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Tallahassee-Thomasville

Two Dead After Helicopter Used by Tallahassee Station Crashes

wtxl_helicopterThe FAA and NTSB are investigating a weekend helicopter crash near Tallahassee, FL, that killed two people and injured one.

The helicopter that crashed is the same one Tallahassee ABC affiliate WTXL uses for news gathering. The station partners with Tallahassee Helicopters for use of the Robinson R-44 helicopter. It was not being used by the station at the time of the crash.

Killed in the crash were the pilot Terry Ooten and passenger Curtis Clifford. Sheri Devore, a second passenger, was injured.

Sources tell TVSpy WTXL news director David Lee pitched in to shoot video of the scene for the station Saturday night when no one else was available.

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David Lee to Join WTXL as News Director

david_lee_wtxl_croppedDavid Lee has been named news director for Tallahassee ABC affiliate WTXL.

“I’m very excited at the opportunity to be a part of and lead an already dynamic news department,” Lee told TVSpy. “I’m expecting great things from us all in the future!”

Lee comes to WTXL from KCOY in Santa Maria, CA, where he is assistant news director. He previously worked at KION in Salinas-Monterey.

In his 25 years in broadcasting, Lee has worked as a production manager, sports director and anchor, promotions director, reporter, assignment editor and news content manager.

‘It’s OK to Be You’: Reporter Comes Out on Facebook

matt hornCapitol News Service reporter Matt Horn celebrated “National Coming Out Day” on October 11 by coming out to his fans on facebook.

Horn told viewers on his facebook page, “So for those of you who don’t know today is “coming out day.” I have been comfortable with my sexual orientation for years. But, I’m officially making it public. Not to stir attention or anything like that; but, to let everyone know it’s okay to be you.”

Horn started at Capitol News Service in May as political reporter. In his role at Capitol News Service, he provides political reports to ten Florida stations including WTVJ in Miami, WFLA in Tampa and WEAR in Pensacola.

Sinclair Adds Eight New Age Stations to Broadcast Group

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy the broadcast assets of eight stations owned by New Age Media or to which New Age provides services for an aggregate price of $90 million.

Since the eight stations are in three markets: Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, PA, Tallahassee, FL, and Gainesville, FL, Sinclair said it plans to sell the license and “certain related assets” of two stations (WSWB and WTLH) in Wilkes-Barre-Scranton and one (WNBW) in Gainesville, FL, to Cunningham Broadcasting and the license of WTLF in Tallahassee to Deerfield Media. You can see the full list of the stations after the jump.

“We are excited to be adding the New Age stations to our portfolio, growing our presence in Pennsylvania and Florida, and further diversifying our affiliation mix,” David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. “Through each acquisition we continue to capture operating  efficiencies and scale, as well as increase our cash flow for ongoing opportunities.” Read more

WCTV’s Gina Pitisci Adds Early Evening Newscast to Anchor Duties

Gina Pitisci is adding the 5:30 p.m. newscast to her anchoring duties at WCTV, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee.

Pitisci joined the station in 2012 as the weekday morning anchor. Since December, she has anchored the 11 p.m. newscast on WCTV and the 10 p.m. newscast on sister station WTLH. In her new role, Pitisci will continue to anchor the 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts.

Pitisci replaces Angela Howard, who left WCTV in June, on the 5:30 p.m. newscast.

Chick-Fil-A Cows Mooove In On WCTV News

WCTV‘s Monday Noon newscast was visited by nine people in cow suits holding Chick-Fil-A signs along with a Chick-Fil-A spokesperson pitching a special deal for viewers.

The Tallahassee, FL, CBS affiliate initially posted video of the visit to its website, but has since taken it down.

WCTV news director Stan Sanders told TVSpy, “This was not sponsored, it was just a humorous way to let the viewer’s know why nine (9) cows were being seen at several locations throughout our Market that day.”

“I’ll tell you what. One of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life is looking in our conference room and seeing cows seated all around our table,” said anchor Art Myers during the newscast. Click here to watch the video from a cached version of the WCTV website. Read more

Matt Horn Joins Capitol News Service

Matt Horn begins today at Capitol News Service, where he will cover political news for ten local stations in Florida.

Horn comes from Wichita, where he was Salina bureau chief and general assignment reporter at KSNW. In his new role, he will be based in Tallahassee.

Capitol News Service provides political reporting to several national outlets, as well as WFLA in Tampa, WTVJ in Miami, WFTV in Orlando, WINK in Fort Myers, WPTV in West Palm Beach, WCJB in Gainesville, WCTV in Tallahassee, WJHG in Panama City, WEAR in Pensacola and WJXT in Jacksonville.

WTXL Now ‘On Air…Online and In the Air’ with Market’s First Helicopter

WTXL, the Tallahassee, FL, ABC affiliate, has unveiled the market’s first news chopper.

“That’s right.  We are on-air, online, and now in the air,” said weekend anchor Greg Angel in a report about the chopper.  “So keep your eye in the sky. You’ll be seeing the news chopper in the air helping us bring you the latest breaking news and coverage of stories that really matter to you.”

The station partnered with Tallahassee Helicopters to use a 2005 Robinson R44, Raven 2 Helicopter with “a glass cockpit and state-of-the-art equipment.” Read more

Gina Pitisci Moves to Evenings at WCTV-WTLH

Gina Pitisci has been promoted to weekday evening anchor at WCTV and WTLH, the CBS and Fox affiliates for Tallahassee.

In her new role, she will anchor the 10 p.m. newscast on WTLH and the 11 p.m. newscast on WCTV. Pitisci joined the stations January 2012 as the weekday morning anchor of WCTV’s “Daybreak” and co-anchor of the “Good Morning Show.” She also co-anchored the WTLH 7 a.m. newscast.

Before joining WCTV, Pitisci was the weekday morning and noon anchor at WTVY in Dothan, Ala.

Stan Sanders Named News Director at WCTV

Stan Sanders is stepping into the news director role at Tallahassee CBS affiliate WCTV, Rick Gevers & Associates reports.

Sanders was most recently the news director at WDBD in Jackson, Miss., which eliminated its news department earlier this year after the station was sold to American Spirit Media. Prior to his two years in Jackson, he spent ten years as news director at WCMH in Columbus.

Sanders replaces Triston Sanders, who left WCTV last month to become assistant news director at WWL in New Orleans.

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