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St. Louis

‘Saturday Night Live’ Makes Fun of St. Louis Morning Newscasts

Yesterday morning, “Saturday Night Live” uploaded this biting sketch on the media’s reaction to the situation in Ferguson. It was unfortunately cut for time during the live broadcast, but it’s well worth a watch.

In the skit, Cecily Strong and Keenan Thompson play the reluctant hosts of St. Louis’ happiest morning talk show, “Rise and Smile.” The two are trying desperately to avoid their normally chipper (and silly) antics in light of the protests. It doesn’t go well.

James Franco also makes an appearance as a chef named ‘Darrel Wilson’, who at one point asks, “Who am I to argue with the grand jury?”

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Gannett Adds Reinforcements to KSDK Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 5.12.44 PMAs soon as it became clear the Ferguson grand jury had reached a decision, St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK launched into rolling team coverage. The station’s “team coverage” was significant, helped by an infusion over the last few weeks of additional staff from other Gannett stations.

Investigative reporter Brendan Keefe (pictured, right), of Gannett’s WXIA in Atlanta, appeared on KSDK Monday evening. He’s been working in St. Louis for three weeks.

In addition to WXIA, Gannett stations in Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Washington, DC sent a team of reporters, investigative reporters and web producers to boost KSDK’s reporting power ahead of the grand jury’s decision–and whatever may follow. The station has promoted the added forces on air as “a team of seasoned investigators.” Those journalists have filed stories for KSDK, for their home stations, and for Gannett-owned USAToday.

St. Louis ABC Affiliate to Launch ‘Non-Traditional’ Newscast

KDNL_30_News_logoSinclair’s St. Louis ABC affiliate is giving local news another try.

KDNL is launching what it calls a “non-traditional newscast” starring local conservative radio host Jamie Allman, starting January 2015.

The show will air at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. nightly. In a press release, KDNL promised, “The newscast will be an informative, debate-driven format focusing on the topics of the day with guest commentators and a wide social media presence.”

“The goal is to go beyond the headlines and provide context and perspective of a particular issue,” said Sinclair Broadcast Group VP of news Scott Livingston. “We know that there is an appetite for a more in-depth conversation on the issues. We want to engage our viewing audience and get St. Louis talking.”

GM Tom Tipton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the station would be hiring “a reporter and at least a dozen people in other roles.” Read more

Reporter Leisa Zigman Leaving KSDK After 22 Years

Leisa-Zigman2

Anchor/reporter Leisa Zigman is leaving St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK after 22 years at the station. Zigman is leaving the world of TV news to become president of G-Corp., a company that organizes genome science and technology conferences.

She went into more detail about the company (and why she’s leaving KSDK) in a post on her Facebook page this morning, writing:

“I have always considered it an honor and privilege to bring you the news and share reports that I hope made a difference in your lives and at the very least, encouraged you to think… The opportunity to work in a field that can transform medical care as we know it is more than a job. To me, it is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

According to The St. Louis Post-DispatchMike Shipley, the KSDK news director who is also leaving the station, said in a letter to employees that Zigman “made her mark on St. Louis television” and went on to praise her work on a series about bullying, and another about environmental issues at Coldwater Creek.

Zigman’s last day at KSDK is November 25.

St. Louis News Director Leaving Station

ksdkThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, KSDK news director Mike Shipley has announced he is leaving the St. Louis NBC affiliate.

The Post-Dispatch says Shipley told staffers this morning he would stay until a replacement is found. He was named news director in 2000.

>UPDATE: A station spokesperson told TVSpy Shipley is retiring. He has worked in broadcasting for 41 years, 35 of those at KSDK.

After a years-long run of being the top local station for newscasts, KSDK has slipped in the ratings, being passed at times by KMOV (Channel 4) and KTVI (Channel 2).

“He had a No. 1 legacy station here, and he let it slip,” said one source in local television. Read more

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a UFO! What Was That Thing Flying Across KTVI’s Roofcam?

Viewers of St. Louis FOX affiliate KTVI thought they saw the equivalent of a unicorn riding a rainbow when the station’s roof camera caught something strange flying past during a lighting storm.

Viewers took to Facebook to give their best guess at identifying the UFO. The station posted an explanation on its website.

FOX 2 producer Kevin Pope and reporter Andy Banker took a look at the video.  They slowed the high definition footage to see what the object really is.  Their conclusion: the object is a bird illuminated by the lightning.

See the video after the jump. Read more

Chris Stanford Out at KMOV

Chris-StanfordThe St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Chris Stanford, an anchor/reporter, has been fired from CBS affiliate KMOV.

KMOV VP and GM Mark Pimentel told TVSpy that ”Chris’s last day was last Friday.”

“They basically were saying that (Stanford’s employment at KMOV) wasn’t a good fit,” Stanford told the Post-Dispatch. “I don’t know what to say to that, since my last review was around the end of 2013. And at that time, they said I ‘met expectations.”

He’d been at the St. Louis station since March 2013. Prior to that, he worked at WCCO in Minneapolis as a weekend anchor and reporter.

Rafer Weigel to Anchor for KTVI

weigel croppedRafer Weigel will join St. Louis FOX affiliate KTVI as a news anchor and reporter on October 6.

Weigel comes to KTVI from WLS in Chicago where he was the weekend sports anchor and reporter. The news was first reported by the Chicago Business Journal.

“I could not be more thrilled to be joining the team at KTVI,” Weigel said in a statement. “St. Louis is one of my favorite cities. I have family here and know it well having gone to school down the road at University of Illinois.”

Weigel is the grandson of Weigel Broadcasting founder John J. Weigel. Before working at WLS, he was a sports anchor for the HLN morning news. He has also worked as a general assignment reporter at KOVR in Sacramento.

St. Louis Station Apologizes for Showing Home of Ferguson Police Officer

ksdkSt. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK has apologized after showing the home of the Ferguson police officer accused of shooting and killing Mike Brown.

Yesterday KSDK showed the video of the Ferguson Police Officer’s home in our 5 p.m. news but did not mention the address of the home. KSDK immediately felt using that video was a mistake and pulled the video of the home from future newscasts and from our web site. We have not used the video since then and do not intend to do so. We apologize to our audience, to the surrounding neighborhoods, to the greater St.Louis community and to the officer for our mistake.

Viewers have complained about it on facebook, questioning the station’s judgement, with some vowing to never watch the station again.

News Crews Hit with Tear Gas, Bean Bags in Ferguson; Police: ‘We Don’t Want You Here’

ferguson news crews

KSDK photographers and a photographer were approached at gunpoint Wednesday night by police in Ferguson, Missouri, who said “we don’t want you here,” according to a report by KSDK reporter Casey Nolan filed early Thursday morning.

Two KSDK-TV photojournalists and reporter Elizabeth Matthews were filing a story for the St. Louis NBC affiliate about the cancellation of school, with their live truck positioned in a Ferguson neighborhood just outside a perimeter established by police.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police in riot gear began dispersing demonstrators about a quarter of a mile from the crew’s location. The KSDK crew captured video of police using tear gas in the neighborhood, with one canister hitting a crew from Al Jazeera America, sending the crew running (video after the jump). The KSDK crew says police then came to them: Read more

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