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Sweeps

KERO News Director Defends Stripper Story that Led to Firing of Chief Meteorologist

KERO news director Todd Karli is defending his station’s decision to air a story about successful local strippers during its 5 p.m. newscast, a move that ended in the firing of chief meteorologist Jack Church (right), a devout Christian who boycotted the newscast because of the story’s racy subject matter.

“We were very careful to approach the story, not as any kind of promotion for the business, but straightforward,” Karli told The Californian recently.

The story (which can be seen here) reported on how strip-clubs are one of the few local businesses that have not been hurt by the recent economic downturn. In explaining his decision to boycott KERO’s newscasts that day, Church said that he felt the story sent the wrong message to young women. Read more

WFOR Turns Cameras on Reporter’s Messy Desk

“It’s safe to say, it’s a mess,” said WFOR reporter Lisa Petrillo, describing the desk of Al Sunshine, the CBS O&O’s chief consumer reporter.

For a sweeps story on messy work spaces, WFOR decided to turn its cameras on the veteran reporter, whose desk was cluttered with files, newspapers, and memorabilia–evidence of his nearly 25 years with the station. With the help of an organization expert, Sunshine threw away much of the items, including a file dated 2003 and a calendar from 2006 (video above).

“It was not a comfortable position to be in,” Sunshine told TVSpy via email. “The ‘junk’ was memorabilia from years of consumer reporting I never really wanted to get rid of. I still miss some of those old props.”

Meteorologist Jack Church on Boycotting Newscast Over Racy Story: ‘I Did What I Needed to Do’

Jack Church, who recently left his post as chief meteorologist at KERO after criticizing the station’s decision to air a report on local strip clubs during its 5 p.m. newscast, has recently opened up about his departure to the Christian Post.

Church, a devout Christian who teaches classes on faith at his church, told the Post that he asked KERO not run the segment during its 5 p.m. newscast because he felt it was “totally inappropriate material” for the early evening time slot.

When KERO moved forward with the story, planning to air it at the start of sweeps, Church said that he wouldn’t be a part of the newscast. Read more

KERO Fires Chief Meteorologist After He Objected to Racy Strip Club Story

KERO‘s chief meteorologist Jack Church is no longer with the station and the veteran weathercaster says that he was fired after he objected to the ABC-affiliate’s airing of a story on local strip clubs.

Church, who appeared on KERO’s 5, 6, and 11 p.m. newscasts, posted the following message on his Facebook wall on Thursday:

Lost my job w/KERO-TV. We were set to air story @ start of sweeps in 5pm news featuring strip clubs & how they’re doing well in down economy. I protested saying it was inappropriate material for local newscast. Based on my Chrisitan values I could not be to part of this newscast. I asked to have day off when it would air. They denied request, I did’nt appear they fired me 5 days later for breach of contract.

The story that Church objected to is presumably this one, which details how area strip clubs are still doing well in spite of the economic downturn.

KERO management was not immediately available for comment.

In Memphis, WMC Achieves Ratings Success Not Seen in 15 Years

Memphis’s WMC has reason to pop the champagne this weekend. The NBC-affiliate did a clean sweep in February with all of its newscasts finishing #1.

The station says that it’s the first time the feat has been achieved in 15 years.

“We’re encouraged by the growth of these news ratings,” said WMC general manager Lee Meredith. “Coupled with the skyrocketing numbers that we’re seeing on the Internet and on mobile devices, this is very humbling. We never take our viewers for granted.”

CBS-affiliate WREG took the silver in all of its match-ups with WMC, including 10 p.m., which was both stations’ highest-rated newscast of the day.

“I attribute our success to many things, but most importantly we have the right team on the field working for these successes,” WMC news director Tracey Rogers told TVSpy via email.  “They know our mission and carry it out day in and day out and listen to our viewers and what they want to see every night.”

Stations Across the Country Run the Same Unclaimed Cash Story During Sweeps

Does the state owe you money that you didn’t even know about?

That’s the question being asked by stations around the country this month.  It’s a tantalizing set-up: the state treasury has millions of dollars in unclaimed cash and property and it could be yours with a few mouse clicks.

Stations in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Missouri, Virginia, Oregon, North Carolina, and South Carolina have all used the story to drum up ratings during the current sweeps period and increase traffic to their websites. Read more

Longtime WPTV Anchor Laurel Sauer Returns to Air with Rival Station WPBF

Laurel Sauer, who was a fixture on South Florida TVs for 28 years before being let go by West Palm Beach’s WPTV in 2009, is returning to TV.

Sauer has joined WPBF, WPTV’s crosstown rival, where she is providing special reports for the February sweeps period. Sauer, 55, did a similar run with the ABC-affiliate during the November sweeps.

“It’s been fun,” Sauer told The Palm Beach Post in a recent interview. “I get my hands back in, certainly show my face back on TV.”

It’s certainly a familiar face for West Palm Beach viewers. Along with Jim Sackett, Sauer co-anchored WPTV’s top-rated newscast for decades before being unceremoniously let go.

The abrupt exit from WPTV still rankles Sauer. Read more

In Dallas, KTVT Plans to Use Two WFAA Luminaries as Sweeps Fodder

KTVT is using a unique strategy in its 10 p.m. ratings battle against WFAA. The CBS-affiliate is set to feature two popular former WFAA staffers during the February sweeps period.

Anchor Tracy Rowlett (far right) and meteorologist Troy Dungan (right) will be profiled in their retirement years by KTVT anchor Karen Borta, according to Dallas media blog Uncle Barky’s Bytes. The special segments are set to air during the week of February 14th.

Dungan, 74, spent over 30 years with WFAA, serving as the station’s chief meteorologist before retiring in 2007.

Rowlett, 74, became WFAA’s marquee anchor in 1975, teaming with Iola Johnson to anchor the station’s highly rated 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts. He jumped to KTVT in 1999 and eventually retired in 2008. Read more

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