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VIDEO: Spider Interrupts KOLD Meteorologist

KOLD chief meteorologist Chuck George had his weather forecast interrupted by an uninvited guest during last night’s 10 p.m. newscast (video after the jump).

The Tucson CBS affiliate’s website said George was unsure of what to do with the large arachnid but gave the the director enough time to take a close up without weather graphics.

He didn’t know if he should call attention to it, afraid the audience wouldn’t be able to see it, but what appeared to be a wolf spider was too large to go unnoticed!

After pointing out the spider, George and the rest of the news team continued with the show. Watch inside… Read more

Former KVOA, KMIZ Reporter Savannah Guthrie Named ‘Today’ Co-Host

NBC made it official today: Savannah Guthrie has been named co-host of the “Today” show, one day after Ann Curry ended her year-long tenure as Matt Lauer‘s sidekick.

Guthrie, a native of Tucson, spent the early part of her career moving up the local market ladder.  She worked as a reporter at KMIZ in Columbia, MO and later at KVOA in Tucson, before attending law school.

“As soon as Savannah joined NBC News she was a standout,” “Today” executive producer Jim Bell said.  “She has a one-of-a-kind combination of sharp wit and approachability, and our viewers value her journalistic skills and legal background just as much as her humor and charm.”  Read more at TVNewser

Sean Mooney Named Weekend Anchor at KVOA

Sean Mooney has been hired as the weekend co-anchor at KVOA, the NBC-affiliate in Tucson, according to Inside Tucson Business.

Mooney runs his own production company, Moonrise Productions, in Tucson. He was most recently a reporter at Fox Sports Arizona, and has previously worked at WWOR in New Jersey and WBZ in Boston.

He will replace Brandon Gunnoe, who is leaving Tucscon for a job at WHDH, the NBC-affiliate in Boston. Mooney will co-anchor with Rebecca Taylor.

KVOA Anchor Busted for Shoplifting Enters Plea Deal

Longtime KVOA anchor Martha Vazquez, who resigned from the Tucson NBC-affiliate in February after getting busted for stealing clothes and jewelry at a local mall, has entered into a plea deal in her shoplifting case.

On Monday, Vazquez entered into a “diversion plea,” which will allow her to have the shoplifting charge dropped if she pays a $180 fee and attends 7.5 hours of counseling, reports the Arizona Daily Star.

“It’s the standard plea for someone in her situation,” Tucson City Prosecutor Baird Greene told the Daily Star. Read more

KVOA Shuffles Reporters on Morning Newscast

Tucson NBC-affiliate KVOA is making talent changes to the station’s morning newscast.

Starting Monday, Samantha Ptashkin (pictured) will cover breaking news for the newscast, according to TVNewsCheck. Ptashkin joined the station last month as a general assignment reporter.

The current field reporter, Nichole Szemerei, will become the newscast’s traffic anchor. She will replace Larissa Wohl, who will leave the morning newscast and become a general assignment reporter for the station.

KVOA plans to name a new field reporter for the morning show at a later date.

KVOA Hires Allison Alexander, Rebecca Taylor

Tucson NBC-affiliate KVOA has hired a pair of new anchors: Allison Alexander (pictured) and Rebecca Taylor.

Alexander replaces Martha Vazquez, who resigned last month following a shoplifting incident, as the station’s noon and 4 p.m. anchor. The move is a return to Tucson for Alexander, who worked at ABC-affiliate KGUN from 2002-04. More recently, she has been a reporter and fill-in anchor at KTVK in Phoenix. Her first day at KVOA will be March 19.

Taylor will be the weekend anchor at KVOA beginning on March 21. She returns to the station after leaving in 2010 to move to Nashville. Taylor replaces Emily Guggenmos, who joined Buffalo’s WIVB last month.

Busted for Speeding, KGUN Traffic Reporter Goes to Traffic School

Longtime KGUN traffic reporter Allen Kath, who’s known to Tucson viewers as “Big Al Your Traffic Pal,” recently attended traffic school after being busted for speeding last December.

Running late for a doctor’s appointment, Kath was pulled over for going 64 in a 45.  He opted to enroll in traffic school to avoid paying a big fine.

KGUN photojournalist Chris Miracle followed Kath to traffic school and reported on the speeding incident for the ABC-affiliate. Read more

Cured of Valley Fever, Meteorologist Erin Christiansen Returns to KGUN

KGUN chief meteorologist Erin Christiansen is back on the air after an extended bout of Valley Fever forced her to take a leave of absence from the station.

Christiansen was welcomed back on Monday evening’s newscasts by co-anchors Jennifer Waddell and Guy Atchley, who introduced Christiansen as someone who has “had a rough time of her own” lately.

“Rough is kind of an understatement!” Christiansen laughed. “I tell you what, it feels so good to be back.”

Christiansen will work on a partial schedule for now, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to KGUN.

Emily Guggenmos, Lou Raguse Join Buffalo’s WIVB

There are two new hires at Buffalo CBS-affiliate WIVB: Lou Raguse and Emily Guggenmos (pictured).

Raguse joins the station from KMSB in Tucson, where news operations were shut down earlier this month. Guggenmos also joins WIVB from Tucson, where she was the weekend co-anchor at KVOA.

The pair met while working in Sioux Falls — Guggenmos at KDLT and Raguse at KELO. They were married in 2010.

“Emily and Lou are both strong journalists who will fit in perfectly with our winning team here,” news director Joseph Schlaerth tells TVSpy via email.

KVOA Anchor Busted Trying to Steal $338 Hoodie

New details have emerged in the alleged shoplifting incident that led to KVOA anchor Martha Vazquez‘s resignation this week after 26 years with the station.

According to a police report, posted by Tucson Weekly, Vazquez was cited for stealing a hoodie and a pair of earrings from a Dillard’s department store.

A Dillard’s security officer observed the longtime Tucson anchor try on a $338 Eileen Fisher hoodie near a clothing rack and then conceal it inside of a sweater she had been wearing. She then purchased shoes and a few other items and attempted to leave the store without paying for the hoodie, at which point she was detained by security. Read more

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