen is out after only four months.

This morning, station GM Randy Smith told TVSpy, “Bob is still employed as the ND at WSET.” Last week he answered with a “Yes” when we asked if Cashen was still the ND after  hearing reports to the contrary.

Cashen came to WSET from WALA in Mobile, AL, in October. He had been news director there since 2004.

WSET Names Bob Cashen News Director

WSET_2009_smallWSET, the Lynchburg, VA, ABC affiliate, has named Bob Cashen as news director.

“Bob is probably the most highly recommended employee that I have ever hired,” WSET general manager Randy Smith told The Roanoke Times. “Every person that I spoke with placed him at the very top of anyone that they had ever worked with. I repeatedly heard the comment, ‘If I had an opening, Bob would be the first person I would call.’ ”

Anchor and interim news director Len Stevens told TVSpy Cashen will join the station in mid-October.

Cashen has been news director at WALA in Mobile, AL, since 2004. According to his LinkedIn page, He has also worked as news director at KSLA in Shreveport, LA, assistant news director at KENS in San Antonio, TX, and news director at KWWL in Waterloo, IA.

He replaces Bill Foy who left the station in July.

Three Weeks After Losing ND Job, Dan Dennison Leaves WDBJ

After being replaced as news director at WDBJ last month and moving to the role of features reporter, Dan Dennison has called it quits at the Roanoke, VA, CBS affiliate.

WDBJ president and general manager Jeff Marks told The Roanoke Times, “Dan changed his mind about the reporting role and has elected to move on. We are all grateful to him for the work he did to elevate the production and content of our newscasts.”

Dennison, who was replaced as news director by Kelly Zuber on July 31, didn’t reveal why he left the station when he told The Times, “I’m proud of the accomplishments made by the WDBJ7 team during my tenure at the station. This includes many product improvements, as evidenced by consistent ratings growth, and recently in recognition from broadcast industry peers, in the form of three regional Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award for overall news excellence.”

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