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Pioneering TV Reporter Belva Davis: ‘There’s still a lot of good journalism out there.’

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Belva Davis made her TV debut in 1963, when she covered a black beauty pageant. She later made history as the first female African-American television reporter on the West Coast when she was hired in 1966 by KPIX in San Francisco. She stayed at the station for 30 years and later became an anchorwoman in 1970.

Davis hosted “This Week in Northern California” for more than 19 years and has been honored with seven Emmys. It’s safe to say that Davis is a bona fide pioneer and has paved the way for the multiculturalism we see in the media today. Here, she shares her keys to success for journalists, particularly women of color, today:

I used to always answer, ‘Work as hard as I did,’ but I realize you have to work harder. Black women have made progress since I started [in journalism], but you can’t go into it wanting to be a movie star. You can get by and make a living. But if you only prepare yourself to do the minute and 30 seconds they give you to do a story and didn’t get the background so that it could be the best that could possibly happen, it would be difficult to contribute to journalistic knowledge. I see in so many young women an obligation to broaden the storyline. That means there’s still a lot of good journalism out there.

For more from Davis, including what it was like to make her on air-debut, read: So What Do You Do, Belva Davis, Pioneering Broadcast Journalist, TV Host and Author?

KPIX to Launch Revamped 10:00 p.m. Newscast on CW Affiliate

delacruz kpixSan Francisco Bay Area CBS owned station KPIX-KBCW is launching a revamped newscast on CW affiliate KBCW starting Monday at 10:00 p.m.

The show, which replaces the regular KBCW 10:00 p.m. news Monday through Friday, will be called Bay Area Night Beat.

Veronica De La Cruz will host the show which mixes traditional local news with what’s trending on the internet and on social media and is targeted towards a younger audience.

“We are very excited about this newscast that augments our deeply held traditional news values with a social media lens and contemporary story-telling techniques” said Dan Rosenheim, VP of News and news director for KPIX-KBCW.

A station spokesperson promised no big set changes, no gratuitous live remotes and no co-anchors, just the news with science and environmental stories added to weather and a segment called “Jump on Tomorrow” giving news about what’s happening the next day.

‘No One in the Newsroom is Happy’ as Boston Station Prepares for New Owners

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The deal’s not done, but nerves are on edge at Fox 25 in Boston. “No one in the newsroom is 
happy,” the Boston Herald quotes an unnamed source inside the station. “No one here knows what’s happening.”

Fox is set to swap WFXT to Cox Media Group in exchange for Cox’s San Francisco station–and current Fox affiliate–KTVU. The companies will keep their general managers, sending KTVU’s Tom Raponi to Boston, while WFXT’s Gregg Kelley heads to San Francisco. The Herald reports staffers in Boston fear they may also inherit KTVU’s news director:

Raponi’s current news director in San Francisco is Lee Rosenthal, and a Left Coast blog reported that he has put his Bay-area house on the market — possibly signaling a move east. But Raponi told us yesterday that it’s too early to speculate about personnel moves.

“We have not even closed on the deal,” Raponi said. “It would be premature to make any personnel decisions, but as soon as we have something, we will announce it.” Read more

But Didn’t You Say You Had Breaking News?

Okay, I’ll be the bad guy for a moment. I think it’s time we stopped doing these on-air proposals and hey-look-at-me stunts. Like cupcake stores, we may have reached the limit.

Just last week two very lovely news anchors at KRON in San Francisco, Justine Waldman and Grant Lodes (they’re married) announced they will soon be having a baby. Awesome, guys–congrats! But here’s the thing. We got the great news during, well, the news. After teasing viewers that there was an “exclusive and developing story” coming at the end of the 8 p.m. newscast, the segment opened with a full screen DEVELOPING STORY graphic and stinger. Lodes, KRON’s breaking news anchor, then told viewers “now to a developing story we’ve been following–KRON 4′s Justine Waldman is pregnant.”

Wait, what?

Within seconds, we got to see a “new picture just into the KRON 4 newsroom”–an ultrasound image of the baby due in November. I’m a Dad. And I’m on Facebook. I’ve seen plenty of ultrasounds. But this just made me uncomfortable. Again, I think this is fantastic for Justine and Grant, but here’s the thing: I can’t do this anymore. Read more

Fox/Cox Swaps Ends 51 Years of KTVU Ownership

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The news today that Cox and Fox have entered into a station swap, will come as bittersweet to some. Cox Media Group has owned the San Francisco Bay area station for more than 50 years. In the process, Cox is gaining two stations east of the Mississippi.

Cox has owned KTVU, in the sixth-largest U.S. TV market, since 1963. Channel 2 was a charter affiliate of the FOX Broadcasting Company when the network went on the air October 9, 1986.

As FOX Broadcasting takes ownership of KTVU, it is swapping the stations it owns in Boston (market #7) and Memphis (market #50.) Both stations will remain Fox affiliates.

