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Youngstown

WKBN Wears Purple to Support Chief Meteorologist’s Cancer Battle

WKBN encouraged the community to wear purple yesterday in support of chief meteorologist Don Guthrie, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Yesterday was Guthrie’s 44th anniversary at the Youngstown CBS affiliate. Watch WKBN’s report:

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Youngstown Station Plants Tree to Honor News Director Who Died of Cancer

coursen tree wytvYoungstown ABC affiliate WYTV planted a tree Monday in honor of Gary Coursen, the station’s former news director who died in December.

The tree was planted by WYTV GM Dave Coy, assistant news director Kristen Hephner and Coursen’s wife Becky.

Coursen died in December at the age of 55 after being diagnosed last summer.

The station said Coursen was the architect of the 2007 merger between CBS affiliate WKBN and WYTV’s news departments. He had worked in TV news for 30 years.

WKBN Meteorologist Diagnosed With Cancer

WKBN-WYTV meteorologist Don Guthrie has been battling pancreatic cancer since December, he revealed in a report that aired this week on the Youngstown CBS affiliate. On a recent trip to Columbus for treatment, Guthrie brought along anchor Stan Boney, who interviewed the longtime meteorologist and his family.

“Hopefully I am going to get the thing under control and beat it,” Guthrie said. “…I love doing my job. I love trying to outfox Mother Nature every day, so I am looking forward to it.” Watch:

WKBN-WYTV News Director Dies at 55

gary coursenGary Coursen, the news director at WKBN-WYTV in Youngstown, has died of cancer. He was 55.

The station reported that Coursen, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, fell into a coma over the weekend after having surgery Thursday. His cancer originated in his nasal area and had moved into his brain, according to WKBN.

He had been WKBN’s news director since 2003. “Coursen was a quiet leader. He was not a micro-manager, though everyone in the news department knew he was in charge,” WKBN said in a tribute on its website. “…He will be profoundly missed here at the WKBN/WYTV studios.”

Erika Thomas Joins WKBN and WYFX

thomas_coanchor_croppedErika Thomas has joined WKBN and WYFX as primary weekday co-anchor.

Before coming to the Youngstown, OH, CBS and FOX affiliates, Thomas worked in Sioux City, IA. She replaces Teresa Weakley who left in August for WIVB in Buffalo.

“We are extremely pleased to have a journalist of Erika’s caliber joining our news operation,” Dave Coy, president and general manager of WKBN said in a statement. “Her passion for news is a very welcome addition to our news team, and her skills will only enhance our ability to provide our local viewers the very best in news coverage each and every day.”

Thomas joins co-anchor Dave Sess for the 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts on WKBN and FOX affiliate WYFX.

[Vindy.com]

WFMJ to Launch Weekend Morning Newscasts

wfmj logoWFMJ, the NBC affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio, will launch weekend morning newscasts on October 26, TVNewsCheck reports.

The newscasts will air Saturdays from 6 to 7 a.m. and 9 to 10 a.m. and Sundays from 7 to 8 a.m. and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Jennifer Brindisi and Derek Steyer will anchor, with Jasmine Monroe reporting on the weekend’s events.

“The whole news staff is excited about the addition of the weekend broadcasts. It’s a chance to report on stories that sometimes don’t get told, dig in on the local political landscape and feature more of the things that make the Valley a great place to live,” news director Mona Alexander said.

Ohio Army National Guard Presents WKBN With Appreciation Award

The Ohio Army National Guard presented WKBN, the CBS affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio, with an award of appreciation on Tuesday.

WKBN and its sister stations, Fox affiliate WYFX and ABC affiliate WYTV, have aired public service announcements for the Ohio Army National Guard for free during the past six years. Sergeant Ted Kester, who presented the award to WKBN general manager Dave Coy and news director Gary Coursen, said the announcements have helped attract “hundreds of soliders” to the National Guard, according to WKBN.

“This is just a nice way to say thank you very much,” Kester said. ” We appreciate it, of course. Public service announcements, nobody says they have to air them, they choose to, and we just really appreciate being one of the ones they choose to air.”

Retirement of Meteorologist Mark Koontz Brings Changes to WFMJ

WFMJ has announced the retirement of chief meteorologist Mark Koontz (pictured center) as well as some changes to the Youngstown, OH, NBC affiliate’s weather team lineup.

“We wish Mark all the best in his retirement,” WFMJ general manager Jack Grdic said in a statement. “He’s truly ‘The Dean’ of Northeast Ohio weather and he has been a terrific colleague.” Koontz said he will sign off after a 40 year career tomorrow. He spent ten years at WFMJ, five of those as chief meteorologist.

The station also announced Eric Wilhelm (pictured right) will replace Koontz as chief meteorologist.  Wilhelm, who came to WFMJ in October said, “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to succeed a truly extraordinary meteorologist and broadcaster as Mark Koontz.” Read more

After 14 Years at WFMJ, Scott Schneider Says Goodbye

Scott Schneider, an original member of the WFMJ morning newscast, is leaving the station on Friday after 14 years.

Schneider recalled sitting “in a room with a handful of people at WFMJ staring at a blank tablet” and says he considers himself fortunate to have played “a significant role” in the success of the morning newscast on the Youngstown NBC-affiliate.

“After careful consideration I have decided it is time I leave my post as morning anchor,” Schneider said in a statement. “I am going to take some time off and hope to begin the next chapter of my life right here in northeast Ohio.” Read more

WKBN Sports Reporter Joe Aulisio Suffers Broken Vertebrae While Covering High School Football

Joe Aulisio, a sports reporter at CBS-affiliate WKBN in Youngstown, is recovering from a concussion and two broken vertebrae sustained in a collision at a football practice he was covering Wednesday.

Aulisio was reporting on a feature piece on coach Jeff Whitaker‘s last practice with the Liberty Leopards, a high school football team. According to his wife, WKBN anchor Teresa Weakley, Auliso was shooting video and looking away when four football players collided with him.

“He is lucky,” Weakley told the Tribune Chronicle. “There’s no spinal cord damage.” Read more

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