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Is WJLA in Danger of Alienating the Washington, D.C. Market?

Sinclair BroadcastThe Washington Post takes a look at what is happening at WJLA after Sinclair Broadcast Group took over the Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate as part of its purchase of Allbritton in July.

The Post says WJLA has recently begun airing commentary from a conservative pundit named Mark Hyman and has created a partnership with what The Post calls the “editorially conservative Washington Times.

In his video commentary, Hyman railed against the inconsistent enforcement of a ban on travel to Cuba by Americans. Noting that the music stars Jay Z and Beyoncé had “partied up” in Havana last year without penalty, Hyman insinuated that Obama had protected the couple from prosecution. “It occurs to me that Beyoncé and Jay Z are close friends of the president and first lady,” said Hyman, adding sarcastically, “You don’t suppose . . . oh, never mind. He’d never do that.”

Hyman’s critiques — which range from warning about the cost of Obamacare to advocating the abolition of the Transportation Security Administration — will be a regular feature on WJLA, just as they are on dozens of stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the new owner of ABC 7.

Staffers tell The Post Sinclair’s edicts to run certain politically slanted stories and its criticism of the Federal Government on its home turf “is bound to play badly.”

“You can’t run a TV station in Washington by telling government workers that they’re a bunch of criminals and crooks,” said one of the station’s journalists, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he risked being fired if identified. “You can’t be the anti-government channel in Washington. They’re going to lose the trust they built up with people over years and years. We’ve told people, ‘We’re just like you,’ not, ‘We’re looking out for the tea party.’ ”

Click here to read the entire article.

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Robert Burton to Join WJLA

burton katvKATV weekend sports anchor Robert Burton said goodbye to viewers of the Little Rock, Ark. ABC affiliate Sunday night.

Burton is heading to WJLA in Washington, D.C.

Sports director Steve Sullivan wrote up a goodbye for Burton on the station’s website.

I’d be lying if I said that Bob got off to a great start at KATV.

Bob joined us in the middle of the 2011 football season.  His first big assignment was the Conway-Cabot football game.  This match-up between two tradition rich programs was supposed to be our main highlight game. If Bob had the final call, we wouldn’t have any highlights of that game on the news that night. Read more

Sinclair Names New GMs in Washington, DC and Columbus Markets

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Dan Mellon GM of its Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA and local cable news network NewsChannel 8.

The station group also named Tony D’Angelo GM of Columbus, OH, ABC affiliate WSYX.

“I am excited to announce the promotions of Dan and Tony,” Steve Marks, Sinclair’s co-chief operating officer said in a statement. “They have been loyal employees of the Company with a history of success in leading our stations, especially in Columbus, one of our largest and most important markets.”

Since 2006, Mellon has been group manager of Sinclair’s stations. He was GM of WSYX from 2005 until 2006 and was also responsible for oversight into WTTE. D’Angelo had been director of sales at WSYX, WTTE and WWHO in Columbus since 2003.

WUSA News Crew Robbed While Looking for ‘Sketchy Neighborhoods’

WUSA_08-08-2014_23.04.09WUSA was doing a story about an app that alerts people to sketchy neighborhoods.

Reporter Mola Lenghi, photographer James Hash and an intern were talking to residents of a northwest DC neighborhood when thieves broke into their vehicle and stole some gear.

Among the many stolen articles was the gear of photojournalist James Hash, the backpack of reporter Mola Lenghi, and the purse of intern Taylor Bisciotti.

Bisciotti’s cell phone was in her purse, and that ended up being a lucky break for the crew. Using the “Find my iPhone’ application the crew was able to track the phone. After filing a police report the crew tracked the phone to dumpsters in another D.C. neighborhood.

The crew was able to recover some of the stolen items from the dumpsters. The entire crew returned to WUSA9′s broadcast house unharmed.

You can see the video after the jump. Read more

Marion Barry Berates D.C. Reporter: ‘You Don’t Know a Damn Thing About Washington’

A reporter for Fox owned Washington D.C. station WTTG got lectured by former mayor and current D.C. councilman Marion Barry, who told Emily Miller “you don’t know a damn thing about Washington” when she confronted Barry about unpaid parking tickets.

The Washington Free Beacon reports Barry was involved in a recent car accident that led reporters to look into the former mayor’s driving record and parking tickets:
Read more

WJLA GM Out as Sinclair Takes Over Station

lord wjla croppedWJLA GM Bill Lord has announced he is leaving the now Sinclair owned ABC affiliate for Washington, D.C.

According to FTVLive, who first reported the news, Lord sent staffers an email saying “I have just received word that September 30th will be my last day at WJLA. Sinclair will be posting the GM position in the morning so I wanted to tell all of you first.”

Lord confirmed the news with TVSpy. He’s worked at WJLA for 12 years.

Sinclair’s bid to buy WJLA’s former owner, Allbritton Communications, was approved by the FCC last week.

Cox Reporter Stopped By TSA Agent Who Isn’t Familiar With the District of Columbia

Justin Gray DC licenseFile this under people who need a geography lesson: a TSA agent in Orlando recently stopped Justin Gray, a Washington correspondent for Cox Media Group, because he did not recognize his D.C. driver’s license as a valid form of identification.

Gray, who says his license is legal and up-to-date, says the agent said he did not recognize the license and asked him for his passport. Gray told the agent he did not have his passport and, after a brief conversation, realized the agent did not know what the District of Columbia is.

The agent eventually let him through. Gray filed a report on the incident yesterday: “The TSA says because of what happened to me, they’re now showing pictures of DC IDs to every TSA agent there in Orlando,” he said. Watch the report after the jump. Read more

Amanda Kost Leaving KMGH for Scripps Bureau in Washington

KOST_WebBio_640x480_1365191173363_396865_ver1.0_640_480

KMGH news director Jeff Harris has announced investigative reporter Amanda Kost will leave the Scripps-owned Denver ABC affiliate to join the Scripps National Bureau in Washington as an investigative reporter.

“The DC investigative team is building and Amanda is the perfect part to help gain momentum and impact,” Harris told staff in an email today. “Our Nation’s Capital has no idea what it’s in store for…but we do.”

Kost is a Peabody Award winner who joined KMGH four years ago.

Read Harris’ full memo after the jump. Read more

Scott Perkins Named VP, Creative Services Director at WTTG-WDCA

wttg logoFox has named Scott Perkins vice president and creative services director at WTTG-WDCA in Washington, D.C. Perkins will begin in his new role July 14.

“Scott’s background in design and art across a variety of sectors, gives him a unique perspective. A D.C. native with a wealth of creative experience, he was the ideal choice to lead this department,” WTTG-WDCA general manager Patrick Paolini said in a statement.

Perkins comes from Bowie State University, where he was an executive creative director and consultant.

Rick Boone Joining WTTG as Reporter

rick_boone_photoRick Boone is joining FOX owned Washington, D.C. station WTTG.

He comes to WTTG from Baltimore’s WBFF where he has worked since last October. He starts next Tuesday as a reporter and anchor fill-in.

Boone posted on his facebook page, “Its been a fun ride Baltimore!!!”

He’s also worked in San Diego, CA, Seattle, WA, Sacramento, CA, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, PA, Hagerstown, MD, Tallahassee, FL, Charlotte, NC, and Shreveport, LA.

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