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South Bend-Elkhart

WBND’s Daryl Bjoraas ‘Doing Fine’ After Report From Scene of Chemical Fire Lands Him in the Hospital

Daryl Bjoraas, a multimedia journalist at WBND in South Bend, was taken to the hospital on Friday night after reporting from the site of a chemical fire in Mishawaka.

“Daryl is doing fine.  He responded to the breaking news scene before mandatory evacuations were ordered,” WBND news director Aaron Ramey told TVSpy in an email. “He was feeling ill and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.”

The fire began Friday night at a vacant chemical plant that is currently undergoing a federally-supervised cleanup, according to the AP. Hundreds of residents in a one-mile radius of the factory were evacuated overnight, returning to their homes after the all-clear was given early Saturday morning. Read more

New Anchor Team Debuts for South Bend’s WSBT

WSBT, The South Bend CBS affiliate, has added Rick Schutt and Jennifer Copeland to a three anchor rotation that includes longtime anchor Cindy Ward.  Ward’s previous co-anchor at 5 and 6 p.m., Dustin Grove, retired from TV news on Friday.

The lineup looks something like this:  Schutt and Copeland will anchor the 5 p.m., Copeland and Ward will take the 5:30 while Schutt and and Copeland will again anchor the 6.  Schutt will take the 10 pm. and will be joined by Ward for the 11.

News director John Haferkamp told TVSpy the plan is to eventually have Schutt and Copeland anchoring the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Ward and Copeland remaining a team at 5:30.  Read more

Anchor Dustin Grove Leaving WSBT For New Career

Dustin Grove, anchor and reporter at WSBT, CBS affiliate for South Bend, is leaving the station.  Grove posted the news on the station’s Facebook page:

Thank you for your kind words. It has been great to be a part of the WSBT family for nearly ten years and I have treasured each moment with my co-workers (and you, the viewers.)My family and I will be relocating to central Indiana to work for a family business venture. This will hopefully allow me to be home more to see my young kids.

Grove, who anchors both the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts and reports for the station, joined WSBT in 2004.  He’s twice been named Indiana’s Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Joel Schipper Joining Central Florida News 13

Joel Schipper is joining Central Florida News 13 as weekend anchor, the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker reports.

Schipper comes from WNDU in South Bend, where he is the weekend anchor. He will sign off from the station after six years on Saturday.

As weekend anchor, Schipper replaces Adam Longo, who joined KPHO in Phoenix. Schipper will anchor the weekend evening newscasts and report during the week for Central Florida News 13, according to Boedeker.

WNDU Asks ‘School Two Easy For Kids’?

It was just a terrible time for a typo: earlier this week, South Bend NBC-affiliate WNDU ran a graphic with the phrase “School Two Easy For Kids” for a story about education.

WNDU was reporting on a new study in which millions of kids said that school was too easy. 
[Via Gawker]

Meteorologist Matt Rudkin Joining WSBT

Meteorologist Matt Rudkin is moving from WSIL in Harrisburg, IL to WSBT in his hometown of South Bend.

“I am blessed to have had the opportunity to learn & grow in southern Illinois, but I am looking forward to working in my hometown and being near my family again,” he wrote on Facebook. “Thanks to all of you for a great year!!”

The move is a return to WSBT for Rudkin, who interned at the CBS-affiliate earlier in his career.  [h/t Jake's DTV Blog]

Reporter Clifton French Leaving WSBT in South Bend

After more than two years at WSBT in South Bend, reporter Clifton French is leaving the station for a job in Florida.

“So it’s official … my wife and I are heading to Fort Myers, FL at the end of the month!” French wrote on Facebook yesterday. “We will miss Michiana, but thank you for all the memories and good times!”

French is rumored to be joining WBBH, the NBC-affiliate in Fort Myers. WBBH and WSBT have yet to respond to requests for comment from TVSpy.

Evening Anchor Debra Daniel Signs Off From WSBT

After 18 years at WSBT, Debra Daniel signed off from the South Bend CBS-affiliate last week.

“It’s been so much fun,” Daniel said on her last newscast. “We’ve had hard times, hard work, trying times, but the best part about being here is the family.”

Daniel anchored the 5, 10 and 11 newscasts and reported on the “Your Health Matters” series for WSBT. TVSpy hears that her contract was not renewed; WSBT news director John Haferkamp has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Katherine Rufener to Join News 14 Carolina

Katherine Rufener is leaving WNDU, the NBC-affiliate in South Bend, for a reporting job at News 14 Carolina.

“Just finished my last on-air report here at WNDU,” Rufener wrote on Facebook this morning. “I will greatly miss everyone here as I head on to report in Wilmington, North Carolina.”

Rufener, a reporter and fill-in anchor at WNDU, joins the regional cable network in mid-June.

Brian Dorman, Emily Pritchard Promoted at WBND

In the wake of Krista Fogelsong‘s departure from WBND, the South Bend ABC-affiliate is shuffling its anchor lineup.

Weekend anchor Brian Dorman will take over as evening anchor until a replacement for Fogelsong is named. When the station names someone permanent for the 6, 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts, Dorman will take over as morning co-anchor alongside Keitha Nelson.

Multimedia journalist Emily Pritchard will be promoted to the weekend anchor desk beginning Saturday.

“Brian and Emily are a pair of journalists who have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months and are very deserving of these promotions,” WBND news director Aaron Ramey told TVSpy in an email.

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