WFXT Channel 25 in Boston has been a FOX O&O since 1987, when it was acquired by News Corp. The station went on the air in 1977 as WXNE, an affiliate of the Christian Broadcasting Network. WHBQ Channel 13 in Memphis went on the air in 1953, and was a dual CBS/ABC affiliate, before picking up the primary ABC affiliation in 1956. It would remain an ABC affiliate until 1995 when News Corp. acquired the station.

With KTVU, FOX gains a station in an NFC market. It has rights to the NFL’s NFC package of games. In fact, the 2016 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately for FOX, CBS has the rights to Super Bowl 50.

Boston and Memphis will bring to 10 the number of U.S. markets in which Cox operates. The company owns ABC affiliates in Atlanta, Orlando, and Charlotte; CBS affiliates in Seattle and Dayton; the Fox and CBS affiliates in Jacksonville; the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh; and the Fox affiliate in Tulsa. Fox Broadcasting will now operate stations in 16 markets, including 13 of the top 15.

Fox and Cox Swap Stations in San Francisco, Boston, Memphis

cox media fox logosFox Television Stations and Cox Media Group have announced they are swapping stations in three markets: Fox will get Fox affiliate KTVU and independent KICU in San Francisco, and Cox will get Fox-owned WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston. After the deal closes, WHBQ and WFXT will remain Fox affiliates.

“The addition of KTVU and KICU to our portfolio of owned-and-operated stations provides us with a compelling growth opportunity in a top-10 market,” CEO of Fox Television Stations Jack Abernethy said in a statement. “Our stations group will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights. I’d like to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the talented Boston and Memphis teams for the great work they do. We are confident they will be in good hands with our partners at Cox.”

“This is the first time we have had a media presence in Boston and Memphis, and CMG is excited about the prospects that WFXT-TV and WHBQ-TV bring to our business,” Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman said. “These new stations fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio, and we look forward to having a great news presence in these two markets and competing hard with the fine local broadcasters who already reside there.”

More in the release after the jump. Read more

KTVU Airs Wrong Graphic for Starbucks Price Hike Story

KTVU StarbucksKTVU, the San Francisco Bay Area FOX affiliate, aired an over the shoulder graphic during its Friday night 10:00 p.m. that seemed to veer towards commentary.

Julie Haener was reading a story about Starbucks’ plan to hike prices. Over her shoulder? A graphic from fake Starbucks store Dumb Starbucks.

KTVU news director Lee Rosenthal told TVSpy, “The graphic was in our system from our previous report a few months ago and wasn’t purged, which led to it accidentally re-appearing on air.”

[Rich Lieberman]

Motorcyclist Behaving Badly May Now Regret Confronting KRON Reporter

Stanley Roberts, the reporter known for his “People Behaving Badly” series on San Francisco Bay Area independent station KRON, may have taught a local motorcyclist an important lesson about just walking away.

Roberts recorded the guy missing his exit right before the Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza and driving the wrong way down another exit.

The motorcyclist then approached Roberts and made it clear he didn’t appreciate the KRON reporter getting the traffic no-no on camera. While he was giving Roberts the “what for,” the folks at the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District called the CHP who checked the tape and gave the guy a ticket. Oh yeah, he was driving on a suspended license without insurance so they also impounded his bike.

[Reddit]

KTVU Reporter’s Purse Stolen from Truck

KTVU reporter Heather Holmes was doing a story about a violent daylight robbery when she became the victim of a crime herself.

According to SFGate, Holmes had her purse swiped from the San Francisco Bay Area FOX affiliate news truck while she and her photographer were parked near Oakland police headquarters.

Holmes and a photographer were standing near the corner of 7th Street and Broadway in the city’s downtown for their report. Their van wasn’t locked, because the crew had only recently arrived at the corner, and the vehicle was only steps away. Someone used Holmes’ bank card at the Chevron gas station on Market Street within 20 minutes of the theft.

This is yet another in a growing string of crimes committed against Bay Area journalists. In March, gear was stolen out of a KTVU truck in the Fruitvale district of Oakland.

[Rich Lieberman]

Robert Handa Returns to KNTV

handa_cropped_ktnvRobert Handa is going back to KNTV.

Handa will report for the San Francisco Bay Area NBC owned station and also host a weekly program featuring the Bay Area’s Asian American community.

“We’re thrilled to have a journalist with Robert’s talents and expertise joining our staff,” Jonathan Mitchell, KNTV’s VP of news said in a statement on AsianWeek.com which first reported the news.

Handa told TVSpy by email, “I’m excited about the move and new role as I ‘return home’ to ch11(as many staffers put it). I will miss the people at ch 2.”

He started his career with KNTV when it was an ABC affiliate and joins the station from Oakland FOX affiliate KTVU. He has also worked at KPIX and KQED.

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