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West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce

Hollani Davis to Join WPTV as Anchor

Hollani-DavisHollani Davis is joining West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV as a news and traffic anchor.

WPTV station manager Lloyd Bucher told TVSpy Davis starts January 20.

“I am leaving behind a lot of friends and people who are like family,” Davis told The Roanoke Times.

Davis comes from WDBJ in Roanoke, VA, where she was the 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor. She started at WDBJ in 2006 after working at KTXS in Abilene, TX.

News Director Cathy Younkin Out at WPEC

wpec_304Cathy Younkin, news director for West Palm Beach, FL, CBS affiliate WPEC, is no longer with the station.

WPEC GM Michael Pumo confirmed Younkin’s departure with TVSpy, but would not comment further.

Gossip Extra first reported the news, saying she was “abruptly fired.”

Younkin came to WPEC in 2009 from WWMT in Grand Rapids, MI.

WPTV Reporter Alex Sanz to Join the AP

alex sanzAfter two years at WPTV, Alex Sanz is leaving the West Palm Beach NBC affiliate to work for the Associated Press. He will be based in Atlanta and his stories will appear across all platforms, including broadcast, digital and mobile.

“This is a great opportunity for Alex and certainly a loss of us. Alex’s experience allowed him to bring necessary context to stories and meetings. His ability to navigate City Hall allowed us to get in front of some big stories,” WPTV news director Mike Garber wrote in a note to station staffers this week.

Before WPTV, Sanz worked at KHOU in Houston and WTHR in Indianapolis.

WPTV Meteorologist Kait Parker Joins The Weather Channel

kait parkerAfter three years at WPTV in West Palm Beach, Kait Parker is leaving the NBC affiliate to join The Weather Channel as an on-camera meteorologist.

While she was in Palm Beach, Parker also worked as an instructor for Earth’s Climate Systems, a graduate course designed by the AMS and NASA. Before joining WPTV, Parker worked as the weekday morning meteorologist for WAKA in Montgomery, Ala.

“Kait is a passionate and energetic meteorologist who will make a great addition to our ever-growing team of the industry’s leading names in weather,” Weather Channel president David Clark said in a statement.

Parker will make her Weather Channel debut on January 13. Read the announcement of Parker’s hire from Jennifer Rigby, the senior director of coverage and talent, after the jump. Read more

Man Facing Criminal Charges for Sending Threatening Tweet to Palm Beach Anchor

pierro_discepolo_croppedAccording the The Palm Beach Post, a Lake Worth, FL, man is facing criminal charges over a tweet he sent to WPEC anchor John Discepolo in October.

Martin Thomas Pierro, whose twitter handle is @Cosmic Times, was arrested Friday after he allegedly responded to a tweet by Discepolo about an upcoming story by writing, “Someone is hiding in your house waiting to kill you…find out where…tonight at 11.”

@Cosmic Times then told Discepolo, “Oh come on that’s an old school broadcasters joke. I was just poking fun at your ‘teases’ for the nightly news,” after the anchor tweeted back, “Not something to joke about…not cool.”

Pierro told The Post by phone, “It was just a joke. Really. Now I’m facing criminal charges.” Read more

Israel Balderas Set to Debut on WPEC

israel_balderasIsrael Balderas has joined West Palm Beach CBS station WPEC.

Balderas left former Charlotte, NC, FOX affiliate WCCB in May. According to Media Moves, tomorrow will be his first day on air at WPEC.

“As you may have read from other postings, it’s official: I started a new job as the weekend anchor/reporter at WPEC-TV, CBS 12 in West Palm Beach, FL.,” Balderas wrote on his facebook page. “Will always have wonderful memories of the Queen City. And now, a new adventure awaits…Let’s do it!”

Balderas had worked at WCCB for three years. He previously worked at KFOX in EL Paso, TX.

WCCB switched from FOX to the CW in July after FOX bought rival station WJZY.

Website Aims to Shame South Florida Reporters by Publishing Personal Info

A website that is geared to “exposing deadbeats to the world” has turned its sights on reporters in South Florida.

The site, deadbeatlink.com, has posted the names and personal information of reporters, both print and broadcast, who don’t meet its journalistic standards. Included on the list are reporters for West Palm Beach CBS affiliate WPEC.

For example, when you click on the link for WPEC reporter Benjamin Becker, deadbeatlink.com shows his personal info, including his address and gives a short explanation of why he’s being targeted,

Benjamin Ruttenberg Becker is a reporter for WPEC Channel 12 in West Palm Beach. As journalists, the staff of the WPEC have chosen to ignore select political figures in Palm Beach County, turning their heads while their agencies run rampant with corruption, ranging in crimes of moral turpitude, stealing from tax payers to even committing murder.They cover things up in their own industry; if a member of the media commits rape, they are dismissed quietly and it is ignored by the rest of the media, deemed not worthy of news.

The video above was posted to Vimeo by Jose Lambiet of Gossip Extra. He was sent the video after asking the group behind the site, in his words, “what’s up?” In it, the group says journalism is supposed to be a watchdog of the government. The people behind the website obviously think that’s not happening and promise to list a new news organization every week. Read more

WPEC Weekend Anchor Jenna Caiazzo Robbed at Gunpoint

jenna caiazzoWPEC weekend anchor and reporter Jenna Caiazzo was robbed at gunpoint Friday night in downtown West Palm Beach.

“Last night I was the victim of an armed robbery in downtown West Palm Beach. I was leaving dinner at City Place around 10:30 and was held up at gunpoint by two young black males,” she reported over the weekend. “They demanded my friend’s and my pocketbooks and threatened to shoot. They got away with everything we have.”

Caiazzo directed anyone with tips on the men’s identity or whereabouts to call the Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County or to reach out to her directly with the information. [h/t NewsBlues]

Woman Posing as WFLX Producer Charged with Fraud

A woman who said she was a producer for West Palm Beach FOX affiliate WFLX and promised local business owners “international exposure and publicity” on a TV show has been arrested by Palm Beach police and charged with fraud.

The Sun-Sentinel reports, Jessie Alexander allegedly bilked local business owners out of at least $23,000 by charging them a one-time fee of $3,500 for publicity on a special called “Best of the Palm Beaches.”

According to the police report, “Representatives from FOX 29 and Love PR told a Palm Beach detective Alexander had no affiliation with them and was using their logos without permission.”

“This was not a low-caliber scam,” said police spokesman Fred Hess. “This was somebody who was going after the big bucks.” Read more

Meteorologist Cris Martinez Joins WPBF

Meteorologist Cris Martinez has been picked up by West Palm Beach ABC affiliate WPBF.

“So good to be here. You know, Florida boy at heart,” Martinez told morning anchors Paul LaGrone and Felicia Rodriguez who introduced him to viewers on the station’s morning newscast yesterday.

Martinez had been laid off from Atlanta’s WGCL in June. On yesterday’s show, he said he was filling in for Sandra Shaw until she returns from maternity leave.

The video above is Martinez’s audition at WPBF in July. It was posted to the WPBF YouTube page.

[sfltv]

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