Before coming to KGUN, Burke was the news director at WTVM in Columbus, GA, until December 2012. He’s also worked in Sacramento, Fresno, Pittsburgh, Columbus, OH, Detroit, and Greenville, NC.
Two stations in Tucson are walking back reports about a young child whose mother said he killed himself after witnessing a deathly accident, Tucson Weekly reports.
ABC affiliate KGUN interviewed Genesee Pineda, who said that her son took his own life after he saw his best friend run over by a Pima County police cruiser. NBC affiliate KVOA also reported the death, saying on multiple newscasts “we’re told [he] committed suicide days after” his friend died.
“He was asking about heaven, he had repeated that he didn’t want his friend to go to heaven by himself,” Pineda told KGUN. “They took him to UMC, where he died there.”
After running the story, KGUN investigative reporter Craig Smith — who Tucson Weekly notes did not file the original story — did a follow-up report revealing neither the police or the hospital had any record of a the death. Smith also noted that the photo Pineda provided of her son was identical to one on HBO’s website.
Both stations have done follow-up reports on the story’s inaccuracies, although neither station has addressed why Pineda’s claims were not investigated before the original reports went to air.
TVSpy has reached out to KVOA and KGUN for comment.
“We are sad to lose such a talented, genuine person like Paul,” said KVIA news director Brenda De Anda-Swann in a statement. “He is a truly unique, authentic talent and his enthusiasm is always contagious. He has a special bond with the audience and I know he’ll be missed.”
Cicala is moving to Tucson to tend to family matters, the station said.
The station also announced Asher Wildman (pictured right) will step into Cicala’s sports director role as soon as Cicala leaves in one month.
Wildman has worked at KVIA for more than a year. Prior to working at KVIA, he was host of Golfweek TV in Orlando, FL.
“When Ryan first visited us he made an immediate connection with our newsroom, especially the morning team. WTAE is happy to see a home-grown storyteller come back to Pittsburgh in this role,” news director Justin Antoniotti said in a statement.
Newton joins KOLD from rival KVOA, the NBC affiliate in Tucson, where he has been national sales manager since 2011. Prior to that, he spent eight years in radio, working at Clear Channel Communications and Cumulus Media.
“Greg brings strong and diverse sales and sales management experience to the table along with deep local, regional and national relationships,” director of sales David Rash said in a statement. “We are lucky to have him on our team.”
George has taken at least two medical leaves of absence in the past two years. In May, he revealed that he suffers from severe depression. He has not appeared on KOLD since early June, according to a search of TVEyes.
KOLD vice president and general manager Debbie Bush did not return TVSpy’s request for comment.
It is a return Tucson for Shamrell, who worked at NBC affiliate KVOA until 2003. Since then, she has worked in infomercials and as an actress.
“We are very pleased to have Sally back in Tucson where she can utilize her great talents in the unique environment of The Morning Blend on KGUN9 and CW58,” KGUN general manager Jim Arnold said in a statement.
Shamrell will co-host the program with Amanda Guralski.
Guarino was arrested in early April on suspicion of DUI. At the time, KVOA general manager Bill Shaw told the Daily Star about Guarino, “He’s here and he’s going to be here going forward.” This time the Daily Star said Shaw wouldn’t comment.
Guarino came to KVOA in 2011 from KOAT in Albuquerque.
“I want to share this story for two reasons. One is that I really need to heal myself,” George said on Thursday’s evening newscast (video above). “It’s kind of a final process in what I’m going through. And another is that I want people to know that they’re not alone. I thought I was alone for a long time. And I know I’m not now.” Read more
KOLD general manager Debbie Bush confirmed with TVSpy George was taking the leave of absence, but gave no indication of why or how long he would be gone saying she could not comment on employee matters.