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Seattle-Tacoma

Tom Cohen Named VP of Content at KCTS

KCTS logoTom Cohen is joining KCTS, the PBS station in Seattle, as vice president of content. He begins early next year.

“I am thrilled to join KCTS 9, a prestigious brand in our community,” Cohen said in a statement. “It’s clear to the television industry and the viewing public that the type, quality and delivery of media are undergoing massive change. There is no better time for locally owned and operated broad- and web-casters to consider this and innovate. I am eager to participate.”

Earlier in his career, Cohen worked at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO for 16 years. Most recently, he has provided media, technology and marketing consulting for various companies, including Microsoft, where he worked until 2007.

More from KCTS after the jump. Read more

Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne Joins KDVR From KIRO

chris halsneChris Halsne is joining KDVR, the Fox affiliate in Denver, as an investigative reporter. Halsne comes from KIRO, the CBS affiliate in Seattle, where he has worked for 14 years.

“Chris is a talented storyteller, skilled at generating high-impact stories. He has won many regional Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for outstanding journalism,” KDVR vice president of news Ed Kosowski wrote in a note to station staffers. “…Please welcome Chris when he arrives here Monday.”

Before KIRO, Halsne was the lead investigative reporter and special projects unit manager at KWTV, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City. He has also worked at stations in Topeka, Joplin, Ft. Myers and Grand Rapids.

Former KOMO Anchor Peggy Bunker Joins KNTV

peggy bunkerPeggy Bunker is joining KNTV, the NBC owned station in San Francisco. In her new role, Bunker will anchor the 11 a.m. newscast, as well as serving as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor for the station’s morning newscast.

Bunker most recently worked at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO, where she was the morning and midday anchor. She is a former anchor of “World News Now” and “America This Morning” for ABC News.

“We’re happy to have a journalist of Peggy’s caliber joining our newsroom. She brings with her a wealth of experience at both the local and national news levels,” KNTV vice president of news Jonathan Mitchell said in a statement.

More from NBC after the jump. Read more

Former KIRO Traffic Anchor Develops an App to Curate Tweets for Live TV

hoganOur sister site Lost Remote talks with former KIRO traffic anchor Jenni Hogan, who left the station to develop an app that curates viewer tweets for live broadcasts:

TVinteract is Hogan’s creation for iPads that allows TV personalities the ability to pick their favorite fan tweets, and air them live on TV. How it works is a TV personality can look at their @mentions on the left side of the app screen, and drag the tweets they like over to the right and hit live. This automatically flags the tweet to the show’s director, who can then bring the tweet live to air through airplay or HDMI cable.

Lost Remote spoke with Hogan, who told us her love for social TV drove her to leave her traffic anchoring job in Seattle. “I made the decision my heart was with social media and social TV,” Hogan said. “I feel like I have this army on the rise supporting me.”

In the Wake of KOMO Layoffs, Seattle Times Blasts Sinclair, FCC

FCC_304After Sinclair Broadcast Group laid off more than 20 employees at its recently-acquired stations in Seattle and Portland this month, The Seattle Times called on the FCC to block pending media consolidation deals in an editorial today, writing that Seattle viewers are losing “strong, local journalism.”

Welcome to the Northwest, Sinclair. Decimating the soul of this city’s last locally owned commercial TV station is a heck of an introduction. Those editors, satellite-truck operators, writers and producers are vital to keeping our community informed via the people’s airwaves, which stations are entrusted with to balance profit and public interest.

[...] Within two years, Sinclair has closed or pursued deals to increase its holdings from 58 to 162 stations — covering nearly 40 percent of the country’s audience. The FCC turns a blind eye to Sinclair and its copycats.

Tribune — owner of KCPQ — just emerged from bankruptcy. Already, it’s using sidecars to purchase 20 stations for $2.7 billion. Gannett laid off hundreds in August while simultaneously attempting a $1.5 billion takeover of KING and 19 other Belo-owned stations.

The FCC should block these pending deals. Enforce the rules.

