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Sports

Six Years After Sonics Left for OKC, Seattle Station Pays Tribute to Former NBA Team

KIRO Former SonicsNo one can accuse Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO of forgetting the team that brought the emerald city its first championship.

For non-NBA fans, there once was a professional men’s basketball team in Seattle called the SuperSonics. The team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became another loud sounding name, the Thunder.

KIRO now refers to the Thunder as the “Former Sonics.” A statement on its website says, “The former Seattle SuperSonics are in the NBA playoffs. Throughout their run, KIRO 7 promises you we won’t say OKC or their team name in our newscasts. ”

Viewers of Oklahoma City CBS affiliate KWTV posted their reactions to KWTV’s facebook page. One viewer wrote, “Remember when the “former sonics” were in Seattle and didn’t get enough support to afford to STAY there?! Get over it, Seattle. The handful of fans doesn’t include your entire city. Don’t try to act like you care to get attention!”

WKYC Issues Statement on Replacing Bernie Kosar as Browns Color Analyst

wkycCleveland NBC affiliate WKYC issued a statement today about the future of former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar as color analyst for the Cleveland Browns preseason broadcasts.

Kosar told the Cleveland Plain Dealer he felt blindsided when he found out he was being replaced. He said he thinks he was fired because of slurred speech caused by repeated concussions as a player.

WKYC president and GM Brooke Spectorsky was quoted as saying:

“First of all, we love Bernie, and we’re grateful for the role he has played in our broadcasts over the last 8 years.” Spectorsky said. “Nowhere in our discussions with Bernie or the Browns has anything ever been said about his speech impairment due to concussions. That has simply nothing to do with our decision. The Browns are rebuilding their team, and in reviewing our programming we’ve decided to rebuild as well. We felt there was a better role for Bernie than doing just four preseason games and we completely understand Bernie’s iconic status with Browns fans. I know Bernie has made statements that he felt that these moves were due to his speech issues, and I reiterate that is not the case. Read more

Sportscaster Susie Wargin Leaving KUSA

susie wargin_304x200Susie Wargin is leaving KUSA, the Denver Post reports. Wargin will sign off from the Denver NBC affiliate in August.

“I’ve had my real estate license since June,” Wargin told the Denver Post. “My mom’s been in the business for 38 years (with RE/MAX). It’s a good family decision for me now. Mom wants to hand down the business–(in the unspecified distant future)– and I’d be an idiot to refuse.”

Wargin has been the KUSA morning sports anchor since 2004. She will continue to freelance on occasion for the station, she says.

Mitch Roberts Named Sports Director at KHBS-KHOG

khbs logoMitch Roberts is joining KHBS-KHOG, Hearst’s duopoly in Fort Smith-Fayetteville, as sports director. He will begin in his new role on May 5.

Roberts most recently worked as a news anchor and reporter for rival KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith-Fayetteveille. He has previously worked as a sportscaster for stations in St. Louis, Nashville, and Las Vegas. He was born in Tulsa and grew up in Dallas.

“Mitch brings a terrific combination of experience and Arkansas-Oklahoma sports knowledge to our newsroom,” KHBS-KHOG news director Greg Shepperd said in a statement. “I know Mitch will provide excellent leadership when it comes to covering the Razorbacks and our diverse sports market.”

KTHV Adds Mary Dunleavy as Sports Anchor

dunleavy kthv_croppedMary Dunleavy has joined Little Rock, AR, CBS affiliate KTHV as sports anchor.

Dunleavy comes to KTHV from WVIR in Charlottesville, VA.

KTHV news director Dave Parker told TVSpy, “We are wasting no time introducing Mary to Arkansas and its love for football as her first assignment with be reporting live this week from Razorbacks spring football practice.”

Little Rock Sports Anchor Sues Gannett for Discrimination

edwards kthvMark C. Nelson, known on-air as Mark Edwards, is suing Gannett Co. and Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV for discrimination.

According to the lawsuit posted on Courthouse News Service, Gannett, “has a corporate custom, policy, pattern, practice and procedure of not promoting African-Americans to director and leadership positions and utilizing a ‘one-and-done policy’ that disparately impacts African-American employed within the company.”

Edwards says Gannett manipulated focus groups and used “other means and methods” to “achieve its discriminatory goals and objectives.”

Edwards’ bio has been removed from the KTHV website.

The sports anchor said he started at KTHV in 2003 editing and doing production as the “number three” sports guy. When he had the opportunity to leave for an on-air job in Cleveland, Edwards said GM Larry Audas asked him to stay and promised him a promotion and that he would be on a “fast track” to the sports director position.

The complaint continues: “After remaining in employment for several years with the defendant, in approximately May 2012, Wes Moore, a white sports anchor and director, left Channel 11. Plaintiff was in an optimum position to take over as the anchor and sports director with the attendant advertising, marketing, promotion and raise-in-pay that accompanies such advancement within the company. However, rather than offer this opportunity to plaintiff, instead, Channel 11 hired a white male with less sports broadcasting experience from another station in July-August of 2012. For reasons never explained to plaintiff, defendant did not provide plaintiff with an offer to be promoted, marketed or further advanced with the defendant as sports director, or anchor as was promised and represented by him.” Read more

Sports Anchor Turned News Anchor then Retired Anchor Hired to do Sports at KUSA

Fox31 anchor Ron Zappolo is retiring.Ron Zappolo, the former sports anchor who retired last year as a news anchor is coming back to Denver airwaves.

The Denver Post TV critic Joanne Ostrow reports Zappolo will be the “weekend sports conversationalist” for Denver NBC affiliate KUSA.

He’ll be paired with Sam Adams, Denver comedian and sportswriter (for the Rocky Mountain News), to talk sports as a segment within the newscast. The first taping is Friday, to air this weekend.

“We’ll see what develops,” Zappolo said late Tuesday. “Anything’s on the table.”

KUSA President and General Manager Mark Cornetta calls the move an “experiment,” as a way to inject talk about sports, sometimes in a debate style, in the weekend newscast. “As with anything, if it is good, there is the possibility it could expand,” Cornetta said. Read more

‘It’s All About the Kids’: Las Vegas Sports Anchor Leaving Station

KSNV sports anchor Kevin West has left the Las Vegas NBC affiliate.

“It’s a family move, all about the kids,” West told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Paola Varela Rossi Joins Telemundo Denver

paola varela rossiPaola Varela Rossi is joining Telemundo Denver as a sports anchor-reporter. Beginning March 31, she will anchor the sports segment for both of the station’s daily newscasts.

It is a return to Telemundo for Varela Rossi, who previously worked at Telemundo Network in Miami. Most recently, she was an anchor and reporter at Caracol TV network in Colombia.

“Paola is a team player and will be a great asset to our station in Denver,” Telemundo Denver news director Pedro Calderón Michel said in a statement. “We are glad to welcome her back to the Telemundo family.”

Sportscaster Nick Coit Joins WLNE

nick coit wabiNick Coit has joined WLNE, the ABC affiliate in Providence, as a sports reporter and weekend sports anchor, the Bangor Daily News reports.

Coit signed off from WABI in Bangor three months ago to seek a job in a bigger market. From Bangor to Providence, Coit is jumping 103 markets.

“When I left WABI, this was exactly the type of step I was looking for,” Coit told the Bangor Daily News. “I never expected to get a job this good. I was lucky enough to land it.

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