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Utica

Nexstar Names Stephen Ventura GM of Utica Stations

nexstar logoStephen J. Ventura has been named vice president and general manager of WFXV and WPNY, Nexstar’s Fox and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Utica, N.Y. In his new role, Ventura will also oversee ABC affiliate WUTR, which Nexstar operates for Mission Broadcasting.

Ventura has been the director of sales for Nexstar’s broadcast and digital properties in Utica since 2006. He has most recently been the station’s interim general manager.

“With his local broadcasting expertise, strong client relationships, and dedication to the local communities across Central New York, we are confident in Steve’s ability to provide the necessary leadership to build upon the achievements of our Utica operations,” Bill Sally, Nexstar SVP and regional manager, said in a statement.

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Mary Wilson Promoted to Evening Co-Anchor at WUTR-WFXV

wutr mary wilson promoMary Wilson has been promoted to evening anchor at WUTR-WFXV, Nexstar’s duopoly in Utica, N.Y., according to the Central New York Business Journal.

“Mary is the consummate professional. We could not be more pleased that we have been able to promote from within our existing staff for this critical position,” VP-GM Stephen Merren said in a statement.

Wilson joined the stations in May 2013 as a reporter. She will anchor the 6, 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts with Don Dudley.

Steve McMurray Named GM of WKTV in Utica

steve mcmurraySteve McMurray has been promoted to general manager at WKTV, the NBC affiliate in Utica, N.Y. The sale of WKTV to former Gray Television executive Bob Prather was completed yesterday.

“We were convinced from our first meetings regarding the acquisition of WKTV that Steve was the right person to be General Manager,” Prather, the president and CEO of Heartland Media, said in a statement. “With his background and knowledge of both the station and the community, we are confident he has the ability to implement the improvements planned.”

McMurray, currently the station’s news director and station manager, has worked at WKTV since 2002. He first joined the station as an assignment manager and was named news director in 2004 and station manager in 2012.

WKTV’s former general manager was Steve Doerr, who also had oversight of Smith Media’s stations in Burlington. WKTV was Smith Media’s last remaining station.

Rachel Polansky Joins WSYR From WUTR

rachel polansky_304x200Rachel Polansky is joining WSYR, the ABC affiliate in Syracuse, as a reporter. Polansky comes from Utica, N.Y., where she has been a reporter at WUTR for the past year and a half.

“You have all made me feel so welcome and I can’t thank you enough for such a wonderful experience. While you may not see me everyday, I’ll still be reporting for CNY and I hope you will follow me as I begin my next journey on December 8th!” Polansky wrote on her WUTR Facebook page.

Polansky, a 2012 graduate of Penn State, will report on weekends and three days a week for WSYR.

Former Gray Television Exec Buying New York TV Station

WKTV_LOGO_REVA company headed by Robert S. Prather, Sr. is buying Utica NBC affiliate WKTV for $16 million.

Prather left Gray Television as president and COO in June.

According to the FCC filing, Prather is the managing member of Heartland Media, the company buying WKTV. The filing also reveals Prather holds 100% of the company’s votes and 51% of the ownership.

WKTV referred TVSpy to a cnyradio.com story where the station’s vice president and general manager Steve Doerr confirmed the sale to Heartland Media.

The sale, still pending FCC approval, will be the first station buy for Heartland.

Utica ABC Affiliate Adds News Director/Anchor

WUTR_ABCDon Dudley has been named news director and evening anchor for Nexstar’s Utica, NY, ABC affiliate WUTR.

Dudley is a 25 year veteran of local news, having worked in Maine, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. Most recently he worked at WRNN, the Regional News Network and Verizon’s FiOS 1 News in New York City.

He will anchor the station’s 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts starting Monday.

[UticaOD.com]

News Director Joe Parker Out at WUTR-WFXV

News director Joe Parker is no longer with WUTR-WFXV, Nexstar Broadcasting’s Utica duopoly, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports.

Parker, who co-anchored the evening newscasts alongside Elsa Gillis, joined WUTR in 2011. He has previously worked in Casper, Wyo. and Dothan, Ala.

Stephen Merren, the vice president and general manager of WUTR-WFXV, told the Observer-Dispatch that Parker’s last day was June 13. Gillis will anchor the evening newscasts solo going forward.

After Bill Worden Announces Retirement, WKTV Shuffles Anchor Lineup

Bill Worden will retire from WKTV later this month, setting off a slew of anchor changes at the Utica NBC affiliate.

Don Shipman (pictured) the station’s morning anchor, will shift to evenings to replace Worden on the 10 and 11 p.m newscasts. He will also co anchor the 5 p.m. newscast alongside Kristin Copeland. Steve McMurray, the station’s news director, will shift to the 6 p.m. newscast.

Sports director Jason Powles, who has worked in his current role since 1998, will make the transition to the news desk, replacing Shipman on the morning newscast. He will co-anchor with Jenel Boston.

Weekend sports anchor Mike Levin gets promoted to sports director, replacing Powles. Dave Dellecese, the station’s assistant news director, will permanently anchor the noon newscast, which he has been doing on a temporary basis since September. Read more

After 35 Years at Anchor Desk, Bill Worden Announces Retirement from WKTV

Bill Worden announced his retirement after 35 years as the evening anchor for the Utica, NY, NBC affiliate WKTV.

Worden told viewers at the end of the 6 p.m. news he would not be slowing down, “Retiring?  Shuffling around in slippers?  I don’t think so,” Worden said.  “I’ve actually joined a band.”

“Bill Worden is the kind of respected journalist who makes NBC mean something,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. “The network, after all is a collection of cities and small towns across this great country, and there is no doubt, in Central New York, Bill has represented NBC with distinction. We wish him the best after 35 remarkable years.” Read more

Jenel Boston Named Morning Co-Anchor at WKTV

Jenel Boston is the new morning co-anchor at WKTV, the NBC-affiliate in Utica.

Boston joins WKTV from WUTB, the MyNetworkTV-affiliate in Baltimore, where she was a writer, producer and anchor.

“It’s been a big adjustment. I’ve been going to bed around 6 p.m.,” she said on Friday. “That’s normally when I get off of work!”

Boston will anchor the 5 to 7 a.m. morning newscast alongside Don Shipman. She replaces Megan Koskovich, who left WKTV for Baltimore’s WMAR in March.

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