Layoffs at Sinclair Stations in Seattle, Portland

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group has handed down a round of layoffs at its newly-acquired stations in Seattle and Portland, TVSpy has learned.

A source at Seattle ABC affiliate KOMO tells TVSpy that there were 10 layoffs in the station’s newsroom and close to 20 across all Sinclair’s properties in Seattle. They include satellite truck operators, editors, producers and radio reporters and editors.

The source describes the mood at KOMO as “a combination of sadness and nervousness,” noting that the newsroom is a “very tight-knit group” that has been through a lot, including the death of Kathi Goertzen, over the past two years. Staffers are said to be banding together to help laid-off employees find new jobs.

KOMO news director Holly Gauntt declined to comment. General manager Janene Drafs did not respond to an email from TVSpy.

In Portland, The Oregonian reports nine people were laid off at ABC affiliate KATU, including “three editors, a writer, a producer, two truck operators and two folks who work with KATU’s web operation, including an executive producer.”

More details? Email us: tvspy@mediabistro.com.

KING Reporter Joe Fryer Joins NBC News

joe fryer nbc newsJoe Fryer is leaving Seattle NBC affiliate KING to join NBC News. In his new role, Fyer will be a general assignment correspondent based in the network’s Burbank bureau.

Related, TVNewser: Joe Fryer Named NBC News Correspondent

Fryer, who has worked at KING since 2010, has been filling in as a part-time correspondent on NBC News. In a memo this afternoon, NBC SVP of worldwide newsgathering David Verdi and Burbank bureau chief Polly Powell wrote, “His work impressed us so much, we hired him full time.”

Before working at KING, the four-time Murrow winner worked at KARE in Minneapolis, WTVF in Nashville, WBAY in Green Bay and WKYT in Lexington.

Seattle Choral Group Honors Former KOMO Anchor Eric Slocum


Seattle based choral group The Esoterics recently debuted a new work that uses the poetry of former KOMO radio and TV anchor Eric Slocum.

The anchor for the Seattle ABC Affiliate, who was described as a friend of The Esoterics on the choral group’s website, had planned to work with a composer to set his words to music. After Slocum’s suicide in February 2012, composer Eric Banks got permission to make Slocum’s work “into a 20-minute stream-of-consciousness meditation – on life, its struggles, and the hereafter.”

According to The Esoterics, “Banks then gave this piece a title that borrows from the final image of Slocum’s poetry – from within a symphony of butterflies – I am among them.”

The group marked “Suicide Prevention Month” by asking each composer who wrote for this most recent series of concerts to use verses written by poets who have committed suicide.

[KOMO]

Meteorologist Mary Lee Joins Seattle’s KING

mary lee_304x200Former Houston meteorologist Mary Lee has joined Seattle NBC affiliate KING.

Lee left Houston’s KPRC in August saying she wanted to be closer to her family on the West Coast.

She posted the news of her move to KING on her facebook page, “It’s official! Super happy to finally live in the same city as my family and so excited to work for the KING of Seattle!!”

In 2010, Lee joined KPRC as a weekend meteorologist. She has also worked at KXAN in Austin, TX, KHSL in Chico, CA, and KOVR in Sacramento.

[Houston Chronicle]

Sister of Seattle Weather Anchor Found Safe

Emily Joyce, the sister of KCPQ weather anchor Tim Joyce, has been found safe.

Tim Joyce told TVSpy he along with family members tracked her down at a remote campsite after seeing she had googled the site located in the Willamette National Forest. He said it was roughly 27 miles from the nearest available cell phone signal.

He asked for help finding Emily from Eugene area residents a couple of weeks ago after his family lost contact with her last month.

Joyce credits a team effort involving friends, family members and Sheriff’s deputies along with a little bit of luck in finding his sister, “As luck would have it, an interview I had given to a local radio station was being aired while she was driving back into town—and she heard about her own disappearance”

Joyce said his sister is, “incredibly apologetic and thankful that we kept trying to find her—even though she was doing her best to stay hidden.”

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